Saturday, December 19, 2015

feeling better, but not making much progress!

I was procrastinating on the X setting squares of the RSC15 sampler. all the stars, with crumb block centers have been done for a while now, but it was those X squares that were holding me back. (note to self: procrastination never gets you anywhere...)

I laid out all my star blocks on the sewing room floor, and started tediously diligently making each X block- knowing full well that I'd be very pleased and thrilled with how the sampler turned out. all the ones that I've seen on the Saturday linkys are great- so I plugged along. (and promptly made a mistake on the first X. can you see it?)

I made more progress than what is shown here; forgot to take a picture. after getting a good start on the second row, I somehow managed to come down with mono, which halted all sewing for 2+ weeks. ( I really was sick- not even a stich of sewing for nearly 2 weeks!) when I went back to my routine and habit of evening sewing, that's how my family knew that I was truly better! 

I've been participating in RSC for 3 years now (and looking forward to the 4th year!) and my suitcase of squares is not getting any emptier! Millie looks so cute in there, all snuggled up, but a comfy cat makes for messy piles of squares!

RSC16 is ready to start, and we're thinking of next year, too! the new little laying hens came on Wednesday- all 60 of them in a box- just like chicken nuggets! we get our new hens (Red Prods) so early since we need them to be laying in time for our first CSA boxes on June 2. we also sell a flock share, along with the veggie/farm share, so our hens need to be ready to go much earlier than most.
I'm looking forward to starting again with RSC16, and have a few blocks in mind that I plan on doing. however, I will say that a certain blogger that I know quite well may have bit off more than she can chew as far as RSC15 is/was concerned. not counting the RSC15 sampler, I may (or may not) have 6 more RSC15 quilts/blocks in the queue! (and that's NOT including the 3 quilts- crumb and 9 patch that I've already completed!)  ack! talk about overwhelming! add to that the fact that each one of them needs to be laid out/twiddled with on the design wall, and there is not much relaxing sewing in my foreseeable future!
so for RSC16, I definitely plan on finishing all of those RSC15 quilts that I started- just at a more relaxed pace- I know I can't do 6 flimsies in a month! and I've pared down my list of blocks that i'll be doing each month for RSC16.  3 years of RSCing has thought me that it's not possible to use. all. the. fabrics. when I started RSC, I thought about having so much fabric, and I was wanting to use it. not use it up, per se, but really work through that stash. but after more thought, and even more sewing, I'm looking at my fabrics as more of a resource... just like the food in my freezers, or the canning jars all lined up on shelves in the cellar. I don't hurry up to eat all the food to empty my shelves and freezer- so it's the same for the fabrics.
I'm putting my fabrics to good use- I know what I have, and I enjoy piecing for myself, my family and my favorite charities. and this year, i'll be thinking of RSC more as a marathon than a sprint.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

oh, woe is me...

it's been quiet here (did anybody notice? if not, that's ok...) I'm heading into Day #15 of being sick. with mono. not fun, that's for sure. I sewed a tiny little bit on my RSC15 Rainbow sampler on November 30, and then it's been all downhill from there.
kind of reminds me of a saying on my Charlie Brown pillowcase from when I was a little girl: CB was laying in bed with a TV propped on his stomach and he was saying "happiness is being too sick to go to school, but not too sick to watch TV."
well, according to that, things have not been happy here. I haven't stepped foot into my sewing room in almost 2 weeks! I've been mostly hanging out in the sofa, with a few intervals of absolutely necessary errands/chores/obligations sprinkled in here and there...
and here's another big bummer: clue #3 is out for Bonnie's mystery, and I can't even wonder around bloggy land, or I'll give away the secret for myself! I saw clue #2 (I looked at it, hoping to convince myself that I really was well enough to sew.) nope. didn't happen. I never did do the picture of my fabrics- pretty standard, though, Kona grey and my only substitution is salmon pink for her red/burgundy. I'm excited to see how they'll all play together.
so, the moral of the story is: I think I might be on the upswing (the blogger says hopefully, with great confidence) and ready to
#1: cook my family a real dinner
#2: finish decorating the house
#3: catch up on BH mystery quilt
#4: finish a couple of my RSC15 quilts
#5: spend time with my two sweet little girls, who have been so helpful and kind while I've been under the weather.
thanks for stopping by! I hope to be back soon, with progress to report, and pictures!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

is it ok if i come out and play along today?

