Saturday, October 29, 2011

Amy's Blogger Quilt Festival

This is a big week for quilters. The annual International Quilt Show is going on in Houston. Don't despair if you're not there. The blogging community is all abuzz and posts are popping up all over cluing us less fortunate souls who are not attending, into the excitement.Then there is Amy of Amy's Creative Side. She coordinates a virtual quilt show twice a year (during spring and fall market) for those of us left behind. Last May there were 631 entries! That's enough to keep you inspired for a long least until the next one rolls around...which happens to be right now.

I haven't been quilting for very long and I was too intimidated to enter a quilt in May. Now I figured, why not? Alas, I don't have a new quilt to enter so those of you that read here, will recognize this one. For those of you that are new, welcome to the end of the dirt road!

I'm entering my most recent finish:

This is the quilt I made for our daughter to take to college in August:

My original post and the story behind it is here. In case you don't want to pop over there, here are a few stats about it. It measures 78x94 and is a pattern from the Rock Star Carrie Nelson, who is coming out with fabulous new patterns faster than I can get them made! She's the inventor of the Schnibbles craze. It's also the second one I've made. The first one is our family favorite and she wanted to take it to college so I made another, but added an extra row in order for it to fit her bed. We call it the Hobo Quilt. I seem to recall our son asking it I was working on the Hobo quilt one day. It just seemed to fit for this scrappy quilt and it stuck.

It is bound with a scrappy binding and backed with (wait, let me go check) a teal dotted print by Benartex called Tried and True by Nancy Halverson that DD chose albeit she was napping in the truck when I walked out of the quilt shop with it and asked her if she liked it.

My friend Jackie quilted it beautifully with an all over wandering feather design that gives it the perfect crinkly goodness that makes you want to snuggle with it.

I love this quilt and most importantly, so does she. I hope it reminds her of home, of how much her Mama and Daddy love her, and of how proud we are of her. I stitched prayers into every seam and some prayers are repeated because there are an awful lot of seams in this quilt. I hear tell she even makes her bed at college! Who knew!

Thank you so much for stopping by! DH gave me the morning off from ranch duties and we had a good, hard freeze last night so I think I'll put the tea kettle on, curl up under the original Hobo Quilt and browse the quilt entries over at Amy's!

Monday, October 24, 2011

On the Back Burner

Busy weekend. I made a trip to see my in-laws and help my MIL who was struggling with a nasty round of kidney stones. Poor thing. Thankfully, she's on the mend. Tomorrow my FIL is having hernia surgery and DH will drive up and take him in. So glad we're just 2 hours away. I'm kicking myself for not grabbing my camera . It's such a pretty drive and I missed some gorgeous shots.

This morning I'm heading out to help DH wean the colts! can't think of a better way to spend a Monday morning!

Sewing time has been negligible these past 3 or 4 weeks, but here's what's on the back burner.

For being a fairly new quilter, it certainly didn't take me long to amass a stash. I started sewing when our first child was born, but I was quite intimidated by the thought of making a quilt. Besides, my MIL was a master hand quilter and she kept us supplied with wonderful quilts. She still quilts, but for the most part she concentrates on small projects and beautiful wall hangings. I treasure everything she's given us through the years.

No one in my family sewed or quilted. In fact, I avoided it for a very long time. But for some reason I picked up the quilting bug and never looked back. However, my stash is outgrowing it's space. I have a horrible propensity for collecting western fabrics. It must be bad when you call the quilt store to ask a question and they let you know that they just unpacked boxes and boxes of western fabric. They know that even though I don't get there but about 4 times a year, once I do, it's a sure bet that I won't leave empty handed. Well a few months back I saw this quilt:

I fell in love with this quilt when I saw it on my bloggy friends blog. Then I saw that it was made with western fabrics. Sigh. Be still my heart. I have western fabric.

I have lots...

and lots...

and lots of western fabric! I hoard western fabric. And then she was so very generous and sent me her scraps! When she sees this, she'll probably think, "Well she certainly didn't need my scraps!", but I object. I did need your scraps S. It will make my quilt even more special and I'll think of you when I look at this quilt. I didn't have any of the fabrics you sent and when you make another one, I'll send you some.

This is a Bonnie Hunter pattern and the tutorial for Many Scrappy Trips can be found here. Not making any promises about how long this will take to piece. There's a pretty good chance that I'll want to make it bigger and then I'll be back to cutting strips.

So, while I had a crew of cowboys to cook for, I cut...and I cut...and I cut strips from every western fabric I had whenever I had an extra minute or two:

Then I cut some more:

And still, the stash looks as if I never touched it. How does that happen? I wonder how many quilts I have to make before I see a change. It would probably help if I didn't keep bringing fabric home.

