picking fabric

It will soon be my grandson’s first birthday and I have a quilt to make!  I had some ideas running around in my head and finally figured out what to do. It obviously had to have ‘farm stuff’ in it, so I looked on Pinterest and in my quilt books and came up with a plan and pattern on my Electric Quilt.  I love this software.  It allows me to be creative and then see the project before I even start.  It also helps me when buying fabric, I usually buy way too much just to make sure I have enough.

I recently made a trip to the Portland area and made a stop at Fabric Depot.  This store can be overwhelming and very costly.  It is huge and has fabric of all types,  on this day I was focused on one quilt and I had success.

 

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I just love these tractors.  The fabric line is Apple Hill Farm  from RJR Fabrics.  Don’t you just love the fences in green and red.  I added  other fabrics that blended well and I think I did pretty good at picking fabric on this trip to Portland.   So this is it, the fabric for my grandson’s quilt!  Now I need to get started.

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Filed under Fabric, Photography, Quilting, Quilts

a quilt for Cecily

Cece, is what we call her, is my nieces daughter and she is two.  She and her sister get to come up and visit us here on the farm one day a week while her parents work.   I love my days with them and often we go on excursions around the farm and sometimes we go for ranger rides.

 

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I made a quilt for her trying to get it done by her first birthday, but ended up getting it to her a few months late.  Picking the material is always fun and with Cece, I knew it had to be bright and cheery.  The pattern was ‘Sweet Pea’ from The Pattern Basket. It was perfect for her as she is a little sweet pea girl.

 

 

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It is machine pieced and quilted. I’m still not a pro at machine quilting, but I keep trying and really that is all that matters. I machine embroidered the tag on the back and it makes it special and fun

 

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Here is miss Cece and her quilt.

 

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Filed under Fabric, Family, Photography, Quilting, Quilts, Sewing

Leap Year

We all like the idea of having more time given to us and today is actually 24 hours of just that.  Leap Year, a day that is given to us every 4 years.  I really have never thought of Leap Year that way, I do have a friend who’s birthday is Feb. 29 and I always think of how special that day is every 4 years.  But other than that, I do what most everyone does, the normal everyday things that are scheduled on that day.  Except for this Feb 29, I happen to be in Long Beach, Washington, on a vacation with my daughter Hannah!  How cool is that?!  I am getting to actually fill leap day with time at the beach.

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This leap day is reflective for me in a couple of ways. The fact that I am actually blogging is a good starting place.  When life gets crazy, blogging gets put way down on the list. Since it has been a year since I last blogged, I guess you can figure out that I have had plenty of those crazy days. To be honest, it has been one of the most difficult years and also one of the most amazing.  God Is Good All The Time!

Last year I blogged about how “change is a good thing.” At that time I had no idea how much I was to be tested of how much I truly believed that. Isn’t that the way life is sometimes?  God will use everything in our lives to show us how we need Him all the time, everyday, every minute.  The craziness all started when Mark’s mom suffered a stroke.  While she was in the hospital recovering, his Dad, after returning home, died while sleeping from smoke inhalation from a fire that had started in their garage.  This event has led me on a journey of change that I wasn’t prepared for.

Caring for family has always been a top priority and caring for Mark’s mom was going to be a change that we would have to adjust to. I have always been one who believed that I can take on any situation that comes my way no matter what it is.  Unfortunately, that did not work in this situation – we were unable to give Mark’s mom the care she needed.  Praise God for a loving family that finds solutions together.  We have embraced change once again and mom is being cared for in a small assisted living home, where she is doing well and receiving the care she needs from wonderful people who don’t get cranky, upset or tired.

Right smack dab in the middle of this tragedy, an awesome and  wonderful event occurred, our first grandchild was born!  Carson, a beautiful boy. He has been a constant joy in our lives.  I have the privilege to be able to care for him when Heidi and Jesse are working.  He is so much fun and I have to tell you, I don’t get much other work done.