 officially speaking, I didn't do any RSC sewing this week, but I was busy with other stuff. (Tuesday we butchered all 25 of our turkeys- they weighed from 17lb. all the way up to 30lb. +. our bird for Thanksgiving dinner was 27lb.- plenty for 6 people!)

my friend asked me to make her a baby quilt for her newest great-granddaughter. I've had this jelly roll for a while- and it's sort of rainbow-y, too! (pattern here)

my DWR quilt is done! I'm happy with how it turned out, and it was definitely not as hard (or twiddly!) as I thought it would be. ( I will iron it soon, I promise!)

it's about a double size, and I plan to bind it in the gold solid. for now the plan for this quilt is to go to one of the MCC auctions, unless one of my children falls in love and claims it...

more gorgeous quilts here!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

in which the quilter acutally finishes a quilt or two...

I would not be surprised if any of you were beginning to wonder if I ever actually finished a quilt, but were just too polite to mention it... well: this is the week!

I gathered all my crumb blocks together, and was surprised at how many I had! ( I think there were 121 total, in all the colors of the rainbow!) i had a rough idea where i was planning on going with this quilt, and after some final inspiration and direction from Julie's quilt, i was ready to go.

with the sashing, this flimsy turned out a bit bigger than i had thought it would, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. (it's about 66X88, if i remember correctly) it's already at the home of my quilter friend, Karen, and i expect it back sometime after Christmas.

this Christmas quilt is all done- quilted, bound and fresh and crinkly out of the dryer! it's about 60" square, and used tons and tons of my 3" squares. (but not enough to actually put a dent in that suitcase of squares!) I love how this quilt is just so hodge-podge- fabrics from 5, probably 6 decades, and all sorts of fabrics: vintage, Christmas, not Christmas, stripes, polka dots, text, geometric, metallic, solids, novelty, civil war, florals... so many fabrics to look at!

I've promised A that we'll put this quilt out next Thursday- after our Thanksgiving dinner!
click over to angela's to see what everyone else is working on!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Putting all those blocks to good use. Finally.

just like last week when I showed you all my completed 16 patches it's quite surprising how many 9 patches I have, too! enough to do 2 (TWO!) quilts, with more than a dozen blocks left over!

here's my first quilt from my 9 patch blocks. this one I plan to keep. what will I do with it, and where will I put it? I've no idea! (and don't worry: I took off all the row label stickers, AND fixed the green block)

now I'm auditioning borders. tell me what you think.

without borders, this quilt is about 75". in the picture above, I pinned up the Kona white to the design board, and *sort of* laid out a border. I was planning on doing a 2½" (finished) border, with scrappy squares all around, and then another 2½" (finished) border.
although, now that I look at it, I'm wondering if I should not just continue the colors out into the border, completing the patterns, so to speak.
tell me what you think...

here's the second quilt from my 9 patches. I'm absurdly thrilled and pleased with this one. not sure why, but I think it's really cool! the idea for the layout came from Cyndy, and is loosely (?) based on her offset log cabin layout. I figured if you could do it with log cabins, why not 9 patches? this will be a charity quilt, and the backing is red fabric with knots.

and just in case you're not firmly convinced that I'm truly the Captain of the Crazy Train, here's another Christmas quilt that's almost done. all scrappy 4 patches- a huge conglomeration of reds, greens, yellows and white. (and honest- this isn't a new project- I sketched it out in my journal way back in January! honest...)
also: in the spirit of full disclosure, I would like to point out that it was not on purpose that I forgot to tell you that this week we *might have* bought a spinning wheel, and are earnestly beginning the project of carding and spinning Helga's wool. (our Icelandic sheep) ahem.
I still (and always will) consider myself a quilter first, and farmer second, but both my little girls A and B have been wanting to learn how to spin. so: here we go! I've learned the rudimentary basics right along with them, and this will be a long term, on going project. in the meantime they, and our mouser cat Millie, are thrilled with our new "knitting nook"

