Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Are you sowing along??

Hi my fellow bloggers,
I wanted to get a head-count to find out how many of you are actually sowing along with me on this project following the Farmer's Wife book. Can you send me a quick comment that you're "in"... I am trying to determine if iI should be doing that linky-thing, which will really tax my abilities! Can you let me know by this weekend, please?


On another front, I told you I went to the local guild's show this past weekend and that I WON something!  This is it! It's a basket they called "vintage linens". It has a lot of crocheted lace things, as well as other goodies. I did, however, keep hoping I'd get the call that I won the raffle quilt, though!! Can't complain, really.






I also found the most amazing vendor, selling all kinds of little vintage trinkets.  Here is the little booth. The woman with the PINK hair was the one who made all the items. Quite a talented lady... she has a blog: gypsythreads.wordpress.com



I found some wonderful goodies. I think my favorite is the "salt peter", or pin cushion. The scissors are pretty cute; can you make out the tiniest little tea pot pin cushion? Precious.




Speaking of precious, I am picking up my darling grandson tomorrow and I can't wait!!! His other grandparents are coming into town this weekend and, since I don't share very well, we are staying away and letting them have some time with the sweet boy.  So I have to get my Ryan-fix!!  At least until next week~! I know, I'm spoiled by all the time I get to be with him. I'm now "my nana"!!! Warms my heart like nothing else!!


Have a great Thursday.
Love to you all,
Randy

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Just Take 2, moving along

I am still going to show you the wonderful goodies I acquired at the quilt show yesterday, but before then, I wanted to show you my red/white blocks from the Just Take 2 quilt-a-long. I am challenged and enjoying it immensely. Also making sure to keep up.




And, just to make sure you're paying attention, I'm going to start working on the March 7th installment of our sow-a-long!! Hope you're all keeping up.


Have a great Monday.
Love to you all,
Randy

Quilt show find

I went to the local guild's quilt show yesterday and found many treasures, which I will tell you about later. But those of you in our sow-a-long will enjoy this masterpiece I found on display! Are you motivated yet??

Friday, February 24, 2012

And the winner is....

WOW!!! How nice to have so many people willing to take some fabric off my hands!!!  I had dozens of names - put all of them into a tupperware container (!) and picked out:


DIANE KNOT!!!


Please send me your snail mail address so I can send the package to you... Thanks to everyone for entering!!


Spent Wednesday night/Thursday morning with Ryan, and we of course went to our favorite breakfast place.  His meal?  Aside from the yogurt I brought along, a couple of the basic B food groups:  BACON and BANANAS!!!




How's everyone doing on their Sow-A-Long blocks? Hope you are having fun!! Remember, next installment is March 7th!! So you have lots of time to keep up!


Have a great weekend,
Love to you all,
Randy



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Just take 2, Take TWO

I have been participating in the Sentimental Stitches, Just Take 2, red/white quilt-a-long but have to admit that I have been seriously challenged when the blocks require them to be printed out. I have a MacBook Pro and my blocks just didn't print out the right size.  My good friend Lori sent me instructions that she found to try to remedy the situation. (operator error?? Probably).


Anyway, I tried the new methods and they worked.  So I had to remake the blocks.  Hence the title, Just Take 2, Take TWO. Mind you, the first strip of flying geese came out the right size because I pieced them individually. However, I completely forgot that I was using only muslin for the background. The real scrappy me came through and I used fun fabrics instead.  


Here you can see the two different versions; one block was seriously too small, even after I added a "sashing strip" VBG.




Anybody else doing these, along side the farmer's wife sow-a-long???


Have a great Wednesday. I'm off to pick up the darling grandson today. I have him to myself tonight as his parents both have work dinners. YEAH!!! Nana, Nana, Nana, here I come!!!


Love to you all,
Randy

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Motivated to clean and GIVEAWAY

Since my mom has been ill and I'm not optimistic that she'll be back at her home any time soon, I've taken to cleaning up her place.  Is it the elderly who are terrible housekeepers? I mean, EEEW!  Possibly my mom was never a great housecleaner, but her house is in need of some serious cleaning. VBG. And throwing away of stuff she will never need.


It makes me wonder, though, what would someone say about MY house if they came in and found piles and piles of STUFF everywhere?? And I don't think I'm a pack-rat... Well, it has motivated me to get rid of stuff from my house.  Janet O. is doing her farmer's wife quilt in Christmas fabrics and I offered to share (dump!) my Christmas fabrics with her.


So, one half is going to Janet and the other half is up for grabs!! Want yards and yards of Christmas/winter fabrics?  Send me your email with a comment and I'll draw a winner on Friday morning.


