Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Landscaping Progress

These photos should clear up why I haven't been blogging much.

On June 25th I took this photo of 12 tons of rock that was delivered to our home. It was a mixture of boulders about 18" square on down to rocks the size of a fist. It is fractured granite which is abundant in our area.


Same spot on September 19th. 
I moved every piece. Sometimes I rolled the biggest pieces to where I needed them or used a furniture dolly. I moved 24,000 pounds of rock. I had a vision!


One of the easiest areas was adding a rock border around the planters on the front of my house. I have some ideas about how to create a walkway in front of my porch steps which involved getting a load of gravel delivered a few days ago...you can see the edge of that pile on the right side of the photo frame. Hopefully before the snow arrives I will have tackled this area.


But most of my time was spent on the back side of the house.

Before...


After!


I made a pano photo so it is a little distorted. Underneath the deck is the dog run that is off my sewing room. We bought two metal dog kennel kits from Costco and used the premade metal fence panels to enclose the area underneath our main deck. The kits each came with a gate so we have one on each outer side of the kennel. The metal panels are secured to the house walls and deck posts. Extremely sturdy! To have a fencing company make this arrangement would have cost several thousand dollars. Each kennel kit was just under $500 so we feel like we got a deal. And it looks so nice. 

We had the kennel set up years ago but it did need some more gravel to fill it level with my other additions. A second huge pile of gravel sits on the backside of the house for that half of the yard. Kinley was with me for every minute of my landscaping work...great moral support.


A few more detail photos...the rock wasn't washed off in these photos...it had a nice layer of dirt.

First my wall of metal tub planters. The plants have grown so much this summer. I sure hope they make it through the winter in this design...big experiment!!!


Boulders filled in on the right side by me...and wooden stair frame constructed on the left side by my handyman. My husband filled the bottom five steps with cement which I really don't like. I filled the top five with gravel. (I told him to stop after he filled the first step on the bottom but he was determined to use all five bags of cement that he had purchased.) I guess I don't work well with others sometimes so that is really why I did all this rock moving by myself.


Boulders added on the downside of the stairs...


Rock filled in around the tubs and stairs.


A better shot of the kennel area.


And a huge project ahead of me...filling my tiered raised garden beds. I had my handyman make these beds also. I am going to use the hugelkulture method. Layer of cardboard...then logs...then limbs and debris like all the leaves falling off the trees. I don't think I'll add the final layer of garden soil until next spring. More details as I tackle that area.


And finally...one of my most proud moments as a mom...my son Zack was sworn into the Air Force recently. He has been selected to become an F-15 pilot with the California Air National Guard in Fresno. He has about 2 1/2 years ahead of him to get through all of his military schools and pilot training. He is pictured with one of his mentors who has guided him through the process of applying for pilot positions at Air National Guard units on the west coast. We are waiting to hear when he will leave for his first school.


Another load of boulders was delivered yesterday...this time 13 tons. Not sure I'll get that in place before the snow hits but it will be waiting for me when the snow melts next spring.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

August Breakfast Club Show and Tell

Once again a month has zipped by...as I get ready for September's Breakfast Club, I realize I never posted photos of August's Breakfast Club. Here are all the wonderful projects everyone shared at our last gathering.

This is a Finding Dory quilt made from the pattern, "Sidelights."


I believe the pattern for this quilt was "Yellowbrick Road." The borders make use a of a directional print fabric.


This was a Hunter's Star pattern from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.


I've tried like crazy to find the name of this pattern...no luck. The fabric panel of horses is called North American Wildlife Horses from Robert Kaufman fabrics.


This is "Bloom," the pattern from our July Breakfast Club meeting.


The backing Jackie made from the leftover blocks.


Jackie's completed, "Quilting Season," our mystery quilt last winter.


Jackie's completed mini heart quilt for her daughter's wedding.


This is a seasonal quilt club kit our host shop started recently.


This is Joyce's version of a strip club pattern, "Little Boxes."


Marcia's "Bloom," quilt just back from the quilters...needing its binding. 


Special treat...a store customer brought in her unique Kuspucks.


Kuspucks are a traditional Eskimo women's over dress. Really considered a summer parka. They are usually worn as a type of pullover jacket. Very roomy for easy movement with a layer of clothing worn underneath like turtleneck and jeans. Our Breakfast Club gathering had a great time seeing this seamstress's designs. Beautiful!!!


And my version of, "Bloom." 


