Monday, March 31, 2008

In Search of Wild Orchids

Jack and I took a walk yesterday to search for wild orchids that are coming up by our nearby stream. It seems so unusual to me to see something so exotic growing here in Pennsyvania. I have to do some more research into what these plants actually are. There is quite a bit of "skunk cabbage" coming up around them. Jack thought that perhaps they are a precursor to that. If you happen to know what these are, please leave me a comment!

Friday, March 28, 2008


I have been asked by several people...."How was the quilt show?" Well, as I stood with gaping mouth staring at amazing works of fabric art, all I could come up with was.."WOW!" Now I have more ideas than time left on earth. But I am going to try my hardest to think outside the box and get creative with my fabric stash. I actually did not spend my wad of cash as I had anticipated. Funny, when you have money in your pocket that you decide to spend, you suddenly become very picky about what you spend it on. Also the fact that I was totally overwhelmed contributed to my difficulty with shopping. Besides....there are always more quilting shows to come....I have to pace myself!

So, as soon as I got home, I immediately got out the fabric that I had earmarked for a quilt for my daughter Jenn and got to work. This quilt is going to be a patchwork made from 2", 4", and 6" squares and stripes...with coordinating sashing between panels and a few embellished patches just for fun. This picture shows the first panel and one patch onto which I appliqued a coordinating flower. I will put a border in one of the dark brown prints around the entire thing and then finish it with binding in the same fabric as the sashing. This grouping of fabrics is very popular with young gals, it seems.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Today's forcast is rain, rain, rain, but I am not bothered by that in the least. I am planning to drive to Lancaster for a huge quilting show. I am so excited! The laundry and housework are done, so my conscience is clear. I am going to spend my day getting my creative juices stimulated. It is great fun to see the creations of other quilters and stroll down the aisles filled with fabric, patterns and such. Woo Hoooooooo! Off I go with a little stash of cash and my camera......

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Something Different

I needed a quick project over the I tried this. I call it a folded star, but I am not sure what the official name of this is. I used a few Amy Butler fabric fat quarters that I was saving for something small.

Everytime I go into my sewing room I am tempted to start to cut out my next quilt. I am using a group of fabrics in chocolate and aqua that are just yummy. They have been laying there staring at me for a week now...fairly driving me crazy. I just can't seem to gather enough time together for a sewing day. Spring is such a busy time. But, the fabric is not going anywhere; and when I finally have enough time I will begin this next project. Until then...just small things like this hot mat.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This Just Struck Me Funny!

We were hiking through the woods on Saturday and came upon a tree that Jack had decorated years ago. Seems poor Woody caught a cold and has a runny nose! It is good to know that there are spiders out there with a sense of humor.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I am hoping, dear friends, that your Easter was full of blessings. We began ours with our farm animal friends and ended ours with a long drive to take Ryan back to Penn State. It was a beautiful, crisp, blue sky day. Yesterday's snow has melted and there is once again the promise of Spring in the air. The long car ride gave me a chance to count my many blessings. I am so fortunate to have good health, the love of a wonderful man, children who are happily making their own good lives, true friends and the ability to enjoy my varied endeavors. I am a very lucky woman. Life is good.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I finally got a good picture on my first quilt finished and hanging outside the barn....

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I had hoped to take a picture of this quilt outside, but it is way too windy today. So for now, I will post this picture. I am happy with the end result. Saturday I will hang it on the wall of the living room in the farmhouse.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Final Three Blocks

Well, the final three blocks have been made. The sashing and border have been added. Now it is time to assemble the quilt top with the batting and the backing. Then on to the task of quilting it all together. I hope to have this finished by Saturday, so that I can hang this quilt on the living room wall of the farm. This quilt has been so much fun....I could hardly wait to begin each new block before I had even finished the previous one. This has given me much practice in the machine applique technique.

Pretty soon enough blocks to make a quilt.....

