Monday, February 28, 2011

Thawing Out?

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There was snow!
The power was out... no computer... bummer.

But, the wood stove kept us warm. The chickens didn't seem to care much about the cold weather. They just wanted out of the pen. Sorry chickens. No playing in the snow.

There was a goodly helping of snow. Kristine couldn't make it home and was fortunate to be able to stay with friends. Kathleen and family got off the mountain and away before the storm hit. The sun came out with forecast for sun, clouds, rain and maybe more snow. Maybe?

Getting out to the shed for chicken feed and then making it back and forth from the chicken coop is hard work for me to stay upright stomping in the snow.

But the trickiest part for me of getting around in the snow wasn't falling down or getting stuck.

It was trying to keep the vinyl trousers up!

I guess all the knee stomping action kept pulling them down.

Tricky trying to carry water, chicken feed, hold up your pants and not fall down in the snow.

Pajamas are regulation wear for cold weather. At least they are for me.

No eggs today.

And I had my 70th birthday. Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Winter Came Back... snow!

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I'm glad to have the cold days back and the snow.

The temp is up to 32 and there is some melting going on, but there is more snow due the next two weeks.

We are only at around 3000 feet and so don't get the heavy winter snows that are dumping higher up the mountains.

This time I remembered and left the gate open because after a snow I would have to shovel clear a place to move it. Don't really want to do that.

I did move the chicken's feeders inside and filled up a pot of warm water.

They are lucky hens and had some chopped up leftover steak and fresh broccoli for treats.

No eggs, but I saw an Australorp in a nest box, so maybe an egg later?

The kids are away on a side trip, but will be back for my birthday. Forecast is for a sunny day. Rains may come and melt all the snow by then. Sure doesn't take long for the snow to melt. I would just as soon have a snowy birthday except I don't want the kids to have to drive through bad weather.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Real Snow!

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Yep, snow!

The ruler says 9 inches this morning. I think we made the 15 inches forecast and maybe a little more.

We are supposed to get rain and snow for two more days. Who knows? Maybe the the rain will melt all the snow and we will be back to the goofy Spring weather?

I haven't got back to working on the quilt yet, but I did make it to a quilt store. More about that next post.

I'm liking the snow. The chickens are dry, warm and well fed, but only one egg today.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


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Hail, but not large hail. It was more rice size. The kids thought it was a fun experience being out in the hail.

The wind blew the cover off the wood in the wheelbarrow last night. Wet wood is not fun when trying to light the wood stove.

I dumped the water out and wheeled the barrow out to the wood shed, filled the barrow half full and kept it covered to keep it dry in transit.

After I wheeled the barrow back to the house and parked it next to the slider the kids helped me carry wood to fill the barrow. Nice having help.

Tonight the barrow is covered with a tarp weighted down with heavy wood to keep the wood dry. I hope.

I'm glad winter is back. Spring in February is kinda weird.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Quilt Top Is Finished!

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It is hard to see the red border against the wood floor. I'll try to get a photo of the top outside tomorrow.

Kristine picked out a number of fabrics she likes and I'm cutting up around eighty six and a half squares to piece to make up a backing piece.

I cut up some cabbage and gave it to the hens along with some carrot peelings.

Kathleen and family are coming tomorrow to visit. I'll post when I find the time. And I hope to find some time to keep working on the quilt backing.

Kathleen seems to be bringing some wet weather with her. Maybe even some snow.

(February 12, 2010)
I'm ready for snow again this year.
It is weird having this spring weather.

[4 eggs today]


Friday, February 11, 2011

Light Quilt Border

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The light fabric won out over the dark print. Kristine and I both decided that the dark fabric brought a somber note to the quilt. Not a good thing.

I want this to be a happy quilt. A quilt to snuggle under when reading a book or messing about with computer or Ipad.

Or... even a quilt that would bring a cheery feeling to one down with a cold. A cozy quilt.

I use the same method to measure the length of the border strips. I cut two strips. I lay one strip down through the middle of the quilt and mark the edge with a pin.

I then lay that strip down on the other strip... careful not to stretch the fabric... and cut both strips at the marked spot.

I have the six inch red border strips cut and ready to sew tomorrow.

The red fabric looks great with the light strip. I can't wait to see how this quilt will look. And I keep changing my mind about how to put the quilt sandwich together and finish the quilting.

I guess I'll just keep on as I have... making up my mind as I go along.
I'm liking this quilt top much better 
as it comes together.

Morgan didn't limp today
so Kristine didn't take her to the vet.
I think she might take Morgan on Monday
just to make sure Morgan is ok.

(February 10, 2010)

[2 eggs today]


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quilt Top Needs A Border

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This is how I measure how long to make the side strips. I lay a strip down the middle and cut two that length.

I have the side strips sewn on the quilt top and I'm trying to make the choice of border fabric. I have several fabrics I would like to use, but I don't have enough fabric. I need a yard and a quarter for the border.

I like the dark fabric, but it does tone down the overall feel of the quilt.

I'm leaning more toward the red fabric. I'll wait to make the final decision until tomorrow when I can get some sunlight on the quilt.

