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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guess what I saw........

I know, I know. It's only February. But yesterday when I got back home after taking the grandkids to school, guess what I saw at the top of the drive. Yep - a real, live robin.

We're celebrating! We are ready. It's supposed to be in the 50's today. (They could finally get in to fix the heat pump Monday, of course.) And then, it may snow a little tonight. This is Missouri after all. If you don't like the weather just stick around. It'll change in an hour or two. Or at the most, in a day.

But seeing Mr. Redbreast made all of our spirits rise. And made us think of the book of the same name - Robyn Redbreast. Besides a little quilt the book has a pattern for a rug and a sampler.

You can get it free with the purchase of our Spring at the Gate kit - which is 15% off for a week. Or you can purchase it all by itself for $9.00. I didn't realize it but the Robyn Redbreast book wasn't in the store. It is now.
Happy almost Spring!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"All Good Things"

At the end of every Quilt Market Kari Bresenham always says "They say that all good things must come to an end and so it is with Quilt Market."
Well, she's right - but when it comes to a BOM, at least you have a quilt. Next week the last block for "Over the Meadow (and Through the Year)" ships out. It was a lot of fun to make. As usual, Lori's quilting just finishes it off so well. And thanks again to Claire Birch for naming it.

It's a big one - 82" x 98". We took this picture by hanging it off of the deck by the loft. Then Tori climbed on top of her car to take the picture. Quilting isn't all just sewing, you know. :)

But not to worry - there's another big quilt in the works. (I only do 1 or 2 really large quilts a year and they're usually BOMs.) This is Coxcombs & Pomegranates. I showed it to you the other day. We're taking sign ups for it right now. An email went out yesterday and we've had a great response. We only cut so many each year so if you'd like in on the fun, I'd call Byron or Tori at 816-632-7632 or email them at (we finally got it fixed) right away. We will take a waiting list if we're full because some people usually drop off each year.

I don't usually do this but here's a sneak peek of the first block. I'm down to sewing on the berries.

And if you're worried about all of the berries, don't be. Just following the tutorial on berries on the right side bar and they'll be easy as pie - berry pie :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My! Oh my! What a week! - And it goes on!

A week ago Thursday (Feb.2) when I walked into the grain room in our barn there was ice on the floor. Hmmm. Then I walked into the office - and there was water on the floor - lots and lots.
We called the plumber who came out that afternoon. It seems that a water line had broken under the concrete floor. While there is a shut-off valve for the water in the house, there wasn't one for the barn. Pep, the plumber (his name is Mark) and I discussed all of the options and came to the decision to lay new water lines from the road (the house is about 300 feet from the road) to the house and the barn. The old lines were put in many years ago, were thin plastic and we'd already had one break at the house.

And - of course - rain was due Friday. It came. So all weekend Pep would go down to the road in the rain twice a day and using the key Mark lent us, turn the water on. We'd take baths, do dishes and/or clothes, flush toilets and fill bottles with water. Then Pep would go back down and turn the water off. Any water that leaked under the concrete seemed to soak into the ground because we only got a little water in the office doing it that way.
Bright and early Monday morning Mark and his boss Max came out with a trencher and a bobcat. So did the man from DigRite who marked all of our other lines - phone, electricity, etc.

This is the view from our kitchen window last spring.

This is the view from the kitchen window Monday night.

The trencher laid the line from the road to the house but couldn't work behind the house. The soil was too wet and the clay and tree roots too slippery and tough. So they had to use the Bobcat. The blue pipe is our new water line. And when they went home Monday night we had water but this was my view from the kitchen window. Have I mentioned before that I am a visual person and just a little OCD about how my house looks? Stressed out isn't the word!

They came back with the Bobcat Tuesday morning and filled in the ditch before it started raining again. Then Dustin came out Wednesday and put all of my feeders and fence back in place.
You should have seen all of the birds Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. They aren't tame but they definitely show up at specific times and were somewhat in shock. They kept landing on the forsythia bushes and tree branches and looking around forlornly.
Now, the ground is lumpy and brown but the fences and food stations are all back in place so they're happy again.

BUT WAIT! It's not over yet. Friday afternoon Pep noticed that the temperature in the house was low. He went downstairs to check the heat pump (we have a ground source heat pump) and there was a red light blinking that said "water flow". The long and short of it is that they somehow nicked one of the coils. We turned off the heat pump. We're on emergency heat until Monday. That will keep the house at about 64 without the space heaters we've borrowed. They raise the temperature to around 68 which keeps the parrots, fish, lizard and guinea pigs (it's about my grandchildren- I have a dog and a parrot) somewhat comfy.

I did get something done last week though. I finally found a reliable, cost effective source for the wool I want for my Needleroll. And with some felting and dyeing work from me, I can get it the texture and color I like.

And using wool needle flannel from Moda by Lisa at Primitive Gathering for the lining and our prints and homespun for pockets and applique, it's finally done and we can offer it in kit form - at long last!

The buttons are all included in the kit - the small and medium ones by Melissa Becker and the outside button is one Pep found years ago. They are English buttons from bobby uniforms. They're really cool.
Well, it's Sunday and I'm going to eat lunch, put on dinner in the crock pot, pick up the grandchildren and sit and stitch before they dig things up tomorrow again to find the leak.
And of course, it's supposed to snow and ice tomorrow. It may be awhile before they can fix things.

