350 Blocks Project, Week 25

The end of Week 25 of the 350 Blocks Project. And this year is half over . . . where has it gone? I merely blinked, and poof!

As I was getting ready to post about this week’s blocks, I realized something . . .

I didn’t make a single block this week! NOT ONE!

I think that’s the first week this has happened.

I quilted lots of customer quilts, however, and had to put binding on most of them, so it’s not like the sewing machine had a rest, it was just doing other things.

So my count still stands at 335. I still have 15 more to go. Good thing I’ve been ahead all this time. If you’re playing along, now’s a good time to catch up with me!

Also, if you’re playing along, we should have 175 blocks done by now. So I’m still ahead, although my lead gets smaller every day.

How are your UFOs coming along this year?

Published in: on July 9, 2012 at 8:08 am  Comments (2)  

One Big Cabin Give-Away Winner

And the lucky winner of the One Big Cabin pattern give-away is:


Congratulations, Alicia! We’ll get your pattern right out to you.

For those of you who entered but didn’t win, One Big Cabin retails for $9.00, and the girls at Row House Creations have agreed to offer a 10% discount if you’d like to buy it.

Check it out here: Row House Creations Shop.

Let them know you came over from Prairie Moon Quilts, and they’ll help you get your discount on!

Published in: on July 8, 2012 at 9:58 am  Comments (3)  

A Day In The Life

. . . of Big Dan . . .

6:00 am:

7:00 am:

8:00 am:

9:00 am:

10:00 am:

11:00 am:

12:00 pm:

1:00 pm:

2:00 pm:

3:00 pm:

4:00 pm:

5:00 pm:

6:00 pm:

7:00 pm:

8:00 pm:

9:00 pm:

10:00 pm:

11:00 pm:

Last Sunday, Big Dan had to have emergency surgery for kidney stones (don’t these things always happen on a weekend or holiday?).

Our vet got him all fixed up, and he’s back to his regularly scheduled program, as you can see above.

Published in: on July 6, 2012 at 9:05 am  Comments (7)  

Aunt Wanda’s Baby Quilt

About a month ago, my Aunt Wanda called me up and asked me if I could help her with a baby quilt.

So I stopped by one afternoon, and she handed me a panel of 12 embroidery blocks, with the embroidery all done. They were still all hooked together into one panel — she hadn’t even cut them apart.  She said she’d like to have them back as a finished baby quilt, and could I do that for her?

Well, of course I could!

We agreed that since the couple with the baby are not planning to find out ahead of time whether it’s a boy or a girl, that I’d use red and yellow to set it with, so it would work for either one.

I chose some 1930s reproduction prints that had baby-ish motifs on them, and a solid white for the background.

I cut the blocks apart, trimmed them to size, and set them together with red sashing in pairs that went together, some horizontally, and some vertically.

Then I made these blocks to fill in with:

I quilted around the scalloped shapes of the embroidered frames, outlined the animals and the stars, and quilted a “cloud” around the letters. I put loopy squiggles in the sashing, and stitched all the frames in the ditch.

And here’s what I gave Aunt Wanda back:

You can’t really tell from the picture, but I used blue binding to match the blue embroidered outline of each block. The quilt measures 45″ x 50″. A good-sized baby quilt.

I think it came out really cute, and Aunt Wanda really liked it. She said it’s for a special baby, and now the baby will have a special quilt.

Published in: on July 5, 2012 at 10:20 pm  Comments (7)  

One Big Cabin

My friend, Doris, (who is also one of my fellow Blogger’s Retreat buddies) recently started up a new pattern company with her partner, Trina.

Row House Creations was formed in 2011, and their first pattern is a cute one!

It’s called “One Big Cabin”, and Doris and Trina have graciously agreed to allow me to give away a free copy of their pattern to one lucky winner here on my blog.

Their company’s tagline is “Built upon classic foundations”, so all their patterns are based on a traditional quilt block of some sort.

One Big Cabin is based on a half log cabin, and has the cutest little forest animals on it, all drawn by Doris. There’s a raccoon . . .

. . . a squirrel . . . and an owl.

The applique is done using an easy raw-edge technique, and with Trina’s background as a longarm quilter, each of Row House Creation’s patterns will have quilting diagrams and suggestions for you to use when your top is finished.

Doris and Trina sent me a copy of the pattern (isn’t it great to have designing friends?) and since my niece is having a baby boy in September, I decided this would be the perfect quilt for him, so I just whipped one right up. Here’s my version of One Big Cabin:

Now if I can just get it quilted before the shower next weekend.

If you’d like to win a free copy of Row House Creations’ “One Big Cabin” pattern, all you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment on this post. I’ll draw for a winner on Saturday, July 7th.

Published in: on July 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm  Comments (19)  

350 Blocks Project, Week 24

Here we are, done with Week 24 of the 350 Blocks Project.

I’ve been busy again, but not making blocks.

