Monday, January 29, 2018

Under the Needle in 2018

As a quilter, I'm always thinking about the next quilt...and the one after that....and the one after that. I enjoy each quilt as I'm making it, but my mind is always racing ahead and the list grows quickly. It also changes, but I am a list maker and at the first of each year, I like to take stock of the quilts I'd like to stitch.

I've got 11 at Jackie's so those are a given, but I'm not going to list those here or this post will be never ending. As I share what I'm working on throughout the year, I'll publish those posts as "Under the Needle".

1. Four Corners: I set this one aside last year, but I'm not abandoning it. It's going to get made this year and putting that in writing will keep me accountable.

2. Scrappy Christmas Quilt: Our girl has already requested this one so I just may have to make 2

3. On Ringo Lake: I finished the 3rd clue a few days ago and clue 4 is currently 'under the needle'.

4. Scrap Dance Waltz: This is a previous mystery quilt from My Carolina Home and I'm making it in 30's

5. Blessings is the block exchange quilt I'm making with my Quilt Squad girls at the extension office this year - also using 30's fabrics and Kona Snow. I picked these 2 prints up at The Country Store Quilt Shop last week for my 12 blocks:

6. Sequoia: Our girl has recently made more than one quilt request and after going through my Pinterest quilt inspiration board, fabrics are being gathered for this quilt.

7. Bovine Babies: Another quilt requested by our livestock nutrition consultant. This is an old pattern that I tracked down when she insisted that a girl that has a Masters of Science in Ruminant Nutrition NEEDS a bovine baby quilt


She fussed at me over the holidays because she only had 2 quilts from me. It looks like she'll be adding a good number to that this year. :)

8. Sweetwater's Follow Your Heart Quilt - I rarely purchase kits, but I did cave and order this one so it makes the list


9. And a list of quilts I wish to make is not a list if it doesn't include a Miss Rosie quilt by Carrie Nelson. This year I hope to make Jellystone. I've got the scrappy fabrics cut out, but have yet to cut the neutrals:

                                      Image result for Jellystone quilt

10. And my quilt buddy and I are both hoping to make Jo's -from Jo's Country Junction - latest cover quilt

and last Friday we picked up some odds and ends (the top stack in the following photo) to fill in where our stash is lacking.

I haven't entirely committed to that last quilt as the first thing it says is to draw a diagonal line on each 1.25" ivory square...there are 1024 of them! Jo, if you read this...surely you didn't do that, did you? You just get entirely too much done to spend time drawing a gazillion lines and I think I recall you mentioning that you don't do that in your 'I won't do that' post a while ago. Still, my friend, C, is determined to make it and she's dragging me along...we may both lose our minds before this one gets done. :)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Country Store Quilt Shop

On Friday my co-worker, friend, and partner in crime, headed to our favorite local quilt shop. And yes, 75 miles away is local around here...and C had to drive over 50 miles just to get to my house. Still, this gal is always a joy and the miles matter not when you're in good company.

We only get to this shop about once a year, but it's a favorite. It's located on the square in a small town called Lovington:

The Country Store is owned by this wonderful lady, Dee Ann:

She's fun, and passionate, and energetic, and helpful and full of creative ideas.. I've been meaning to post about this shop, but I always get sidetracked in catching up with the ladies that work here and in the projects C and I have in mind, not to mention the new fabrics that catch our eye and inspire new projects

And Dee Ann recently bought the space next door and expanded her shop so this was the perfect time to give ya'll a tour.

This is what you see when you walk in the door

 Dee Ann has set up cute little vignettes around the shop.


She has a love for antiques and is also in the process of opening up an antique shop two doors down from the quilt shop. That'll be another fun stop when it's open!


There are lots of samples for inspiration and I love the old church pews along the wall that hold pretty bolts of fabric:


I neglected to get a photo of the books, but the racks on either side of the front door hold just about anything you could want. Seasonal fabrics are up front on the left and children - a few of the novelty fabrics are in the lower right corner in this shot:


This little cart holds an array of precuts


The second room holds threads and patterns for embroidery


And the back room serves as a classroom and a longarm is also set up where they offer quilting services:


Dee Ann is an authorized Janome dealer and the front of the new addition has machines and accessories for purchase:


There is a wall of rulers and templates:


And the back has a large selection of yummy fabrics. Tone on tones on the left - western fabrics on the right:


This corner hold batiks:


They were still setting up the space for Civil War reproductions and there is also a display of 30's, but I didn't get a picture of those although I did come home with some. :) I'll share those in a subsequent post.

This little town only has a population of 11,000 and it's not close to any other towns, but we all know that quilters will travel for fabric and "if you build it, they will come" and in this case, it's definitely worth the trip!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What I've Been Up To

I know it's been a few weeks since I've posted and all is well, I've just been busy living life and soaking up January. Here in New Mexico it gets cold, but we still have endless sunny days with the bluest skies so January is not a dreary month in the desert. It's crisp and bright and cold:


Who says that taking a dip in the dirt tank when it is 25 degrees outside in January isn't the best idea ever? Not Skeet!

