Friday, November 21, 2014

Having Fun with Corduroy!

 Today my friend Stephanie over at Rummage posted a new infinity scarf made from her tutorial that can be found HERE.  I liked the scarf so much that I had to run right down to my LQS, buy some corduroy and make one!
I knew my LQS had a bolt of Soul Blossoms 21-wale corduroy and was hoping it was still there.  Not only was it still there, it was 50% off!  Score! I can't tell you how soft and warm this scarf is!  I can't wait to wear it out!  Check me out on Instagram as well: mrssquash.

Stephanie has written a book called Uncommonly Corduroy.  It has lots of great patterns that can be made from corduroy (or not). I urge you to make at least one item from corduroy! This scarf is a great starter.  Once you work with it you'll find how similar it is to working with flannel - soft, warm and easy peasy! You can find her book HERE.

Mr Squash got a box today.  It was full of these as well as Tastykake pies.  He grew up with TastyKakes and covets them!  They aren't available here on the West Coast - nor had I ever heard of them until we met.  Fortunately his sister knows how much he loves them and sent a box along for Thanksgiving!  Thanks, Barbara!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Corduroy Road - A Supreme Reveal!

This past winter I had the joy of testing another quilt pattern for my friend Stephanie over at Rummage.  As many of you know, Stephanie has a variety of people test her bag and quilt patterns prior to publication,  She calls us her "Supremes".  

As soon as she showed me the prototype I immediately knew what I was going to do with this very special quilt!  You can read all about the particulars of this quilt HERE.  It is also currently available as a pattern from Connecting Threads.

I've tested many bag patterns for Stephanie using one of her favorite mediums, corduroy.  This was the first quilt I made using corduroy.  I must say I was a bit afraid of it at first, but only because I had never made an entire quilt using corduroy.  Let me say, my fears were unfounded!  Corduroy has now become the new flannel for me!  It's easy to work with, puts less lint in your machine, and gives wonderful dimension to your projects!  I really encourage you to give it a try!
On to the quilt!  I knew that I wanted to make this quilt for my dear blogging friend, Pratima, whose blog is Lakumuki.  Pratima and her husband, Kalyan, hail from Hyderabad in South India, although they currently live in the U.S.  Mr. Squash spent some time in India and Nepal and still remembers a good deal of the Hindi language.  We have enjoyed our blogging friendship and hope to meet in person some day!

Pratima and her husband celebrate the Hindu Festival of Diwali, or Festival of Lights each year.  I picked the bright colors in the quilt to reflect my own interpretation of that colorful celebration.

Mr. Squash helped me pick the quilting design, which is aptly called "New Delhi".  The paisleys in the pattern can be found in many Indian prints.

I used a cotton batting from my stash because of the coordinating light pink color.  It really shows off my quilting.  Believe me when I say this is a most warm and cozy quilt!

Here is a closeup.  The color is a bit off, but you can see the embellished paisley.  

I encourage you to make a quilt using Corduroy!  If you need inspiration, Stephanie has written a book called Uncommonly Corduroy with lots of bag and quilt patterns.

Pratima is also posting about this quilt today.  Please visit her blog Lakumuki.  I'm sure she will tell a lovely story as she always does!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Vintage Block Returns as New Quilt!

Before I forget, if you're looking for me these days I'm over on Instagram as mrssquash more often than here (obviously).  I'm actually enjoying the beauty of snapping a photo and instantly posting it.  Never did I ever think that the "instant" way of doing things would be for me, but for some reason this just clicks.  Don't hesitate to give it a try!

A while back I mentioned that a dear friend shared some vintage fan blocks with me.  I immediately fell in love with them and wanted to give them a new life as soon as possible.  Most were hand stitched and most were already made into blocks, but some were not.  So, I decided to give them a good wash and make new setting blocks for all of them.  This was not a task without issue, but I love the result!

