Trippin’ Slowly

I’ve had a couple of busy days and haven’t had much time to get to my machine. I do try and sew SOMETHING everyday, even if it’s just a seam or two. I am amazed at how much I can get done in just 15 minutes of sewing.
Yesterday, I sewed four strip sets together for my Scrappy Trips, and cut out the sections I needed to make 4 blocks. Today, I got two blocks put together.

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That brings the grand total of completed blocks up to four!!! (Please. Stop. You’re embarrassing me!)
OK. Enough of the sass. I’m thinking I’m really going to love this one when its done. I may have to bump it up to queen sized so I can use it on my bed. I apologize for the terrible picture quality. Photography is not my forte.
  Thanks so much for your encouragement. I truly appreciate your kind words.

Scrappy trips

I have been wanting to do a Scrappy Trips quilt a la Bonnie Hunter for quite some time. (pattern here) I’ve been working on taming my scraps, and I’ve had a colour combination brewing for a while. Today I finally got some scrap 2 1/2″ strips pulled. I have no idea how many strips I will need, but I’m not worried about running out, that’s for sure. I really like the first block, but I’m not so keen on the second. It seems a bit too ‘white’, if you will.

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I will most likely just leave it, cause the thought of picking it out does not thrill me. I’m concerned it will stick out like a sore thumb, but I think I’ll just have to check my perfectionist tendencies at the door and let it be. In fact, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!!

Its a lot harder than I thought it would be

  I have a confession. I am a fabric hoarder. I have had an obsession with fabric since I was a little kid, going to Fanny’s Fabrics, or Silk-O-Lina with my mom. I loved going fabric shopping with her!! I would fondle all the beautiful fabrics, immersing myself in the beautiful colours, patterns, and textures. I would always stop at the thread displays to make certain that all of the spools were in their proper places, rearranging as needed. Of course, a trip to the button racks were always a must! Who could resist spinning the racks and racks of gorgeous buttons? Not me!!!
  I have been quilting for 19 years now, so I’m sure you can imagine the fabric stash I’ve accumulated. Sometimes I am reluctant to cut into my fabric, especially if it’s one I really love. For the most part, I use more than I buy. Of course, I can’t throw my scraps out, so I started sorting and cutting using Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap Users System. For those if you who aren’t familiar with Bonnie, you’ll find her website here. She has LOTS of free patterns and she describes her Scrap Users System. There are many different methods for taming your scraps. I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all solution. I would do some research on various blogs and forums to get some ideas, and find what works best for you.
  Do any of you use a particular method for organizing your scraps? Please share it with me!

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Try try again

So, it’s been ages since i’ve blogged., and i feel like a big dud. i started off with a bang, and then quickly lost my gumption. i’ve been thinking about starting up again for quite some time, but could never commit myself to it. i did decide to focus on quilting, as that is truly my passion. I find myself overwhelmed with ideas and inspirations, and often have a difficult time buckling down and actually completing a project. I do hope that by sharing my quilting journey with you, I am able to focus and also be accountable to myself. I would be honoured if you decided to join me!

 

i’m still here!

it has been quite some time since i last sat down to write something, and for that i apologize. it has been a hectic few weeks and i’m just now getting back into the groove of things. lots has happened, so bear with me as i fill you in on the details.

the last thing i posted talked of my reluctance to spend a huge whack of money on a new longarm quilting machine. well, the decision was made for me (kind of). in my haste to get a new machine, i listed my old one and then promptly forgot that i had done so. a week or so later, i was contacted by a lady who was interested in the machine and she drove an hour to come test it out. we haggled over the price a little and couldn’t agree, so she left sans machine. she called me the next day to say she’d give me what i asked for it and we made arrangements for her to pick it up the following saturday. now, it doesn’t seem like this would be an issue, but i had cancelled the order i placed for the new machine and with the old one sold, i had no way of getting anything ready for the evergreen show. i found a very good deal on a show model apqs and went for it. my basement was empty for almost two weeks before my lucey arrived, but the wait was worth it. she is GLORIOUS! i had 11 quilts done in less than a week and had enough done so as not to embarrass myself at the show. i am so glad i upgraded my machine, and can’t help but think that i ‘forgot’ about listing the old one on purpose. yay for me!

harvest went well for curly and he was officially done work at the end of october. it helped that we got a lot of snow the 3rd week of october. it’s going to be a long winter.

i celebrated my 40th birthday at the end of october. for some reason, i feel i have really acheived something and should be walking about with a giant ‘i’m 40! can you effin’ believe it?’ sign around my neck. i don’t know why. any insight?

evergreen was an amazing experience. the venue was beautiful and the whole thing was very well done. there were amazing artists from every medium you can think of: paint, fibre, wood, bead, pottery, food, music, the list goes on. i sold two items, which paid for my table and my gas, but more importantly, i gained experience and got my name out there.

this past week, i finally got my completed quilts listed on my prairie charm facebook page AND i even opened a store on etsy. come have a look at my stuff here https://www.facebook.com/PrairieCharm?ref=hl and here http://www.etsy.com/shop/PrairieCharm.

all this has been going on between regular stuff, like school, chickens, and housework. pfffffffft. housework? who am i kidding?

