Saturday, August 31, 2013

What! August is Over?!?!

I don't know about you, but it seemed that this past month flew by.
What did I get accomplished this month? 

I finished my curtain/valance for the family room, and am very pleased with it.

I managed to get 8 farmer's wife blocks completed this month.
After that all bets were off. 

I canned tomato basil soup

Also some tomato sauce.

Today I made peach jam, DH favorite.

I have worked loads of hours

Last year we moved the back door from the middle of the kitchen/family room to the 3 season room/sunroom and DH made a temporary porch.  Believe me it makes the house much nicer to live in without the cold air blasting into the main living area of the house during all the inclement weather  we get during the majority of the year.

This porch will be going to the youngest daughter's house it was originally built for her home last year, but then circumstances changed so we used it for our temporary porch. 

To build the new deck/porch we had a few plants to move some Hostas, and this poor bleeding heart.

Hopefully the move will help it since we had to remove a big maple which was shading the house because it was splitting, and better to take it down than to have it fall on the house.  Bleeding hearts love shade, but also they die back usually by mid summer.  This one kind hung around much longer than normal this year, perhaps due to all the wild weather.  Which definitely helped since I wanted to move it and would not have been able to find it if it had died back such as it had done last year.

Before we got ready to punch holes for the porch poles DH borrowed a tool that would show where the electrical ran to the garage, and barn.  He marked the line with these little white flags.

We measured and marked where to drill the holes with a post  hole auger which fits on the back of our tractor.  My job was to make sure that the drill was straight, and it was in the place marked.

See all those upright posts?  Well we had a wee bit of a problem.

Yep we hit wires.  How?  We aren't too sure.  Just I heard this pop, pop, pop sound, looked toward the house, turned around and white smoke was rolling out of the post hole we had just dug. We had hit the electrical line!  Um yeah the white marker flags were several feet away.  Obviously there is something running there, nothing that was put in while DH has owned the farm though. 

While digging we found a silver baby spoon, about 3 feet down we found bricks, pavers,  broken glass, nails and some blocks,  like what is used in the construction of our house.  There are many treasures which we have found lately.  I will have to share more another time.

After we hit the wires we had to retrench where the wires run, and we will have to wait to fix the power to the out buildings until the holiday is over. 

We had a lovely little visitor.

Don't know if you can see it but we found a toad where he came from I have no idea.

We will let the posts sit overnight to let the cement cure and finish it tomorrow hopefully!

We had a lovely sunset tonight.

Picked some more tomatoes, have still more that need picking, but my bowl was full and running over.
I have done a bit of sewing in the last week.  I made 3 four patch blocks from scraps left over from a previous quilt.  I have an idea of what I want to make with these scraps, it is just having the time to do it right now.

What have you been working on this month?  What did you complete.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You Say Tomato

Remember the old Gershwin tune you say tomato, and I'll say tomato?  Actually the song is called "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off."

I am starting to feel that way right about now after all the tomatoes we have processed.

These are just a small portion of the tomatoes from our garden.  They are rather small but they do make beautiful soup, salsa,and sauce.  After 10 gallon bags full of processed tomatoes and 2 - 25 boxes of tomatoes we have managed to can.

17 quarts of Tomato Basil soup
7 quarts of Tomato Sauce
13 pints of salsa

Soup and Sauce as well as some apple sauce, and tuna that my mamma canned and brought me

Yesterday I picked tomatoes from 4 of our 12 remaining plants and ended up with this bowl before DH chased me into the house to rest since I have had several really early mornings, and long days for work.

On the quilting front, not much going on.  I have been up to my elbows in tomatoes.  DH wants to do more sauce and soup, which I am not opposed to.  It is easy peasy since we use the Victorio food mill.

I do blanch the tomatoes and remove the skins, and cut them into quarters, but putting them through the mill the seeds and stuff that is too stringy to fit through the sieve of the Victorio goes out the end as water.  You can do a 20 Quart batch of Tomato basil soup in about 5 minutes.

I did get some quilty goodies though.  I participate in a batik strip swap and so I found these beauties on sale to use in the swap.

I can't wait to use them!

Hope your Wednesday is wonderful. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Welcome to the World!

He finally made an appearance!

Cayden Stuart
11 lbs 10 oz
22 inches tall
His poor mama was in labor for over 60 hours before they finally decided to do a c-section.  Look at all that hair!  Mamma and Cayden are doing great. 

What did I do while I was waiting?

