31 January 2020

Farmer's Wife Friday #4

Week 4.
 It's early in the game but after struggling through start-up,
 I think I'm getting this thing down. I'm sure I just needed
to find my routine.  And this, more than any quilt I have
ever made, requires routine--and organization.
It now (knock on wood) seems to be smooth sailing.
I just try to pop one out before jumping into my regular
project or when I have that short bit of free time.

So far, I've just been kind of grabbing the first happy
fabric combo that I find but it's becoming very
apparent that I'm avoiding certain fabrics.
These next few weeks I'm going to have to work
at getting some of those others in, whether they
are "happy" or not.  That's not going to be easy,
especially in looking over the next pages.
There are a lot of complicated blocks coming up.
Time to slow that fabric selection part down. 

But, enough of the technicalities.
Without further ado, here are my blocks for the week:



(there are blue dots in that green fabric to pull these together)

Today's blocks aren't the prettiest combos but
I'm crossing my fingers that, in the end, everything
will look fine.  At the very least, it will probably look
legit since I really doubt perfectly coordinated fabrics
in a quilt made back in the 1920's ever happened.
Quilts were made with scraps, right?

Happy quilting!

27 January 2020

Hello Monday

The sun is shining but tonight things turn and
tomorrow should be a glorious snow day--I hope.
A friend who's brother was a meteorologist says that
of all the weather, snow is the hardest to predict.
Well, it's at least easy for me to predict where I'll be.

A quick update on what I've been up to:

The Moda Love Farm quilt is loaded and I've gotten a small
start on the quilting.  If it really does snow I'll likely want to
stay in my sewing room but it's nice to have options.

With warm weather over the weekend, I ended up taking care
of much-needed outdoor chores--like cleaning out the coop.
(They'll appreciate that new bed of straw tonight!)
It cut into my knitting time so I haven't finished the scarf.
It's going quickly though and I feel ready for
more knitting challenges already.

I spent a lot of time last week on a new quilt that I've
not mentioned yet.  For now, I'll just say it's 
mostly of HST's and I'm going scrappy--of course.

I sewed up approximately 560 HST's from a Riley Blake
jelly roll (Swiss Dot) and my own scrappy strips--way more
than I'll be needing but I'm sure I can fit the extras in a
border or in the backing.  It's interesting making HST's
from jelly strips:  a lot of cutting but at the same time,
the way I did it resulted in perfect 2.5" HSTs.  
There was a tiny bit of waste but I wanted accuracy,
and I didn't want to have to trim each square later.

Line up stitching at 2.5" to cut; press open to reveal 2.5" HST

It was a lot of cutting but I spread it out
over several days so it was enjoyable.

It was last year at this time that I hit MSQC and found
great bargains at their bolt sale so I've been hoping
for another this year.  So far I've not seen any mention
of it so I'm just keeping my road trip plans "on hold".

So this week I'll be finishing the farm quilt and scarf.
After that, I've got farmer's wife blocks to complete
and the remainder of my next quilt to cut out.

What are your creative plans this week?

Happy quilting and knitting!

25 January 2020

Team Scarf Pattern & Craft Journal Printout

We are all so excited for this year's Super Bowl!
This is Chiefs Kingdom, the loudest fans in the NFL,
and our team colors are being worn everywhere.

With Super Bowl in just a little over a week,
I thought this would be a great time to share an
easy knitted scarf--I'm talking weekend-easy--that
is perfect for showing your team colors.
(If knitting isn't your thing--wha?!?--stick with me here
because I have something to share for all crafters in a bit.)

This free Team Scarves and Hats pattern is the perfect
go-to for outfitting everyone in time for the game.
To keep it handy, you can load it up in your library
over at the LoveCrafts site.

If you're not a football fan, March Madness is just around
the corner.  Or maybe you, like me, just have a cutie
(or two) who's in need of a scarf to match his coat.

When I was recently approached by LoveCrafts, I was happily
surprised and excited. Just the nudge I needed to pick up
those needles again.  After a little surfing around their website,
which I really enjoy (perhaps too much!) for inspiration,
I decided that it truly would be my pleasure to work with them.
(Hmmm, suddenly craving Chick-Fil-A...)

For my first "back at knitting" project, I chose this
PAINTBOX Simply Aran yarn.  It's wonderfully soft,
comes in 50 beautiful colors and is very affordable.
It's also machine-washable which makes it
a perfect choice for my grandson's scarf.

Can you forget how to knit or is it like riding a bike?
Turns out no you can't forget--I'm already peddling away. 
The method I use for casting on always
takes a second to remember but once I get the needles
and yarn in my hands correctly, they know what to do.
Muscle memory.
It's kind of fun to watch it in action.

