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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Monday, April 24, 2017

Testing a new thread~ MicroQuilter

Good Monday Morning quilting friends!  Are you enjoying the beautiful spring weather?  I know here in Podunk spring is in full swing and we're very busy in our gardens.  Taking care of the veggie gardens and the flower gardens is pretty much a full time job.  It leaves little time for sewing but I'm squeezing in a few minutes here and there.  A couple of weeks ago I order the new Superior Threads 100 wt MicroQuilter thread.   I couldn't wait to try it out, so I dug through my quilt tops to find the perfect quilt for my new thread.  This thread is fabulous,  beautiful backtracking!  Just look at the bump back feather tops, you can't see any thread build up.

 That red border is also quilted with the white thread, it barely shows.  Melts in like butter.

No need to change thread color so I'll be quilting the entire quilt with the white.

The quilt is one that I made while taking care of momma last year.  

These nine patches originally were going to be a totally different quilt.  You can see it here.

Then I had an epiphany and made the quilt below using some of the nine patches.  That's when the idea for the rest of leftovers came to be.  You can see it here.

~ Lea Anne ~
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Monday, April 10, 2017

Strawberry Lemonade

Come on in quilters, have a seat while I serve you up a big ole glass of refreshing Strawberry Lemonade.  Oh no this isn't the store bought Lemonade, it's homemade...YUMMY!

Freshly squeezed lemons with big ole chunks of macerated strawberries.  Nothing says warmer weather any better than lemonade.   Add a little strawberry liquor and the world is much better place, well in my world anyway.  It's so nice to finally have this quilt finished.  I love everything about it.  The buttery yellow and tickle me pinks feel so springy and girly.  I learned something new while quilting this one.  Normally when quilting I do tons of ruler work which takes forever.  This one has very little ruler work and quilted up super fast.  I think I might have found a new love....NO RULER WORK!

Over the past few months I've been talking to another quilter about our ever growing fabric stash and what will become of it when we're gone.  Well I don't want to leave this world with a ton of stash hoarded away that no one will love as much as I do.  So I've been very carefully watching what I buy.  Most frame quilters would rather have one solid piece of backing fabric.  Sure that's ideal, but why not use up what we have?   Since this is a scrappy quilt, why not  make it 100% scrappy with a scrappy backing.  It didn't take long to find what I needed in  my stash.

The 100% poly batting helps to show off the quilting.  And unlike cotton batting this quilt will keep you warm.  It's a win win in my book.

Once again I used a super tiny quarter inch binding to finish off the quilt.  The binding fabrics were cut from the excess backing needed when quilting on a frame.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed the lemonade!  You can find a quick recipe for this quilt here.

~ Lea Anne ~
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Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring Quilting

Happy Monday quilting friends!  Spring is finally here in Podunk.  The flowers are starting to peek through the mulch and the veggie garden is well under way.  With so much going on outside it's inspired me to dig through my needs to be quilted pile of UFO's.  This pink and yellow Irish Chain quilt that I call Strawberry Lemonade looked like the perfect spring project. 

A quick dig through the stash for a backing left me in a pickle.  The stash of backing fabrics are getting low.  All that's left is dark colors.  What the heck...a scrappy quilt needs a scrappy backing.  Four pieces of pink yardage were sewn together to make the backing.   Now she's loaded and ready to go.

As usual I'm putting feathers in the open areas, whats a quilt without feathers, right?  The plan was to do mostly free motion quilting because it's much quicker than ruler work.  However the center of the feather work is made with a ruler.  The feathers aren't as uniform as I'd like but they are staying put and we'll just say it gives the quilt character. HAHA!  

If you'd like to make a scrappy Irish Chain quilt you can find my quicky tutorial here.  Some quilt making knowledge is required.

~ Lea Anne ~

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