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Showing posts from 2021

Gotta Love a Good Pun . . .

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Red and Rover by Brian Basset has become a favorite comic strip of mine.  More of Red and Rover can be found here .

Back in Time - Mom's Geese

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This is a repost from 2014. Spring always brings back memories of the geese Mom raised on the farm.  Nesting Goose approx. 1977 My mother loved her geese, and the numbers grew steadily every year. It was common to see the flock (gaggle) parade around the yard and even across the County road to swim in the irrigation ditch. One year the ditch rider complained about the geese in the ditch, but his complaints fell on deaf ears because the geese kept the algae in the ditch under control. Mom's flock of geese grew to nearly 50 in 1977 Mom's geese got a bit territorial in the spring, and it was wise to give them a wide berth, especially near their nests. The goose and gander took turns sitting on the large eggs, and they both would extend their necks and hiss if someone got too close to the nest. It was common to see the ganders chase the dogs across the yard if they got too close to the flock or to the goslings. I've also seen the geese as well as the ganders chase people who go

Boxed Squares

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Boxed Squares 54 x 60 inches for Prayers and Squares Boxed Squares was made using the scrap 2.5 inch strips from leftover binding, backing trimmings, and scrap lengths of fabric and shown in a previous post . The darker colors in this quilt will make a nice "guy" quilt. So often donation quilts are made from fabrics that appeal more to the ladies. I still have a stack of blocks remaining, so I plan to make a smaller quilt using them.  • The quilt is really not uneven on the top edge. I didn't smooth it out correctly before snapping the photo.  

Still Scrap Busting

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a "gazillion" four-patch blocks April 2021 The smaller pieces (2.5 inch squares) from the scrap bin are now combined into four-patch blocks. I don't have an exact count, but the four inch stack contains at least 130+ four-patch blocks. It seemed to take me forever to sew them and even longer to press.  I know that some people would have turned them into a leader and ender project (sewing them between other project units), but leader and enders just don't work for me. I chain-piece the scraps so I don't have to deal with them here and there.  You might want to know how I'm going to use the four-patches. Honestly, I don't know, but the scraps are easier to contain when they are sewn together. 

Aargh!

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I can begin to tell you how often this happens . . . When I was young, I would "sew" with Mom's machine - following a design drawn on paper - no thread in the bobbin or in the needle.  It was fun to "air sew" then, not so much fun now! I'll admit sometimes a few choice words slip out of my mouth when I realize (after pulling out multiple pins) that I'd been sewing with an empty bobbin. 

Stars of Courage

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Stars of Courage 61 x 72 inches Quilt of Valor #202 Stars of Courage was completed last week. I pulled the fabric for the quilt mid-March and prepared the kit, but I only worked on it during the weekly FaceTime calls with my sister and niece(s). It's nice to have a project to work on during the calls that doesn’t require concentration. Even at that, I managed to flip a few pieces around, requiring using the seam ripper.  The pattern for this quilt is free and can be found here

It's a Mystery

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knit with Perth yarn April 2021 Will the Perth yarn create a matching pair of socks? That is the mystery on my knitting needles. First impressions of the second sock's cuff give the indication the socks will be somewhat similar. Of course, that could change completely as I knit. I love the gradual change of color in this yarn, but that large orange section is still a shock to my eyes. Maybe it won't be as glaring on the second sock.

Orphan Nine-Patch

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Orphan Nine-Patch quilt 51 x 66 inches for Prayers & Squares  A couple of weeks ago, I received a package from Mary R in CO. She sent 21 orphan nine-patches, some scrap fabric, 10 presentation cases for QOV, and some QOV labels.  I used some of my 2.5 inch scraps to make a few more nine-patch blocks. I added sashing and borders and a nice-sized top was created for the local Prayers and Squares group.  Thank you Mary for your donations.

Your Wish is My Command

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If only it was possible . . .

Sew On . . .

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4" high stack of Boxed Square blocks April 2021 Once the 2.5 inch strips were cut and prepped for the Boxed Square blocks, I couldn't stop sewing. It was extremely satisfying to see the stack of blocks grow higher and the stacks of strips grow smaller.  chain-piecing two-patch blocks After the Boxed Squares kits were all sewn, I tackled the stacks of 2.5 inch squares, sewing them into two-patch units that would eventually become four-patch blocks.  Creating blocks from scraps is almost like making a "free" quilt. 

Slashing the Scrap Stash

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bin stuffed with 2.5 inch strips April 2021 When I finish a project, I try to cut the fabric remnants into useable scrap sizes. Typically, I cut: 2.5 inch strips (sometimes binding or backing scraps), 3.5 inch squares, 5 inch squares, 6.5 inch squares, 8.5 inch squares, and 10 inch squares. The two bins that get filled first are usually the 2.5 inch strips and the 5 inch squares.  Last Monday, I noticed the 2.5 inch strip bin was stuffed, so I sorted the strips into piles according to the length. The short strips were cut into 2.5 inch squares for four patch blocks.  scrap strips prepped for making Boxed Square blocks The medium length strips were cut into two lengths (6.5 inch and 2.5 inch) to make Boxed Square blocks. The longer (WOF) strips were sorted by color and left in the bin.  the purged 2.5 inch scrap bin It was great to bring the chaos under control, but my job had only just begun. Now, it was time to sew, and sew I did.

