Friday, April 19, 2024

Adventure Lies Ahead Quilt

 Last year our boy and his sweet wife requested a couch quilt and when I saw this wide back print in September, it became my inspiration fabric and I built the quilt around it


I pulled coordinating fabrics from my stash (one of my favorite parts of the quilting process)

                              

And cut everything after settling on a pattern: a simple 9" framed square block

                                          

Jackie and Sandy quilted it using a wheat colored thread with a design called Whisper

And I pulled this brown for the binding from my stash

                                

I know a lot of folks don't like brown, but I think it adds so much warmth to a quilt

I used a 9 x 10 block layout for a 76" x 85" quilt


We're still waiting on rain - the trees (and mesquite) are the only green anywhere

I'm just tickled with the way the fabrics from my stash and the backing worked together

I'm excited to gift this!

Skeet says a quilt made with love makes the best gift


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The 1st Week in April

 Spring in our neck of the woods means wind...and lots of it (I resurrected an old photo) 

Spring rains...not so much. Green springs are rare around here. Honestly, we've had probably 4 green springs in 20 years. Our rain generally arrives in July, August, or September and even then, it's rare. 10" is our official annual rainfall, but that doesn't happen often either so we're still in Khaki Season around here. Most daylight hours are spent bouncing across pastures, feeding cattle

 fixing more leaks

And wondering why people keep mowing down our mailbox

Sigh. 

It's pretty rough looking, but it's level! LOL

DH wants to build a new one, but he said we'd probably get sued because if he builds it, it's going to do some damage to the next vehicle that hits it. Grin. So we just moved it about 12' farther off the road, closer to the cattle guard

The wind didn't blow on Sunday so we took some time to hike and hunt for arrowheads. 

DH has a built in arrowhead sensor - he often finds them when he's trotting across a pasture and on Sunday he was on his game. It was a fun way to spend some time- a little break from work. Hiking over steep sand terrain for 4 hours, wore me out - that sand is deep.

 but it was a good day

I didn't get many stitches into my current binding project that evening before I looked like Skeet



Saturday, March 30, 2024

Under the Needle: March

I'm showing my age when I fuss about time passing so quickly. I read a line in the book I'm currently reading that said, "She woke up feeling 6 days older than dirt" and it made me laugh, but here we are again at the end of another month. Here's a recap of  projects I worked on this month. Let's begin with new projects because although I have no business beginning new projects, they always manage to find their way in. I've been trying to sort through and reorganize my fabric this year. I have a healthy stash (code word for A LOT) and I love shopping from it when I'm contemplating my next project. 

 I will often begin with an inspiration fabric and then pull lots of coordinates from that stash. It's one of my favorite parts of the process. That's what I did this month with a favorite print that sparked a new project. I made 65 16-patch blocks and 7 star blocks this month and stitched them into a top:

I did that again when I pulled more fabric for this project which I still haven't decided on. For now, it's just a pile of fabric that wants to be a quilt

I also cut and pieced the top for a "Corn" quilt for our granddaughter and dropped it off to be quilted. It was on my list of quilts to make this year so it gets a pass


I pieced the top (I made the blocks in February) and the binding for this quilt that I am making for our son-in-law. I still need to piece the backing.

                                     

I picked up 2 quilts from Jackie and Sandy the other day. I stitched the binding to the front of both of them so they will be my binding projects for April:

This month I finished binding this Lily and Will baby quilt that I posted about here

And I have a second bonus finish this month with this Buckaroo Quilt that I shared here other day


 I'm trying to stay focused on my 2024 list and this month I felt like progress was made. Much of April and May will find me busy elsewhere so I figured I'd still be moving projects forward if I had tops ready to hand off to Sandy for quilting.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Buckaroo Quilt

 I started planning this quilt back in May 2018. I started with this group of fabrics that I had bought online a few years earlier

 I pivoted to make this quilt {Buckaroo Cross} with them in 2020 and finished it first.

and I then pulled other fabrics in from my stash to scrap this 2nd quilt up a bit. I used the 4 1/2" Accuquilt triangle die in order to make the best use of my fabrics

The secret to triangle quilts is starch...and lots of it, but they really are simple to piece

Once I had it pieced, it sat around and hung out in the closet for almost 6 years for no particular reason other than I was busy making other quilts, but I finally picked up some Minky and handed it off to Jackie and Sandy last November. Sandy quilted a pattern called Happy Times across it 

and I pulled a brown from my stash for the binding

At 51" x 61" it's not very big

 but I wanted to have something on hand to give in case of an illness. It's come up before and a smaller quilt seems to be better suited for traveling and for doctor appointments or treatments or resting in a recliner. I hope it's never needed for that though and for the time being it can just hang around here

Initially, I was leaning towards a turquoise Minky, but I wanted to keep it more neutral in case I needed a more masculine quilt. 

