Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Farmers Wife 16 Blocks

My Farmer's Wife Quilt is moving right along. I have 16 blocks finished now and I've barely made a dent in my stash of hot pink fabrics.

I've spent a lot of time this week cleaning out my quilting corner in the garage.  It's been quite a trip down memory lane.  I used to make extra blocks for every quilt I made.  I could make a whole quilt just from the piles of orphan blocks I found.  I wonder when I got out of that habit?  It's a little sad to see how bright some of those fabrics really are, when the quilts that have been used and loved are getting so faded over time.  That's how it's meant to be I suppose.

Everyone in the house is taking turns getting sick.  Is there anything more annoying than a summer cold?  So far I've been lucky.  We'll see how long that lasts.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pinteresting: London 2012 craftiness

Are you going to watch the Olympic Games?  It seems like everywhere I look on Pinterest there are fun projects to commemorate the season.

Hooks @ The Ready! has a tutorial for a quick crochet cushion.  A good way to practice changing colors.  Or "colours" as the case may be.  I think I might do this one!

Dandelion Daydreams has a great tutorial for making a block of the Union Flag.  I watch Doctor Who so I know it's not supposed to be called a Union Jack.  This is also tempting me, especially with the fun colors (colours).

Here's a great tutorial for an Olympic Rings quilt from Solar Threads.  A fun memento for a young athlete in the house.

Our house will be all about gymnastics, since we got to go to the team trials this year.  What are your favorite events to watch? 

Catch my boards on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/threeundertwo/

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Needlework Tuesday 7-24-12

Summer seems to be the time when I get a lot of hand stitching done.  It's too beautiful outside to go to my quilt cave in the garage and fire up the iron and hunch over my machine. 

So lately I've been resurrecting some projects that have been patiently waiting.  Remember this hexie project?  I've got one sample with the solid border around it in the upper right.  Finished flowers are in the upper left and I've laid out the rest of my hexies into flowers to make sure I've scattered the fabrics evenly.  They're all going into ziplock snack bags so I can start stitching them together.  Then I have to make the rest of the solid border hexies.

I found some wonderful hexie graph paper to print via Pinterest.  Find it here.  This is great for planning a quilt with odd-shaped blocks.

Have you visited my Pinterest Hexie board?  It keeps me inspired.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather at Books and Quilts.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Design Wall Monday: 12 Farmer's Wife Blocks

I'm moving right along with my hot pink Farmer's Wife Quilt.  I'm having so much fun with this.  I just flip through the pages and do whichever block strikes my fancy at the moment.  I've still been too lazy to start printing out templates.  Everything you see is just done by calculation and stitch-and-flip.

Math skills are great - until they let you down.

See this block?  Isn't it gorgeous?  I did my calculations and spent some time making it  I was so proud.

Until I realized the completed block is only five inches instead of six.

Argh.  This one goes in the orphan block pile.  Possibly to become a cute pin cushion or something someday.

Design Wall Monday is hosted by Judy at Patchwork Times.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Coming Home!

I'm so excited today.  My kids are finally all going to come home.  Drama Girl has been here, although she's been at ballet camp every day.

We're going to go hear Wasabi Girl perform with her jazz combo tonight to mark the end of her week of jazz camp.

And right now, on the other side of the country, Jungle Boy is performing with other students at American Ballet Theatre's summer intensive program.  Tomorrow he gets on a plane for the long journey home.  We'll be monitoring the flights and texting him to be sure he makes his connecting flight.

I've missed Jungle Boy so much.  A month away is a really long time!

So right now I'm planning a coming home party and a big brunch for Sunday morning when we're all together.

I still haven't planned what I'm going to make - do you have any favorite brunch recipes?  Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

War Brides

I recently finished "War Brides" by Helen Bryan and I absolutely loved it.  Pick it up for a summer read and be transported to the English countryside during World War II.  The story focuses on five women with very different backgrounds who end up together in a small village.  As the war progresses, they learn to adapt and survive just as every other woman at that time had to.  Years later, when they reunite to commemorate VE day, they also enact a plan to get revenge on a traitor in their midst.

The characters are inspiring, but also realistic.  They have been called "the greatest generation" and the book paints a clear picture of the reality behind the slogan "make do and mend."  Life on the home front was incredibly hard.

The pacing and flow of this book were perfect.  This is the author's first novel, although she has also written an award-winning biography of Martha Washington.  Early reviews noted typos in the Kindle version, but I found none at all, and I have an eagle-eye for those things, so it appears the current edition has been edited and cleaned up.

The link above will take you to the paperback.  Also available for Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or borrow this book for free through the Kindle Owners Lending Library.  If you buy this book (or anything at Amazon) through the link above, I get a small commission and I really appreciate it.

Highly recommended.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Needlework Continuum

It's Needlework Tuesday!  Time to show what I'm working on, progress or not.  I realized this morning that it's important for me to always have a variety of projects.

First, there's the detailed long-term epic project that's almost like brain surgery:

That's my Snow White cross stitch project.