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So for today, Leap Day, I want to take the time to say how grateful I am for my God who loves me and leads me through the difficult days and awesome days.

Ephesians 3:20  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is work within us, to him be the the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all the generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

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knit purl knit purl, tbl?

I’m learning to knit and it is just as hard now as it was when I tried to learn it in high school in my Home Ec class.  Crocheting came a lot easier for me so that was fine until I received my aunts knitting needles.  She had quite an assortment of them and they intrigued me.  I would look at them and think I should be able to knit, it cant be that hard.  She had all kinds, metal ones, plastic ones, fat ones, skinny ones, long ones and short ones, some with points on both ends, and some that connected to each other with a plastic cord.  She had lots of other gadgets and markers and they were all in this very vintage looking needle holder.  They really did look pretty impressive in my sewing room, but I confess they were just for show since I didn’t know how to knit.

 

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So I bought a book and decided to learn, but for some reason the book and I didn’t relate well.  Which is not the norm for me, I usually learn very well from books.  So, I decided to try taking lessons from Craftsy on my Ipad and it worked pretty good. I actually learned how to knit and purl and I made a little scarf that I won’t ever wear, but hey I managed to knit something.  With help from my sister in law who knits, I managed to get a few tips and some encouragement.  One thing I did learn is that I don’t like using metal needles.  I bought some wooden ones and they work so much better for me.  So I guess I will just have to look at all those metal needles sitting in my sewing room.

 

I love looking at yarn, and not just the normal yarn in the stores, but the yummy yarn.  The expensive and natural yarns, like wool and alpaca yarns. the kind of yarn you don’t want to make mistakes with!  I did buy some of that yarn but decided to buy some cotton yarn also.

 

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So I have been practicing by making dishcloths.  I was getting pretty fast by now on one pattern so I decided to try some new patterns.  They were going pretty good and I managed to decipher the patterns.  Except on one, I found out that I had been knitting wrong.  It wanted me to knit ‘tbl’.  I looked it up on the internet and realized that I had been ‘knitting through the back loop’ in all my knitting.  I thought it looked just fine, but apparently there is a deference.  And believe me knitting through the back loop is a lot easier for me than knitting through the front. So, my challenge is to knit the correct way through the front loop.  I am knitting the continental way and have tried the English, but it is just too awkward for me.  I am learning the basics and realizing that there is so much more I can learn.  I have managed to get quite a few dishcloths made and they make nice little gifts also.

 

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I did manage to make a infinity scarf for my sister for Christmas with some of that yummy yarn and had enough yarn left to make a cute little hat with a flower on it.  I’ll have to get my nieces little girl to model it for me.  I took a picture but it just doesn’t look as cute sitting on a table.

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Change is a Good Thing

I’ve decided to take a look back and then move forward with flowerswheatandfabric. Honestly, I struggled with continuing on, but I so much enjoy writing and documenting my journey of life and the things that bring me joy. I just need to carve the time to do it.

Mark and I were just talking about how fast this last year flew by. I know we have the same amount of time as anyone else, but so much has transpired and changed this last year.   “Change is a Good Thing”, I have said this most of my adult life and as I have reflected upon the year 2014, I can say most enthusiastically that indeed, “Change is a good thing!” I will add that it is not always an easy task.

1 Corinthians 7:17, Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned them, just as God has called them.

This verse has been a great reminder that all the paths that my life encounters are never a surprise to God but an orchestrated plan that God has already overseen and it is my job to trust and have faith that every change will bring glory and praises to Him.

One of the most happiest and celebrated changes was the marriage of our son, Jesse to his beautiful bride Heidi, on the first of February.  Farming as a way of life is continuing on, we have a nurse nearby and a grandbaby will join our family this April!  Change is a good thing!

