Quilting, Farming, Variety

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mom's Apple Pie

Mom always makes the best apple pie, doesn't she? And what better way to remember a recipe than to wear it right on your chest,

on the bib of an apron completed with neck strap, gathered skirt and tie belt.

Yum, yum!! Pass the ice cream!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wasted Day

This has been a wasted day for me; a trip to town does that. You see, this is how it happened: On the first week in January, I bit down on a hard piece of peanut brittle and the next thing I knew, a part of a jaw tooth was gone, broken off. So I'm told, by those experienced, I will have to have the tooth crowned. Last week, a tooth above the broken one, lost a side, so now I'm with two crowns in the future. Figuring it wouldn't be long before pain would hit, I made an appointment for today. I had gone through all the steps in my mind, getting prepared for the shots, drilling, impressions, etc. It probably took the dentist thirty minutes before coming in to look at the teeth, so I sat and waited, fumbling with something in my hands to ward off the nervousness, and when he finally examined them, he told me I could probably go a long time without having anything done, but really I should have them crowned within the next six months. Maybe he spent ten minutes with me at the most; no crowns today. At the front desk she tells me, "forty dollars!" for ten minutes! And the crowns will be $795 each. Now I'm thinking, I'm in the wrong business; I'll have to feed lots of calves on bottles for a long time at that rate! But, I should not whine about it; at least something can be done to save the teeth and prevent a toothache, which people tell me is the worst. And to "cap" it all off, today is dreary, but I was treated to a Sonic burger and Tots for lunch by my husband.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cobbler Apron



A cute, lime green cobbler apron, daring you to dust a little flour down the front. I think I used this pattern in Home Economics class (probably the last time my waist was that small and a pattern cost forty cents). The apron wasn't difficult to put together, but very hard to iron above the pleats. Sometimes patterns can fool a person; in other words, I don't think I will make another apron by this pattern.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Silhouette Quilting

Webster's dictionary defines silhouette as "an outline figure, usually filled in with black."
I machine appliqued this silhouette a few years ago, bordered it to look like a framed picture, quilted it, and gave it to middle daughter who hung it in her office. Another can be found in my post for 12-6-2010, Contest Blocks. These would be nice done up as silhouettes of children or grandchildren; I could never get mine still long enough to draw an outline.

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring in My Yard


The past few days I've seen beautiful pictures of flowers, springing up in yards, dazzling with color, which won't come to my yard until the irises bloom. However, my yard is not without flowers: little flowers, which if viewed with a microscope reveal beauty as grand as the big flowers. Oh you won't find them in a garden store or seed catalog, for they're considered to be weeds, a bother in the yard. So, for a while I'll leave them (my husband calls them his flowers). After all, these are God's creations too.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blue & White Apron

A little blue and white checked half apron with a sweet pocket

This little girl made the pocket. There are more prints to be made into potholders.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Grass Is Always Greener -----

This afternoon, fabrics were spread out, patterns unfolded, ready for another apron construction; then the phone rang. "There are cows out, almost to the road, and we think they are yours." When spring comes, the ring of a phone, especially before breakfast, usually means the cattle think the grass is greener across the fence, and they hunt for a weak spot and push through. While my husband does the actual fixing of the fence, I'm the go-fer; "go get me some posts, bring me the post driver, hand me the cutters, get a piece of wire, I'm ready for the ties." And all this was in the woods; little bushes, vines, roots, briers, all just waiting to trip me. The cows sure went out of their way to find a hole in the fence. But it doesn't always have to be an out-of-the-way spot, as happened last spring:

"All them heifers are out in Watson's field! I don't even know where to tell you to go to open a gate!' No time to go to the bathroom; just pull off good shoes, grab the headscarf and jacket, put on boots and see what can be done to get them back home. Upon arrival at the field I see all the heifers in their rightful place; Watson's field is dotted with black COWS and CALVES! He's already out with them, cracking his newly acquired whip. They're indifferent to that threat; with tender, green rye grass up to their bellies it's gonna take more than a snap in the air to move them toward home.

There are buckets of feed in the back of the Kubota, so I take one to the corral, calling, calling, pouring feed into troughs. Any other time they would have been at the gate by the time I had the bucket lifted over the tail gate. Now I rattle the empty bucket, calling, calling; one cow lifts her head, mouth full and grass hanging out. She begins to run to the corral and others, realizing what's happening, follow. I leave the gate open as long as I dare; the feed is almost gone and they'll be ready to go back to the grass. So I shut the gate and go out to help him.

That belly-high rye grass is wet and tangled; can't run, so I pick my way carefully around the herd and begin trying to persuade them to go to the gate. Most go through, leaving a few. And before we can get the corral ready for them, they high-tail it back to the origin of sin, hop into Hades and go farther than before!

Hearing aids are useless when herding cattle, so I have to run close enough to ask him if he has his cell phone to call for help. So he calls for younger brother and leaves me (it's raining by now) guarding the origin of sin while he goes for the 4-wheeler. At last, brother arrives with two border collies and they put those marauding animals on the run!