Thursday, November 05, 2015

11 months, 189 16 patches and 3024 3" blocks later...

they say slow and steady wins the race, and if my stack of completed 16 patches is anything to go by, they're sure right!
I don't have anymore greens to piece into the 16s; I used all my greens already... (forget what month that was, it seems ages ago!) the background fabrics are all creams/tans/beige- no whites. each of the background fabrics repeat several (many?) times, but the colored blocks are all different.

so: out of the 189 blocks, there are 189 different fabrics. and each of those fabrics I chose because they were my favorite.
how is this possible? what's the matter with me?! can I really have 189 favorite and/or meaningful unique scraps of fabric?

the answer is yes, it seems. there are dresses, many other quilts, shirts, purses, aprons, bonnets, fabrics from friends, on and on it goes ~ it's all in here, and represented in this one conglomeration of a quilt. for me, even though it may seem just a tad ridiculous, it adds another depth of meaning and sentimentality to my quilt.
I plan to piece this pile of 16 patches into 2 quilts- I'm debating what the ultimate use of them will be. it's a toss up between a quilt for my table at farmer's market (using all the animal/veggie/country fabrics) and a table cloth to be used on our table at special family meals and holidays. or, I might do matching quilts for the (twin) guest room beds.
click over to angela's to see all the other RSC15 projects as we finish up another great  year.

Friday, October 30, 2015

it's hip to be square!

in-between my other sewing, I've still been working on my 16 patches, and they're slowly coming along. I still have lots of the blacks and greys to do (I used those 2 colors in place of the indigo)

there is something so endearing and addictive about these humble and simple little blocks- they are certainly one of my favorites!

with so many different fabrics and backgrounds to choose from, I could never decide which one is my favorite block of them all... and it's good that I don't' have to choose: I have almost 200 at last count! yikes!

I do plan to make 2 quilts from these 16 patches- one for my table at farmer's market (using all the veggie fabrics) and another for the dining room table for family holiday meals. these 16 patches finish at 10"; just a nice size.
here's a picture of the whole top of the Bethlehem Star that I pieced last week. it's 72" X 80", but it sure looks dwarfed in this picture! scroll down one post to see what else i've been up to while I was absent from the RSC link-ups. and be sure to click on over to angela's to see all the RSC goodness for this week!
PS: did you see that the colors for Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt came out this morning? I'm so excited- the color combinations are FANTASTIC this year! who's planning on quilting along? 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

There's a lot to be said for the humble square!

even though I haven't joined Mr. Linky for a couple weeks, I've still been busy sewing. (very busy!) I just recently finished a Bethlehem Star quilt for a friend. my friend Leona loves to (hand) quilt, but hates to piece. she's been making a quilt for her children and grandchildren for many years now.

Iris is the last grandchild waiting for her quilt- and the wait is nearly over! Iris is 9 or so, and this is the pattern (and colors!) that she chose. it was a bit tricky keeping all those nearly identical reds separate, but everything went just fine. the quilt finished at 72X80- this picture was taken before I put on the borders.

all the colors in the quilt are Kona- some of the colors are blaze, deep red, red, lipstick, pepper and maize. once it's hand quilted, I know it will be even more stunning!
right now I'm taking a class at our LQS for a double wedding ring quilt. I've never made a DWR, and thought it's about time... (I've made some of the other difficult quilt patterns: apple core, Dresden plate and tumbling blocks...)

