You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2009.

Kim at bittybitsandpieces is having a giveaway of one of these super cute bags that she designed. Go check them out. They are so cute I may even break the “no more bags!” vow I have taken. Even if you don’t win one of these, the pattern looks so easy that making them can’t be too hard! Check out the pattern at the Moda Bake Shop site.

I have signed up for two separate groups for the Halloween Spooktacular Swap with Jane at Jane’s Fabrics. So I needed to make two sets of 9-patches. I had the bright idea of using some fabric I purchased at the end of last season. It is cute with the Mickey & Minnie Mouse figures. I had a problem with just slicing the fabric into 4.5″ and going with it. There would have been bits and pieces of the mice and that just wouldn’t do. So I decided to fussy cut each of them, and it was a better idea. More work, but a better idea.

This is how that batch turned out.

Mickey Mouse 9-patch

I found this “candy” fabric at a local quilt shop and tried to match it with several other colors. I settled on this orange with a swirled pattern as a simple complement to the pattern, and this is how that batch turned out.

Orange & Candy

I haven’t decided which group gets which. If you have a preference let me know. I’ll make the decision when I get ready to send them off.

Snowed Bug

I like summer as long as it doesn’t get too hot. The 70’s are a great temperature as far as I am concerned. I’ll even go to the mid 80’s before I complain too much. I was looking for a photo from this winter for something and I found these. How easy it is to forget how miserable it was when we couldn’t get out of our drive way. We had already dug the VW out of the snow once before this photo was taken.

Back gate/pasture

This is the back yard and pasture. You can see where we had been digging a path down to the lower pasture to haul water. The power cord went down that far, so we had a tank heater to keep it from freezing, but the water line had frozen solid. We had to schlep buckets of water to keep it filled. It was beautiful though.

Flying heavy

This little guy kept reminding us that summer was coming with the sun and heat, and that I shouldn’t complain too loud about the snow.

Just seeing these makes me feel just a bit cooler, well, that and the fan….

I hope to get some good pics of my Halloween 9-patch blocks for you tomorrow morning when the light is good.

Rain tree

I like the rain. It keeps the area here green and lush. We haven’t had a good rain in about a month. That is over today. I woke up to thunder, lightening, and the sound of sprinkles on the sky light in the bathroom. I scooted out to get chores done, and it was a good thing. We are having a great soaking rain storm as I write this. It may take a bit before the rain will penetrate the dirt, but everything around here will be well watered by the time it is over.
Rain rose

Jar quilt

I went in to my son’s room and amidst the laundry and debris left from the whirlwind that was Cody before his departure for a month-long trip to Yellowstone with his grandparents; I found the quilt I made for him about 8 years ago. It was in need of a trip through the wash machine, but otherwise still in good shape considering the life it has lived. I don’t know how many fort roofs or capes it has been, but I know that it still does the job of keeping him cozy.

I made it to fit a twin-sized bunkbed, which is why it it long and narrow. I had fun collecting the different fabrics of things that boys might put in jars. Bugs, fish, and rogs

The sashing is probably a bit wider than it should be and I can’t remember why I made it that way other than I may have run out of the jar fabrics and wanted to get this done before Christmas.

Fave frog fabric

This frog fabric is my favorite. Apparently it was a favorite of a lot of people, as I have never seen it since I bought it. The fish fabric in the quilt was purchased at the same time and I think it is by the same company. If anybody knows of anyone who has some of these goofy frogs and doesn’t want/need it. Drop me a line. I am sure I can find a bunch of projects for it!  I would be willing to do some sort of a swap for it.

backing & binding

This and a quilt for my mother-in-law were some of my very first finished quilts. I am happy to see that this one is holding up well. (The block and border aren’t really that wonky, I just tucked it under to get the backing and the binding in the shot.) The binding and the backing are a marble with a sparkle to it. The glitter stuff hasn’t completely washed or worn off after all of this time. I am not sure sparkles were a boy thing, but the colors were the best match at the time, and he really didn’t seem to care.

Well, enough of reminiscing. I have more laundry to get to and a few more warm memories work on at the sewing machine.

Double Duty Tote

This is the project that I have been working on since January. I know. It doesn’t look that complicated. It really isn’t if you are making one at a time. I love this tote/diaper bag. I tried the standard rigid sided diaper bags at first. They were bulky and miserable to get in and out of tight spaces. (The VW Bug, under the stroller, elevators, etc.) This bag is totally reversible, and has more storage space than you think. (I can fit 12 Pull-ups, 5 size 6 diapers, a change of 3T clothes in there, plus all of the stuff in the pockets with room to spare). For a diaper bag I usually keep the pockets turned in, but for a tote bag it can go either way. The pockets are deep, and big enough to take a 40 pack of diaper wipes. The bag squishes into tight spaces and is washable if you choose the right fabrics.

The patterns from SewBaby are usually very simple with only a few pieces. They go together well, and have very clear instructions. It takes the turn towards a never ending project when it goes from 1 bag to 23.

Bag Stack

This isn’t all 23, since some of them have already been sent to Summer Sadie as gifts for her and her newest nephew. The top 6 will go on Monday as thank you gifts to my daughter’s speech and hearing therapists. At least one is for home use, and we have several other baby shower gifts in there.

