The Move Is Complete

Whew! That took way longer than I thought it would, but I think it’s worth it.

The new site is finally live, so please head on over there and check it out.

www.prairiemoonquilts.com

If you’ve linked to my blog from anywhere (your blog or a web site), please update your link to reflect the new site: www.prairiemoonquilts.com.

This blog will remain here, so if there’s anything you need to come look at, it won’t disappear. It’s just that I’m not adding any new content here. It’ll all be over at the new place.

I’ve moved over all the content from my old web site, and updated it, and hopefully made it better and easier to navigate.

So come on by and see me over there!

Published in: on August 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm  Comments (2)  

Redneck Reality

Last Saturday night My Cowboy and I were invited down to the neighbor’s for a birthday/bachelor/bachelorette party for their son, Nick, and his bride-to-be, Hallie. Her friends got her a sash and a tiara for the event.

Leslie, the neighbor, and I, grew up together. He hasn’t changed a bit. Honestly, his wife has earned sainthood in my book, just for putting up with him! Not only did she orchestrate putting the meal together, even though the guys actually did the cooking outdoors, she kept everyone happy and still managed to run around and snap a few pictures.

And the party went about like we expected. Very entertaining . . . My Cowboy and I have determined that this bunch should have their very own Redneck Reality TV show. It’d be a hit!

The boys were all lined up with their shotguns, shooting clay pigeons.

That’s all good and fine, normally, but look where they’re shooting! We kept teasing Leslie that we sure would hate to have to spend our Sunday butchering a cow after it got hit by a stray shot.

We had really good seats for observing the longest game of Washers in the history of the world. It was being played by Leslie, and Charles (in the red shirt) . . .

. . . and Floyd (in the blue shorts), and Mike . . . Floyd and Leslie being partners against Charles and Mike.

Seeing as how they were all four consuming copious amounts of alcohol throughout the game, it was nearly impossible for them to keep score. Furthermore, in all their drunken genius, they came up with a new way to tally said score, and the game drug on and on and on and on . . .

Punctuated by jigs and shenanigans, mostly by Leslie when he (or more likely, his partner) managed to finally make a point.

Yep, still shooting toward the herd . . .

Nick’s friends had mixed up a “cocktail” for him as his birthday present, and it’s time for the highlight of the evening’s shootout. Thank goodness the cows have moved out to further pasture by this time . . .

Nick got to shoot the canister so it would explode. I don’t think Floyd expected him to hit it just then . . .

After that excitement, the game of Washers resumed. I’m only sorry that I missed getting a picture of Leslie doing the moonwalk. Leslie’s brother maintained that it was more of a “gravel shuffle” than a moonwalk, but still . . . who knew he could even do that much?

After being ahead for nearly the entire game, it came down to the final point, and Floyd and Leslie had let Charles and Mike tie with them. That whole time, and the game came down to one final point. And after hardly scoring anything for the entire game, and enduring jokes from all onlookers about letting Floyd carry him, Leslie managed to score the winning point. Unbelievable! And I’m sure he’ll never let anyone forget it, either.

It was a really nice evening for an outdoor gathering, the food was fantastic, and we had fun just watching everyone else have fun. Even Roscoe seemed to have a good time.

Leslie got to show off his new hay baler. His other one recently caught fire in the hayfield and burnt up, taking a bit of the hayfield with it. It’s been way too dry around here this year. And that right there might make for an entire ‘nother episode of their Redneck Reality TV Show!And the best part? Nick and Hallie are getting married this weekend, so we’ll be doing it all again! Our very own weekly versions of Redneck Reality . . . Come on by!

Oh, and miraculously, no animals or people were harmed during this episode . . .

Published in: on August 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm  Comments (4)  

Broken

In case you haven’t noticed yet, my web site is broken.

I broke it on purpose.

Because . . .

I’m getting a new one!

I’m working with the wonderful folks at MayeCreate in Columbia, MO, to get an all new look for Prairie Moon Quilts. I’m excited and nervous about it all at the same time!

Monica has been fantastic to work with.

