Thursday, August 30, 2012

I bet my husband is thankful...

that I buy my own birthday presents!  I ordered from two different fabric shops and got them both on the very same day.  I came across this quilt one day

Ruby Strings by Film in the Fridge

on Film in the Fridge and fell head over heels in love with this quilt.  I'm not sure if its the red, white or the design that I love so much.  I have drooled over Pat Bravo's Poetica line for a long time now and decided that I would finally buy it and make a string quilt with it.  Thanks Christa for picking up my package for me.

This package is from Hawthorne Threads in Red Hook, New York.  They have a fabulous website and fantastic prices.

My second package comes from Hamel's Fabrics in Chiliwack, BC.  They had a great price on this fat quarter bundle
It is Collection For a Cause by Howard Marcus.  I looked through my books today and can't find a pattern that I think would suit this fabric.  If anyone has an idea, let me know.  Thanks Colleen for ordering this for me!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A bit of sewing...

I was able to finish my nine-patch blocks for my Cotton Candy Stars quilt and are they  beautiful!  The tiny nine-patch squares finish at an inch, and we all know that the smaller the pieces, the nicer the quilt, right??

18 finished blocks

Cotton Candy Stars is a two block quilt and in the second block, there is a very common and traditional block.  I'm not sure of the actual name for this block, but it is a square block with a 60 degree triangle flanked by two smaller triangles.  The pattern gives two options for sewing this block.  The first one is a template that you could trace onto mylar plastic and the second option is to buy the Tri-Recs acrylic template made by EZ Quilting.  I bought the acrylic templates and WOW are they a duo worth having.  You first cut your strips to your needed width and then use the triangular rulers to cut your sections.

I think that the magic in this ruler set is hidden in the bottom corners of the pink triangles...see the little notches cut out?  When I cut out the pink triangles, I looked at that little notch and decided that I wasn't cutting out that little waste of time...  But when I made my first triangle block, I cut out those notches and saw that the notch is your reference point for lining up your fabrics.

A finished triangle block...all you have to do is trim off the ears.  I have sewed 14 of these blocks and they have all been bang on.

I am starting to get a glimpse of what this quilt will look like finished, and I love it.  I am now done 21 of the 35 blocks. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another day, another field, another breakdown...

Emma and Aidan
My husband and I have four kids- three boys and a girl.  During the harvest season we depend a tonne on our oldest boy, Aidan.  He is fifteen and tonight, because his dad needs to get the spraying done before the combining, he fixed the combine header all on his own.  The belt that drives the cutter flew apart and broke two bolts on the knife as well.  That is a lot of responsibility for a fifteen year old and he did superbly. Aidan drives the grain cart and the small grain truck.  Our two younger boys and I combine.  Today, they were on their own for the first time.

Zach, 12 yrs.

Terran, 11 yrs.

Where we are combining is almost heaven...removed from the general population, unspoiled beauty beside a creek.  It is hard for me to think what the oil will do to this area.

Emma and myself

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Here's my machine when I'm not sewing...

One of our two combines
We started combining yesterday on our durum.  In my opinion, there is nothing prettier than a ripe durum crop.

Ripe Durum

I am standing on the south west side of our field looking north east.  Oil is new to our part of the world, but there is a service rig to the west and, not on our land!!  I should have taken a picture of them.

And these last two pictures are what I see from the seat of the combine.  Beautiful!

This guy was on our cottonwoods yesterday.  I don't know if I have ever seen an all yellow spider.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A quick update on Cotton Candy

Last night I was able to finish my pink nine-patches for my Cotton Candy Stars quilt.  There are 17 of them and they go in the center of the alternating blocks from the brown nine-patches.

I laid out my units for my first block and sewed the first of 35 total blocks that are required for this quilt.  I need 18 of this block.

Ready for assembly

First Block A of 18
When I sat down to sew these blocks together, I had decided that I wouldn't worry about color placement, but I've changed my mind after seeing the brown plaid fabrics touch in the upper left side of this block.  I'm not going to take this apart, but hopefully it will be the only block where the same fabric touches.  I must have made a quarter turn during sewing, because they weren't originally placed this way.

