Friday, August 19, 2016

An Original Anniversary Gift

DH surprised me with this unique Anniversary Gift.  He planned a 2 hr. plane excursion this morning over these lovely Sandhills.  I live in a town of 8900, far out in the boonies, western Nebraska , and I wanted to show YOU how open and wide the spaces are, outside of town.  Photos were quickly shot from the plane  - you won't recognize anything but they DO show you the landscape.  It was a lovely gift - something we'll both remember for many years. Our plane was a 1976 Cessna Sky Hawk, piloted by a talented and knowledgeable pilot.    

Below - east of town, there is a LOT of space.
 Below - see the dot?  Our shadow. 8-))
 OK, I'm a quilter -  was inspired by the lines! 
Despite being a dry climate, there are many small lakes in the Sandhills.  Most are not good water. 
 I think this was Crescent Lake Recreational Center - a waterfowl sanctuary. We saw a lot of white pelicans.

Below - one pivot, this  crop looks like corn. Some of the dark blotches in the back are lakes, others are cloud shadows. 

Below - 6 pivots all together.  There is a car or truck on the road, that little dark splotch before the "Y" on the road.  A pivot is an irrigation system, with a well in the center and a huge spraying contraptions that move in circles, irrigating the various crops.  These might be corn.  
 We had lightning and an unusual heavy rain last night, and saw 3-4 blackened areas that had been struck by lightning, burned, and apparently distinquished by the unexpected rain (no photo).  Signs on highways are remind motorists to beware of range fires, a serious danger in dry seasons.  

The "Sandhills" cover large areas east of my home.  Fields appear pockparked with humps and hills, many sprinkled with cattle, deer, some antelope.  From the air, we can see huge farms and ranches, waaaay off from main roads.   Large amounts of land is necessary for cattle. Farms/ranches of 100,000 acres is not unusual.

Below is my town, Alliance.  
75% of this town's economy, is related to railroads.  I counted 25 parked trains as we flew over, currently parked due to EPA restrictions on coal emissions.  The trains carry coal, from Wyoming.  A fully loaded train will be 130 cars long.  At times I've wondered if there is anything left of Wyoming, due to the many trains full of coal that pass thru this area.

Below - DH and I, two old fogies living in the fast lane - our 18th anniversary!   A very good day!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Something from Nothing


I only meant to clear out a bunch of old strips - none of the strips seemed like they would "go" well together, but sometimes a person has to try new things.  The last logs were the darkest - good plan!  I WAS trying out the Creative Grids 6 inch Log Cabin Trim ruler, feeling positive and smug that it would add nothing to the process but,  uhhhh, I WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED with the accurate result!  The original casually-cut leftover strips were anywhere from 2 inches to "sorta" 1 1/4 inches. Narrow strips have a tendency to wobble and stretch during construction and pressing, and the ruler is designed to trim up the logs perfectly after each round.  Logs finish at 3/4 inch. 

The back - it is surprising how homely fabric cut into squares and set into some sort of pattern can make a pretty backing!  I've used this technique frequently, cutting the squares at various sizes, depending on the size of the quilt.  How far back does that red gingham go?

I found it helpful to draw the backing needed onto graph paper to help determine how many of each square was needed.  Save the extras for another quilt backing.

This will be a donation quilt - but I LOVE looking at it for now!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Backing squares, using Stash, and ... Pageviews from Russia???

I'm planning  the backing for a recent log cabin quilt destined as a donation.  I'll use 8 inch squares of "stash" for this one, but want a certain plan, not just squares in haphazard layout.  This quilt needed a layout of 8 blocks x 9 blocks.  From experience, it's easier for me to draw something out on graph paper, count what I have available, make a few more, then lay the squares out on the floor - less getting up and down. 

Here is how it looks laid out.  I then stack them up, put them together in order, and clip the top left corner of the stack.  I always use top left to "mark" the corner - once you start sewing them, they get out of order all by themselves!  8-)

One more thing, all the squares are laid out in the same direction, i.e., all lengthwise grain or all crosswise, and I don't mix them up. I forgot that detail one time, and was sorry.  When all quilted it will be lovely! 

New subject:  Why do I get so many "pageviews" on my blog from Russia - I'm talking about 5-600  a day?  Are they all spam or nefarious virus efforts ?  Have you looked at your own blogs to see where the pageviews are from? 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Something from Nothing

I recently purchased Creative Grids 6 inch Log Cabin trimming ruler, wondering if it would tidy-up small log cabins blocks, and help avoid the stretching narrow logs out of shape.  I wanted to clean up left-over strips in a tote and decided to make a small Log Cabin Quilt.  I pulled the blues and turquoises, and the lights, then found a RED in the fabric drawer.  That turquoise just glared back at me, just DARING me to use it, but MIGHT work. Yes, that ruler DID tidy up the logs.  These logs finish at 3/4 inch, the block finishes at 6 inch. 

I had faith ..... 

Not bad!  This might be my new Best Favorite!!!  I call it "Something from Nothing."  It finishes up at 53" x 59".   

Today I am piecing batting bits together, and then will piece backing bits.  Frugal!!! - See Mom, I eventually did learn from you and Grandma!  The entire amount spent will be $0.00. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Heritage Days, 2016

Many of our local quilters loaned quilts to First National Bank in town, to dress up the bank for one week, for Heritage Days, an annual summer event.  I use these photos so that next year, I'll remember which quilts I loaned - heaven forbid any duplications!  LOL  This particular event is sponsored by local DAR ladies. Yes, that is my Cowboy Up (blues) and Mom's Grandmother's Flower Garden.  Carol's checked Sailing on right. 

Several are mine.  They are on the second floor, above teller area, hanging over the railing.
Carol's Pineapple in upper left, above - a stunner!  Jody's log cabin is next to hers.  Patchwork Jackets are hanging over the log cabin.

Jody's on left - I forgot the name.  My Pineapple Spool on right.
 My split 9-Patch (Bank One) on left.  Anita's lovely green and rose in center. 
 My Chimney's and Cornerstones, ala recut and trimmed.  Hard to recognize what I started with!
 Jody's twisting pinwheel (not sure of name?)   I really HAVE to make one of these!
Not sure of maker, but so pretty!
Kathy's vintage Dresden plate.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A good day at the Quilt Show

I put 3 quilts in the Oregon Trails Quilt Show hoping one would get some recognition. 

This was my Mother's quilt a Grandmother's Flower Garden, she made at age 21, living in Chicago in 1936-37 while awaiting her first child, my sister Kristin.  Many of the charming fabrics were probably given to her by a sister-in-law, my Aunt Kate, who had 2 little girls at the time and lived nearby.  This is the quilt that laid unused for many, many years on a wood shelf ("save it for good!") , and when it came to me, as the only quilter, we discovered with horror that the wood acids had eaten clear through the center fold lines.  I kept it for another 15 years before having courage to repair it, only to discover that the repair s were not nearly as difficult as I had imagined.  This is a Second Place.  The white sheet on the bottom is a printed story of the quilt history.  I'll sew it on the back now as a label.

This is "Cowboy Up", a large quilt, a version of Tumalo Trails.  I added that border and learned new methods to machine quilt on the wide light blue border.  The dark blue is a plaid, a used man's shirt given to me by a friend.  It worked perfectly with the numerous 9 patches that I had made casually, with no purpose, "using up some little strips of fabric".  This is Second Place.

This is a recent finish that I call Pineapple Spools, added to the show at the last minute only as something of interest.  I was astonished to see it was given a First Place.  (That purple on the bottom of the picture is a back from another quilt hanging behind it. )

A good day in Western Nebraska, with 104 degree heat outside!