Well - I do have a quilt or two to keep us warm :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday & The Featured Fabric BOM

For anyone that follows football, this is the culmination of the season - the Superbowl. And since a lot of women don't particularly get into football a lot of quilt shops are open and have Superbowl Sales.
My husband is not a football fan but I am. So are both of my sons and my daughter. When my mother was little she was the oldest child - and there were no sons for quite awhile. So my grandfather Berkey took my mom to all of the Indiana basketball games with him. My mother was a lifelong sports addict. She followed football, basketball, baseball, tennis and golf. She knew all of the players and all of the stats. Pep used to say that if there were a tiddlywinks championship she'd watch that.
In the fall, Saturday was college football day and Sunday afternoons were profootball. She would make a huge batch of chili on Saturday and then usually Spagetti Red (spagetti with chili) on Sunday.
So to me and mine, football means family. In our house, however, Pep does the cooking (and then usually reads during the game) :). Tonight his friend Mike (who does like football) is coming over too. We're having Pulled Pork sandwiches with Jalepeno Cole Slaw and homemade potato chips sliced on his mandolin (sp?). Yum. So I get to sit and stitch and watch a good game (hopefully) and eat yummy food.
To give you an idea of who we want to win, here's a block of the football quilt I'm slowly making for Brian Jr. for his birthday next November. Brian Jr. also plays football for his Junior High but I'm using the Patriots color scheme for the quilt. I may make a label block for the back out of his school colors with his Junior High number on it.

Brian Jr. has been a Patriot fan for years. His dad tries to take him to at least one game every year which is quite an outing since the team is the New England Patriots and Brian Jr. and his dad live in a Kansas City suburb. Last year they went to the game in Chicago. When we caught it on TV, the field and all of the spectators were covered in snow. I much prefer those games from the comfort of my living room. :)
I'm making 20 football blocks using a pattern from Barbara Brackmans Sew Sports book. I enlarged the pattern a little to fit on a 10" block instead of a 9" block. When I get through with the football quilt, I'm going to make Jake a track shoe quilt. I've been wracking my brains because my teenage grandsons needed new quilts and this book, my friends, is the answer.

On a different note, I am so excited. The Over the Meadow quilt came back from Lori's yesterday where she did her usual stupendous job of quilting. When I laid it out over the couch Spike immediately trotted over to get in on the action. He loves quilts. And I love, love, love this one. It's trimmed out and ready for the binding now. I hope to stitch on it through the Superbowl. (Brian Jr.s birthday isn't until November so I have plenty of time to work on his.) And I'll need to post a good, flat pic (hopefully - it's huge) after I get the binding on.

And here's a drawing of the next Featured Fabric BOM. I had intended to go back to sending it out in quarters like I used to but fabric wise that just won't work. Our new line coming out in March is spring colors (duh - it's spring) and in my minds eye this is a darker reds, greens and tans Christmas type quilt.
Have I mentioned that I like a large variety of styles of quilts?

It does follow the tradition of being a large quilt - 90" x 96". It will cost the same as last year $22.50 a month. If you're already on the FF Club list it will come to you automatically unless you email Tori at and tell her you don't want it. If you're not on the list you can email her at the same address to get on the list. The first block will ship in March. If you are overseas we will hold the 1st 3 blocks and ship them together Global Priority. Or you can pay an extra $10.95 a month to get them each month.

Time to go to the loft to hem up a pair of Pep's pants and get that binding on.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stuff "N Such

This is Cabin in the Pines, the February Quilt of the Quarter that will ship this month. If you belong to the Quilt of the Quarter Club, yours will be on the way soon. If you don't belong to the club, you can still buy one by clicking here. And if you like big quilts and my quilts, you might consider joining. You'll get 4 kits each year and you'll get 15% off of all of them. A pretty good deal.

Oh my - what a month. It just sped by with lots of things going on. And I'm not sure why but we got really behind for some reason. This is the first block of the Collector Series, our 2012 Mystery Quilt. The Mystery Quilt block is supposed to ship around the 15th of the month. This one didn't ship until the 27th :(.

Here is the 2nd block. It WILL ship around the 15th.

That's when we ship them. When they get to you is another matter. Tori drives all of our mail to Kidder, a small town nearby. Her late husband's father is postmaster there and he makes sure they all go out. That has solved a lot of our problems but there are still a few. What we have noticed is that there are certain customers who don't get their blocks for 3-4 weeks - the same ones every time. One of them is a good friend of mine. She lives in Lee's Summit which is an hour away but it takes 3 weeks for the block to get to her.
Please, people, don't call my office person a liar when he or she says we have shipped your order just because you haven't gotten it. Most of our customers are neat people but every once in awhile I think a nonquilter sneaks in somehow. Quilters aren't rude :)

Pep sent me this cartoon to post. The sign on the front desk seems to indicate that we're not the only ones having this problem.

Anyway, this is the Mystery Quilt with the 1st 2 blocks drawn in.

This is Zoie last night holding her very chubby guinea pig, Phoebe. We purchased Pheobe for Zoie just before Christmas and she and Zoie are awesome friends. We decided last night, however, that Phoebe really probably shouldn't have her food to eat at will. She has gained a lot of weight since we got her as a young guinea pig.

And these are the two baby guinea pigs that Phoebe had last night after we went to bed.
Obviously she was pregnant when we bought her. We won't even talk about how excited Zoie is. And she said she felt really guilty about calling Phoebe a "Chub-gut". :)

We printed pictures for her to take to school.
I'm still not making Phoebe a quilt though :)