While he goes to open the gate into an adjoining pasture, I'm left again, guarding the hip-high fence. The whole herd comes face to face with me; all 100 plus pounds of me facing their 200 to 1700 pounds of tempted flesh. My only defense is a little two foot long stick I had picked up, but my glare gained their respect and none plummeted over the broken wires.

Finally they're in another pasture, the hole is fixed, and we have dry clothes. All in a day's work."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ripply Apron

A person can just stand to do so much stitch ripping before it gets old. So I wanted to put something together instead of taking something apart. This is what I did,
a ripply apron from a vintage 1951 pattern. The pattern was free, found online at http://tipnut.com/ripply-apron-pattern-vintage-1951/ ; can't beat that! I wasn't too crazy about my fabric selection, but wanted to try out the pattern before using a nice piece of cloth.
The directions weren't too clear in places, and had I not known how to attach a waistband and ties, there might have been some trouble for me. The pattern source was Woman's Day, April 1951, and TipNut.com has 56 other free apron patterns. Of course when these are printed off they are in a graph form, one square equals one inch, and that's a problem for me to draw it correctly, so I did some math, went to the copy machine and enlarged the graph 3 1/2 times. Now that took several pages that had to be taped together and I think I used all the ink! But, now that I know it's workable, I'll draw the pattern off onto newspaper, file it with the directions, and have it to make another apron. The apron is bound with double fold bias tape and all I have in my stash now is one package of black, so I got out my bias tape maker gadget and will see how well I can make my own binding. I don't wear aprons -- oh well -- needle, thread, and fabric met! More fun than taking out quilting stitches.
Pattern, enlarged

Oh, and I rounded off the corners to make the binding more simple; don't want to take a chance of having to rip something else out. Isn't it cute?



Monday, March 14, 2011

A Few More Days Yet

A few more days yet before spring officially comes, and 'ol man winter is hanging on as long as possible, in spite of being pushed on by the greening of the grass, the purple of the hen bit, and the pink of the spring beauties. These little flowers are wild irises, gathered up by middle daughter lots of years ago, and planted on the north side of the house. Their blossoms only last one day, and won't be blooming for a while, but aren't they pretty? We have seed potatoes, onion plants, and other seeds, waiting for a warm-up.

The March wind has made it very chilly today so I've worked with the seam ripper, quilt thrown over my legs, removing stitches so uglies can be repaired. Second hand work is not pleasant!

Gesso went on my doll today too, the step before smoothing on the paper clay, and with many questions to Chipbutter, maybe she will be presentable. The doll's a chip off the old block; one leg is a tiny bit shorter than the other, but then so is one of mine, and no one has ever noticed. I'm beginning to understand that painting dolls is probably not my best choice for a hobby.

Now I'm off to feed the calf -- again; his bottle turned over and, I won't cry, but half his milk spilled! He's being hand-fed sweet feed; in other words, I put feed on my fingers and let him lick it off. He's getting strong so I don't get inside the pen with him anymore.

Be happy and safe ---

Friday, March 11, 2011

More Chicks and Storage Boxes

The time rolls along and we have spent our free days wisely, I hope. They're over now, and we have another flock of baby chickens to take care of. My feet are so tired, for there's many steps to be taken in the soft litter to get the houses ready for their arrival. Some things can't be done until the last hours: putting out poultry litter treatment for helping to clear the air of ammonia, feed trays put out and feed run into them, draining water lines to push air out of the lines. We are in our 39th year of raising chickens -- over half of our lives!

The door to the sewing room was barely opened today, and no needle, thread, or fabric met, but I did touch some quilt pieces; I'm putting together a "kit" to make a little quilt and will give it to a friend of mine who told me she was inspired to try to make a quilt.

I'd like to take a jiffy of your time to share some pictures of storage boxes made for me by my MIL several years ago. She covered various sized cardboard boxes with pretty wallpaper.


As you can see, I've put mine to good use and they're pretty on open shelves. Maybe you'd like to make a few.



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quilting Projects

It's a quiet day here on the farm; lots of rain, dreary in fact, but it would be a good time to work on quilting projects -- under a lamp. But I had an appointment this morning with the dermatologist, nothing serious, just a regular sixth month check-up. She did take a little tissue from one spot for a biopsy, but if it comes back as non-cancerous, then I don't have to go back for another year. That's progress! Afterwards I got my hair cut; funny how one doesn't realize how straggly hair can bring her spirits down! Now what I'm getting around to is this: a trip to town messes up the rest of my day! I have lots of things I could, should, and need to be doing.

I have made some progress in quilting this week; the white ribbon quilt (see post for 11-5-2010) is out of the frames. Oh, if only all that is left to do is the binding! But alas -- there's that Scarlet O'Hara block to do over! I guess I'm putting if off as long as possible while I try to figure out what will be the best solution for fixing it, so yesterday I started making a doll. Like I need another craft going!

But, you know quilters; there's always something new on the back burner of their brains, and this is simmering on mine:

There's a shoebox, filled to the brim, with pieces for making a double wedding ring top. Many of the pieces are feed sack fabric; some are from dresses and skirts I had in the 1950s, so you can see why I'd like to use them. But -- I don't want to piece another double wedding ring top; I've done two already and know how much trouble sewing the arcs onto the melon-shaped pieces can be. So, instead of making a traditional wedding ring top, I tried sewing the pieces into arcs, then appliqueing them onto a square of white fabric.

