Sunday, March 25, 2012

Some Stripping, Stitching & a Possible Head Exam

Hi everyone!!  I have to thank all of you for your wonderful comments on the Farmer's Wife quilt.  I still look at it and can't believe that it's finished.  I'm almost sad that journey is over.  One little thing I didn't mention when I posted last time was that when I sat down at the machine to clean it up, oil her and start on a new project - the foot pedal took off like a demon with its tail on fire!  I don't know what I did -   I must have been pushing it too hard, but that foot pedal is shot.  Thank goodness I had another one from the other 301A that I have, and a totally new one arrived this week.  Can't be caught without a foot pedal!  But again, thank you for all your wonderful comments and encouragement while I was working on it.  But again I'm kind of sad it's finished - so sad that I decided to get myself into another mess - and this may be the reason I need to have my head examined:

The Phebe Quilt!!!  I have lusted (okay, maybe not lusted) but have have really, really wanted to do this quilt when I first spied it a couple years ago.  I know - truly crazy right?  I don't really know how to hand applique either (I have an inkling, but I haven't done it in quite a number of years - like when the dinosaurs roamed the earth according to my kids - so let's say I know nothing about it, shall we?).  But the quilt reminds me so much of a sampler in the middle that I just had to go for it.  How could I not?  So I ordered the pattern when I saw it and there is sat for the past couple years.  But the Gods must have been shining on me because I found a BOM program and it starts next month!  I can't wait, but I think I'm going to need a lot of encouragement on this one (and probably that head examination - this is one large project)!!  And don't look for any quick finishes on this one either - I have a funny feeling the applique part won't be until the fall when I have time to sit down with it.

Even though the weather has been beautiful and my trusty companion Bailey and I have gone on more walks and field runs than I can count, I did manage to get a little stitching in:

I'm making slow but sure progress on Ann Rayner.  Still loving the colors and can't wait to have her finished.  Although I think that is going to take a while.  I'm barely past the half-way mark on her and there is a lot of grass at the bottom, but with the absolutely stupendous weather that we've been having here the past couple weeks, I've been hard pressed to sit down and stitch!  I did find that I made a mistake counting in the right hand border so that's something I'm going to have to address soon (ugh-FROGS), but she is a joy to work on.

Now the stripping - no, nothing offensive here - this is a PG-rated blog, but I have been stripping - with fabric:

I had to keep myself occupied while waiting for Phebe so on a couple days when it wasn't that great out, I started stripping.  I only have to make about a bazillion of these things.  They will be cut up and made into Nine Patch blocks something like this:

This is a scrappy quilt and you're suppose to cut the strips into new strips and then put them together in a random order to make scrappy nine patches.  I'm still sewing strips, but maybe this week I'll get those finished up.

We've been enjoying the most unseasonable weather that we've ever seen in Michigan for March - like can you say 86 degrees on Thursday and temperature records broken all over the place?  It's been wonderful, and things have blooming right and left:

The bright side of all this weather is seeing everything bloom and green up and it was still winter!  The down side is that we're in for frost this week.  Not good and could play havoc with our fruit producers in the state.  Our state is big on apples, cherries and peaches, among other things.  Fingers crossed that they're very mild frosts.

And on another note, please send thoughts and prayers for my MIL.  She's almost 85 and took a tumble down her stairs this week.  Actually this is the second time she's done this.  The first time she was just scraped up a little, but on Friday she took another tumble and fractured her pelvis (hairline, thank goodness), fractured her shoulder and her wrist in five places.  She's in good spirits and will have surgery on her wrist on Tuesday.  That woman is a little spitfire and can run circles around me.  She's going to hate having to take it easy for a while.

Well, that's it for me this week.  I hope that everyone has a great week and gets a lot of stitching in and some great weather too, and thank you again for all your comments on the FW quilt.

And now I think I need to get back outside.  I just mentioned to Bailey that it might be time for another walk:

Is he smilin' or what???

Monday, March 12, 2012

A BAP Wrap - The Farmer's Wife and a Little Stitching

It's a rainy, dreary day around here, but as far as I'm concerned the sun is shining because.....drumroll please!!!!!.............. The Farmer's Wife quilt is finally finished.  Woo Hoo!!!  After two years of stitching, ripping out seams, throwing pieces around the room (yes, that happened here and there - oh, and some swearing - did I mention that?) and countless bobbins of thread, she is finished.  Please excuse any wrinkles, threads, etc.  She hasn't had her final cleaning up or pressing, but I couldn't wait to show pictures of her.  So if you click to enlarge the pictures, just pretend you don't see the stray threads or wrinkles.

And a birds eye view:

She's a big one.  I can't tell you how hard it was to manipulate her through the final row of sewing.  I would have loved to get a picture of her outside, but it's raining buckets!!  Perhaps in the future I'll take her out and shoot some more pictures of her.

As there are 111 blocks in this quilt, I can't show all of them, but I'll show a few that stand out.

The Block from Hell - yes, this one gave me lots of problems - it was the one that originally came out looking like a volcano.  After cutting out and piecing another block, it's still not absolutely flat, but it's going to have to do.  It also doesn't have points that are defined.  Why sweat the small stuff, right?

The Fun Block - again, the points aren't sharp, but after 110 of these little babies, I was happy to have it finished.  This was the last block that I finished up.  In the instructions I had from the shop who supplied the Block of the Month, they omitted this block - they had instructions for a different block included twice.  Once I figured out which one had been omitted, I sewed it together and breathed a sigh of relief - and also had a glass of wine in celebration (okay - I had two glasses, but whose counting)??  One hundred and eleven blocks finished.  This one was fun and quick.

The Pointless Block - yes, I kept it and didn't do it over again.  I tried - I honestly did - by paper piecing - but paper piecing and I don't get along on a good day, so here it is:

And a Basket block - what would a quilt like this be without a basket block?

I learned a lot working on this quilt.  It was quite an experience sewing blocks that finish up to 6" inches compared to most of the quilts that I've worked on where the blocks finished up double in size.  There were a lot of small pieces - and some blocks - like the Pointless Block had at least 50 pieces.  And you know what is so funny?  Is that after all the cutting, ironing, swearing, ripping, etc., I want to make another one - or one similar!  I truly must be ill!  LOL

Because I've been spending so much time on the Farmer's Wife Quilt, I haven't had a lot of time for stitching, but I have made some progress on Ann Rayner.  I'm working on this piece for Becky's Challenge:

I finally managed to get off the alphabets and on to some of the fun stuff.  Don't you find that alphabets seem to take forever???  Ann is such a fun stitch - maybe because I'm using a 32 count fabric for her.  It's been easy and relaxing to work on.

So there you have what I've been up to the past couple weeks.  I'm noticed that I've picked up a few more followers in the past couple weeks!  Welcome!  And I'll check on your blogs soon.  I've been having problems with my gadgets and can't seem to add or delete people, so I think that I'm going to have to work on a complete blog overhaul here in the near future when I can find some time.  And I want to thank everyone for all your wonderful comments on my last post on Sun and Moon!  I tickles me to read them and I truly appreciate all your kind words.

And one final shot - guess who decided to make my quilt his own:

My buddy Bailey.  You can tell by the expression on his face he knows that he's not suppose to be sitting on that quilt!  LOL

Hope you have a wonderful week!