Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rude Awakening

I was up early this morning as usual getting ready to for work when I heard a sound.  A sound which brought terror to my heart.  It was a yip, yip, yip sound right outside.  It had to be a coyote.  The other day while I was sewing I saw one run through our field, it was big,  and headed toward the back woods in the neighbor's field.  The coyote did not even appear to notice the girls but I didn't want to take a chance.  After hearing that sound I ran upstairs and woke up DH so he could grab a gun and go out with me to check on the girls.

We ran outside.  The girls were not even upset.  Obviously they are not worldly enough to know that they were in danger.  Everything seemed to be fine so off to work I went.  I felt bad for the rude awakening this morning that DH experienced.

When I got home I did a quick check on the girls and headed into the house to sew. 

This one took a while.

57 pieces!  It took me almost the whole 4 1/2 hours between runs.

This is Old Windmill it was easy.  I think it took me longer to pick out the fabrics than to cut and sew it together.

Tuesday DH and I went to check out a machine we saw on Craigslist.  We have been throwing around the idea of finding an industrial machine to use.  Most of the ones we see on Ebay are local pick up only and pretty beat up, and expensive. 
This is a Singer 241-11.  It is straight stitch only, and we are trying to figure out how to use it as a mid arm type machine for quilting.  Most of the time I can trade out feet from machine to machine, but this one I cannot switch feet, it is a high shank machine.  So I need to find a quilting foot.  I have been comparing and it may even be able to use a ruler toe with it, once I figure it all out.  I did figure out how to wind a bobbin.  I may play with it more tomorrow.

I have Friday, Halloween off, and I am so looking forward to sleeping in, and doing some sewing.  Hopefully no rude awakenings for me!



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Glorious October Summer Day

I don't know if there was something in the air yesterday or what, but heck I could use more days like it.  I woke up at my usual what we call OMG o'clock to head out to work.  The thermometer outside said 67 degrees.  At the end of October!  It felt like early summer. 

After my morning bus runs I came home, had a quick cup of coffee and hopped on the charity quilt and quilted in some wavy lines for my first few passes.  I think I am going to be brave and try some quilting following a pantograph.  I have seen some  suggestions on other blogs about using them, and I found a cool one, so I am excited to try a new technique. 
Changed the foot on my machine on the quilting frame and managed to actually quilt a couple of passes before I broke a thread.  I am sure I probably need to change a bobbin there anyway so no big deal.  Also this is a different machine on the quilter than before, so it took a bit of time to get it set up and a new learning curve with this machine. 
I then wandered into my sewing room and finished the  Aurifil Block for October.  So I am all caught up there.
Oh I also chatted on the phone with my mama.  She is bored.  The first of October the family goes deer hunting, and she decided that she was going to try to walk a deer trail on a mountain side.  While trying to step over a downed tree on the trail, she fell, and rolled down the mountain.  Mountain search and rescue had to come out and recover her and pack her out.  The local hospital told her it was broke and sent her home which was a several hour car ride.  I am going to venture to say I think this is the first broken bone I think my mom has had, at least in my 50 year memory.  It is her tibia, and it wasn't a bad break, but she got some new hardware to lug around, and she is to stay off her leg for 8-10 weeks.  I don't envy my dad.  Trying to keep her down is like trying to get a 2 year old hopped up on laffy taffy to behave. 

I think I had a pretty productive 4 hours off.  I need more productive 4 hour time chunks!


Monday, October 27, 2014

The Ladies

I think DH is in love with another woman, well I should probably say 16 other women.  It is our flock of Buff Orpington chickens. I will say he is definitely proud of his girls. 

We bought these little fuzzballs at the local feed store in May.
They began living in the sun room in a cardboard box.  They were then moved to the chicken house, which used to be a friend's dog kennel.
It went from this.
To this.  After enclosing part of the house with 2 1/2 inch wallboard which are wood with aluminum and insulation in between, and enclosing the porch with chicken wire and creating a door for our access in and out of their house. 

Then this.  Including the chicken tunnel because we could not get the buildings to sit closer together. The girls were getting bigger and needed more exercise area. The ceiling in the chicken house has R19 insulated batting throughout. 

 Recent additions--The back portion of the chicken house has been opened up for them and is where the nesting boxes are.  A solar heater has been installed and it will help keep them toasty. 
DH found a sample window.  Yep the girls have a Pella, dual paned window which will open and close and has a screen.  Gives them some more light in the back, but also will help with air circulation when the weather is warmer. 
A coop with a view.  The window isn't very high off the floor so they can look out.  I think it needs to be washed.  I wonder if it is a tip out? 
The nesting boxes.  The girls can see outside while they lay.  The yellow grate at the top of the wall is part of the solar heater to keep varmints from intruding. 

There is lighting on timers because in order to have chickens lay they need about 12-14 hours of light per day.  The LED lights come on at 5 am and off at about 8 am.  Then come back on about 6pm and go off for the night at about 8pm.  You can also see we have the milk house heater in there suspended far above them at ceiling level.  It has grates and does not get hot.


