Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spooky Supreme Peek and Hexagon Madness!

I finished another Supreme pattern test the other day, but because it's a pattern that won't be released until next year, I can only show you a peek!   I had so much fun making this one!  Stephanie gives me free rein to use whatever fabric I want, so I decided to delve into my rather large Halloween stash!
This is the front - wish I could show more, but you'll just have to be patient!
Here is a peek at the back.  Thanks to a most kind "donation" from Julie over at Me and My Stitches, I had enough of the orange, spider webby fabric to bind the quilt and tie it all together!  Thanks again, Julie! 
I have Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts to blame for my latest addiction ongoing project - Hexagons!  Check out her blog for a wonderful, 3-part tutorial on how to make these little gems!  I read the tutorial through several times and also purchased her Hexagon Starter Kit and it's off to the races!  I plan to work my way through my entire scrap bin for a one-of-a-kind hexagon quilt!  In the photo above are my first 6 hexagons - so easy and so fun with Pam's instructions.  The hexagon sitting by itself on the bottom came with Pam's kit which is so helpful!  Been wanting to make these like I have?  Go have a peek and see how easy and fun it is!
You've seen me post this quilt before, but check out the little figures on top of the rack!  They are from a local artist and I've begun collecting them here and there for different seasonal displays! 
I took my camera with me the other day on my daily walk.  The leaves are changing must faster this year, and oh, so beautiful!  Here are 3 of the 4 Dogwoods in front of the house.  Soon there will be nothing but the red berries left and the Flicker's will be feasting until they are gone!
Our mailman told me this bush is a Euonymous.  There are many different varieties but this one that turns red in the fall is all over town.  I'll be looking to plant one at the Squash House!
I loved this Colorado Blue Spruce covered with leaves fallen from another tree.
And how nice it would be to sit on this bench with a hot cup of tea and your favorite quilting magazine on a sunny, fall day! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Autumn Touring

Gosh - I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted!  Where does the time go.  A while back Mr. Squash and I went to Leavenworth, Washington for a little Autumn getaway!  I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the places we stopped.
This is Prey's Fruit Barn - a longtime staple in the area.  They always have so many beautiful baskets of flowers out front!
This odd looking fellow greets you at the door.
I picked up some packages of dried 13-bean mix for soups here and a few apples.  We'd never seen this variety before - and they were HUGE!  One apple could have served 4 people!  It wasn't the best we'd ever tasted, but it's always fun to try a new variety.  Click on the photo for the name.
Next stop was another longtime institution - Smallwoods.  They have all sorts of fruits and vegetables from local farms and orchards, a petting zoo and fun things for kids to do!

Here is where they had their pumpkins for sale.  I wish mine were orange, but alas, they're still green and we just had our first frost.  Needless to say, I picked up some that are orange!

They had cute little vignettes all over!
Mr. Squash wants you to meet his new friend - he's great to talk with - never argues and always agrees with what he says!
This was adorable - a cow train for kids!  A few minutes after I snapped this photo, it was filled with little ones going for a ride around the farm!

Don't you just love this huge, red rooster!

Check out this corner of their store - I actually know some very good men cooks - I think they have it all wrong!
This is the main street in Leavenworth.  All the buildings are made to look like you're in a Bavarian Village - it's what attracts everyone.  They even play Bavarian music on loudspeakers all over town!  We had a lovely trip and the weather was perfect!

On the way home we stopped at one of our favorite nurseries.  Mr. Squash saw this flag and knew it was perfect for the Squash House!  Every time a group of kids walk past the house we hear all sorts of comments about how cool it is!  Now if I could just get the wrinkles out!  I'm so afraid to iron it and have it melt!

**EDIT** - Thanks to a tip from Kaaren - I've gotten the wrinkles out of my flag - it now looks terrific!  Thanks, Kaaren!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quilted and Bound Labor of Love!

From the moment I saw this Winter Wonderland quilt by Crabapple Hill I knew I had to make it!  Two of my favorite things - embroidery and traditional patchwork immediately spoke to me!  I'd never undertaken anything this detailed but knew in my heart I had to try!  Since our old house was on the market and I couldn't mess up my studio at the time, I thought what better than some lap work to make the time pass.  Oh....and we had a lot of time to pass.  In the many months of waiting for a buyer I was able to complete all the stitcheries.  Then we sold the house and moved to the Squash House.  With getting settled and many non-quilt related projects to take care of first, I didn't think I'd ever get to this point!  But, VOILA - here is my beauty all ready to snuggle under for a warm winter's rest!
Mr. Squash is my quilt model here.  I used Quilter's Dream Wool batting (my favorite) which makes it heavy and difficult to hold up for very long.  Great job, Mr. Squash!
Here it is on the bed.  It's not a sunny day here, so the lighting isn't optimal, but feel free to click on any photo for a better look!
I used Isacord on the top and bobbin - I love how it just melds into the batting.  While I would have loved to try some custom quilting on this, I knew it might be another 3 years before I'd finish, so I opted for a panto called Blowin' Wind by Jodi Beamish at Willow Leaf Studio.
Isn't this just the cutest scene?
I learned a lot making all the different blocks on this quilt.  While I've made most of them before, I learned that perfect piecing is the key to making it all come together.  I found myself remaking several of them as I wasn't satisfied with any of them being a tad off here and there!  I remember after sewing each row together I would run upstairs and tell Mr. Squash that each row was sewing together in perfect precision!  I held my breath on the last row and did a happy dance when it all fit perfectly!
Here is a look at the back.  This panto reminds me of pictures of Old Man Winter blowing a cold breath from his snowy face!

Just now I'm putting another quilt on Vinnie!  It's a secret for now - a very fun Supreme sewing project.  As soon as the pattern is released I can show it to you!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Jack & the Brussels Sprout!

Most of us are familiar with the old Fairy Tale, Jack and the Beanstalk.  It was always one of my favorites.  That, and the tale of Johnny Appleseed.  This weekend I decided it was time to pick our broccoli before the slugs made them a fall feast! 
When I took a look at what was there after the leaves were cut away, Jack and the Beanstalk immediately came to mind! I was absolutely amazed!  From one tiny seed came these enormous stalks just waiting for some of my favorite recipes!  On the left is one plant after the leaves were cut away, and on the right is how they look after I removed the crowns and before I cut away the leaves!
Here is a closer view of those luscious sprouts!  Before I met Mr. Squash I didn't like them at all!  The only way I'd ever had them is when my mother boiled and buttered them.  But Mr. Squash loved them so I wanted to find a way that I would as well.  Thanks to some great recipes from Martha Stewart and others, I've come to know and love these little gems!  By the way, that is celery above the sprouts - I had completely harvested them earlier this summer, but they came back again!  How I love the soil in this neck of the woods!
I'm a little slow this year in getting my Halloween decorations up and about, but I did get this little mug rug made for a friend.  I thought it turned out pretty cute - and it was all from stash!

Tomorrow we're heading to Leavenworth, Washington for a couple of days.  We might even fish the Icicle river one day if the weather is good.  We'll also visit a couple of farm stores along the way and see some fall colors in the mountains.  I'll be sure and take some great photos for you upon our return!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011