Monday, April 30, 2012

On the Wall

On my design wall this week, many more little red houses from the  Domiciles  pattern by Aardvark Quilts and the early stages of a Trip around the World.

Y'all come back!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Goals & Progress Report

Not too much sewing has been done. The weather has been glorious and I have been playing in the garden, wonderful Mr Mutchmore came and tilled the vegetable patch. I immediately planted Early Girl tomatoes, three pumpkins, lettuce, and a few radishes. The little boy next door is going to grow corn in the back 40 (square feet) and I will plant runner beans, spring onions and carrots when the plot dries out from our recent rain. Fingers crossed we do not get another freeze.

I have used either Lori's or my own Singer 15 exclusively for rather a long time and have become very set in that particular rut. Here in South Dakota I can use a 15 at Lori's house but I have a little vintage (1955) Singer 99K in mine, click image to enlarge. The “K” in the model name indicates it was made in Kilbowie, Scotland, it is a long way from home.

The Singer 99 is a 3/4 sized machine but still plenty tough. Surprisingly different from the Model 15 in its little quirks, probably nobody else would notice, but did I mention, I am very set in my rut.  I have had to 'cowgirl up' but because of those differences I have put the Double-X Effect quilt, which is all triangles, back in the "To do Box"

My choices of machine to bring to this house from 200 West Main were limited, it is the only Singer and the youngest machine in my collection of antique and vintage machines. I bought this particular machine because it was a bargain, it is absolutely pristine, looks like it has never been used and it has a cabinet or sewing machine table, as opposed to a case. Those 3/4 size cabinets have never been common and are getting really hard to find. Back from the wonderful machine repair shop in Mitchell, it has a new electrical cord and plug and is much happier.

Quilty goals progress: 
  • I have finished piecing the Swoon quilt which I started last year, the backing is pieced and it is waiting it's turn on the quilting machine. The Baby Swoon is in Texas awaiting the birth of baby Brock next month. This is the first time a quilt has arrived before the occasion. History is made!
  • The Domiciles,  project has 36 little houses completed, 63 to go. I am enjoying this one which is decimating Lori's stash of reds. For scrappy quilts my personal rule of thumb is no more than 5% of any fabric and preferably no two identical block/fabric combinations.
  •  Summer Porch from Eleanor Burns Quilts Through the Seasons: A Quilt for Each Month of the Year book has four new blocks, for a total of 30 completed on the blocks. there are a bunch of simple border blocks too. It is my "keep at Lori's house project".
Progress on non quilting goals:
  • Mow the lawn - done, several times!
  • Fill the birdbath and dig the flower bed around it. - done and Morning Glories have been planted
  • List Lori's very large box of surplus books on Bonanza and Amazon (different ones on the different sites)- done
  • Continue weeding the front and side flower beds - in progress, may be ongoing for months :(
  • Plant my hanging basket for the front porch - done, I made two and a large container, all are on the front porch.
This weeks goals:
  1. Five more Summer Porch blocks
  2. Ten more Domiciles blocks
  3. Sand and paint the $1 coffee table I bought last week, I am thinking Swedish blue to complement the ratty carpet which needs to be replaced.
  4. Continue weeding front flower beds, removing river rock 'mulch' and rotted shade cloth.
  5. Plant Asiatic lilies and some perennial flowers.
  6. Make a climbing trellis for Moonflowers by the side door deck.
Y'all come back!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shabby Chippy White Bentwood Chairs

I adore older, previously loved things.

This is just as well because very few brand sparkling new things have come my way in my lifetime and please note, I am not complaining.

Here is a real treasure from last week's sale, carefully posed next to the Bridal Wreath Spirea hedge just coming into bloom.

It is delightfully shabby,  the creamy white paint is slightly chippy, a solid, real wood, American made bentwood chair. I bought two, the second has very workmanlike heavy wire bracing (carefully painted) on the legs.

These chairs were obviously valued by their previous owner a farmer who passed away at the grand old age of 84 last December, he carved his name under the seats.

This is now my sewing machine chair, the other one lives in the enclosed side porch where it makes the changing of shoes much easier.

Y'all come back!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Swoon Baby

Click image to enlarge 

This is the one block size baby's first quilt I made from the Swoon pattern for my soon to be newest grandchild. As you can see it is a monochromatic quilt in blues, yes he is a boy and his name will be Brock.

