Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October Farmer's Wife

Boo!  I can't believe it is already October. Keeping with this spooky month, we're doing some SCARY  blocks! The scariest has to be the Spider Legs block. We'll be foundation piecing two blocks this time - Spider Legs and Ribbons. We're getting down to the nitty gritty! So, when you come to class on Friday night or Saturday morning please bring your machine if you are interested in working on these foundation piecing blocks in class. Here are the images of both foundation blocks.

Spider Legs - Arnold's Attic
Spider Legs - Miniatures

Ribbons - Arnold's Attic
Ribbons - Miniatures
Class is at 6 p.m. on Friday night and 9 -11 a.m. or noon -2 p.m. on Saturday. Don't forget the quilt show in downtown Shelbyville will also be going on Saturday.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Farmer's Wife Blocks

Hi All - I'm posting a photo of this month's Farmer's Wife blocks. Why? Because for once, I am done a few hours early with them! That's right - I'm the princess of procrastination. I can't remember the last time I was done with the blocks a WHOLE DAY early! And, count 'em. There's 7 blocks this month.
Oh ya. I'm on a roll.
The September 7.
Let me you, these ain't easy. Except for maybe the Puss in the Corner block (hot pink).  We'll need our 16th ruler for some of these... (did I hear a collective moan?). The easy blocks are few and far between now. Oh, how I long for a simple four patch!
But, we can do this! They may not be easy, but they're done...and they measure 6 1/2".

So, Friday night ladies - I'll see you soon. The Saturday class is Sept. 10. Two sessions - 9 to 11 and noon -2.

For class - Don't forget to bring a 2 1/2" strip of a favorite fabric. This will be the binding for our display boards we'll be making in class. Also, if you have a glue gun, please bring it. We can also work on a block in class...let's say the Tall Pine Tree. Choose two fabrics for this: a dark and a light. Then, from each cut:
4 rectangles at 1 1/4" by 3 1/2
4 rectangles at 2 3/16 by 3 5/16
We'll do the rest in class.

See you all soon!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Aunt Grace's Garden Party begins in September

Aunt Grace's Garden Party Block of the Month

If you are interested in making this beautiful quilt, hop on over to Main Street Quilt Company in Shelbyville! Class begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13, and will continue each month for 6 months on the second Tuesday of each month (except for December).

We'll do hand or machine applique, work on English Paper Piecing, learn how to make stems for the center flower section and so much more! A scalloped border tops off this beautiful piece.

At the end of the class you'll have a beautiful quilt in bright 30s fabrics you can use just in time for Spring 2012!

And you'll have enough fabric left over to make some smaller pieces to accent your quilt!.

Don't wait! Sign up today. Call at the shop to sign up!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Hi all. We're baaaccckkkk. No sickness and no disasters - just a week of fun in the sun. The worst thing that happened turned out to be one of the best. We rented bikes on one of our final days and had to ride home in a downpour. I haven't had that much fun in years! Riding through these huge puddles...soaking wet! It was wonderful!

We stayed at Casa las Tortugas on Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico.  Here are a few picts from our trip.

The view from the second floor of our hotel restaurant.

We are dog people...even on vacation. I snapped this photo of Matt and a friend, Cocoa, on the beach on one of our last days.

Outside our hotel the morning we left.

And something familiar! Loved this simple white stippled quilt that was on our bed! Something familiar to me in an unfamiliar place! I know it was probably  produced in mass somewhere else, but I loved it!

I did take a few hand sewing project with me, but didn't make a lot of progress. Our days were like this: Walk or bike in the morning, got to breakfast at the hotel or someplace else, head to the beach or pool, enjoy some quacamole and chips around lunch time, lunch at the hotel or elsewhere on the island, back to the pool or beach, in for a shower and dinner followed by reading and then sleepytime!

The sand was perfect - white, soft and in most places hard packed and perfect for walking on or biking on. The mosquitos were the worst. Bug spray was often the perfume of choice. I am still scratching some bites.

