Wednesday, April 8, 2015

County Quilts

If you've looked at this blog, as you scroll towards the bottom of the page, you've probably noticed there is  picture of and link to the Schoharie County Quilt Barn Trail.  A truly amazing undertaking, it is a collection of large, painted quilt blocks on display for anyone and everyone to see. Barn Quilts and Trails are not something new. There are many across the United States. It's cool to see these popping up in Schoharie County and adding to the ones already out there.

Below are some of the photos I took of these creative depictions of history.  

On Clauverwie in Middleburgh at the Dr. Best Medical Exhibit. 

At the Carrot Barn in Schoharie. 

In Schoharie on Generations gift and antique shop on Main Street.  

A barn quilt does not have to be hung on a barn. Many businesses have them and so do many individual homes. This one is in Huntersland.  

Here is a smaller one on Knox Gallupville Road. 

And yet another smaller one on Warrior Way in Middleburgh. 

 Cobleskill's Main Street is host to this block, right across from Burger King.

Another on Knox Gallupville Road. 

These two blocks are in Hyndsville on Rt. 10. One right after the other. 

 This looks beautiful on NBT Bank in Middleburgh.

Taking a hiking trip up Vroman's Nose? You'll see this on the new shop: Under The Nose Gifts. It is on Mill Valley Road.  It is one of my favorites.  

Found this one in Gallupville today.  

If you are a fan of Grapevine Farms, take a look out back. A gorgeous stand alone block, framed and landscaped.

The Middleburgh Library has it's own block too. The library is host to an annual quilt show featuring many local talented quilters.   

And this, you'll notice, is the original of the photo at the top of the page. I love the color combination on the red barn, it really catches your eye. I'm sure this is just a beauty in the fall. 

I've seen some of the other Barn Quilts on the Schoharie County Trail, but haven't had a chance to get a photo. I'll add more as I get them. 

If you are looking for something to do on a  spring or summer weekend, Schoharie County has some great gift shops, eateries, and sights to see, including these great pieces of art. 

Lessons Learned: 

1. I can get a better picture when I'm not riding with Rich. :) 
2. Don't try to take a picture through the windshield of the car while it's raining. Yes, I know this is
    common sense, but sometimes it escapes all of us.
3. This could be a great geocache outing. 
4. This is going to be a project for summer. Look for a block at 127. 

Do you know of a Barn Quilt or Trail near you? I'd love to hear where it is located. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Just a Little Monkey Business

A special colleague is having a baby. Rather, had a baby a couple of months ago. Yes, just as I am
slow to post blog entries, I am also slow to get gifts done on time. ( Future posts will be evidence of this as well)  Oh well, what's that famous saying?  Better late than never? Ok , so don't judge. I tell my students this all the time. You just have to determine which things can be late and which must be on time. If it takes a bit longer to do a better job, then gamble with the late project. Except when your boss needs it at a specific time. Um... RAMBLING! Okay, okay, enough of that.

Anyway, I knew I wanted to make something for this special person, but I had no clue what to do. I thought of lots of stuff on Pinterest, but I really wanted something different.  A little bird (SK) told me the theme of the nursery and the colors: monkeys, brown, pink,  and teal. Yes, Pinterest had lots, but nothing really grabbed my attention until I saw this: DIY Fluffies Monkey Doll

Once I saw the pattern I went to work right away. Selecting the perfect fabric of brown and pink polka dots. Cutting, ironing adhesive and appliqueing.  Sure it looked easy, but this little bugger was really a challenge. 

The arms and legs were so thin, it took forever and a day to  sew them  and get them stuffed.  You can see, I also added a big smile to this little gal.  Once I got to this point, I started thinking, " Just where did I buy this pattern from?"  Obviously it wasn't from Simplicity, McCalls or Butterick, the big 3 of  commonplace patterns. Oh no, I had to get something that was really going to challenge the heck out of me.  If you know me, no matter what, I usually don't give up. So onward I went to put Miss Monkey together. 

Little by little, the pieces started to come together. Soon it looked somewhat like the picture. You can see the added smile; but also the nostrils are a  little , Umm, off.  This really bugged me for a long time.  After awhile I decided to leave it alone and chalk it up to the uniqueness of the project. 
Okay, so where is the teal and pink? 

Here we go. I decided to make a pinafore type of dress for the monkey. And yes, it is now a girl monkey. Plenty of flowers in blue and teal, with accents of pink ribbons. 

I decided to put the letter "A" on the pinafore to signify the name of the baby girl.  Using my Cricut, I adhered some "Heat and Bond"  to the back of the pink polka dat fabric and set the maching to cut a letter A.

With a little heat from the iron it was on Miss Monkey in no time.  I also played around with some felt to create a little hair embellishment.  You can find a great tutorial for the flower here on Pinterest, of course. 

So Miss Monkey is finally done.  She really like the rocking chair, so I hope her new "mommy" will have fun rocking with her. 

I was finally ready to give this to my special friend. Imagine how pleased I was to see this picture posted online! Aren't they just the cutest?  I'm told this little girl's big brother helped name Miss Monkey. They call her Maria the Monkey. 

I hope that Maria brings much happiness to this little girl and her family. 

Lessons Learned: 
  1. I wish I had time to make two of everything. One as a trial, and the second as the "real deal." I like to work out mistakes and kinks before attempting the real thing. 
  2. This was a rather tedious project. The directions were not the greatest. I'm glad I kept going with this project because there were times I wanted to ditch it and make a simple blanket or something. 
  3. I will not become a toy maker, at the north pole, helping Santa during my retirement. 
Do you have any experience making stuffed animals or toys? I would love to hear about your trials and errors, and successes. 

Happy Sewing.