Archive for May 6th, 2008

Went out to the farm last night.

The grass was so gloriously green.  The field on the left had just been cultivated so it was a nice deep brown.    It likely got planted today.  Mark is out farming today and said it was mostly dry.  They’ve been pretty antsy to get into the field.  I think my mother-in-law is the one that is the most relieved, I’m sure my father-in-law was starting to drive her a bit nuts.

Over on the right, at the top of the picture, just beyond that dark lump (which is a pile of old fence posts:  that’s where the Bunny Tree can be found.  Well, tree(s) plural.  Where the bunnies live.  And where our family pets go to eternally chase the bunnies under the bunny trees.  For those that don’t know, my puppy Maggie unexpectedly passed away in March, she had only been with us for 2 months.

It has been so wet, we haven’t been able to take Maggie out to the bunny tree.  Unfortunately, my in-law’s 15 year old rat terrier Jake died over the weekend, which meant that it was time to put Maggie to rest as well.

It was an absolutely gorgeous evening.  We took Katie with us, it was her first trip to the farm (we hadn’t taken her before because Jake is very territorial and he would not have liked her one single bit).  The boys got to run the excavator a bit, Mark is much more patient than I would be with that sort of thing.

That thing takes a lot of concentration to remember which lever to push in which direction in order to make the contraption do exactly what you want it to do (and where you want it do it!)

After the burial, they played in the mud some more and Katie and I wandered around the farm a bit so she could sniff out all of the new smells.

And so that I could take some pictures of interesting things.  Actually, I put my camera away before I saw some of the really interesting old farm stuff, I’ll have to go out again with a camera, the pile of old clay tiles was pretty cool, and would make for interesting art quilt inspiration.

This old cultivator was pretty neat:

At least I think it’s an old cultivator.  I probably should have checked with Mark before I started talking about farming equipment.

Katie and I are waiting for the boys to get home (they stayed at my sister-in-laws after school) and for Mark to get driven out of the field by rain.  We don’t really need anymore rain right now, but it’s coming, it’s just a question of when, exactly, it’ll hit.

Thank you to all of you that provided hugs and support when we lost Maggie.  I still really miss her, but at least she is now chasing the bunnies with Jake, Toby, Sarah, and Elmo.



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I’m sure that by now most of you know that a Quilt of Valor (QOV) is a quilt that is presented to a combat wounded service member. Organizers are specifically trying to present these to the young men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with quilts, but any combat wounded service member can be a QOV recipient.

The foundation is always looking for help. You can visit http://www.qovf.org to learn how you can help with this project.

Shown above is the quilt I just finished that I’ve been talking about for the last week or so. The original quilt that this is based on is a quilt in the Smithsonian National Collection. It was made in 1861 and is 86 by 87. It was made by Mary Rockhold Teter for her son George who served in the Union forces during the Civil War.

The quilt is found in a book called Quilts: An American Legacy written by Mimi Dietrich (in 1996). Her book includes photos of a number of quilts from the Smithsonian, and the instructions to make quilts based on the original quilts. The replicas aren’t necessarily copies, a lot of times they are adaptations. Mimi’s adaptation of the Stars and Stripes quilt was only 38 by 38 and so I adapted her adaptation in order to make a quilt large enough to be a lap quilt for a soldier. (My quilt is 62 by 65).

When I first started making quilts, I never thought I’d ever want to make the same quilt over again. : I’ve since learned that even though you might be using the same pattern, you never make the same quilt. Something is always different (at least it is for me) and I will be making this pattern again. This quilt was a bit of an experiment: I was making do with what fabric I had on hand and had to make some choices I wouldn’t make if I had had a little more fabric. If I make it again, the stripes will be longer (and a bit wider) and the border will be a bit narrower (I think it’s a little out of proportion as it is).

Actually, as I was trimming it, I discovered that the side borders are an inch wider than the top and bottom borders. Don’t have any idea how that happened.

The applique was all done on the longarm (in fact, I didn’t even fuse the pieces down first, I just plopped them down where I wanted them and then went around them twice with a wavy stitch.  In fact, the quilt is even easier than it might look:  the center blue square is not pieced, it is an appliqué over top of the striped background.

I’d better quit talking about this quilt, though, and get it in a box and on its way.  I think I can get it to Alycia before Friday, but not if I keep sitting here.

Next up:  a post about the frustrations of trying to book a trip to Florida on a low-cost airline.



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