Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gettin' It Done in March

Whew! If it wasn't for lists, I would be up a creek. Actually, I wish I WERE up a creek because a creek means water, and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of that around these parts these days. I imagine y'all get a mite weary of  my talking about the lack of rain and weather in general, but the bovine business relies upon it greatly, and what these cattle are consuming will have a direct impact on just how yummy that steak you're planning on eating is going to taste...and how much it costs!

But back to lists. If I don't have them, I wouldn't be able to remember what I was supposed to be getting done. I think my mind left with the kids.

This was my list for February:

1. Make the binding and bind the Chimneys and Cornerstones QOV - Binding is made and is presently being hand stitched to the back.
2. Make binding and bind Scrap Jar Stars - Binding is made, and it is stitched to the front
3. Make binding and bind Bunny Hill Baby Boy Quilt - Binding is made
4. Piece Easy Street - Done!

So, progress, but not a great showing. I just picked up the quilts last week. I am keeping Jackie busy. I did take her another quilt and asked her to move it to the front of the line. I don't have an immediate need for the others. I just want to get get them checked off of my OTHER list...the UFO / PHD list.

I am sewing. Just not sewing things on the list. Not THIS list anyway. I'm fairly certain what I'm working on is on a list...somewhere.

SO, is it a cop out if my list for March is almost identical? I've got to stay focused. The focused bird gets the worm...or something like that. :)

1. Bind Chimney's and Cornerstones

2. Bind Scrap Jar Stars
3. Bind Bunny Hill Baby Boy Quilt
4. Piece the top for Haley's Wedding Quilt

I'm linking up over at Judy's. If you pop in over there, you can see what everyone's working on, and then find more things to add to your list - unless you are strong and have a will of iron. I am beginning to think I have the will of a gummy bear. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Just Ducky Quilt Gone to Texas

I added the last stitch last night; washed and dried the little ducks and packed them up for their trip to Texas:

Along with a book:

because every new baby gets a book from me. I am known as the book Aunt, and family or not, if a child gets a gift from me, it will include a book.

I am really enjoying making these little labels:

This quilt measures 40x50 and should be snuggling up with a sweet little boy in a couple of days:

I also bought this to add to the package for the new grandma:

Yes, I know. It is NOT something you would ever think I would even THINK of buying. But Teri is a lover of all things sparkly and all things shoes.  This actually fell into my cart as I walked past so I took it as a sign that God wanted her to have it. :) She is a principal (super lucky kids and teachers in that school!) , and this will be right at home on her desk and before the day is out, she will have pictures of her darling grandson peeking at her over piles of papers.

Darling friend, you are a treasure to all of your past students and all of those who have the blessing of crossing paths with you in life. I know that you and Jimmy will be the most amazing grandparents. Congratulations and don't forget to send me pictures!

I'm linking up with Michelle over at Michelle's Romantic Tangle. She's making 50 baby quilts this year and every Friday she has a linky to share the baby quilts everyone has made. So if you've got one to share, hop over there and add yours to the list. I'll have another one to share in a couple of days!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Buried in Binding

I was a couch potato this week...well, as much of a couch potato as I could be. I've got a stack of these:

and a stack of these:

But these:

 and these:

and this:

and this:

have kept me from stitching until after the sun goes down. But I am going to take a minute right now to sneak a piece of this:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Rancher's Wife finally Found Time to Stitch Some Quilt Along Blocks

Last week was a too many trips to town week, but the reasons for going have been for fun. I had to make one day an errand day, but the rest of the trips were for a Safari Club Banquet, and a wedding which had me making an extra trip a day earlier in order to help prepare all the food. I think I made 100 jalapeno poppers and peeled about 200 shrimp. Needless to say, with the green chile chicken enchiladas, red beef enchiladas, pork tacos, and everything else that a sweet daughter, who is expecting, put together, we had enough food to feed people for a  month. :)

The happy couple is now headed to happily ever after and I am NOT going back to town for as long as I can manage.

I am woefully behind on John'aLee's Rancher's Daughter Quilt Along. I think they are on block 7...or possibly 8 and I hadn't even chosen a color scheme. Then I spied a pile. This pile:

I won this very generous collection from Kelly over at Charming Chatter in 2011. It's Wuthering Heights from Moda and I thought it would be just the ticket for this quilt along.

It takes me a coon's age to decide on fabrics for each part of the blocks, but I'm thinking these all came together in a collection so everything will play nicely in the blocks.

