Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sew Special Quilt Shop

There are a number of quilt shops in the area where my mom lives, but I try not to visit them while I'm there. My mom never sewed, but she is well acquainted with my love of quilting as I never walk into her house without lugging at least one quilt in my arms when I visit. She encourages me to hit the quilt shops, but I really hate to take time away from visiting with her while I'm there, so although I have poked my head into a couple now and again, I rarely do. But when I am back on the road and headed home, my self control wavers and I have a hard time not stopping if a quilt shop happens to come into view. :)

The trip is over 500 miles one way and that already makes for a pretty long day so although I love to stop, it also adds hours to my time on the road. I drive right by the shop I'm sharing with you today. Sew Special Quilts is a Baby Lock - Bernina quilt shop, right on the corner of 1604 and I-10, coming into San Antonio, Texas. It's a small shop, with one side dedicated to their sewing machine sales, but they have a good selection of fabrics:

They do not carry 30's or Civil War fabrics, but they have lots of fun prints that would make cute baby and toddler quilts, with fresh, bright bolts of color lining their shelves:

They have a good selection of thread:

And patterns that I did not take the time to really study this time around. Their classroom is right through that doorway:

The staff is friendly and helpful without being pushy and the store is bright and open:

I was in a bit of a hurry, knowing how much road lay ahead, but I popped in to look for some coordinates for this:

I found these 3 pieces at a little quilt shop in Lamesa on the way down and I fell in love with the plaid. I think it'll be cute in a baby quilt although I haven't a clue what pattern I'm using yet. And with prices between $3-$6 per yard, I just could not resist.

At Sew Special Quilts, I found these fabrics from Sundrops by Corey Yoder that have all the same colors so I brought those home, but now that I have them home, although they do coordinate, I'm not sure they have the same feel.

The plaid has more of a country feel while the Sundrops are more modern to me. I see 2 different quilts in my future.

I'm sure glad these road trips don't happen too often. I'd be more broke than I already am!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Swing a Rope Sunday

Last week we had a little rain and DH was able to take our old backhoe and plow up the arena. We had some roping cattle that needed to be broken in and that means you can find us in the roping arena by 6:30 for as many days in a row as time allows:

It's been about 50° in the morning and that's perfect for a little roping practice:

The cattle don't get hot and we rope 'em easy:

And Skeet wasn't about to miss out on the action:

That little dog made every single trip down the arena:

And back again:

He was so good. He didn't get in the way and it almost looked like he was hazing the calves which means he was making sure they stayed fairly straight when leaving the chute:

The night before, he had played chase with a jack rabbit for a good 20 minutes and after spending a couple of hours chasing calves Sunday morning, the little guy was 'bout give out:

Think he can let that tongue hang out any farther? LOL.

A lesson from Skeet: Live life with gusto!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hook, Line, and Sinker Baby Quilt

I've got another quilt finish to share with ya'll today. I couldn't resist the wildflowers when I drove through the hill country on the way back from my Mom's:

It's the perfect spot for showing off this little quilt::

This quilt was also in the stack I picked up from Jackie a few weeks ago and while I  was at my Mom's, I stitched on the binding:

This started out as a panel from a kit I bought 4 or 5 years ago. I made the main quilt for my niece's first baby and then recently unearthed this fun panel that I had forgotten about:

I pulled coordinating fabrics from my stash and chose to make hourglass blocks for the alternating squares:

I love the color palette in this quilt:

Jackie used a green thread and quilted a fun pattern across it called "Surf's Up"

Isn't that the perfect choice with the backing? It finishes at 40" X 48". That fun backing came with the kit and I added the orange binding. I don't have much orange in my stash, but this print seemed to be the perfect fit:

I may have a hard time giving this one away!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Back Home

I spent last week in the big city and survived the insanity:

I do not know how people deal with this every day. I'm not impatient so that's not the problem. It's just that there are SO MANY people! It makes me claustrophobic. I cannot breathe in town. But I hadn't been to see my mom in too long. We filed an extension for her taxes since I couldn't get down there until DH's back healed so that's what I tended to this trip. It was also her birthday so it was really good to get to spend it with her although I spent 90% of it working on those blasted corporate taxes. I told her we should go do something fun for her and she said that me doing her taxes was the best birthday gift ever. LOL.

My folks started their real estate business over 40 years ago and they built it from the ground up. They bought large pieces of property and subdivided it into smaller acreage. They carried all of the notes which means they did all of the financing for said notes and they had a couple hundred at the time. My mom and 2 or 3 salesmen showed the property on the weekends, and my folks did everything else themselves. This year marks the end of an era. All the properties have been sold and paid off. It's kind of bittersweet because although Daddy has been gone for almost 8 years, it's a business they built together. But this means this was the last year for corporate taxes. Yay!

My folks built a home 20 years ago in a subdivision and although, it's in a city, it's quiet and the homes back up against a ravine that is not cleared. Thus, they have regular visits from the wildlife that hang out there. A few years back, a couple of deer got caught in the neighbor's fencing that separates their front yard from their back yard. I just happened to walk out to my truck and the neighbor said that they were stuck in the fence. They had attempted to walk through and their front halves were on one side and their back halves were on the other. He had called animal control, but it was after hours and they would not come out. Poor deer were practically frantic, as was the neighbor. I circled around behind them, tried to pry the bars apart and then picked them up and  helped navigate them through the iron bars. They happily bounded away and when the neighbor looked at the bars they had been bent. He was astounded and asked me how I had bent iron. LOL. I told him it had to have been the good Lord because I had not eaten my Wheaties that day.

