Here, There, Everywhere

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The busiest time of the year is here. No other time during the year am I being pulled in so many different directions. I am appreciating each morning here at home because by 10:30 I am out of the house and sometimes don’t return until night time. Suppers are a real challenge. They must be easy, quick and healthy! We did have hot dogs last week though. Sometimes it is the only way. One day this week we may have to grab something out!

I went to visit my son last week at the Carpenter’s Boat Shop and spent the night. It was so nice to see the things he is working on. I even worked on one of the boats!  Everyone was very welcoming and I was quite comfortable.

I went on a knitting retreat in Portland. I had the best time. Who wouldn’t? Yarn, knitting, wine, chocolate. We went out to eat. We knit. I learned how to double knit. We had a party with door prizes and yarn swaps. We knit. We had cocktails together and knit. It was really fun to be around so many like minded women.

Softball season has begun. The girls are on different teams. One is playing through the school, the other through the recreation department. Pretty much every night there is softball. One in the afternoon, one in the evening.

This is gardening season too. I have been out planting early things like greens and peas. I went to the Fedco tree sale and picked up some tomato seedlings. I wanted to get blueberry bushes to replace the ones that were damaged this year but they were all out! My asparagus is up and the garlic too. Next week strawberries are being delivered! So excited about that.

We are trying to keep up on our homeschooling too so we don’t have so much to catch up on during the summer. Both girls are on the last parts of their math. We are reading about the ancient empires right now. Just finished reading the Iliad. Now we are reading the Odyssey. We still have to finish biology. Waiting a bit for that. It is all the summer things like caterpillars and frogs. I went for a walk in the woods last week and found some owl pellets. The girls couldn’t wait to dissect those!

We have started our daily walks again. Last week we even got a bike ride in, dodging all the rain drops. Boy has it been rainy!

This weekend all my sons came home for a visit. One had just got back from a road trip out in California! I wanted to see pictures. I did and it looked like he has a wonderful time. Another son helped me put my flower garden back together. It got ripped up during some pipe work. That is how the blueberry bushes got damaged too. He helped me see that it is still pretty and all will be well.

In between all the running around I have put together a quilt block. Quilted a block or two on the picnic quilt and finished a sweater. I will show that in a future post. I have to make time for my crafts. It is for my mental health.

So things are pretty busy. I know it will settle down after softball ends. And the garden is all planted. Then I can sit outside, with a glass of wine or a cup of tea and relax.

Yea, right.

A Pair of Pillows

I planned and finished a pair of pillows in a week! That is quite an accomplishment for me. It was very fun too. I used Crazy Mom Quilts’ pillow tutorial. It was easy to understand. I love those step by step tutorials. Perfect for me.

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Just like in her tutorial, Amanda advises to quilt it with a batting behind it. I did and I am very happy with it.

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My pictures look better taken outside but the pillows are for inside. They will go in the chairs that are right in front of the wood stove. Even though it is 70 outside right now (in Maine!) and the grass is really green still, it will get cold in a matter of weeks. I am getting ready the only way I know how. Sew!

Happy Sewing!

I am joining Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts today.

 

 

Friends With Liberty Quilt Top

Wow, it has been a long while since I had a finish, but today I do! I finished my Friends With Liberty quilt top.

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My daughter who is almost 10 said ‘It is a simple quilt, but it is pretty’. Well she is right. It wasn’t a very hard quilt to make. It is pretty simple. I wanted to use some Liberty that I had from a club I joined. I love sewing with the Liberty. Very soft and light. Almost like silk.

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I will probably quilt this myself. I don’t actually quilt much. I piece. I like to piece. I don’t so much like to quilt. There are squares in this quilt in between all the stars. They are made up of four different colors. I wonder how to make those squares pretty with quilting? Do you have any ideas for me?

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See what I mean. Kind of plain right now. All I can think of right now is just a big X. I really don’t think that would make it pretty though.

Pretty happy about finishing the top though. Thanks for looking, and please offer up any suggestions for the quilting.

I am joining in with Amanda for Finish it up Friday!

 

 

Saying Goodbye to the Girls

For almost twenty years I have raised chickens. Mostly for eggs but also for meat. The sixteen chickens I have now are getting old. The youngest are two years old and the oldest are around five. They are not laying that well. I get on average about five eggs a day. That is terrible for having sixteen chickens. Rather than feed them through the winter I am going to donate them to a farm that will process them for food.

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This is Princess. One of the oldest. Yes we named them. Well, my daughters named them. Princess has been a good chicken. She is showing her age. Not laying at all now. This year she went broody and we waited, and waited, and waited for the 21 days to come, and she ate her eggs. It was sad. I would have loved to see little chicks.