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In April, we helped relocate Marks folks nearer to us. This was a big job, but one that helped them to be able to live with some assistance and yet be independent.  They are a half hour from the farm and it has been a good change!  Along the same lines, my mom also had some significant changes.  She went through two knee surgeries in the first half of the year and has been experiencing difficult back pain since. A house in town was purchased and now we just need to move her in!  This will be a good change for her!  These ‘good’ changes were not necessarily easy, but through all situations God’s blessings are always realized.

Spring and summer bring flowers and color and this past year was no different. I managed to plant my garden and it was the best one yet! I harvested plenty of tomatoes, Okra, salad fixins, strawberries and raspberries!  I am looking forward to that again this year!

September was a month I was anxious for. Our daughter Hannah was moving closer, in town actually!  A friend asked me a couple of months ago how I managed to have both our kids living nearby.  I responded, I had nothing to do with it. God has plans that are greater than mine!  This change is a good thing!

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Traveling and taking time to enjoy friends and family outside our normal scenery is something Mark and I enjoy and would love to do more often. I love taking pictures of the places we have explored so here are a few!

These were taken on our trip to Utah!

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of course I have to add a sunset at the beach!

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Wall Hanging Done!

It did take me a little longer than I had hoped, but midway while machine quilting; I wondered if I should start over!  So I stopped and left it alone for a couple of months.  When I took it out to reevaluate, I decided to dive in and finish it. I’m so glad I did.

 

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This quilt was quite the project.  My goal was to somehow bring an African influence into the quilt.  Since it was made for my daughter Hannah, who had lived in Burkina Faso for two years, I wanted it to remind her of that time in her life.  Seeing first hand, where she lived and ministered, has helped me to visualize this quilt into being.

 

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Life in Burkina is hard, and never perfectly in line, so the imperfect log cabin squares and quilting lines are so appropriate.  (Thank goodness, because machine quilting straight lines are harder than you think!)

 

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Hannah actually hasn’t seen the finished quilt. So here it is Hannah! Made with love for my beautiful daughter.

 

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We are just finishing up Rapeseed harvest here on the farm. Here are a few pics of the guys doing the work.

Mark (Boss Man)

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Jesse (Combine Operator)

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Wheat harvest is next and I should update you on my garden too!

 

 

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Filed under Africa, Art Quilt, Fabric, Harvest, Photography, Quilting, Quilts, Rapeseed

starting where I left off

Wow! I can’t believe I have been away from blogging for so long.  Last fall seemed to go by so fast and then the holidays and it is spring!  Somewhere in between winter arrived and has now passed.  Yay! No writing about the winter doldrums for me!  So, I think I will just jump in like it hasn’t been that long!

I have done some quilting this winter and actually got a couple of quilt tops ready to be quilted. Lately I have been working on a wall quilt for my daughter Hannah.  It started out as an experiment as I tried a new technique for me, inspired by a quilt book I bought.  Modern Quilting by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pederson.

When I was in Burkina Faso a year ago last November, I bought some Ghana Batik fabric and now wanted to do something with it.  So I looked for some fabric to go with it and here is what I found.  The top piece is from Ghana.

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I needed a neutral and found the gray material at my local quilt store, Becky’s Fabrics, and then started the process of basically sewing and cutting at the machine.  I loved it and did make a few blunders from time to time, overall the process was pretty cool and I’m sure I will sew more of these quilts.

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I have the top done, but forgot to take a picture of it before I pinned it to be ready to quilt. So you will have to wait until it’s done to see the whole piece.  It won’t be 7 months, I promised my daughter I would get it done this spring!

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I thought I would post a few pictures of my travels these last 7 months. These were taken at Clearwater Beach on the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Florida.  I was told that the best sunsets are here and I have to say it is very true, they were beautiful and it was a lot of fun watching the pelicans catch their dinner!

Clearwater Beach

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It is good to be back blogging again.  Next time I should be done with that quilt!

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Filed under Africa, Fabric, Florida, Photography, Quilt Shops, Quilting, Quilts, Sewing, Sunsets, Travel