Winter and the Homestead

The first day of winter may be on December 21, 2019, but today felt like it hit. What a surprise to wake up this morning and find it was actually cooler in San Antonio, Texas, than here in Maryland. I’m a pretty easy going girl for the most part, but let me be cold and I’m like a toddler who you gave a green instead of a pink sippy cup with their goldfish! I don’t like being cold at all. I love the outdoors, on a perfectly beautiful 76 degree day. Ok, I’m not that picky but I like warmth. Today is not that day and I couldn’t ingest enough coffee to keep the heat running through my veins.

After a brief time at the shop this morning I decided to head out to pick up one more water heated bucket and some feed for the horses. Upon the return home the temperatures continued to drop, so off to the barn I traveled to attire everyone in their blankets. Zach, Major, Lacey, Sarge, Squirt were all perfectly behaved and ready for warmth. Then there was Cider, in her usual tart self deciding to stand in the pasture than be forced to come in for some big monster that would wrap around her and cause warmth. It’s amazing what a little coaxing with a bucket of alfalfa pellets can do for a food-driven horse. Before long she was clothed for the cold night ahead. Once the boys and husband arrived home, the barn was all tightened up. By the end of the evening, all were tucked away in their stalls or barns, including Buddy, Sampson, and Napoleon.

Since I am miserable in the cold, you can regularly find me in front of my sewing machine creating away. The heater will be on, the TV replaying my favorite shows as I listen to them, and the colors of the fabric being stitched together under a speedy needle. I’ve been trying to steal any chance I can as of lately, and last weekend I decided to go with a Top Secret mission to knock out a Quilts of Valor styled quilt for my Veteran husband. Of all the quilts I have made over the years, I had never made one for him, until now. On Thursday I took the shirt from one of his prior uniforms, picked out fabrics at the store, and went to work. On Friday, I co-hosted the Sip ‘N Sew which gave me almost 4 hours of straight quilting time to get as much done as possible. Finally on Saturday, between customers I was able to finish the top. An estimated seven hours from cut to finished top, and a Quilt of Valor for the husband was done. For anyone who thinks they can’t knock out at top over a weekend, YES YOU CAN! The pattern I used is from the Quilts of Valor book, and titled Red, White, and Blue Forever. I incorporated his uniform into what would have been the solid white squares.

Other than knocking out the Quilts of Valor in a super secret mission, I’ve had a few other projects under my needle as well. As I am preparing for an upcoming Beginner Quilting class I will be teaching, I took care of making my samples so they are ready for the students to see the end project. This pattern is called Fraternal Twins Table Runners by Cut Loose Patterns. I am very much looking forward to teaching others my love of Half Square Triangles and finishing options. As you can see I finished these two off with Westalee Rulers. I am very much looking forward to this class with hopes that I will be able to inspire someone to love quilting as much as I have.

The final project I tackled was one of my most recent favorite projects, a pattern called Hot House from Bluprint, using Tula Pink fabric. I pieced and quilted this one here at home, but had been pushing it aside thought it only needed the binding applied. So I decided to put it under my Janome Continental M7, changed out to the HP plate and foot, and went right to work applying the binding. The feeding system was once again impressive as it easily fed the quilt and binding easily through the machine to complete a beautifully finished edge. Every time I sew with this machine I fall in love with it more and more and more.

So what is next under the needle? A couple of projects. First up will be to complete the next lesson for the Westalee Quilt As You Go that I will be teaching 3 separate classes on this weekend. After that I will be taking on a quilt I have designed in Electric Quilt 8 to showcase the beautiful fabrics from Windham Fabrics. The line is Pottery by the Quilting Cowboy. I cannot wait to start cutting away on it this weekend. Stay tuned for the sneak peeks. Until then, stay warm in the cold weather, find some fabric to fall in love with, and put it under your needle next. Enjoy the photos from the Pottery collection too!

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