Sunday, March 4, 2012

Winter Chores, Charity Quilt, and Iowa Quilt

We had a bit of a surprise snow today, it seems our winter just decided to come a little late.  As I type this, however, the evening weatherman is telling me it will be almost 70 degrees by Tuesday. Iowa weather is so strange. 
I snapped this photo of Ryan coming in from evening chores, sometimes it seems like my life is just perpetually waiting for him to get in from chores! I tried to get a picture of the black and white cows against the white snow, but they were over the hill and not very easy to photograph from the house. 
The green bucket is the feed bucket for feeding the layer hens (with the red feed scoop sticking out the top), and the blue bucket holds today's eggs. We didn't have a lot of luck with the traditional wire egg basket, they tend to break eggs. Plastic is much more forgiving in this case!

I try to make quilts for our guild to give to charity, it is one of the directives of the guild that we create quilts for people in need. So I recently finished a disappearing 9-patch made of some garage sale scraps.
It's a variety of calicos, which are oddly coming back into fashion. What goes around, comes around, I guess. 
I used the opportunity to practice making feathers, and I know I improved through the practice. It's about a throw-sized quilt, and I'm not sure where it will go. But I hope whoever gets it likes it!

Last weekend was the semi-annual quilting retreat, where I finished my oldest UFO (UnFinished Object). I started this quilt in 2006 at my very first quilt retreat. I quilted it on my Bernina Activa 130, no longarm machine here!
It's a monster, at 109" square. But it's finally done! It has a lot of techniques that were my first time trying them. This was my first attempt at half square triangles, machine applique, trapunto, and hand applique.
It has 4 Iowa flowers as its theme: Wild Rose, Black-Eyed Susan, Virginia Bluebell, and Iris. 
Here's the black-eyed susan trapunto and a sample of the machine quilting. Lots and lots and lots of little loops. Did I mention lots? I quilted this thing for 3 days straight, about 15 hours a day, and I had started quilting it at last fall's retreat. I'm so glad it's done!!! I was calling out when I finished bobbins (and my fellow retreaters were great for cheering for each one to keep me going), and we estimated this thing took about 20 bobbins to quilt. 
The center medallion is a picture of the bridge in Madison county where Ryan and I were married. Here's the other hand applique themes:

I am proud of this quilt, but I also know my skills were not as good when I made it as they are now. It was never intended to be as big as it turned out, it just happened that way. As you can see, it's too big for my queen sized bed and is really intended for a king. So I'm glad to get it off my plate because I feel I can go start more new projects!

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