Monday, May 30, 2011

Posting Problem Solved

After indulging in a little detective work I found the reason why it was impossible to leave a comment ... Problem fixed!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Block 13 ~ Buckwheat

Quote ~  ~  "Although commonly thought of as a grain, buckwheat actually comes from a herb plant. Buckwheat, which are triangular seeds produced by the herb plant, have a distinctive nutty flavour and can be cooked and served in a similar way to rice or also milled to make buckwheat flour. "

As I stitched Block 13, Buckwheat, I wondered exactly what buckwheat was.  My Other Half suggested it was the stronger version of Doewheat, and I must admit it took a minute or two for that to sink in ... I rejected his suggestion!

This block is in shades of pink/beige, and when I looked for pictures of buckwheat it became obvious why these colours were chosen.  While this block did take longer to stitch it was not difficult, though this may be because a kind person suggested I glue sandpaper to a board to hold the fabric when drawing the template.  I carried that suggestion a stage further ... I set the pieces out on the sandpaper sheet; they stay in place, and I keep calmer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Broken Sugar Bowl ~ Block 12

All this broken crockery! I imagine that in the 1920's when these letters were written to The Farmer's Wife magazine a piece of broken crockery would have been of concern.

Broken Sugar Bowl should have been simple. For some reason this block took too long, with too much unpicking ... just imagine how my patience would have been tried had I used the sewing machine! At least with hand-stitching unpicking is quick ... but still disappointing. Why it took so long I put down to trying to fit other things into my day. The old adage "More haste, less speed" rings so true.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Broken Dishes ~ block 11

Yesterday was Monday, wash day! The result ... less time to sit and stitch.

Block 11, Broken dishes was another easy block. Half the fun is sorting through my stash for fabrics, bearing in mind I am trying to keep more or less to the colour scheme in Laurie's book.

Envisage my floor ... the contents of a plastic container lying on the lid while I search for a suitable fabric. Why I don't sort the next two or three blocks I am not sure ... perhaps the exercise of looking helps me get into the mood for a particular block.
Reading the letter connected to each block often sends me back in time leaving me to wonder just how much things have changed, yet remained the same.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Block 10 ~ Bow Tie

Block 10, the Bow tie was a breeze! Almost too easy, but welcome after the memory of Birds in the Air!

As I make the template [this one from an old Ryvita packet] and draw the shape onto the chosen fabric there is a feeling of complete relaxation. No machines to play up [machines and I are still dancing around the lines of friendship], just a needle and thread in hand; as long as I follow the order shown in the book all works out exactly correct!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bouquet and Box

Yesterday was damp, welcome rain fell causing the brown dry countryside to whisper green. Instead of tackling chores, which can always wait when enthusiasm rules, I drew templates, cut fabric and completed two of the 111 blocks needed for the Queen size quilt I intend to make.

The downside to this quilt is the fact that there is only template to each printed out page is rather a waste of paper ... the Other Half suggested I amputate the spare paper and make it into scribbling pads. I might; but not today.

Block 8 is Bouquet, giving me the opportunity to use a pretty piece of yellow fabric with little pink roses. Very pretty.

Block 9, simple to cut and stitch, I powered through, listening to the football on the radio as I joined the pieces together.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Birds in the Air

"Birds in the Air" resonates with me as our locality is home to a myriad of bird life; the most exciting in my view being the tawny frog mouth pair that have made their home close to our home.

But ... Block 7, Birds in the Air, was not a breeze. The template was small, tiny in fact, causing some problems when drawing around its perimeter on the fabric. My fingers were continually in the way! This encouraged me to complete other sewing tasks, which I will admit was a method of procrastination. This morning I completed the block ... now I can look forward to the next one! The background colour is in reality a brighter shade of gold than this photo shows.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blocks 5 and 6

The weather has turned cooler; how pleasant it is for a little stitching, especially when there is nothing but sport on 'the media'. Don't get me wrong; I don't dislike sport if I can do something constructive whilst listening [we don't have a TV, which is a good thing, as stitching and watching are incompatible!]

Bat wings, Block 5 appears pale and insipid. When laid against the others it gives a whole new perspective to them, and it.

Block 6, Big Dipper, was fascinating to construct.

Fascinating? I am being positive! The centre seam I had to unpick back to the middle. Success! The points became points, and I was satisfied with the result.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Basket Weave

It took me a day or two to realise the blocks are in alphabetical order in the book!

Yesterday Blogland was down. Block 4, Basket Weave was completed early in the morning and there I was, unable to post. Major frustration. Today I am smiling; Blogland is alive again.

Basket Weave was a welcome reprieve from the difficult 'Basket' ... and I whistled through it. Perhaps some of the impetus came from the fact that I purchased a few fat quarters, something I had no intention of using in this Farmer's Wife quilt. My original idea was to use fabrics from my stash ... oh well . I love the colours! And if one finds beautiful fabrics why should one deny oneself a little pleasure?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Basket

Block Three, Basket, has caused a few problems. The handle!!! When I began I failed to look ahead, which is a bad habit of mine [I too often forget the old adage; "a stitch in time saves nine"], and I blithely sailed, or sewed, ahead, quickly realising I had forgotten to stitch the handle in place. Oh, that was easily fixed, though it did hold me back a little.

It was 'rounding' the handle that made me a person not quite so nice to be near ... well until I worked out a way to do it. As I am hand-stitching this handle was exasperating enough, but glory be, had I been machining the block I am sure my hair would be standing upright, if still in place. However I prevailed. Block Three, the basket is completed.

Four looks easier! The photo makes the block look skew-wiff ... blame the photographer! ''Tis I."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Beginning

Several weeks ago I discovered a site about The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. I was interested. At that stage I had other projects under construction, and being a daughter of my mother, I knew one must not bite off more than one can chew. I waited ... patiently, all the time stitching and knitting frantically the UFO's.

Before Easter I could see the road ahead clearer ... I ordered the book, which is written by Laurie Aaron Hird. Easter fell in between ordering and delivery. The excitement grew. A few months ago I would never have dreamed of attempting such a huge undertaking, but now ... the journey ahead was not at all daunting.

Yesterday my conscience was clear ... one quilt completed; one needing only a border, quilting and binding, but first I need fabric. That can wait!

Last evening I cut the first block, Attic Windows, trying to keep more or less to the colours in the book, as I feel they are 'country' colours. For this quilt I am choosing to hand-piece for two reasons; one ... I do not have to bother with the sewing machine especially as machines are I are not always the best of friends, and two ... I can sit in the evening in an armchair and quietly stitch. There is a certain peace with this method ... a calming at the end of the day.

This morning, the second block, Autumn Tints, is complete ... and ... now I wish to share my journey.

Is there anyone out there wanting to come along? It promises to be a major undertaking, and as long as I stay focussed, and excited about the end result, the journey should be a fun affair.