Saturday, October 22, 2011

Combining Soybeans

It is that time of year when we harvest the crops that were planted last spring.  John and his crew have been working on combining the soybeans and corn since the last of September.  This year I have not been driving the grain cart like I have done in past years.  John is trying to get along without me since this makes me so nervous driving large equipment.  He has part time help from 3 other guys so it is working out so far anyway.

I took these photos a week ago as the clouds were building in the east and the afternoon sky was so dark in that direction.  We didn’t get any rain from those clouds so they just kept harvesting.  This has not been the best harvesting year for John this year has he has had multiple breakdowns on the combine.  It seems like several times a week he is taking the machine apart to fix or replace a broken part.  One breakdown he called the dealer about 1 1/2 hrs. away for the part and the only two parts the guy found were 1 1/2 hours away the opposite direction and one in Toronto, Canada.  I volunteered to go get the one in Toronto (ha, ha) but he opted to drive and get the one closer by.  Needless to say when you have breakdowns the crops don’t get harvested and everyone gets anxious.  After all, that is our whole income for the year just sitting in the field and it could get damaged and destroyed by one weather event….hail, strong winds to name a few.  The winds were strong for several weeks and the crops so dry there were lots of fires caused by machines over heating so that was a worry for all the farmers too.  We had a little rain last week, enough to dampen the stalks so hopefully the fire danger isn’t so great now.  IMG_4887
This field is planted all to soybeans and is 1/4 of a section (1/4 of a square mile) so the rows are long.  When John is at the far end I can hardly see him but do see the dust and debris flying so can pinpoint where he is.  Aren’t the clouds magnificent and a great contrast to the golden color of the soybean field?
IMG_4892 IMG_4900
Since I am not in the field I am doing more cooking for the meals I deliver to the field each evening.  The guys all take sack lunches for their noon meal so I try to fix something hot in the evening.  There is a stipulation that the food I take can be eaten while holding it in their hands….no forks or spoons.  They want to keep working so need finger foods to eat.  I have been trying to be real creative by seeing what I can fix in a sandwich, bun or tortilla to mix up what I take to them.  So far I have had no complaints.  I have packages of cooked meats in 4 servings each in the freezer so I can pull out different things to fix each night.  If you have any suggestions please let me know as I am always looking for something new.

Until later,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Busy Hands

I can not just sit and watch TV and not be doing another activity at the same time….I get fidgety.  I will read the daily paper, read a book, work Sudoko puzzles, browse the internet, hand quilt or knit to name a few.  I glance up at the TV screen when something catches my notice but a lot of time is spent on the other activity instead of watching the TV program...I just listen instead.

I realized I had not done any knitting for a while when a friend mentioned she could sure use a new dishcloth as the one I had made her a while ago was getting worn out.  I love this knitting pattern and can knit it up on short order so started knitting on some of the cotton yarn I have on hand.  I use the pattern Grandmothers Favorite and Sugar N Cream yarn. 

It had been a while since I had done any knitting so needed to refresh my memory.  I only have knitted squares or rectangles so am not an expert knitter by any means.  I have this website Knitting bookmarked so referred to it again.  It has lots of short videos that show all the things you need to know to start knitting and I have played them over and over.  When my niece first taught me the basics of knitting when she was 13 (she is now 18) she taught me the English method where you carry the yarn in your right hand.  At the time it was really awkward for me so used the Knitting website to teach myself Continental method where you carry the yarn in your left hand.  This seemed more natural for me as I am left handed.  I have knitted this way ever since….until now.  This week I looked at the English method of knitting videos again and switched how I knit and this time the English method didn’t feel so awkward.

I think it will be easier for me to do the Purl stitch (if I ever want to do something different) using the English method as it was hard for me to do it with the Continental method.  You have to bend your index finger over the knitting needle to do it and I was always loosing my stitch.  I thought I might have trouble switching but it went ok.  I did find that I knitted this dishcloth rather tight so might need to use one size larger needle to get the size I want, but  I also might knit looser after a few more hours of knitting in this new method for me too.

Until later,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bernina Sewing Machine Foot for Sale

I have a Bernina foot #22 for sale….Why do you think I might be selling this great 3 cord couching foot?  Well, I just discovered that I have two of the same foot for my Bernina sewing machine.  How could I have purchased two of the same foot?  After much pondering I figured out I had it on my running Paducah list and but didn’t remove it after I purchased it locally so bought a second one.  Must be loosing my mind as I didn’t remember I had bought it already so while in Paducah last spring I just purchased another one.    I keep a wish/shopping list on my computer that I add to during the year so when I go to Paducah I have a list of things I either want to buy or things I want to find and see in person then decide if I want to buy them.   
Here are the two wonderful Bernina foot #22 feet and the two instruction sheets to prove how forgetful I am.  Have yet to use the foot except to experiment with but plan on using it on the current wall hanging I am making for our guild challenge.  Click on the links to take you to the Bernina web page with a short video on using this foot.