Colors look different under lamp light. I'll wait until tomorrow to start cutting fabric.

Maybe I'll put a narrow strip of the dark fabric around the top and then put a wide border of red. And I have been thinking of trying out the quick turning method of putting the quilt layers together. Neat thing about that would be I wouldn't have to put on any binding. I'll take photos.

Morgan has been sleeping most of the day and not limping. Well, I don't see her limp. Kristine says she thinks she is favoring her left foot. Sometimes I think she does and sometimes not.

Kristine says she limps when she first gets up. Maybe. Well, tomorrow will tell the story. If Kristine thinks Morgan has a foot problem then she'll take Morgan to the vet.

I'll get to stay home and work on the quilt!

(February 10, 2010)

[3 eggs today]


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Morgan May Have To Go To The Vet

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Morgan stayed in the house today, but she still has a limp sometimes... mostly when she first gets up. We found what we think might be a puncture wound, but now all we can see is a small dried scab.

So, Friday she will have to take a trip to the vet unless she stops limping. Poor Morgan. She has three acres of stuff to step on and hurt herself. Maybe I should get her some dog  booties?

Morgan will have to stay inside until we find out what's wrong or she recovers. Maybe the problem is a sprain?

The chickens are not happy having to stay in their pen. I gave them lots of scratch today. They'll get some cabbage tomorrow.

I sewed the horizontal lattice strips on the four panels of quilt blocks. I just laid the four panels out on the bed so I could get a photo.Tomorrow I'll sew the panels together, sew on the side lattice strips and pick out a border color. Red? Dark blue?

I tried out every fabric I have until I found the lattice fabric that worked the best with the blocks. It will be easier to pick out a border color after I get this part stitched together. I know why people buy color coordinated fabrics for quilting. It is so hard for me to pick and mix and match the different fabrics I have.

I did separate the fabrics into color groups, but it is still hard for me to tell which fabrics will work together.

(February 9, 2010)

[2 eggs today]


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Chickens In The Corners Quilt

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The four corner blocks and the two middle blocks have chicken prints in the middle of the blocks. It is very interesting how this quilt is coming together. I never would have picked these colors and fabrics, but I have them (Thank you, M!) and they just kind of picked themselves.

The brown fabric has leaves, the dark has birds (chickens?) and the blue and red are cheerful. I would like to end up with a friendly quilt. One that says pick me up.

Tomorrow I'll cut horizontal lattice strips and hook the four rows of blocks together. When I start having to hand sew long rows of stitching I start thinking about uncovering my sewing machine and getting the job done quickly, but I do like hand sewing.

I've got this far so I'll keep going with the hand sewing.

When I learned to sew in the 40's, I had to baste everything before I could sew it... even before sewing on the sewing machine. Pinning was just to hold the material together while you cut the fabric or while you basted. Ugh!

Now I just use pins. I don't baste anymore unless there is a real problem getting the fabric to stay in place while it's sewn. I even use pins when I'm machine sewing... I just don't sew over the pins. 

This morning the sun hit the bare tops of the trees at just the right angle to light them up. I tried to capture the brilliant glow of reflected sunlight off the top branches.

Morgan had a busy day chasing feral cats all day and barking. She is limping a little bit and is worn out! I'm going to keep her in the house tomorrow. The chickens won't be happy having to stay in their pen, but Morgan needs a day to rest. I don't know where all these cats are from or why they are here. I wonder if they are after the chickens?

(February 8, 2010)
I'm going to make some poached eggs tomorrow!

[1 egg today]


Some Days Nothing Much Happens

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Well, most days nothing much happens and that's the way I like it!

It has been my experience that stuff happening has not on the whole been positive. I would like to keep my everyday doings simple.

Wake up, let Morgan out, let Morgan in and feed her, make up the fire in the wood stove, and make breakfast. After the walk down to unlock the gate for Kristine (there is a gate down there) I have a nice walk back up past the house to the chicken coop.

I let the chickens and Morgan out and check for eggs. Fill the feeders and clean the waterer. This is a photo of a Wyandotte in front of an Australorp. I think the Australorps and the Buffs are laying. The Brahmas?
I haven't started raking up the leaves yet. I'm spending my time working on the quilt.

After looking through all the fabrics I finally picked a small patterned blue for the lattice strips between the blocks.

I know I'm supposed to use a solid, but I don't want to buy any fabric. The idea was to use up the fabric that I have.

Mostly I want this to be a happy quilt. I would like it to bring forth a smile or maybe a grin.

I have some red print for a border, but I'm not sure yet what colors to use. I'll wait to choose until I get the lattice strips around all the blocks.

(February 7, 2009)
I really do have to make that quilt.

[2 eggs today]


Monday, February 07, 2011

Last Block Done

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I finished the Kentucky Chain block, but only after having to rip out two seams. I put two of the wrong quarters together. I don't care for the optical illusions in quilts. Trying out different blocks to find the ones I like to make and the ones I like the looks of is the whole object of this exercise.

Making a series of different blocks is a lot more interesting for me than making the same one over and over. But, I don't think I will be making this block again.