I even have the backing picked out:

This fabric is from 1997! Yay me for using something that has been on my shelves for far too long. I can't remember what I planned to make with it, but I sure did buy a lot of it! LOL! I think it'll be the perfect backing for this quilt and I'm fairly certain I'll still have some left. :)

 More 90's fabric :

I made valances for our mudroom a very long time ago:

  and I still have some left so I cut some for this quilt:

And this is what I bought for the binding:

I'm excited because rarely do I have backing and binding picked out before even cutting fabric for the top.

This past weekend weekend DH participated in a ranch rodeo and Friday was the first really cold night we've had. We sat on even colder, metal bleachers and shivered while cheering on the contestants and I wished I had brought a quilt to wrap up in as an added layer to the already heavy coat. So this quilt may be my Ranch Rodeo quilt. I've never used wool batting, but I may give that a shot as long as it washes well because ranch rodeos come with lots of dirt.

Well my chariot awaits!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Quilt Ladder Dilema

  I'm not a collector of things, well, unless you count my fabric stash and we do have bookshelves stuffed with books. However, I have become obsessed with these:

Quilt ladders. Everytime I see one, it just warms my heart. I don't know what it is. There is just something inviting and cozy about a ladder drapped with quilts standing against a wall. So, I have been stalking pictures:

looking for the ladder that I wanted. I found these when I googled images for quilt ladders.

My FIL has some free time on his hands and at 74, he is still vibrant and active and likes to stay busy. He is not an armchair grandpa. He can, and does, work circles around the men who help us who are half his age...and younger. So when I mentioned that I wanted a quilt ladder, he told me to choose what I wanted and he would make it. Easy enough, right? Wrong! Do I want this one:

Or this one:

Or this one:

 I can't decide!

 I love them all!

Sure hope you like making quilt ladders Grandpa. because I could keep you busy for a very long time!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sneaking off to Sew When I Should Be in the Kitchen

I've been cooking for a crew these past few weeks. That means that the majority of my time is spent elbow deep in bread dough, slinging hash, scrubbing dishes in a sinkful of bleachy bubbles,and baking umpteen desserts.  Not to mention filling the sugar bowl before every meal because I don't care how sweet I make the tea for the sweet tea drinkers on the crew, they will empty my sugar bowl at every meal. I spent a boatload of money on groceries:

And this is only a portion of it. I have 25# of flour and all the meat in the deep freeze and the most of the produce is already put up.

I also put up a bushel of green chile:

I have to run back and get another bushel to last us through the year. 6 of these are already gone.

However, in order to keep my sanity during my kitchen incarceration, I sneak away once in a while and indulge in something sewing related. A minute here while the bread rises and 5 minutes there before I have to fill the tea glasses. I feel a tad guilty, but all is well as long as I don't let the rolls burn.

Last week I made this pillowcase for our son.

I just found out that he may get in trouble for it. Apparently they are only allowed to have issued white pillowcases. Oops. I told him that when he opened the box to say, "Sir, yes, Sir. My Mama made this for you, Sir. "  LOL.

I also made this monkey one for our daughter. I KNOW she won't get in trouble. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if she phoned and asked me to make pillowcases for the dorm. LOL.

I have been cutting strips for my newest project. Lots of strips.

What's that? Don't I have unfinished projects languishing in various forms of completion that are desperately waiting to be finished?  Hush now. I know not of what you speak and  I'll just pretend you didn't say that.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

And the Winner Is...

Good early morning y'all! Our fall cow works are officially over, but DH is helping the neighbors today and he headed out to saddle up before 4 this morning so I've been up for a bit. I like to get up and fix his coffee, see what I can help him with while he's away for the day, and see him off. He always tells me to stay in bed, but I just can't do it. So sometime during the day, I will be dragging. That means I had better finish cleaning before I peeter out. Washed the floors and scrubbed the stove yesterday so I get to cross off two things on today's list before I even make it! Grin!

I had so much fun reading y'alls comment and meeting new people! Y'all are so cool! Can't believe it's taken me this long to do a giveaway, but there's one thing I don't like. I want to send a book to everyone and if I were able, I would! However, chose the winning number:

OK...I need to figure out how to get that little box to paste. This is all that pasted.

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 20
Result: 4
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Staci said...

Hi Karin! What a fun giveaway!
Well, I'm a quilter and a reader and a really good cook! That pretty much sums me up!

Yay for Staci! Wish I had little horns to blow in celebration. LOL. Send me your address and I'll get the package out to you as soon as I get into town. Haven't been since Saturday so I really ought to get in there.

Thank you to everyone who chimed in!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My First Giveaway!

We are a family of avid readers. Always have been. I started reading aloud to the kids from the day they were born. In fact, the day we found out we were expecting our first child, we happened to be making a trip into town and I had a ball browsing the children's section of Barnes and Noble and picking up a number of books. Next stop, bookcase, yes, even before the crib.

