Tuesday, May 31, 2011

35 more blocks!

I got 35 of these little strip blocks finished today! They measure 5.5 inches. I worked on them since I already had them out from yesterday. Not sure how many I will make or what design I will use them with when I do get them done, I don't want to do anything too fancy just simple.

This brings me to a total of 50 of these blocks so far. It is sooooo hot here today! The thermometer read 101 degrees in the shade! Richard was out running fence again today for about 7 hours. I guess he got too hot but he would not admit it! When he came in he got something to drink, got a shower and went to bed and that is just not like him at all. I'm going to get him up in a few minutes and make him eat something.

Mom came home today! She stopped by for a few minutes before she went on home. She looks so tired! I think she needs a few days of good rest! I'm glad she is home for a few weeks.

If Richard feels like it later tonight I'm going to see if he will help me adjust the tension on my quilting machine so that I can get those quilted. I have a hard time getting it adjusted by myself and want to pull my hair out so I just leave it to him. :) I have a couple of customer quilts to do then I have a few of my own that I want to do too. We don't have the air conditioning in the new house yet so it will be getting really hot up there but I usually get up around 5:30-6am so I could quilt early and finish it up late of an evening.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Pick a project!

I really need to pick a project and stay with it!!! LOL! Maybe that is why I have so many UFO's! Actually I did finish up a couple of things! So here is the run down! I got really bored subcutting all of those strips so I sat them aside! LOL! But I will get back to them, I promise! The first thing that I did was make me a new sewing machine mat for my new sewing room (sweat shop). Nothing fancy and I didn't want a ton of pockets in it just something that I can store things without having to figure out which pocket it is in.

So while Richard and Hunter were fishing I made a new pin cushion! This was made from a pattern that Libby sent to me. I really like it! Now if I can just remember to throw my threads in there instead of the floor! LOL! And it even has a little pocket for a seam ripper!
We had company the biggest part of the day today and she wanted to look at my quilt stuff. She fell in love with my Civil War Love Letter quilt top. She said she didn't know how to paper piece! So what is a girl to do??? Get out the sewing machine, of course!!! Since she had never tried it before I didn't want to show her something too hard, so I dug out a few of my UFO's. This first one is a "Courthouse Steps" I really like these blocks and may work on it again soon. I think today I made 6 more blocks. Then I showed her how to do a simple string block. This is one that I had a few blocks done on it. I love working with these blocks they are just mindless quilting and go fairly quickly. I kept these out and plan on working on these over the next several days....or weeks....maybe months... And now I leave you with a few photos of Hunter! I thought these were so cute! I know he is dirty but they had been down at the pond fishing for several hours and he is a little country boy, if he sees dirt he has to play in it! LOL! Anyway...Hunter caught 11 fish and he was very excited so I wanted to take some photos. I told him to grab a couple of them and hold them up!

Then one started flopping and he dropped it! I think it freaked him out! Look at his face! LOL!

Then he picked it back up! :)
Now I'm off to bed! Good night!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Strips, Strips and more Strips!

I finally was able to get upstairs to quilt, well....sort of... I had a quilt pinned on the frame but because of the wet stain on my stairs I could not get up there to quilt. So the stain finally dried so I thought I would go up there and quilt the quilt before we put the polyurethane on them. Well....I guess all of my tension is all out of whack from moving my frame and machine. This happened before when I moved it and I had a hard time getting it all adjusted correctly. Long story short....I took that quilt off of the frame and loaded a baby quilt on that will be used as a donation quilt so that I could work on my tension issues. I still don't have it exactly right so I will have to wait and get Richard to help me with it.

