Monday, March 18, 2013

:: Weekending in the mud

Our weekend went a little bit like this:
We began work on building our chicken coop.  It was the first weekend that Josh wasn't working, or it wasn't blizarding.  However, mud was our constant friend.  Mud covering everything.  Mud squishy.  Mud dried.  Mud tracked into the house.  Teaching children to take off muddy boots BEFORE entering.  =)  Thankfully this past week I decided to embrace the fact that we live in mud, and finally broke down and bought rubber boots for every member of our family at our local feed store.  Makes sense, huh?  To be able to hose the mud off the rubber boots, rather than off every other pair of shoes in the house?  Don't know why it took me 3 painful years to realize this.



The first day this was the only dry spot to set him down
An indoor reprieve from the mud

On Sunday afternoon my Dad made a surprise visit, with his work boots on.  He helped Josh put up the roof beams (I think they're called trusses?), so I didn't have to be the one up on the ladder.  (thank you, Dad).

 Overall, we are excited about the progress.  Encouraged by the hard work and time together as a family.  And grateful the mud is slowly drying up.  Until the next snowstorm, that is.

Monday, March 11, 2013

:: Just Hatched

The day our family has been eagerly awaiting came this weekend.  I got a phone call from our local feed store Sunday afternoon, telling us our 35 baby chicks had just arrived.  We got a mixture of layers: 20 Black Star, and 15 Barred Rock.


There is nothing in the world like the downy softness of a baby chick.  I wish you could hold them, too.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

:: Obsessive

It seems like the last couple weeks I've pendulum swung between 2 things:  sewing like mad or desperately needed de-cluttering (my kids are scared I'm gonna throw all their toys away while they sleep!).  So either I de-clutter (kids toys, the tupperware cupboard, the linen closet) or I stay up sewing late at night.  When it comes to de-cluttering, I've really embraced the less-is-more mentality.  It's the first time I've thrown AWAY tupperware, and stuck only with the stuff we regularly use. (who needs 30 clean baby food jars, anyways?) It's quite freeing, really.  I ask myself: have I used it in the last year?  If not, it goes - either to Goodwill or trash.

The husband has been working lots (and lots) of late nights, which then results in lots of late nights for me doing my favorite thing - sewing.  And these Farmer's Wife blocks are just too fun!   (Note: I did update my last post - switched around a few blocks) 

Here are the next 14.  (Told you I was obsessively sewing late at night!)
Block 7 - Birds In the Air

Block 8 - Bouquet

Block 9 - Box
Block 10 - Bowtie

Block 11 - Broken Dishes

Block 12 - Broken Sugar Bowl

Block 13 -Buckwheat

Block 16 - Calico Puzzle

Block 17 - Cats and Mice

Block 18 - Century of Progress (I switched this one up a little)

Block 19 - Checkerboard

Block 20 - Churn Dash

Block 21 - Contrary Wife

Block 22 - Corn and Beans

At this rate I'll be done by - oh - next week.  And I'll also be dead - from lack of sleep.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

:: A farmer's wife

Have you ever heard of the Farmer's Wife Quilt-Along?  Awhile back it was all over some of my favorite blogs, so I requested the book from the library.  I was fascinated reading it.  The background on it:  In 1918 World War I ended;  1920 saw women with the right to vote; during these changing times:

Society was also beginning to see a change in young women's behavior, exemplified by the 'flapper'; and all were not pleased.  In 1922, The Pittsburgh Observer noted, "a change for the worse during the past year in feminine dress, dancing, manners, and general moral standards," and warned against any '
"failure to realize the serious consequences in immodesty in girl's dress."

City people believed the farm woman to be a drudge and slave - that she was miserable and would be anxious to leave, if given the chance for a new live.  However, The Farmer's Wife (popular women's magazine with approx 750,000 subscribers), believed this to be far from the truth. 

So the editors of the magazine asked their readers a question: "If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in light of your own experience, want her to marry a farmer?" 

The editors asked participants to "consider this question in all its angles.  Talk it over with your husband, your children and your friends.  Consider not only the financial side of the question but the moral and physical viewpoint and the things that make for real happiness.  You wish the best things in the world for your children.  Would your daughter as a farmer's wife be better off - all things considered - then she would be in the city or town?"

The magazine offered cash prizes for the best 68 answers submitted.  By the end of the contest... the editors were overwhelmed with the response from over seven thousand readers.  When the opinions were tallied, it was found that the editors were correct: 94% of farm wives stated that they would, indeed, want their daughters to marry a farmer. (excerpts from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt, by Laurie Aaron Hird)

The rest of the book contains the many letters submitted by these farmers wives, as well as the 111 quilt blocks they inspired.  You really should read these letters.  They are fabulous.  So many of these ladies re-affirming what is really important in life.  I found it amazing that women (even back then) felt the pull from the world, and the need to try to keep the important things...important.

These small 6" blocks are so fun to make!  I was inspired by Camille's beautiful Farmer's Wife Quilt, and followed her method, which was quite helpful.  It's so fun to pick through small scraps, and make these.  Here's my first 6 blocks.

Block 1- Attic Windows
Block 2 - Autumn Tints

Block 3 - Single Wedding Star (actually block 80)

Block 4 - Basket Weave

Block 5 - Bat Wing
Block 6 - Big Dipper

So... 6 down, and only 105 more to make!

Modern Pearls Quilt Along - Week Four (the finish!)

Good Morning, friends!  It's the fourth (and final) week of our Modern Pearls Quilt Along, and this is where all those 9 patches start t...