The water was warm and clear. I have already created a quilt in my mind that will serve as a remembrance with pictures and t-shirts from our trip coupled with solid fabrics that reflect the color of the gulf waters. Plus some Frida Kahlo fabric for the backing!  (It should arrive this week!)
Saw a purse made with this fabric and wanted it soooo bad...but not $580 pesos bad. So, as soon as I got to a good Internet connection (Cancun) I searched for Frida Kahlo fabric and found it! Decided it would be the perfect fabric for the back of my vacation quilt.

It was a wonderful trip and we can't wait to go back again.  Very relaxing. No TV, no phone and a hit and miss Internet connection made for some great days away from our reality. There's the link to the rest of my photos on Facebook.


Monday, June 27, 2011

July FWSQ Classes

Attention Farmer's Wife quilters - Classes for July will be Fri. July 1 at 6 p.m. or Saturday, July 2, at 1 p.m.
Only two sessions this month.

For class, please bring your completed blocks and let's have us a show 'n' tell! We'll review our July directions and enjoy some fellowship before the busy 4th of July weekend gets into swing. No need to bring your machines.

See you there!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I love it when a donation finds a home

Remember that donation quilt from a few posts back? Well, it has been delivered and an article appeared in today's newspaper about it!
Take a look!

The Neoga Booster Club quilt was delivered last week and raffled at our annual Neoga Days over the weekend. Congratulations to Randy and Karen Mayhall of Sigel. I hear they are both graduates of NHS, so this prize will really mean something to them!
P.S. I'm glad my Mom didn't win it! She won my Neoga Booster Club donation quilt last year. Just a little embarassing.

And those t-shirt pillows - I also hear they were well received at the auction. I've since bought a shirt I'd like to use as an outdoor pillow and I also have a vacation shirt from Mexico that will make a perfect pillow.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My graduating class of 2011

Whew! It's been a busy last few months for me. Over the past few weeks, I've completed 6 quilts for local graduates...I call this my Class of 2011.

I really enjoy making these quilts alnd earning more about the recipient as I cut the shirts, iron on the interfacing (or when I watch my husband iron on the interfacing for me!)  and then piece it all back together. I always wonder how the quilt will be used - on a bed in their new college dorm or back home in their old room? I hope my quilts are USED...they are made to be used.

I think these quilts are also great conversation starters and a way to get a glimpse into someone's history by seeing where they've been, what concerts they've been to, what teams they played on, what pro athletes they are fans of and what performances they've been in.

I also enjoy seeing the person I've made a quilt for. Our local newspaper runs a graduation tabloid each May and shows pictures of the graduating seniors. It is always fun to see a photo of the person you're making a keepsake for.

I've found that for the most part, the kids who have a quilt made for them are top students, great athletes, super actors, homecoming queens and all around great kids.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Where does time go?

Do you ever just want time to stop?  HALT! Just give me some time to catch up without the clock tick, ticking away…and then it can start moving again.
I have so many things that I want to do, that I need to do, but don’t seem to have the time. I know some people will say, you have to make the time…. Yes, that’s true. But it seems like time is moving so fast, in my mind it should still be 2003, but the calendar says it is 2011!

And, how did it get to be June 13 already? We are practically half way through the month and half way through the YEAR.. I think one cause is I’m always workin’ for the weekend. You know, like hurry up 5 o’clock. Before you know it, five days later the week is gone and then you breeze through the weekend only to start all over again on Monday. Seven days can go by pretty fast when you live like that.

I don’t know what the solution is, but I do know that I am almost 40 (gasp! I remember thinking my parents were old in their 40s…when I was 10!) and it needs to stop.

I am thankful that Sunday seemed to have more than 24 hours in the day. It was a beautiful day in central Illinois, and it seemed more like spring than the 90% humidity-filled days we have had. The temp was in the 70s, the sun was shining and there was a nice breeze. I was up relatively early, made some AWESOME basil spread for snacking and some iced tea for the husband. Over the weekend I also taught the Saturday Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt class, quilted a small quilt, bound and labeled two quilts and made three pillows. Everything was for donations. 

