Thursday, August 7

Hauntingly Good Thymes at the County Fairs

This past weekend, the number of Pastthyme Pets grew in size.
No. . .Lacey didn't acquire Moses (the dog from Iowa). . .our cat had kittens.
And with the help of the two canines, we found them.

We should admit that we generally give her a hard time about not being able to keep her kittens alive.  All you farm goers know the reality of kittens on a farm.  Stuff happens and we never see the litter they have.  It's no fault of the momma cat, it's just how things work.  She has had numerous litters (even tried having them on Joe in our house the last time!) and we've never seen them.  But not this time.  This time, success.

 Beatrice kept all SIX kittens alive.  We have absolutely adorable little kittens trying their legs out under our porch, driving our dogs crazy. They are a joy to watch teeter-totter around.  We love watching them so much we forget our camera power in the house. . .and will have to supply pictures later.

Why do we mention this. . .well, if all keeps going well, we may be asking to find homes for these little guys.  We don't have desire to keep them and have told the men of the family we will find good homes.  While we have some ideas for placement, we'll plant the seed for a few more.  If interested, keep watching. . .we may be looking in the near future, or let us know and we'll keep you posted.

 Cramming in projects before the leaves (or snow) starts to fly. . .

Speaking of farm cats.  Most know we come from the country.  About fifteen years ago we painted the barn.  As I type this, I realize I should dig up some oldies to show you. Next time!

Our barn had been white and the paint was chipping off.  A friend of the family, who worked at a paint place, came up with a "barn red" paint for us.  We primed the barn with this special stuff that would make the paint last.  This stuff was pink.  (Now I really need to find is too funny to not to!!) We painted it pink for primer and then "red".  It was quite job, and the idea of doing it again wasn't exciting.  But, over the years the "red" faded and we were left with the only pink barn in probably the state.  Nobody in their right mind would want a pink barn. . .trust us.

You can image this wasn't real attractive. It was a good laugh for us. 
So barn red paint was bought and a painting party had. 

We managed to get the barn done as well as the chicken coop and I promise once the white trim is done I will post pictures. (A tease is all ya get for today) A nice view of the barn. . .and a few of the pink.  It looks so nice when you get up on the yard.  It's a wonder why we didn't do it sooner. . .

 County Fair Thyme

Last week was the Chippewa County Fair in Montevideo. Our whole family winds up attending this event and we always seem to have a good time.  This year, the fair board really put a lot of work into improving things.  They had an excellent variety of entertainment, a nice midway, and building full of people.

As a bonus, the WCCO (channel 4) news guys Frank and Mike hit the road "Going to the Lake" in our neck of the woods.  They had three really nice segments on the area we live in.  If you didn't see them we suggest checking out the WCCO website (or facebook) as they were quite good.

It especially hit home for Darci as Lac Qui Parle lake is just downstream from where she grew up.  Our family fishes that lake and the river that flows from it.  It was fun to see them spend time at the Watson Hunting Camp, Arts Dairy Freeze, and at the fair.

We specifically went to the fair for the races.  Big shocker, right? 
Well this. . .might be.

Neither of us like "haunted" things.  Haunted houses.  Shows about haunted houses.  People in haunted houses.  Not our thing.  Not real fun for us.  We both avoid people who dress to 'work' in those places like the plague.  And. . .well. . .they seem to "smell" our fear.

Darci and "dad" and Lacey were all headed home to the shop in the same vehicle and the timing of the event that took place next could not have been planned more perfect if you'd try...

 As we are leaving, two gentlemen dressed in their haunted house garb exit the food stand in front of us.  They spot dad, who slightly slows down.

 And us Pastthyme gals?  We start walking fast to get away.

And while we walk..."Dad". . .well he stops to chat with them.

Lacey makes the mistake of turning around to see what happened. 
And this is what follows:

Lacey: Oh no!!! They are following us.

Darci: DON'T LOOK AT THEM!!!!!!!!!

Lacey: (looking backward) They are still coming Mom!!!


Lacey: They know dad.  They aren't gonna quit following us.
Walking fast isn't going to work!!!! We should just get it over with.

Lacey now decides she doesn't want to be ambushed by the duo. 
(We should make a quick side note that when Darci was growing up her dad, Stan (who hates this type of stuff more than us girls do) went into a haunted house at the MN State Fair.  When a haunted house guy grabbed his shoulder while walking through the house, Stan threw a punch and heard a the guy groan in pain.)
Truth be known, Lacey did them a favor by stopping. . .and facing the reality they would have went to great lengths to follow them as they knew we were both freaked.)
Darci lucked out and they went for Lacey.

 Fortunately, the really creepy zombie took pity and stook back.  

Dad admitted later that Darci was the intended target...and the nice guy he is, he sent them to get Lacey.

 Lacey put on a smile and took a picture to the request of her family with an "Ugh, I don't like this." "YES I'm freaked out", "I'm really sorry, it's really not you I don't like." and "Let's just get this over with" phrase or two while the cameras were snapping pictures.
Facing a fear. . .only because we knew the guy behind the mask.
And can't thank him enough for taking it off while he chatted.
AND that his zombie friend didn't photobomb the photo.

