Farming, quilting, variety

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My latest string quilt top is finished and put away to be quilted later, maybe next winter.  Each individual block is not very interesting by itself, but I really like the effect of using dark and light strings to make this pattern.  This would be a nice quilt for a boy's bed or a dorm quilt.

I'm making clothes for Isabelle now and when they're finished, I'm shutting down the machine for a while and concentrate on quilting the top that's been on the frames for a few months.  


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Standing the Test of Time ~ part 2

(Please read the previous post first)

It had to go.  Time caught up with it.  The tree was full of berries in spite of its beginning to split where the three trunks met.  The trunks were also beginning to lean and we were afraid sometime when the wind was blowing strong during a rain storm and the cattle had come for a bit of shelter, that it would fall on them, probably killing more than one cow.  So the sad task of taking it down began last week.

The farmer put a chain around the west trunk and pulled it down.  This picture shows the condition of the roots and the splitting of the trunks.

After attempting to pull the center trunk down, and breaking the chain, he decided to push the other two trunks down.

 Nothing was damaged or destroyed, not even a broken wire in the fence, just a mess in the yard to clean up and a residue of memories:
Daughter one, "I love that tree!"
Daughter two, "I remember us making mud pie crusts and using the berries as fillings."
Daughter three, who was only two when we moved here and therefore her memories are not as vivid, "We have lots of memories of the tree."
Birds, "Oh no!  Where do we go from here?"


Monday, June 8, 2015

A Repost: Standing the Test of Time

Forty four years ago we moved onto our own land, ten acres, with plans to build a new house. The Farmer was just finishing work on his doctorate at the university, and after feeling more or less as a stranger in the big city, I felt happy to be in the country again. We rented a trailer to live in while the house was being built, and had it put in the shade of this mulberry tree.

The month was May, and the berries were at their peak of ripeness, falling and covering the ground underneath. We set up a swing set for our three little girls who now could run and play without the confinement of a fenced back yard, and their beautiful childish voices echoed across the land as they sang "Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so." And every night their little feet and the seats of their panties were stained purple from the mulberries.
I have no way of knowing how long the tree had been here before we bought the land, but it's weathered many storms; perhaps the three trunks give support to one another. It is just outside the yard fence and the cattle take shade underneath its branches in the summer, wearing away the dirt from the roots on that side of the fence.

The dead limbs are signs that the old tree is under stress; most of the time, before I mow the yard, there are several sticks to pick up.

But the roots inside the fence must be providing moisture for the tree, because once again, the limbs are full of green berries, and when they get ripe there will be a mass feeding for the birds, raccoons and terrapins, not to mention the flies who come to drink in the intoxication of the souring berries.
I guess old-timers used the berries for making jelly, but I don't particularly like the taste of them.
I wonder how long a mulberry tree can stand the test of time. Do you like mulberries or do you have a tree on your property?

[This was originally posted in 2012; watch for an update tomorrow]

Monday, June 1, 2015

As a winter project, I took this pattern

and embroidered nine blocks for a baby quilt.  Since there wasn't much chance to use a lot of different thread colors, the blocks seemed a little drab to me.  So I let them sit while I thought about how to set them together into a top.  Last week I decided to border each block with 1 1/2 inch strips of pastel colored fabrics and this is the result:

The colored strips brought out the colors of the embroidery floss so it doesn't look drab anymore.  Here are some of the individual blocks:

I was a Saturday's child.  Do you know what day of the week you were born on?