This little tractor represents my John Deere tractor/mower and our other two farm tractors. Our favorite is "Tin Lizzy"...a vintage 1950's tractor that still runs, but most of the time serves as decoration by the barn. Our other workhorse is a Cub Cadet that looks a bit more like this quilt block, but is all yellow.

This second block represents the day lillies that grow everywhere around our farm. They line most all of the roads in our county. They are sometimes referred to as sh__house lillies because they would grow around the outhouses on local farms. Regardless of their name, they are quite lovely and add another touch of beauty to the landscape all summer long.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This morning's quilt square commemorates the 100 blueberry bushes that we planted last Memorial Day. We hope to some day have a high enough yield to open a pick-your-own blueberry field. We envision a place where families can come with a picnic lunch and pick blueberries and see the animals. At last week's inspection it seems that all of the plants have made it thru the winter and are starting to show buds already.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Today's Quilt Block

Happy St. Patty's's quilt block has nothing to do with St. Pat's. The inspiration for today's quilt block came from the grape arbor that Jack and I built together last winter and the grape vines that we subsequently planted around it. Last summer we harvested 5 grapes.....yes, I said 5 grapes.....just a taste of what is to come in the future. Hopefully we will have enough grapes to someday produce our own grape jam with the excess.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring Rejuvenation

Saturday was spent outdoors. The weather was warm. The sky was clear. The ground was finally drying out. I spent a good deal of time with the goats...brushing O'Malley and harvesting lots of angora wool, and petting and holding our new goat babies. Jack and the girls and I went for a walk through the magic forest (our 88 acre woods) armed with camera and video. All around us were signs of Spring. Some of the brush was beginning to bud, crocus and snow drops were blooming. The wild orchids had broken through the ground. The moss and ferns were bright green. We picked up a rock and found a salamander...not yet ready to venture out of his protected den.The bluebirds were nesting and all around us were the sounds of birds singing their cheeriest songs to attract prospective mates. It was sunny and delightful....making it almost impossible to bear any return to snowy weather.

Friday, March 14, 2008

More Blocks....

Yesterday's sewing yielded these two blocks, representing the strawberry patch and the pond which is stocked with fish. I especially like the fabric that I found for the is a print that looks just like fish scales to me! I must tell you that this is the second fish that I did. The first one (and they are not quick) I assembled the fish parts and very carefully appliqued and embellished to the wrong side of the fabric. When I realized what I had done, I tried cutting the fish out and using fusable web to adhere it to the right side of another block, but it looked I started from scratch and made another fish. I actually like this one better anyways.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Log Cabin

This patch represents our 200+ year old log cabin that sits by our driveway on the farm. It is very rustic. You can see a picture of it on my farm blog (in the title area).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Another Day.....Another Block

Today's quilt block is in honor of the fainting goats....this one looks a little like Chip.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A New Quilt Takes Shape

I completely finished my first quilt (which I will post as soon as I get it outside for a photo in the sun.) My next quilt is beginning to crystallize in my mind. I am making it one block at the time and designing each block after something significant on the farm. This will be my official Bee Have Acres quilt. Here is what I have come up with so far. I still have to applique the corn and the bluebird blocks shown on the right. And I have more blocks planned...such as a goat, a horse, strawberries, blueberries....and more that have not reached my consciousness yet.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Back Home Again

(This is Andy, my son.)

Wow! What a lot of driving I did. Seven and a half hours to N.C. on Friday and the same on the way home Sunday. But the inbetween stuff made the trip well worth it! It was great to visit with Andy and spend a bit of time together. We took a trip to the Biltmore Estate on Saturday and toured the house and the winery and did a wine sampling. The weather was beautiful....a great taste of Spring. The Biltmore is more like a castle than a house...and the grounds are vast and beautiful. Daffodils and tiny iris were blooming (meanwhile it was snowing back home!).
It is great to be home again and I look forward to Spring here in Pennsylvania!
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