I was reminded of that incident because the neighborhood has a new resident as of 2 weeks ago:

Most of the neighbors have water elements in their yards and their yards are not fenced in the back so the deer are free to roam. This Mama and her baby were just hanging out every morning as we ate breakfast.

We have a lot of deer and antelope out here, but we seldom see the fawns and they certainly don't hang around our dining room window. The neighbors love seeing them, but it's kind of sad because they don't really have a very large natural area, they are surrounded by houses and the interstate is just a mile away. Still, the Mama looked like she was in good shape and her fawn was happy and gallivanting about:

It was a good week, but it's a long drive and I was glad when I finally turned down the dirt road. When I pulled up, this greeted me:

DH had built a fire and we dined on hotlinks as we visited and caught up with each other well past out usual bedtime. It was the perfect way to be welcomed home!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What Happens to Britches Around Here When They Are Worn Out

A few days ago, Staci, over at The Confused Quilter, posted these super cute potholders she made and it reminded me about a simple idea I had written about, but never posted. It's been in my draft file since 2013. :)

Through the years, we've gone through a lot of britches. They get worn until they are worn out. When the kids were little, our girl inherited her brother's britches if they were still wearable.

I don't recall ever even buying her a new pair until she was probably 10 or so. Poor child, but I don't think she's scarred from it. In fact, she even got excited when her brother cleaned out his closet a few years ago.
 The kids grew so fast, that often times those Wranglers still had a lot of good wear to them. And Wranglers were all anyone around here wore. That's all we still wear and we're still hard on them.

I wasn't a quilter back then, but I saved them nonetheless. I would pile them in a corner and eventually dig them out to cut them up. One of these days I need to make some patchwork quilts with them. My MIL made one for our son when he was 11. Not a very good photo as I took a picture of a picture in a scrapbook:

It's backed with flannel and he took it when he moved out. Think it's time for me to make one for us!

I never knew what to do with the pockets until a dear friend, Charlotte, clued me in to what she does with them. She uses them as coasters! How clever is that? I shouldn't be surprised, the girl is a never ending supply of cleverness.

Then I thought to use them for this as well:

Works great for party or summer barbecue. And I'm working on an idea for cozies for my favorite drinking glasses.

I can get Wranglers for $26 at the Farm Store. That's a deal folks! I'm thinking that I'm getting my money's worth, and that makes this dirt road girl really happy!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Sweet Pea Baby Quilt

 Seems like I've started an awful lot of projects lately and  it's been a coon's age since I finished anything. I've been working on potholders and then suddenly an idea popped into my head for using the rest of this teddy bear fabric for another baby quilt so I started yet another project. The first one was given away the day after I finished it.

But I picked up a few quilts from Jackie on Monday and today I finally have a finished quilt to share. This one goes to the newest addition of a family we've known since we moved here 12 years ago. They own the local vet supply store and our kids spent a lot of time together as they were growing up. This quilt is for their first grandchild.

I had a yard of this sweet print in my stash

 and with the addition of pinwheels made with fabric from my stash:

 And some leftover green from a previous project for a border:

it became this:

I didn't use a pattern, but I cut 6 1/2" squares and then made 6 1/2" pinwheels for the alternating blocks. It finished at 48" x 48". I liked the idea of pink and green together so I backed it with pink minky:

Jackie used white thread and a panto pattern called Quirky to bring it to life:

I'm not usually drawn to orange and I have only a few pieces in my stash, but the colors in this quilt reminded me of sherbet and this orange print just seems to be a really good fit:

By the way, I had no idea that the correct spelling is 'sherbet', not 'sherbert'.

So I'll add that to my 'learned something new today' list. Still, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks and according to some of the reading I did on 'sherbet', you may be considered a Neanderthal if you call it 'sherbert'. I DO tend to live under a rock so perhaps that statement is more true than I would like to think! :)

I'm also adding it to my grocery list because I'm suddenly craving it and I haven't had it in years. :)
And on Monday, this little quilt will be snuggling with a sweet little girl

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Finished Quilts...Soon

This is a happy way to begin a Tuesday:

I've got bindings to make and stitch as time allows.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Potholder Factory

I 've set aside the making of baby quilts this week to work on some potholders.  The original idea came from Deanna over at Wedding Dress Blue. She posted this tutorial for string pieced potholders in 2011 and I'm betting I've made 50 sets since then. One year everyone received a set of potholders with a matching drawstring bag. This one was for my college roommate:

I continue to get requests for more potholders from friends and family and I've had people ask to buy them. I have depleted my supply so strip sewing has been on the sewing menu this week. Initially, I started out making sets with western fabric and in my circle, those are the most requested:

Then I thought coffee ones would be cute:

And for my folks and their friends, wine ones were popular:

I've also made floral sets:

And of course, safari potholders are popular with our hunting and safari club peeps:

On Tuesday, I pieced 14 western ones:

And on Wednesday, I cut and pieced 14 wine potholders:

Up next: Coffee

Next week I hope to get them all quilted and then I am determined to teach myself how to machine bind these things!
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