What to do, what to do….

I remember growing up and loving the sun and the heat of the summer. The farm sits on the top of a hill and the house is positioned just under the crest of the hill. The breeze on that hill is fantastic in the summer (we’ll leave a discussion about the winter ‘breeze’ for another time).

Since I was the toughest, it was my job to be in the hay mow stacking bales when we were making hay. That mow was dark, stuffy, and unbearably hot as the sun beat down on the barn’s tin roof. Small pieces of loose chaff would hang and dance in the air. It would take us about half an hour to unload and stack a load of hay. When we were finished, stepping outside and catching that fresh breeze was heavenly. It would wick the sweat right off my arms and lift the fine hair off the back of my neck.

As you may recall, I have three sisters. The job for Cindy and our oldest sister was to unload the wagon and send the bales up the elevator to the mow. Where was the youngest sister you might ask? Well — it was her job to sit by the switch that ran one (but not both) of the elevators and write poetry while we worked. I’m serious. While I was sweating like a farm hand and trying to work as hard as my dad, while my other sisters were extricating 50 lb bales from the Jenga jumble of bales on the wagon, little sister was at the ready in case the elevators needed to be turned off. Writing poetry. This arrangement is the basis of many possible years of therapy.

My mother hated the heat then and she still does. Her frequent refrain in the summer was “stinking, rotten hot”. As we grew older the phrase became “friggin hot”. We used to laugh when she said it, because we couldn’t understand that it truly could be too hot. One time when my son was about 2 years old we were driving back from Buffalo and I heard this sweet little voice declare “it’s so friggin hot back here”. It was about that time that I decided that he was spending just a little bit too much time with Grandma!

Although I haven’t been in that hot hay mow for 14 years, I can still smell it, hear it and feel it. This heat wave reminds me of it and the blessings bestowed by that hard work.

Tonight, stripped down to my skivvies (no pictures, I promise), in a morass of stinking, rotten heat,  I ironed this project just so I could get an opinion on what do do with it. I made this baby wall hanging with a farm fat quarter bundle that I bought some time ago. I added the Holstein print and the blue jean blocks and sewed it up quick. Then I hated it. I was going to gift it to my sister’s friend who had a baby, but I hated it so much that I pretended that it was never finished. The baby is at least two now and I feel so guilty. It’s been floating along in my sewing closet for a while and now it needs to get finished or get gone.

What do you think? Is there a fix (for the baby quilt, not the heat)?

36 Charm Street Baby Quilt

I just love the Canyon Fabric Collection by Kate Spain!  The colors!  The prints!  They speak to me!  I bought a charm pack and sewed 36 of them together.


What to do next?  I had to think about this because I wanted to showcase these beautiful fabrics.


My goal was to make a unique border to frame the charm squares but I wanted the border to be neutral.  So…I made Border #1 a solid white fabric.

Border #2 became interesting!  I decided to add a series of white and gray rectangles.  The rectangle sizes were a serious math problem I had to solve!  I finally figured it out and love the result!

Finally, I used a solid white fabric for Border #3 so the bright colors in the Canyon Collection stand out.


When I dropped off this top to my quilter, Ms. KB, she showed me a bead and wave pattern she had on hand.  Once I saw the pattern, I knew it was perfect!  Here is a close up of the front:DSCN5730

And the back…


The gray binding is the same color as the gray rectangles.  A solid color makes a nice  frame for the quilt and allows the Canyon Collection to be the quilt focus.


Beautiful AND easy!  It goes together quickly and is the perfect project for beginning quilters.

Like this pattern?  Download it here:  36-charm-street-feb-2017

Misc. Monday

I am finishing up several projects that have been in the works for a few months.  My quilt guild sponsored a sew in one weekend and we were challenged to make a quilt using charm squares.  I was drawn to a pack of Dottie Polka Dots from Moda Fabrics.


I used a quilt pattern from 3 Times the Charm – Book Two by Me and My Sister Designs.  This is a great book filled with adorable quilt patterns!  I have made several baby quilts using the patterns in this book.  Although the patterns work well for charm packs, I’ve also made a quilt or two using scraps from my stash.


By the time I got around to making my binding, most of the Moda Dottie Polka Dot fabrics were sold out at my favorite quilt shop.  BUT  I did find a nice black and white polka dot design from Riley Blake Fabrics.  I think the black and white binding frames the quilt and adds nice contrast to all the bright colors.


I used an aqua and white polka dot fabric for the quilt back and I am very happy with the results!  I always send my quilts to a local long arm expert, Ms. JM.  She does an incredible job and here is a close up of her work.


This was a fast, fun and easy quilting project.  If you are new to quilting, this book would be a nice resource to help you get started on your quilting journey.


Rolly Polly Teddy Finale

Yesterday’s giant rain/snow/sleet/snow storm brought winter to my house for what feels the first time this year. We lost two beautiful full-grown river birch trees. This one is in the back of the house. The other is in the front. Too the far right you can see that my neighbor also lost several birches.  It’s sad to say goodbye to these graceful gentle trees (cue “Circle of Life” music). However, my neighbors have already moved on — they are proposing a summer bonfire to enjoy the trees one last time. I think I’ll be over the grieving by then. IMG_1163[1]Cindy has done me a solid. She made a handy-dandy grid for my Roly Poly Teddy quilt that will help you lay out the rich and luxurious brown and gold teddy squares we gathered earlier. Then she went one step farther and exploded the Teddy the grid so you can see how to pull the teddy rows together.

Here’s my finished quilt top. Dimensions are 43″x 45″. You can find the original blog post here.


Rolly Polly Teddy Bear

I’ve created a pink and brown flannel backing. I’m hoping to work on the quilt sandwich today.

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Roly Poly Teddy Bear quilted — can you see the bears and hearts? Adorable!

Cindy’s beautifully written pattern Roly Poly Teddy Bear Pattern FINAL.