I like the result and may use the pieces this way. It would be good work to do after supper. What do you think?

The calf continues to do well and will be moved to the barn soon where he can be near other cattle.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Letter From 1865

Another cold, windy day, making spring seem farther away again. It's a good day to look back through things, maybe organize a few boxes and memories.

Dianna, (http://thesedaysofmine.com) posted about an old ledger she found which had information about her granddaddy, and that brought to mind a letter written by my great-great-great grandmother in June of 1865, immediately following the Civil War. Of course I only have a copy of the original and it's very hard to read, considering it had been folded and smudged over the years. I will credit my sister-in-law, Pat, for deciphering the letter and letting us enter into a little glimpse of history.








Such very difficult times; we should all pray nothing like this happens in our country again.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bringing A Smile to You

Meet Mildred Mophead!! Doesn't she put a smile on your face? Bright eyes, freckles, turned up mouth --how can you resist being her friend?

I purchased this little doll at a flea market a few years ago; fell in love with her at first sight and didn't hestitate to take her home with me. Her body is made from a cotton mop head, so she's very soft. How original is that?
I knew she'd make you smile!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Left Alone

This little fella has come to be my responsibility now, after being left alone in the pasture. We don't know for sure what happened to cause his mother to leave him. Sometimes when a cow has twins one will be cast aside; one follows her, the other stays behind, she forgets about it and only takes the one which followed. But this calf is too large to be a twin, so we've just about come to the conclusion that the cow had an older calf still nursing. Anyway, after giving him a day or two to bond with his mother, and it didn't happen, we brought him home. Now it's usually harder to get a male calf to suck a bottle, so my husband fed packaged colostrum through a tube to him yesterday evening, and this morning and at noon he took the bottle. That's a very good sign; on the other hand, see his white eye? That happens when a calf doesn't get his mother's first milk; they will go blind first, then die. We're hoping he got a little from his mother and will be o.k. So, for now he gets this:
and it's an extra job for me; not a difficult job, just time consuming. When the calf gets a little bigger and learns what my coming to him is all about, he'll be tough to handle. Am I up to it?


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fan Me -- Please?

Before the days of fans and air conditioners, rooms could become rather stuffy when filled with people. Thus the hand-held fan came into being, and they were put on the pews at churches and funeral homes. Most carried some type of advertisement on the backs and pretty pictures on the front.
The Good Shepherd was a very popular one.
And of course, peaceful scenes were always good for funerals.

A fan like this one folded up, fitting into a lady's handbag more easily,

and on the back was a place for an address so it could be mailed from some vacation spot. Notice the postage stamp: 8 cents!! in 1971.
Of course, not all fans carried pictures just meant to comfort; this one advertises Garrett snuff and has a calendar for each month of the year, 1934. (Maybe snuff did comfort?)

I hope you can enlarge this enough to read the testimonial from a ninety year old, regarding Garrett's snuff. Pretty funny!
I think fans can still be found in some flea markets; however, they sure aren't free anymore. They make a very colorful collection.
Do you have old fans tucked away somewhere?







Tuesday, March 1, 2011

One of God's Greatest Gifts

I have always thought one of God's greatest gifts to us is music; those seven notes, infinite ways of expressing happiness or sorrow, solo or in harmonic chords and cadence. Even the birds can sing the notes from God.

If ever I've been envious of something, it's the musical ability some people have to play instruments by ear. Mama's family was a family of music makers, by voice and instrument: fiddles, guitars, pump organ, and brothers and sisters gathering round one another and singing those notes from God.

I always wanted to play the piano. Miss Pauline came to the school auditorium each Wednesday to give piano lessons to those whose parents could afford 50 cents each week for a lesson. I could hear those notes -- learned them by heart -- yearned to play them.

In the spring of 1955, Daddy had sold his horses and bought a little John Deere tractor. He hitched the horse-drawn plows, planters, etc. to the tractor, taught me to drive, and I helped him put in the crop of sorghum cane and cut the hay. As the school term approached, he agreed to pay for piano lessons, so I took the money I had earned working in the peaches and he bought a piano for me; a $100, big, heavy, not-so-pretty piano, but it had the seven notes from God. I ordered a "note finder" to slip over the center keys and before lessons started I was picking out tunes.
I whizzed through the beginners' book; after all, I knew those little lessons by heart, and by December I was ready for my first recital. I felt a bit out of place, being fourteen years old and playing pieces along side elementary students. All went well until the ending and I had to cross my right hand over my left; of course I played the wrong note -- one time.
Mama made a "formal" for me to wear; lots of nylon net in a light green color.

I only took lessons that one year; I had learned enough to play hymns at church and it just seemed I had come to the end of my being able to learn the more difficult pieces. These last few years, when my cat stayed inside, I didn't play much; it seemed to annoy him. I'm rusty at playing now, the piano is out of tune, but I'm feeling an urge to try again, because I love those notes from God, written in praise to him.