You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2010.

Some of these blocks have been in the works for quite some time. Everyone posted photos of their original blocks on the Flickr group page. From there, we have had some basis to start our musings on fabrics and patterns.

Caroll’s starter block had fun & whimsy written all over it from the get go. Who can be sad when looking at those cute sunshines in the Twisted Sister pinwheel pattern?

Some of my travels this summer and fall took me to fabric & quilt shops way out of my normal home range. That is how I found the great grass fabric I used in the farm block and this adorable Ladybug print. When I saw the Ladies, I knew I had to work them into Caroll’s block. I bought enough to catch each one of the different lines of ladybugs on parade. I have turned that into a block I am going to call Ladybug’s Picnic. It is a variation in the Square Dance block.

Her other block is made from one of my favorite pieces of fabric from the late 80’s or very early 90’s. I have every intention of making a Raggedy Anne dress with the rest, complete with the snowy white pinafore and bloomers. I have no idea why I like the blue stripes with the cutsie little heart flowers so much, but I do. I mixed it with a soft blue marble, and white with a mint green pinstripe. Soft and sweet. It is a variation of a variation on a Sister’s Choice block.

Her quilt is going to be very cute when it is all finished.

This is a bit of a jump backwards in the numbers, but the quilt just arrived way out of order. It still has a long way to go before it arrives back home to Katy in the UK, so I slipped it in before the other two I had here which are really close to being done.

This block is similar to her starter block. She sent us a link to a tutorial for some cottages at Freda’s Hive. They are really cute, and really simple to make. The hardest part is choosing your fabrics.

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This block is the same size as the cottage blocks but is obviously a bit different. I thought she needed a farm in her little community. I started working on the design as soon as I saw her original block. I had some time without a steady stream of ATWQB blocks and would work on it then. The goats are representatives of the ones we raise here. The chicken weather vane is a nod to my husband’s small flock of hens.

These will be off in the mail on Monday. I have Caroll’s quilt out and am planning the fabrics for her blocks now.

Apparently I typed in the _ instead of the – for the links to the information on these little beauties.

They should be working now. The original inspiration for this came from Cora Belle of Minter Bay Farm and was fabulously made by Lisa of Pink Porches. You can read more about this in the previous post.

Sorry for the grammar, but we did!

First came the box from Lady Belle. She is SummerSadie’s mom and I have gotten to know her through our Around the World Quilting Bee Swap. I sent her a little package at Christmas, but it took months for the Post Office to deliver it. As a thank you and a Birthday present for the little Miss she sent this.

Now, normally I think Sock Monkeys are creepy. It is something about the big red mouth and the little beady eyes. Lady Belle’s sock monkeys have completely changed my mind about how cute they can be. If you want a look at her other fabulous creations you can check them out here. She has even won some fine ribbons at the fair for them. Our little Miss has become quite attached to this one.

A few weeks ago I went to help a friend with some of her goats. There are some tasks that just require two people and this was one of them. I viewed this as a great opportunity to get out of the house for a while and talk with someone who I was not related to and was over the age of 5. Miss Wendy thought that it was chore. So, today in the mail I received this little lovely as a “Thank you”.

It is a pin cushion, a Toggenburg goat pin cushion to be exact! The little apple & rose are actually pin heads. It is currently being put through it’s paces by the pre-schooler. (Yes, I did take out the two pins.) She is a bit dismayed that it doesn’t have legs, so I suppose it will be allowed to live in the sewing space before much longer. Trying to find cute goat things can be a challenge. If you want to see the original inspiration for the pin cushions check out Life Beyond the Sidewalks. She has some beautiful photography there as well as some very cute goats. For more information on the pin cushions you will need to go to Pink Porches.

Thank you all! Your little thoughtfulnesses are wonderful!

Sunday I finished the remodel of our garden. It had been the chaos theory of gardening before. Things were planted here and there with no real plans. This caused the strawberries to mosey over and mingle with the onions. Tomato plants sprouted wherever last year’s seeds had dribbled out of the last rotting tomatoes when we cleaned out the stalks the previous fall. The pumpkins, squash, & zucchini meandered about at will. Not so good for management.

