Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year 2009! and DIY

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Well, almost... it is still Dec. 31st, but I don't plan on being up to post at midnight. So, I'm wishing us all a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year!

Here is a one day old Brahma chick to help bring in the New Year.
Peep, Peep, Peep!

We are going to celebrate with Pizza fresh from the best pizza
joint in town... well, the nearest town. I'm not looking forward to hearing gun shots and the sound of fireworks at the stroke of 12. Well, at least with the snow bits laying around I won't have to worry about any fire danger. Maybe this year things will be quieter. hope hope

After I have some pizza and post this, I'm going to make lemon curd, because we received a bunch of free home grown lemons and Fuyu persimmons. I have to do something with the
lemons... there is always lemonade, but I'll resort to that only if I mess up the lemon curd. Next I 'll have to figure out what to do with the persimmons. I tried one and it was so sweet! Kinda like a very, very, very sweet cantaloupe. I think they are 25% sugar. I need to find stove top recipes because the oven is not online. I'll let you know how it all turns out... hopefully with photos.

I said I would post about the Christmas quilts, so I will begin at their beginning: a photo of the hand pieced beige block and one of the layouts of the blue and yellow. My sewing machine broke and I began hand piecing the beige block out of scraps from the wedding quilt. I found that I loved hand piecing. I don't think I did a great job of it because it was my first attempt, but there is something very satisfying about holding the fabric close and taking your time sewing. When piecing or quilting, I hold the fabric in my hands and lap, no hoop, and use quilting thread and a long size 10 Milliners needle. I would like to use a size 11, but I can't thread the things. I try for even stitches and get about 5 to 7 per inch if you count the stitches on one side.

I wish I had been able to learn to quilt from someone in my family, but I learned mostly from searching for helpful quilt sites on the internet. I'm glad I did because I have found that my quilting leans heavily toward what is called Liberated Quilting. I do love traditional quilt patterns, but even more I love making up my own quilt patterns. I have only made three quilts. The wedding quilt was from a pattern, but the other two were from blocks I made from patterns, some blocks I made up, and then arranged them the way I wanted.

I have decided that if I want to get a quilt finished quickly I need to machine sew, and that is OK too. I have a new sewing machine that I love called The Heart Truth. Pretty nifty machine with 50 stitches and it makes great button holes. I'll have to get a photo of it and make a Heart Truth post. The sewing machine in the photo is of my old Singer Touch and Sew... the one that jammed. sniff sniff

I have included a photo of my built-in ironing board (from an old house in San Francisco) that I built into the wall here in my book/computer/sewing room. That was a fun DIY project.

Here you can see that while sitting in the chair I have access to the computer, sewing
machine and ironing board. Pretty neat! I built the shelf out of old doors and put the bookshelves on top. Needs painting.

The books are due to be sorted through this year and the dead computers need to be fixed or taken to where ever dead computers and monitors go to lead their afterlife.

I am going to try and post 5 photos with this post, if that doesn't work I will post the photos by themselves. I'll get the hang of this eventually. oh yeah (PS ... my daughter informs me that 5 photos are too much for blogger to handle, but I am trying anyway. So far I have three photos posted, but the two of the quilts keep going poof... Yea! I just got the last one! Save Now! Bye)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Summer 2008

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This summer I went to my nieces wedding. I made my first quilt for her wedding present. I had always been afraid of quilting because of having to do perfect little stitches. I got over that and just tried for even stitches; I got the quilting bug and went on to make two more quilts for Christmas presents. I'll post about them tomorrow.

Click on the quilt and you will see the ties. I tied the quilt and then hand quilted it in the ditch. And like the quilt ladies at the quilt store told me... it is a lot harder to quilt in the ditch since there is more fabric to pull the needle through.

Now I will attempt to add two photos. Fingers crossed...

Photos? Where's the Photos?

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Ok, I'm going to try this again...

- click the photo
(the snow is really pretty on the trees)

Measure Twice

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You know that old saying, "Measure twice, cut once!" Well, that was me trying to figure out a name for this blog. I came up with a lot more than two names. I kept trying out names until there were so many I couldn't make up my mind. But, lucky for me, this morning my daughter yells out, "the chickens are on the deck!" Ah, ha! That's my blog name! Thanks dear. I'm glad the blog name search is over.

Deck became Porch somewhere between my fingers and my brain. I'm from the era before decks. Go figure...

I gave up trying to find a name that would cover all the different things I want to post about: family, chickens, dog, quilt, knit crochet, sewing, books, movies, 3 fenced acres of oak and pine, paths, do it yourself projects, gardening, depression cooking, genealogy and other stuff as it comes along.

Chickens on the deck are no big deal, but it is a little spooky when you turn around and find them watching you through the glass slider. I guess they find our doings interesting. My neighbor said she was a little unsettled to find our chickens lined up along the fence watching her work in her garden. The birds, the birds...

Christmas 2008 was spent with family even though for awhile snow threatened to cause driving difficulties. Our neighbor plowed our road out to the gate and the road out to the main plowed road so we didn't have any problems. I really liked having the snow around, but then I don't have to drive in the stuff.

My resolution for the new year is to regularly post on this blog and to make sure there are photos to go along with each post.

Well, I am off to figure out how to set up the rest of the blog and to pick out photos.
Bye, bye