DD bags #1

DD bag #2

I have tweaked this pattern to better suit my needs. I like to make part of it out of denim or heavy corduroy. The pattern says that if you use a cotton fabric that you should use a fusible interfacing to give the fabric more structure. For the large panel that is great, as it is ultimately backed with another piece of material. If you make the pocket out of cotton fabric & use interfacing to stiffen it, the interfacing will shred if you put things in the pocket that have edges. This time I added a coordinated cotton fabric lining to the inside of the pockets to prevent that. Next time, I will eliminate the interfacing from the pocket to reduce the bulk. I have yet to make the diaper pad that goes with it, but it looks simple enough.

This project is now in the “Completed” category for WIPs. Whoo Hoo! On to the kitchen curtains & my set of Spooky Swap blocks!

I wanted to show you the pillow that Summer Sadie made for me. I just haven’t taken the pictures for it. I did that today while I was snapping away at a few other things. They hardly do the beautiful hankie justice, but you will get the idea.

Sadie's pillow

She used a vintage hankie to create this lovely throw pillow. As if the print on the hankie wasn’t enough, she put together a pieced edge strip to give the pillow cover some volume. how wonderful is that with all of those pretty colors?

Pillow edge

This little beauty sits in my “reading” chair for now. When I am finished moving furniture around, I hope that it will sit in my rocking chair. Every time I see it sitting there it is like a smile from a friend that brightens your day.

Thank You again Sadie for such a lovely gift. Your craftmanship is excellent, and I will cherish it.

hay stacked

This is what we spent part of last Saturday doing. (Happy 4th!) It is that time of the year. If we don’t get the hay in now, we will have to pay through the nose for it over the winter, if we can find any. This hay actually comes with papers that certifies that it is 100% organically grown. Nice, the goats are eating healthier food than we are. Although I guess you get out what you put in to it. So now we can actually market 100% organic fertilizer when it comes out the other end. Could it be more than 100% organic since the goats have refined it even further? Interesting concept. I’ll have to talk to the folks in the legal department before we go to marketing with that idea.

The rest of the weekend for me was spent making this,

Hairy Sunny

look like this.

Naked Sunny

As you can see, her pasture mates are making fun of her new hair cut. They didn’t have long to laugh before they were each sporting a new ‘do. A full body clip takes about an hour, and I had six old ladies to do. After some head bashing just to make sure that nobody forgot who was in charge of what, things settled down to the old routine. Now I need to find the will to go after the younger goats for their annual haircuts. The younger ones haven’t had as many experiences with the clippers and they tend to be more jumpy and harder to handle. Nothing like a good wrestling match with a five pound pair of clippers in my hand. I suppose they have to learn to deal with it sooner or later. My guess is that it will be later this year rather than sooner.

July garden

This is what our little garden will look like for this year. The artichokes are surviving. The zucchini, pumpkins, and squash seem to be making good progress. The garlic and onions are getting ready to set flowers. I just hope the master gardener figures out when to pull the plants this year so they don’t all rot. The strawberries have been really tasty when we can keep the crows out of the patch. The herbs are doing better than I had hoped. I didn’t know that parsley was a perennial. I seems to have wintered over quite well. It is taking over the corner. the carrots are not coming along as well as I would like. They are strange carrots in any case. According to the package, they are not intended to be eaten raw. They have a better flavor when cooked. So we will see how well those go over. If we don’t like them, the goats and chickens will get the benefit of them this fall and winter.

The great plans for the garden went by the wayside. We are keeping this one in shape though. In the past the garden was too big for us to keep track of. I think we started out with to many things to grow, and not enough knowledge of how to make them preform well. We didn’t get more than five ears of corn, and we lost pounds of tomatoes to the rain and slugs. The lettuce didn’t do well in the garden proper either. We have made some adjustments and they seem to be working. The front porch lettuce patch makes it real easy to make a quick salad for supper. I guess that is the fun of figuring out how to grow some of our own food. We’ll take notes and tweak the plans for next year.

Disappearing 9-patch #1

This is the fabric that I used for my first set of disappearing nine patch blocks. Reds really aren’t my favorite colors, but I though that this was cute. I may use the idea to make a quick lap or car quilt for another friend. If you use just two colors it seems to take about a yard to make the 5 inch squares. Especially if the fabric is really poorly wrapped around the bolt, and you have a lot of squaring up to do. I think that makes me the most irritated with the fabric companies. The stuff isn’t cheap and then you have to buy almost a quarter of a yard extra just to make sure you have enough to complete your project. Grrr. I have some nice scraps though, wierdly shaped, but nice.

Aunt Pitty Pat had called for a few more people to join so that we would have a total of 40 different blocks. Some of us decided that we could make a second set if enough folks didn’t come forward to join in. So I had been thinking of some fun color combinations that would use up some extra fabric I had left over from an other project. (See above for that reason.) So I came up with these.

Disappearing 9-patch #2

They are very bright and cheerful. I asked and she had enough folks to actually start a second group of “Blockheads” as she calls them. So I sent these in to her as well. Depending on how many people actually send in their blocks we may get more than one of our own blocks back. I am still not sure what I will do with this lap sized quilt. Perhaps a permanent car blankie will be in order. The cheap fleece one that we have in there for emergencies may have to hit the road and be recycled into winter goat coats. That is another project for another day though. I’ll post the pictures of the blocks when they all come in. They aren’t due in until the end of the month, but at least I know that I am not the pig tail on this swap!