So I have managed to piece together block 1:

  Block 2 - which for some reason looks quite twisted. It really isn't. I think it is being poked in the back by an unruly bit of hay, and an uncooperative wind. I kind of look like that too after one of our windy days:

Block 3

and Block 4:

 I am really enjoying these sweet fabrics and their pretty colors and John'aLee is putting together some darling blocks that are a joy to piece.

However, I have heard that the next blocks will be a challenge. Taking a deep breath...and making sure I still have that emergency supply of chocolate.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Back Roads Detour

Back in August I posted my Western Many Trips Wagon Quilt here. Well when I started making these blocks, it didn't occur to me to run the black print through the middle, but I really liked the way it looked, thus, in the end, I ended up with 30 random blocks, and the other 100 went into my wagon quilt.

I thought of those blocks as a UFO..or my new favorite phrase PHD.  Barb over at Just Sayin Sew calls them that. PHD stands for 'projects half done'. I love that! Just tell people you've been working on multiple PHDs. I hadn't heard that before, but then again I do live under this rock.

And with my rock solid determination to really get some of those projects off of that list this year, I pieced these together, adding sashing because I didn't think it would be big enough without it. It ended up being 70x84 which, around here, is a good snuggle size. Piecing this was on my list of January Gettin' It Done projects, but I hadn't taken a picture to share.

You still don't get a great picture though, and please excuse the boxes of ammo holding it down. It was the first thing that came to mind when I needed something compact and heavy at my fingertips. :)

So, this one will be called Back Roads since I kind of took a detour in making it. I always have been  a back roads kind of gal anyway.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Land of Enchantment Quilt...the Beginning

The other day I mentioned this quilt:

 It's in the latest issue of Quiltmaker.
I have these pillows:

And a cream comforter that needs some color added to it.
Enter this quilt. Southwest inspired. I love the modern fabrics used, but I am going for the more traditional Southwestern colors. I am keeping the turquoise, but losing the green. After Easy Street, I need a break from green.

In the magazine, it's called Dream On, but I'm going with Land of Enchantment.

I am going to add more rows, turn the pattern horizontally, and yes, make it bigger. :)

And I think it will be perfect folded at the foot of the bed. I am off to do some math!

A few days ago, sweet Pat from, Life in the Scrapatch, nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.


I am humbled that any of y'all take time out from your busy day to peek into life here at the end of the dirt road, and I can not tell you how thrilled I am that you do. I love your comments and appreciate that you take the time to leave them. Thank you so much Pat!

I'm supposed to nominate some other blogs, but I hope y'all don't mind if I don't do that. I love reading y'all's  blogs and I think all of y'all are such fun, but  I know most of y'all have already been nominated. I will play by half of the rules and list 7 things about myself:

1. I am a social hermit.
2. I love music and have a very eclectic taste.
3. I am a voracious reader. I am fascinated by biographies - people lead such interesting lives!
4. I once played pool with George Strait and his wife.
5. My Mom was approached by a sheik who wanted me to be a part of his harem when I was 12. LOL.
6. DH and I once won a hunting trip in Africa at the Safari Club Banquet.
7. I have made dinner for Tommy Lee Jones in my home.

That was hard!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Yellow and Gray HSTs

I finally started cutting into the pile of yellows and grays for Haley's Wedding Quilt. Lots of HSTs  will come together to make what I hope is  a lovely gift for a sweet girl and her groom-to-be. We've known this child since she was 2, and it is hard to  reconcile those childhood memories with the gorgeous woman that will soon walk down the aisle.

This child has the most amazing red hair. The kind that so many people try to coerce from a bottle, yet she has a glorious crown of the prettiest hair you have ever seen...naturally. However, that is not the prettiest thing about her. That would be her heart. She is bright and pretty and witty and funny and wise and kind and all things lovely. Her parents are pretty amazing too so it's a case of the apple not falling far from the tree.

I remember one day very clearly. She was probably 6, and our girl was 3. We were all spending a Sunday afternoon at a friend's arena watching the men rope. Spent lots and lots of Sunday afternoons there. Gave us girls a chance to catch up and cheer the boys on and the kids just created one adventure after another in the farm fields.

On this particular day, our girl was running and when she fell, she acquired a mouthful of dirt. As she sat up to spew it out and make those funny faces that kids with a mouthful of dirt make, Haley sat down next to her and proceeded to put a handful of dirt into her own mouth. Our daughter just looked at her wide eyed and asked her why she did that. Haley said she felt bad and thought it would make our girl feel better if she too had a mouthful of dirt. LOL.