So meanwhile I got all of my strip sets pressed! That seemed like it took forever. There were 28 strip sets, I guess that is not really that many compared to some patterns but it was a lot for me to press. LOL! So now I'm in the process of subcutting them into 560 strips. I think my biggest problem will be keeping them all organized so that I don't get them mixed up. So I dug up some baskets to sort them in. I think once I get them all subcut the piecing will go fairly quick.....or so I hope. Now for some farm photos to show I has been going on up here on "top of the world" I made another batch of soap. I know have two batches that are curing and I hope to make a few more batches this coming week. I plan on making some honey & almond and some cranberry & mandarin.I ran up on this little guy as I was out feeding the horses. Harmless but I still hate snakes!And a couple of the girls out playing yesterday evening. Cocoa knocked my birdhouse off as you can see in this photo. I tried to get a good photo of Donkey playing with them, he actually likes the goats! :)And Sweetie chomping on some grass. Love my girls! They keep us provided with milk, cheese, butter and now soap!

I think I will take a nap for a bit. Richard and Hunter are at my mom's house. My sister called and said that they had water pouring from their hot water heater! :( So he went out there to take it out and I guess replace it in the morning.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Making Goat Milk Soap...

I finally got around to making my goat's milk soap today! It actually didn't take that long to do so I will probably make a few more batches next week. I've been buying the supplies a little at a time so that I wouldn't be out a lot of money all at once. Over the past few months I bought a new crockpot, stick mixer and digital scales and these will be used only for my soap making. Here it is during the process....
I was supposed to wait at least 12 hours to release them from the molds but I went ahead and did a few after a couple of hours, I'm not a patient person! LOL! So now they are curing for while. With this batch I made "Honey Oatmeal Goat Milk Soap" It smells sooooooo good! I used several different molds the ones in this photo are made using antique jello molds.
I used a few of the crumbles from the spoon and pot to see how well they work even though they have not cured and I am in love! I've used goat milk soap before and loved it, but with this honey and oatmeal in it, it just makes your skin sooooo soft. I think I will make several more batches over the next few months so they will have time to cure really well and I plan on giving some for gifts for the holidays and maybe even selling some gift sets too.

If you have never used goat milk soap before there are so many benefits from it. You can read about it here. Benefits of goat milk soap.

I started out on my latest quilt kit really good! I got all of the strip sets sewn together that first day and I planned on pressing them the next day.....well....they are still laying in the same place and have not been touched since! I just couldn't concentrate on them today I was just too excited to be playing with my soap! Maybe tomorrow....

Oh and a quick update on Hoss, Andrew's uncle. He is in ICU and he did not have a stroke I guess that somehow the wires got crossed on that part. He was vomiting up a lot of blood and passing out. They got him to the ER and had to give him 4 things of blood and rushed him in for emergency surgery. He had an ulcer that had eroded through the stomach and into the gastric artery or something like that and I guess he was just bleeding to death. They did get it stopped for now but like I said he is in ICU in an induced coma and if his vitals are where they should be by tomorrow they will be doing another surgery on him.

All for now.....Hunter wants me to watch a movie with him.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Starting another kit!

Well.....I was up again at 4:30am! This makes the second morning in a row that the phone rang about this time! But this time it was a call about Andrew's uncle. I guess he has had a stroke because at that time they were loading him in the ambulance. A few years ago he had a bad stroke and has to walk with a walker or cane now. Andrew's aunt picked him up to go to the hospital, I feel bad for not being there with Andrew because they are very close. This is my ex-husband's brother, they call him HOSS. Anyway, he and his wife are very good people and I do pray that he pulls through this okay. Andrew assured me that I didn't need to go with him but he also knows that all he needs to do is call and I will be there for him. Anyway, I'm fully awake and I will call Andrew's cell in a little while to check on him and Hoss.