The foot I now own two of is the foot #22, which is a 3 cord couching foot with the instruction sheet.  I had taken the foot out of the bubble packaging and thrown it away several weeks before I realized I had two of the feet so don’t have the original packaging but do have the instruction sheet.  This foot will fit both the 5mm and the 7mm machines.

If you are in the market for this foot I am offering to sell it for $35.  I am giving you a good deal and charging myself for a bad memory as I paid $40.39 for it originally.  I will pay the shipping for anyone in the US too, sorry I just can’t pay to ship it internationally.  Please email me or leave a comment on this blog post if you would like to take me up on this great deal as I have my eye on another foot or two I would like to get for my machine and selling this would help me to getting one of them. 

Still quilting on my challenge quilt – would like to share but just can’t until spring since it is supposed to stay a secret.  Hopefully I will have something else to blog about soon as a week between posts is just way too long.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Views

The view from my sewing room window these fall days is so pretty.  A friend gave me starts of three colors of mums last spring and I planted them at the base of this maple tree.  As I sit at my sewing machine I can look out on this pretty sight.  You can see my sewing machine in the forground and my relatively clean sewing table. IMG_4921The bright spots of color are a beautiful scene and were planted just in that spot so I could see them from my machine.  This time of year most of the other flowers have stopped blooming or are looking rather spent so seeing some new blooms and a big ball of those blooms is very cheery.

The day I took these photos it was misty off and on so some of the close-up photos have moisture on the petals but think they turned out pretty.  Love flower photos!IMG_4902

I do want you to know I have been sewing but can’t show what I am working on right now.  Our guild challenge this year is to use a quilt panel, use at least one other fabric with it and to do more than just quilt and bind the panel such as piecing, applique, embellishments, etc.  Anyway, I got an idea to finish one of the panels I have so just had to start working on it while the idea was fresh in my mind.  It is not due until our May meeting and for me to be working on it this early is unusual – I am usually a last minute gal, finishing up right before something is due instead of months early. 

I know one member of my guild reads my blog occasionally so I am not posting any photos until after the big reveal since one of the challenge rules is to keep it a secret until the reveal in May.  That is probably the hardest rule to keep as I really want to show my quilting friends in my guild, you know how excited you can get about a project and sharing it can really be great.  I am just going to have to delay my show and tell of it though…sorry.  I can tell you that I am machine quilting it now after I finally came up with a quilting design.  I had it basted for a few days just waiting for the quilting plan to gel.  I do love machine quilting so this is the fun part!

Until later,

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quilt Gathering

Recently on a beautiful Saturday afternoon the Nebraska State Quilt Guild held what they call a “Quilt Gathering.”  These gatherings are held around the state in different areas, are free to the public and have programs of interest to quilters.  The events are planned by the district representatives and the one just held in my area was planned by a good friend of mine and the other district rep. plus my friend volunteered to be one of the presenters for our afternoon program.

The theme of the afternoon was “Crazy Quilts” and my friend Gloria has been making crazy quilts for quite a few years and has made some very beautiful examples she showed that day.  She had lots and lots of examples of things you can do to manipulate fabric, trims, and embellishments and told how she stitches it all up into a beautiful creation.  Gloria likes to work on the sewing machine but does hand stitching too and the quilts she has made using these techniques are stunning.

The second half of the program was given by Terry Melby from Kansas.  She has been doing crazy quilting” for many years but she loves doing her work by hand.  She had  many lovely panels to show and pass around for the audience to get a close look at.  She said she has certain size picture frames that she displays the crazy squares in her home.  The finished work is stretched over stretcher frames that fit the picture frames so she can change them out and rotate the squares – a very good idea.  Her work is exquisite, and full of all kinds of fabrics, trims and hand embroidery stitches, a real inspiration.

We all enjoyed both programs – good to see both machine and hand work on the same subject with the two presenters.  I enjoyed them both but to be honest I probably will never get hooked on it in either form.  I have done one small crazy quilt wall hanging for one of my daughters and husband after they got married.

It has been so long ago – finished it in 2002 – but think the blocks are about  8”.  One blocks depicts my daughter, one about her husband, one about their wedding and the last about the two of them together.  I did the embroidery stitching on my sewing machine and used trims and embellishments on the blocks.  There is a piece of lace trim I tatted in one of the blocks, fabric from the bridesmaid dresses, photos printed on fabric and charms to depict them and their lives.

After making this wall hanging I decided I really did not enjoy working with the satins, silks and velvets in the crazy quilt format.  I tied it by stitching from the back  into the seams so the ties wouldn’t show.  Maybe I would feel differently now but I really have no desire to do another crazy quilt but I do enjoy looking at the detailed work of others so the afternoon program was very enjoyable.



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