It took a while, but I'm tickled to have this one finished and I love how it turned out. 

Monday, March 25, 2024

Fishing for a Design

 I've been trying hard to stay focused on my 2024 quilt list, but new projects can be quite bossy. The other day I was sorting through projects on hangers...they all needed something...either a backing or a border or a binding or they were waiting to be quilted. These two fabrics were hanging together

They are from 2 different companies and I've had them for at least 10 years, probably longer. I had partially pieced a row quilt and machine embroidered some fish blocks, thinking I would use the fish fabric for a backing, but the embroidered blocks were a mess. If I recall, I had just started embroidering and I hadn't used the correct stabilizer and they were terribly wrinkled so I tossed them and the pieced rows.

Thankfully, I didn't toss these two fabrics because I still think there is a quilt in there somewhere so I regrouped and dove into my stash

I have ideas, but no plan as of yet, so I'm just going to throw a line in and see what bites. Hopefully it won't be another 10 years. 😂

Friday, March 22, 2024

C is for Cookie

 I bake a lot of cookies. They're so portable and it's easy for DH to grab a few when he walks in to fill his coffee tumbler before heading back out to fix fence, or check waters, or feed cows, or gather a pasture. When the chiddlers were still home, they would often wander in from their dirt road capers, barn expeditions, and pasture explorations in need of portable edibles in order to continue their adventures because one simply cannot capture cattle rustlers, navigate a pirate ship across the desert, or conquer the world on an empty stomach. Cookies played an important part in fueling their childhood between meals.

I shared in an earlier post that it also seems a lot of people end up at the end of our dirt road.  County road maintainers, UPS and Fed-ex drivers, brand inspectors, cow buyers, neighboring ranchers, vets, feed and hay delivery drivers, propane and fuel delivery men, the crew when we work and people who are lost or who DH rescues when they have tire trouble on the side of the road and a baggy of cookies is my way wishing them a nice day. It didn't start out that way, but it has taken on a life of it's own. It's gone from DH telling me, "You don't have to do that", to "Hey, I noticed the county parked their equipment at the end of the road..." ie: I bet they'd appreciate cookies. 😉

Through the years, I've shared a lot of them here and I thought it may be helpful to write a post with links to all the cookie recipes we love that I've posted through the years. I'll update this post as I share more because yes, there are more. 😊

 1.Cowboy Cookies  (these are kind of my signature cookie and the first one I shared way back in 2007)


2. Gingersnaps


3. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


4. Special K Cookies

5. Lemon Cowboy Cookies


9. Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

10. M & M Cookies


11. Loaded Butterscotch Toffee Pecan Cookies


12. Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies


13. Texas Ranger Cookies


14. Gingerbread Cowboys

15. Oatmeal Scotchies


16. Snickerdoodles


17. Dirt Road Granola Bars


P.S. We like a cookie with a tender crunch. Is that a contradiction in terms? We like a little crunch when we bite into it, but then it's got a tender texture after the crunch. So your baking time will depend on how soft or crunchy you like your cookie. I just keep an eye on them. Ovens vary so much so you'll just have to experiment to get the right consistency. I've baked so many cookies over the years that I don't pay much attention to the minutes in the oven and I just take them out when they look right. DH usually tells me they're not done enough and I still try to convince him that they will be just right once they cool off, but a warm cookie is pretty hard to resist.

I've often had requests for printing capabilities and I'm sorry - I don't know how to add that. This is just a simple little blog written by a non-tech ranch wife. I do like that option though as I use it when I discover new recipes online. On the sunny side - there are no ads and I'm not trying to sell you anything. I'm simply trying to spread the cookie love. 😉

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