Then there's the thread-counting project that requires concentration, but goes pretty fast if I'm not distracted:

That's my "Caldron" project.  I'm waiting for some special hand-dyed threads to come in so I can move forward on that.

Then there's the even less concentration project I can do while I watch a movie (or lately, lots of Dr. Who with Drama Girl) and talk and multi-task.  I only need to check the color chart once in a while on this, but no counting stitches:

Then there's the project for sitting outside in the sun, taking along in the car, absolutely no concentration involved at all:

A series of quilt blocks for my "Jolly Halloween" quilt I've just started.

I guess that's why I always have a lot of projects going - I'm the Goldilocks of needlework.  I always need something that's "just right."

Visit Heather at Books and Quilts for more Needlework Tuesday.

Monday, July 16, 2012

What to do?

I'm looking around the house and I see

No Jungle Boy - he's still studying ballet at American Ballet Theatre.  Home next weekend!

No Wasabi Girl - she's spending the week studying at Stanford Jazz Workshop. 

No husband - he's on a business trip

No Drama Girl until late this afternoon - she's at ballet camp.

What to do with a house that's empty?  I've had my breakfast and coffee, checked Pinterest, cleaned up the garden for an hour, watered the plants, fed the cats...

Time to sew!!!  Wheeee!  This is like the best vacation ever.

I think I'll work on my Henrietta Whiskers quilt.

What are you up to today?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Because it's pink

Hours of weeding
Hours of picking out leaves from the beds
Cursing aphids
Sore muscles
Spiders in my hair
Thorns that get through the gloves

Is it worth it?

In a word, Yes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Keeping Cool

The heat is finally creeping over to the West Coast.  We've had a pretty mild summer so far.  In honor of sunny days ahead I sat last night and made some sun coasters.

Wasabi Girl thought they were cute, but when I gave one to Drama Girl to put under her drink, she asked if it was cheese.  I guess they look a little like that marbled cheddar/mozzarella cheese you can get at the store.

Knowing our family, these will probably be called the 'cheese coasters' from now on.  *sigh*

Hope you're keeping cool!  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Needlework Tuesday: Caldron Part 1

My wonderful husband gave me a gift certificate to a needlework shop for my birthday.  Of course I had to go spend it right away!  I picked up a cute Halloween pattern and materials and thought I'd put it away until closer to Halloween.

Apparently I have about zero self-control when it comes to starting new projects.  I was only going to put a few stitches in but it took off.  You can't tell at the moment, but there are lots of bugs and snakes that will be whirling in the smoke.  I've just started the caldron itself.

Raise your hand if you thought it was spelled "cauldron."  I did too.  So did the lady in the shop.  Apparently either way is correct.  Maybe this is Shakespeare's original spelling. 

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather at Books and Quilts.  And for once I'm remembering to include her cute graphic for the occasion.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday: Farmer's Wife 8 blocks

My "Farmer's Wife's Midlife Crisis" Jubilee quilt only got four more blocks this week.  I still have barely dipped  into my stash of hot pinks and I'm having a lot of fun with it.  I'm too lazy to work from templates so I'm just doing the math for each block in my head.  I'll need to use templates for some of the more difficult blocks.

The farmer's wife in my imagination is not a shy person.  She mixes her batiks with mind-bending geometrics with florals. 

She likes pinks so hot they're almost red.

But she still likes the occasional sweet cherry print.  As long as the cherries are deep pink.

I would love to work faster on this quilt but the incredibly good weather has pulled me out to the garden most days.  I need to find a "look how much I've cleaned up the garden" weekly meme.  Maybe "Weedless Wednesday."

Design Wall Monday is hosted by Judy at Patchwork Times.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Farmer's Wife's Midlife Crisis Quilt

For the past year, quilting bloggers all over the internet have been making blocks based on a book called "The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt."

The blocks are  interesting, and range from very simple to a bit more complex.  Everywhere I looked, people were posting pictures of their blocks.

So about a year ago I bought the book.  I was going to get in on this!

Life and other quilts got in the way.  But I made a Pinterest board of some of the cool blocks and helpful tips.  I started thinking about what fabrics I wanted to use.

Time passed.

More time passed.  The bandwagon continued to fill with Farmer's Wife quilts everywhere.  I thought I'd catch up.

Guess what?  The quilt-along is finishing.  All 111 blocks.  There is no more hope of catching up.  Therefore, it seemed like a good time to start.  No pressure, right? 

So here, better late than never, are my first few blocks.  I was too impatient to print out all the templates required so I just did the math in my head to cut the pieces the right size.

My quilt is going to feature a lot of hot pink.  

This one is just for me.  No matter how much the girls beg.  In fact, I'm thinking of making this my "Jubilee" quilt - 50 blocks to celebrate my 50 years.  Then I'll call it the Farmer's Wife Midlife Crisis quilt.

Bandwagons. . .I might miss them, but eventually I get where I want to go.

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