Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I grew up on the farm in Friesland with Friesian cows and horses. That was in the days before these black horses where popular all over the world. All his farming life my dad had some Friesian horses around. Although we milked a lot of cows for those days and had an up to date milking machine, we never had a tractor till after I moved to Canada in 1970. My dad did not like anything with a motor, but could tell you the pedigrees of all the cows and horses for generations.Our horses, all registred, did the work,Besides that we drove and rode them. I can still remember when the inspector of the Association would be in the area. Dad would take one or two horses by the halter and on his bike he would go to the next town. We would follow on horse back if necessary. Right there, in the middle of town on the cobbelstones the horses would be judged. If they were good enough the branding iron would come out and the appropriate symbol would be burned in the neck. Over the last 25 years there have been Friesian horses in North America. Inspectors would come over and judge the horses here for entry in the books. My brother let me know, that this would happen near Woodstock near the end of August. So last Saturday, with the combining over and some free time I convinced Laurence to come with me to see the judging. It was just like the olden times with the black horses, shown by people dressed in white. The weather was not co-operating and at first the judging was done outside in the rain, but later it was changed to the inside arena. It was just like I was home again, except this time I was only watching. This made me wish I could still be riding, but that has not happened for a very long time. After a few hours Laurence really, really, really had his fill, so back to home it was, where I had so Skype with my brother in Friesland, who had been to a similar, but much larger show near his place. Back to quilts now. I finished the sashiko sampler and it turned out not too bad. The final size is 43 by 43 inches. Fabric used is Essex (linen/cotton mix) by Kaufman Threads used: overdyed cotton threads by Sassalyne. Appliqued circles come from a piece of silk fabric bought from John Marshall Crest designs: Japanese Design Motives 4200 Illustrations of Japanese Crests ( Dover book) Setting idea: Japanese Quilt Blocks by Susan Briscoe
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Last week Thursday we started finally with the wheat harvest and it could not have gone better. By Monday afternoon Laurence was almost finished. Just when he started at the last of the neighbours it started to rain. Not that we were out of work. Monday was also the day to get ready for the chick delivery on Tuesday. A lot has to be done at the last minute. As this picture shows, our quiet road changes during harvest time with lots of activity. It is fun to see how 2 large combines try and get past each other. As I write this Laurence is back combining and he should be done soon. Just for a break we went to Jenny's on Sunday. Laurence received a ticket for a ride on the jet boats on the Niagara river and since it promised to be very hot, this was the week-end. Tony went along for the ride. Jenny and I chickened out and went to the botanical gardens instead. The guys had a great time and came back thoroughly soaked. We had been warned and had dry clothes and shoes along. During the harvest I do not have to be right there all the time, as long as I can do whatever comes along " right this moment". This morning it was announced that the rest of the large strawbales had to be brought inside and some help would be appreciated. Now I can drive the tractors, but I'm not very good at it. This I could manage and by noon another job was completed. Next up was a visit to the doctor for my mother-in-law. After supper it will be the rest of the lawn to cut. Not much in the quilt department will get done! I'm working on the machine quilting of a sashiko piece. It is going, but slow. I should be able to show it by next week. I find that very slowly I can do a better job and my shoulders are not quite as sore. 2 more tops are waiting and then it will be back to some new applique.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The sashiko on both of these pieces was done a few years ago. I quilted the one on the left, but did not get around to do the other one. But last week it finally happened. I'm planning to hang both upstairs in the hall. This is after I have put something on the big window to keep the sun out. The sashiko on this piece are all cranes. The patterns came out of a Dover book with over 4000 crest designs. They had to be enlarged, but it works well. And I will not be out of patterns in a long time. This was the first time I used a variegated thread and I like the result. It seems to blend in better and gives it a softer look.
This is, what I look out to, when I do machine work. As you can see I'm working on another quilt and this one is much bigger. I put another small table behind the machine and use my ironing board to the left side. This way I get as much of the quilt as possible level with the machine.
Last week I mentioned, that we finally had started with the wheat harvest. That did not last long. After one round they tested for moisture and the wheat was way too wet, so the combine went back in the shed, where it still is. The weather is warmer, but we have not had the hot, sunny days we need.
I bet you, that there are not many people, who get their bread delived at home anymore. But we do. Every third Wednesday afternoon at about 2, a white van will drive in the lane. Out comes the baker, Guehnter's from Milverton, with the bread. And it is the best bread you can get, according to Jenny. She refuses to eat anything else. Nobody home.....no problem. The bread is put on top of the freezer and you can pay the next time.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
I know that I'm a day later that normal,but it is that time of the year again. The old harvest apple tree at the home place is loaded down with apples. That is a change from most years. With this old tree you never know, what to expect. Last year only halve the tree had apples, the year before there were none. After a year with apples it usually takes a year of. On my way to get a tool out of the shop I realized that the time had come to pick apples and make apple sauce, so that's what I have been busy with. It is a messy job, but come winter, it is handy to have all those jars all ready with dessert. This past week I managed to get 2 small wall hangings finished. When I was visiting the guild in Perth in the spring I promised to make a pattern with a snowy lady slipper and here is the result. It is hand appliqued and machine quilted. I like to put the focus, in this case the orchid, in a frame with 2 colors for a back ground. It makes it a little bit more interesting. The Jack-in-the-pulpit has been around for a while, but I never came around to quilting it. This one is also hand appliqued. I consider these practice pieces. There is one top I want to quilt, but I feel that I'm not good enough yet. So there are 2 more tops to be quilted in the next few weeks. By then I should have a feel for what I can do and what my "weak" points are. We had some warmer weather in the last week. If it stays sunny for the rest of the day Laurence will be able to start combining the wheat. In general the crops are a few weeks behind a normal year, whatever normal is. But with this, in general cooler weather, the flowers have been doing very well and last way longer than other years.