Donation quilts: Neoga Booster Club and Charleston Red, White and Blue Days.

Pillows I made for the Charleston Booster Club auction.

Here’s some interesting things I’d like to share:
I love the Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. Here’s something I’m going to try soon. I am a once-a-day Starbuckser. This would be a lot less expensive. 

If this making-your-own-iced-coffee thing works out, I may need to get one of these.

And something else from The Pioneer Woman – this is what we’ll be having for dinner tonight after I harvest some basil from our plants.

What I’ll be doing this weekend – Neoga Days 2011. I’m on the committee, and will be there most of the weekend. Quilty friends – there is a quilt show at the Methodist Church on Friday and Saturday from 10 to 5. Unfortunately I have nothing super special to enter. I may enter a mini quilt I made recently and Taylor Rich’s t-shirt quilt I made a few years ago.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

April Blocks

Believe it or not we are more than a week into Spring. To celebrate Spring I decided to pull several of the Farmer's Wife blocks that have birds in the name or have something to do with birds, and we'll be working on those this month.

Hovering Birds, Hovering Hawks, Swallow, Flock, Buzzards Roost and Bat Wing.

We'll be doing Bat Wing in class and YES! ladies we will be foundation piecing it. (I can hear a moan coming from Monticello with that news!) However, because I love ya all, I have also put the directions for that block in rotary cutting terms! I figured out how to do that 39 degree angle just for those ladies who don't like to do foundation piecing.

But, honestly, I found it easier to foundation piece this block.

Here are the two images of the block, one in Miniatures fabric and the other in Arnold's Attic.

So, bring your fabrics and your machines if you want and we'll put this bad boy (or Bat Boy!) together in class on Friday, April 1, at 6 p.m. or on Saturday, April 9, at 9-11 or 12-2.

I've taken some time to get my schedule organized. According to my figures, after April we will be 40 percent of the way done with this project. That is - we'll have 44 of the 111 blocks done (I'm sure everyone has their blocks up-to-date, right??????). I've divided out the remainder of the blocks according to their construction type and I came up with some of my own categories: Easy, Small Triangles, Flying Geese and a category called "Strange Piecing." Ohh. Can't wait to tackle those blocks! The title of that group should be: How in the heck am I going to do that block?

See you soon.

Friday, March 4, 2011

FWSQ for March

Hurrah for foundation piecing! It sure saved me on this Flower Pot basket block. That's what we'll be working on Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 12.
And, guess what? It has set in seams!! Ohhh, we're gonna have fun!
See you at class!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pitch in and make Just One Star

Just saw this posted on a Moda blog and a few others. If you have a few minutes to spare soon in your sewing room, consider participating in the Just One Star program. Click on the link and you'll be directed to the directions where you can make a star block, send it to Moda and your block wil be included in one of the 100 quilts Moda will be donating to soldiers. The directions are all in the document. Why not pitch in an send a star? Deadline is May 1.
This tutorial will tell you all you need to know!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cutting edit for February

My bad.
I failed to include some cutting directions in one of the February blocks. It is on the Strawberry Basket block. I should have told you to also cut two 2 1/2" squares from fabric C. Please update your block directions. Thank you to Linda (no last name!) for helping me catch this.

I already have a few blocks done for March. We'll be continuing our block theme and will be working on Basket block 3, Fruit Basket and the Flower Pot...just to name a few. We will be paper piecing Basket Block 3.

Talk to you in a few weeks. We'll be meeting on Friday, March, 4, at 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 12 at 9 -11 and then noon -2. Closer to our next class I'll post which block we'll be working on in class.

