Quilting, Farming, Variety

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Something From the Works in Progress Pile

After several years of being looked over, handled, moved about, these appliqued animals blocks have finally made it into the "finished" stack.  Well, almost; they aren't quilted yet, but there's no hurry about that.

The scrappy squares were intended to be used in a Triple Irish Chain top, but I didn't like the looks of that arrangement.  They just happened to be the right size to use with the appliqued blocks.

Each animal's body is made from the basic pear-shaped pattern, with tails, ears, or feet added.

My top measures about 38 inches square; the one in the magazine is larger.  I plan to do a lot more quilting on mine too.  The pattern came from the June, 1984 issue of the Quilt World magazine.  1984, you say?  Does that make it a vintage pattern?  I was only 43 years old that year ~ am I vintage?

Think about it,

Friday, January 24, 2014

Winter Farm Update ~ 2014

Brr-rr!!  This morning we woke up to the coldest day of the winter ~ so far!  The temperature had fallen to around 3 degrees during the night.  I knew it was cold, because in spite of putting more covering on the bed, I was cold all night!  We haven't had rain, ice or snow this go-around, for which we are very thankful because that would make the farm work so much harder to get done.

We have a good supply of wood for heating, but I'm so fearful of fires now since everything is extremely dry and the wind has been very strong; yesterday morning when I cleaned out the ashes, I heard a slight roar in the chimney and smoke billowed out like crazy, so I didn't put more wood inside the furnace just then.  On pretty days we replenish the wood pile; the logs are hauled in from a field we had cleared a couple of years ago.  The farmer saws them up into chunks,

then uses an attachment for the BobCat to split them into sizes for the furnace.

The cold weather has been very hard on the old, weaker cows.  We have lost around eight I think.  Our chickens are twelve days old and will need to be kept at about eighty degrees for a while longer.  We start them in only one half of each house; this means only half of each house has to be heated, saving heating fuel.  Then at eight days we turn them out over the entire length of the house and by the time they are 4 1/2 to five weeks old they are giving off enough heat from their bodies that the heaters are not needed unless it is extremely cold. 

Saving fuel has become very important.  Before these chickens came, the farmer had our 10,000 gallon propane tank filled to 80% at a cost of $1.46/gallon.

This was the reading this morning, after only twelve days of usage.  We hoping we won't have to buy more!  Yesterday we heard there is a shortage of propane and the cost is now $3.90/gallon!  Of course this is bad for farmers, but what about people who use propane for heating their homes and cooking their meals?  This could get serious!

Think about it,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pretty in Spite of Being Stained

Eighteen years ago a pre-stamped dresser scarf came into my possession, never having been stitched, but carrying a dark pink stain.

I didn't know what type of stain it was.  If I tried to wash it first the stamping would be removed; should I go ahead and embroider it and take a chance that the stain was permanent?   This is when I turned to Kathleen (http://yesteryearembroideries.blogspot.com/2012/12/in-my-fr) who does absolutely beautiful embroidery work and had posted a recipe for removing stains from old linens.  She told me to do the stitching and see what happened when trying to remove the stains.

I worked on the scarf for two winters, finishing it a few weeks ago.  I mixed up the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and treated it.  The pink stains didn't come out, but the brown water marks did.

Since the scarf was folded twice, the stains are on both ends and in the center.  I believe it's a chemical stain rather than organic.  This is my idea of how it became stained: probably there was a piece of paper with red ink on a picture,  a glass with ice in it was set on the paper, and the moisture condensed on the glass and ran down onto the ink, soaking into the fabric.  Who knows?  I'm still glad I finished it, and the stains can be covered with a lamp or book or something.  However, it won't be going into the hope chest.  But, it's pretty in spite of being stained, don't you think?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

When the farmer laughs...

you know it must be something worth reading.  He takes a weekly paper, Farm Talk, and I don't usually even look at it since it's filled with ads for farm equipment, tractors, auctions, etc.  But when I hear him laughing and he says, "You ought to read this!" then I give a little of my time. 

His favorite column is "Viewing the Field with Milo Yield";  since there is no other name given as the writer, we'll assume his name is Milo.  He writes about things he has experienced in his 71 years of living, from farm to current happenings.  Then he always throws in a paragraph or two of humor such as the following:

"Another overheard coffee shop statement: 'The reason why baby diapers have brand names such as Luvs and Huggies, while undergarments for old people are called Depends is that when babies mess in their pants, people are still gonna Luv'em and Hug'em.  When old people do the same, it Depends on who's in the will.'"

Think about it,

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hope Chest

From Wikipedia: A hope chest, dowry chest, cedar chest, or glory box is a chest used to collect items such as clothing and household linens, by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life.

I don't think I ever had a hope chest as such, but I'm sure I had a few things put back, with hopes; probably embroidered feed sack dishtowels and flour sack pillowcases.  Most chests would have been made by the girl's father or grandfather, or maybe passed down from mother or grandmother.  My daddy made chests for his five granddaughters; four were made from cedar, just regular rectangular chests, but the fifth one was made as a deacon's bench with a spindled back.

I doubt that many young women keep a hope chest now; it's easier for them to register at a store and more or less tell others what they want or need.  I'm happy to say, all my daughters learned sewing skills when they were young girls.

In 2012, I posted doll quilts, and in 2013, aprons were my projects.  For 2014 I plan to put something in a "hope chest" each month (not that I have any hope, lol).  This is my first entry, a set of embroidered, day-of-the-week dishtowels.  I ordered five yards of the toweling fabric from Nancy's Notions and the transfers came from an old copy of the little craft magazine, Workbasket, I think; they've been around so long I can't remember for sure, but they did transfer perfectly.  Then I used red floss to do the embroidery to match the border on the fabric.

wash on Monday,

iron on Tuesday,

sew on Wednesday,

shop on Thursday,

clean on Friday,

bake on Saturday,

worship on Sunday.

Did you have a hope chest, or do you have one started for a daughter or granddaughter?  I hope you'll follow me on this quest to find something new to add each month.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

More winter weather...

today in our area.  Early this morning we began getting freezing precipitation, making the roads very slick.  I fed the cats before this happened so I didn't have to be out in it.  I made blueberry-banana bread since the last two slices of fruit cake were eaten at lunch.

This afternoon I'm doing redwork embroidery as part of my 2014 project; there'll be more about that in a day or so.  I could start another puzzle, one I got for Christmas, that I'm certain will take me days to finish!  Haven't you heard to keep your mind busy as you age?  Maybe that's a goal I work for in these puzzles.  A friend tried to get me to solve some Sudoku number puzzles; have you ever worked these?  It just didn't sink into my brain, this filling in squares just so-so.  I'm thinking, instead of keeping my brain active and alert, these puzzles might drive me cuckoo!

Last week I took these pictures as a swarm of birds visited for only a few minutes.  I've seen these all my life but don't know what they're called.

As the little song from Charlotte's Web says, "Chin up, chin up..."  Spring will be here someday!