Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Farmers Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt #16 Bonnie

The second block yesterday was #16 Bonnie.
I chose to use one fabric from each colourway of #12 Becky in my blocks.

I am happy with the way these turned out.
The total of six blocks made so far.
I like the way the book portrays the oral histories of women in the late 1920's / 30's. It is interesting how today one can still relate to these letters.

My thoughts on #16 Bonnie letter: Rain for the Soul 
by Lovingkindness, 1934
The title 'Rain for the Soul' implies something that we all need. Lovingkindness compares ourselves to houses and talks about how we have needs over time. 
 She starts with drought and how drought affects buildings.
Queensland today is in the grip of one of our worst droughts. Farmers on the land are doing it tough and it is hard for city folk to imagine what hardships the farmers and their families are facing today. But they do face it. 

No one knows what is going to happen tomorrow, houses are worn over time by the effects of weather, and human intervention. Just as we are worn over time by the effects of our emotions, just trying to live a well balanced life. We are in control of our lives and sometimes hard decisions need to be made.
A well balanced life would have different meanings to different people and getting the balance right can be a lot of trial and error over time. We can only live one day at a time and, like the house, many elements are out of our control. However, learning or re-visiting our values in life, and how important our values are to having a well balanced life can help weather any storm. Personal values of honesty, loyality, enjoyment, health, creativity, integrity, kindness, etc. are important and we should be standing up for what is right. One needs to develop a sense of what is important in ones life -
what we value and want to live and work by!

Determine your life values - do they fit with your work values?
We want everything - happiness, health, money, travel, - we need to prioritise, and, as I said, sometimes hard decisions need to be made. We have options and we have choices.
Sometimes we just need to walk away, take a breath and remind our selves of our values and what is important to us.

 Lovingkindness has values. Her message in her letter is to be kind and loving in order to have a content and peaceful life, and don't we all aspire to have a content and peaceful life? She must have been a loving spiritual woman. 

Happy sewing

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Farmers Wife - #12 Becky

I really had to do some house work before starting, so didn't get to my emails until after 8 - but that's ok, I'm not on a deadline.  
 First block is #12 Becky - tutorial from GnomeAngel
I used the rotary cutting method and machine pieced, making three blocks in total. 
The first block I used Christmas left overs from 'special presents' that I have been working on. I just guessed the measurements as I haven't looked at the CD that came with the book yet. I did make a mistake, forgetting to add the 1/4" seam allowance on some pieces, so had to add a strip to make it 6 1/2" sq.
The second and third blocks I used Downton Abbey Collection, in two different colour tones. One pink/rose tones above, and the other in purple/blue tones.
Each block was inspired by letters written by 'Farmers Wives'. Angie from GnomeAngel wrote about her thoughts on each letter included with the blocks. I thought that was a great idea, so I'll attempt to give my own thoughts of some of the letters.

My thoughts on #12Becky letter: Quit Merely Existing by Emancipated, 1934.
Emancipated talks about living life to the fullest and her reasons for saying that.
Everyone has a different story but no matter what one's story is, it is important to remember to have a balance in one's life. It is easy to get bogged down and so busy that one forgets about what is important. With me it was work. Life was 6 days (and nights) working with only Saturday to myself, and I usually did sewing. Recently I had even given up Saturday's with the constant increasing and demanding workload. It only took 'the last straw' - you know the one that broke the camels back - to make me realise that life is short, it could end tomorrow. I needed to refocus on what I wanted, not what everyone else wanted of me. Family and friends are important as is having a balance in life. I didn't have that balance, it became all work, and as a consequence I didn't have time for family and friends. Life should not be all work and no play. 
I took time out and did 'me' stuff - reading, painting, family tree, photography, and yes, got back to sewing. It took many months to start sewing again, I just couldn't focus on what sewing I wanted to do. This quilt along is just what I needed. As Emancipated says
'live a glorious, full life'.   
Happy Sewing 

Monday, 28 September 2015

One more sleep.....

