I didn't sew a stitch this past weekend.  Not.  One. Stitch.  So today I'm resting on my laurels and showing you a collection of past work stashed at my house.  This too shall pass.  Sewing is my game.

Can you believe it is almost May Day??

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I grew up in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  Of course there is the city of Reading in that county and several other cities like Kutztown, but most of Berks and it's sister county, Lancaster County,  is made of beautiful green farm land.
Barns are a great sense of pride for farmers in that area.  Many farmers are from German heritage and there is a great population of Amish and Mennonite farmers.  Farmers keep their barns in better repair than their own homes, in some instances.  It is so fun to drive through the county and see the beautiful barns and lush farmland.  When we were there last and driving through the county, Mr. Hive said "I could really live here, or retire here, this is so pretty."
When Lori started her Barn Quilt Along, I thought about the beautiful barns in Pennsylvania and the hex signs that hang on many of them.  That was my inspiration for my barn quilt.
My flimsy is finished.  It is pretty big and measures 66"x 86".  I really like it and I can't wait to get it quilted.  I've been thinking of how I wanted quilted.
I did decide on this green, gray, white and red border fabric that I've been hoarding forever.  The fabric seems perfect with little hex signs and a folk/Amish couple.
I wanted a heading naming the quilt at the top and I searched and searched for letters that I thought would work well with the barns.  I used this Anna Griffin Tilly Alphabet fabric to spell out Barns of Berks County.
I think the letters fit since they are kind of rustic and folky.  Thanks for this fun pattern Lori. It was such a delightful project to make.  The next time you see this it will be quilted and have red binding.  I can't wait.

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I'm always trying to stay ahead of the baby quilt game. It's so helpful to have a quilt on hand.  Unfortunately most of my scrap baby quilts are girly.  Like this one.
I enjoy making this simple design into a baby quilt.  It is just an easy way to make a patchwork triangle quilt by cutting extra bits of fabric into  triangle shapes as I go and then keeping them aside to put together at a later point.
I think all my fabrics work together because the light fabric is a beautiful romantic rose print by Pam.  It is Pam Kitty Love Bouquets in White.   It goes with all my favorite colors and fabrics.  I think it is so pretty in this baby quilt. I've reordered this print 2 times and since I've used it all up in this quilt I may have to go for a 3rd order.
I like using this elongated Dear Jane Triangle template.  It adds a bit of drama to a very simple design.  I cut my blocks 6".
Of course I'm fond of all the different prints.  Some of the fabrics go back to my London quilt and some are from the Barn quilt I recently finished.
I usually quilt this size top myself but since I've got 3 other quilts ready to take to the quilter, I may just send this one out to be quilted as well.


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I've gotten some new fabric that I thought you'd like to peek at.  They are all so pretty together.
From Donna's Lavender Nest I have these 2 super lovely Lecien fabrics.    Donna also sent the adorable strawberry pincushion.  I am putting that right in my hand sewing box.
Sew Fabulous has some new Lecien, too, along with other adorables.  I could not pass up this fat quarter pack and the yardage of cheater hexies.  Darling fabric.
Cynthia from Dream Quilt Create sent me some cuties in my favorite colors in new prints. Cynthia is great.  Very sweet Cynthia!

I can't wait to use all these fabrics.  Sew pretty.

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I've sneaked ahead on my Barns project.  See how Lori is instructing the latest progress here.  When I started this project I had a vision of how I wanted to put my barns together.  When I saw Lori's tutorial I decided to incorporate what I tentatively planned with what she suggested.
I scrappy sashed my barns since I had 12 already completed and was ready for this step.  But I wanted to enhance the look of hex signs in the barns so I changed the sashing up a little with the red diamonds created in the middle section of the quilt.  It just seemed more "hexy". 
I like how it came together and I have the finished flimsy sketched in my head with just 2 more steps.
I hope Lori doesn't mind me working ahead and changing things up some.
These barns and hex signs have been really fun to work on.  I'm going to miss making them.  A barn is somewhat of an extension of a house, right?  Maybe that is why I liked creating them.  We all know I like quilt houses.


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I did decide to make my Parcheesi quilt larger.  I like most of my quilts twin size or larger.  I've joined most of my finished squares and they look so good that I want to make more.  I need to make at least 20 more squares (or more, who knows).  I noticed Barbara at Oodles and Oodles (one of my favorite blogs) had some feedsack squares in her Etsy Shop so I grabbed them.
Yesterday the squares arrived so I thought I'd make a few little piles to show you.  They are all different for the most part.
Nice of Barbara to add a few extras for me.  Thanks Barbara.  She said she knew they would find a happy home with me.
I like each print and pattern.  I love the nubby roughness of the texture too.
They are all different from squares I've purchased in the past from Glenna.  Glenna has an incredible collection.  I learned so much about feedsacks from Glenna.