Since I finished that other quilt top Sunday night I decided to start working on another kit. My choices are limited right now because most of them are boxed up and up in my new sewing room. My stairs are still too tacky to walk on them, I guess because of all of this rain they don't seem to be drying quickly and I put very thin coats of stain on them. Enough about the stairs.... This is a kit that I've had for a couple of years it is called "Carpet of Flowers" and measures 83x100. I spent most of the day yesterday sewing........and napping! :) The entire quilt is made from strip sets so I got them ALL sewn together!!! Now I will probably spend today pressing them. I detest pressing but it has to be done. But I think what I really dread is subcutting all of the strip sets. As you can see this quilt is very "Girly" and very "Spring" looking. BTW, I already had this kit cut out, not sure when I had done all of the cutting but it was nice to just be able to up it up and start sewing on it.

Every morning I always get up before everyone else and I always go through the house checking on everyone else that is asleep to make sure they are okay...I guess it's just a "mommy thing" I know it is probably cruel to take photos of people that early and while they are asleep but I couldn't help it. Hunter was talking about Army men in his sleep. :) He just looked so precious to me, I just wanted to squeeze him but I let him sleep. He always sleeps with his eyes not completely closed.Oh and of course all of this camera flashing woke Jazz up! He sleeps every night with Hunter. For some reason he sleeps down at the foot of the bed not up where he can snuggle with Hunter. Jazz sleeps with Hunter and Smokey sleeps in my room. He sleeps on my side of the bed in the floor straight across from my head. He doesn't like to sleep in the bed because it is too hard for him to get in and out of it so he just sleeps in the floor. Smokey is my baby, he makes very step that I do. When I sit down he is at my feet in the floor, if I go to the bathroom he is right there too. Oh and Smokey does not like the storms that we have been having. He whines and shakes the whole time so you have to hold and pet him to calm him down.Well it is now 5:40am so I had better start breakfast and call Andrew. If all goes well today I hope to get all of the pressing of the strip sets finished and maybe tomorrow I can subcut them.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Top Completed!

The top is finished!!!! And it feels great to have actually completed a quilt top without getting sidetracked! I really like how it turned out, but mom and I both agree that it is a shame that it is not a little bigger, at least bed size. I guess I could add another small border on it if I wanted to, I may do that later but right now I'm just happy that it is completed as far as the kit directions go.

Speaking of kit directions....they were WRONG! Don't you just hate that? The directions called for 64- 2x3.5" rectangles for the border when I actually needed 84! Thank goodness there was enough extra fabric to cut the rest of what I needed. I have the binding cut for it so it is ready and will be put in line to be quilted...as soon as I can get to it.
I've been up since 4am this morning! :( A buddy of Richard's called at 4am! He was heading to work but needed to see about using something of Richard's and needed to pick it up before he left! Anyway....I just can't go back to sleep after being woke up like that. When the phone rings in the middle of the night it always scares me too death. I'm always afraid it is bad news.

After I get my chores done this morning I may try to start on another kit. Most of my kits are boxed up and upstairs in the house but I found one that I had not packed yet. I'm not crazy about it, at least not yet, but I think I got it on sale. :) But then again who knows if I will get to work on it or not. The weather man just said that another severe thunderstorm and heavy rain will be here about 8am so if it rains Richard will not be able to work on the barbed wire fence today. So we may work on the house today. We still need to get the drywall up in the master closet and the master bath. The bad part of that is, I have a bunch of boxes stored in both and they will have to be moved. :( But they have to be done!

I guess I'm off to fix breakfast....maybe not real healthy but a good old country breakfast....gravy, biscuits, bacon, eggs, and fried apples!......yum!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

All of the blocks are completed!

I got all 12 center blocks finished today! This is not the final layout, I don't think. I just put them on the bed to see how they were going to look. I also have the 4 small corner star blocks finished and I have been piecing the piano key border too. It has a small beige strip that goes in the border before and after the piano keys. I have it cut and ready to sew on as soon as I get the center sewn together. I'm tired now so all of this may have to wait until tomorrow after Church. I must say it feels great to have gotten this far on it. I guess I just really needed something with some different fabrics than I had in my stash and in my scrap bins. So glad that I started this kit! I'm going to wait until I get this one finished before I work on anything else but I have several more kits so I may think about working on another one. Better get off the computer...mom just called and she and my sister are on their way out here. She hasn't seen my stairs and a few other things that we did while she was gone to work for 28 days. I checked on the stairs a few hours ago and they are still a little bit "tacky" I wanted to get a coat of polyurethane on them today but no such luck!

