I've been busy with my Farmer's Wife quilt without actually making any squares.

another batch

more more hexies

These will go on the back of the quilt.
I love making these hexies, but I'm starting to dread sewing them together....

From back into a front

After I posted this photo on flickr,
so far

Monica of Happy Zombie wrote:  "I would call that a front of a quilt - too beautiful to hide in the back!"  

Suddenly the gears in my head started turning and I realized that the quilting pattern I was designing for the front of the quilt would totally ruin the back of the quilt. 

And here I was, trying to be diligent in finishing projects on my list and I had an accidental extra quilt in my WIP's.  As I added some more strips to the quilt, I pondered.  I designed that "backing" for Henry.  The red, yellow and orange make up a "fish" in the center.  The blues are water (of course) mixed with bubbles (possibly Henry's second love after water).  If I turned it into a twin sized quilt, the scale of the center block would be too small.  So I held it up on the wall in his room and it is just right as a modern splash of color on his wall. 


So, there you have it.  Another day or two of concentrated quilting with the walking foot and it'll be ready for a binding. 

Though, you'll note that I said "concentrated" quilting.  I'm now distracted by hexies again....

A little off balance

I have set myself a huge challenge for the Farmer's Wife Quilt-a-long.  I've opened up my entire stash to this project so I can sew with whatever inspires me.  I have a lot of difficulty visualizing modern fabrics while I'm looking at the dusky colors in the book, so that is an extra layer of difficulty.  I'm also figuring out the math for the block pieces so I don't have to use the templates. 

And, lastly, I'm trying to make the color and fabric combinations in my blocks not match.  This is hard work!  I have to fight my natural impulse to grab the matching fabrics and purposely make myself uncomfortable.  I have a mix of text fabric, modern designers, Japanese fabrics and 30's reproduction fabrics.  I admire the modern quilters on flickr that put different fabric lines and colors together that I'd never think of.  So I'm trying to imitate that by shaking up my own style and pushing my own boundaries.  I hope that mixing these styles in lots of different blocks means that the whole top will come together better.  We'll see....

Anyway, here is my next batch of Farmer's Wife blocks:

farmer's wife sampler, block 6

farmer's wife sampler, block 9

farmer's wife sampler, block 12

farmer's wife sampler, block 68

farmer's wife sampler, block 111

farmer's wife sampler, block 7

(I wish that reds, oranges and purples photographed better with my camera.)

So, that is the task I have in front of me.  How do you like to play with color?  
How do you challenge yourself?

I really am curious.

random tidbits...

The sewing has slowed down, but for a good reason. A dear friend is moving away :( but she has generously given us some great furniture which means that my craft room has two new gorgeous wood tables. This round oak table is so beautiful that I may start taking more photos in my studio. I'm stripping the old finish off of the leaves and stripping the other HUGE table, but still fitting in a little sewing.
new sewing table

Lots of summer play in the backyard. This sandbox trick kept him occupied for a little while....
one way to keep him occupied

Even more bike rides in the trailer with Ben. Wouldn't it be fun to have your own chariot to whisk you around town?
bikeride and a graham cracker

Lastly, Henry has gotten pretty good about helping to put his books away. I think it is hilarious how nearly all of the books end up on one shelf. He concentrates so hard to get them all balanced there. Then when he wants to read again, he pulls one of the bottom books out and twenty books spill on the floor all at once.

So, anything random and/or fun happening with you?

WIP Wednesday #5

Today is another edition of WIP Wednesday hosted at  Lee's place.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

New Projects

name block
Tina's Quilt

Currently in Progress

for Lauree
cocorico bee--September's block plans

plus 2 other bee blocks.

Farmer's Wife Quiltalong--18 out of 111 blocks done.  I've picked out my fabric for 10 more blocks, but no time to sew them.  I have made quite a few more hexies for the back of the quilt.
hexies for the back of my farmer's wife quilt

Fandango Cooperative Quilt--I just picked that dot fabric on the left for the backing of this quilt.  I think the brown will go in a stripe across the back and maybe be used for the binding.
backing choice

Henry's I Spy Quilt --The top is finished and I think I have my quilting plan all set.  I'm piecing a huge improv log cabin block for the back.  Don't ask me why I have to make the quilt back complicated, too.  I have no explanation for it.
so far

sparkling pond
Sparkling Pond --This quilt is still on vacation for a little while.


Ruby--still on vacation as well.

Languishing on the Sewing Table:  All of the following projects have not been touched in weeks or months, so I'll just quickly list them here:

tiny housesTiny Houses May Moms Quilt

top left cornerSew Buzzy Bee Quilt Top

all sewn upDresden Quilt

hexies!Hexie project

i spy stackI Spy Quilt for a gift

red and pink wipPink and Red Baby Quilt

hand pieced ball wipHand Pieced Ball

dream on postage stamp wip
Dream On postage stamp quilt along

Finished This Week

Mom's Crazy Late Christmas Gift--DONE!!!  But still no photos!  :(  This is the second time that I forgot to take pictures after I gave a gift to a family member in Green Bay.  I just can't drive back three hours for a photo...

growth chartHenry's Growth Chart--I finally finished this and hung it in his room today.  The pattern is from Stitch Magazine, Spring 2010.

New Projects: 1
Finished Projects: 2
Bee Blocks:  3

Total Works in Progress (current and old): fifteen!!  I really need to pare down this list of WIP's.  If only to make these WIP Wednesday posts a lot simpler.


Henry has been out paddling in a canoe only 4 times. Twice last year and twice this year. And what a difference that year makes. Last year he got frustrated that he couldn't reach the water to splash. This year his hands are in the water the whole time and he is constantly trying to crawl out of the boat to go into the water headfirst.

Last year he slept stretched out in the boat and he didn't even run into me.
sleeping on the paddle back

This year he fell asleep on top my feet and my legs went numb and tingly.
sleeping in the canoe

Last year he sat in my camping chair to play.
squishy face

This year he knows how to really stretch out and lounge.
big guy

The time sure flies by.

Another New Project

I'm incorrigible. I look at my WIP's and I want some of them to be finished, but I'd rather go start on a new project or dream about a new block design.

So, for my friend Tina's birthday, I decided to break out my Anna Maria Horner Good Folks and Kona white and start making some word blocks. I'm not completely clear with where this quilt is heading--more words? crazy sampler? paper pieced pictorial blocks? either way, these blocks fit her style and I look forward to what ideas come next.

name block

name block 2

Summer Adventures

Wisconsin State Fair sign

Whew!  I'm back from vacation and back in this space, too.  The sewing room was busy before I left and the cutting table has been crowded since I came back, but I did not work on any projects for four whole days while we were out of town.  Occasionally worked on some sketches, but mostly it just felt good to be focused on my family.

One of our adventures this last week was a trip to the Wisconsin State Fair with my friend, Tina. We did not try the deep fried butter, but we checked out the pig races,
racing pigs

 did some goat petting,  and some sheep, pig, cow, rooster and rabbit viewing,
pet goats!


ate a corn roast,

one of us took a too-short nap,
nap at the Fair

and three of us split one huge cream puff. 
cream puff splendorcream puff maniac

I'd never been to the State Fair before, but we had a grand time. Next year I may try to enter something in to the fair to be judged. Maybe a quilt or a knitted item or something from my garden.

What about you? Have you ever been to your state's fair? What was your favorite exhibit? Have you ever entered a craft or vegetable or an animal? I'd love to hear more about it.