Here is the finished top - so far.  I still need to figure out a backing and binding.  I have no idea when the original fans were made - could have been 40's, 50's or even as recents as the 70's.  It seems some of the prints are older than others, but they all play together so well! 
As I mentioned above, this project was not without a few "issues".  Here you can see that two centers are quite a bit off.  I had to do a lot of trimming to get them all approximately the same size, and I knew here and there I would face something like this.  Since this was the most obvious miss match, I'm really not worried about the quilt police coming after me.
This section fits much better as does the remainder of the quilt.  I'm trying to decide whether to bind it using a new print or solid.  Any suggestions are most welcome!
Autumn never disappoints in our neck of the woods.  This year our fairly new maples in the backyard are not playing well together.  The one on the right is taking it's sweet time changing colors.  We don't mind as we just get more color later than usual!

The grape arbor is always so pretty just before the leaves begin to fall.
Yesterday Mr. Squash had his annual Polish Leaf Picking Festival.  If you click on the photo you can see the leaves in the street ready to be picked up by the city.  He'll start all over again when the dogwoods are finished shedding their gorgeous red leaves.  

Don't forget to stop and see me as mrssquash on Instagram!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Squash House Visitors

This past week we had the pleasure of hosting Stephanie and Mr. Creations of Rummage (formerly Loft Creations) here at the Squash House!  We've been able to get together with them in person the past two years, but this was the first time here at home.

Believe me, there was a scurry of preparation to make their stay as comfortable as possible.  It wasn't a long stay, but we managed to make it a memorable one.

We had a little fun on Instagram while they were here.  Since many of you don't post on Instagram, I thought I'd include you! I got us these fun shirts I found on Fat Quarter shop.  Here we are with them on backwards.  We called this first Instagram post - Sew Who?

The next day we put them on the correct way to show everyone See Who!

Of course what does one do when one of your best sewing friends comes to town?  Why go shopping at Stash Fabric store!

The Misters waited patiently in the October sunshine while we shopped!
A few things came home with us like this fun fabric for a future Supreme Sewing Project!
A parting shot the day Stephanie and Mr. Creations left.
All good things must come to an end, but it sure was fun while it lasted!

See you again soon Stephanie and Mr. Creations!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New Supreme Finish!

 Betcha didn't think I'd come back, did you!  With our gorgeous, late summer weather, it was hard, but I'm here to show you my newest Supreme finish!  As you know I test pattern directions for Stephanie over at Rummage.  I am one of several of her "Supremes" who have a lot of fun doing this from time to time.
 Last POST I showed you all the pretty pieces for this quilt cut and ready to go.  Here was the first block - a brightly colored log cabin with a shoofly in the middle!  The fabric was gifted to me by a dear friend and has a wonderful vintage feel to it.
Here is the completed quilt.  Stephanie calls it Flies in the Cabin!  You can see her original quilt HERE - even brighter and oh, so pretty.  There will be a pattern in the coming year, so do check back over on Rummage!  When the pattern is available, Stephanie will have all the details.  I haven't decided what to name mine, but I'm sure I'll come up with something clever.
Here we are still in the late throes of summer, yet one of our maple trees has decided it's time to begin her transformation.  They will both become a flaming red color in the next month or so.  Me.....well, I love our warm days and cool nights and will be very sad to see them go.  I must admit, though, I've worn out my summer shorts and tops and am ready for sweatshirts and jeans.

My blogging has been pretty sporadic the past year or so, but know that I'm not going away.  You can occasionally find me on Instagram these days as "mrssquash", but that will never replace Squash House Quilts.  There are just times when I don't have a lot to say, but that can't last for too long!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pretty Pieces

Just wanted you to know I have not fallen off the face of the planet!  Working on a new project. Check out these pretty pieces all cut and ready to sew.

I'll be back with updates!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Squash House Farm Report

I may have been quiet on the blogging front, but it's been plenty busy here at Squash House Farms!  Mr. Squash and I went away for a few days and when we returned there were lots of things ready to pick.
This is the first decent tomato harvest of the summer.  I plan to make a tomato tart I saw HERE.  The blueberry crop continues to produce!  Mr. Squash has been picking for well over a month now.  I've frozen quarts and quarts of these prescious gems so far.  Needless to say I'll be baking endless desserts this fall and winter!
These cucumbers (English and regular) were just fingerlings when we left Tuesday morning.  Friday afternoon they were ready to pick!
I transformed some of them into refirgerator pickles.  
I harvested my Ginger Gold apple tree on Saturday.  This is the first ever apple crop here at the Squash House!  You're looking at 7 1/2 gallons of these green beauties.  
What do you do when you pick apples?  Make pie!  Ginger Gold's make the BEST apple pie ever.
I'll leave you today with a photo of the full moon between our maple trees.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cozy in Purple Quilted Finish

Last September I finished a quilt top made with a rich purple and lots of Dutch chintz.  You can read more about it HERE.

