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I was excited to join a mystery quilt group and this one started in January.  I didn’t follow her schedule very well with cutting the first weeks of January as I was trying to get things done before our trip to Ohio.

It is called a Mystery Quilt because the end result is a mystery.  We didn’t see any of the finished quilt or a photo of a pattern.  We had cutting instructions for 2 weeks and then a piecing clue each week.  When a new clue was posted, the old one was removed so we had a week to get our instructions for each clue.

After I had a week home to catch-up and rest, I did my cutting the next weekend.  Just for the neutrals it was 48 pcs this size, 80 pcs another size, and 392 pieces another size!  Plus soloist fabrics.  Whew!

mess 01

I chose to use all neutrals because that plastic bin is grossly (& embarrassingly) overflowing yet there is nothing in there that ever works with what I need it to do.  As well, I’ve liked seeing the low-volume quilts that came around a year or so ago.

fabrics 03

I gathered a big basket of fabrics (closet organizer basket) that were all smaller prints and not many added colors in the fabric.  We also needed a 1 yd piece of a soloist and I chose turquoise and found a piece a bit over 1 yard.

I did all the cutting and did not make a dent in the basket I had cut from and neither from the overflowing bin!

fabrics 02

(Since then I have sorted and pulled some not neutrals that had wandered into the wrong bin and have straightened what is in the bin a bit so it fits better.  There is still plenty!)

fabrics 04

Since I started late, I saw some of the quilts posted in progress.  After 3 or 4 clues had been posted I quit looking at the page so that I wouldn’t waver from my original plan of randomly placing my neutrals and have lights & darks all scattered.

I like my scattered look but also have loved seeing the color and value arrangements others have done.  Such fun to piece the same pattern in a group and see the myriad of options!

I had cleaned up and added new parts to my Featherweight this winter so had it upstairs for the short days and long evenings.  I pieced all of this top on my FW.  It sews a perfect seam.  It is a slower speed than I’m used to and no bells & whistles.  I had to relearn the habit of bring up the needle at the end of my stitching.  :)

piecing on FW 01

The machine was ready but my arranging of my sewing corner was not but it actually worked well with the machine on the library table.

piecing on FW 02

The piecing goes better with the Little Foot I got before they made 1/4″ feet! Yes, there was a time…. LOL!  It is a bit wider than the FW foot and feeds easier.

Here is clue 1 —
clue 01
Maybe this will help explain my scrappy neutrals and the turquoise soloist.  The clues are just 1 page a month (or less) and we are only told where to place the soloist fabric.

(I realized I have a lot of photos so I’ll make this several posts.  Don’t hold your breath …. I’m consistently inconsistent in my blogging… as you may have noticed!)

Guild Challenge UFOs

The D guild has a lot of activities to participate in this year.  One I am working on is the UFO challenge.  At the beginning of the year, we turned in a list of 4 quilts we wanted to finish.   I just made the list off my head, without looking for what I had or was small or far along.

– wholecloth baby quilt
– Texas Swoon
– K’s 1930’s reproduction sampler
– Mystery quilt

I missed one line that the months to show these were specified and I took the baby quilt to show just 2 days before I gave it away in the wrong month!  When you show one off your list, your name goes in for the drawing in December for a good sewing light.

They are kind and checked me off anyway.  I have another baby quilt in progress so for my own sense of self, I may take that for another month to show UFOs.

I had the thought to get out the ’30’s quilt in April to see if I could get the top done for the May meeting.  Hmm… I can’t find it.  I worked in the winter on cleaning in my sewing room.  I didn’t see it then.

So on Sunday, I continued cleaning in there and doing more organizing.  Oh my!  But the tubs are getting stacked and organized and labeled with black sharpie marker on hot pink duct tape!  :)

No 1930’s quilt…..

Finally, a lightbulb lightly flickered in an obscure part of my brain.  I have sewing things in boxes in a storage area (under the light that turns on with switch #4).  By wiggling my way between boxes, rubbermaid tubs, and the curtain/wall, I started peeking in boxes.  I found several sets of exchange blocks just waiting to be joined for many more quilt tops!!

And I found the 1930’s quilt box!

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I have 17 blocks.  ???   I found 2 more in a ziploc that need some hand embroidery so that has moved upstairs for the time I sit down.  Not often.  And then I’ll recount and do a layout and see what I would need to add.

For 3 years I’ve gathered buckeyes off the ground near the fitness center in hopes of growing a tree.

buckeyes 15 01

 

Finally, last fall was the first that any got planted!  P dug a big trench for me near the house & deck where they would be protected and I could know if any came up.  It was even hard for P to dig as we had a dry fall (good for harvest, not for digging) and this was like a brick of ground.

planting fall 2015

 

I did have a day when P was in the field and the dog had something she wanted under the deck and she dug up where I planted the buckeyes.  Most of this digging is on the weed-full side so not such a big deal.  When she moved to the side with my herbs and buckeyes, I wasn’t too happy!