I picked these fabrics because of the birds and the leaf patterns that I thought would go along with the chicken theme. As Kristine said... we'll have to wait until the quilt top is put together to tell how it's going to look.

I'm trying to figure out what fabric I have that I can use for border strips. That's a job for tomorrow.

I use a back stitch for hand sewing the seams and also put in a running stitch. I'm sure that is overkill as far as stitching goes, but I wanted to be sure the blocks held together.

I'll try to get a photo of each block before I start sewing them together.

(February 6, 2009)

[4 eggs today]


Saturday, February 05, 2011

Finishing Up Kentucky Chain

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I'm about half way done finishing the Kentucky Chain block (the 12th and last block.) The photo shows the Kentucky Chain pieces laid out on the cutting mat.

The 11th block on the ironing board (the Missouri Star) is finished.

I decided to make these 12 blocks because I have never made them before and I hoped to find a block I really like that I could use to make a quilt using only that block.

I'm not that good of a seamstress that I can sew 1/4 inch seams without a guide. My method is to use a ruler and mark a 1/4 inch sewing line with a pencil. I do need to get a light marker for the dark fabric. I have several... chalk, a white and yellow pencil type marker... but they don't work. I need to get myself to a quilt store.

Back to sewing...

(February 5, 2009)

[2 eggs today]


Friday, February 04, 2011

Montana And Missouri

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The top photo is #10 the Montana block. After I figured out the illustrations and instructions the block was really easier to make than some of the others.

The bottom photo is #11 the Missouri Star block. It is still in the layout and stitch together stage.

The #12 block (Kentucky Chain) is going to give me fits. I understand the instructions, but putting the block together looks like a lot of fiddly work. Hope the block will be easier to sew than the illustrations make out.

I would like to put some words/quote in the border strips and maybe a strip with chickens or eggs and 4th of July stuff. I'll have a 4th of July quilt with patriotic chickens.

Well, first I have to get these last two blocks finished before I can play around with the fun stuff like making letters.

Morgan was out with the chickens for most of the day and is tired and sleeping. At least she didn't roll in stinky stuff again.

(February 3, 2010)

[2 eggs today]


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Sweet Dreams!

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Nothing quite like a clean bed. Morgan is happy with her freshly washed bedding and so am I.

I finally realized that a lot of the smell was coming from the dog bedding. It was smelling worse than she was.

Morgan smells better today. I guess all the fresh air today took most of the smell away and she didn't do any rolling in smelly stuff. At least my nose isn't burning.

Morgan takes a good photo when she is asleep. The bottom photo shows how Morgan feels about getting her picture taken when she sees me coming with the camera raised to my eye ready to snap a shot.

See her back paw. She has her nails out gripping the floor. She turned her head and tucked in her front paws. Gee... all I wanted to do was take her picture.

I figured out the quilt block instructions after I cut out the pieces and moved them around until the illustrations made sense. I'll finish #10 tomorrow.

Tom picked up Chinese food for dinner. Neat! 

(February 3, 2010)
Wash eggs?

[1 egg today]


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Sunny Cold Morning

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I stopped by the coop this morning after I opened the gate for Kristine to check on the hens. They had eaten some of the pumpkin and pellets and were enjoying the sun, but most of all they wanted out.

Sorry girls... it was too cold to kick Morgan out for an all day stint watching the chickens. I made them wait until noon and then let the chickens out and Morgan too.

Now that Morgan is older she is very happy to be a house dog and the cold bothers her a bit. I can't stand her sad face looking at me through the slider. She wants in... no interest in watching the chickens. Half a day in the cold is enough. The cold doesn't bother the hens at all.

I finished the 9th block and I'm working out the fabric choices and cutting out the 10th block. This is the first block that  is giving me trouble understanding the instructions because they don't seem to match up with the illustrations. I hope I can figure things out when I start working with the pieces.

I've got a migraine that won't go away and I'm having trouble seeing. Signing off.

(February 2, 2009)
Neat egg videos

[1 egg today]


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

4th Of July Quilt?

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I'm hand sewing 12 different blocks because I enjoy the hand work while watching old black and white movies on YouTube.

The latest videos I've found star Franchot Tone. I guess I don't really watch the movies as much as glance and listen to them while I sew. Very relaxing.

I just don't get the same enjoyment out of machine sewing, but I certainly don't want to give up my sewing machine. However, I take great pleasure out of hand sewing the blocks and hand quilting.

Kristine's good friend gifted me with lots of wonderful fabric. Thank You Very Much!!! I decided to make some blocks and see what happened. I didn't have a plan. I started with the chickens and the colors just kind of chose themselves... dark, light, medium and fabrics with bird and leaf prints. The blocks have lots of red, white and blue so I either have a Valentine or a 4th of July quilt. Chicken's on the Porch quilt?

The blocks are from the Pioneer sampler by Eleanor Burns and I am having a lot of fun putting them together. I've never made any of them before. Only three left to go.

I checked the temperature outside on the way to the gate this morning... 36 ∘
It was 9am. The middle of the country is having terrible weather,
but this is cold enough for me.

(February 1, 2010)
Neat egg videos

[3 eggs today]