Saturday, June 30, 2012

Christmas Through the Year - June

6 months down and 6 months to go and if it weren't for Darlene and Cheryl cheering me on each month, I would have an empty Christmas box and  come Christmas, hyperventilating would be involved. So thanks to both of you, there will be no breathing into paper bags.

Last month I was excited when my name was chosen as the May winner and a few days later, this cute package arrived:

The embroidery is just too cute :

and I love the fabric on the dish towel which is huge! I haven't had the courage to use it yet, but it's hanging in my kitchen and I can't help but smile every time I see it. I'm going to share the pretty red utensils with college girl...maybe. Thank you so much!

This month I was once again stitching more potholders from Wedding Dress Blue's tutorial she shared last year. I made lots for gifts last year and I don't think I shared them:

I made these for my college roommate:

And these for my friend who lives on the neighboring ranch:

And this set went to a Texas friend who lives on a ranch south of us:

And this pair went to a dear friend in Michigan:

These went to a bloggy friend:

I made these for my MIL:

and these go into my Christmas box for this year:

And I'll be making more. So hop on over to Darlene's  and see what everyone else made for Christmas in June!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Weekend Sewing on the Gypsy Quilt

I was excited to start college girl's quilt! I had been shopping and seeing a lot of Tony, my UPS man. :) When I was still cooking for a crew, after the dishes were washed in the afternoon and everything was put away, I found myself wandering into her room. I felt like I had earned it as long as there were leftovers for supper. Yay! I pulled fabric. Rearranged fabric. Stacked fabric. Fanned fabric. And dreamed of the day when rotary cutter would meet fabric.
Scrappy she requested. Scrappy she shall have. We are both quite smitten with scrappy. There is going to be a little bit of everything in this quilt. So far I've got Amy Butler, Kim Diehl, Ty Pennington, Joel Dewberry, Basic Grey. There will be bits of Terrain, Curio, Lark, Gypsy Caravan, Organic Soul, London, Nest, Grand Bazzar, Road to Marrakesh, Rhapsodia, Mimosa, Power Pop, Daisy Chain, Summersault and who knows what else! Its an eclectic mix and I'm toying with the idea of calling it her gypsy quilt. The last quilt was her Hobo Quilt. Gypsy has the same connotation, but it sounds more foreign and that name popped into my head as I thumbed through these pretty pieces. Some of the names of the fabric lines just made me think of exotic and far away lands and thus gypsy came to mind. She is on a journey so I'm thinking it fits.

 I keep thinking about the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel stomp grapes. Don't ask me why. This is what happens when I get up at 3:30 in the morning to make breakfast for a crew of cowboys. I need to find a piece of grape fabric to put in the quilt! I found awesome fabric at The Fat Quarter Shop , The Intrepid Thread , and Quilt Home and at my LQS. Thinking of looking at a couple of my favorite shops in Texas too, but honestly, I probably have enough to make numerous gypsy quilts. LOL. Heck, I could probably wrap an entire band of gypsies in quilts, but I'm going to concentrate in college girl's gypsy quilt for the time being.

So last weekend  I felt completely spoiled. I had lots of time to cut:

and stitch:

and press:

LOTS of pressing. And then more pressing:

Then more cutting of sashing:

The seams on this quilt need to be pressed open and the sashing is just 1/2" finished! Did I mention that the quilt will be 107x107? The original quilt in the magazine is 57x78 and has 72 blocks. I had to increase that to 224 blocks.

And chain piecing:

What is it with me and big quilts? Sigh?
So after my sewing marathon, I ended up with this:

These two piles need to be stitched together and the blocks will be complete! This doesn't look like it'll make a quilt that big, but I am hopeful. It was a weekend of marathon sewing, but on Sunday night at 9 pm, I could not press one more seam. I was done.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Scrap Star Stitching with Staci...and Jesse Stone

So, ever since I posted about Amber's Scrap Jar Stars they have been haunting me. And it looks like I'm not the only one! Shelly, over at Prairie Moon Quilts, whipped a couple out lickity split before I had even made my first cut! I can't keep up with that girl!

Then Staci, over at The Confused Quilter, commented that she COULD be persuaded to make them and the e-mails began to fly. There wasn't even any arm twisting involved.  This was a good time for both of us and we decided we would stitch together. I'm secretly hoping some of her talent will rub off on me.

Last week we decided to meet at the cutting table and cut we did. Don't you love making the first cut in a new project?

I chose this white on white dot from Weekend Clubhouse by Swirly Girl Designs for Michael Miller for the background:

So pop over there to see Staci's version. She's chosen an awesome line of fabric that is just going to make me want to make one just like hers, but that happens a lot with her projects. She has a knack for putting things together.

We started with the 16-patches.
I love the way these strips look hanging from our son's armoir:

Then I loved them even more once they were cut into 2" squares:

It was so much fun plucking each square from the basket and matching it with it's background. It's a little sad how happy these fabrics make me.Lots of setting of seams and pressing, resulted in this:

30 cheerful 16-patches. Thankfully I was kept company by Jesse Stone...aka Tom Selleck. He's good company when pressing and trimming.

Next up...1/2 square triangles...

and more Jesse Stone. :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Patriotic Rag Wreath

A couple of years ago, I made this wreath for my Mom for Christmas:

I posted about it here . I posted the link to Rachel's original Bake Shop tutorial there, but if you don't want to click back, here it is too. Then I made one for Valentine's Day that I guess I forgot to post :

I didn't pink the edges of these strips so they are a bit more stringy:

I have been in a red/white/blue frame of mind lately and I've been eagerly waiting for the Northcott Stonehenge Stars and Stripes collection to be released. I bought it the day the FQS put it out for sale and I love it even more in person:

I went back immediately to order more and it was already gone. I'm waiting for the next shipment and stocking up! Think BOLTS!