1.  Cleaned up my scraps a wee bit.



Yes I still have a few scraps to cut up but at least it isn't the pile o' stuff like above.  While doing this I finished listening to the book The American Patriot's Almanac by William Bennett, and John T.E. Cribb.  I learned a ton of new things about the US, the presidents, explorers, wars, cities, states, battles, geography just the tip of the iceberg. 

2.  Went exploring to find a quilt shop which was advertising at a recent quilt show.  I was looking for something to make a quilt for a boy for a donation quilt.  I was looking for perhaps a charm pack or something for inspiration.  Quilt Heaven is in Temperance, Michigan almost to the Ohio State line. 

I found these fabrics, and the panel.  Love, love, love the Noah's Ark, and the colors, and the animals, and I found these fun fat 1/8ths that I think will help make a really super fun, cute, and colorful quilt.

3. I did some grocery shopping, at a new place which is similar to the grocery store I had in Oregon!  They had an absolutely fabulous produce section.

4.  Babysat The Finn while the big brothers went to get a haircut. Umm yeah he is now working on pulling himself up, and I made him laugh for the first time today, I even got it on video!

5.  Then DH and I helped the youngest daughter move the boy's bunk bed set up to her house. **Sniff, sniff** they are officially gone.  

6.  Processed another 2 gallons of tomatoes and I still have a bunch more to pick.

Not bad for killing time while waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the little guy to arrive. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Still Waiting

Day 2 waiting for the Middle daughter to deliver the baby, which meant that I did not sleep well. I finally just gave up and got out of bed at 4:00AM, made coffee, did dishes, and curled up on the couch.  Went back to sleep for a wee bit, and got a text from the daughter, that they were going to make a decision to break her water or not in a few hours.  Within half an hour she sent me another text that they decided to up her dosage of Petocin and had broke her water.  Oh my!  That was hours ago, and still not much going on, but still can't really rest.  I hate the wait from so far away!

While waiting I worked on the Farmer's Wife Blocks.

Attic window, I didn't like the blue I had in it so I changed it and like this one much better.

Weather Vane, I used Lori Holt's tutorial from Bee In My Bonnet to make it so much easier!
Corn and Beans, not totally thrilled with it but pretty happy with the way it turned out.
W.C.T.U.  I was pleased with this one.  I actually figured out a way to make it slightly easier instead of trying to cut the weird angles for the center.  Oh WCTU it is for the Women's Christian Temperance Union.

Contrary Wife, this one went together so easy, and I just grabbed the scraps off my table to make it.  That thrilled me.
Flower Basket, it went together alright, but even after cutting the handle on the bias I just could not get it to work.  But I can live with it. 

And I had a helper for a short while today again.  How can we go from army crawl overnight to the actually crawling on hands and knees!?!

Oh and with those 5 blocks completed I have reached my monthly goal of 8 per month! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Little Sewing Help

Today I  am hanging out and waiting.  My middle daughter is being induced today.  There are times I hate being so far away.  I am trying to keep her spirits up via text message, while she is just hanging out at the hospital. 

While waiting I worked on my farmer's wife blocks.

Railroad surprisingly it only took me 1 hour to cut all the pieces and get it sewn together.  Both of these fabrics were discovered in my stash from Aunt Beth's mother's fabric collection.

Wrench.  This one took me even less time.  I love the brown fabric I found in my stash for this block.  I think this is something I bought years ago. 

Funny enough even though I laid the block all out I still sewed it wonky.  Oops time to find the ripper.

Four winds.  This one took a wee bit more time.  63 pieces in a 6 1/2 inch block!  Maybe the reason it took so long was my helper.

Amazing for a little one who can barely crawl.  Gave him a couple of little containers and tins  to play with, in just a matter of moments, one scrap box completely emptied, the box of scraps that I use for my farmer's wife blocks emptied, a 10 lb bag of chick grit pulled out from under a sewing machine, a power cord found to slobber on, and a garbage can pulled over and dumped all over the floor while still holding onto the tin.  Absolutely amazing. 

Well I am off for a beauty day. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Analysis Paralysis

Back in the day when I worked as a Business Analyst there was a term we called analysis paralysis, where there basically information overload, to the point where you cannot make a decision.  I had that problem working on my curtains/valance whatever you want to call it. 

I made the center block months ago.  Easy Peasy!

A Barn block with the contrary wife block.  Seemed so fitting.  I finally decided that I needed to get something completed.  So I worked on two blocks.

A churn dash, and weather vane block using fabrics from my stash.  I then tried putting it together and decided on a bit of a wonky setting.

I then decided that I needed some kind of lining so the great sheet search began.  After 2 estate sales, and the Salvation Army thrift store I found 1 flat, and two fitted white sheets. 

