Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Using It Up

I keep some of my fabric, designated for projects, in these project boxes:


When I'm finished with the quilt, I often just put the leftover fabric back into the box. And there it sits. With bits of this and that and no destination. So, although these are not ufos, I am going to work on emptying some of these.

First up is this box:

The main fabrics are from the Fun Flower collection. I made this quilt with it 4 or 5 years ago

and its time to do something with the leftovers so I cut the remaining flowers into 5 1/2" squares and pulled more odds and ends of coordinating fabrics from my stash. I am thinking of incorporating this black and white dot print for a little pop.

 and adding this coordinating print for a border.


And this print will be on the back. A bit of flower overload, but I hope it'll make a cute quilt and I'll be using some of this up.


I've been cutting and planning according to the fabric I have and what's left will be reabsorbed into my stash, leaving me with an empty box...that won't stay empty for long!

Next up: this box.


 I've still got some of this little chuck wagon cowboy fabric that I used to make this quilt

and I'm tossing ideas around for a second little quilt.

And I've got about 12 of these:

 left over strips from this quilt:

I had a hankering to make some hourglass blocks and used up every last strip, plus one extra fabric - the plaid - from my stash. Result - 64 3 1/2" hourglass blocks that finish at 29" - too small for a baby quilt, but with a border or two, it ought to work.

DH has been helping the neighbors for a few days this week. We've been getting up at 2 am. He always tells me I needn't get up with him, but I do anyway and when he pulls out 3, I can not go back to sleep. so a lot gets done. Yesterday I was at the Sale Barn, on account of Memorial Day, and it made for a REALLY long day by the time we got to bed at 9. Today I've got a ton of mowing to do, but I'm thinking that can wait until it gets light at 5:30. Until then, I am going to sew!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

In the Branding Pen

I promise this'll be the last branding post. Not forever. Just for now. :) Some years I don't have the opportunity to hang over the fence and when I do, well, I guess I get a little carried away.

Now we're finally ready to head into the branding pen where the propane tank and branding box is set up, the water cooler is set out, and the syringes are loaded:

And our resident jolly rancher hands out...what else...but Jolly Ranchers

Ropes are coiled

Calves are caught

Drug to the fire, easy


Flanked into position 


 earmarked, cut if they are bull calves, and vaccinated


Give your Mama that look that says, "You can stop taking pictures now"

But Mama doesn't listen well

She's trying to capture the essence of the day

And stop time

It doesn't work, but that doesn't stop her from trying because there are new generations to teach

And I'm not the only Mama that likes to keep a watchful eye on what goes on around here

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Before the Branding Fire Starts

After our spring works, things got even busier and I never got around to posting the 2nd round of photos I had taken so I thought I'd pop those in here. Finding cattle in this is a challenge, but I headed out to Adobe Pens anyway:

The sun worked its magic and a clear, blue sky took over. Even the moon wanted in on the action:

This road was washed out and completely impassable so the dozer man built it back up and now we're back in business. We're going to get spoiled with nice roads like this:

This is Spotted Tank...our favorite fishing hole...until the drought dried it up and killed all the fish. :( Lots of good memories were made here:

And now we've been blessed with an abundance of water. This is the other side of the road where the water spills over. Looks like the perfect spot for a hammock!

Once I got to the pens, I scanned the horizon until I spotted the herd:

The crew brings 'em up easy

It was a perfect morning to be horseback, but if you ask this girl, ANY morning is a perfect morning when you are in the saddle:

The crew holds the herd

While DH cuts out the bulls and sorts off the drys 

And the boys drive them through the gate

Where they fuss and grumble about being pushed around:


Next up, they walk the cattle into the pens


and sort off the calves

Once they are all sorted and corraled into a holding pen

 They can finally start branding. I apologize for the photo heavy post. I edited heavily. :)


Guess I'm not very good at that. :)


O.K. That's a lot of photos.  I'm thinking we'll save the actual branding shots for tomorrow. Just one more. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Scrappy Summer Graduation Quilt

A few weeks ago, college girl and I were talking about graduation. She asked me where the past 4 years had gone and I laughed. Oh, my dear child...I have the same question. Just substitute 4 for 21.

Her best college gal pal is graduating too and I asked DD about making her a quilt. DD lit up, but she knows how much time and work go into making a quilt and she didn't want to add something else to the long list of what goes on around here in the spring. I told her to look through my Pnterest quilting board and see if something caught her eye. She wanted something scrappy and colorful and fun and when she asked about this quilt, I knew it was doable. This is a fun pattern from Alison of Cluck Cluck Sew fame ,called Scrappy Summer and you can find her free tutorial here. I would have to sew fast though so I started pulling fabrics and sent pictures to DD for approval.


She said it was perfect so the fabric began to fly. In the middle of the fabric frenzy, I made that trip to my Mom's, and a few days after I got back, I cleared all "To Do's", made sure there were leftovers for 2 meals and sewed up a storm.


I don't think I've ever whipped out a quilt this quickly:


I was actually tired of sitting behind the sewing machine. I know. That's a comment worthy of needing a scolding, but its true. This one never even made it to the UFO list.Still, I loved piecing this and seeing it come together. The white has been in my stash for probably 6 years. I found it at Alco, a little dollar store type establishment in some smaller towns. They used to carry fabric...good fabric....quilt store quality fabric...for next to nothing. I have bought Moda fabric there. This is a Bare Essentials by RJR fabric and I bought 6 yards for $1.99...for all 6 yards. The tag says $1.99/yard, but when I mentioned it to the cashier, he said, no, that was the price for all of it. O.K. I tried.


The fabric didn't come on bolts. It was simply stacked in folded piles on the shelf and you never knew how much there was. There was no cutting a yard or any other amount. You just bought the whole lot.

 This is the first time I have used solids too. How many of you are gasping? I didn't have a single solid in my stash. Online ordering to the rescue and problem solved. :)


Most of these are American Made brand fabrics. I wish more fabrics were made in America, but this is a good start and you can bet I'll be sewing with them more.

I sewed fast so that I could get it to Jackie and not rush her. I know this is a busy time for her with graduation and Mother's Day. I have 4 other quilts there and I asked her to just push them back and quilt this one first. She's a gem.


I picked it up a week later and she once again brought the quilt to life with her choice of design. I love the variegated thread.


I let the grass grow a little taller than I usually do, and I sent DH off without me a day or two, and I stitched on the binding:

It finishes at 78 x 86. I didn't want any toes peeking out when she snuggles with it!


I finished it just in the nick of time, but it was a rainy day so the plan for outdoor photos was vetoed:


A run through the washer and dryer and its all set for a really wonderful young gal who's ready to take the world by the horns.

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