Monday, May 22, 2017

Little by Little

Happy Monday Morning!  It's another beautiful spring day here in Podunk.  I love these crisp chilly mornings when the windows have been left open the night before.  The smell of sweet honeysuckle vines goes perfectly with my morning cup of coffee while snuggling on the couch with my favorite quilt.  Not even the morning news programs can shake that feeling of sweet serenity.

It's gonna be another busy day of working in the gardens so these pretties on my design wall will just have to wait.  Can you tell I love dresden quilts?  One of these days I'll count just how many I've made over the years.  Each one uniquely different.  The dresden block is such a versatile and fun pattern that works well with my love of flowers and gardening.  The bright dresdens above are part of a free block of the month by Quilt Doodle designs.<---click there for more info.    Every month a new applique for the center is released.  It's not to late to join in but you'll need to purchase the first four months at a very reasonable price.  The rest of the year is free as long as you get them the month they are released.  Cindy's pattern are very well written and easy to follow.  And for the beginner she has added some in depth online tutorials on her blog.  She much more talented than I when it comes to curved piecing, so I had to make a slight change in my version of her pattern.  If you would like to see my alteration of appliqueing the center using her template click here.

The pastel dresden blocks are from a pattern called Sugar ~n~ Spice.  You can read more about the pattern and my alterations to this pattern by clicking here.
The little yo-yo's were time consuming but add a stunning effect to the dresdens.

Hopefully there will be some time at the end of each day this week to work on both of these projects.  Plus there's a new patriotic quilt I designed that I'd like to make a test block.  If I'm going to get all this accomplished I better get moving.  Happy Stitching, See you in a few days!

Oh I almost forgot to mention Design Wall Monday Linky party has a new host.  You can find the new party hosted by Judy Hansen over at Smallquiltsanddollquilts, hop on over link up or just be inspired.

~ Lea Anne ~
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Friday, May 5, 2017

Free Podunk Posy Pillow pattern from Becky and Dean

Nothing makes my little ole heart sing like pictures in my inbox of projects made using my tutorials and patterns.  It's makes all the hours spent designing and writing them worth the effort.  About a week ago Becky contacted me sharing her sweet pillows made with my Podunk Posy Tutorial.  

I knew immediately I NEEDED to make one.  They are right up my alley in cuteness and springy decor.  

Well it's my block but not my idea and not my photos so I had to ask for permission to share her and her husbands creations....yes I said her HUSBAND.  Dean you are every quilters dream husband.  Your little pillow in the front looks fabulous!

Becky graciously supplied her cutting measurements with me.  Thank you Becky it saved me from more quilty math...not my favorite thing to do.  So below is her math.  You can use this to make a few pillows of your own.  First you'll need the directions for my Podunk Posy block that can be found by clicking HERE.  Make 2 of these blocks.

 After the blocks are made, add your sides, then the top and bottom borders.  The block should finish at 17 inches square.

Here's the back of one of  Becky's finished pillow cases.  

 This is how a I made my back panes using the measurements provided.  (2) 17 x 13 backing fabrics.  I pressed a double fold on one side of each of the 17" panels.  Then used my quarter inch foot to stitch the hem.

Here's where my pattern differs a bit from Becky's.  I made my Posy Pillow top and quilted it.  Becky did not.  Her instructions suggest you do a french seam.  You can find directions for making a french seam by clicking here.  Remember use Becky's measurements, not the measurements in the link provided.

Ok, I chose to quilt my pillow top before adding the back panels.  Then I layered on my pieces wrong sides together as shown in the next two pictures.

Secure them in place with a few pins all the way around.

Stitch about 1/8 of an inch away from the edge all the way around, securing the two pieces.

Next I used (2) 2.5 X WOF strips to add a binding just like you would if you were making a quilt.  
You won't need to look to hard to see my pillow top flaw.  Those stand out squares are what happens when you miss cut your fat quarter and use another one.  Same brand, same line of fabric but it must have been a different dye lot.   I couldn't see the color difference at 11 pm.  But it shined like the north star at 7 am then next day.  Oh well I decided to just continue on like nothing was wrong.  So here's another tip.... had I not made an error in cutting, the pillow top could have been made with one fat quarter for the background fabric.  Start cutting your largest pieces first.  I cut the borders first then all the pieces for the Podunk Posy blocks, starting with the larges pieces first.  