Thank you for your comments and personal messages, yesterday's post was good for me. It is great to be getting back to 'normal' ... what ever normal is!!!
I can't promise that I'll write each day, in fact I'm fairly sure I wont, maybe once a week will be the goal..... watch this space 

Today I sorted some fabric for Farmer's Wife Quilt Along.
It starts tomorrow at 7.30am, so one more sleep! I will have to do the housework after the blocks tomorrow, instead of before - but that's OK!
A FB friend in New Zealand asked if I was doing the Farmers Wife Quilt Along, I knew nothing about it, so she invited me to the FB quilt along page. To do the quilt along one needs a book - I tried to source it at libraries, no good, so I enquired at some book stores. There didn't appear to be any available but one store offered to order it in for me at a cost of approximately $49 Australian. I checked online and found I could order it via Amazon for $17 US plus $11 postage. $28 US converted to $37 AUS, so I ordered it. It arrived a few weeks later.
The book is written by Laurie Aaron Herd, and is a collection of letters from farmer's wives to a newspaper/magazine, during the 1930's. The 99 quilt blocks were inspired by these letters.
Here are all the details for the Farmers Wife 1930 sampler quilt.
I have a few 1920's and 1930's replica fabrics, but thought I may use some from the Downton Abbey Collection by Andover Fabrics (38 FQ) that I purchased a few years ago. 
I might also do some blocks in Christmas fabric for a Christmas quilt in 2016.

Happy Sewing

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Farmers Wife and other quilts

I'm back, and hope to make this a more regular blog. Those that have been with me from the beginning of my blog journey know that I was fitting it in with all the 'other stuff' that a career working mum has to do.

I would always spent the first week of school holidays sewing, and the second week planning for the term ahead. Weekends and evenings were spent marking, planning, making resources, etc. etc. EXCEPT for Saturday! Saturday was my day for me stuff - like sewing. With so much to do, it was the 'me' time that went first, followed by the family time - but that's an episode for one of my other blogs.

Studies have revealed the stress-reducing benefits of sewing, proving a stitch a day could help keep the doctor away. I accidentally came across this quote on FaceBook, it comes from Bookwerme-Sparkpeople page and after reading that article I knew I had to make the time to sew, and do other things I wanted to do. The balance cannot be all work! (Again, another episode for one of my other blogs) Another interesting read by Quiltfool, explains what I mean. 
Sew ... I mean ..... So I wanted to make another quilt for the van, so I revisited Simply Colourful, where I was first inspired to make my caravan sewing machine cover, and came up with these blocks. I added some trees similar to Simply Colourful and some patchwork for the in between blocks and made a lovely quilt top. Just need to finish it now.
I have been kept busy each day during 'me time' by making some Christmas presents (can't show them yet) and some caravan place mats to sell.I made a two sided banner to hang on the awning of our van. 

The banner and the lap quilt were appliquéd, and before I made the lap quilt I worked out the layout using PowerPoint.


It worked out very well, and although I changed the bottom left hand corner to make it easier to put all sections together, it went together very easy.

I was happy with the appliqué but thought I would spend some time and work out a piecing template.

I'm very glad I did. It was so much easier to cut and sew.
I made a pink set of two, and a blue set of two.

We had family visiting for a week and I made little wall hangings / place mats for our two nieces in Victoria. It was good to use my embroidery machine again - it's been very neglected.

I also enjoyed doing string piecing using the pink and blue strips I have been collecting. One can see in the photo further up, my pink strips container.
 With family coming I also needed to clear off the dining table, which for some time has been collecting my sewing and school resources.
We often desk dine or eat TV dinner style, so clearing the dining table also meant moving my sewing stations around. I now have my ironing centre with my embroidery machine, and so far, so good. 
 I'm now waiting to start the Farmer's Wife quilt along in a few days - watch this space.

Happy sewing