Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Unbelievably Hectic

That would be the only way to describe the last four months here on Dogwood Lane. One would think that living in the country would mean a peaceful, slow paced kind of life but that just has not been the way the way things have worked out this summer. Those of you who have been long time followers have noticed my absence in the blogosphere and have wondered what had become of me so let me re-cap for you:

MAY saw me afflicted with a case of the shingles. Not something I wanted to broadcast or particularly wanted to write about. Yes, I did get the shingles vaccination about five years ago but unfortunately I am one of the unlucky 30% of the vaccinated who are destined to get the pox anyway! It's over for now but it did make for an uncomfortable, in fact painful and debilitating month.

JUNE was a glorious, happy month celebrating the birth of our darling grand daughter Eve and the second birthday of big sister Paige. I was away from home for three weeks attending to those momentous events. So blessed.
JUNE also saw the kitchen re-model about which I have written quite a bit. If you're tired of hearing about this kitchen I'm sorry but you can't be half as tired as I am. This project just goes on and on. You know how one thing just leads to another? It's a domino effect where as soon as I think we're finished another must do renovation rears it's ugly head! Truly, I love how the whole thing has turned out and I THINK we're done at last. I have some nice side projects coming up to tell you about. 
JULY was taken up with more home renovation and a much needed time out for a wonderful family vacation. Our three sons, their wives and children joined us in Mammoth Lakes, CA for a week of hiking, pool lounging, swimming, boating, laughing and just being together. It was a wonderful, relaxing time. Even 6 week old baby Evie joined us on our hikes! Can you see her little head peeking out from her mommy's front pack?
lft to rt - Jody, Claire, Owen, C.P., Zack, Josiah, Josh, Jedidiah, Chris, Liam, Megan, Eve, Paige
This trip was the highlight of my summer! There just is nothing better than spending time with my family and it's a rare event that brings all of us together. An entire year's planning went into this vacation I can tell you.
On the trail to somewhere great!
AUGUST has brought the usual land management challenges and preparations for the annual Dowell Brothers visit.  My husband's four brothers, two nephews, one significant other and a long lost male cousin made the trek to Dogwood Lane to practice some backwoods crafts and make some family recipes which include gutta and buttermilk pie. What you may ask is gutta? Gutta is a German dish made from ground pork, beef and oats which are boiled together and then fried. Their mother made it all the time when they were growing up and they have a fondness for it. Needless to say you cannot buy gutta in any store that we know of unless you live in Cincinnati, OH. It's very popular in Ohio evidently, where they have gutta festivals. Go figure... Anyway, lot's of testosterone and lot's of laughs flying around for a few days. We really enjoy it when the Dowell boys are in town!
jft-rt nephews John & Jake, husband Chris, cousin Tony, brothers Steve, Mike, Tim, & Larry, friend Suzanne
This finally brings me to today. A new day in a new week. Chris and I are planning a BIG trip in a couple of weeks but for now we're home and back to a our regular and slower routine. What has your summer been like? If it's been anything like mine you need a break!!

Until next time,

Monday, August 4, 2014

Baby Quilts From Panels

I'm sure you've noticed that there's been precious little sewing going on around here the last two months. Lots of good reasons for this of course - new grand baby, new kitchen, summer fun in general. However I did manage to pop in to my Nellies meeting mostly because it was my turn to lead the monthly activity and get some quilting in. Yippee for me!

The projects we worked on were donation quilts for children using polar fleece throws from Ikea. These throws are the backing and self binding for each little quilt with no batting needed. The size of each fleece is 51 X 67" so they're a nice manageable size to quilt through and can be used for anything from a baby quilt to a lap size quilt. At only $3.99/@ a real bargain for our Christmas Basket donations this year. 
Jeannie and I were in charge of this activity and so we purchased about 20 fleece and put together kits which included a child friendly panel and border fabrics. Some of the panels were appropriate for boys, girls and babies. We tried to cover all age and gender groups. The fleece come in a variety of colors although the only pictures I seem to have are of the white ones.
Here's a panel I finished in about an hour with a turquoise fleece which will be cut to about 1/2 inch larger than the quilt, then I'll do some simple quilting and the back will be brought around to the front to create a binding which I'll stitch by machine. Simple, quick, washable, warm and really cute.
Here's a pieced flannel baby quilt which I'll finish the same way. So warm and cuddly.

If you're anything like me you struggle to get those purchased panels straight. They just are not always printed straight and the more we cut the worse it gets. Here's a video from the Fat Quarter Shop that really helped me with that pesky problem.

So I haven't been in the sewing room as much as I would like but I have been getting a little bit done with needle and thread and I hope to be spend more time soon doing what I love most. Linking up to Design Wall Monday for the first time in over a month, *sigh*.

Until next time,