now that the growing season is over, I definitely have a bit more time for quilting and piecing, and have been squeezing it in around my other chores. I had 2 matching jelly rolls, and a nice neutral for the background, so I was all set.
this particular DWR technique is sewing 5 jelly roll strips together, and then cutting them into the arch piece, using the acrylic templates. I sorted  all my jelly roll trips, and got busy sewing. that was not too hard (or tedious) and I got all enthusiastic and inspired to make another DWR for my husband. I even picked out the fabrics that I thought I might like to use: I lovelovelove that cheddar yellow, and Dave's favorite color is blue. I thought the *tame* blue, and the *vivid* yellow would make a nice quilt that we could both love.
the second class was on Tuesday, and we started sewing the melons onto our arch pieces. still: not so bad, and definitely not too twiddly. I can manage this....(the quilter said confidently to herself....)
THEN: reality strikes in full force! it was time to sew the second arch onto the half-completed melon. ACK!!! that definitely is the definition of twiddly, and I hate working on twiddly things! SO: one circle down, and only 27 more to go! hopefully the third class will give some pointers on getting those arches onto the center pieces nicely- I just did the one, and it's not as nice as I would like...
BUT: I do plan on finishing this quilt- not dumping it into the UFO pile. my quilting friends would call this an exclusive quilt- and I'm definitely thinking the same!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's time: let's get these quilts together!

after sewing and sewing all these squares together, I decided to start sewing some stuff together (even though technically, I'm a month early for that...) I wanted to see some progress, and not just piles of blocks...

these 16 patches are left over from last year- if i remember, i had just stalled on what to do with them.

last week i decided: why not potholders? my old ones were pretty grimy after using them in the summer kitchen when making applesauce, and what better way to use and enjoy my favorite fabrics than in the kitchen?

let's face it: i spend more time in the kitchen than in the sewing room most days, so i can still get my fabric fix! i cut into some of my all time favorite fabrics for the backings- and I'm so glad i did!

another RSC project i worked on this week was my 9 patch blocks.  after sewing and sewing all year long, i was very surprised to count that i had 189+ of the 9 patches! i knew i wanted to do something interesting, and non-traditional in the setting, so after playing around for awhile, i settled on the layout below.

i really like this layout- and there are so many blocks left over! i'll let the little girls lay out another quilt, and we'll give that to my friend for quilting and send it off to one of the MCC auctions.
thanks for stopping by- click on over to angela's to see what everyone else is working on. and if you have a minute, scroll down one more post, and tell me what you think of my red stars Christmas quilt- I'm looking for some input and advice!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Tell me true!

* we went away last weekend: to the beach in Wildwood, NJ. it was a relaxing time, and the weather was even co-operative! the girls were able to play in the water, and build sand castles. (when we went in March, the weather was 37degrees, and bitterly cold and windy. such is the life of a farmer...) I missed the linky, but I'd still love your opinion! *

I'm pretty sure nobody reads my blog except for the Saturday morning link ups with soscrappy for RSC15. (my MIL doesn't even read my blog anymore! how sad is that?!)

... but it's worth a shot anyway...

here is the *tentative* layout for my JustGottaMakeIt Red Christmas Stars. sorry for the crappy kindle picture- definitely not a strong selling point for the kindle...
I really wanted the stars to be off-set and random~ and no 2 stars are alike! the fabrics vary widely- from vegetables, geometrics, flowers and novelty prints. there are a few Christmas prints thrown in just for good measure. while I was laying out the quilt, I also wanted to avoid (as much as possible) lining up the sawtooth star points. except for the middle row, I managed to do that.
as you're looking at this picture, the right hand side of the picture is the top of the quilt, the left is the bottom. the partial star at the top will have prairie points in the binding to complete that star.
one of the things that really has me doubting is the lightest of the backgrounds- seen in the lower left of this picture. there are actually 4 different cream/gold prints, and 3 of them are nearly identical.

SO: tell me what you think: is the layout to weird? is the negative space odd? and I definitely need to replace those too light background rectangles, right?

give it to me straight- I can take it!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Everything is turning Brown!

after butchering all our (150+) meat chickens last week, I thought this week wouild be much less busy. ha! I could not have been more mistaken!
I did a *tiny* bit of canning and freezing this summer, but the huge bulk of my canning seems to have taken place this week: plum jelly- from our own plum tree (10 pints, plus some for gifts), 9 bushels of apples for sauce- (for 3 families) we got about 60 quarts, jalapeno jelly (14 pints, plus some for gifts) and green tomato relish (16 pints).
it was a week of chop, chop, chop. can, can, can. boil, boil, boil. phew! but now I'm almost done- just need to do the sauerkraut and stewed tomatoes.
I did have a chance to sew late Sunday afternoon and evening, and made some good progress:

I'm second guessing all my brown RSC15 blocks (are they too dull?) but am forging ahead anyway...

but: I love the sawtooth stars for the sampler! I'm WAAAAAAAY behind on the connecter blocks: as in have not even started them, but i'll get to them soon. ( I have the Kona white blocks cut; does that count?)

and here's Millie: my furry sewing room companion!

now go see what everybody else is doing with their browns!

