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Through some very good friends, I have inherited a fabric treasure trove. These are only part of a larger stash owned by a quilter who has passed on. I was asked to make a quilt for her husband from a portion of the fabrics. Of the two parcels I was able to squeeze in the car on our last visit, one was full of hand-dyed fabrics. I am guessing she dyed them herself and that they were either from a class or an experiment in making her own fabrics. I figured that these self-created pieces would have more meaning for her husband than just some material she bought off the bolt to add to her stash.

I laid out the fabrics looking for some inspiration. Each piece is about a yard long, and they range from earth tone blends to an eye-searing combo of mustard and turquoise. (That piece is going to take a “special” project!) I went for a block pattern that would have large enough pieces to show off the color variations in the fabrics and yet still allow several colors to work together.

Hand-dyed Fabrics - Top Only

This really reminds me of tile work. I hope it will honor his wife in a way he can appreciate.

The other request was that a portion of the fabrics be used for charity quilts. I have a few places that will benefit from the fabrics depending on what I find in the rest of the stash. Apparently I have about 18 more “bundles” to pick up on my next trip. I’m going to have to clean out the sewing room in order to just do the sorting!

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After several years of riding with training wheels it was time for them to come off. In reality they have been barely hanging on the last year. One of them had worked it’s way loose and kind of tagged along for the ride.

Away she goes!

Now we have to get her to remember to steer and use the brakes….

Meet Sweetie, the newest addition to our farm.

Sweetie

She is a Toggpine. In her case her daddy is the Toggenburg and her mommy is the Alpine. She arrived Saturday evening after we had been to Nana & Grandpa’s to celebrate Nana’s birthday.

She’s doing a fine job of being adorable.

We had a problem with yellow jackets last week.

I thought I had gotten them after I got stung. Later we realized they had actually made their nest in one of the bales of alfalfa hay. The farmers use a long spear to pick the bales out of the field and this had created a inviting hole for bees to nest in. Thankfully I didn’t get a face full when I actually picked up the bale and moved it! 

After Em was stung walking by to see the baby goats I called in the big guns. I couldn’t justify dumping a can of wasp spray in to the end of such an expensive bale of hay. Therefore, Daddy brought home two Tyvek paper suits and his full face respirator from work. After a bit of tape to keep the little monsters out of his sleeves he went to work.

Daddy gets the Bees!

He tore apart the end of the bale and found the comb and the queen. This really seemed to irritate the yellow jackets as they ended up stinging three of the goats who were standing at the feeder waiting for the hay to come their way. Poor things had some pretty serious swelling.

This wasn’t enough for the bees. They didn’t seem to know it was best just to leave. They kept lurking about the area around the hay stack and the bottom corner of the feeder. I was afraid they would set up new digs under the hay feeder.

My dear, sweet husband donned his protective gear again and went back down there. This time I think he was having fun. He made a red-neck blow torch out of a can of carburetor cleaner and a lighter. (Yes, in my pretty barn, next to my hay stack.) He’d wait for several of them to gather, flame them, and then the smooshing would ensue. In the mean time, we had fed the parts of the bale of alfalfa that the yellow jackets had nested in.

Our best guess is that between the flames and the digestion of the hay we eliminated the “homing” scent the little hellions were hanging around for. Either that, or they had watched enough of their friends have their wings singed off and be smashed into oblivion to make leaving town sound like a good idea.

I just wanted the world to know how brave my sweet husband was. He HATES bees of any kind. That puts this act of bravery right up there with slaying dragons to save the princess in his book. I love you honey. Thanks for making the barn safe for us to work in again!