Within minutes, a scarf began appearing.
(Please, you seasoned knitters out there, do not
judge my knitting...yet.  I'm still getting warmed up.)
Seeing the pattern develop never gets old.
Poor hubs.  Me:  "Look, look!  How cool is that?!"
Ah, he's a trooper.  With my quilting and my knitting.

Like quilting, I always want to try it all. 
So many fabrics and blocks; yarns, patterns and techniques.
You makers out there know what I mean.

Here's a little something for everyone
no matter your craft:
Out of all the printouts floating around
(and I think I've seen them all)
I found this to be the best at developing inspiration
for projects.  It also has several different project pages,
lists and general crafty journaling.  Check it out.

The weekend forecast calls for knitting with
a good chance of a little quilting.

Happy quilting and weekend knitting!

24 January 2020

Farmer's Wife Friday #3

I'm going to come right out with it:
I'm scrapping that goal of 6 blocks per week.
Initially, I was afraid if I didn't put a strong goal up,
I'd end up setting the thing aside for other projects.
But the thing is, this quilt is not for the faint of heart.
Or the faint of back and/or neck, in my case.

It is a BIG project and I want it to remain fun so now
I'm thinking as long as I get something done, it's enough.
The idea is just that I stay active on it every week.

I've been stretching more, adjusting my posture
frequently and taking short walks (it's cold) daily and so,
doing a little better, I have two blocks to show this week.

This one was pretty complicated with all its pieces
and directional fabric.  

This one was not as difficult but didn't get everything
cut correctly to go in the same direction.
You win some, you lose some.  LOL.

Happy quilting!

22 January 2020

Snow Love Quilt Top

I'm so happy we're getting snow right now.
It's a really wet slushy snow but I'll take it!
My timing with today's post couldn't be better.
I'm sharing another layer cake quilt--the
last remaining layer cake in my sewing room.
(Still have some charms to use up)


Snow Love.
Show love.  Sew love.  Sow love.
Take your pick--or do them all.

Can you believe it?  Another quilt top done!
That makes three for the year already.
Of course, layer cake quilts are usually pretty fast
and this one was no exception.

For this I used the Snowy Wishes collection.  I always
love snowmen (they're so happy!)--and these colors are
so pretty.  They're a decent match for the quilt I just
made for our bed (adding in a pop of red) so I think this will
be a nice accent for on the bedroom chair or folded at
the foot of our bed--to curl up with while reading.

I didn't want to cut these up too much so I used the heart
idea from some baby quilts I made a few years ago--just
made the blocks bigger.   This resulted in a scrap piece
slightly bigger than a charm from every "layer" so while
there was very little waste, I guess I just added
a charm pack to that pile.  I'll share more info on this
quilt (including setting triangle measurements) in
a later post.

Stepping back from the main section of the quilt,
I decided the best way to tie it to our bed quilt
would be to put the same fabric on the border,
right after I put a little white one around the entire thing.

Main section of our bed quilt (before sides and top
small tree "pillow strip" were added):

And here is Snow Love with the same border:

I do regret that I chose to use up a solid white for the
blocks, forgetting that I had to put full white blocks
between.  Realizing I wouldn't have enough
(not wanting to wait to get more), I switched to the
white on white tree fabric.  I think the hearts would
stand out a little more if the background fabric was
consistent but I'm hopeful the quilting might pull it
all together just fine.

I have a perfect pantograph!  It will definitely be a challenge
but I've been wanting to do this one badly.  Now I'm
able to give it a good practice on a quilt just for us.

So there it is!  I now have three quilt tops ready for quilting.
With the snow coming down, the view in there would be great
today but I'm feeling more like cozying up in the sewing room.
Maybe do some scrap busting!

Happy quilting!

20 January 2020


A big goal this year is to make tons of gifts.
Many quilts will be going out but for it won't be the
first time some of these have received a quilt from me.
I think this kind of begs the question:  
Just how many quilts can/should you give a person?
(It probably just depends on the person, right?)

I've been thinking about this, and also about how I miss
knitting.  Maybe it's the frigid temps bringing on all these
thoughts of warm, hand-knitted items but I'm itching to get
back at it.  Since I can't seem to quilt in large blocks of time
without hitting the pain meds--and I'd like to keep my liver
and kidneys young, thank you--I need to rotate in
something else that has me making things.
I think I need to go back to being a multi-crafter.
Those needles need to come back down
from their perch on top of the fabric cabinet.

(Anyone else have knitting needles stashed away?)
They need to get back to work making
scarves, gloves, hats, socks...and if you just added
in "sweaters" you're my hero.  #lifegoals.