Friday, September 18, 2015

just a little bit of a sneak my amazing powers of deduction...

this week I was able to get a couple nights in the sewing room. I decided to work on my zig-zag strips, and got the orange ones done. and since I'm extra perceptive these days (ha!) I decided to go ahead and do the brown ones while I was at it...
and here's another amazing idea of mine from this week: while the girls were working on their school at the school room table, and I was (very) attentively supervising them as they worked on math, science and language arts I also spritzed, pressed and cut the zig-zag squares. normally i'll drink coffee and surf facebook and/or instagram (follow me @ jlcap69), but I realized that I really could (and should) use my time better, and get some stuff done. I'll often have plans to go to the sewing room in the afternoon when my work is done (ha!) or in the evening if I'm not too tired. (ha! again).
so that was a win/win for us all. I have a very little pile of the D4P at the table to work on, and also the red and black zig-zags to get pressed and cut.
next week is super, extra busy with 2 days of butchering the meat birds, sewing circle at church, our last (regular) CSA pickup on Thursday, and a field trip to Genesee Country Village on Friday. then, the last Farmer's Market is on Saturday.
I'm whooped already!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Orange you glad I didn't say banana?

I was hoping for a bit more sewing time this week, but that just didn't happen. but that's ok!

my orange is just about done, i think. (i haven't even been up in the sewing room all week, so I don't quite remember!) I have some other catch ups to do- like the green strips, and some pressing and cutting. I still have some 16 patches to do, and the dreaded D4P...

click on over to angela's to see what everyone else has gotten done this week!

just popping back in to share a couple things.... I have a RSC15 document that I print out every month. (does that mean something is wrong with me?!) I use it to keep track of the multiple RSC projects I'm working on, and it also helps keep me on track, and moving forward. Friday night I spent some time in the sewing room, and I made some more of my 4 patches for the D4P. (red, orange and black (indigo))

a while ago, someone asked me what quilt pattern/book the sunflower quilt in my cover banner was from. here's a photo of the book- I think it was published in 1948. the pattern is pretty sparse- it leaves a lot for the quilter to figure out! I made this quilt with 11 other friends. at the time I belonged to a very active quilt guild, and we had a "birthday club". each month, (usually our birthday month) we chose a block for the other women to make for us. this was my choice, and my only requests were to use scrappy yellows and brown- different for all 3 sunflowers in the blocks. I provided the green fabric for the leaves and stem. (and I actually traced a sunflower leaf for the applique pattern! )
funny how things come around again- I LOVE to grow sunflowers for our CSA families, and for farmer's market! we grow a pollenless variety, and it's always a happy morning when I go down to the gardens to harvest the sunflowers, and they're all smiling at me with their happy little faces! anyway.... the above is a picture of the sunflowers that I harvested one morning last week.
thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

with just a little help from my furry friend...

fall is in the air, and the gardens are winding down, row by row. Dave has already started planting the cover crops, so I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel! which is great- I'm whooped! there are a few moments here and there for sewing-

-and I've been glad to get up in the sewing room for some relaxing time with my furry friend, Millie. funny how cats are around the quilts; those blocks were only on the floor for mere SECONDS and she was on them...

black is my indigo, and I don't have much orange, so I 'm hoping to get caught up pretty soon. I have all my sawtooth stars done, but no connecter blocks. my other RSC15 projects are limping along as well- I hate falling behind, so I've really tried to keep up as best I can.

go look at all the other pretty blocks!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Saturday, July 04, 2015

a new month, a new color...

RED is the color for July over at soscrappy and RSC15. I'm * mostly * caught up with all the colors, and although I have a lot of plans for red, I'll just piece steadily along, and see where I get! (July is a bit of a longer month, too, so maybe that will make a difference?)