We are currently drying our eyes as we relive this terrifying moment!! And hope you all have found humor in it as well!!  Looking at the picture now...he doesn't look so scary.  He was famous too, he was on the news segment, earlier in the day. And Frank the news guy. . .he acted the way we usually do.

Speaking of haunted houses.  The place that this wearwolf assists at is suppose to be a really, really good one.  They have done a ton of work to make it something to remember.  We speak solely based on what wearwolf has said and what we hear from those brave enough to visit it.  If you are into "hauntingly" good times, make sure you visit Sherods Fright Farmily by Montevideo. If you are into that stuff we don't think you'll be disappointed!!  Haunted barn, grainery and maze.

 The Kandiyohi County Fair

We just didn't get enough mini-doughnuts in Monte and so to Willmar we went!
Lacey and her brother did the sibling hang out night and did the fair together.
Darci and "dad" did the husband and wife thing and did the fair together.

This is what they saw. . .

This is one of the dozen draft horses at the fair.  
It's a family stop every year before we leave as we all  have to rub their face and feel that soft, velvet nose.  This year, one of the horses didn't like our nose touch and sneezed on us.  This brought on good laughs from the boys who had moved on, anticipating its happening. . .and not only did we get blasted once...we got it twice.

 Lacey scored a victory by getting Joe to agree to watching Pig Races before they went and watched the cars race on the dirt.  Joe will swear that the only reason he went was because his "older" sister was acting like a "six year old" trying to get him to go  but would have to admit that he laughed just as hard as she did while the little piglets raced around the track.  It's an absolute hoot, and truly entertaining. 

If the fair near you has races (or you can attend Willmar the next two days) you should really make a point to watch a couple races.  Sometimes, it doesn't take much to amuse us and we all love to laugh.

We should also note that Lacey was excited to get Joe into most of the animal buildings.  She is an animal lover who would tell you "I would take them all home!!"

Here's a little known fact.  She had (2) rabbits as pets.  One was a black and white rabbit with upright ears that lived to be an old rabbit. His name was Flopsey.  The second was a floppy eared, really fluffy rabbit named Thumper.

While the younger duo went to watch the stock car races, the parent duo took in bull riding.
Those that know Darci know she loves bull riding and doesn't miss bull night at the fair.  She joined a sold out arena and sat on the edge of her seat while the brave cowboys gave their luck a whirl on big, burly bulls who don't like to give rides.  Her and "dad" were also able to cheer on three local guys from our Clara City area, but it ultimately came down to a gentleman from Missouri who took home the buckle.

Of course we all took in the 4-H building (shout out to the girls from Kerkhoven on their projects) and the arts and crafts building (shout out to the familiar names who had ribbons on their projects) the mini-doughnut stand, delicious pork chop on a stick stand, fresh lemonade stand and peanut stand.

Good food. Good entertainment. Good people. Good times. 
We are fortunate to have great local county fairs.

Now onto some quilting fun.

 "Hidden Stars"

We have a bunch of people waiting on this gem so we decided to test the pattern with a whole different color scheme.  This little guy works awesome with candy packs (or would with a charm pack) and is lots of fun with it's prairie points and miniature size.

Fabrics shown above were Floral Gatherings by Lisa Bonean and Primitive Gatherings.

 "Patches of Friendship"

Lacey was excited to finish up this lap size quilt that uses up one jelly roll.
We apologize for the bad photo, we tried this in different lighting and this was the best we got.  
We'll attempt it again once it's quilted!!
The fabrics shown in this quilt (which utilizes a jelly roll just grand!) is Somerset by Fig Tree & Co.

Patterns will be coming soon as well. . .those of you who follow us on Facebook.  This was the quilt Lacey would have showcased on a segment of "Chopped" if a TV crew would have been with us.

 "Prairie Pinwheels"

This was one of our first charm pack patterns that we decided to revisit.
This guy is fun!  This guy is quick! This guys only takes 1 charm pack!

The photo shows off the beautiful new Sandy Gervais fabric called Rambling Rose.

 How do you like our new binding method?  Did you catch the safety-pins?
This is what happens when the Busy Binder goes on vacation. . .haha

And last but not least. . .is the new arrival of LuLu.
Lulu is by Chez Moi (we just love that name...makes us yearn to learn French) and has just super sweet tones of pink, yellow, blue and green.  We are dreaming of fun projects and are sure you are too.

Piece and Blessings until next time

Thursday, July 31

Leading Light Finale & Sizzling Summer Samples

 It's so hard to believe that we are a few hours away from bringing July to a close.

The past week, we have had the machines a running, computer keys a typing, and the binding needles stitching.  We are so excited to end July on a high point and are excited to share the additions to our family. 

Meet Persnickety
 Persnickety joined our family with the addition of Persimmon fabric by BasicGrey.  
She shows off a lovely aged color palate with blues, orange, rust, gold and marshmallow.

If you would have been sewing with us you would have known this was a laughing project of us gals.  See, we sometimes are persnickety when it comes to a creation turns out.  This project? Not what we had in mind.  So we did what all quilters do, we laughed through it.