Have a great evening!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hunter's work day and a little bit of sewing...

Hunter worked a whole 5.5 hours yesterday! I guess that is not bad for an 8 yr old. Richard said he really did work hard. They did end up coming up to the house for lunch and then Hunter decided that Richard was on his own after lunch! LOL! So here is a photo of my hard working, dirty little boy...If you look real close in his hand you can see that he brought home a little friend! LOL! Love his dirty little hands! I promise he had a good scrubbing before bed! :) They had a great day working together and he did get paid for it too. I didn't get a lot of sewing done today, I've been spending some "mommy time" with mom. She got in from St Louis last night. I saw her for a few minutes last night but I didn't stay too long, she was so tired. Then I spent several hours with her today. Hunter and I went out for a visit and she is coming out here tomorrow to see what all we got done on the house while she was gone.

I'm still working on my star blocks. I did a little sewing this evening. Now I need to do a lot of pressing so that I can finish my stars and then start on my pieced borders. The borders are just simple piano key borders. So far I am liking it, I guess I really did need something completely new to get me back in the mood to sew. A guy that mom works with said his wife wanted to know if I would want a small bag of quilting stuff. Of course she said "YES"!!!! She said that she had taken a class several years ago to make a small quilt and I guess she put it away because you can pretty well date the fabrics in it. She said that her hands had just gotten too bad to finish it. So here is what she sent! It measures about 50x50. Also in the bag was a bag of batting to fit it, 3 extra blocks and about 1.5 yards of blue that would be plenty enough for the binding. I do love it and I so appreciate that she thought to give it to me, but here is what I am thinking.... As a quilter myself it would break my heart not to be able to quilt anymore and to think that she put hard work into it only to not be able to finish it. Since she had everything for it except for the backing, I think I will find a backing for it, quilt it up, bind it and give it back to her. Of course this will have to wait until my stairs dry and after I get the other 3 customer quilts finished! LOL! I believe that I have a backing that I can use for it. It's late and I always get up early, well around 6am. It is hard to sleep in when you live on a farm. The animals start to let you know that they need their breakfast! But I'm not complaining I love all of my farm babies!

Hunter has a friend coming over sometime tomorrow to stay a day or two. We live in a very small community here and everyone pretty much knows everyone. Richard and I both went to school with his parents and his grandpa was our bus driver and his grandma was the Avon lady!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Block One ~ Completed...

I just got my first block completely finished for this quilt. The pattern calls for 12 of these double star blocks and 4 of the small center stars for the corners and a few borders. Anyway....I wanted to get one of them done to see how they were going to look. This afternoon I hope to have a few more pieced. I have all of the larger flying geese finished that goes in these blocks I just need to do the corner half squares in the corners and piece the blocks. Anyway, I like how they look even if my points are NOT perfect! Late last night Hunter came up to Richard and told him that he was in "desperate need" for some money! Now he is only 8 so I'm not sure why he is in "desperate need" for it. The best thing was he didn't at all ASK if he could have some money he asked Richard if he had any work for him to do so he could earn some money! So proud of that! Richard has been running fence for a couple of weeks. Working with barbed wire is hard work because it is sharp and you have to stretch it so tight but it needs to be done anyway. Richard told him that the only thing that he had going on right now was the fencing so Hunter asked if he could go to work for him. The last day of school was yesterday and he had planned on sleeping in very late today but instead he got up at 6am to go to work! LOL! I promise Richard will not work him hard but I think it teaches them to work for their money and that everything can't be handed to them. So here he is after a big breakfast this morning ready to go to work! *Note his hammer and nail belt! LOL! He is so cute! I packed them a big lunch to eat because they will not come back up to the house to eat they will just take a lunch break down by the fence. Gee....I wonder if Hunter will be so willing to go back to work tomorrow! LOL! Oh and another funny about it...Hunter also has some army men packed in his pockets to play with! Hehehehe!

