Monday, March 18, 2019

Cathy's Quilt

Yesterday I put the finishing stitches onto this scrap quilt:

This is the quilt I made for the wife at North Camp that is battling cancer:

This is the second quilt I made like this - the first being an experiment. When she saw it on one of my quilt ladders, she fell in love with it so I began sorting through my scraps:

As I began making blocks, I asked her if she had any shirts from her Daddy and son - both whom she lost - and I incorporated the pieces she shared with me in the blocks as I stitched in prayers:


It's hard for her to keep warm so I bought this thick, warm fleece to use as the backing and had Jackie quilt a quick stipple across it:


I bound it with this rustic print that I thought coordinated well with both the background and the scraps:


I took the top to Jackie on Monday and she had it ready for me to pick up the following Monday. I am a slow binder, and I really save any binding or hand stitching for the evenings, but I worked on this one during the last few days and finished it as quickly as possible:

After a run through the washer and dryer, it is 57 x 77


Friday, March 15, 2019

A 4 Quilt Night

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

But on Tuesday we gave thanks for rain:

With the exception of a 6" snow in early December, we haven't had a lick of moisture since October so these little puddles may or may not have inspired a little happy dance.


It may seem strange to many of you that 3/4" of rain can be described as a gully-washer, but around here, when there is nothing but bare ground and when it rains hard, it runs off:


It filled our dirt tanks on either side of the house which is a good thing because tank water is a necessity out here. Gentle, soaking rains are always welcome as well because that allows for optimum grass growth. When it comes to rain, we're not picky. We take it any way we can get it and we praise God for every drop.

The next day, Wednesday, we had record winds. When it blows like this. our famous crisp blue skies turn brown. That's dirt folks:


We broke records for what is known, in meteorology circles, as a Bomb Cyclone - a rapid drop in pressure, generally 24 millibars in 24 hours - ours fell 42 millibars in less than 12 hours. I guess it's generally associated with winter storms, but in our case, we got wind - lots of wind:

And it blew fiercely and steadily ALL day and night. We're used to being sandblasted around here, but it's not much fun. I was going to feed with DH after an early dinner, but I stayed behind to bake cookies as we had sold our Corriente steers and we were shipping them out the next day, meaning I was going to have extras to feed. Alas, the electricity went out and stayed out for 36 hours.

Just before it went out, we heard that tornadoes had been spotted just SW of us. With sustained winds of over 50 mph, we couldn't see anything. DH was making his feed run and I was out trying to batten down the hatches.

Thankfully, the tornadoes did not visit us, although there was substantial damage in a tiny farming community to the south. The challenge for us came as I tried to prepare food without getting into the fridge or freezer. We have a gas stove

so with the help of our handy dandy headlamps and lanterns, 

fresh eggs from the coop, fried potatoes, onion, and jalapeno made a tasty breakfast without opening the fridge:


We're on a well, so we had water, but we were VERY conservative with it as we didn't want to drain our storage and we share that water with cattle. After hauling the boys out on Thursday morning


Special K cookies were easy to whip up on the stove top for dessert:


And I did sneak into the deep freeze for a package of meat, thawing it (in a freezer bag and warm water) for Steak Tampequena. I served it with rice and corn on the side for dinner...on paper plates.

I had time to work on my current quilt binding:

And time to catch up on our current reads

The 2nd night, we were expecting 20° for a low so I dug out the silk long-johns and piled on the quilts. It was a 4 quilt night:

But we were nice and toasty and the next morning we had electricity and the great dirt removal from the old leaky ranch house commenced:


We're grateful that we didn't lose our freezers full of meat, that everyone is safe, and that I am a quilter! 😉

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


There is always something to do around here, but still, life is usually pretty laid back. However, lately, I haven't been able to spend much time at home. We had a special bull sale at the sale barn that I worked on Saturday, February 23rd. Sunday was spent fixing leaks:

I worked our regular sale on Monday, the 25th. Tuesday through Friday I spent time with our boy and got to see our girl for a little bit as an added bonus (I treasure every minute I get to spend with these 2 kids!).

