Homespun Gathering

Monday, July 25, 2016

Life Is Peachy

Three weeks ago I visited the Peach Truck.  If you're not from GA, TN, IN, PA and a couple other states you may not have heard of the Peach Truck.  You can find the story online, but long story short I went to a local stop for the Peach (semi) Truck during their 2016 Peach Tour.  I purchased 50 pounds of yummy, sweet, ripe peaches.  They are now all gone.  I'm a little embarrassed to say I ate most of them a few a day.  I did however make one delicious cobbler and one tasty batch of peach salsa.  I had intended to can most of them, but Mom's pressure cooker needed replacement parts.  The rubber had dry rotted over time.  I'm surprised she got as many years out of the cooker that she did.  Well, the replacement parts have arrived and the Peach Truck will be back this week.  Here's to hopefully canning most of those peaches.
Peach Cobbler
The quilting project has resumed, and I'm on schedule to finish the quilt top in about a month.  As a reminder it is my first quilt, and I chose a Double Irish Chain with scanty directions.  Let's just say there has been a lot of online research and patience with myself as I gain experience through mistakes.  
It is advisable to clear your quilting table before going to bed
unless you want your cat to use your pin keep for a soccer ball.
Did the thread get to play soccer too?
I wish I could say I made this mistake only once.
Well it wasn't all hard lessons.
Setting up strip sets for sewing.
Scissors made a great bookmark to keep me straight.
I was watching Eleanor Burns on YouTube to keep me company and give me some courage. 
 Abigail just might be a quilter even though she may not admit it.  The head turned in disinterest as soon as she noticed the camera.  Faker!  This one enjoys keeping me company as I work on the piecing.
I should point out I use my mom's 1963 Singer.  She had a newer machine, and this is the one I grew up with.  It's extremely sentimental, and she figured I'd get more use out of it. Do you notice the duct tape?  That's right.  The thread I chose to use was on a spool too long for my machine.  After reading the manual I believe there may be a gadget in one of my boxes that will allow me to attach the thread vertically.  For now, the duct tape is working quite well.
I had cut and pieced all the strip sets together for the checkered blocks, but there were really bad elbows from the folded portions.  This of course caused width to be completely off.  The strip below was the second set of cutting.  There is still an elbow, but I think I can work with it.
I didn't want to applique 80 2" blocks onto my 8" chain blocks, so I got some grid paper and designed a chain block that could be pieced.  

Sad to say, once I had cut the large middle section I realized the width was an inch too small.  I rolled it up for later use in the checkered border.  The 4" wide strip will easily cut down into 2" squares.  I was a little worried about a stash collection, and I think that is no longer a concern--lol.
Onward and upward.  I began piecing the chain blocks and realized I should have checked my machine first.  Zoiks, the zig-zag was left on!  Ripped that out and moved on.
I got this far and my bobbin thread ran out.  I'm so grateful . . . 
. . . because in the process of reading my manual to remember how to fill the bobbin, I realized my needle was set to the right instead of center.
I thought those seams were awfully skinny.
Skinny seams mean a  bigger block, so I left the completed blocks to be trimmed later.  The two smaller sections were ripped out and re-sewn.  Okay, NOW I was cooking with gas.  It was at this point I decided to stop piecing one block at a time.  Chain piecing one section at a time seemed faster, I found after picking up the completed chain I had created party decorations.  Whahoo!
I was growing tired so chain pieced twenty of the blocks and called it a day.
The next day I loaded some wood for my mother and DS16 and I unloaded it. 
 I won't bore you with why it took me 3 hours to load it, but I am proud to say it took much less time to unload it--less than 25 minutes.
I'm happy to say this load is at the farm, and there are about 5-6 loads the same size still to come.  Mom heats her 207 year old home almost exclusively with wood now.
In other news . . . I was excited the zinnias I had discovered as a seed packet in a new box of rubber gloves actually grew last year.  They were beautiful.  I noticed they reseeded and were coming up beautifully this year.  However, they don't seem to have any intention of blooming and blossoming. :-( Disappointing, but I have learned something about free seeds.
The next day I was back to piecing, and finished the rest of the chain blocks.  Hooray!
40 chain blocks
Alright, I know you've never done this, but sometimes I do things at the end of the day that give me a giggle.  The other night I got distracted by a thought while I was on my laptop, so I propped my Shaker catalog on the screen and started to flip through it. Of course, there was more than the catalog going on in the room at the moment, and at some point I couldn't figure our why the page wouldn't turn.  Um, Judy, your computer is powerful, but the arrow key is not powerful enough to turn a paper copy of a catalog--(smh).
When my grandmother was quilting she had one resource--print.  This book was her's and my mother gave it to me recently because of my interest in quilts and learning how to quilt.  The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America is a wonderful resource my grandmother had picked up from Goodwill for a whopping $2.99.  I have enjoyed looking through it and have recently started reading it cover to cover.  
As I was surfing the other day for all things "quilty" I stumbled on this page.  It turns out this book is a classic, and Barbara Brackman has chosen some of her favorite applique designs and piece accents for a beautiful new quilt. I'm so excited about it, but refuse to make any purchases until the current quilt is completed.  I realize an appliqued quilt may seem ambitious, but if my first quilt hasn't scared me off yet, an appliqued quilt certainly doesn't have a chance.  That being said, it's not the next quilt.
This quilt was made by my mother 27 years ago to celebrate my graduation from high school.  It has seen a lot of love and been in regular use for the last several years.  I've realized I have loved it to pieces, and it's time to repair it again and remove it from my bed and full-time service.  I didn't realize what that would do to me.  The first night I didn't sleep well, and when I woke up the next morning I needed to wrap up in the quilt while drinking my morning coffee.  It was then that I realized sleeping under a quilt for so many years had had a profound effect on me. 

I was obsessed with purple when I was in middle school, so Mom had plenty of scraps to work with. I might even have been responsible for some of that purple floss-lol.

So what's a girl to do?  That's right, make another quilt.  The quilt I'm currently making is planned for the quilt crane that currently holds an older quilt from my husband's family.  Quilt cranes make a great display when not in use.  The older quilt really does need to be safely stored in the treasure chest.  The next quilt hasn't been chosen, but I will probably chose a design that can be quickly pieced since I know the hand quilting will take the most of the time.

I will keep you updated on the progress--failures and all.  Thank you so much for your comments.  They do mean so much, as they do for any blogger in the blog community.

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.




  1. Your peach cobbler looks so yummy. The Double Irish Chain is coming along. You are funny with your catalog and laptop. ;)

  2. Oh Judy, thank you for this wonderful post. I loved it so much!!!

    Dutch greetings across the ocean, Carolien


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. It always brightens my day, and draws us closer as a community.