This morning I ran on to a box that I had put away sometime ago. See...when I was pregnant with Hunter I was having some trouble with the pregnancy and I ended up having 4 ultrasounds. Now at that time this new 3D and 4D ultrasounds were not available at my doctor's office so I just had the old-fashioned ones. Each time he told me that Hunter was a GIRL!!! Yep! I had tons of pink and purple and bunches of dresses. Imagine our surprise when he came out a BOY! Mom and my sister had to run out and exchange some things for me until I was able to return everything else a few days later. Anyway.....I decided that I was going to make HER a yo-yo coverlet thing for the crib. I found the prettiest ginghams to use. At one point I was on bed rest for a while so I cut out all of the little circles for it. Then others things happened and I didn't get them done. My SIL was here and saw the circles and asked if I minded if she finished it for the baby. Here is the finished yo-yo coverlet...My grandmother made this little quilt for the baby too. All hand stitched and quilted. It is hard to see in this photo but it is set up in pink gingham. So I had put them away and maybe someday (a long time from now!) Hunter will get married and maybe he and his wife will have a baby girl and I will give them to her.

Yesterday I got my 3 and final coat of stain on my stairs. I'm sure you all are getting tired of seeing them. Now I will let them dry real good. I'm hoping they will be completely dry by Friday so that I can start with the polyurethane. I dread that part but I am wanting to put at least 2 coats of polyurethane on them and call them DONE! Then we will work on all the railing and trim for them later. At this point, I just need to get upstairs!!! Some good news! My momma is on her way home from St Louis today! I've really missed her this time. I had her home for 5 months due to her surgery so it was hard to see her have to go back to work. I may be 39 years old but I still need my "mommy time" Hunter has missed her too. He told her on the phone yesterday that he planned on them staying in the pool the whole time that she was home! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today's progress...

I woke up at 4:30am this morning so I got some sewing in before everyone else got up. So far I have the 16 star block done that measure 6.5". These will be the centers of the larger stars after I get them squared up. I will be starting on that later tonight....hopefully. :)So after we got our morning started we worked on the house some. I put a second coat of stain on the stairs while Richard worked on some stuff in other parts of the house. So here they are so far....Seems like the camera really picks up the knots in the wood but they really don't show up that much. Richard has sanded and sanded them and they are as smooth as glass. I can't wait to get them done. There will be a trim piece that goes against the back of them. We still have all of the trim work to make but right now we are just trying to get the actual steps finished so that we can go upstairs. As of right now, I plan on one more coat of stain and then two coats of the clear poly to seal them. After I got them stained this morning I had just walked in the other room and Hunter let Jazz in the house and he ran straight up the stairs and back down! I had little dog prints in my wet stain! I was sooooooooo irked! Had to go back and try to wipe it all out, I'll be able to tell more about it after it dries real good.

I am sooooo sick of all of this rain! Everything is a soggy mess. It really doesn't up much in this photo but it is pouring rain. This was taken from the front porch of the house this morning. Oh and this is my front step! LOL! This big flat rock was one that I found on the other end of our property and had Richard to bring it for our front step! Let's just say.....he didn't enjoy it! LOL! Had to use the bucket on the tractor to get it here and it measures about 2.5ft x 4ft or so and is about 18" thick.
And since it has turned off cool again for a few days I put my ugly flannel quilt back on the bed. It was just made with flannel scraps that someone had given to me years ago but it sure is warm and soft.

Other than this I haven't done anything today but I did take a nap for about 3 hours. I guess with this cool and wet weather my leg was aching and I heated up a rice bad, went to bed and snuggled up with Hunter and napped. Now I probably will have a hard time sleeping tonight.