For right now, we’re creating a sort of interim place with a new site design, until we get a lot of other behind-the-scenes stuff done.

What this means is that real soon I’ll no longer be blogging at this same web address. The blog and the web site will all be combined at: www.prairiemoonquilts.com, which makes me very happy, because that’s what I’ve had in mind ever since starting my web site and blog. I’ll still keep my Etsy Shop the way it is for now.

It’s gonna take me a few more days to get everything moved over. I was so aggravated with my old site that I hadn’t even updated it since March, so I have a lot of information to add and update, and Monica still has to tweak a few things for me, and then we’ll unveil it.

This doesn’t change the Hazel’s Diary blog at all, so if you’re in on the Quilt-Along over there, things are just as they were, and that’s how they’ll stay. I’ll have a way to make it easy for you to find Hazel’s Diary from the new web site, too, so never fear — just Quilt-Along!

For now, I’ll still be posting a few things here, and when the new site is up and running, I’ll let you know. I might be having a celebration, too, so be sure to check back.

 

 

 

Published in: on July 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm  Comments (6)  

Old Tobacco Road

I do love me a good scrap quilt.

And this one is a fine, fine example!

I recently quilted this quilt for my friend, Rose Marie. She made it from a Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt online project, Old Tobacco Road.

I think it’s one of those quilts that, years from now, new quilters are going to be saying “Would you look at all those neat old fabrics?” about . . .

I don’t quite recall exactly how Rose Marie said she wanted it quilted, because when she gave it to me, the quilt was screaming so loudly for what IT wanted that it drowned her out.

I did what the quilt said . . .

Here’s a couple close-ups of the front:

This one shows some of the border area:

And here’s the back:

A bit closer shot of the back, showing some of the border area:

Everyone who sees this quilt just loves it, and not because of the quilting. It’s just the most wonderful scrap quilt!

I’m just lucky that sometimes I get to go spend the day and root around in her stash, and she periodically brings me leftovers she doesn’t want any more!

If you’d like to make one of these for yourself, at the time of this writing, the instructions for it are still up on Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Quilts page, so you can get right on that. I’d be happy to quilt it for you when you’re done!

Published in: on July 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm  Comments (12)  

July Guild Meeting

In all the hubbub of last week’s events, I still managed to make it to guild meeting, but only by the skin of my teeth.

They had me scheduled to present the program, and I was going to teach them all English Paper Piecing, and since I hadn’t given them any time to come up with an alternate program, I felt I really needed to be there and do it like I said I would.

We were moving My Cowboy from one hospital to another, so I just made him go with me since it was on the way. Was it mean of me to make him go along and wait for me to attend the meeting and give the program before continuing on our way?

He was a good sport about it.

The meeting was pretty short, since we’re not in the middle of any big things right now. The show is over, retreat is a ways off, and it was Fair Week in Kirksville, so some of the members were absent for that reason.

And we still had lots of show and tell!

Here’s Rose Marie with her Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt, Old Tobacco Road:

Liz showed a little patriotic wall hanging:

Joan’s 6-year-old granddaughter pieced her first quilt while visiting her grandmother this summer! They used one of the Project Linus free patterns.

Elsie showed an old family heirloom signature quilt that she recently got possession of:

Here’s a close-up of some of it. It’s wonderful.

Kathy’s husband made this quilt for a firefighter friend of theirs who lost his home in a fire and was badly burned in the process.

Susan finished a quilt from a workshop she had taken previously:

Sorry for the terrible pictures, but the room setup makes it very difficult to get good shots of show and tell.

When show & tell was over, I handed out little kits, and they all set to learning how to English paper piece. Look at them all working so hard!

And I think there are some new converts to the technique. It makes a great carry-around project!

Then I skedaddled on out of there so My Cowboy and I could continue our journey. He seemed none the worse for wear, having had to wait on me.

Published in: on July 24, 2012 at 10:06 pm  Comments (3)  

350 Blocks Project, Weeks 26-27

Done with Week 27 of the 350 Blocks Project. If you’re playing along, we should have finished at least 189 blocks by now. How’s it going for you?

