Monday, February 27, 2012

Sew Crazy Day.........

at Over the Hill Farm.  Yes, the Sew Crazies, minus Luella and Sandy, had a little mini retreat today at our place.  Amidst laughter, friendship and food we managed to work on table runners based on a You Tube from the Missouri Quilt Company using the Strip Tube Ruler.  My runner, made from stash,  is very Spring-like, which is what this glorious weather is deceiving us into thinking that it is.  We were even able to sit on the back porch to enjoy lunch.



The daffodils are in full bloom now, as are the little purple hyacinths that are so very fragrant.  The forsythias are hinting at the promise of their full glory with tiny yellow buds starting to appear.  I love Spring.  Sometimes, when Spring is full of promise, I forget that Fall is my favorite season.


This miniature Shoo Fly block, measuring in at 3" finished, was on its way to Vermont today to become a part of a little quilt for another friend from my Yahoo Prim group who is ill.  I hope that this tiny wish from friends near and far will cheer her.



At the garden, the early Spring crop is in........spinach, cabbage, lettuce, collards, onions, strawberries and blueberries.

Blueberry bloom

Lettuce, Spinach
Strawberry Plant


Blake and I found this old galvanized tub in an abandoned barn.  The bottom is nearly rotted out, but I thought that it made for a charming place to start a container herb garden.......as long as it still holds dirt, we are good!  Might I add, I am not sure Blake was able to understand why we were dragging this piece of junk home.........what does he know :-)  To his credit, he didn't say a word, just loaded it into the Expedition.





GRATITUDES:
Warm sunshine on my face.
The back porch swing.
A husband who accepts me just the way I am.
Cold, wet doggy noses pressed against my hand.

Take care,
Jennie


Saturday, February 25, 2012

I promised you chickens.....

and I won't let you down!!  It was really hard to take good photos through the cage wires, but honestly, these chickens are the cutest and most handsome things!!  I wish I could remember the names of the varieties here....they sound very exotic.  When I have my very own flock of girls I will learn.  I hope to have a start on the coop soon.  I will definitely keep you posted!




As for now, I will have to settle for this fellow......a birthday gift from a girlfriend many years ago.  I believe that he will be the only rooster on this farm!


On Friday the Sew Crazies met at our LQS, Sewn with Luv, where the lovely owner, Kathleen, so generously allows us to meet and generally kick up a commotion in her shop with all of our laughter and teasing.  I am not totally sure that her customers know quite what to think of us.....but I think that they are sure we are having fun.  We continue to work on our QOV projects.  Kathleen donated this great kit with a preprinted panel in the Seven Sisters pattern.  I brought it home to add the borders....should be a quick do!


This week I completed the Disappearing 4 Patch top, which is now destined to be a donation quilt for one of the Sew Crazie's charities.  It was fun to put together, and I have a gazillion more of the blocks.  I must have thought I was making 3 king sized tops, honestly.  It is not the most gorgeous thing I ever saw......it is kind of psychedelic but it is done, a lot of stash was busted and it will go for a good cause.


I also completed this little stitchery from Summer Gatherings.  The applique is wool with Valdani floss. The lettering was done with one strand of DMC.


The really good thing is that it calls for a standard 8" x 10" frame.....so, I was off to Goodwill for that.  I found this ratty looking frame, already nicely distressed........all I need to do is paint it and distress a little more.  The price was right at two bucks.


Also worked on some other things, which I will share in another post.

The new arbor and fence got painted and now awaits some plantings to tie it to the site.



 This post went on forever, sorry.  I suspect you are on overload at this point.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

GRATITUDES:
Hopes and dreams......and the realization that they don't all need to come true for me to be truly happy.....I already am.
Family safely home from their respective Winter Breaks.
Warm slippers.
The laughter and camaraderie of friends.

Take care,
Jennie

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Where did the w/e go?

As usual, the weekend just flew by.  We attended the Chattahoochee Valley Poultry Association show yesterday.......over 2000 fowl, all in one place.  I will try to post a few photos tomorrow.  I had my list and checked out the breeds I am interested in.  Added a couple :-)  They are just so darned cute!!!  Hopefully I will get my chicken house started in the next few weeks and then I can really get serious.