I fussed and mussed and finally finished it today, ok this evening actually, and DH helped put it up.

I am pleased with the way it turned out, even though my lining got a bit wonky.  I am going to say it is because of it being a polyester blend.  One down and another to go but I think that I need a break and will work on something else this week instead of another valance. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Whew I Made It!

The last couple of weeks work has been strenuous.  Working almost daily, and long hours, which puts a real cramp in my gardening, house cleaning, and quilting. 

Last Thursday was my first day off in F O R E V E R and since it was fair time I spent all day at the fair with DH including the tractor pull.  Saturday was the 2nd day I had off,  I cleaned and cooked like a maniac for a birthday party that DH decided he wanted at the last minute on Sunday.  Unfortunately Sunday I was scheduled for a back to back. (Meaning I worked from 5 am until finish at one location, then had to be at another location at 6 pm and work until it was finished)  Location 1 went for 10 didn't quite make it to location 2 that day. Oopsie!  But I did make it to DH birthday, at our house with 16 people attending in time to do birthday cake. 

Monday was a true day off, and so I decided to work on my curtains for the family room.  I made two more blocks and started trying to figure out how to put it together. 

This is what I got together so far.  Width is fine, length is a bit short still.  After holding it up to the window I decided it needed a lining.  I really did not want to use any of my white fabric and/or waste a bunch of fabric because my curtains are 50 X 26 inches.  I decided a white sheet would work.  Problem:  I just didn't have any white sheets.  I wandered the local estate and yard sales and did not find a thing.  So Salvation Army would be the next stop.  I found 2 twin fitted sheets, no flat sheets and they were half off so I paid $3.00 for 2 sheets.  While not 100% cotton, they will work fine to suit their purpose.  I just need to remove the elastic and take the corner seams out.  

DH and I wandered to a home auction the other day.  There were some interesting items there.

This came home with us for $35.  It is a Stickley Style Rotary Davenport per the label.  Rotary bed means that it is a type of hide a bed.  The color is not spectacular, but it is for the sun porch to use to sleep on if it is too hot.

I acquired this little sewing bench, it is nice and sturdy, and benches always come in handy when you have 20 sewing machines. 

Finally DH purchased this
There is no sewing machine inside but the cabinet is in decent condition.  We are thinking of moving my great grandmother's treadle into this cabinet since the cabinet which he machine was in originally was ruined years ago to the point where it cannot be used.  I would love to learn to treadle again.  My great grandmother taught me how to sew on that machine when I was a little girl.  

I also got 3 gallons of tomatoes picked from the garden, and processed to make either soup, spaghetti sauce, or salsa.  That will go with the other 2 gallon bags I have processed already.  DH wants to make enough spaghetti sauce, soup, and salsa so we only have to can every other year.  We figure we needed at least 60 quarts of soup, 50 quarts of tomato sauce, and 30 quarts of salsa. 

Not bad for a day off, even if I slept in.  

Day 2 off, I have some sheets to rip apart and at least one curtain to finish.  I will do it while I watch the next couple of episodes of True Blood.  

What are you up to on this beautiful Saturday morning?

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5th Already?

I feel like I have fallen into some sort of time warp where time is flying by lately. 

Today is DH birthday, and my first real day off and home without a to do list a mile long.  I was reading some blogs and realized I had not posted any goals for August. 

1.  I have some 4 inch charm squares, left over squares, and some 2 patches from a quilt made with the same fabric and some left over jelly roll strips. 
I committed to making a couple  donation quilts this year and I think it is time.

2.  I am participating in the pin cushion blog hop.  I have made one project, and have a couple of more ideas to go with it.  Now to just get er done!

3.  Ginger Rose is not getting quilted any faster looking at it sitting on the dining room table.
4.  Farmer's Wife I need to make 8 blocks this month.  That seems to be a good number for me.
5. Jewel box blocks at least 4
6.  Country Charmer I need to get to work on this I love it just I have so many projects going I get distracted.

7.  Curtains for my family room.  DH removed the tree outside the house, it was split and was actually starting to lean, so there went my shade, and now something to block the sun is much needed.

8.  Lazy Sunday mystery.  The big reveal took place and I am on part 3. 

I think those projects will keep me busy for the month, and I really do need to get something finished.  I think when you have so many things and getting just tiny bits done instead of completed it can make you kind of paralyzed with apathy for lack of a better way to put it.  While I love seeing them progress I so need something to get completed.  So instead of sitting here sipping coffee off I go!  How is your monthly list?