Monday, 27 June 2016

Farmers Wife #15 Blossom

I do like this block. I have made a similar one for a family tree quilt. I guess that is why it was not so daunting to make. I used my own graph paper and made templates. Again, I did hand sewing of the pieces.
GnomeAngel tutorial can be found here.

My thoughts on the letter - 'Three Hollyhocks' 

by Flower Lover, 1938.

Flower Lover was saddened by the state of her garden after the ravages of weather and pests. However she ended her day happy and looking forward to her garden after a kind and thoughtful neighbour shared half of her plants. The neighbour said “It isn’t much” but Flower Lover was so overwhelmed and appreciative.
How often do our friends do what they consider 'little things' that we really appreciate. Even a simple smile when one is feeling sad is often a great uplifting expression  that makes one feel they are important to someone.
One does not know how others feel with what one says or does. We should all try to be more kind to ourselves and others.

One kind word can change someone's entire day.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Farmers Wife # 6 April

After making the nine mini blocks for April, I had to check that I had made them correctly. I had, but when they were placed together it just didn't look right. I thought about changing the corner blocks, but decided to leave them, but I would not make the same block the same way again. I used my own templates and hand pieced this block.
As you can see it was another block with so many pieces - 53 pieces to be exact.
You can see how small the corner blocks were with the small needle beside it.
You can find GnomeAngel tutorial here.

My thoughts on the letter 'And Beets in a Jar'
by But-after-all, 1933.
But-after-all writes about leaving the home to go to work and as she looks around the home she is happy with the sights and smells - her mother canning beets. She is obviously happier working in the home rather than an office.
I must admit there was a time when I was happy at work and really enjoyed being there, but that was a few years ago. I am much happier now working at home and having 'me' time. "Me' time is very important for all of us.

The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave and it feels even better to come back.
~ Wendy Wunder

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Farmers Wife #28 Dolly

Another hand pieced block, with heaps of pieces. Dolly has 61 pieces, and I really enjoyed hand piecing it. I used templates that I had cut from my own template plastic, and will use again. I found it easier than paper piecing. Travelling in the caravan and not staying long in any one place meant that I wasn't able to get the machine out - and we often chose not to have power, to save money - meant that I was hand sewing a lot. It took forever to cut out all the pieces for this block, and once I finished cutting all the pieces, it sat for days on the window sill in the van with me sewing one or two, or if I was lucky, three pieces a day.
As it took so long to cut, I decided the best way to catch up was to cut out each block when we got home, and to continue on my hexies and hand quilting my 'country quilt'.
GnomeAngel tutorial is here.
My thoughts on the letter "That Easy Road"
by Quiet Living 1933
Quiet Living was married at the age of 17, and things were hard at first, but became easier - until they had to 'keep up with the Joneses'. It is hard when one is young to be what other's are, or perceived to be. I'm not sure that I was ever trying to keep up. I didn't want to be 'out of place' so I guess I was somewhere in between. My sister use to lay-buy many items, particularly clothing, but I have NEVER had a lay-buy. I pay cash, or in later years used a credit card, that I promptly paid off each month. Does that make me unique, I don't think so. I'm sure many people do the same. 
Don't get me wrong, we do not do with out, but we are careful with our money. Maybe it is my Scottish ancestry - to be thrifty. Now we are retired, every dollar counts. We still want to enjoy life, but now we do it differently. Fortunately we didn't go through a Depression as bad as "Quiet Living" - but on a limited budget one needs to be aware of what one spends.
The easy road often becomes hard, and the hard road often becomes easy.
~ Robert T. Kiyosaki 

Farmer's Wife # 23 Charlotte

Charlotte was hand pieced in two halves. I'm not sure if I should sew them together, or keep them as halves to use in the finished quilt. The problem is that I have not decided how I am going to finish the quilt, other than machine sew it. I could do it the way the book says, or with sashing in between each block with corner stones, or use alternate light blocks. Then there is also the issue of what size to make.
so many decisions......
I guess the block is very indicative of the choices we make, being two sides to everything!

You can find Gnomeangel's Tutorial is here.

My thoughts on the letter 'Vacation at Home' 
by Happy Farm Girl - 1937
I don't recall ever going on holidays as a young child, maybe we did, but all my childhood memories are of spending holidays at home. We had good imaginations back then, and would play for hours and hours, in the house, in the small concrete back yard, or in the back lane.
As I got older I do remember my Mum sending us to our Aunties (in Newcastle and Sydney) for holidays. We mostly stayed and had fun around the house.
Even as a Mum, we often had family vacations home - yes, we did do the odd weekend away which was fun, and we did start tent camping, but staying at home was easy and we could make our own fun. When our children were young, and even teenagers, I use to enjoy them being home on school holidays. We would do whatever suited the circumstance, inside play, outside play or a small excursion to the park. It was fun.
I believe in making the best of what you have (that's why in later life I knew to walk away when circumstances were out of my control - that WAS making the best of what I could do). Making the best of what you have is demonstrated in the letter.
As Angie said in her thoughts '...just because something “bad” happens doesn’t mean we have to let it dictate how we respond' We need to move on and get the power back to do what makes us happy, even if it is a long process!

Fill your life with experiences, not things - have stories to tell not stuff to show!

Monday, 13 June 2016

My Country Quilt ... and catch up!

Haven't had a lot of time to talk to you about patchwork and quilting since we have been travelling in the caravan. I have been doing a lot of hexies and have made 6 Farmer's Wife blocks by hand sewing while away. We didn't really stay anywhere long enough to get the machine out, so hexies and hand quilting a 'country button' quilt that I pieced some 20 years ago - yes I know, sad.
The photo on the left was taken in 1999 and used as a prop for a book week display.
We have been using the 'country button' quilt to keep us warn in the van for some years. Over the years I have been collecting metallic buttons to add to some lovely buttons my Nanna had. This last trip I was able to finish the binding and start on the quilting part - all while we were using it as it should be used. I still need to find some more pretty metallic buttons to complete it.
Oh ... and the backing of the quilt is a fleecy blanket I received for a 21st birthday present. Things were made to last back then!!