Friday, March 29, 2019

Under the Needle: March

These monthly stitching posts seem to come around awfully fast! They kind of keep me accountable because some months it's a struggle to get into my sewing room and I don't want to show up here at the end of the month with nothing to share. I also need to sew in order to justify all this fabric lying around!

I put the last stitches on the binding of this little baby quilt at the beginning of the month:


And I made and stitched the binding onto Bonnie Hunter's Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt:

I'll post about it as soon as I can finagle a few quilt holders to assist in may require cookie bribery. I also made the binding for this scrap quilt and got it stitched and gifted:


That makes 3 finishes this month. I'm pretty sure that's a first for me. I managed to turn my Farmer's Market blocks into a top:

And in an effort to use up the rest of those FQ, I cut everything that remained into 5" squares and began making a few blocks for another quilt. I am using these as leader-enders:

I think I may be heading in this direction:

I am also itching to dig into this FQ bundle that I snagged for a good price a few weeks ago. I'm on a mission to find the perfect vintage inspired pattern for them, but they have yet to find their way under the needle:

And what kind of quilter would I be if I wasn't always starting something new?

Monday, March 25, 2019

Gone to Texas

Last week I made a trip to spend some time with my mom. It was a good week and I enjoyed our time together. I tended to her taxes and helped her with things like cleaning out her greenhouse

and attic, and scrubbing the furniture and tile on the deck. I also worked on a wreath for her:

And it turned out even better than I thought it would:

She loves it too, which is all that really matters:

My mom lives over 500 miles from us and I sure do wish she lived closer, but I'm grateful it's not farther. It sure was green in Texas!

And the wildflowers

and Bluebonnets were at their peek!

I had forgotten that it was Bluebonnet season and I was delighted to be greeted by hills of blue:

Mom's neighbor has cultivated a beautiful garden that includes 4 different varieties of the beloved state flower:

It made me want to stop and inquire at every For Sale sign along the road as I drove through the hill country, but when I got back, I was glad to be back where the air was crisp and the sky was so blue it hurt your eyes and I reminded myself that the hill country in August was miserable unless you enjoyed living in a sauna.  Now if only we could add a bit of green to this arid desert, but I sure did miss DH and the ranch and it's good to be home:

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Rocking Horse Baby Quilt

After I made this baby quilt:

I knew I'd be making more using the pattern:

                                             Ritzy Bitsy Babies Quilt Pattern<BR>It's Sew Emma #ISE-108

So I pulled another fabric I have been hoarding for probably at least 6-8 years:

I didn't have much of it, but this pattern allowed me to make good use of what I DID have

And I turned it into this little quilt:


I love the way a favorite print is featured using this pattern. One of these days I'll make the pattern the way it is written, but it's such fun playing around with a design, letting the ideas, and fabric simmer together to create something new.


Jackie quilted these fun stars and horseshoes across it


and I backed it with this brown Minkee and bound it with the gingham:

It finishes at 45x45 and I've stashed it in my quilt armoir because I'm keeping it. 😁


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! 😉
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