Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Working On My Barn Quilt


It's no secret that I love quilts! I think that there is something so magical about turning a stack of fabric into a wonderful work of art, that is both beautiful and functional. It takes many hours of work to turn that fabric into a quilt. I love the whole process! I have one quilt that took me 120 hours to make. It is a paper pieced quilt. Paper piecing is magical! The process is very easy. Google it if you are curious. Pinterest is full of wonderful paper pieced examples. 
I am coming along with my Quilty Barn Along. I have two more blocks that are almost finished. I had to order more black on black patterned fabric. I just didn't have any in my stash. Can you find the mistake? Look closely. It is the barn on the bottom right. It's the cupolas. I reversed the roof and cupola "siding". But, it's ok. 

I just love the barn blocks. 


I know, I know......not another one. Yep, I found a Featherweight at an estate sale recently. The price was so amazing, that I couldn't pass it up. It's funny, back when I was really looking for one I couldn't find one at all. Now that I am no longer looking, they seem to find me. Not sure if I am keeping this one or selling it. It is in excellent condition with instruction booklet, case and other odds and ends. I don't think that the lady that owned it used it much. Thankfully she was just downsizing. I like those types of estate sales, they are not as sad to me.



It also came with a buttonhole maker for free. They just threw it in at no charge. Said that it didn't make sense to sell the buttonhole maker and machine separately. 

It's very interesting. I am not sure how it works but it came in a little box with instructions.

I love these old labels.

I have recently stumbled upon this site lostquilt.com. I was shocked and saddened to find that people steal quilts. I guess that I never really thought about quilt theft. Some of these thefts happened at quilt shows. So sad. The site is a great addition to the quilting community. Some of the quilts have actually been recovered. Recently a quilter lost 16 quilts to thieves. They broke into her studio and only stole the quilts. You can read about it here: Quiltville Friends on facebook. You may have to scroll down a little to find the article. I also found out that you can microchip your quilt. If I ever enter a quilt in a show or mail one, I know now to put my name and address on the quilt. It is even suggested that you sew it inside the quilt sandwiched between the batting and backing before adding the binding. Great tips. 


It's been hot here but starting to cool off a little. 


Sometimes all you need is a little pool, a water gun and a wet t shirt to rule the world!

Have a happy day and if you don't quilt I urge you to start! If you have any quilty questions just leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer it.
Holly



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fun Flower Tour


Wow! I can't believe that it is July already!! Sorry for the mini vacation. I have been busy: gardening, redecorating, sewing, summer homeschooling D#2, canning, needle felting, painting and just plain old relaxing. Here's a couple of pictures of the yard. 
Cherry tomatoes always go crazy in the whiskey barrels. 





Pretty gladiolas after a rain. They remind me of my Mama and Papa. He always grew them for Mama and would bring them in from the garden for her.



I loooovvvvee my gardenias. I have two bushes that are about 9 years old. They bloom throughout the summer. 

Garden. See the corn that the squirrels planted. I have planted corn for years and can't get it to grow above 2 feet and look at how big the squirrels' corn grew-at least 4-5 ft. I believe that it has 2 ears on it.

Gladiolas, cucumbers, & sunflowers.

Pretty day lilies.

My beautiful butterfly garden. The black eyed Susans outdo themselves every year. It is a huge plot of them, about 6 foot x 14 ft and just full of the black eyed Susans. The butterflies, bees, goldfinches and other insects just love them.

Pot of flowers covering a pump we had to install to keep the area some what dry.

My neighbor got a little round-up happy and killed half of the butterfly garden. He sprayed the weeds along the fence and in their strawberry patch. When it rained soon after he sprayed (probably that afternoon) it washed down into my butterfly garden. But, I planted some zinnias, marigolds, morning glories and a few mystery seeds in those bare spots. Hopefully the b-e-Susans will make a comeback next year. Can you see the clump of weeds in the bottom left corner. The b-e-susans had choked all the weeds out but since there are some bare spots this year the weeds went crazy. They have all been removed now.


