Farmer’s Wife week one: one of these things is not like the others

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I don’t know why the song from Sesame Street pops  into my mind every time I look at my first blocks.  The Yogi statue seems to be hanging his head in confusion.

I was going to stage some lovely backdrops to show off each block.  Our adorable little fatty, Tippy, had arranged his bulk across most of the cutting table.  As I pulled the book out from under him, I recognized how nice his sleek black fur would show off the colors in the blocks.  So now I present the blocks from the first week, complete with kitty background.

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Here is Becky, with her cacophony of prints and colors.  I am using the foundation paper piecing method for my blocks.  While not necessary for the straightforward blocks like Becky, I actually like to paper piece.  I do it whenever I have a chance!  And no, I am not aware of any help groups for this particular affliction.

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Bonnie found me in a much different mood fabric-wise.  I love these prints together.

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When the Aunt block came up next, it sent me back to the drawing board for the center fabric.  I’ve chosen small prints for most of my fabrics, and could not find anything that I wanted to fussy cut for the center.  So that little cowboy dude is going to be a one-off.  Or is he…

I love the delicate way that 20 pound cat is modeling the blocks.  They grow up so fast.

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A weekend cornucopia: little boy gifts, a quilt top finish, and we’re off to the races on the Farmer’s Wife quilt!

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I got a birth announcement this week.  I love it, because it gives me a good excuse to hit up my sewing room and come up with something new and different.  It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve embroidered…

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These adorable trucks are in a set by Anita Goodesign, Baby Construction.  Along with cute applique designs, they have these made-in-the-hoop softies.  Ooohhh, I can give the baby his first trucks!

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I took some photos in my sewing room.  Not good enough.  I knew they needed to be photographed at a work site.  Now that’s more like it.

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The new little tot has two older brothers, so I put his name on his toys.  These were fun to make and turned out so cute.  Anita Goodesign does a great job on these in-the-hoop projects.

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Big brothers like to get gifts, too.  I decided to stick with the construction theme and make pillow cases for the two older boys.  I was at my local shop on Friday woking on the Million Pillowcase Challenge, so pillow cases were on my mind.  And I figured that everybody like to have their name on things.  Especially with a house full of brothers.

If you are hearing a grinding noise now, not to worry.  It’s just the sound of me switching gears.

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I have finished my Downton Abbey Christmas quilt top!  It looks very elegant, if I do say so myself.  I’ll figure out the backing, then off to the quilter.  And anytime I mention Downton Abbey, I have to include a picture of me at Downton.

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More grinding of gears here.

The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt sew-along has begun!  We got a preview of the first block, and here’s mine.

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Loving the brights.  Mine will have quite the variety of colors.  Is anyone else riding along for this adventure?

Is it too soon for a dog fashion retrospective? The evolution of a supermodel

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Any puppy that starts out her fashion career in a sock has mad skills.

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Look at that little foldy ear!  Doesn’t it look like she’s wearing a cowl?

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America’s sweetheart in her patriotic wear.

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This is the fancy dress I made her.  She questioned my choice of the fabric on the skirt trim, but I assured her it looked cute.

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If anyone can make a Minion onesie look cute, it is this little shy cutie.

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Polka dots are Dorito’s color!  And a coordinating bag to boot.

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Every girl needs comfy yet stylish jammies.

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Technically not an outfit, but come on!  Jabba the Hutt, or as we call it, Jabba the Mat.

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Always the perfect accessory, a well fitted bed is a must.

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Straight outta Compton:  Spicy Dorito in an animal print hoodie.  Come hither, mortals!

The post in which I reveal the answer to the age old question: Which came first?

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The chicken came first.  Apologies to the egg crowd, but I made the chickens first.

When we were in LA recently, my outlaw Sara wanted to work on a few sewing projects.  You see, she started her very first quilt when her family was visiting us in sunny Hawaii.  We finished it via video chat!  That’s the first time I’ve tried teaching sewing with an ocean separating me from my victim  student.

In LA we had to go to a couple of quilt stores for supplies.  At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  I came across a pattern for pot holders, “Which Came First” by Sweet Tea Girls Patterns, and I decided Sara needed a chicken in her kitchen.  We proceeded to laugh ourselves silly picking out the fabrics, choosing to have a hot pepper chicken with chemical structure wings.  The beaks are made with egg yolks – stick with me here, folks.

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Next came the eggs.  They look so shiny, don’t they?  The yolks are all about peppers, a nod to the chickens (which came first.)  And they really are functional pot holders!

I will never give up the pot holders that my grandma crocheted.  They are the best, although looking a little rough from wear.  But I can see into the future, and the future is chickens.

New dog bed for my giant puppy!

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Dorito is celebrating her new bed.  Now that she’s grown to a whopping three and a half pounds, I decided to sew something for her that she would not be forced to wear.

