Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Farmer's Wife Check In: Week 14

Block #24 Country Path

Block #25 Cups and Saucers

Here they are week #14 and I have 30 something blocks made.  I was really happy with these  two little blocks.  I actually made another of the Country Path blocks using some treasured Terrain scraps from the "by the pound sale" or maybe a scrap bag from my other favourite quilt shop.  Anyway, whatever!  The block came together really well but there just was not enough contrast in the prints.  I have found that because the pieces are so small in many of these blocks that unless there is significant contrast, the pattern just doesn't show off enough.  I have to remember this when I am picking the scraps for these blocks!  It is such a bummer to spend the time putting the whole block together only to be unhappy with the way the block appears because of fabric choice!  I hope that I have learned my lesson!!!!

 We were spoiled with the gift of some lovely artichokes that a friend grew.  What an exotic vegetable to grow and eat!

Tomorrow is September!  September is always my favourite month.  It is my birthday month, the start of school and the beginning of Fall.  I just love it!  The colours, the harvest, the change in the weather... it is a beautiful time of the year.

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Paper pieced letter... done!

I did it.  A letter an evening for 4 evenings.  I am not totally happy with the letter "P" but the rest are great.  There were a great many wee pieces in "P" and it is a little funny looking. (editor's note:  I did not intend to make a funny by speaking about "wee" pieces and the letter "P" but I did and now I think it is very funny!)

I am canning beans as we speak and the pressure cooker canner is bopping away in the other room.  Husband is convinced it will blow.  We have almost declared "you win" with the veggie garden.  Today Husband decided it is not possible to keep up with the broccoli, zucchini or beans.  If there was only a way to keep it all going for more than just one season!

I have to tell you about a great week over at Kristie's blog.  She is having Bag Lady Week with lots of great "bag" tutorials.  Lots of fun!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Design Wall Monday: All the little blocks

 I carefully pinned all my Farmer's Wife blocks onto the barn wall because it has been awhile since I had them all up and playing together.  There was no wind to speak of until I was about halfway through pinning the little suckers onto the wall.  Then the breeze started and I had to go back and pin and pin again to get them to cooperate for a picture.  I think I counted 32 blocks.  We are in week 14 this week and I have made a few extra blocks just in case I get super busy.  I also have another little stack of "I am not happy with you" blocks that did not get on the wall.

I am happy with the overall scrappiness of the blocks.  I am using scraps and bits and pieces.  I have learned that I must stick to fabric choices with lots of contrast because the blocks are so small.  There are a few blocks that do not have enough contrast to make me totally content.

And some more red roses, blooming 8 feet off the ground and looking so lovely.

Linking up with Judy's Design Wall Monday today!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Spy Wall Quilt... Phase 1

I started working on the I Spy wall quilt for my office.  I decided I would paper piece letters to form the words "I Spy...".  I began working on this a few evenings ago.  It was really tricky to pick the colours for the letters since I have not started the actual quilt yet.  I also sought Husband's opinion.  We both agreed on the choice.  So far it just says "IS" but trust me, it will say "I Spy..." in a few days.  If you look really closely, you can see that the blue print used for the letters has wee teddy bears.  That in itself could be a total I Spy challenge.  I have not done any paper piecing before other than hexies so this is all very interesting.  Last evening, I proudly held up the almost finished "S" only to realize that I had sewn it together reversed.  Good grief.  It really is time to get back to school.  I found the patterns on Quilter's Cache.  And Quilter's Cache is totally awesome if you have not checked it out before.

It was a very flowery day out in the garden so I leave you with some lovelies.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Flea Market Finds!

Well!  This was a total find and found during a complete last minute stop at a thrift store to drop off a bag of stuff.  Husband and I had a bit of a late start to our Saturday routine because we arranged to send a shipment of blueberries to Mum with our niece.  We loaded up her little car with blueberries and off she went on her first official road trip to Gramma's house, a 4 hour plus drive away.  But I digress.  First stop was at my favourite thrift store in the next town.  They were having a big sale and I did find a few things for next to nothing but they were not taking any donations and I had a big bag of stuff to donate.  I convinced Husband to cruise by my second most favourite thrift store so I could drop off the donations.  He likes to get rid of stuff so how could he refuse?  I asked him if he would mind waiting while I pop in for a quick peek.  Heavy sigh of resignation.  It was really hot today.  Off I went and did a quick circuit.  And there it was.   Waiting for me, behind a few other handbags.  Even the lady at the cash told me I had found a really nice purse and for only $2!!!!!!  Yep, a Dooney and Bourke All Weather Leather bag.  It looks brand new.  They retail for upwards of $160.  Total score.