01-horz

I rearranged the dirt and straw for mulch after she was done with the digging/hunting fit and hoped for the best.

This spring I’ve been watching intently and about 2 weeks ago I knew these were buckeyes and not weeds!  They have jumped up out of the ground.  Now about 6″ tall.

buckeyes 02

Two are like this and a third one is struggling and only about 2″ tall.  They haven’t done much in the last week as it has been cold and rainy.

buckeyes 01

I’m excited! The tree at the fitness center is full of blooms right now.  I will nurse them along in this area until they are big enough to be on their own in the big yard.  I assume at least for another winter.

I didn’t do any soaking or turning or starting these inside.  I just put all those in the trench about 4′ long and a good 6″ deep.  Covered them with the clumps of hard dirt and mulch/straw.  I watered them in hopes the ground would settle.

ETA: Here is the mother tree at the fitness center the end of May.
buckeye tree at fitness center

In another generation, someone will be not so happy to have a messy buckeye tree in the yard.  I’ll giggle.

O-hi-O!
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Mother’s Day 2016

5/8

After sleeping in until 8 (me) and 9 (yes, he did! 2 nights of planting until 1 a.m. will do that!), we headed to between here & Miss K for a few hours with her.   Lunch at Longhorn was great!  I was given a gc for a free appetizer through the end of the month.

She brought me a succulent glass planter which I have at the kitchen sink window.  I love it!!  I hope I keep it alive.  Plus the gift bag had new yoga clothes.  Always fun! (tho not modeled for posting!)

09

She helped me with 2 upcoming projects; arranging a sewing area and a quilt challenge.  It is great to have feedback from her!

We found a park via google and hoped for a bench to sit and visit but it was a walking park only.  But so lovely!! A newer section had some newer trees coming along and was surrounded by timber overgrowth which was a good edge and barrier for the local homes.

My requested mother & daughter photo…. of course at the pink flowering tree!

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And then she got silly so I grew taller!

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Then to an older area that was wild timber area and just a dirt path.  The wildflowers were beautiful!!  So fun to see so many blooming!

03Dark wine-colored trillium!

05 b

04Jack-in-the-pulpit!  (I’m not sure I’ve ever seen these in bloom.)
With white violets… we just have purple & mixed purple white in our yard.

And who doesn’t need a cluster of Jacks?!
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We continued on and had a visit over ice cream at an outside table at Culver’s.  They gave me a free sundae for Mother’s Day. Yeah!!  I got to see a project of hers and it was fun to chat about that.

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I drove home and P was asleep before I got out of town!

Once home, we moved the planter and fertilizer tank to the field for Monday morning.  I then got my nap and P worked outside getting other things lined up for planting.  Rain is due again soon.

Planting Begins

4/30
ETA: I fixed the goofed up dates… what happens when I’m trying to catch-up…. which is constantly!

The plan was “I’m going to start planting on Monday (4/25).”  But Saturday… and it seemed all was ready for the planter and the monitors and the tractor so…. out he went!  Yeah!!

Monday & Tuesday (April 25 & 26) were full of issues with this and that but… he said on Tuesday, “God is good.”  So we plant as we are able.  Wednesday he pushed hard but the rain became enough in the early evening that we were done.  And have been out since then.  The rain continued to increase and we had nearly 2″ just on Saturday (4/30)!!  I think some cats & dogs rained down as well!  At this point, maybe this Weds or Thursday he’ll get back to planting.

 

01

The first field he did was here along the lane so I rode along for a bit.  (He hates selfies but look how accommodating he is getting!)  And of course, new additions to the planter and a new monitor to figure out and at the end, he laments why he does a field along the highway first! (where others then see if he misses spots!)

Before he started last Saturday, I helped him set the monitors to sync with the GPS to go with the planter & tractor measurements.  Mostly I sit in the cab, punch in numbers, and coach his measuring.

The dog just continues being a dog.  She loves to roll in this dirt!!!

setting GPS

4/21
I’m thankful we have a great Creator who has given us —

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at the fitness center

daffodils

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home

rhododendron

04

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soil for crops,  flowers, and vegetables

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cotton for fabric

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flowering trees

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This is my Japanese Weeping Cherry that we got last year.

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And from the ground up as the blossom clusters hang down!  It was lovely and I was glad it made it through the winter.  Even though the winter was mild for us, maybe that gave it a good start here.  The blooms stayed until we had a big wind with heavy rain.

 

Corn Planting

This has been a cool & wet spring!  Planting has been more than challenging!

01

through dirty tractor windows….

 

Corn was planted on
April 23 – only 5 acres
April 25
April 26
note 8 days off…
May 6 until 12:30 a.m.!
May 7 from 1 p.m. – 1 a.m.!
May 9 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Finished!

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I rode along on 4/23 when he started.

And the rain came at 4:30!!  A half-hour after he finished corn on 5/9.  Whew!  But ugh on more rain.

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Here are some of the monitors, Mom.

So we are stuck here.  No soybeans have gone in yet.

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Somewhere…. over the hillsides….
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