Farm Update

by CountryThreads on September 20, 2017

We moved the LP tank to a location closer to the road and now Rick has to fix the rotten wall behind it.  Honestly, it’s a never ending job to keep it all working.  Pretty soon we will be winterizing.

Mama Kitty is watching from under the bench.

Remember Chicklet – he’s in this picture with some of his “girls”.  He’s a beautiful rooster.

And then you might remember that there was another single chick and then four more hatched.  Those would be the Fab Five.  You’ll never believe this – 4 out of the Fab Five turned out to be roosters!  Good Grief!  What’s with that???  That makes 6 roosters in the barn – it will be a long winter for my hens.  Here is the group of 4.  See?  3 roosters and one hen.

Reed and I picked more pumpkins yesterday.

We also picked the cucumbers – almost 200 of them.  The chickens love cucumbers so I don’t want to pull up the vines until after a frost.  We can just keep growing them BIG for feed.  

Reed’s chickens, Debbie and Delores, like cukes, too.  Here they are enjoying their little treat with Reed and Vera looking on.

We added another load of pumpkins to my display.

And remember this picture taken on July 11 right after the hailstorm?  Can you believe the crop of pumpkins I ended up with?  We still haven’t picked them all.  When I took this picture, I didn’t expect to have even one pumpkin!

Choir practice started 2 weeks ago and this Sunday I start playing at my “other” church in addition to my own.  My retirement is quite busy.  Rox would like to say “Hi!”  She’s doing well – and looking good, too!


More Straight Line Quilting Talk

by CountryThreads on September 19, 2017

As I’ve been quilting, I’ve thought of several more tips.

1.  I like to use the same thread in both the bobbin and the needle.  I think I have fewer problems when they’re the same brand.

2.  I never try to stitch in the ditch.  My hand is just not that steady so I always stitch on either side of the horizontal seam.

3.  I think I’m a pretty accurate quilter but if blocks and seams aren’t exactly the same size, it will be very apparent when trying to quilt.  You just can’t pull the top tight enough in one spot without stretching it in another so the tension in the finished quilt may vary.  With so many seams as in this quilt top, it’s easy to pull the top out of shape.

4.  The minute I hold a corner of the project in one hand, it becomes a quilt to me.  I can feel the texture of the 3 layers stitched together and it’s no longer a quilt top, batting and backing.  It is now a QUILT!

As I remove all the pins, it bends and folds on itself creating that wonderful feel that all quilters recognize.

And now this quilt moves to the cutting table for trimming and binding.

If this tutorial is something you think you want to refer to in the future, please mark it so I don’t have to do this – again.  I think this is the third time I’ve posted these steps.

Good Luck with your straight line quilting.  I will bind it and show it to you again.


Straight Line Quilting

by CountryThreads on September 18, 2017

This is making me very nervous.  I pieced the backing for Mountain Majesties using some vintage red, white and blue bunting fabric.  It’s pretty thin and I’m afraid it will tear if I stretch it too tightly on the longarm machine.

I hope I don’t regret this choice of backing.  I said I’d explain straight line quilting while I worked on this quilt.  I would not be able to do this on my Bernina – it’s just too big but I know many people have quilted large quilts on their home machines.

At the beginning edge I like to put in several lines of stitching and then I take out those pins along the edge.  These lines of stitching are not necessarily perfectly straight.  And I don’t want to stitch too closely because the quilt will be stiff and hard so I’m only stitching 5 lines across a 7-1/2″ inch block.

When I start stitching on the left side of the quilt, I simply hold the machine handles and walk slowly to my right.  If I walk too fast, the stitches will be too long.  If I walk too slow, the stitches will be tiny so I try to set a medium pace based on the stitch length.

Here’s another close-up.

 Here’s the quilt with a few rows stitched.  I get better as I move down the quilt – ha!

 I plan to work on this again tomorrow and will TRY to answer your questions while I’m in the process.  Remember that this is being stitched on a longarm machine.  I can’t tell you how to do this on your home machine – you’ll just have to try it on your own and remember practice makes perfect.


Mountain Majesties

by CountryThreads on September 14, 2017

Finally!  The top is finished and now I need to piece my back.  I will be so happy to work on a different project.  I can’t remember the name of this Moda fabric line – was it by Minnick and Simpson possibly?

I just added 4″ rectangles along the two sides and called it good.  This quilt is not going to any show, State Fair or museum so it’s fine with me – finished is better than perfect in my world.  Here’s a closeup.

It’s so big and today it’s windy so I had to photograph it on the ground with rocks holding it from flying away.  I do think it’s beautiful now that it’s a finished top.  Off to mow lawn!


This Quilt Has A Mind of Its Own

September 13, 2017

Ok – got all the rows together, laid it on the bed and it’s not wide enough.  This is all the fabric I have left from 48 fat quarters.  Blocks are directional right and left and measure 6″x7-1/2″ finished so it’s not easy to take rows off the length to add to the width. I […]

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Picking the Pumpkins

September 11, 2017

Reed and I started picking the pumpkins today.  He said it was the funniest day he’s ever had at my house.  We also cleaned the chicken nests,  put in new bedding and added some dried herbs to kill the lice and mites on the chickens – if they have any and it  smells fabulous! Reed […]

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Purple Star Pattern, Plants and Pumpkins

September 8, 2017

For those of you wondering about what star pattern I used, here are my measurements.  You can take it from here and when you’re finished, send me a picture.  Yes, Connie and I can sew quite fast – we learned from necessity years ago. I always think it’s sad to move the plants back inside […]

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Another Gift

September 7, 2017

This Christmas gift was a lot easier and quicker than all those canned pickles – a purple and white couch quilt for a friend who loves  purple AND she doesn’t read this blog – ha!  Here is the very simple star quilt that I made and quilted in about two days. And a little more […]

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September 6, 2017

September 6, 2017

Hazel Larson Today would have been my mom’s 98th birthday.  This picture was taken in front of the cottage at Okoboji, her favorite place in the whole world.  Most of you knew her as the popcorn maker at Open House and I have the perfect picture of her standing at the popcorn machine.  I have […]

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Labor Day 2017

September 4, 2017

That’s it – I’m done laboring with the canning.  42 pints of “pickles” should take care of my Christmas list, I think.  I put all the canning equipment away and cleaned my kitchen – oh, what a good feeling! Look at this clean stove area. I also finished my book this morning after I made […]

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