P.S. I know I've mentioned to a few of you the Barbara Brackman Block of the Week I've been following. Here's a link to find out more about this block of the week.  They're already on Week 7 so you'll have to go backwards to get up to date if you are interested.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

FWSQ Blocks for February

February's theme is baskets and flowers! We'll be making the Flower Basket Block No. 35 in class. This block calls for a wee bit of applique on the handle. You are welcome to machine applique or do this by hand. I'll show you examples of both in class.

So, if you want to piece this block in class, please bring your fabric. Determine what color your basket handle will be and be sure to bring a matching thread.

We'll be meeting at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 4 and Saturday, Feb. 12 at 9-11 and 12-2 (remember, this is a new time for the afternoon class). Kate's shop closes at 3 p.m. now on Saturdays.

Don't forget you can see my blocks on Flickr. Click here.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Farmer's Wife photos now on Flickr

Hi All - As I watched the Chicago Bears LOSE on Sunday night I did something productive...took photos of all my Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt blocks I've completed in the Miniatures fabric and posted them on Flickr. To see the blocks, just click here.
I love Flickr. It's can add a ton of photos and share them with friends and family without bogging down your or their e-mail. You can create sets...that keeps all your 'like' photos together. I have many sets, Farmer's Wife, a new Civil War Quilt I've started and sets of photos of my T-shirt quilts.

I'll try to add the Arnold's Attic fabric blocks soon.
Don't forget...we're working on baskets at our next class. Watch this space for more info closer to class.

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

For once, I am holding true to a resolution this year was to not procrastinate. It's going to be a tough trait to break. In school, I was always the one working (or even beginning) a paper just before it was due. When I was a newspaper reporter in Edwardsville, I started my articles just a few hours before deadline. As a magazine editor, I'd wait to contact my freelancers until the last minute. See the pattern?

When it comes to sewing...and sewing difficult blocks, I could tell this procrastination thing couldn't continue. So, I am already working on the blocks for our February Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt class. We just finished our January blocks last weekend (thanks, ladies. Had a great time Friday and Saturday), and I've already got February on my mind. BASKETS. There are several basket blocks in this quilt of 111 blocks.

I've printed out my EQ rotary cutting directions for our February blocks and started working on them earlier this week. There are some funky angles on some of these pieces, like 112 degree angles!
I chose the most difficult (or what I hope is the most difficult) one of the bunch last night. Through a mixture of rotary cutting and templates, I pieced together the Flower Pot block. 
Flower Pot block in Miniatures.
And this is why I cannot PROCRASTINATE on these blocks. It's a good thing I can laugh at myself...because this block is just nuts! It measures at least 6 1/2", but in all the wrong places! If I cut this block to 6 1/2 " I will lose possibly all four flower tips.
Good lord!
So, it's back to the drawing board on this block tonight and this weekend. I am going to try paper piecing it to see if I have better results. I think part of the problem is the weird angles, plus there is a set in seam (gasp!) Ironically, my first attempt at the set in seam worked out beautifully. It was my second attempt that failed.

After I pulled this block out of my machine I decided to work on my four-patch, square-in-a-square blocks for the Prairie Women Sewing Circle project. Four-patches are more my speed after that basket disaster. We're working on the little cream, pink and blue mini quilt, and I'm really enjoying it!

Talk to you soon -

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

FWSQ for January

It's time for our January blocks already. We'll be doing some easy piecing this month. Our project for in class will be to make the Postage Stamp block.
I did my sample by cutting 36 little 1 1/2" squares and piecing them together one by one. Won't make that mistake again...I'll say I was trying to be authentic.

We'll, you're welcome to piece this block together by sewing together several strips of contrasting fabric, subcutting those and then sewing them back together. Should be easier than sewing a million 1 1/2" seams.

So, your assignment is to bring four fabrics you want in your postage stamp block. We'll swap some pieces if that's ok with you, too.

Here are the blocks as colored in EQ. Bring whichever colors you choose! I know these are pretty boring blocks, but thought it would be cool to swap a few fabrics with other folks to add something different.

See you Friday night or Saturday!