Our girls have attitude, and shhh don't tell anyone I said this but they have big butts too!  But they are so cute when they are butt up pecking through the grass.  They average about 8 eggs a day which is great but boy can they eat!  The ladies have been a bit peckish lately so today they were allowed to free range, which meant they needed chaperones to protect them from predators. The girls got to wander.  DH cleaned up the garden picking up buckets, and tomato cages, and I carved pumpkins.

Dh says we need to paint, and maybe add some trim.  South Dakota has a Corn Palace, but Carleton, Michigan has a chicken palace.  Next they are going to want cable or satellite TV installed. 





Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sewings On

Do you ever have times when you are not doing a whole lot of sewing but you want to try some new things?

Last year at a quilt show I saw a quilt made of panels that had been cut up and sewn back together.  My guild was going to have a class on it, but it got cancelled for some reason so I thought maybe I would find the book and a panel that I wanted to use.

I found the book on Ebay.
Looks pretty simple and I actually found a fabric panel I wanted to make too!
Antique tractors!  DH is a John Deere man, but the panel included some of the other antique tractor brands also.  While each picture is only about 6 inches it should be quite a bit bigger after it is fractured.   I think that I am going to take a photocopy of the square first and test it out which is suggested in the book.  I even found matching scattered fabric with the tractors scattered all over it. 

I have been going back and forth about doing the Bonnie Hunter mystery QAL.  But I decided I would pull some fabrics and maybe acquire some new ones.

The Quilter's Asylum had a lovely bundle of fabrics 2 of each color to give you a start.  I thought they were pretty awesome looking so I bought the bundle.  Wednesday, DH and his mother went to the apple orchard to pick up our 2 bushels of Mutsu apples.  They are a cross between a Granny Smith, and a Yellow Delicious, nice firm flesh, but not too sweet.  I met them after work and we went to dinner and headed to Joann's Fabrics.  I needed some fabric to finish up my stocking.  While I was there I bought some greens.  I hope they will work too since I don't have a whole lot of green in my stash.


What do you think?  Too limey?  Or do you think they would work?

Oh and here are my Christmas Fabrics.
Simple red for the lining, and the peppermint for the back of the stocking.

The pile of scraps shown here. Turned into this. 
 I actually got batting on it and quilted it in just a few minutes the other day. Add the toe, heel, lining and a hanger and tada!
Not too shabby.  OK my toe is a little square but I like how it turned out. 

Sunday afternoon DH and I were going to remove window screens and wash windows and the screens, but we have had an invasion of Japanese Beetles.  They look like orangish colored ladybugs, but they are not very lady like.  They are constantly landing on you, crawling all over you, and they bite too even when unprovoked!  So more than likely we open a window and remove a screen we are going to be invaded and I just cannot deal with more bugs in the house after the cricket invasion of September.  

That is the sewings on going on around here, not much sewing but lots of planning. 








Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Out of Necessity

First I want to thank everyone for their well wishes and prayers regarding the youngest daughter's vehicle.  I am very fortunate to be married to a double master mechanic.  In a matter of just a few hours we found parts at a local wrecking yard, he got some other parts which he felt should be new from a  friend's auto parts store.  So what would have cost the kids about $700 to fix, DH fixed for about $100.  I cannot begin to tell you how truly blessed we are as a family. 

I think as everyone knows I am a bus driver for the local school district.  I have a plastic credit card type card which is my time card. 


Monday when I got home, DH was calling me.  He forgot to put wood in the boiler and he needed the VIN off of the daughter's mini van.  So being the adorable wife I am, I went out to the wood burner, loaded it with wood.  Then wandered out to the daughter's van sitting by the barn and sent the VIN to DH via text message on my cell phone.  I then checked the girls to make sure they had food, and water, pulled some weeds for 15 minutes in the cold!  YUCK.  Proceeded to do some housework, and finally had some time to sew.  I looked up and realized I was late for my afternoon shift by about 5 minutes.  So I grabbed my bag, a bottle of water, and ran out the door.  Only to realize as I was getting into the car my badge was missing!  I ran back into the house, it wasn't in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, sewing room, or any of the other rooms that I was in that day. Between runs I asked DH to look for my time card in the chicken coop, the barn by the daughter's van and the woodshed when he got home.  He found it out by the barn. 

So I figured it was time to make a pocket for my safety vest to put my time card in. 
Some heavy weight plastic and double fold bias tape. 
OK Do not look to close it got a bit wonky near the end, but hey it works and no more lost time card!  I know utility sewing not very exciting.  But what is very cool, my scanner will pick up my card with no problem at all. 

 I did dig out my Christmas fabrics to start to make a scrappy Christmas stocking for the guild Christmas charity.  There were scraps from a charm swap which I participated in a few years ago.
And I have been helping the economy by making fabric acquisitions.

