Saturday, December 27, 2014

Living History Farm

For Christmas, our daughter gave us dinner tickets to the Living History Farm in Urbandale, Iowa. We attended a "1900 Farm Dinner" complete with horse-drawn wagon ride, home cooked meal, and history lesson.  It was a fabulous way to spend a brisk winter day.

The house has no electricity, so photos inside were a little more difficult.

Of course, I found the quilts in the house immediately:

Dinner was served family style:

The view from the kitchen:

The elusive farm cat:

My curious horse friend:

And a new lamb!

A pig named Lucky:

And a turkey pardoned by the Governor:

All in all, I'd highly recommend you visit the Living History Farm ( if you get a chance. They have several dinners and lots of programs throughout the year. I know this won't be our last visit!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Clue #4 Link up Party

A group of friends gathered again on Friday to work on Clue #4 of Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery. I appreciated that this one didn't take quite as much sewing, even if they felt a little fiddly to me. Of course, I managed to sew things to the wrong sides almost immediately. I finished sewing all the half-square triangles and made several blocks. Christine, we missed you and hope you're feeling great! Bella, we're looking forward to you joining us in January. (We decided to meet every Friday through January in hopes that would keep us encouraged and get this quilt finished.)  Here's a little parade of our progress:

These are Annette's units:

 These are Donna's units:

These are Jeri's units:

Finally, these are mine:

I don't know what this quilt is going to look like, but I'm loving the results so far! I love all the color combinations. I'm linking up with Bonnie Hunter - head over to Quiltville for a peek at other block units. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Something to Crow About

There's a delightful quilt shop in Springfield, Oregon called Something to Crow About. They have an incredible selection of Civil War fabrics and wool projects as well as everything in between. Something to Crow About has been having a little trunk show of my quilts in their classroom and we've decided to leave those quilts up until after New Year's. Stop on by and tell the girls in the coop that Joyce sent you!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Clue #3 Linkup Party

Another fun day of sewing with friends... even if I felt like I did more "frogging" than sewing! I finally gave up and set it aside for another day and enjoyed everyone else's progress.  I loved that this clue was a little less fiddly. I was a little worried that Grand Illusions was becoming Grand Delusions for me. :)  No worries now though as I'm back on the right track.

Head over to Bonnie Hunter's blog to see more fabulous color choices and progress on this year's mystery.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Color Inspiration

Have you noticed that color inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places? My husband and I were visiting the coast recently and visited the local aquarium.  These are just two of the photos that I took that night. Now that he enjoys woodcarving, we have a lot to discuss when it comes to color, form, function, etc. I'm always looking at items and thinking about shapes and colors; he's always looking at them as potential woodcarving subjects!

When I look at the jellyfish, I see a completely neutral quilt palette. The shades of brown, cream, gold, white... they're all fantastic to me!

When I look at the sea anemones, I see a gorgeous array of blue, purple, brown, green, grey, peach, pink, fuchsia, olive, black, navy, and everything in between! 

How about you? What do you see when you look at this darling seahorse? This tiny creature really made me smile. I've always wanted to make a Storm at Sea quilt. Maybe this will be my color inspiration!

Have you ever made a Storm at Sea quilt? Do you have any advice before I get started? Any favorite methods? I'd love to plan ahead for this one and have a sew-along here on the blog!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Design Wall Monday

You know that exact moment when a UFO becomes a burden? I reached it with this project! I bought a BOM from a shop in Iowa in 2010 and dutifully kept up for a few months. I don't have any idea what made me stop working on this quilt, but I know the one fabric that stands out like a sore thumb may have contributed to my bleh feeling. I figured out the only way to get this thing finished is to put it out where I see it all the time... and it takes up so much space I can't put anything else on the design wall.  I confess, though, that I've already set aside a small piece of batting to tape to another wall! :)

My goal is to tackle this a few blocks at a time. So far, I've cut all the easy outside pieces and the neutrals for two more blocks. My goal is to have it completely finished prior to May 2015. Five years is long enough! Wish me luck.  Today I'm linking with Patchwork Times. Head over there to see more fun projects.

Grand Illusions Clue #2

I invited a group of friends over to sew every Friday through January in hopes of completing our Grand Illusions quilts. People come and go based on their schedules and we have a lot of fun. Last week we worked on Clue #2. Here are some of our results:

I just love the different color combos and can hardly wait for Friday to see our next installment. Hope we're caught up by then... but don't hold your breath! :)

Today I'm linking up with Quiltville's Link Up Party. Head over there to see more great projects!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Grand Illusions Clue #1

Bonnie Hunter's 2014 winter mystery clue kicked off on Black Friday. No shopping or travel for me this year, so I started cutting. I used up black and grey strips from past projects and got everything cut. I had a deadline project to finish, so only made two units. I love these colors together, but may need to change my neutrals... we'll see what happens!

Two down, 98 to go!  

Head over to to see what others have made so far.