Today is the official start of Harvest 2012 for Holzer Farms.  It is always amazing how fast harvest comes from one year to the next.  I'm going to try to get one block sewn a day, but we'll see if that happens.  Happy Harvesting to you careful and safe.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Back to Chain Piecing!

Gosh I missed the peacefulness of chain and strip piecing...everything is cut and ready, just waiting to be sewn.  I've been working on my Cotton Candy Stars quilt kit from Cotton and Chocolate as seen on the cover of the latest Quilt Sampler.

When I work on a quilt, I never work directly from the book that the pattern is in.  I always photocopy the pattern and work from that.  This is for two reasons.  The first reason truly aggravates me and that is the books that publishers sell us time and time again never, ever stay open.  We've all had that fight, right?  I have one coil bound book in my collection by Harriet Hargrave.   Can anyone tell me why all quilting books aren't coil bound?  Is is aesthetics? convenience? price?  Am I the only one who feels this way??  Let me know your thoughts.  The second reason I photocopy is this...

I keep really accurate track of where I am in the pattern and what I have done.  As I make my first fabric cuts, I tick the fabric off the list and move on to the next.  I also keep track of my numbers.  This works well when I only have five or ten minutes and don't finish the cutting or sewing requirements.  Honestly, I'd be lost without my keeping track.
Here is what I started from (actually half way through sewing my nine patches).

Once all of these are gone, I replace the units

When I first opened my fabric package, I was a little disappointed with some of the tones of the fabrics included in the kit.  This has happened to me before, not necessarily in kits, but in fat quarter bundles and in fabrics that I had chosen.  I tend to use my favorites first and end up with several units with the "less than" fabrics not being used.  I loved this cover quilt and didn't want this to happen, I wanted to give the quilt a chance and trust what Cotton and Chocolate put together.  So instead of keeping the units in large piles, I laid out one of each of my tri-colored units and had to use each and every one until going back for more color options.  And I didn't cheat once!  I tried to use a brown or pink only once in a nine-patch, but this method means that I sometimes have the same fabric twice in a nine-patch.  Ya win some, ya lose some, heh?

Completed nine-patches

I now have 80 of the 107 nine-patches finished for this quilt and I'm more than happy with the overall look of my nine patches.  I'm glad that I trusted someone with a better eye for color than me.

Thanks to Helen for sending me pictures of your sewing table.

One last thing, take a look at the quilt Bonnie Hunter finished last night.  Click here to check out her "Nearly Insane".  Make sure you read her post to learn a little about the original quilt.  Would you have made this quilt as she did?

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Guild Show and Tell

From left: Thersa, Colleen, Terry, Chris, Jane, Narrie, Christa and Debra

Thanks to Colleen for hosting our guild meeting today.  We met today to discuss our upcoming quilting year, our annual retreat and our quilt show.  After getting a few things discussed, we had show and tell.  Here's what a few of us have been working on.  I really need to take notes for the blog because I've already forgotten most the names of the following quilts.  Sorry, Girls, I'm going to do the best I can.

First up was Deb.  This was a wall hanging kit from the girls at The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw, SK.  Deb worked on this at our last quilt retreat.  This and the next two quilts were just recently quilted by fellow guild member, Terry Whitman.  Quilting perfection, Terry. Great job, Deb.

Nickle Quilt- Dutchman's Puzzle

Thimbleberries Christmas Quilt

 Kit from the Quilt Patch

Colleen also finished her Nickle Quilt and Terry quilted this one as well.  Colleen used thirties reproduction fabrics this Charming Stars pattern off ofModa Bake Shop .  Get this pattern here.

Charlene was at her daughter's awaiting another little grandbaby, but one of her quilts was here.  I don't know much about this quilt other than she pieced it at guild and Terry quilted it.

Here is our fabulous long arm quilter, Terry.  She is just as good at piecing as she is at long arm quilting.  The first picture is of her Nickle Quilt and the second is the back of her Nickle Quilt.  Which one is nicer???


This is Theresa with her tree wall hanging...a wedding gift for her sister-in-law.  Theresa spent hours hand applying the beads to this quilt.  But the beads and buttons were SOOOOO worth it!  These pictures do not do this quilt any justice.  Gorgeous!!!

Next, we have Jane's baby/toddler quilt.  She is just getting the binding on it.

And lastly, here I am with my Tangled Threads wall hanging.