Which means I’ll have some quilted quilts to show you later, but guess what?

I only made one little block this week, and it’s applique. And I’m not showing it to you in this post, because I’m going to show it to you in a few days in a post of its very own.

So . . . my block count only went up by 1 this week. My worst week yet.

That makes my count total 335. Only 15 more to go! Guess one off week hasn’t hurt me too badly.

How are YOU doing on UFOs this year?

Published in: on July 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm  Comments (2)  

We Had Visitors!

That rarely happens around here.

Usually because there’s not that much to see, and not a lot going on, especially when it’s really hot or really cold.

And it’s been really hot lately.

And dry.

We need rain. Badly.

One of my high-school classmates, Cindy (and we won’t say how long ago that was) lives in the city, but still owns a farm up here, so she brought two of her three kids up with her to spend a week doing things at their farm.

Things such as cleaning up brush, and mowing, and stuff like that.

I’m glad she didn’t invite me to her place!

I told Cindy before she came up that if the kids wanted to go horseback riding, to just bring them on out.

So when they got settled in, they called and said they’d like to ride.

When it’s this hot, we do our riding early in the morning or right before dark, to make it easier on the horses (and the cows, if we’re working them). OK, and easier on us, too!

So they came out early the next morning, we got the horses all tacked up, and off they went.

They took turns, and Sarah went first.

She’s mounted . . .

She’s moving . . . (Bonnie’s a good “babysitter”, and was displaying that trait quite profoundly at this moment. She always takes really good care of her passenger.)

And they’re finally off!

I told Cindy not to worry, Sarah wouldn’t get bucked off — because bucking takes way more energy than Bonnie wants to expend!

After their trip around . . .

. . . I think she was getting the hang of it.

Then it was Mark’s turn.

Bonnie was completely astounded that she had to go for a second round. That never happens! She took Mark through the gate and right into her “parking spot” to be untacked.

Not so fast! She ended up having to make that other round so Mark could have his turn.

They must have had fun, because they came back the next evening to ride again!

Cindy brought me some red squares for my red & cream checkerboard quilt.

And they made me this darling scissors fob, complete with a cowboy boot on it! I love it, and it has already made my embroidery scissors much easier to locate on the mess of a table I work on.

I talked to Cindy after they got home, and Sarah already wants to come back. “Mom, they said we could come back any time!”

We did! And we meant it.

They’ll be back up in July sometime.

Bonnie will still be here.

Published in: on June 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm  Comments (3)  

350 Blocks Project, Week 23

Chugging right along — it’s Week 23 of the 350 Blocks Project.

Here are this past week’s blocks . . .

They’re not from any certain days this week because I leader/endered a lot of things while working on some stuff I’ll be showing you a bit later.

I made four of these star blocks for a baby quilt I’m putting together for a customer:

I made two more Postage Stamp blocks:

I made two more Wild Nine-Patch blocks:

And I’m now up to a total of 334 blocks . . . Only a few more and I’ll meet my goal of 350 — woohoo!

How are you doing on making blocks this year?

Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 10:19 pm  Comments (1)  

The Brown Bag Special

The Modern Quilt Guild I belong to, the Pecan Valley Quilt Guild, offers each month a block challenge, and every other month a Project challenge.

Each challenge is run by a volunteer. I volunteered to do the project challenge a few months ago, and mine spread out over a few months.

I offered up the Brown Bag Special. It’s a program I designed specifically for groups, and we had a lot of fun with it.

You start out with a fat quarter, and end up with a finished project, and you don’t know ahead of time what that project will be, or who will have worked on it.

Here’s how mine came out:

I started with the red polka-dot fat quarter, and ended up with this wall quilt/table topper.

My two helpers were Teresa and Donna. And I helped two other people in the group.

I really had fun quilting mine. It was a small piece, so I got to play around with some designs, yet didn’t have to cover an entire large quilt.

Here’s the back:

My Cowboy asked me how come I made the edge zigzag . . . I said: “Because I ran out of fabric.” And that’s the honest truth. I would have made it square if I’d only had a few more scraps, but instead, it came out a bit unusual, and I like it because of that.

At the end of the challenge, those of us who had our projects finished showed them to the group.

Here are pictures of how some of the projects turned out. We had a little bit of everything!

Jean made a purse:

Janet made a table runner:

Jessica made a purse, and TWO matching clutches to go with it — very inventive!

Teresa made a table runner:

Jeanette made a table runner:

Norma made a table runner:

Michelle made a table runner:

Janeen made a wall hanging:

Barbara made an entire LARGE quilt! She was dubbed the overachiever for this challenge:

If you’re interested in presenting this project challenge to your own quilting group, the Brown Bag Special program is available in my Etsy Shop. It comes complete with everything you need to know to easily run the program for your group. There’s also a second version called Brown Bag Special II. It’s run the same way, just makes a different block pattern.