The hounds tooth is a Hoffman Batik which matches the Bali pop I am using to make my basket weave quilt.  It was less than $6.00 per yard so I have a backing!  Then some batiks for my BOM that I am working on.  I love Today's Quilting-- many times when I order I get some samples of charm squares. (This is not a paid endorsement, I just like the online shop).  They are also very prompt in mailing, which is a big plus to me. 

Enough procrastination I need to finish my stocking and maybe I can work on something else.  Tonight DH is picking up his mamma and they are going to the apple orchard to pick up our order of Mutsu apples.  Then they are swinging by the house, picking me up and we are going out to dinner.  I think that plan thrilled the MIL.  Tomorrow I have a CPR which will be about 4 hours between my morning and afternoon runs.  So that day will be shot, and Friday I have a field trip, after my morning run.  I am driving across the state to pick up the 5th graders who have been at outdoor school/camping all week. 

 



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Weekend Goings On

I survived the weekend!  I am at the age where I am have learned that life has its ups and downs and you just kind of roll with the punches.  Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming but say a prayer and move on.  I started with a pretty nasty cold which kind of knocked me off my feet which got pretty bad on Wednesday. 

Friday with construction and it almost took me an extra 30 minutes to finish my afternoon grade school route!  I got back to the yard, went to the office to grab my charter trip instructions and there was so much going on that I did not have everything I needed.  I made the executive decisions and sent the mechanic out to get my bus ready, fueled, grabbed the keys and finally got home after 6 pm.  When your days start at 4:30 am, even with a break in the middle for about 4 hours- working for another 4 hours throws everything off.

Saturday morning I was up and out of the house extra early.  I was not too sure what my charter was but I was picking people up at a high school about 45 minutes south of where I live.  Then I went to another high school about 45 minutes north of me and picked up another group of kids.  What were they doing?  The kids were cleaning up different blight areas in and around Detroit.

The Detroit Train station.  This was once a beautiful building, but has not been used for years.  The kids had their pictures taken as a group.

I then took a group to Belle Isle.  At one time this was a happening place.  The Carillion, some also call it the Peace Tower.

The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory.  There were so many other old buildings which are fabulous and people are working diligently in restoring these marvelous old buildings. There was once a zoo, aquarium, a casino, a yacht club, horse stables, and this is where the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix race is run every year. 

While they were working I was stitching.  I finished the outline and started on the inner stitching for the letter 'N'.

By the time they were finished and I got them all delivered back to their original departure points and I cleaned and fueled the bus again it was after 6 pm.  Another long day!

DH told me when I got home that the youngest daughter was having car problems and we were going to have to look at her car sometime Sunday.  Our original plans were that we were all going to the apple orchard, but DH assured me we could do it after he looked at the car. 

Sunday morning began with a desperate call from the youngest, in tears.  Her car died along the side of the road as she was off to pick up the two oldest boys from their father's house.  DH loaded up the truck with tools, stopped and filled up the truck and ran to a friends and grabbed our big trailer.  The drive shaft broke and fell out of her car.  Well it isn't a car it is a mini van, a big, old, mini van!  Between the youngest, DH and I we winched it up onto the trailer and brought it back to our house.  Good new?  DH can fix it.  Bad news?  It may take a couple of days to get all the parts, even though we went to the local junk yard and pulled parts off of some old wrecked mini vans, because of course we could not find the exact year of her vehicle.

The kids had a fun time running around the farm, picking berries, loading up on eggs, and picking corn.
It is actually called glass gem corn.  It is an heirloom corn and is actually a popcorn. 
 The only real sewing things I have done are utility sewing, fixing pants, hems, but here are fabric acquisitions.  I have some ideas to make the oldest grandson a quilt, since he was talking about he wanted bedding he saw with skulls.
I saw this panel which I think would be perfect.  I also picked up some black on black fabric with a filigree with skulls too. 


I am kind of excited about starting something new. 

I also got some sunprints from Allison Glass on sale!
One is eggplant, then the black on black, and the other is clementine. 

I really need to get a ton of things going.  I have a stocking to make for a charity which is due the first part of November which means I need to dig out my Christmas fabrics.  I know I have a bunch of 5 inch charms that I can use, I have a ton of quilting to do not including the 3 charity quilts, among other things. 




Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pondering the Economy Block

When is an economy block not an economy block?  When it is switched up a bit and made into a snail's trail.

One of the groups I belong to does a block of the month (actually it is a bit more than one block per month).  One of the first blocks was a Snail's Trail.  We are making 12 inch blocks.  I made this one.
I was just not loving this.  So I thought I would change it up.  If you break the block down it is essentially an economy block.  I started looking on the web for some hints on making an economy block and sizes.  I need to end up with a 12 inch block finished and I wanted it to not be bland.

So I started playing and started with this to break up some colors.
And progressed to this.
I like how it turned out but still not exactly what I was looking for.  Oh well it can come apart one more time at least a bit to see if I can figure out something different.

I did get a bit of fabric reinforcements.  I decided I needed to enhance my polka dots.  White dots on red, red dots on white and white dots on yellow which make me smile.

Do you ever have things that just don't turn out how you visioned them initially?