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Princess again.

We introduced two roosters this year. We have had other roosters in the past as well, but we have had plenty of years where there are no roosters. As you know, chickens will lay eggs without a male.

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This is Prince. He is the more dominant one. He does a very good job keeping the girls happy and safe.

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This is Greg. I like him better. Much quieter. Much more docile.

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This is Emy. Probably the most favored. She is very tame. She will come to the girls. Loves to be picked up and can be hand fed. She will be missed.

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This is Granny. She is slow, old, and doesn’t lay anymore. She has actually never really been active. She sits a lot of the time. Doesn’t really range around or find food. I am actually surprised she is still alive.

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It is fun to raise chickens. I will probably do it again. I just think we need to start over with a new flock. Maybe take a break through the winter, or longer.

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I actually have to have chickens again. My husband made this super duper chicken run five years ago. It has worked beautifully to keep out the critters.

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Maybe while I have no chickens to take care of I will get around to quilting this little wall hanging. I have 22 chicken collectibles in my kitchen. I call it my chicken kitchen. Say that ten times!

We will miss our little ladies, and their eggs but sadly it is time to say goodbye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Made Ironing Board

I moved my sewing room to the daylight basement that isn’t really being used for anyone or anything. I have a big table in the middle of the floor for sewing and cutting and I used a desk for ironing. I use an ironing board to iron clothes, mostly my husband’s for his job. His clothes and the ironing board are upstairs in our bedroom. I didn’t want to take all his clothes down stairs to my sewing room and iron and I didn’t want to keep moving the ironing board every time I needed it so I decided to make a small board for my sewing and quilting. Luckily I already had an extra iron for travel.

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It is just the right size for all those quilt block pieces. I am quite happy with my new sewing space, although I really have not had time to go down there and sew! Soon though, I can feel it.

I like to search blogs for new ideas and I stumbled on this blog. The board looked very easy to make so I decided to give it a try.

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Not many materials needed. A piece of plywood or thin wood cut to your specifications, a staple gun, scissors, pretty fabric for the top and some batting. (I actually used an old mattress pad I had saved)

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Lay the plywood onto the batting and cut it about two inches wider on each side. Then cut your pretty fabric about the same. Maybe a bit bigger.

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Then pull up the sides and staple. You may need to tap in the staple with a hammer (I used a rock because it was handy). Then you may need to trim a bit of fabric and batting from the corners so you don’t have too much bulk.

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Fold each corner and staple. Staple guns are amazing. They are so powerful! Add a few extra staples in spots that look loose.

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Turn it over and you have your very own, custom made, beautiful, ironing board!

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Now go sew and iron something!

 

 

Tidbits

Here I am on my second day at home without the girls. They are having a good time at camp. I am getting some things done that I want to do. For me. Not chore type things. I had to force myself. That is just the kind of person I am. It really felt good yesterday to sit down and sew in the middle of the day! I will do it again today.

I did get the chickens cleaned and I hung laundry. Today I will hang some more and get a few things ready for our camping trip but then it is back to the sewing machine.

I am leaving you with a few pictures from the last couple of days. This morning I picked a handful of blueberries just for me. Being here alone has its benefits.  Have a wonderful weekend!

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Two at a Time

It has been a while since I wrote anything about quilting or sewing. It has been pretty difficult finding time to do any quilting lately. Since summer really started we have been taking little mini trips. While I love spending the day next to the water or on a bike it is pretty hard to bring my sewing machine with me. I have been getting a few moments here and there to work on two quilts. Yes, the same ones I was working on the last time I talked about quilting. Oh well, slow and steady, right?

I decided to do my little photo shoot outside. The lighting is better and I am really not a very good photographer. These blocks are from the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s book. I am making a little quilt to go on the couch in my living room. Something pretty that we can curl up with near the fire when it is cold. I love the reproduction fabrics.

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Here are the blocks again flat. I am really enjoying these small blocks. They are only 6 inches. I love the challenge of making all the points line up right.

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My friendship block quilt is coming along too. I just finished one last night and started another. They are very easy. I am using some Liberty fabric that I have been receiving as part of a club. I love getting a different batch every month. Such a simpleton I am that I get so excited over a pack of fabric! I am trying to decide if I should sew all the friendship blocks together as they are or put some sashing in between. Or maybe a solid block in between the patterned ones, or ….. Do you have any suggestions?

I am already eyeing my next project. I have never bought a quilt pattern but am thinking I will. I saw something yummy online. It is the Persimmon quilt at Corianderquilts. I have done a wall hanging from Cory Yoder’s blog and love it. She is always great about responding to my many questions.

Joining up with Amanda at her blog  crazymomquilts. As always, Happy Quilting!