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I figured that she needed a sweet bed just her size.  I got this stretchy, furry fabric at Wal~Mart.  I traced a dinner plate onto some heavy canvas and covered it with a disk of sugar skull.  The wall is a stuffed tube.

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Maybe she need a matching hoodie?

Union Jack quilt squares inspired by Barbie; fabric porn for the Farmer’s Wife Sew-along

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This month’s bundle of Liberty is heavy on the pinks.  So three of the new Union Jacks are pink and pretty, just like Barbie!

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So many of the Liberty prints have little animals in them.  I love the little peacocks in the strips.  They remind me of the trace-your-hand turkeys we made in elementary school.

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Little love birds.  Or pigeons.  Or turtle doves?  Anyhoo, at least I got them all right side up!

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The stripes in this block have little folk art people in them.  And now I see a rabbit.  I don’t think any of the little folk are standing on their heads.

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As you know, I am paper piecing the blocks.  The centers of the blocks look lumpy in the pictures because the papers are still in the outer quadrants.  Fear not, the blocks all lay flat when the papers are removed.

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Fifteen Union Jacks to date, and what an assorted lot they are!  And now for something completely different…

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The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt Sew-along is only one week away!  I have convinced a friend to join me in this journey. I plan to paper piece my quilt, and my friend has never tried it.  This week we are having a little sewing session so she can get familiar with that process.  I’ll be curious to see if she chooses to use that method for her quilt.

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Here are my fabrics for the sew-along.  Bright and cheerful, just like me.  And if you have a problem with that, let’s step outside.

Today I am boasting – look what I got in the mail!

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There are times when you just have to do a happy dance.  The Mr. and I were off on an adventure, and I returned home to the most intriguing package.  There is something about a paper wrapped package that sets my heart aflutter.

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When I peeled the paper off, this is what I saw.  Best surprise ever.  Five Bali Pops by Hoffman Fabrics.  Big shout out to our friend Tim W.  He lives in Bali, and makes batik fabrics for Hoffman.  Yet another instance of it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!

I am turning over some ideas in my head for these lovelies.  I’m excited at the prospect of coming up with the right project!

And now for something completely different.

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This gorgeous book was recently released, and it is getting lots of attention.  There is a Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt sew-along starting on September 28.  Angie Wilson of Gnome Angel (gnomeangel.com) is the instigator of this amazing project.  There is a Facebook group dedicated to the sew-along, and the buzz around it keeps building.  I am plunging in fabric-first, and you will see my progress here on my blog.

Anyone want to join in the fun?

More Union Jack flags mean…more Liberty of London fabric!

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Variety is the spice of life, so I am feeling very spicy.  If I had to choose one fabric only to use for the rest of my life?  Well that would be cruel, but I would definitely choose Liberty Tana Lawn.

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Picking the fabrics to combine in each block has been helping curb my innate desire to make sure everything matches perfectly.

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The hardest part of this project is trying to NOT plan ahead.  I want to wait until I have all the blocks to choose the fabric and style of the sashing.  But I’m getting impatient.

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Five blocks a month, until I have a total of…I don’t know yet.  I have not yet even calculated how big I want to make this.

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Seeing each block individually makes me think I want this on my bed.  King size.  At least that will give me a long time to work on it.  I really enjoy working on foundation paper pieced projects.

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The obsessive part of me craves the perfection that can be achieved with paper piecing.  And it is so easy!  I took some pictures while I was working on these blocks.

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Sew, press, cut, add fabric and repeat.  Easy and stunning!

We’ll talk soon, I’m off on an adventure.

The Irish festival in my sewing room

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I decided to host an Irish festival in my sewing room.  Ireland is part of the British Isles after all, so I am being true to my ongoing Anglophile tendencies.  I didn’t really invite anyone, but I’m okay with my one-person celebration.

My new Irish quilt took a turn for the smaller.  I needed to come up with a thank you gift for they-who-shall-not-be-named.  So I diverted some quilt blocks into a table runner.

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Who doesn’t love a great little tree of life?  I used three colors of gold thread to add depth.  The trick was using green and gold and not having this look like a Packers tribute.  (Boo, Packers!)

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The Eternal Life block has the same elements of a claddagh ring – crown for loyalty, hands for friendship, heart for love.  The designs are new this month from Anita Goodesign.

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There’s a little bit of the backing shown here.  This green swirly batik is one of my favorites.

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I’ve got to figure out a better way to photograph a table runner.  I tried getting all artsy-fartsy and doing a perspective shot, but you’ll notice it’s not in here.

This one is the money shot anyway.  My little fatty fatty two-by-four Tippy is modeling his favorite use for a table runner.

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Tippy – one.  Artsy-fartsy photographs – zero.  Game, set, match.