I’ve had several slow weeks in a row, but I managed to eek out a couple that I leader/endered while working on bindings and such for customers. I also had plenty of time to do handwork while sitting in the hospital, but nothing finished has come out of the Hopper just yet.

Here’s what I got done . . .

Three more 9-patches for my Wild Nine-Patch quilt. Here’s two of them. The third one was camera-shy:

Another tiny HST block. Still not quite ready to take off and put these together into something recognizable just yet. Maybe soon . . .

My total is now at 347. Only 3 more blocks to reach my goal! You’d think I could do those this week, huh?

One can only hope that things are calmer than last week.

How are YOU doing on blocks and UFOs?

Published in: on July 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm  Comments (3)  

News From The Ranch, Episode 937

It’s HOT!

Stinkin’ hot!

Triple-digit stinkin’ hot every day.

And very, very dry . . .

We need rain badly.

The price of hay has gone ridiculous (making me wish I had some to sell!).

All of our babies are finally here. No more pregnant mommies. Every single one of them healthy and happy, which makes us very happy, too!

Triple-K was the last to pop. She hid that baby really well.

Baby? What baby?

Oh, THAT baby! Would you looky there!?

At my friend, Cindy’s, suggestion, the new baby has been dubbed Calamity Jane.

Oh, and lest you think Triple-K stands for something else, it really stands for “Katy Kitchen’s Kow” because we got her from my sister.

Have I mentioned we need rain?

And that it’s stinkin’ hot?

Big Dan had a major setback after his kidney ordeal, and spent all last week in the animal hospital. While at first, Gidget didn’t mind him being gone, she eventually missed him, and demanded to know what I’d done with him. And she’s serious!

We came real close to losing him, but our vet never gave up on him, and Big Dan is home now, and although he’s not quite back to his normal playful carefree self, he’s hopefully on the mend for real this time. I feel like I should bake the vet some cookies!

Big Dan wasn’t the only one in the hospital last week, either. My Cowboy suffered a mild heart attack last Monday night, and had to take a helicopter ride to the emergency room. He’s also home now and on rest for a few more days.

I’ve had enough of doctors, and hospitals, and not getting to quilt!

And the heat . . .

And the lack of rain . . .

Did I mention how dry it is?

Thanks to all of you who sent messages and well wishes and missed me! It’s nice to know someone worries when I disappear for a bit.

I’ve got lots of things to tell you about, so I hope to get at that over the next few days.

How have YOU been?

Published in: on July 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm  Comments (7)  

That Instant Gratification Thing

Everyone likes it, right?

Well, in an effort to assist in some small way, all my Prairie Moon Ranch Cowboy Christmas Stocking patterns are now available in a PDF version! They’re all listed in my Etsy Shop.

The 2008 stocking pattern:

The 2009 stocking pattern, “Rhinestone Cowgirl”:

The  2010 stocking pattern, “Prairie Paisley”:

The 2011 stocking pattern, “Cowboy Kris”:

Of course, they’re all still available in the pre-printed version, but for those of you who really like that instant gratification thing, the PDF is much faster. It’s emailed to you not long after you order! No waiting on the mail.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Etsy’s having their Christmas in July event right now, so I’m offering 10% off any order in my shop from now until July 22. Just use the coupon code CIJ10 when checking out. (You won’t get the discount if you don’t put in the code.)

This also includes 10% off if you custom order a Christmas stocking made just for you, so if you’ve been wanting one and want me to make it for you, now’s your chance to get a good deal. Just convo me in Etsy.

And . . . the 2012 Prairie Moon Ranch Cowboy Christmas Stocking pattern will be out sometime in August, so stay tuned!

Published in: on July 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm  Comments (2)  

The Perkins Fans

I’ve known our local Postmaster since I was little. In fact, I can’t ever remember NOT knowing him. He’s just always been around. His name is Dennis.

He used to carry the mail on foot around town, and lived just around the corner from my grandmother’s house.

The years bring change, though, and now Dennis is the Postmaster and doesn’t have to make the foot route any more. He lives catty-corner from the church where my parents got married, in a wonderful old house that used to be owned by a man named Grit Stevens.