Now if I get tired of seeing this as a pillow the pillow form can be removed and it can be hung on the wall as a mini quilt.  First I think I'm gonna wash it, maybe those two patches will fade.  

Thanks again Becky and Dean!  You've made this spring so much more special!

To everyone else, here's a reminder.  If you make something using one of my tutorials or patterns please let me know and share your pictures with me via email.  It lets me know that all my time and effort making patterns is worth it.   Since I don't sell patterns the only thing that makes it worth my time and effort is your sharing.  I won't share any pictures here on my blog without your permission.  So if your bashful for whatever're safe with me.   But you shouldn't be bashful...I mean really...just look at my big error in the picture above.  To error is human.    

~Lea Anne ~

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Getting my PKM on

After spending day after day gardening and playing in the mud I needed a little time out.  There's so may projects I could work the one on my design wall.  And there's always the quilt on the frame that you can see here.  Nope...I need a cute little project for a quick finish.

It's not perfect, but it was the perfect little project to use up a few one inch scrap fabric strings.  This will find a home sitting on top of my quilting machine.  Perfect for holding my self threading needle for burying threads, and my different size machine needles.   I feel so much better know that I got my PKM fix.  FYI.....  PKM = Pam Kitty Morning fabric.  

Back to the garden...this weeks plan is a new compost over flow bin and a quick compost bin.

~ Lea Anne ~
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Whats been keeping my busy?

As much as I would like to spend every waking hour in the studio it's just not possible.  Believe it or not I've other loves besides quilting.  If you told me when I was in my twenties I'd love vegetable gardening someday I would have laughed in your face.  Back then my gardens were limited to flower gardens with a few tomato and pepper plants worked into the landscaping.  These days I'm starting to feel like a low end prepper.   You know those crazy people you see on TV that think the world is coming to and end.  Trust me...I'm not one of them, I just like gardening!

 Many of my friends think that gardening is just plain nuts when you can buy fresh organic produce at new fancy expensive markets.  Well all I can say is... it taste's better when I grow it, and I know there's absolutely no chemicals in my organic garden.  No chemical bug spray, I'll make an organic mixture and I've planted Marigolds, bugs hate the smell of them.  If it were left up to me we would have cut down the trees to make the fences instead of chemically treated wood.  But sadly some things are out of my control.  As you can see below we use grass clippings from our yard and our neighbors down the road to mulch between the row.  This is great, it keeps in moisture, feeds the soil and best of all cuts down on weeding so I can get in the studio someday soon.  You might also notice my plant markers are lids from store bought food containers.  Yes we are big on up-cycling, recycling and reusing.

Every year for the past 6 yrs or so our garden is expanded.  This year I asked Mr. Podunk to enlarge our main fenced in garden.  That gives me another 3 rows of planting space.  The red space shows our expansion this year.

Not every one likes or needs a fenced garden but its a must in Podunk.  The deer will destroy the garden without fencing.  Not to mention what the chickens would do...very destructive little girls.   Life is a little harder in the country.  Just look at poor little Red(chicken).  She took a good beating from the neighbors dog a few weeks ago. 

And the oh so cute bunnies will taste everything in a garden until they find something that's edible. BAD BUNNIES!

Our original fence wasn't bunny proof so we've added chicken wire to the existing fence and gate.

The focus for the last couple of weeks has been building my own potato towers.  It's not pretty but the wood was free, all I had to do was walk into the woods and cut it down.  This is my first year growing plain ole potatoes so we'll see how it goes.  They're sprouting so I think we may have some fresh potatoes this fall.

 Even our raised beds need to be protected from the critters.   That fencing below does nothing to keep out the moles that seem to think this is their new palace in Podunk.  Being an organic gardener is a test of patience.  So we've decided to try an old fashion remedy of Castor oil and dish soap...we'll see how it works.  
I've also had to treat the sweet potato bed I made a couple weeks ago.  We won't be planting in there for a few more weeks so I'm trying to prevent a new mole condo complex from popping up.

 The castor oil mixture seems to be doing a pretty good job over in the spinach and onion beds.

 Today's agenda is pepper pants.  I've not even started clearing this bed of weeds and moles so it's gonna take a few days.  Hopefully I can weed and evict the moles today.  Then plant once the moles have pack their bags.  Sounds like I might be able to fit some quilting into my afternoon and evening!

~ Lea Anne ~

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