Here's what they look like:




And I'm just starting to get rid of stuff. I'm vowing to give away SOMETHING every week. Next week? BOOKS!! Stay tuned!!!


Love to you all,
Randy

Monday, February 20, 2012

Blown away!

I have to say that I have been completely overwhelmed by the stories you have all shared regarding care for your elderly parents.  Each one was more poignant than the next.  I can't thank you enough for sharing and opening your hearts with your stories.  I wish everyone the best throughout those very difficult and painful times!


My mom has been released into a nursing home. She's almost completely bed-ridden (this for a woman who swam in a swim meet and hiked miles just before she got sick) and in a lot of pain.  Certainly makes for thought on choices that we want to make for ourselves as we age, I'll tell ya.


So I've done very little sewing. But, of course, we had to spend some time with our darling grandson Ryan. My daughter recently moved into a new house in San Francisco and had to temporarily part with some of the quilts I have given her over the years.  She made a couple of piles in her kitchen of the ones she CAN'T part with and Ryan has made himself very comfortable on them!!




The quilt I made for his birth is the blue/white 9-patch on top!


I hope to be able to share more quilting related stuff this week.
How are your farmer's wife blocks coming along?? You have an extra week until the next installment so lots of time to catch up and/or make a second set!! There are definitely a few over-achievers out there! And you know who you are!! VBG 


Love to you all,
Randy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Caring for our elderly parents

I know this isn't exactly quilt related but I wanted to start a discussion with you, my friends, about the issues we will face caring for our elderly parents. I know so many people whose parents are in their 80s and 90s and the care ultimately falls on our shoulders.  It's such a daunting task to have to bear, although for some, they may cherish the opportunity to give back.
I think for many, though, there are very mixed emotions.  Our parents weren't always there for us, or they weren't the kind of parents we would've liked, or they have taken more than they have given. Believe me, I'm there.
But there really is no way around it. These shoulders have been strengthened over the years probably in anticipation of being ready when the time came to be there for our aging parents.


I think the other thing that weighs in on all this is the state of medical care.  I think doctors are programmed to do everything, at all times, to save the patient, regardless of whether it's really in their best interest in the long run.  I don't think my mom would've wanted to be bedridden, as she is now, or so dependent on others for her care.  I personally know that i wouldn't.


At the very least, this has caused Mark and I to discuss the issue between ourselves and actually has motivated us to fill out the health directive forms now, when we're healthy.


I'm curious to hear if others have been experiencing similar issues --- it's a real problem today and something that's such an exhausting and overwhelming task. It'd be nice to hear other people stories.!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

IF it's the second Wednesday in February, it must be Sow-A-Long day!!

Good morning my fellow Sowers!!!!
Today is the second Wednesday of February so we are going to start on the SECOND set of Farmer's Wife blocks, part of our Sow-A-Long.  I hope that no one has fallen behind yet...vbg!!   These next three blocks are quick and easy.  I'm anxious to see some pictures. Only Janet O (roguequilter) has sent me pictures---she's using old men's shirts, which I love. Remember they finish at 6", 6-1/2" unf.

BLOCK FOUR (AUTUMN TINTS, BLOCK 2) P. 129

BACKGROUND FABRIC: CUT (4) 2" SQUARES
MED. FABRIC:                    CUT (2) 2" SQUARES
DARK FABRIC:                  CUT (2) 2" SQUARES
MED. FABRIC:                   CUT (2) 3-1/2" SQUARES

I made two of them:


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BLOCK FIVE: (BOX, BLOCK 9) p. 80, 136

BACKGROUND FABRIC:  cut (4) 3" squares
MED DARK FABRIC:         cut (4) 3" squares
                                               cut (1) 2-1/2" square

This block consists of 8 half square triangles.  You can piece them in any number of different ways. I've given directions for the easiest: place one dark/one light fabric right sides together. Draw a diagonal line and sew 1/4" on both sides of diagonal. Cut apart and square up to 2-1/2" unf.
You can also use the easy angle ruler: cut strips 2-1/2" wide, place right sides together and line up ruler at 2" f. line and cut apart and sew.
Or you can use triangle paper. Finished size of each hst is 2"!!


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

BLOCK SIX:  (Calico puzzle, block 16) p. 118, 143

Light fabric: cut (2) 3" squares
Med. fabric; cut (2) 3" squares
                    cut (1) 2-1/2" square
dark fabric:  cut (4) 2-1/2" squares

This block has 4 half square triangles, which finish at 2".  You can make them using any of your favorite methods as mentioned above.


Hope you have fun. Email if you have any questions...

Thanks for all the cards and letter about my mom. She is doing a little better. She's supposed to be moved to a skilled nursing facility today so I guess that mean's she's out of danger. She still has a long recovery ahead but she's a very strong woman and was very active, so I'm optimistic.