Obviously the greatest thing about knitting is all of the
fun, furry things you can make but next, I love that you can
knit just about anywhere, anytime.  And I think that there's
no better project for road trips.  It gives my hands something
to do besides mindless web surfing while watching a football
game or movie with the hubs/fam.  If you're a multi-tasker,
listening to books while knitting is a great way to cross two
things off the want-to-do list at once, especially if you learn
how to pair knitting projects to your reading.
It's an easy skill, easier than wine-pairing
(my favorite part of drinking wine).
Take Anne of Green Gables--set in Canada.
Obvious.  It's freezing up there!
And I really, really would like all that snow.
Snow+ freezing = mittens, scarves and hats.
Or Jane Austen books.  England.
Damp.  Sheep.  Wool.  Sweaters.
Easy peasy.
Btw, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is one of
the most well-done audiobooks I've ever listened to.
Better than a movie.  The Netflix movie that came out not too
long ago was pretty good but not near as enjoyable as the audio.
Well, IMO.  It's an excellent knit-along book.  And if anything,
you'll answer the question of where that odd name comes from.

Need some inspiration?

Some of the cutest knitting projects out there
are for babies and toddlers.

Now that my friends and I are starting to become
grandmas, I'm gaining plenty of cuties to gift items
like these to.  I always wish I'd known how to knit
when my kids were little!

Oh my gosh!!!

For more inspiration, check out LoveCrafts.
There are lots of free patterns and
they're having their Huge January Sale!
The Best of 2019 is also worth a look.
(They also have sewing/quilting and cross-stitch/embroidery
sections along with various notions for the multi-crafters.)

Have you ever done any knitting?
What was your first (or favorite) project?
Have you ever gifted a knitting project?

I would love to hear of any air travel advice
any knitters out there might have.  I've read
that you can take the needles on board but
I've been too afraid to try, though I've always 
thought wooden ones should be safe enough.

It turns out my cat seems to agree that it's time.
I kid you knot, as I typed away at this post, 
she just stood up and did this:

It is possible she was after my little chicken up there
but I can't remember her ever doing this before.
No hints needed though, Chloe.  I'm on it.

I already pulled out my knitting UFO's for a look.
Unlike quilting, I do have actual UFO's with my knitting.
WHY?  I'm not real sure but I would have to guess that
it's because they're smaller and so easily tucked away.

What I Found
(aka, Fess-Up Time):

stocking hat
(odd stitch-change at brim; maybe I can figure it out now?)
fingerless glove
(overly ambitious for me at the time; can likely do now)
(dropped a stitch & can't figure out where; the orderly person
in me can't seem to just add another and move on)
Baby Blanket
(missed an entire row but can't find where)
Cabled Beret
(most recent and ambitious project; excited to pick back up!)
3 dish scratchers
(2 done, one half-finished)

Just add ALL of these to my 2020 plans.  They will
likely require me seeking professional knitting help
(especially that blanket)
but hopefully I can force myself
to tuck my little knitter's tail and do it.
You all know how much I dislike UFO's.
In fact, I already sat down and finished that 3rd dishcloth on
the spot.  Getting the rest of these done would be huge.

Happy quilting...and knitting!

18 January 2020

Farmer's Wife Friday #2

Okay, that week went by too fast.
Is it Friday already?
(This is posting Saturday morning but it's Friday
as I write this so it counts as Friday, right??)

It has not taken me long to discover that cutting tiny
pieces with tiny templates can really (and I mean really!)
add to my back and neck pain so I am already showing
up one piece short of my weekly goal.  On week 2.
Still, 5 out of 6 isn't too bad, and I may be able to fit
an extra one in next week, though I don't think I should
do more than one (or two?) at a time from now on.

Okay.  Here are my 5 blocks for the week:

Check out this first one.
Not too shabby, eh?
I try not to get overly hung up on
perfect points but I do aim for them.
Achieving them makes happy and content.
That has to be therapeutic.

In blocks this small, I really expected it to be
an issue but so far, nope.

Notice I'm fitting in more ivories now.

This one has a few not-so-perfect points
but I think when set among 110 blocks it won't
be noticeable.  And frankly, cutting all of these
little triangles with a template had me hurting
beyond caring for sure.  There might be some sort of
"connection to the past" when using templates but I
think I'm going to have to start using more modern
methods when it comes to HST's, for example.

Here is that pesky little basket that I started last week,
now with its handle fixed.  I'm a little rusty on my
hand-applique but I do enjoy it.

I've finally had a chance to sit down and read some
of the contest letters that go with these blocks.
These are from an earlier and simpler time but
growing up on a farm myself, I can easily relate
especially when some seem to have the voices
of my own parents and other relatives.

"It must be admitted that country life has neither many
thrills nor frills, but it offers instead what is of more
value to earnest men and women:  wholesome living
conditions, an excellent moral environment, opportunity
for mental growth and spiritual development, and
possibilities of real and lasting happiness."

I suppose these things could be had in other
places but there really was a time this was
so very true of most rural living.
A little nostalgia to go with your quilting. 

Happy quilting!

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