My brother used to deliver GRIT magazine on his bicycle when we were young, and Grit Stevens was one of his customers. I always thought it was funny that Grit bought GRIT!

Dennis knows that I quilt, and I’m sure he’s overheard many a conversation right there in the post office between me and people inquiring about what I do.

So one day, he asked me if I could help finish up some quilt tops that he and his wife are in possession of. They’re antiques . . . (the quilt tops, not Dennis and his wife!)

Well, of course I can — it’s what I do!

So he brought me the first one, and wow! — it’s gorgeous and very impressive!

It’s a Grandmother’s Fan.

Each fan block finishes at only 5 3/4″. There are 11 blades in each little fan. The assortment of fabrics is astonishing. I had so much fun just looking at the fabrics.

And according to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, this particular setting for the fans is called “Rocky Road to Jerico”.

I opted for quilting it fairly heavily, to give it stability and make it lay really flat. Those are feathers, of a sort, in the background areas, and I did them all freehand.

Whoever pieced it did a wonderful job, and it’s all hand pieced. Amazing!

I had Dennis ask his wife what color backing she wanted on it, secretly hoping she’d choose pink. However, she chose the green, and once I was done, I realized it was a much better (perfect) choice.

I love the green backing. It’s a 1930′s reproduction solid, and it was spot-on for an exact color match with the green on the front.

I also used the same green solid for the binding.

Here’s the quilt all finished, and Dennis says Marcia is happy with it. It measures 68″ x 91″, so it’s a good twin size.

When I delivered it to him, he just took the sack and laid it down. I said: “Aren’t you gonna look at it and let me know what you think?”

He said: “Well, I don’t know what I’m supposed to think.”

I laughed and said: “Oh, so you’re just gonna take it home and let Marcia tell you what to think?”

He said: “Don’t you think that’s what I otta do?”

Such a wise man!

I just love turning a quilt top that was abandoned into a finished quilt that will be treasured. If they decide to give me another one to finish, I can hardly wait to see what it’s like!

Published in: on July 11, 2012 at 10:40 am  Comments (13)  

The Mod Marea Pillow

A tutorial . . .

I designed a pillow last fall, made from scraps, for a guild challenge.

At the time, I thought: “I should make that into a tutorial. It came out pretty cute, and it was really easy!” (If I do say so myself.)

Problem is, I didn’t take any pictures of my process . . . so . . . I made the pillow again, and took pictures this time. Besides, it never hurts to test your pattern again, does it?

I made this pillow out of pieces from the Marea collection by Dear Stella Designs. I used an ivory solid to go with them (which I think is a Moda Bella).

If you’d like to make a pillow like this for yourself, instructions follow below.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/8 yard of three different coordinating prints

1 fat quarter of background fabric to coordinate with the prints

1 fat quarter for the “flanges” around the edge of the pillow

1 fat quarter for the pillow back

16″ pillow form

4 buttons (or snaps, or velcro dots)

18″ square of lightweight plain fabric, such as muslin (optional)

18″ square of lightweight batting (optional)

We’ll make the pillow front first.

Label your three prints #1, #2, and #3.

From Print #1, cut the following (I used Marea Quint Floral Cream):

1 strip 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

1 strip 2″ x 8 1/2″

2 strips 1 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

From Print #2, cut the following (I used Buds Black):

2 strips 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

1 strip 2″ x 8 1/2″

1 strip 1 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

From Print #3, cut the following (I used Autumn Stripe Multi):

2 strips 2″ x 8 1/2″

1 strip 1 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

From the background fabric, cut the following:

3 strips 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

4 strips 2″ x 8 1/2″

4 strips 1 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

Pair each print strip up with a background strip of the same width.

Match each pair up, right sides together, and stitch across the short ends. Stitch both ends, so that you have a “loop” of fabric.

Repeat with the remaining 10 pairs of strips. No pressing yet.