And lest you think I've not seen my darling grandson, think again. He's the highlight of my week! I'm going to pick him up today, but this is from last weekend when my husband was giving him spice drops, cut precisely in half!!  What a doll!


Hope everyone has a great week. Thanks for blogging along with me and for sharing your comments. I love it!!!
Next installment:  March 7 (Wednesday), then March 21 (third Wednesday).


Sunday, February 12, 2012

On the road to recovery, maybe

Thanks to all of you for your very kind words regarding my mother. She seems to be a little better this weekend so I'm cautiously optimistic that she'll make it through this very difficult time.


On a more fun note, I've had time to work on my Farmer's Wife blocks and our sow-a-long and am just about ready for the Wednesday release of the second set of blocks. ARE YOU READY??? Did you finish the first 3?  These next 3 are going to be great!!!


I'm also working on my Take 2 Red/White blocks, but realized I was supposed to do them with the same muslin background. OOPS. I scrapped it up. Anybody else doing them? Having fun? Mine didn't print out the right size so I'm struggling to resize them without EQ...UGH.


Have a great Monday!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Daughterly duties

I have been quiet this week, in case you haven't noticed. My mom has been in the hospital for the past week and I've spent every day going back and forth, tending to her needs, talking to doctors etc. No sewing for me.


I promise, though, that I will be sewing any day and the second set of Farmer's Wife blocks is coming out on Wednesday. Hope you got your first set of 3 all done!!


Have a great weekend.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A hike through the redwoods

I live very near a couple of Redwood Parks which never fail to awe and inspire me. Yesterday morning I went hiking with a friend early into a redwood park and was dazzled by the enormity and grandeur of these trees! Aren't they incredibly majestic?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

If it's February 1st, it must be SOW-A-LONG day!

Well, the day has arrived! We are starting our Farmer's Wife Sow-A-Long! YEAH! I hope you are all ready, excited and prepared to start.  
First a couple of guidelines: 
I will be posting the instructions/blocks on the FIRST and THIRD Wednesday of the month.  Sharing of your blocks' progress can be done once I figure out HOW the heck to do that!
Next: I am going to be posting cutting instructions. It's not going to be the only way to do it. You may have your own favored methods. Go for it. No one particular way is right.  Do what works for you!!! That's my motto!!


Remember the blocks finish at 6" (6.5" unf).  I will indicate finished/unfinished sizes of the sections.  So, check your 1/4" seams regularly!!!I always sew my blocks larger than needed, so I can cut them down to size. To me, that's easier than trying to make them bigger! :-) I also am pretty religious about sizing up my sections and blocks as I go along. That's another thing that's entirely up to you.
We are doing 6 blocks a month. I will be indicating the numbers of the blocks which correspond to the book's numbers, not our numerical order. On page 127, there is a diagram of the quilt laid out with all the blocks. You can copy that and cross off the ones we've done, if you want. Of course you can lay them out as you wish! Note that I am doing 2 different colorways for each block, just to give you an idea of how they can look with different fabrics. 
I also am suggesting you CHANGE your NEEDLE to start.  I just read an email suggesting the TOPSTITCH needle is the best, and I fortunately had one...let me tell you, those babies have the BIGGEST EYES ever!! Wind a new bobbin, so it's ready (not that these blocks use a lot of thread...VBG). Clean out the lint and give your machine a little oil! 
This is going to be FUN! Don't stress; don't get nervous or worried! Go at your own pace. Do what you can.


BLOCK 4 (page 131) Basket Weave




Cut light, medium and dark strips 1-1/2" x 16; Sew together in sets of 3; subcut each set 3-1/2 x 3-1/2" (unf.) Sew together as indicated.




BLOCK 21 (page 148) CONTRARY WIFE






Cut (5) 2-1/2" background squares .  Make 4 half square triangles (med/dark) which are 2-1/2" unf, using whatever method you prefer. I use the easy angle ruler, cutting my strips at 2-1/2. You can also cut 2 squares 3", mark the diagonal, sew on both sides and trim to 2-1/2". Sew sections together as indicated.




BLOCK 6 (page 133) BIG DIPPER.






Light fabric: cut (2) 4-1/2 squares, cut diagonally twice
Med fabric: cut (2) 4-1/2 squares, cut diagonally twice.
Sew together consistently on the same side so you have mirror images. Each quarter square triangle will measure 3-1/2" unf.


THAT'S IT!!! It was easy, right?? Won't take any time...You'll love it.
I would love to see your progress on your blocks. I'm trying to figure out the best way to share that. That's a work in progress.


Next installment: Wednesday Feb. 15