We homeschooled and spent hours upon hours curled up under the flannel quilt reading aloud. I read until I was hoarse and mastered all the voices in the Winnie the Pooh books. You name it. We've probably read it. I have boxes upon boxes of children's books stored. When we moved, we went through them and asked the kids about each one. No, we have to keep that one. Remember when we read that one when the electricity went out. Oh, we read that one when we were sick. 400 books. 20 were weeded out.

Our house was the house where when we tucked the kids into bed, we had to unearth multiple books that were hidden beneath the pillows and blankets. Yes, the kids made their beds with books in them.

I give books as gifts and every new baby we know, gets a book. I have been known as the Book Aunt.

And how can I talk about our love of books without mentioning the library? Ft. Davis, TX has the most amazing library (and librarian) and I spent so much time there that they offered me a job and I ended up automating the library. It was like Christmas all the time. I worked whenever we were in town for various activities. That place was the hub of the communtiy. You could always tell the homeschoolers. They were the ones who would walk into the library with laundry baskets to fill with books. :)

DH and I read in bed every night before we fall asleep and more often than not, DH falls asleep with his book in his hands. Still, I don't get to read as often as I would like. My 'to read' list is long and I love finding new authors and titles.

Oh my goodness, I could talk about books forever, but I'll spare you and get to the book I'm giving away. If you love to read... and you like a good mystery...and you like to get lost in the pages...and you are a quilter...or just love quilts...this is the book for you.

Last year I discovered Clare O'Donohue and picked up her first book The Lover's Cross and I eagerly awaited her next installment  A Drunkard's Path. The Double Cross was the third adventure of Nell Fitzgerald.

The dear people of Plume Publishing  were kind enough to send me an extra copy of her newest release, The Devil's Puzzle:

to share with one lucky reader. I don't have many followers so your chances are awfully good! :)  This is the fourth book in  the Someday Quilts Mystery series and I was excited to see what sort of mischief Nell would find herself mixed up in this time. Here is the synopsis from the publisher:

After their quilting retreat upstate, the Someday Quilts ladies return to Archers Rest to prepare for the town's big anniversary celebration. But their plans are unexpectedly derailed by the discovery of a human skeleton in Nell's grandmother's backyard-making Eleanor the prime suspect in a murder. But a skeleton isn't the only thing that's long been buried. When a wave of vandalism raises fears that the town's bygone history of witchcraft has been reawakened, secrets are unearthed that could change life in Archers Rest forever. In addition to a thrilling mystery and the warm camaraderie of the ladies, The Devil's Puzzle is full of the quilting lore and techniques that Clare O'Donohue's readers adore.

We've been working cattle these past few weeks and we still have a few days left so I haven't had the chance to read this one yet although it's been beckoning me to abandon my ranch wife duties. We'll finish up working on Wednesday so in honor of the end of our Fall Works and my escape from the confines of the kitchen, I'll choose a winner on Thursday morning.

Ok. So what do you have to do? Hmmm...just leave a comment and tell me if you're a quilter or not, and if not, what are your hobbies. I may just add a little something extra in your package and I'll mail anywhere because I think everyone enjoys getting fun packages in the mail. :) Just be sure that you're not a non-reply blogger and if you are, leave me an e-mail where you can be reached!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Texas Fires Donation Quilt

This year Texas has been hit hard with drought and relentless fires. In one town alone, 1500 homes were destroyed and the area that we still call home, lost over 100,000 acres. Last month The Fat Quarter Shop posted about it and shared how we could help so I pulled out some fabric I have had in my stash for a long time. I do not recall why I bought the fish fabric. I'm sure I had some project in mind. Something for the kids, or something to do with what we were studying when we were homeschooling, or someone went through a phase where they thought they needed to be the Fish King. Well, the kids are grown and we've completed our homeschooling journey :( yet the fabric still sat on a shelf forgotten.

I didn't use a pattern. Just played, pulled some coordinating fabrics from my stash and settled on pinwheels and rows. Little by little, it came to life and a quilt was born. I found some fun, bright, striped fabric for the back.

 I'm sending it off today and I hope it brings a bit of happiness to a child touched by this disaster. It measures 47"x56" now that it is out of the dryer. I took a machine quilting class a couple of weeks ago and this is the first quilt I quilted since then. I just quilted around each triangle in the pinwheel and then I quilted 5 wavy lines through the fishy rows that I thought  added some movement to the water.

I added straight line quilting in the border and love the way the whole thing turned out, but see that this machine quilting is going to take lots of practice. I stitched on the binding (my favorite part) in between cooking for a crew of cowboys.  Praying that it will soon be cuddled and well loved.

I'm linking up with 100 Quilts for Kids. Amazing what can be accomplished when everyone does just a litte bit so thank you Kate for pulling this together.

I'm also hooking up with theSew Darn Crafty Party over at Sew Many Ways this week so go check out all the creative projects that people are sharing. You can link up all week and by the end of the week, there's a ton of inspiration to enjoy.
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