My dad loves tractors

January 9, 2018 § 16 Comments

My dad is a farmer. His father and grandfather were both farmers. Our ancestors in Europe were farmers.

The land is flat where my dad farms. They grow corn and soybeans for commercial use. In my head I see my dad putting on his seed corn cap and his work boots before heading outside to get to work. Farming then and farming now are quite different, but my dad says that what interests him most about farming is driving the tractors. He LOVES tractors!

While visiting my dad last summer he started up his antique crank-start tractor for us. There is a lever that is inserted in the front of the tractor. A couple of hard cranks and the engine starts. Immediately the choke needs to be adjusted to keep it running. He doesn’t start it very often so it took a few tries to get it to idle. My husband took a turn starting it and they both drove it around the yard for awhile. I knew then that I had to make him a tractor quilt for Christmas.

The quilt top is all made from stash fabrics. It sure felt good to use up what I had on hand.  The tractor block pattern is from Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage book. The middle three blocks were assembled in mirror image. The blocks between the rows of tractors are the “crops” block in the book. Finished size of the quilt is approximately 72” x 72”.

Fly Away Home Pre-Sale!

October 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

Ok folks, PRE-ORDERS for the Fly Away Home booklet are now available!

The pre-order price is $14.00 INCLUDING shipping within the U.S. The regular suggested retail will be $20.00. The booklet also comes with a bonus project, Pumpkin Patch.

Those who participated in the Mystery BOM last year with Richla and Ellen will receive an email with a special participant price.

E-book and PDF download versions will be coming in the near future.

Leave a comment with your pay-pal address or send me an email if you would like a hard copy of the booklet. You will receive a PayPal invoice in email. The anticipated ship date is the last week of October. Just in time to pick up some autumn fabrics and start your version now!

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Fly Away Home Debut

September 19, 2017 § 8 Comments

Autumn weather hit us full on this week. Hurray! I love autumn! After one of the driest summers on record (preceded by one of the wettest winters on record), the rains have returned. Our garden is a testament to just how dry it has been.  I love autumn so much!  I can’t wait for the leaves to turn more, the nights to get cooler, to dig out the wool knitwear and walk through the crunchy leaves!

The Fly Away Home quilt was recently unveiled to the Mystery BOM folks as they received the final layout instructions earlier this month.  I am happy to announce that the pattern will be released for the general public soon. I am working on the final touches to self-publish a booklet for all who might be interested. An opportunity to pre-order the booklet will be coming soon. Later, there will be an opportunity to purchase the booklet as a digital download, so stay tuned!

After designing the quilt for my friends Ellen and Richla, who hosted the Mystery BOM, I went stash diving and made my own version of the quilt. I think I may have purchased about four of the fabrics and the rest came from my stash. I have been having so much fun sewing up my stash and it felt good to mostly use what I had on hand!

Fly Away Home is a great pattern for learning new techniques. There is traditional piecing as well as foundation paper piecing, partial seams, y-seams, appliqué, embroidery and letters!  There is enough of a variety to keep experienced quilters from getting bored and yet simple enough for beginners to learn a few new tricks.

The original quilt was made with Carina Gardner’s Posy Garden collection and a few Riley Blake basics fabrics.  Ellen brought her quilt for show and tell to one of the recent sewing group meet ups and hers looks fantastic!

The booklet contains a bonus project using three of the blocks from the Fly Away Home quilt to make this fun Pumpkin Patch quilt.

 

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Mr. Fox and Little Red

June 29, 2017 § 9 Comments




Another belated baby gift done! I am a mad woman on a mission to finish a few things summer and the weeks are flying by! I am really enjoying being in my sewing room again.

The fox and woodland quilt is for my nephew’s baby boy.  The fox is part of Edward’s Menagerie that I have been obsessing over for the last few months. Since the quilt fabric panel had a fox in it I had to make him to go along with the quilt. The center of the quilt is a panel and then I put the selvage print on the top and bottom and another coordinating print on the sides. The background is a really soft gray so the backing had to be a soft gray flannel. The fabric is Gentle Forest by Studio E.