I have lots of my red already cut into 3" squares, and the pile that's waiting to be cut is already pressed. I had a few minutes after Farmer's Market yesterday afternoon, so I disappeared upstairs for a couple hours.

this exciting pile of reds and sawtooth stars I started a few months ago. after making a couple sample blocks, I set it aside until Angela called the red month. this project was one of those ideas that popped into my head: ohmygosh,Ican'tevensleepuntilIpullfabricsandmakeacoupleofblocks. you know those kind of ideas/projects, right?

looking at that stack of reds makes me so happy! I think there are 30 different reds, some Christmas fabrics, and some "everyday" favorites. the background is cream, with gold dots. I don't have enough of the one fabric to do the background all the same, but I have 2 other fabrics that are very, very similar. i'll work through this stack, cutting my 3" squares, and a 5½" square for the center of the star, and then i'll be ready to piece a star or two as time allows.
who knows? maybe i'll have it done in time for Christmas!
(keep scrolling down to see ANOTHER project I started with my 3" squares!)
I'm such a crazy lady...

Thursday, July 02, 2015

QAL with Wedding Dress Blue: and all from stash, too!

Deanna (over at Wedding Dress Blue) is one of my favorite bloggers (check out her tutorial tab!) is hosting a QAL. remember how I said I'm a crazy lady? of course I decided to join and quilt along!
I think it started in April, and I had just the colors, and recipient, in mind for my quilt. January, February and March colors for RSC15 were blue, purple and yellow. can you believe that I still had lots (and lots!) of my 3" squares left over?

I decided to make a quilt for our Tuesday morning garden helper, Eileen. we have a small CSA, with 30+ members this year, and one way that we're able to "keep up" with all the work here on the farm is with the faithful help of our work shares. in exchange for a full CSA share, they work each week for 4 hours. we give them enough veggies to eat for the week, plus many extras to can and freeze. it's a win/win situation all around. Eileen has been with us for 3 years now, and we are so grateful for her dedication and hard work. (plus, she's been with us long enough, that when something is lost or misplaced, she knows where to look for it. I'm telling you: she's fabulous!)
anyway- her favorite color is purple, and yellow was an obvious complementary color to add, along with blue. I've used muslin as the background (so 1980's, and what a nightmare!) and it's coming along nicely. after looking at the picture, I realize that it's a bit more yellow than I would like, but I think I can fix that by adding more purple in the borders to tone it down.
it's been a relaxing and easy quilt to work on an evening here or there, and I can't wait 'til it's finished- I think she'll love it!

what a colorful riot of blocks!

we're halfway done with RSC15 (can you believe it?!) and I have quite the pile of blocks. with no further ado:

9 patches (monochromatic) with Kona white and black. 

strippy scraps- not sure what i'll do with these, but I'm sure an idea will strike!

16 patches- possibly my mostest favorite so far! I have 112+ of these guys (and I even got the green, purple and aqua ones ironed!) I'm thinking that I'd like to make 2 quilts out of these- either for the guest room beds, OR one for a tablecloth for family holiday dinners, and the other as a tablecloth for my table at Farmer's Market...

4 patches: I'm not loving this stack, but there are oodles of possibilities.

the dreaded D4P. some are from last year, and a goodly amound from this year. my friend did a D4P with a very simple setting, and it's a great looking quilt. i'll probably end up doing the same.

crumb blocks (6" finished): this is what started all this rainbow goodness for me- I was piecing these blocks sporadically, but when I stumbled onto RSC14, it was all over, and I haven't looked back yet!  

here is the stacks of blocks for my zigzag quilts. I plan on making two: one horizontal, and one vertical. I'm excited aobout these 2 quilts, and can't wiat to see how they turn out! (there is a picture in this post of a small sneak preview of the layout...)

and last (but not least) a recent re-stashing of neutrals for my RSC15 projects. it takes lots and lots of neutrals to keep these projects rolling- more than I would have ever thought, actually. recently, one of our LQS had a 40% off sale as part of their grand re-opening.

clearly, it would have been irresponsible NOT to go and save all that money!



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