I hope to stitch a few more Parcheesi blocks and do some sewing on my barns this weekend.


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I'm back to iron shopping people.  Those of you that have been with me a while might remember my last iron (see below).  I think I've spent well over 2 hours online looking at new irons.  Cheap, expensive, or middle of the road??  There must be hundreds of irons out there.
Almost 2 years ago I acquired this iron above.  I liked it.  I didn't LOVE it.  But I liked it.  I thought the auto lift was a big gimmicky but I grew to like it.  I can't say I used that up/down feature everyday.  But the iron heated up and worked well with features I wanted.  Unfortunately the iron was knocked off my board and died recently.  Sad huh.  But we had 2 good years together (sob).  

So on with my search.....

This iron is basically $100.00 shipped to the door and is rated 5 star.  But man that price!  If she would last 5 years and I would LOVE her, I'd get it.  It would be worth it.  I use an iron probably every single day.   With my last iron lasting nearly 2 years that is like 20 years in normal people use.
This is another Reliable brand iron but this one is double the price at $199.  Why?  I don't get it. This one is more compact, which I do like but even at Joann's with a half off coupon it is still $100!  I watched a segment from QOL where they said Reliable was the best iron but then I saw that Reliable was a QOL sponsor.  I like recommendations from independent sources.

I've read threads where lots of people have gotten irons at thrift stores but my thought is if someone is  getting rid the iron, why would I want it? I really want a high performance iron and I use it enough to know a bargain basement iron is not for me.  I know Lori uses a vintage iron but it has no automatic shut off.  I have to have auto off for safety reasons with children in the house and with lots of people coming and going.

I need a smallish iron though but I want a big water well capability in it.  At least over 5 ounces (or more)... I think.  I would prefer not to spend $100.00 but I do want high performance.

On with my search.  Any hints or ideas would be appreciated. I know this is a rerun post basically from 2 years ago but I do need a good iron and I don't want to make an expensive mistake.

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I can't believe it has been nearly 5 years since I started my Parcheesi quilt made with feedsack fabric.  It is amazing to me how in that time frame I've not made a lot of progress.
It started with 6" white squares and feedsack melon slices hand appliqued on the blocks.
It has been a fun project to carry here and there and applique in short spaces of time.  I pulled it out recently because I want to finish it this year.
I appliqued a bit over the weekend and then decided to sew some of the squares together.  I like scrappy blend of fabrics and the open space making 2 different designs.  I really have a lot more appliqueing to do if I want to get a quilt out of this project this year.

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First things first.  My friend Cynthia at Dream Quilt Create blog is having a giveaway starting today until Sunday at midnight.  Cynthia is fantastic and I love trading tips with her and visiting her blog.
Cynthia is giving away 5 fat quarters from Simple Abundance by Camille and Bonnie.  There are a few rules to enter her giveaway.
So run off to Cynthia to enter to win the fabric.  Click here.  And then come back to see my hex sign/Pennsylvania Dutch fabric.  Go ahead.  Go visit Cynthia and I'll wait for  you to come back.
Ok.  I've had some fabric I've accumulated to go with my barn quilt.  I think this gray, red, green and white fabric would make a great border fabric for my barns with hex signs.  What do you think?

There is also this fabric with the little Amish couple and hex signs on it as well.  This would work as an alternative fabric with red, gray and white on the border.  I like both fabrics.  I'm not sure what I should use. Hmm.  


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I'm determined that my barns will not become a UFO quilt.  You know, I never used to have a problem finishing my quilt tops.  I don't know what my problem is lately.  But my barns will be a top as I keep up with Lori's.  Since the quilt block in the barn is a 6", it is easy to work ahead of Lori with some blocks I've made once before.  Remember, I am trying to make them look like hex signs.
This red barn is probably my favorite of this next bunch.  I like the darker red and the hex sign/quilt block is perfect.  I like the roof, too.  It kind of looks like green thatch (if you squint).
This gray block is kind of a softer hue (and it was ironed, I don't know why it looks wrinkled in the photo).  I  went for a faux circle in my hex sign/quilt block.
I remade some of my Farmer's Wife blocks for these 6" blocks.  I tried to have the center square look like a distelfink.  A Distelfink is a classic bird in  hex signs.  Hex signs all have meaning.    A distelfink is there to wish good fortune.  Here is a site that tells what popular hex signs mean. 
The clover in a hex sign also roughly means good fortune.  I really like this clover block.
I made myself a cheat sheet for the cutting table when I cut my barns.  It helps me remember what I'm supposed to do.  I can't wait to see what Lori's next barn looks like.

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