Our girl brought a family of 6 cats, which included 4 kittens, home with her after Christmas and they have taken up residence in the barn:

Someone asked about my chickens and guineas when the weather dips into the single and negative digit range around here. They are a hardy bunch because they do just fine. They don't have heat in their coop, but they just sleep in there, as they are free to roam wherever they desire during the day, and they walk back into the chicken yard at the end of the day. They run to the coop when they need to lay an egg. They are pretty low maintenance. They DO get kitchen scraps and always have fresh water and they seem like happy chickens:

Feeding cattle is a given in January:


And I've spent some time in the kitchen, cooking for a crew:

Our girl has been in and out...2 days home, 2 days in Indiana...3 days home...2 days in Oklahoma...2 days home...4 days away working on her thesis...and the cycle continues. Lots of coming and going. We are home base and the next 4 weeks promises more of the same. 2 interviews. 2 job offers. It's nice to have options and know that your hard work is coming to fruition. She has accepted a job and she is over the moon about it. We all are. She said it is her dream job that she never knew existed. She will be working for a prestigious non-profit company that delivers solutions to agricultural challenges through leadership, education, research, and consultation as a livestock consultant. Pretty darn proud of this kid and the adventures and opportunities that lie ahead for her:

And in between daily life, I've been sneaking in a little sewing...working on Bonnie Hunter's Mystery:

So, life is good and I've penciled in a nap, a walk with the hound puppies, and a bit of stitching on this Tuesday afternoon.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

January Stitching

OK...I THINK I am going to get to do a little stitching today.

A few years back, well actually, 2012 is more than a few years back... I participated in a Christmas through the year program through Darlene's blog, A Quilting Daze . Darlene doesn't blog anymore. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods, are missed. Each month we were to make 1 gift for Christmas and her cheerleading meant I had a box filled with handmade gifts come December. It was the BEST and I haven't done it since. I was visiting with a friend on the phone the other day and this subject came up. She too is a maker of beautiful things and she was stitching away on Christmas Eve. In an attempt to avoid the crunch this next December, I'm going to give this another go. This month I am going to finish stitching up lined drawstring bags that I didn't finish before Christmas:

Everyone loves the simplicity these add to gift wrapping, especially the men! I know many of you are DONE with all things Christmas, but I promise that this is worth investing in if you love to give hand made gifts come December.

I am also hoping to work on Bonnie Hunter's On Ringo Lake. I'm on step 2, buy hey, it's all about the journey and I'm just going to enjoy it and not worry about rushing through it.

Then there's a new project I'm starting with my Quilt Squad girls. I only made 2 meetings last year, but I hope to step that up this year. We're going to be making blocks from Sew Emma's pattern called Blessings

Image result for Sew Emma "Blessings"

using 30's prints and Kona Snow for the background. Each of us will make 12 identical blocks and we'll exchange them this summer and set them however we choose.

That ought to keep me busy and out of trouble for this month. On the book front, I'm currently listening to Cold Sassy Tree

on Audible and I'm loving it, so that's an added incentive for spending more time  behind my sewing machine. How is it I've not read this before?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Ringing in the New Year

Whew! I hope ya'll all had a blessed Christmas and happy, healthy transition into the New Year!

 Ours was wonderful and busy and peaceful and hectic and all I can say is that I need a nap! My Mom was here for 9 days, our boy, his girlfriend and little T came for a few days over Christmas and then made a return voyage for New Year's, our girl was here for Christmas

and then headed back south with our horse trailer to pack up all of her earthly belongings and bring them back to the ranch temporarily. We unloaded everything into the bunkhouse on New Year's Day when it was 10 degrees as snow flurries danced around us:

We took advantage of the extra help:

My in-laws were here for Christmas as well and my BIL, his new wife, and his youngest child were here for a day on Thursday and then dropped in for the day again on Sunday. I know many of you had full houses too and I wouldn't want it any other way,

 but I am just plumb wore out!

We are thoroughly enjoying having our girl home although it will only be for a little while. She is kicking off the New Year by logging in air miles. She has been busy interviewing for various positions and the companies are flying her to meet them. In between feeding with her Daddy, she's been working on her presentations.

She has 2 trips scheduled in the first 8 days of January. Today...if I can muster up the energy, I am going to dismantle all the Christmas decorations and get them packed away, but I wanted to sneak in a post to share a few snapshots of the last 2 weeks. I was horrible about taking pictures which is so unlike me, but I just wanted to immerse myself in the joy of Christmas and the people around me, even if it was a little nuts.

Cinnamon rolls are a Christmas morning tradition around here:

Little T was a constant source of entertainment too:

And my little sous chef in the kitchen:

This gal was gearing up for an evening by the fire pit:

And DH celebrated a birthday on New Year's Eve:

I know a lot of folks think January is slow and dreary, but right now that's exactly what I'm hoping for. I'm not quite ready for the exuberance of spring.
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