 

 

 

 

to buy? or not to buy?

i’ve realised that i can talk myself out of pretty much anything. all i need is a little bit of time and for the ol’ brain to be in overdrive.

i’ve been preparing for the evergreen artists’ market in november and over the last couple of weeks, it’s become painfully clear that the longarm quilting machine i currently have is holding me back. now don’t get me wrong, it’s a good machine and i am so very thankful that i have it, BUT (there’s always a but, isn’t there?) i have surpassed it’s capabilities. it took some time for me to get the machine figured out, much longer than i thought it would actually, but now that i have, i find that i want to go much faster than the machine will allow. i decided that it was time to upgrade and after a lot of research i narrowed it down and even put a deposit on the one i wanted. the trouble is that while i’ve been waiting for the financing to come through, i’ve basically decided that it would be foolish to spend such a huge amount of money on something that i don’t really need. want? absolutely!  but need? i’m gonna have to go with ‘not so much’ on this one.

now, i know that if i had the funds waiting there for me when the ‘buy me’ bug bit, i’d have a $20,000 quilting machine sitting in my basement as we speak. while i do still really want the machine, i can’t help but be a little glad that i’ve had some time to rethink the whole thing. after all, that is a hell of a lot of money. on the other hand, it made me realise that sometimes, even though it’s not practical or maybe even necessary, you just gotta go for it!

and what did i decide? i’ll let you know when i finally do!

happy anniversary!

today marks the fourth anniversary of our grand exodus to the country. like most major events in life, if i think back, it all seems so fresh in my mind, like it just happened last week.

most people are surprised to hear that we moved out to the middle of nowhere from a big city. i suppose it is a little backwards, but truth is, rural saskatchewan has always felt like home. both of my parents were born and raised in skatchy (they moved to alberta when my mom was pregnant with me) and we spent all of our holidays here with family.

whenever they hear ‘saskatchewan’ people think flat and boring, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. saskatchewan has a beauty all it’s own and it really needs to be seen to be appreciated.

we’ve done a lot of growing out here, as a family, and as individuals. we’ve learned to appreciate the simple things. we’ve learned to slow down and just live in the moment. we’ve learned to be self reliant. we’ve also learned that we just enjoy being together. it was a difficult change from the pace of the city, but one we’ve embraced fully

Fall on the Prairies

harvest is in full swing out here on the farm, and because of this, curly has been working very long hours for several weeks. saturday was poop’s second birthday and following the tradition we started last year, we had a field supper to celebrate.

for those of you who don’t know, a field supper is just what it sounds like. supper, served in the field to the men and women working their buns off to get the crops in. often it’s the farm wife getting the food prepared and delivering it to the field (unless, of course, she’s in a combine. i mean, it IS 2012 after all!) as it turned out, the boss’ family was very busy with outside activities saturday, so my offer to make supper and bring it out was appreciated. field suppers need to be filling, nutritious, and easy for the guys and gals to eat. (it’s pretty hard to cut a steak when you’re standing up) i made chili and cornbread muffins and the world’s best chocolate cake for poop.

we pulled into the bin yard and curly was right behind us in the semi. the boys were so excited to see their daddy!!! they’ve only seen him for a few minutes in the mornings for close to 5 weeks. poop was wiggling so much i had a hard time unstrapping him from his carseat. he was running before he hit the ground! it was so sweet to see him race over to curly and wrap his chubby arms around his daddy’s knees.

i set up the table for supper and the guys showed up a few minutes later. everyone ate and talked and laughed. we had some birthday cake and gave poop his present.  it was a short, but nice, break, 30 minutes from start to finish.  it means so much to curly to be able to spend some time, no matter how short, with his son on his birthday. it’s a tradition we plan to keep for as long as curly is a farmhand. i know poop will treasure the memories of his special birthdays in the field, just as we will.

hummus costs HOW much?

part of the whole being frugal thing is checking the weekly flyers for sales. i have made it a habit to check online every thurday morning to see if any of the staples i need are on sale. yesterday, i noticed that one of the stores i frequent has hummus on special this week. i took a look at the specifics, and noticed two things

1) the hummus was on special 2/$6, meaning that each one was $3

2) each container held approximately one cup

SWEET MOTHER OF PEARL!!!!

is it just me, or does that seem ridiculously expensive to you? i make a lot of my own foods because i like to know what i’m feeding my children, and it usually saves money. i didn’t realise how much i was saving by making my own hummus. it’s super easy and way cheaper, and there are no scary preservatives in it.  i make mine in a food processor, but if you don’t have one, a blender or a handheld blender will do the job (not as quickly or efficiently, but it will get the job done)

HUMMUS

1  540ml / 19oz can of chickpeas

1-2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin

3 tbsp tahini (if you don’t have tahini you can use your favourite nut butter)

2 tbsp lemon juice

liquid from chickpeas

drain chickpeas, reserving liquid. dump them into processor bowl (or blender, or mixing bowl) wazz them up a a few times to break them down. add tahini (or nut butter) and wazz some more. add salt, cumin, lemon juice, and garlic and wazz again. (there’s a lot of wazzing in this recipe! so fun!) keep the processor going as you slowly start adding the reserved liquid. don’t add it all at once or you’ll have soup instead of hummus! keep going until the hummus reaches the desired consistancy. (takes about half of the liquid) i like mine to be pretty thick (think sour cream consistancy). put it in a bowl and break out the pitas! (or tortilla chips if thats your bag)

of course, the great thing about cooking is that you an adjust any of the seasonings to your own tastes. so if you hate cumin, leave it out. love garlic? throw another clove in! play around and have some fun.

ta da! easy isn’t it? and it will cost less than $1 (for over 2 cups of deliciousness)

next up…i’m gonna try baking pitas!

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