My son and daughter in law live in Texas so the star theme seemed appropriate, Texans love them some stars; big is always good in Texas and as I understand it, you can never have too many of just about anything, but especially stars.

Here is the back showing the quilting.

At 36" square it will work for a either a crib or bassinet and it is small enough to be used on the car baby seat. The pantograph is Hearts A Flutter by the talented Lisa Calle of Stone House Designs.

Y'all come back!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Day After the Sale

This morning is a delightfully crisp 39 degrees and the sun is shining with promise of a lovely spring day ahead. Mr Robin has driven off all the other male robin contenders for possession of my garden and (I am told) is waiting for the arrival of the ladies from parts south. I am not sure how desirable his territory is, but he took a bath with much vigorous splashing; hopefully some nice girl will choose him to raise a Click image to enlarge gap ffamily this family this year.

Lori and I went to another sale yesterday. On the way there we assured each other that if we didn't see anything enticing we would come home. As we were hauling an enormous horse trailer I am not sure we believed ourselves.

Yes, I am going to clean it, just not today, I'm tired!We arrived in the nick of time, I was able to inspect, bid on and win a vintage hand quilted elongated nine-patch, sewn in the 30's or 40's for a very reasonable price. A badly faded and patched hand quilted wholecloth quilt, probably with wool batting was in the same lot. I was going to give it to Boysie but Lori was in love with it so I gave it to her instead.

Lots of other treasures came home with me including this sweet bright red wooden caddy, two antique office chairs, a 60's Mid-Century Modern Eames style chair for the porch, some vintage pyrex, china, glassware, pots and pans plus loads of vintage table cloths.

Y'all come back!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Dog Gets a Cat

Do you remember the nursery song about the Farmer in the Dell? He got a wife, the wife got a dog etc.

Boysie is a rescue dog, all of our current dogs are rescued and living with us because they are, for one reason or another, unadoptable. My husband and I had decided a couple of years ago that it was time to allow natural attrition to lower our dog population. We were afraid that a new young dog would outlive us.

When I got the call about Boysie it was a life or death decision for him and the carefully reasoned plan went kablooie, he was five months old and going to the pound the next morning.

Our local pound has a 24 hour rule. If you lose your dog on Saturday afternoon and he ends up at the pound he will be killed on Sunday, even though you couldn't pick him up because they are closed and do not answer phones at the weekend.

Boysie came with a (very sick) cat, Kenny was his bestest friend and I was unable to turn him away. $300 in vet bills and 18 months later he is a gorgeous and healthy cat although not as keen as he used to be to wrestle and be covered in dog saliva.

I had not realized how much Boysie missed his kitty friends until this adolescent tea drinking kitten 'followed him home'. The kitten is between 7 and 9 months old and totally unafraid of rambunctious little dogs. He is very friendly, thin, has had an injury to one back leg, has not stopped eating for two days and uses the litter box copiously.

I have placed an ad in the local paper and am hoping nobody responds.

Y'all come back!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Design Wall Monday

Twenty six blocks for the Eleanor Burns Summer Porch quilt, which I mistakenly called Front Porch last week. The pattern is in her Quilts Through the Seasons: A Quilt for Each Month of the Year book. The size I am making will require a total of forty two blocks.

Above, twenty six scrappy little red houses for the Domiciles quilt, a total of 99 are required. My design wall tells me I need to use more darker tans and less beige and very dark browns for the backgrounds, and I am considering adding brown and maybe pink for some of the houses. What do you think?

There is no magic in the number twenty six, just a co-incidence.

Y'all come back!

Saturday, April 14, 2012


With record breaking temperatures these last weeks Spring is definitely here in South Dakota.

Lori keeps telling me, "we may have a blizzard next week" but meanwhile I am driving everybody crazy asking questions about things they take for granted and (mostly) don't even think about.

Example, what to rabbits do in the winter?

Spring is a novelty for me after living for so many years without real seasonal change and I am enjoying it.

The pink tree above is the view from Lori's north facing sewing room window, I believe it is a flowering crab apple tree. It is loaded with blossom and just breathtakingly beautiful.

Just down the street from my house is this spectacular white flowering tree which I think might be a flowering pear.

The variety of shades of green in the new leaves on trees around town amazes me.

This tree on the left is a Chinese Poplar, fast growing, brittle, short lived and most think of it as a trash tree which in many ways it is, but right now it is is lovely.

