Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along week 4

I think I'm beginning to anticipate fall. Most of the fabrics I have pulled for new blocks are all about cooler weather and colorful trees! I can't wait to have the time to put them together. At least I got a couple done this week, I'll take the progress no matter how small. Baby steps, right?

block 5: Bat Wing

I saved a scrap of one of my favorite Echino prints, and when I saw the title of this block I knew it would be perfect! I paired it with some Michael Miller dots, and I just love the combo. Let's say luuurve, because that more accurately reflects my feelings. I ended up paper piecing this one, I only had a little bit of fabric and didn't want to stress the usual sewing/unsewing that I tend to do with triangle blocks.

block 111: Wrench

This block is a combo of new and vintage fabrics. The grey is some of Aneela Hoey's Sherbet Pips, the red is a bit of hearty-vintage goodness from my mom's fabric stash. I remember having some of this pattern in a vest from 4th grade! I pieced it "traditionally," just using measurements (yay math!). So far I haven't used the templates, just measured them out to make sure my math skills aren't that pathetic.

I am thinking I will end up using the templates on a couple blocks, and am thinking of hand piecing a couple of the more challenging ones with Y-seams. I think that technique will yield the best results.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


A quilt for T-Rex: welcome little guy!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along week 3

Here are my Farmer's Wife blocks for this week:
I've had this remnant of fabric forever, and am so pleased with the block! I knew I was hanging on to it for a reason, and I love the idea of interpreting the block in this way.

The original pattern just used two colors, but I have so many tiny scraps of fun prints, I decided to keep the white consistent and mix up a bunch of little bits. It's really addictive, I could make an entire quilt using just this block!

This was the only block I paper pieced this week. I just couldn't get the "bow" right, so I used this technique to get the points to line up accurately.

I haven't had a chance to take photos outside, but saw others participating in the Quilt Along using their scanners to take "photos," so here's my attempt.
Progress will probably come to a crushing stop as I go back to work next week. Such a mix of emotions: I love my job, I mean I LOOOOVE my job. Underline. Italics. But, am going to miss the time with the kids. We made the most of the summer, we were constantly on the move, trying to maximize every last moment.

So, you could say I'm going to downgrade my status from Farmer's Wife to Farmer's Girlfriend, or maybe Mistress. A continuing relationship but with a little less, em, commitment.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Farewell Penny

You were not the smartest dog (hello greyhound racing school drop out), but you loved us with every ounce of your being. You withstood the torments of toddlers with patience and a gentle heart. We love you and you will be missed. You will always be my little princess.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along week 2

Here's the latest batch of blocks for my FWQA! Not a bad week, though a couple I'm not so thrilled with. One of which I'm not posting. Maybe I'll get it fixed by Wednesday?

Block #49: Honeycomb
OK, let's start with the least favorite and move on from there. Not as happy with this block, I may redo it with a different fabric. It just doesn't look as great on point. I think I need to avoid directional prints with some of the blocks that are clearly NOT designed to be set on point.

Block #15: Buzzard's Roost
Liking this one much more! And got to use up some awesome scraps.

Block #17: Cats and Mice.
My favorite! Still learning more about paper piecing, this one was super tricky. Please ignore the multitude of strings from the multiple sessions with the seam ripper. I ended up picking lots of the paper off and reassembling it in a manner that made more sense to me. Phew! And it's nice and straight after all that work, but just blowin' in the wind.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Garden goodness (and gnome apron)

The tomatoes are going crazy (yay!) in this hot weather (boo.). Bennett helped me pick a second round while wearing his gnome apron.
For a little while. I tried getting a couple shots to show it off, but this is what you get with a three year old. I got the awesome pattern here, and let me tell you what a fun and quick project it was! The pattern is well drafted and came together easily. The best part: Bennett can put it on and take it off by himself, no fiddly strings. Genius!
He is great at sorting them after we picked them, keeping all the Yellow Boys in one basket, and all the red Campari, Roma, Better Boys and a couple Beefsteaks in another.
Guess what we did last weekend?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The beginning of the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along

And here we go, the first few blocks, fluttering in the breezy afternoon!
These blocks from the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book are all 6 inches square. One of the reasons I wanted to do this project (and chances are good I won't be completing all 111 blocks!) is to stretch myself and learn some new techniques.

Another reason is I have these great quirky scraps and need to do something with them! Each block is a little bite of quilty goodness, a chance to experiment with color and hue without a huge commitment of time. Perfect for getting a nice feeling of accomplishment in between laundry, nursing, puzzles, gardening, canning, and "read me one more, Mom!"
Block #2: Autumn Tints

Block #1: Attic Windows

Block #58: Mother's Dream

Block #7: Birds in the Air

Obviously I'm not doing them in order, just doing them as I come up with a good fabric combo. The Quilt Along is shooting for two blocks a week. What I really dig: no commitment or deadlines, just lots of people having fun!
So check out the book for some incredible reading, then check out the rest of the gang participating in the quilt along!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm nuts.

Because I need another project. Umm, yeah. Anyhow, I have been seduced by the Farmer's Wife and all that she promises to teach me (and the scraps I can use up, right?), so I have joined my first Quilt Along.

There is no pressure with this quilt along to complete all 111 blocks in a specified time frame, some folks are only picking and choosing what they want out of the book. Most of the group are striving for two blocks a week, so this will be an ongoing project for quite a while!

Want to check it out? Look in on the two organizers of this round: Angela and Amanda, then take a look at the awesome creations on the Flickr group.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

a Different kind of Habitat

Guess what is being built on an empty lot a few doors down?

It's a Habitat for Humanity home! Although the neighborhood kids are probably sad to see their space for touch football and impromptu soccer matches go, at least watching the progress offers some fun, right?

We have been taking lunch and snack breaks in our neighbor's yard and watching the progress. It's been really neat to watch it happen so close to home.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Habitat Challenge

I have been working on the Jay McCarroll’s Habitat Challenge (just in time for the start of season 9 of Project Runway!) along with several members of our Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild. We each got a little bag with some dilectible fat eighths, and decided to make it a sewist’s choice. We can only suppliment with additional yardage of the line or with solids. I decided I was going to push myself to “use what I have,” so solids it is! I am also wanting to use up ALL the fabric as part of my personal challenge.

And here’s what things look like now... taken late at light (my only sewing time) with my phone camera, but you get the idea. Hopefully.

Check back soon to see what it turns into. It’s due August 10th, so it won’t be long!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

sleep sacks

How can I begin to tell you how much I love these wacky gnomes from this print?? I got a yard to make myself an apron, but instead I made one for Bennett, and had enough left over to make Norah a sleep sack.
I used the pattern from Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings book I got a while ago. It turned out so cute!! The back is more of the red and white dots, the inside is soft white flannel, and the binding is bias tape made from brown Kona cotton.
Ugg! So cute! I tried getting some shots of the gal in it, but she's a wiggle worm. I'll have to keep trying.

I used Riley Blake prints for the front of this one, following the pattern in the book. I had big plans for these fabrics (a quilt!) but time ran short, so here we are. It has brown flannel on the inside, and I used more of the brown Kona cotton for the trim. All in all, super cute, though the late afternoon photo shoot doesn't do the photos justice.

For the back I used my favorite print from the line, a green "Road Trip" pattern. This one is sent off to a new little guy, so here's hoping he enjoys it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guess who found her hands?

from the garden

The tomatoes are getting ripe, the eggplants are setting on, we have one pumpkin on the vine, the carrots are tender and sweet, and all is right with the world.