Spools of thread.  Most are new, complete with plastic wrapping.  All excellent quality and in just the colours I was needing last evening for a project I started.  Well, maybe not the acid yellow thread but it should be a good one for basting! I picked up the basket because I needed somewhere to put my thread and other things and it came home with me too for 25 cents!

A glass vase for Husband's lucky bamboo which needed a new home.  This is quite nice with a green tinge to the glass. 25 cents.

Very cool knitting dictionary with awesome pictures and simple clear instructions. 50 cents.

Finally, a thrifty gift from Mum, Cookery Notes.  I love it!!!  Lots of room for your own recipes along with some already there.

I will be linking up with Sophie's Flea Market Finds and hopefully with Apron Thrift Girl's "Thrift Share Monday" on Monday!

Check out all the other fabulous thrifty finds!  It is just so much fun!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Dolly Pillow Tutorial... and I actually won something!

First of all, I have been faithfully entering giveaways all of over the place forever and I have never, ever won anything until today!  I actually won Riel's giveaway over at the Q and the U!  It must have been my lucky words... "Pick me, pick me, pick me!" that did it!!!   Thanks so much, Riel!  I have won some of her "I Spy" scraps.  Happiness and glee!

A few people wondered about the measurements for the doll pillow from the other day. I initially used the tutorial that Amanda Jean has over at her blog Crazy Mom Quilts but I felt the pillow she made was too small in scale for the doll beds that Husband makes so this is my take on a dolly pillow for a quilt that measures about 16" x 18".

For the pillow:

1 piece of fabric 8" x 10.5"  (I like to use stripes because then it looks like ticking!)

Turn under one edge 1/4" and press.  Fold in half and sew 2 sides together, leaving the end with the pressed under edge open for turning and stuffing.  Use a 1/4" seam.  Turn, stuff lightly for dolly comfort.  Sew close to the edge finishing your wee pillow.

For the Pillowcase:

1 piece of fabric 12.5" x 6.5" (main fabric choice)
1 piece of fabric 12.5" x 4"  (contrast)

Place wrong sides together, sew with a 1/4" seam.  Press the seam towards the contrasting fabric and turn under 1/4" along the edge of the contrast.  Pin, carefully matching the seam.  Sew down the long side and the end of the pillow case.  Turn and very carefully fold under the contrast so the turned under edge just meets the pressed seam.  Very carefully sew along the edge.  Here is a picture.  It is a little tricky but it can be done!  If you mess up and you don't like your finished seam, you can very nicely hide the whole shebang with some lace or rick rack.  Dolls are very forgiving!

Press to make it pretty and tuck your little pillow inside the case.  Ahhh, so cute!  Don't you feel so very clever!  And what a lovely little gift for a child.  Great stocking stuffer or a little extra something with a gift.  It doesn't have to go along with a quilt although that makes it all the more special!

Have a lovely evening!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Phlox "Bright Eyes" in my garden making me happy
There are some fun things happening out there in blog land and since I am busy with things other than sewing, I must live vicariously through them... at least until the weekend hits!

Celebrate Color

Have you seen this?  Rachel who has a fabulous blog Stitched in Color, has a lovely idea promising inspiration, contests and tutorials for all sorts of fall projects celebrating colour!  So crank out your knitting needles, crochet hooks and your sewing machine and get busy!

And Adrianne who blogs at Little Bluebell has found new Denyse Schmidt fabrics at Joanns.  The line is called Sugar Creek and I must say I am in love with the green floral.  So pretty!

Have a lovely evening!  And for those on the East Coast, watch out for Hurricane Irene!  Sounds like she is a doozy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Farmer's Wife Check In: Week 13 Oh My Goodness!

Two blocks this week and again I seem to be gravitating towards fall-ish fabrics.  It is very sunny so please bear with these photos!

Block # 54 Kitchen Woodbox  (and I love this block!!!!!!)

Block #69 Practical Orchard

Husband objected to me taking the picture in the little pear tree but I thought that it was appropriate with the name of this block!