I finally got it quilted and bound!  If you look at the original finish you will see that it only had borders on one side.  Mr. Squash agreed with me that it needed borders all around.  Thank goodness I had enough leftover fabric!
I photographed this yesterday outside.  There was some unexpected cloud cover which made getting the color just right.
Here is the back taken inside.  It's Kaffe Ombre which as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect backing.  Even Mr. Squash agreed again.  What a guy.
If you click on the photo you can see the quilting.  I did an all over feather which is just right for this quilt.  It will be a gift to a friend who has been ill for some time.  She can snuggle up in it on days when she doesn't want to get off the couch.

Check out my new food dehydrator.  Looks like a space-age UFO, doesn't it.  Once again Mr. Squash came up with a way to use our enormous grape crop this year - make raisins!  I think I'll keep him (wink). I have my first batch going out on his work table in the garage because it generates a lot of heat.  On a 90+ degree day, that isn't good in the house.  If they turn out, I'll give you a peek.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Backyard Friend and Volunteers!

So many of you have commented to say that you enjoy seeing photos of our Squash House gardens.  Now that summer is in full swing, I thought I would take you on another tour.
The other day I was tending to this bed of peas when I noticed this lovely volunteer!  See the pink petunia in the back?  I only grew petunias once and that was several years ago on the opposite side of the yard.  Not sure where this one came from, but I'm happy to see her!
We have alyssum all along the back side of the Squash House beneath my tea roses.  Check out the snapdragon I saw the other evening!  It appears to have been there a while as there are quite a few spent buds to the right.  Something else I've never grown in our yard!
We also have a lot of "friends" this time of year.  See the honey bees on the bird bath getting a little sippa?  I see them every evening when I change the water in the bird bath.
Click on this photo to enlarge it.  Just where the three fences meet is Mr. Squirrel.  He comes over every morning to show us his peanut of the day!  He likes to chatter at Mr. Squash as he picks blueberries and tell him how proud he is to have a whole peanut!
Look at the birdhouse gourd!  There are actually three plants on this trellis and quite a few little gourd-lets!
Here is a closeup of one I took on Friday.  Three days later it is triple this size.
There is another trellis with one gourd and several cucumbers to the left.  This one gets more shade so there may or may not be gourds, but it's very pretty nevertheless.
The echinacea is in fine form!
Check out this hydrangea!  The blooms are not fully open yet, either.  To the right is a European Cranberry.  Soon the berries will be a bright red.
You can see how the berries are beginning their transformation.  After the leaves go, the berries will hang on until next spring when the Cedar Waxwings arrive to have them for dinner for several days.
I love this little garden of bits and bobs.  Oh, look - Mr. Elf has made an appearance!
Love this unusual clematis and the bee balm to the left is just getting ready to bloom.
Our Kiwi is coming through the other side of the fence to highlight the barn quilt!
Back of the house.
Back of the house at another angle.  Mr. Squash ripped up all the alyssum last year including roots as it had gotten too dense.   Didn't seem to phase it at all as it came back again all on its own.
The Autumn Splendor Sedum is getting ready for a Fall showcase with full blueberry bushes in the background.
We asked our lawn/trimming fellow to take off the lower branches of the Yew bushes on the left.  Stray cats have used it as a hiding place to catch birds while they're on the feeder.  I really like the artistic quality of the exposed branches!
We couldn't help ourselves and planted Alyssum under the Western Redbud this year.  
Even though summer has been here less than a month, we are in an unusual heat wave.  Check out the outside humidity on the upper right!  For a while it was even down to 6%.  Today and for up to a week we are supposed to be in triple digits.

Thanks for taking another stroll around the garden with me!