Got some stitching and prepping done.  Finished two more of the little Trick or Treat baskets, completed my February block for Over the Meadow (but I won't post it here until after the end of the month when I post it at my Yahoo PrimFolkArt group) and did some prep work on several more.  They are just so adorable that I can't believe I waited a whole year to start them.  Finished quilting and binding the Kathleen Tracy small quilt for this month.  The pattern in Broken Dishes, and I did the small version in reds and pinks.  Some folks used a valentine embroidery in the center square, but I fussy cut one of my favorite Jo Morton bird toiles.  It is machine pieced and quilted.  Everything from scraps or stash.


My quilt group, the Sew Crazies, have started their second QOV.  We are making 12" blocks in patriotic colors (some fabrics left over from the previous quilt and some of our own) that look more "girly".  Seems that we always think of soldiers as guys, and, of course, that is simply not the case these days.  That is why we decided to make something a little more feminine.  I made the Dresden Plate and Fan blocks using the Darlene Zimmerman E-Z Dresden template......and it truly was easy.  I used invisible machine applique on the Fan and Dresden Plate and they were done much faster than I would have ever imagined.  Now I want to make a whole Dresden Plate quilt as at the Bunnyhill Scrappy Plate Club.  Always something to add to the list.



DGS, Dillon, helped us in the garden on Friday.  We added a nice little strawberry bed next to the fence, and I planted 20 strawberry plants.  Also put in some spinach and lettuce.  I have never raised either before and am hoping that it doesn't get too warm here before they are ready to harvest.  The weekend brought some gentle rain for them.  The garlic is growing and I think the onions are looking okay.  Blake is already buying seed for this year's garden.....Spring Fever for sure.

GRATITUDES:
A place to live where we can indulge in our hobbies.
Wholesome community activities.
Curiosity to learn and try new things.

Take care,
Jennie

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday

It is a beautiful day here in Georgia.....the sun is shining, it isn't too cold and we have had some nice rain over the past couple of days.  What more could you ask?

On top of that, I have been able to go to my weaving class for the past two days.....one was my regular lesson, the other a make up day for last week.  I am getting the loom ready to start my second project....some twill dish towels.  Ann Lynn is allowing me to work on the type of loom that I am hoping to buy soon, a Mighty Wolf.....after working on the Wolf Pup, it really seems like a "big girl" loom!  Now, mind you, it is not one of those wonderful, take up your whole room looms like my friend Diane has, but I don't see myself committing to one of those.......yet :-)



I spent last night working on set three of the Just Takes 2 blocks.  I am not adept at foundation piecing.  I spent an awful lot of time ripping out and redoing.  Not only am I not adept at this technique, I am not fond of it.  Maybe I need some lessons, as it appears we are going to be using this method a lot in the blocks for this quilt.  On this set I used two background colors and three reds....again, all from stash.


The small Crosses Mourning Quilt is hand quilted, bound and hung.  This clock is in my sewing room....I was pleased that the little quilt went with it so well!




Our Bible Study group donated Valentine baskets for the young women rescued from sexual abuse and slavery by Wellspring Ministries.  There are eight young women (ages 15-18) currently in this program.  Each of our ladies contributed with the generosity of loving hearts.  We delivered the baskets to the office on Monday along with the little bud vases filled with tiny carnations and baby's breath.  It is shocking that the Atlanta area is one of the worst in the country for this type of abuse.

GRATITUDES:
Grandchildren that are safe and loved by their families.
The feel of fibers in my hand.
Sweet memories of my mother.

Take care,
Jennie

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lazy day......

It is cold outside....after all of the spring-like weather, we had gotten spoiled.  At least the sun is shining and it isn't quite so windy today.  It is a good day to be lazy.....which is exactly what is happening here.  We came home from church, ate leftover chili and have just been taking it easy!

I have been enjoying hand quilting the little Crosses Mourning Quilt.  I rarely hand quilt anymore, and I have never been a pro at it.  The truth is, though, that it is quite enjoyable if you just relax and let your stitches be what they are, knowing that they improve as you go along.  This thimble is my favorite, though now that I have lost weight, it needs a bit of adjusting.  The other thing that I swear by is the little pair of jewelry pliers that are in this photo.  Before I got them, I must have worn a gazillion finger cots out trying to pull my loaded needle through.  These little guys are perfect for the job.  I got both the thimble and the little pliers at the East Cobb Quilt Show a few years ago from Thimbles Plus.



This week I went to Lowe's to pick up some paint.  I can never resist a trip to the garden center, even in the middle of winter.  I picked up two Carolina jasmine plants to go on the big fence at the garden.  While there, I always have to check out the sale racks.  I have gotten some really nice plants (in need of just a little TLC) there over the years.  This time I found this sweet little cyclamen plant......for 75 cents!  People around here consider them annuals, but I have always had good luck with them as houseplants.  This one just needs repotting and he will be fine.