Y'all come back!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dishwasher Safe? Really?

Lori had an appointment in Sioux Falls yesterday so I "went with".

Going to the big city is always a marathon, not necessarily much shopping but a lot of looking, and it is so much more fun going with a girl friend than with a husband.

Imagine! No whining.
No "Are we about done in here?" or "Why do you want to go to . . . . ?"

We went to the most wonderful nursery greenhouse with the healthiest plants I have seen in a long time, healthiest prices too averaging $4.99 per bedding plant. Very clever merchandising, instead of selling bedding plants in tiny six packs for a couple of dollars they re-pot them into 4" pots and price at about a 750% markup.

Okabashi label I bought a second large hanging basket for my front porch for $9.99 at Menards, and some reasonably priced plants.

As we were leaving I spotted some interesting looking rubber flip flops. Whipping off my shoe and sock I tried one on, they passed the test and came home with me. Maybe I can wear them after the snow predicted for next week melts.

While removing the label this morning I agreed with most of the claims, they are indeed joyfully comfortable. I am glad they are 100% recyclable, vegan friendly and slip resistant. Anti-microbial is good also. Dishwasher safe? Eeeuuwwww!

Y'all come back!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Garden Visitor

I use the word garden loosely. It is a back yard with some scraggly grass, many dandelions and seedlings from the too fertile tree . . .

There is a strategically positioned and delightfully funky home made birdbath. Yesterday was the first time I have noticed birds using it. What a handsome fellow my visitor is!

Click image to enlarge.

Y'all come back!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday

What is on my design wall today?

On the right, the first few blocks of my Domiciles little houses quilt, the pattern is by Aardvark Quilts. I loved the quilt on the pattern cover so mine will be scrappy reds too. They are simple little blocks (Lori thinks they look like little red barns) and the pattern instructions are great. I have been making these as leaders and enders.

On the left the first five blocks of an Eleanor Burns quilt called "Front Porch". It will be my first Eleanor Burns quilt and I have to say what everyone else in the world probably already knows - her instructions are incredibly clear, and detailed. Wow!

This will be the second quilt called Front Porch I have made, the first was a Miss Rosie pattern back in 2002. My mood for this one is faded, soft, pastel, tranquil florals. Sound familiar?

In the background is Double X Effect, it is sulking. I don't have the energy to deal with it right now.

Y'all come back!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Goals For The Week

Easter Sunday morning and town is strangely quiet!

My quilting goals are:
  • Add sashing and outer borders to my Swoon quilt (which I started last year)
  • One more diagonal row on red and tan Double X Effect
  • Make 4 test blocks for a possible joint project with Lori
  • Make 10 cottage blocks for Domiciles, a little houses project I can't interest Lori in at all, which will be made with red scraps from her stash and neutral scraps from mine.

Non quilting goals:
  • Mow the lawn
  • Fill the birdbath and dig the flower bed around it
  • List Lori's very large box of surplus books on Bonanza and Amazon (different ones on the different sites)
  • Continue weeding the front and side flower beds
  • Plant my hanging basket for the front porch
It is doubtful I will achieve all of them but they are only targets and I am going to enjoy them, not stress over them.

Y'all come back!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Where Did the Week Go?

I feel like I haven't accomplished a thing this week, but it really isn't so.

The brown Urban Cabin quilt, which will be a Quilt of Valor donation is pieced and now waiting its turn on the longarm.

I pieced a Swoon baby quilt in blues for my grandson who will be born this summer, it is quilted, trimmed, bias binding made. You can see a picture of it on the longarm here. It is a single 24" block with a 6" border which of course finishes to 36" square. Quick, easy, pretty and inexpensive new baby gift, perfectly sized for the baby car seat and small enough it may become the drag around comfort object later. Surely every Grandma's goal?

Thanks to Camille Roskelley (designer of the Swoon pattern) for the idea! I can't find the post but always enjoy reading about her family on her personal blog. The View From My Kitchen Window

I have been weeding, it is a losing battle which I do not intend to lose. I am going to plant Morning Glories to climb up the bird bath post which will make my daily View From My Kitchen Window weather blog posts a bit more interesting. I should probably put water in the bird bath and the grass needs to be cut today!

We are going to have some night freezes in the coming week but my house is cozy and I will survive. I really can't complain, the weather has been beautiful and I am thoroughly enjoying Spring.
Y'all come back!