(Before)

Our youngest is now 4 and she wants to help with everything. Trying to get her to understand that things are planted in the dirt has been a challenge. She looks at the lovely raked dirt and thinks it would look so much better with boot prints all through it. It is much easier now to keep her to the pathways. The beds are no more than 4 feet wide. This means I can reach the center from either side for harvesting and weeding. The strawberries even have their very own bed. Whoo hoo!

(After)

It isn’t quite time to set out the plants as we have had some slushy snow and a good frost, the garden is in fine shape for spring to arrive. This week I will begin some of the more cold hardy plants in their peat pellets here in the windowsill. Now to choose which ones….

These blocks are for Paloma of Three Kitchen Fairies. She started off her quilt with some spools. When I saw them I began to search for the right fabrics for her block.

I wanted to make wooden spools with a striped center piece to mimic thread. I found the “wood” fabric last summer in the Christmas clearance at Fabric.com. Finding the “thread” was harder. I wanted 4 pieces that went well together. I finally found 3 in the St.Jude’s Children’s Hospital collection. I was sure there had been a fourth, but could not find it. I have been looking since last August for another fabric that would work with this grouping. It was not going to happen. Then I thought that we all run out of thread eventually, so I put in an empty spool. I bought the safety pin print for another block that I haven’t gotten yet. I think it was very fitting for the border that needed to go on this block to make it the final size.

Her second block was inspired by the other stars and pinwheels that are in her quilt. When I read the size on the block pattern they indicated that it was a 6 inch block. My problem was that they only showed a quarter of the block for assembly purposes. I was a bit tired and extrapolated that when I put all 4 pieces together it would give me a 12 inch block.   No.   The complete block was 6 inches. So, I made 3 more and this is the end product. All of the swirls in the prints remind me of a pinwheel in a March wind. I hope she likes it.

This breeding season I tried to use mostly Artificial Insemination to breed the goats. I have had some really good results in the past with AI. My timing must have been off this season, as I didn’t get too many conceptions. This little guy is on loan to us from a friend, and he is pretty darned accurate. Smelly, but effective.

The smell is one of the major reasons people don’t keep bucks as pets. Bucks are the ones that gave goats the reputation for being stinky. The milkers don’t smell unless they have just come from a love connection in the buck pen.

This guy is a Nigerian Dwarf and is significantly shorter than the standard sized goats we have here. This will make for some cute and easy to deliver kids. Our first baby goats are due to arrive in April. This is a little later than the average herd, but I wanted time to have the milking space done. This will also allow us to have milk later into the season.

I know this is going to irritate the folks who are still being buried under snow, but I went out to the garden and dug up the strawberry plants.

We have a fairly small garden spot and we are only growing things that we will eat. My family doesn’t do many veggies no matter how I try to disguise them. Berries on the other hand are always popular. We originally put in about 8 plants. Over the course of the last few years they have multiplied all on their own. We grow our own compost and we work it in to the garden on a regular basis. The soil in the berry patch hasn’t been amended since we put the plants in.

(I got this far & decided on a re-design.)

After digging up the strawberries for separating I am realizing that the layout of garden is not condusive to easy weeding and harvesting. The one main bed was farther across than I could reach from either side. With the young one wanting to get out and help us, I am going to need much more defined pathways to keep her little feet from stomping through the beds. Since our other major crop around here is rocks, I think I can find some pathway material fairly easily.

(I found the huge granite rock when I was digging the new home for the rosemary roots!)

I have also realized that some of the perennial herb plants are not in the best location now that they have matured. I need to move them to free up space in the garden for other things. I know that I am probably pushing my luck working in the yard and garden this early, but it is dry right now so I am going to risk it. Worst case, I have to replant the strawberries and get a new rosemary bush. Not the end of the world, just an opportunity for new varieties!

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