Published in: on June 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm  Comments (3)  

Father’s Day Out

Just like last year, this Persian-Orange-lovin’ family made a trip to the Allis Connection’s antique tractor show in Amana, Iowa.

It’s a good way for us to get to spend a day with our father, and the show is always Father’s Day weekend, so that’s even better!

Given that our father had a heart attack a week before the show, we weren’t sure he’d be up to going this year. But the entire time he was in the hospital, he kept saying: “I gotta get outta here. We got a tractor show to go to!” And go we did!

It’s not just the tractor show that makes the day entertaining, however . . . it’s the fact that all five of us are trapped in a car together for 8 hours. The hilarity never stops!

My sister took us in her Charger. Deno got all excited when she passed another vehicle and those extra cylinders kicked in, but then claimed disappointment because “the rumble strip in the center just took all the fun out of it. It’s bad enough they put ’em on the outside . . .”

Daddy (who drives a tanker truck for a living) chimes in: “Yeah, I don’t know how many times I’ve been woke up by those dad-blamed things. Can’t even get in a good nap any more!”

On one of our potty/get-a-drink pitstops, Katy bought a loaf of bread from an Amish roadside stand. Darin begged her to buy a jar of jam, too, but Katy maintained that she didn’t buy the bread for him to eat in the car.

After a few more miles of his passenger-seat driving, she yipped at him for giving constant instruction, even though he wasn’t sure where we were going. He said: “Gosh darnit, I gotta ride and drive at the same time.”

She replied: “If you don’t shut up, you’re gonna be ridin’ with the loaf o’ bread in the trunk.”

“I told ya I’d need that jam,” he smirked.

We got to the tractor show just in time for the parade. Here’s a few shots of the most unusual entries they had on display this year:

Little Orange Blossom Special: This is a pair of 2/3 scale WCs, made and owned by George & Jackie Hess from Clinton, MO. The front one runs, the one being pulled on the trailer is strictly a yard ornament. This pair has been featured in a calendar!

1967 D15, pulling a wagon:

Here it is parked: (the wagon is really pretty!)

Here’s a propane version of a D15. The thing I don’t care for with the propane tractors is that I wouldn’t be real thrilled to be driving along with a full propane tank right under my nose! Just a bit too risky, I say . . .

A 1949 C . . .

A 1939 WC with an elevator. Back when we used to do all those little round bales, that thing would have come in real handy!

1937 A:

A 1954 WD-45 with a scooper on the front end:

A 1949 W Speed Patrol (my favorite model):

Here’s my brother checking it out. We have one like this, but it’s in a sad state. I’m hoping he’s gathering mental notes on how to fix ours up. I’d like to drive it someday.

This tractor gives new meaning to the phrase “back seat driver”. My sister and I both agree that we probably wouldn’t like that seat — there you are, hanging out over the road on the back side, staring at the driver’s butt in front of you . . . hmmm . . .

Now here’s something I had never seen before. A double-engine tractor. And there were TWO at this show! This one is made from two WD-45s . . .

. . . and this one is made from a WD and a WD-45 . . . Here’s a G (G stands for Garden tractor). This model has several different attachments that fit underneath for performing different tasks.Here’s a D21:An I-400:

This guy was rollin’ through the parade swiggin’ on his Pepsi:

And the newest tractor present at the show . . . a 1977 7080:

There was even a Terra Tiger on the scene. These are the ones that can go on land or water. Upon seeing it, Deno launched into a story from when he was 12 years old and riding in one, and the driver just tore out across a lake in it and scared the puddin’ out of Deno!

Vendors at the show had every imaginable old part for sale. You’d have to know exactly what you were looking for, but chances are, you’d find it, too!

Last year, we saw this Casey’s store as we made the turn to go to the tractor show, but we didn’t stop. Deno has given us a hard time ever since, because he wanted to go IN that Casey’s store because it’s so pretty.

So this year, we made a point to stop at the “pretty Casey’s store”. Deno said: “I ain’t felt like this since my first Prom!”, which set us all to laughing so hard, we could barely walk up to the door. Much to his disappointment, it looks just like any other Casey’s store on the inside. Deno was crushed.

And just like last year, I’ll leave you with the more memorable quotes from our outing, beginning with Deno’s statement inside the quilt shop that Katy and I made him go into with us:

“Sale fat quarters? Sounds like sumthin’ a Sale Barn would have.”

And Darin to Deno as we were taking pictures:

“Deno, take your shirt off and stand in front of this one and let’s get some shots.”

“You’re multi-talented, aren’t ya?”

“Ther lights ain’t very well constipated, are they?”

“Her face is like one big coin deposit.”

“I’m watchin’ my figurine.”

“When you get old, you do stupid things. Unless you done ’em all when you were young.”

“I will be nice, as long as they see things pretty much my way.”

“And just what IS a ‘festplatz’?”

Published in: on June 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm  Comments (3)