Another pot covering up a pump.

Little gnome all spruced up.

I believe this day lily is called a "tiger lily".

Canna after a rain.


   
Dr. Seuss quilt. This year I did the quilt a little different. We had 22 kids and I really didn't want to make 22 blocks. That would have been one huge quilt. I used a jelly roll (assorted Dr. Seuss strips of fabric) to make it. The children were so sweet and I just love their hand prints! I machine embroidered each name under the hand print. You do have to be organized while doing this. I used masking tape to label each child's hand print until I was able to embroider his/her name.

Each child signed their name to the label.

Back of quilt. I pieced the back using all the leftover solid scraps. I love to use up all the fabric and not have any left over. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!
Keep those fingers busy,
Holly




Thursday, May 15, 2014

Having A Quilty Kind Of Day


Cutting, sewing, painting, stitching, measuring.....can you guess what I have been up to? Here are some more hints:




Yep. It's that time of year again. Making hand print teacher quilt. I will show you the finished project as soon as I finish the binding. I had to do the quilt a little different this year. There are 22 students in the class, so wonky quilt squares for each hand print was out of the question. That would have been a massive quilt! But I think this quilt came out just as cute. I hope to finish the binding this week because school's out at the end of next week. Yikes! Better get my thimble and get busy!
Have a wonderful night,
Holly


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We have been working out in the backyard these past 2 months. Whew! We had a lot of this and that to clear out, aka leaves, limbs, broken pots, and just a good general cleaning. 
Petunias, my favorite.

Our goldfish pond. I am going to try and hide the "waterfall", I just have to put on my thinking cap and figure out how. See the comet next to the "waterfall". We have two, actually three but one is in a aquarium in the house. Gigantor was very mean last year when the two comets were small and kept on bullying them. They are now as big as he is.

This area of the yard was a big problem. Runoff from the neighbor's house made this area swampy. Grass didn't grow and neither did weeds. Made the dogs paws so muddy. We decided to turn this area into a Japanese style garden. Hubby stained the walkway and we added the rocks this year. Please ignore the tires, the neighbors use them to keep their two dogs from digging under the fence.

I planted three clumps of grasses and they are doing well. We plan on adding some seating to the deck area (upper left hand corner) in the Fall.

Pansies are still beautiful.

You can see the vegetable garden at the top of this picture. Butterfly bush and rudbeckia (black eyed susan) are planted right behind the concrete birdbath. By the end of summer they will both be filled out.

Garden gate.

Hydrangea is planted against the house in the side yard. 

Clump of daisies. Perennial from last year.

Purslane-type of succulent. 

Caladiums. I plan on planting the pot of irises (on the rocks) right where they are. Just as you walk into the Japanese garden they will be there to greet you.

Daylilies and lamb's ear.

Our garden bridge. The "ditch" gets so swampy, not to mention gross. The runoff from all the neighbors comes right down this little area and all the neighbors have dogs so you know what that means :( But I love my bridge :)))

Lilypads. 

Hostas to the right of the pond.



Fountain on the deck.

Fuchsia flower.

Garden cherub found at an estate sale for about .75.

My peony bush is so pretty this year. It is blooming two different flowers. One like this and one like this:


The flowers are bigger than my hand!


Deutzia bush with tiny white flowers. My father in law brought this to us a few years ago. I had it in a pot and planted it last year. It is still small 2'x2', but it will get big. It is from a cutting that he started from the mother plant. He was given his cutting from a sweet lady, Mrs. S from my hometown. You can see a few pictures from my hometown here.

Salsa garden: roma tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and blackberries. We picked about 4 gallons of blackberries last year.

Bottom left corner is a peek of garden #2. I planted tomatoes, beans, squash, zucchini, sunflowers, peas, onions, asparagus, raspberries, radishes,  & carrots. This is the view from the bridge.

Hope you enjoyed the garden tour,
Holly
ps. I will show you what I have been working on for the last month. Between this project and working in the yard, I have just been so slack on blogging. So sorry!