Lay the strips out in the following order from left to right:

Print #1   2 1/2″ strip

Print #2   1 1/2″ strip

Print #3   1 1/2″ strip

Print #1   2″ strip

Print #2   2 1/2″ strip

Print #3   2″ strip

Print #1   1 1/2″ strip

Print #2   2″ strip

Print #3   2″ strip

Print #1   1 1/2″ strip

Print #2   2 1/2″ strip

Turn them all over so that the background fabric is on top, making sure to leave them in their proper positions.

Next, you will cut through the background fabric only of each pair, at a different random place on each one.

Some will be short on top, some shorter on the bottom, and some right in the middle. Make a variety. And make sure you are ONLY cutting through the background fabric, not the print.

After the cuts are made, fold the background fabric out. Press seams toward the darker fabric.

Now begin sewing them together, left to right. Feel free to rearrange them if it suits you better, too.

Flip piece #2 over onto piece #1, right sides together and stitch the long seam.

Press the seam to one side, or open, if you prefer.

Add piece #3 in the same manner, and keep repeating until all 11 strips are sewn together.

This next part is optional, but I chose to do it because I like my pillows to have a little substance and stand up better to wear and tear from being used.

I layered my pillow front with batting and backing and quilted it. You’ll need an 18″ square of scrap lightweight fabric for this. I used muslin. Batiste would work. So would a scrap of anything lightweight. It’ll never show.

You’ll also need an 18″ square of lightweight batting.

Layer the backing, batting, and the pillow front together. Pin or baste in place, and quilt it. I quilted straight lines in the ditch of every vertical seam using my walking foot and matching thread.

After quilting, trim the pillow front to measure 16″ square. If you opt not to quilt yours, then just square your pillow front to 16″.

Next, we’ll make the pillow back.

From your pillow back fabric, cut 2 rectangles 10″ x 16 1/2″. (I used Damask Cream.)

Turn under 1/4″ on one long side of each piece and press.

Turn under another 3/4″ and press again.

Stitch down the inside edge of the fold with matching thread, backstitching at both ends. Do this on both pieces.

On one of the backing pieces, make 4 buttonholes, evenly spaced, down the folded portion.

On the other backing piece’s folded edge, sew 4 buttons to match up with the buttonholes.

If you don’t wish to make buttonholes, you can use snaps, or velcro fasteners in those spots instead.

Fasten the buttons into the buttonholes (or snaps or Velcro) and make sure that your entire backing piece measures 16″ square. You may have to trim it down. Trim evenly off all 4 sides, if you do need to trim.

Stitch across the folded raw edges where the two pieces overlap to hold them in place.

Next, we’ll prepare the flanges that go around the outer edges of the pillow.

From your flange fabric, cut 4 rectangles 3 1/2″ x 16″. (I used Line Work Black.)

Fold each piece in half right sides together, along the long length. Stitch across the short ends, backstitching at both ends. Clip the folded edge at a 45-degree angle close to the stitching. Do both ends of each of the four strips.

Turn them right side out, and press. You will make four of these, and they should each measure 15 1/2″ long.

Now you’re ready to put it all together.

Lay your pillow front right side up on your work surface.

Place a flange along each side, centering the flange on the side, and lining up the raw edges.

Note how the flanges overlap at each corner. Do not pin yet.

Very carefully, so as not to disturb the flanges, lay the pillow back right side down on top of the pillow front and flanges, aligning all the raw edges. Pin in place all the way around the four sides.

Beginning in the middle of one side of the square, stitch around the entire outer edge of the pillow through all the layers with a 1/4″ seam. There’s no need to leave an opening, so be sure to go all the way around, taking care at each corner to not catch the folded edges of the flanges in the seam.

Trim the corners at a 45-degree angle, as shown, being careful not to cut into the stitching.

Unbutton the pillow back, and turn the pillow right side out.

Stuff your pillow form inside, and button it back up, and you’re all finished!

Here’s the back of my finished pillow:

And here’s the original one I made for our guild swap back last fall, just to give you an idea of another colorway:

I hope you have fun with this tutorial, and if you make a pillow, I’d love to see it!

Published in: on July 10, 2012 at 8:05 am  Comments (4)  
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