On Saturday, I worked a second special bull sale at the sale barn and our regular sale again on Monday. That morning we woke up to this:


 Some roads were closed, but I crawled my way to the sale barn and by the time the sale ended, the roads were pretty clear.Then yesterday, we left the house at 4 a.m. and got back home at 7:30 that night. 8.5 of those hours were spent in the truck. The roads were clear and we were grateful, as we were headed to the bull sale we attend annually. It was 12° when we left at 4 a.m. and just north of town, we hit this:

By the time we reached our destination, the temps were in the high 50's. Clear blue skies made for beautiful bull scouting weather:

DH takes 2-3 hours to sort through 130 bulls and that's after a couple hours of studying the catalog at home:

These bulls work so well for us. We've known this family for 30 years and not only do they raise high quality bulls, but they are honest, hard-working, salt of the earth folks.

We lived in this area when we were first married so we've known a lot of these folks for a long time and it's always fun to catch up with everyone:

As soon as the sale was over, DH was in line to check out and I lined up to load out:

I get my stitching in where I can and always carry a hand stitching project along. 20 minutes of waiting equals progress:

On our way back, the winter wonderland was still in full display:

We came home with 9 bulls this year

and now we're praying for rain (again). It doesn't take much. It's a really good year if we get 12" of rain a year.

Sometime life makes it hard to be a hermit.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Under the Needle: February

When life zips along and your feet are still in February and you realize it's March, you get a belated sewing report. When I settled in to tap out this post, I didn't think I'd accomplished much on the sewing front last month, but it all adds up and between road trips

and ranch life

 I was happy with my progress.

I finished this quilt and sent it on it's way:


And this quilt is now in it's new home as well:

The top was pieced so all I really did for it this month was piece the backing.
I am binding this baby quilt so a finish is just around the corner:

I made the rest of the blocks for our Adventures in Africa quilt and it is now a top:

I also made all the blocks for the quilt I'm making for the wife at North Camp who is dealing with cancer and pieced it into a top. I found a backing this past week while I was visiting our boy and I'll get it to Jackie tomorrow:

I pulled lots of blues from my stash and added a few new pieces for a quilt for our boy:

I have yet to settle on a pattern, but I'm narrowing it down.

I also pulled these Farmer's Market blocks back out and finished piecing them. I had stashed them away when everyone was here during Christmas. It's time to get these into a top:

Friday, February 22, 2019

Tail Feathers Quilt for Chris

Last Spring I realized that I needed to have a couple masculine quilts in my arsenal so I ordered this pattern, thinking it might fit the bill:


I pulled fabrics from my stash and later found a backing:


Then, recently, our girl shared news that our mechanic's son was diagnosed with leukemia and was beginning treatments. I called my friend, C, as they too are friends with his dad, Mark. We both wanted to do something. I already had this quilt pieced and C has a long arm so we combined our ingredients and now have a finished quilt for Chris. Sometimes DH asks me, "Who are you making this one for?" My answer, "I don't know just yet, but God does so I'm just stitching prayers into it."

C quilted this perfect, fun, wavy pattern over it


and bound it with a blue Grunge that she already had made into binding for another quilt. The backing came from Whittle's a while back:

I made the lap size.  At 60 x 72, I thought that'd be a good size for snuggling up with for naps and during treatments. Everyone knows those hospital blankets aren't worth a plumb nickle.

We met at Mark's on Thursday morning to hand it off as he was leaving to see Chris that morning:

We sent him off with the quilt and hugs and prayers. Chris and our girl are also friends. Chris is working through school to become a chiropractor and he's less than 2 hours from our girl so she's making plans to check in on him as well. I wish there wasn't a need to make quilts for reasons such as this, but I am sure glad to be able to gift them when such a need arises.

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