Weekend Visitors

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seven patriotic panels and yardage April 2021 Sue and Bert, good friends from Riverton, came to visit on Thursday and Friday. It was such a treat to give them a big hug, visit not stop, share a meal, and play Mexican Train an entire afternoon. Time flew by and our visit ended much too quickly. They gave me a generous donation of seven patriotic panels and yardage to make more Quilts of Valor. Several of the panels are new designs and two are quite large. It will be fun to turn them into quilts in the coming weeks/months. Thank you Sue and Bert for helping me create QOV to honor seven veterans. I appreciate your generosity and your continuing friendship. 

Sounds Like a Plan

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Kathyb and Dee - don't you dare tell your fireman husbands my plan!   Well, I might do some knitting . . . Feel free to change "knitting" to reading, sewing, quilting, etc.  to make this your plan, too.

Back in Time - Sickle Bar Mower

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cutting alfalfa with a sickle bar mower early 1960s Before my brother purchased a windrow (aka a swather), he and my Dad cut hay with a sickle bar mower behind the John Deere B. The mower cut the alfalfa about four inches from the ground and it fell flat. Before the hay could be baled, it had to be raked. I don't have a photo of a rake, but it is pulled behind the tractor and off to the side over the cut alfalfa. It has long, thin teeth that fluff the cut alfalfa into windrows In the mid 1960s my brother bought a windrower (a piece machine that is a mower and a rake in one). You can see the difference in the appearance of the cut alfalfa from a windrower in this 2013 post .  The sickle bar mower was not put into permanent retirement as it was often used to cut weeds along the ditches in the fields.  No matter if it's cut with an old fashioned sickle bar mower or a fancy windrower, the alfalfa smells wonderful right after it is cut. It's even better smelling that freshly plo

Tail Feathers II

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Tail Feathers II 59 x 70 inches Quilt of Valor #201 Tail Feathers II is finished and due to a cutting error is two inches shorter in both width and length than the pattern states, but it still falls within the QOV size requirements.  Pattern: Tail Feathers by Krystal Stahl - It's Sew Emma

Minnesota Sunshine

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hand-carved sunflower March 2021 I received a surprise package in my mailbox last week: some Minnesota sunshine in the form of a wooden sunflower, carved by FarGuy (Gene H.) , and painted by both FarGuy and FarSide (Connie H.)  Connie and I have been blog friends for several years. Both Connie and Gene are carvers and create over 100 hand-carved Christmas ornaments for their family and friends every year. Sometimes, she will host a contest with one of the ornaments being the prize.  In 2018, I won a contest Connie hosted on her blog, and my prize was a tiny house she had carved. It's a treasure as is this gorgeous sunflower Gene and she created.   Thank you Gene and Connie for this special gift and for your online friendship.

One in Every Crowd . . .

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Tail Feathers II - a beginning

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March 2021 The HSTs mentioned in Monday's post are slowly being prepped for the blocks they will become. I've used the pattern ( Tail Feathers ) once before and liked the finished quilt .   Unfortunately, I made a mistake when I was cutting the white setting triangles; I don't have enough fabric to recut and fix the error, so I'm shrugging off my mistake and forging ahead. This quilt with have a unique "design element."  I'm sure once the blocks are sewn together it will be noticeable to the Quilt Police, but every block will have the "error," so it may not be obvious to non-quilters. 

Perth Yarn - a review

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March 2021 It's been a long time since I knit a pair of socks, so I pulled a ball of the Perth yarn, ordered in January , from my stash. I have never knit with this yarn before, so the socks are somewhat of an experiment.  This sock yarn is more of a fine (light) fingering weight than most of the sock yarn that I have in my stash. The strand is often plied with two colors which creates the gradual color changes. I love the dark rose and gold, but the orange and forest green don't really appeal to me in this ball of yarn. I doubt the socks will be a matching pair, but that doesn't usually matter that much to me.  This color way is Great Barrier Reef #122 The yarn knits well and creates a nice fabric with only a bit of splitting. Since it contains 80% Superwash wool and 20% nylon, the socks should wash and wear well. The price was very reasonable ($13.50) for a 100 gram ball - 437 yards. I hope the yarn does not pill or bloom after washing, as that is the ultimate test of an

Multiple Projects

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ninety half-square triangles trimmed and squared March 2021 The only things I've actually accomplished in the sewing room lately are piles of HSTs - 120 HSTs last week and 90 HSTs this week. The HSTs are for two Quilts of Valor that I'm currently making.  This week's HSTs required making six of each fabric, so I made them two at a time. Last week's project required making multiple HSTs of the same fabrics, so I made eight at a time. I was pleasantly surprised that each method resulted in very little waste and each unit squared accurately without any trouble. 

Don't Forget . . .

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