Friday, June 26, 2015

A Just Ducky Morning

My morning, which should have been a catch-up morning for Farm Girl Vintage blocks and finishing a quilt binding, was spent instead watching this female mallard duck enjoy our pool. We have a very active bird feeder that might have attracted her, but apparently the pool is a big draw.

I captured her in this little video:

I've researched "ducks in a swimming pool" and found that it can become a problem, with ducks pooing in your yard and pool. But she is just so darned cute! I have an unobstructed view of the pool from my sewing room, and her antics are very distracting. She swims around, forages the tanning shelf on the shallow end where the odd bug or worm ends up, plus she quacks every few minutes like she is calling for her friends to come and join her. My guess is that she is looking for a place to lay eggs and nest. We don't have a lot of foliage in our back yard; it is all behind the fence, so that could be interesting.

Buddy (behind the wall) barked at her and chased her from one end of the pool to the other, but he's too wimpy to get in the water - lol!

We had ducks a few years ago when we lived on 3 acres, and they were so much fun. They lived around our pond, and we fed them, treated them like pets. They came running and quacking to my husband every time he went outside - he was quite fond of them. Unfortunately, we suspect they were eaten by foxes or racoons, because they simply disappeared one by one. Soooooo, my husband wants to encourage Mrs. Duck to stay.

I will keep you posted on our just ducky life!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Oh Scrap! - Offset Scrappy Log Cabin Blocks

These blocks are so much fun! I blogged here about finding the tutorial for them on the blog of Cynthia Brunz Designs. This woman produces the most amazing blocks and quilts from scraps, and what's even better is that she shares her methods!

I added these three blocks to the teal block from last week

Cynthia made 24 blocks in several color groups and featured several ways to lay out the blocks here. I love them laid out as wheels of color. I haven't decided if I want to add more color groups or stick with these. Cynthia also added some low volume wheels to her layout, and it looks wonderful.

I guess you know you're having fun when you wake up in the morning and can't wait to start working on a project - that's how I feel about this one! I was interrupted with celebrating hubby's birthday, but he was worth it.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Farm Girl Friday SAL - Week 8

The blocks for week 8 of Farm Girl Vintage Sew-Along are Farm Fresh Flower and Farmhouse. I started them last week but got interrupted by errands, family visits, yard work, and housework. OK, and yes I received an Etsy gift card as well as two Amazon gift cards for my birthday, so a lot of time was wasted gleefully spent trying to make my choices. This morning I finally found some time to finish these two cute blocks.

Farm Fresh Flower Block

Farmhouse Block

Honestly I can see myself making full quilts from either block - I really enjoyed the process and love the final results. Be sure to go here to Instagram to see many color variations of blocks made by the #farmgirlfridays group and here to see the blog of the author of Farm Girl Vintage, Lori Holt.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Offset Scrappy Log Cabin Quilt Block

Last week this tutorial for an offset scrappy log cabin block caught my eye. It was on the blog of Quilting is more fun than Housework by Cynthia Brunz. I liked the log cabin aspect and the fact that a curved illusion will result from the different widths of strips. I decided to make a block before I changed my mind.

I chose some favorite blue-green and low volume scraps, and it all went together very quickly. Although the instructions state that it will make a 9-1/2 inch block, as usual my measurements are off at 9-1/4. This week Cynthia added blocks in rainbow colors and I've decided to join her Oh Scrap linky party and add more blocks to this one.

In Other News...

I recently celebrated my birthday, and our family had a get-together over the weekend. My son is 45 and and my daughter 39, and still think they are the funniest kids in the world. My daughter gave me a card she made on Zazzle (on the left), and the sentiment "Being your favorite child seems like gift enough" prompted a stern look from her brother. My son and I always exchange silly-humor cards, and his card is on the right. What can I say?

My niece sent flowers as a thank-you for the quilt I finished for her!

It was a great weekend - hope you had a good one too!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Farm Girl Friday SAL - All Caught Up

After running behind for a few weeks, once I buckled down I was able to finish up the blocks needed to catch up to the rest of the Farm Girl Sew-Along community. Pictured above are the 6 inch blocks next to a 12 inch block. I'm really loving the 6 inch size!

Here are my newly completed blocks, starting with Chicken Foot and ending with the two blocks due this week - Crops and Egg Basket:

Chicken Foot

Churn Dash

Cool Threads (the spools look a bit lop-sided until they are seamed up)

Corn and Tomatoes

Country Crossroads

Here is the close-up detail of the fussy cut on Country Crossroads block


Egg Basket - I think this was my favorite!

Here are all the blocks so far

It is so much fun to see how the pieces all fit together and make familiar shapes. I can't wait to use the blocks in a quilt or table runner or pillow. As I mentioned in my last post, it takes me a ridiculously long time to pick out the fabric. I am trying hard to be original, use my scraps, and not copy the colors used in the book Farm Girl Vintage, but sometimes, as in the case of Corn and Tomatoes, it's best to go with the book!

Go here to Instagram to see the beautiful variety of blocks made by the #farmgirlfridays group and here to see the blog of the author of Farm Girl Vintage, Lori Holt.

Hope all of you have a great weekend.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Farm Girl Friday SAL - Canning Season Block

I pulled a random brown gingham to lay the block on for the photo - I like the combo!

I still have seven blocks to finish before I catch up to the current week's block on Farm Girl Vintage Sew-along, but that's OK with me - it's fun! The only "problem" I have is that it takes me forever to choose fabrics

I had planned to make the remainder of the blocks in 6-inch size, but the 3/4 inch squares specified in the cutting instructions made me laugh out loud, so I'm back to the 12-inch block!

My version is modified from the original pattern. I wanted to add space between the canning jars, so I adjusted the measurements. I had to do so much adjusting that I probably won't do that again.

My husband guessed "milk cans" when I asked if he could tell what they were, but I am still pleased with the way the block finished.

I finished piecing the quilt for my niece and am impatiently waiting for the backing to arrive - next week!

I would love to order more of this "kitschy" fabric used in some of the blocks, but I've lost the name from the selvedge.

Hope all of you have a great weekend!

UPDATE: I found my order, and the fabric is from the Yuwa collection: English Cottage Kitchen listed at Delta Patchwork.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Road to Oklahoma Quilt Block

One of the commenters on my last post mentioned the quilt block "The Road to Oklahoma". I had to admit I've never made one, in spite of the fact that my blog is named for it, and that it has reflects my roots (see my About section). That comment gave me a great idea (thanks Christine!) for the back of the quilt I'm currently piecing.

The Road to Oklahoma block may be constructed a couple of different ways. One method is to cut trapezoids and squares, as described on Quilter's Cache:

Trapezoid method

I chose to make half square triangles instead of trapezoids.

Half Square Triangle method

The front of the quilt will be simple block rows. On the back will be the Road to Oklahoma block with coordinating backing. I love the way four blocks create a center star to make a kind of "Road to Oklahoma meets Lone Star". This will be meaningful to my niece (my nephew's wife), because she is from Texas and my nephew is from Oklahoma. (My apologies to correct quilters everywhere who know that this star is not the typical strip-pieced Lone Star.)

I ordered more of this pretty gray gingham for backing (so much for my moratorium on purchasing fabric this year ). In the meantime I'll finish piecing the front of the quilt!