So, how many of us would do that? I'm betting not many, but Haley has the kindest heart and does not like to see anyone in distress. It's what I remember most from those years.

And now she is a grown woman and her impending wedding is cause for the creation of a quilt. So, I stitched hsts all weekend until I had enough.

I am thinking chevrons:

But I may let them go rogue:

Still deciding. Do you have a preference?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

And the List Continues to Grow...

I started out the year with 18 UFO's and a resolute determination to finish these rascals. People that do not quilt, do not understand. How hard can that be? Finish what you started. Ha! Really? People do that?

The projects just keep coming. How does this happen?

Dear friends' daughter is getting married.
A sweet niece is expecting  a baby.
More friends getting married.
Another baby is on the way.
A Rancher's Daughter quilt along is announced - can't pass that one up!
Let's learn to embroider. Oh, there's an embroidery hop - how convenient.
A baby shower for expectant mamas whose husbands' are deployed.
Don't read that blog. Oh - must make that table runner
Don't open that magazine. Need to make this quilt now!
Snoopy fabric? Well of course this house must have a Snoopy quilt!

Honestly! What's a gal to do? Just writing this makes me chuckle. It's crazy. And it's only the middle of February. I think I need an intervention...

and a few moments to pull fabrics for this quilt:

  About that intervention...

Monday, February 11, 2013

At the End of Easy Street...

 there was lots of piecing, lots of pinning and lots of pressing, but I persevered... and the top is complete:

I have been fickle about this quilt. I loved it. I loved it not. And back again.

When I was pressing it, which took almost an hour, I fell back in love with it. It gave me time to really study the design and the way Bonnie worked everything out. Really, the woman is brilliant. Still too much green in it for me, but the addition of the borders quiets them back down a bit. I just bordered it the same way that Bonnie did and I think it tamed the greens a tad.

However, Easy Street was not so easy for me. Don't know how so many of you managed to get it pieced so quickly. I was lagging behind the entire time and only by unflagging determination did I manage to get it pieced now.

Backing is next up. I don't have enough of anything for this big, old quilt. At first I thought I would back it with a gray to tone it all down, but then I stumbled upon this print.

It's 108" and at $9.80, I can back Easy Street for less than $40, thus it jumped into my cart and my dear UPS driver, Tony, will soon be delivering my purple backing via his trusty brown truck. Do you know that this is the first place we have ever lived where UPS would deliver packages to us? He's such a sweet man and he always brings such lovely packages that allow me to stay at the end of my dirt road and enjoy another amazing sky at sunset:

And yes, that's  a rock setting on top of my feeder. Without it, the wind tosses it off. When the wind gets feisty, it can empty a full feeder in less than 2 minutes. When the wind REALLY gets to howling, the rock is gone. It happened on Saturday...again. In the spring, I can go through a 40# sack of birdseed awfully fast. When that starts to happen, the birds are on their own, but they need worry not. I have yet to see a skinny bird around here. Come to think of it - the birds aren't the only thing packing a bit of extra fluff around here. Wish I could blame my fluff on feathers and birdseed...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Just Ducky Top Complete

The ducks have been embroidered and the top is ready for quilting:

I am smitten.
It's going to be hard to give this one away, but it's going to a special baby boy who has made a dear couple first time grandparents.

It was awfully scary adding black thread to those little yellow ducks, but as I worked, they just kept cheering me on. :) I like the way they have a childlike, feel to them, and this was a good way for me to take on applique and not stress over it being perfect. I think I'll be appliqueing like this a lot because I don't do perfect.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Saddling Up for the Rancher's Daughter Quilt Along

My list of projects is already long and it's only February. I was determined to be strong and not take on any new projects. Ha! Along comes sweet John'aLee  and I am completely sunk. I tried and tried to resist, but I should have known it would be futile.

Look what she is hosting!

I didn't grow up a Rancher's Daughter, but I am married to a rancher's son for nigh on 26 years and that makes me a rancher's wife and we HAVE a rancher's daughter. Does that qualify me? 

She's already posted 5 blocks so I had better pick up the pace and trot a little faster in order to catch up! Wait for me at the gate girls!

 Now I need to decide what fabric to select. Do I use my enormous collection of western prints or do I use lots of pretty florals that I have been itching to use. Someone come pop me on the head because I just heard a voice and it said "Make both". Very funny. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Time in a Bottle

If all of this technology we keep inventing is supposed to save us time, then why does it seem there is less time these days?

I mean, even Jim Croce said there never seems to be enough time to do the things you wanna do, and that was back in 1973!

