Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Clothes for Isabelle

Isabelle has new clothes for vacation Bible school.  Did you ever attend a vacation Bible school?  I did, when I was a young teenager.  As a girl brought up in a home where we were in church every time the doors were opened, I think I knew most of the Bible stories, so I enjoyed the games we played: red rover, red rover, let Charlotte come over, and I would run and try to break through the line of children on the other team; any, any over, and someone threw a ball over the building to the other team.  And it was at Bible school where I developed a crush on a certain tall, good-looking boy who showed no interest in me whatsoever.  I carried that crush with me for most of the rest of my high school years, watching as he started dating my very best friend and then marrying her when she graduated.  I look back on it all now and think how similar this storyline was to Scarlet and Ashley. lol.  But this is suppose to be about clothes I've made for Isabelle:

pants and top, twirly skirt and top

simple sundresses,

fashionable jeans and top for playing red rover, red rover,

enough for one week of activities.   So much fun!  Now all she needs is a pair of sandals.
Hope you like them. Charlotte

Pattern credits:  pants and top, Simplicity A2086
Twirly skirt, www,, page 23 of My Tutorials
Green sundress,
Jeans, from an old pair of my jeans with three snips, washed and dried with other jeans.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My latest string quilt top is finished and put away to be quilted later, maybe next winter.  Each individual block is not very interesting by itself, but I really like the effect of using dark and light strings to make this pattern.  This would be a nice quilt for a boy's bed or a dorm quilt.

I'm making clothes for Isabelle now and when they're finished, I'm shutting down the machine for a while and concentrate on quilting the top that's been on the frames for a few months.  


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Standing the Test of Time ~ part 2

(Please read the previous post first)

It had to go.  Time caught up with it.  The tree was full of berries in spite of its beginning to split where the three trunks met.  The trunks were also beginning to lean and we were afraid sometime when the wind was blowing strong during a rain storm and the cattle had come for a bit of shelter, that it would fall on them, probably killing more than one cow.  So the sad task of taking it down began last week.

The farmer put a chain around the west trunk and pulled it down.  This picture shows the condition of the roots and the splitting of the trunks.

After attempting to pull the center trunk down, and breaking the chain, he decided to push the other two trunks down.

 Nothing was damaged or destroyed, not even a broken wire in the fence, just a mess in the yard to clean up and a residue of memories:
Daughter one, "I love that tree!"
Daughter two, "I remember us making mud pie crusts and using the berries as fillings."
Daughter three, who was only two when we moved here and therefore her memories are not as vivid, "We have lots of memories of the tree."
Birds, "Oh no!  Where do we go from here?"


Monday, June 8, 2015

A Repost: Standing the Test of Time

Forty four years ago we moved onto our own land, ten acres, with plans to build a new house. The Farmer was just finishing work on his doctorate at the university, and after feeling more or less as a stranger in the big city, I felt happy to be in the country again. We rented a trailer to live in while the house was being built, and had it put in the shade of this mulberry tree.

The month was May, and the berries were at their peak of ripeness, falling and covering the ground underneath. We set up a swing set for our three little girls who now could run and play without the confinement of a fenced back yard, and their beautiful childish voices echoed across the land as they sang "Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so." And every night their little feet and the seats of their panties were stained purple from the mulberries.
I have no way of knowing how long the tree had been here before we bought the land, but it's weathered many storms; perhaps the three trunks give support to one another. It is just outside the yard fence and the cattle take shade underneath its branches in the summer, wearing away the dirt from the roots on that side of the fence.

The dead limbs are signs that the old tree is under stress; most of the time, before I mow the yard, there are several sticks to pick up.

But the roots inside the fence must be providing moisture for the tree, because once again, the limbs are full of green berries, and when they get ripe there will be a mass feeding for the birds, raccoons and terrapins, not to mention the flies who come to drink in the intoxication of the souring berries.
I guess old-timers used the berries for making jelly, but I don't particularly like the taste of them.
I wonder how long a mulberry tree can stand the test of time. Do you like mulberries or do you have a tree on your property?

[This was originally posted in 2012; watch for an update tomorrow]

Monday, June 1, 2015

As a winter project, I took this pattern

and embroidered nine blocks for a baby quilt.  Since there wasn't much chance to use a lot of different thread colors, the blocks seemed a little drab to me.  So I let them sit while I thought about how to set them together into a top.  Last week I decided to border each block with 1 1/2 inch strips of pastel colored fabrics and this is the result:

The colored strips brought out the colors of the embroidery floss so it doesn't look drab anymore.  Here are some of the individual blocks:

I was a Saturday's child.  Do you know what day of the week you were born on?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Do you ever start a project and then change your mind about what you want to do with it?  This is what happened to these blocks.

I made several of these, with the intentions of making an Irish Chain quilt top, but when I laid them out to preview the results, I didn't like them used that way.  They were put away, because, although on a scale of 1 to 10 I am a 10 in the taking apart category, I had no desire to undo these blocks.  So later the full colored blocks were paired with appliqued blocks and turned into this baby quilt.  I did take apart a few blocks to use as borders around the appliqued blocks.

Now I have taken the other blocks and set them together with appliqued Overall Andy blocks for another baby quilt top.

The animal blocks were hand appliqued, but I decided to try my hand at machine applique.  I'm not the best at this; I'd give myself a grade of C or B- at the most.  Larger pieces would have been easier to learn on.  I compare the bottoms of the pants legs to jeans legs which are too long and mom says, "I don't want to cut them off and hem them up; just wear them off."  Now and then there's a stray thread at the turning point.

Whatever, it's a good feeling to know the orphaned blocks now have a good use.


(For Ernestine ~ The wind and rain were not kind to them)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Too Much of a Good Thing?

We have had LOTS of rain the last few days, but no bad storms in our area.  Heavy rains fell in the mountains north of us and the waters made their way down to farms below.  Our hay is ready to cut but there was other work that had to be done on the dry days we had.  The chicken houses needed to be cleaned out and new shavings and rice hulls put inside.  Then we put in new cables for some water lines, the hay work waited ~ and this happened:

The pictures were taken from the north, looking south.  The close waters are on my brother-in-law's farm and our field is at the far end; couldn't get any closer to ours.  The main creek runs along the edge of the high hills.

A few years back we had baled the hay on this field and hadn't hauled it; the field flooded, carrying the big round bales of hay down into the woods and setting some down on the higher spots in the field.  Most of the bales were lost, so we always try to haul out the bales and not take a chance of losing them if there is rain in the forecast.

The grass will be hard to cut since the rushing water bent it over and there will be dirt on the grass.  Poor cows ~ Also, there are usually tree trunks and branches and plastic trash left on the field that has to be mowed around, then picked up after the hay is baled.  In other words, a lot of aggravation mostly.

How can it be so dry in California and all these gallons of water rushing over the fields to the river, to the gulf, and finding their way to the ocean?  And remember my posts about the drought in 2012?  Such a mystery ~~~