I added a few pieces from my stash to round things out:

And then I started cutting with my pinking rotary blade. MUCH easier than using pinking shears! I cut my strips 2 1/2" x 6". There are 4 rows on the wire wreath and I wanted a full wreath so I filled them all. So when you are cutting and you think you have cut enough...cut more. :)

And even though my fingers are about to fall off this morning, it was worth it:

I love shooting in the morning. The light is so pretty, but this shot came out blurry so I sharpened it and de-saturated it:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fires, Kidney Stones, and Dragging Out the Hexies

We recently hired a new family. They have two sweet kids and I thought it would be nice to put together a little gift basket:

The wife is a scrapbooker and we have the most unbelievable scrapbook store in town so I added a small gift card for her. I also took them some pizza and there are odds and ends in the basket, including a big container of homemade cookies.

Last week was crazy. My in-laws were evacuated due to a big fire that is still burning. The fire burned over 200 homes thus far. My MIL came down on Saturday with the horses and then my FIL decided to stay. Stubborn. MY poor MIL had had quite a week, She had a root canal earlier that week and the next day she ended up in the ER with kidney stones. They sent her home and she ended up in there again. Then they had the fire and were evacuated. Rough week. While she was here, we got her in to see a urologist and turns out she had a 7.5 mm stone so he scheduled her for surgery. Poor thing. So we spent many a hour in waiting rooms. I had the sense to grab my neglected box of hexies  to keep myself occupied  from climbing the walls. I can not just sit. I must do something so I stitched. Made the hours much easier to handle. And lest you think I am insensitive, my MIL was not in any pain while she was with me for 4 days. So that is how 52 hexies came to be:

And were added to my collection:

And some were stitched into the beginning of this:

No pictures of the fire because my FIL has never taken a picture in his life. No pictures of doctor's offices and hospitals because I thought that might be going a bit overboard. So hexies you get.

Everything went well with my MIL. She did not have to stay in the hospital overnight and my FIL came and picked her up. They lifted the evacuation order that evening and she was able to go back home. The fire burned less than a mile from their home and it is still burning, but they are safe. Thankfully, no lives were lost, but prayers for all of those who did lose their homes here and in Colorado. DH's aunt and uncle were evacuated from the Colorado fire the same day my in-law's were and they still are not able to go home.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Qwikrete Workout and a Photo for Judy

Around here it's hard to make plans and I learned long ago to fly by the seat of my pants. I try to be ready for whatever may come my way. Last week was one of those weeks. It started out with DH asking me one morning, "Could you please help me today?" He pulled things together in the morning and I went out to work in the yard. I wasn't paying too much attention and I jumped a little when this came into view:

That just looks an awful lot like a crocodile to me! The other day, Judy, over at Patchwork Times posted about finding a giant turtle in her yard here and I knew I had to share this with her. Knowing how afeared I am of snakes, my heart jumped a little. Yes, I know that the chances of finding a crocodile in the middle of the desert, in the midst of a drought, are slim to none, but all I saw was a gaping mouth. I had to take the picture to share with our son. He'll get a kick out of it.

 It was the afternoon before we headed out with this:

And this:

It was 18 miles to our destination and a might warm:

Off the beaten path:

DH cleared a path:

assessed the situation and  backed the truck into place:

He rigged up the contraption for me to drag our monster tire to the perfect spot because once it fell, it was not going anywhere.

I'll bet it weighs a ton and we needed it to be perfectly balanced and centered in order to plumb everything together.

Then the fun began:

These sacks weigh 80 lbs apiece and there are 40 of them. Let's just say I have a bone to pick with the     Quickrete people. Do you HAVE to make these 80 lbs?

I drug 34 of them off the truck to DH, about 10 feet away, where he poured and mixed. He carried the first 6 like they weighed no more than a small sack of potatoes.

It didn't help matters when he kept flinging comments like, "Come on sweet thing! You can do it!" and "Heave-Ho!"
That just got me laughing which in turn, made it harder to carry the rotten things.

Thankfully we finished the job. The cattle now have another source of cool water and I am thinking that I deserve a nap after that workout.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Years ago (think close to 20), I first saw this saying at a Cracker Barrel when I was with a treasured friend and I knew it fit me. I love it and it has become quite applicable in my life. We made this move over 7 years ago kicking and screaming. Did NOT want to leave our beloved mountains. Then, when I had settled down, picked myself up, and stopped blocking the blessings that the Lord wanted to abundantly bestow upon us, I though of this: Bloom where you are planted, my child. Ah! What a difference!

So fast forward and I do mean FAST forward  6 years. I walk in the mornings at 6. This was the sunrise. I was actually late, at 6 it's already up this high:

 and I realized that even in the midst of this desperately parched land, there are beautiful things blooming:

Amidst the dirt:

And the rock:

And the prickly thorns:

And the dusty ground:

Amongst the spines:  

In the prickly places:

In the sweltering heat:

With little to no rain:

God can make things bloom:

That doesn't mean we're not praying for rain, but the blessings are there, in abundance if we'll just stop long  enough to accept them.

  And sometimes He throws in a little extra in for good measure: 

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