If you remember from this post, we had a nice crop of collards in our garden.  They have continued to supply us, family and friends with fresh greens all winter.  Yesterday Becky and Christopher came by and picked some.  And these were cooking on our stove this week....good ole Southern fare, with a hot skillet of cornbread......YUM!!!


Think I will sign off now and go pull up a few loops on the little Persian rug.

GRATITUDES:
Emails from friends.
Lazy days.
A beautiful voice singing one of my favorite hymns, "How Great Thou Art".

Take care,
Jennie

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Frustrated

I didn't post the other rug I worked on this week because I am just frustrated with it.  I started it many years ago and put it away because I could never get it right.  A couple of months ago I pulled it out and worked on it a bit.  I still disliked the way it was turning out.....which is a shame, because it is a pretty little persian and I would really like to finish it. This week I had Eric to look at it with me and we tweaked a couple of things.  I still don't like it.  I am determined to make it work, but I just don't know what I am going to change to make the difference.  I will finish the background and wait for it to speak to me.  I have a feeling it is not going to speak.......I will just have to wait for my next lesson with Eric if that is the case.


A member of one of my online groups has been diagnosed with cancer, so the group has decided to make her a comfort quilt.  She had admired this lovely, soft colored antique churn dash quilt.


We are going to try to duplicate the quilt in a lap size for her.  The fabrics appear to mostly be fabrics from old shirts and dresses....worn and mellow.  The group members are sending in blocks in similar colors and fabrics; one member will assemble it, and another (all the way in France) will quilt it.  I think that it is going to be such a surprise for her, and hopefully a blessing as she undergoes treatment for her disease.  This is the block that I made (it finishes at 6 1/2"):


I like this quilt so much that I am tempted to make one of my own.  I know....I really need another project.  But it is a thought....and I have the fabrics in my stash!

Today we put out over 150 bulbs in our yard, planted two Carolina jasmine at the garden gate and planted onion sets in the garden.  It is hard to believe it is only mid February.  I know that it will be cold again, but it really seems like Spring.

GRATITUDES:
The pungent smell of the earth.
Laughter.
A clean house.

Take care,
Jennie


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Catching up

February has been busy so far.  Seems I say that all of the time....we are BUSY!!!  I am so surprised that we are retired and still so busy.....I thought we would just be vegging, hanging out at the house.....you know, not much to do.  I was SO wrong!  But it is not a bad thing.  We are very happy doing what we do.


February 1st was DH's birthday.....I won't tell you which one.  We celebrated the entire week....dinner with friends, family.....fun stuff for a very deserving man.

The doggies went for much needed haircuts and their annual exams.  They are senior citizens, like their owners....the schnauzers are almost 13 and Poppy is 11 1/2.  They got good check ups.  I think the exercise they are able to get out here in the country keeps them healthier.  A day at the spa and doctor's office was exhausting, but my, they are lovely! 





Last weekend we did some grandkid sitting.  Jackson is riding his bicycle now....he is 2 1/2 and he is a hoot!  Note the way he stops his bike.....I am not sure it has brakes, but he has it figured out!  We had fun, but we were exhausted!

video

This week I hosted rug hooking class for a couple of days with our esteemed teacher, Eric Sandberg.  He has moved to Virginia from Georgia, and we were missing him terribly!  We had a grand time and, as always, learned so very much.  We are looking forward to having him back in April.  The doggies enjoyed him, too.  Thank you, Eric!




This is one of the things I worked on with Eric......



I started this very large (39" x 75") rug quite some time ago with Eric.  It is a copy of an old rug which is in the public domain.  The scrolls are very beautiful, but killers to hook.  I love the rug, but have not been really consistent about working on it.  I am determined to finish it this year and to see it residing on the floor in my foyer.

The flowers in Georgia are quite confused by the weather.  It is not even mid February, and the daffodils and hyacinths are in full bloom.  Even my Thanksgiving cactus is blooming again!  Go figure.





My very first weaving sampler came off the loom last week.  Don't look at it too closely.  I am definitely committed to this new venture.  I can see a loom in my future!  Next week I will start some dish towels.


Whew!  I think that about gets it for this post!

GRATITUDES:

Family, Friends, Flowers

Take care,
Jennie