From this Farmer's wife, more bread and butter pickles went into the cold room and many pints of green beans.  More green beans are waiting to be canned and the counter is covered with blueberries for the freezer.  The blueberries are so late this year and now Husband is picking them solo with me back to work.  Once those berries are ready, there is no stopping them!  We actually thought the crop would be a big giant bust but they are surprising us now with the quantity.  Blueberries are apparently a "super food" and a food that does not lose any of its nutritional value when frozen.  There you go.  Eat blueberries.  They are good for you.  They taste awesome too!!!

And big thank yous go out to Paulette who blogs at the Cheerful Thrifty Door.  Paulette has added me to her list and thrown me the Versatile Blogger recognition.  I will do a little bit of work on that and more to follow!  Thanks Paulette!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I spy... a rug!

My Mum is just so clever!  She takes olds sheets, and all sorts of cast off clothes, cuts them into rags with her way cool rag cutter and then weaves beautiful rugs with her antique Swedish Rug Loom.  I asked for a multi-coloured, old-fashioned rag rug recently and Mum delivered this when she came for a visit!  It is really lovely! I can find leftover bits and pieces of my quilts in this rug too.  I give Mum all my trimmings and little strippy leftovers.  Thanks Mum!  I must say it looks lovely on the floor.

I have an idea.  I am going to make an "I Spy" wall quilt for my office at work.  It will give the students who visit me in my office something interesting to look at.  What do you think?

These are the I spy-ish fabrics that I have gathered so far...

I think it is a good start!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dolly Bedding is just so much fun!

Each year my school district gets involved with a silent auction to raise money to host a Christmas dinner for the homeless and less fortunate.  The Student Leadership Team gets involved and it is a great event.  It is also a great way to get your Christmas shopping done as it is held each year just before Christmas.  Last year, I had an idea to donate a doll bed with the appropriate bedding.  I convinced Husband to make the doll bed and I provided the bedding.  So much fun!  The doll bed and bedding raised $80 at last year's sale.  I was delighted!  I managed to get Husband to make another one so we could donate a second one.  He is just so clever!

Here it is!  Cute as can be.  The quilt is is mostly Moda's Amelia with some dots for fun and I backed the wee quilt with a Kaffe Fasset print and bound with a scrappy binding.  Only the best for dolly for sure!  I also made a little mattress pad with multiple layers of batting scraps tucked between some flannel with little pink ballerina princesses. The little quilt measures 16" x 18" and is put together with 3.5" squares. I love it!!!!!

I am going to link this up with Megan's Sew Modern Monday and tomorrow with Fabric Story Tuesday at Quilt Story!  Check out all the other lovely finishes too!

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge CreationsFresh Poppy Design

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Having fun in the country...

Hamel's Fabrics

Yesterday, I convinced Husband that driving further out in the Fraser Valley to take part in the "Greendale Country Sampler" would be fun.  He was firmly convinced that the only reason I was interested in this excursion was because it would all start with a quilt shop.  Hmmmm.  He is getting much wiser in his old age!  Well, I knew that the quilt shop would be AWESOME but I thought we would have fun with some of the other farm attractions on the self guided tour.  Just before 10 am, we pulled into the fabulous Hamel's Fabrics.   Hamel's is a wonderful quilt store in the country and one of Canada's biggest online quilt shops, just so you know!  The store is located in a carriage house beside their home in the middle of farms.  It is lovely and yesterday, they did not disappoint.  There were quilts hanging from porches and fences and sales, sales, sales!  Have a look...

look a the points in the border!!!!!!

real live cows in the field behind the quilt in the distance....

Fabulous applique!  Husband was sitting in the van admiring the quilts from a distance.  He was convinced these quilts were painted.  I was able to convince him to get out of the van to look.  He was sure he would have to hand in his "man card" because he actually got out of the car at a quilt shop.  Funny guy!

So what else did we see?  Right next store to Hamel's, we visited Smits and Co.W. Cheese (amazing Gouda!  Nevermind the ice cream, popcorn, coffee and cheese fondue they were serving up for the festivities!) then drive to Anita's Organic Grain Milling,  a honey farm  (we picked Blueberry honey as our favourite and brought some home, tee hee!), an organic herb farm, and a pottery.  It was a lot of fun!  Notice how the only pictures I took are of the quilt store!

I should mention that Hamel's has a truly great selection of all sorts of wonderful quilting fabric. The have great solids and they are reasonable. Moda Basics are only $7.95 a metre.  I picked up a half metre cut of Henna Garden in Turquoise for $2!!!!  Ya, crazy!

Have a super day.  I am back to work tomorrow!  Holidays are almost over... sigh!