Of course, the big sister needed a doll as well. Little Red is from the book My Crochet Doll. There are a ton of other outfits you can make for your doll and I’m dying to make them all. You can see some of the outfits in this Google search. There is also a video on how to make the doll.

I started her a couple of years ago but got hung up on the assembly. She is a bit fiddly. The author/creator puts wire in the arms and legs to make them bendable and I just couldn’t get my head around that. Finally, I committed myself to finishing her and left the wire out. She is fine without the wire!  Adding the hair takes some practice. I am not very good at it but it works. Now I’d best get to work on some of the additional outfits!

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Any measurable progress is good, right?

June 23, 2017 § 12 Comments

Well, I’ve finished one languishing quilt UFO so far. That’s progress, right?

This started as a Merry Mayhem New Year’s Day Mystery Quilt-along. 2015. I think it might have been Case #138 “Regatta.” The directions included a ton of half-square triangles. When I saw the final outcome I wasn’t all that enamored. So I found a different way of arranging all those half-square triangles.

I think the inspiration for arranging the half-square triangles might have been the block in Thimble Blossom’s quilt called Fireworks. I just made four giant blocks and sashed them with the polka dot fabric. The only fabric I may have purchased was the backing fabric – most likely on sale somewhere – as I was intending to donate this quilt to charity.

At the time that I started this quilt top I was part of a Do.Good.Stitches group and we were donating quilts to an organization that rescues young women from human trafficking. I’m no longer part of the group and the group no longer donates to that organization. I need to find another place that takes quilts without a size restriction!

There is progress in other areas as well. I finished another belated baby gift this week.  Also, sorting and organizing our bookcases felt really good. I found an app called Libib where you can scan the ISBN code (if it has one – or manual enter all the info) and keep track of all your books (and music and movies too!). If you are willing to pay for the pro version you can even keep track of loaning materials to friends.  It’s made me think twice about which books I really want to keep.

Have a great weekend!

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Pinwheels please

June 14, 2017 § 8 Comments

I started this pinwheel baby quilt way back in December before the baby was born but couldn’t get back to it until school ended in May. Meanwhile, the baby was born and is now four months old! The quilt was finished and the package sent last week. They loved it!

My inspiration was a similar quilt I found on Pinterest. I drew up my own version on Electric Quilt and started scrounging through my stash to see what I could find. I wanted it to look like it was for a girl without being too girly, if you know what I mean.  I found some floral prints, plaids and checks that went well together. The background fabric I had to purchase. I can’t remember what it was but it might be Robert Kaufman’s Chambray. I just can’t be sure.  I don’t look at the bolt ends all that much. Sorry.

Slowly but surely I am working my way through my heaping piles of projects. The summer is going by WAY too fast! And I feel like I need to learn how to use my camera all over again. It has been sorely neglected.

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The beginning of a menagerie

June 8, 2017 § 7 Comments


All winter I have been having fun making these cute crocheted animals. I’ve made a few more that aren’t pictured here. They are from the book Edward’s Menagerie by Kerry Lord of Toft Yarn. There are other books as well: a bird book, a monster book, and in the fall there will be a doll book.  So fun!

I have been using Plymouth Encore worsted weight yarn (and leftover wool quilt batting torn up for stuffing) so that they can be washed. With the worsted weight yarn they end up being about 13″ tall, but the book gives approximate measurements for other weights of yarn so you can choose the size. On the Toft Instagram feed, they have been making a giant sized giraffe with many strands of yarn held together! (scroll through to find the many pics of the giraffe parts)

These are all intended to be gifts. Someday, it would be fun to make a zoo for myself. Why I need a zoo of animals… I have no idea.


Bridget the Elephant

Benedict the Chimpanzee

Edmond the Fox

Douglas the Highland Cow

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