 I know I have very intelligent readers and I am stumped, so I figured y'all would have the answer.

Are we just trying to do more? I mean we're always busy around here and I imagine y'all aren't any different. I know that our pace out here is different from a lot of peoples'.

 I don't have to deal with being in an office at a certain time or dealing with people on a daily basis. Our kids are grown so I don't have to shuffle them to school, although we homeschooled, or from this lesson to that practice. I don't have to sit in rush hour traffic or commute. So I should have enough time to fill a barn.

We do work 7 days a week and we don't have a typical 9-5 work day. I don't spend hours on the computer although I love catching up with y'all on your blogs. I'm a horrible FB friend. Honestly, I do not get on there, and I don't tweet. Pinterest sucked me in one day, but then I burned the cookies.

And still, I get up early, turn around, blink, and the day is gone.

 I'm not on a schedule. I'm not a clock watcher. I don't set an alarm. They make me grumpy.

I vowed to improve corresponding with people this year. You know, the old fashioned way. With a card or note in the mail. I don't feel as if I am doing a very good job of it. I need more time, but I'm trying to make that more of a priority. I sat down and wrote a couple of letters the other hand. Do people still do that?

I make lists, and when I can find them, they are very helpful. LOL

I spend a lot of time looking for my reading glasses. A few years ago my arms got too short, and I found out that reading glasses are mandatory. I had no idea that arm length corresponded with eyesight. I walk around much of the day patting my head and chest looking for them. Maybe that's where my time goes. I find them in the strangest places. Yesterday they were in the chicken coop. The day before, in a sack of horse feed. One day I won't have any and the next day where will be 2 on my head, 1 hooked to my shirt, 1 in my pocket and 3 pair next to me. I thought I was too young for this.

Is this going to get worse?

In about 10 years is our daughter going to dig this post up and point to it and say, "THIS is where it started"?

I have to say though, although the kids grew up too fast, looking at the big picture, I DO get to spend every day with the one I want to go through time with, and that makes me feel incredibly blessed.

I didn't intend for this to be a 'forgetful' post. I was just wondering why time seems to get away from me. And those of you who are spring chickens...and know not of what I speak...

it'll happen. Just give it...


Friday, February 1, 2013

Getting my Ducks in a Row and Adventures in Applique

Until now, I have only made one project with applique. It was this Pony Tails Quilt that thus far, has only been pieced:

I added the applique by hand and didn't have a clue what I was doing. I took it in to Jackie for quilting. She is learning to custom machine quilt and said she will soon be ready to tackle customer quilts. I told her she was more than welcome to practice on mine. I don't need perfection. My applique is certainly no where near it, but I still think this is an adorable quilt and I will have no problem making more like this. The pony's are too cute, and even though there are no pony tails in the quilt, the name stays.

So now, that I have fallen in love with Cheri's baby quilt patterns, I am attempting to tackle them. Barbara over at Cat Patches was my mentor when she shared this detailed post about fusible applique. I am on a quest to learn all the methods, but this is the first one I need to master.

First lesson: follow the instructions. I know. It's obvious, but I guess I just seem to learn things better the hard way.

Do not cut out the middle of your applique piece while it is ironed onto the fabric. Cut it out before! Barbara did mention to engage our brain. I must have omitted that part. Thus I had to wait for my next trip into town in order to resupply my fusible.

Lesson #2: Buy more than one yard or you will run out in the middle of your project, and you will have to wait for your next trip to town...again :)

So now I have beakless ducks:

These beaks are awfully tiny and I am intimidated by them. I'm not intimidated by the ducks. Just the beaks. How in the heck am I going to applique those teensy little things?

Another quandary I found myself in was that the ducks are yellow and the blue water shows through their little tummies. I tried putting the ducks under the water, but they looked funny.

I raced to Barbara and asked her advice and she steered me down the right path. I have a horrible sense of direction so steering me is often required. I got lost out here on these ranch roads the other day and I imagine it'll be a very long time until I live it down. I came out a different gate than he did and he said, "Why are you coming out of THAT gate?" "Still, it made DH's eyes twinkle so I'm fine with it. :) And in my defense, it was horribly overcast and I could not see a thing.

But Barbara suggested I add another layer behind the ducks. Thanks Girl!

I think I will sew around everything three times to make it look like a child traced it. Barbara shared that in her tutorial and I have seen Erin use that for her adorable birdie projects and I am smitten with those little birds!

Should I use black thread to give it a sketchy look or matching thread? Today I am leaning towards black. I think it will help give detail to the ducks and their little wings will show up better.
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