Now I need to spend some time figuring out what project I am going to work on this Thursday for September's Breakfast Club. Can't believe a month has slipped by so quickly.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Alaska State Fair 2016

I entered two quilts in the Alaska State Fair this year. I knew I had won ribbons on both when a non-quilting neighbor saw them at the fair last weekend. She didn't remember what ribbons I had won...just that both quilts had a ribbon. I was so happy to see my favorite quilt won its division; Twin size, machine pieced and quilted, professional level.


My second quilt won second place for its category; Full/Queen, machine pieced and quilted, professional level. I would love to know how many quilts were in my division...there are so many divisions. There are lots of great quilters in Alaska so the displays are very nice. It's a sweet, little show.


Bonus...today pumpkin entries were weighed! In case you aren't familiar with our fair...Alaska farmers grow some astonishing vegetables. It's our extensive summer daylight hours that really boosts the growing process.


This was the winning pumpkin being weighed...any guesses? The one sitting right behind it in the picture above was almost 800 pounds. 


This pumpkin weighed 1,469 pounds and broke a state fair record. The bottom of the pumpkin was brushed off and inspected before weighing.

I need to start thinking about next year's entries...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

My Quilt World

The recent string of rainy weeks meant some work has been accomplished. Here's what I have been doing.

I made a set of moose dolls for a friend that visited last week. Sew Adorable! I have a stash of "bodies," just had to make the clothes and finish the faces.


Got my top done in time for last Thursday's Breakfast Club. It is always good to have a deadline.


I did a bit of landscaping. See the pile of rocks in the distant background? I used a furniture dolly to move one rock at time to place on the hillside, next to my metal tubs. The plants are doing great. The real test will be next spring when we see what survives the winter. Still need to fill five steps with cement on the left side of the photo. I don't do cement work! Hubby and my son did the first five and then ran out of cement.


Then it was on to my favorite step in the quilting process...binding. You can see I had a little help from Eli when it came to sewing the binding on at the machine. It is so sweet to have a cat in my studio...hair and all...I missed it so much the past six years.


McKinley was very cooperative about my photo shoot of the finished quilt. 


For my birthday last spring, I bought a nice quilt display kit. I used it for the first time today. Love it. Easy to use all by myself. Made by Craftguard. I highly recommend it.

 "Bali Volcano Stars"
69 x 82
Blocks made using the Missouri Star Company's Disappearing Hour Glass block, as seen on their youtube video. The technique uses 10-inch layer cake squares and a background fabric cut in 10-inch squares. I added the inner border of the background fabric and a piano key border using a companion Bali pop. A 6-inch border so the strips were cut 6 1/2-inches long. 

The quilting gives the illusion of curved corners...only straight seams in this super simple technique.


I decided to try and finish another top in autumn colors. I have pretty much worked out my quilting design...just need to do some marking before it goes on the quilt frame.


The rain stopped and I think it is official...fall has come to our part of Alaska. It is my favorite season. I love the brilliant colors...especially on a sunny, blue sky day. Our leaves are just starting to change colors.


Quilting may not get much attention for awhile...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sew Much to Share

The August Breakfast Club is next week and I realized yesterday that I forgot to share Show and Tell from July. So here is a quick look as what the ladies have accomplished even with the nice summer weather we had in May, June and July.

This is a laser cut kit from an Alaska designer, Dana Michelle. Here is a link to her webstore: Wildfire Designs. She has several great Alaska theme kits. 


A small quilt that will be made into a pillow for a bride. The colors are her wedding colors.


This little wreath is such a popular pattern lately, "Fold'n Stitch Wreath." I love Marie's version because she did a blanket stitch that really makes a great addition to the design.


This is one of those deceptive quilts that you start putting together with your scraps but find you need to buy a little fat quarter or two to get the colors just right! Laura started this with some leftover layer cakes. We all know how that happens. Your trying to just pull from your stash but you find something is missing. The end result is beautiful so she made the right choice.


This beautiful cross stitch piece is being turned into a pillow. Perfect for Barb's cabin.


This is the pattern, Himalayan Pink. I need to add a picture of mine to this post. I think this was our April project. I believe this was a kit that was added to...I should have written some notes.


Obviously I should have gotten this quilter to turn her quilt so we could see it properly...but you get the idea. I think this was another Breakfast Club pattern from a long time ago. I remember it but can't remember the name.


A small project from scraps. 


And a nice big quilt from Thimbleberry fabrics.


A sweet quilt for a baby girl.


My version of Himalayan Pink with a set of batiks from Moda's Holly Taylor. They had been aging just long enough!


And our project for August will be this Moda Bake Shop pattern, "Speedwell Quilt." It is a layer cake pattern, 54 x 72-inches. Looks like a great quickie.