If you ask Lacey, she would tell you she could have put it under her tires and ran it over due to the frustration.  But now?  Now we both like it, so it's a good thing we didn't give up on it.

That's our tip today. . .never give up. It might not be what you were expecting, but if you stick it out, good things will come in a differently wrapped package.

Meet Flight of the Honeycomb
 The honeycomb (hexagons) flew around in our shop for a while before landing themselves into this new project.

These hexagons are huge and just fit onto a charm square.

We think the addition of silhouette dragonflies added such a fun element into the project and while most of you know this to not be our 'norm' we are both just in love with it.

Lacey also notes that she fell in love with her Sew-line glue pen with this project.  We learned that fusible batting works awesome for this project as well.  The glue pen tho, it does a fantastic job at holding those backing edges into place when they are turned over.  It also does wonders at holding the quilt top in perfect alignment while finishing off the edge of the project and eliminates the need for pinning every two inches.  

The whole top was sewn together with the machine, only the individual hexagons were done by hand.  Better yet?  Check out the moda honeycomb pre-cut hexies. . .you can cheat and eliminate that hand work should you choose.  

Meet Little Miss Sunshine
 Little Miss Sunshine joined our family a little over a year ago.  Normally she has sashing between the squares, but we decided we wanted a simple variation and chose to leave it out.

She showcases the new fabric arrival of Fancy by Lily Ashbury of moda.

The fabric fits the name of the pattern. . .with a name like Little Miss Sunshine, one can't be dull.  Fancy adds a perfect pop of color to any dull day and would be adorable with a bouquet of freshly picked daisies on it's center.

Little Miss takes (2) candy packs or works good with scraps. . .should you have any of them in your piles at home.  (Not that quilters have piles of fabric. . .or scraps. . .)

Meet Centerfold
 Centerfold is the only non-Pastthyme pattern shown today.  We don't hold it against him.

This Pieced Tree Pattern is a good one for showing off a nice focal piece of fabric.  If you have paid attention to our posts you would have seen it done in a snowman color scheme a few weeks back.

Centerfold is quick to assemble and doesn't require a boat load of fabric.

Meet Compass
 Compass was taken hot off the machine last night before we called it quits for the day. 

Compass uses that fun 60-degree triangle ruler and we promise that despite what you may be thinking or saying when you read the next line. . .is quite easy to assemble.  Trust us, we wouldn't have continued on if it sucked to sew.

We did (to be honest) scrap the start of the first attempt before getting those outer triangles cut perfect.  There is not trimming, it is an exact fit.  We are so eager to quilt this table topper and work on another.

Watch for more to come of Compass in the next few posts.

Compass (and Centerfold) show off some fabric by Katie & Birdie of moda. We are just in love with the 'clean' look these projects have.  There is something so refreshing about a orange sherbet color with white and soft grey that has us wrapped around their finger.  The tones in this gals' fabric are just sweet.

Meet Daisey.  AND Diamond Charm
 Little Miss Daisey thought she needed to get in on the photography session today.  Jokingly we asked her if she would be willing to sit pretty with this project. . .and she did.

It was a eureka moment.  She looks proud.  We were proud.  And she was rewarded with food. She seems to fit right in with us Pastthyme Gals as she enjoys eating potato chips, cheese curls, candy, trail mix and anything else we want to share.  (She also to Darci's dismay likes to eat wool, rocks and cardboard boxes.  Hey. . .not everyone can be perfect!)

Diamond Charm was one of our first charm patterns.  We have done it numerous times and seem to say upon completion "This is the best one".  

But seriously.  This one might take the cake.  We both love the color tones that Sandy Gervais presents in her Pine Fresh collection.

Diamond Charm looks good on a table and cute on a wall.  It requires one charm pack and some coordinating yardage for borders.  It's fun to piece a bonus we 'accidentally' found a source for the remaining pieces of charm square left after cutting out the diamonds.

This new project is under secret wraps.  
FYI #1: It just isn't done.  And we aren't decided on it's destination of appearance.
FYI #2: It may take some time before you see it.  Aren't you glad we teased about it?
FYI #3: It's uses a new ruler that Darci found at market. . .
Ok...we'll stop now.  Stay tuned for more at a later time.

New Members to the Pre-Cut House
 As you know. . .we LOVE our moda pre-cuts.  We have added the following to our shop

Fancy by Lily Ashbury ~ candy packs
(see Little Miss above)

Persimmon by BasicGrey ~ candy packs
(see Persnickey above)

Atlier by 3 Sisters
(charm packs. . .showing a new tone of grey)

Patchwork Garden by Kathy Schmitz 
(charm packs. . .reds and creams)

Rambling Rose by Sandy Gervais
(new look!!  charm packs)

Richmond Reds by Barbara Brackman
(candy & charm packs. . .gorgeous colors)

Paisley Park by Kansas Troubles
(candy & charm packs. . .classic KT)
**Did anyone happen to read about Lynne in the newest copy of American Patchwork and Quilting?! What a fun article into the look of how she started Kansas Troubles!!

Heavy Snow Happens
 BirdBrain Designs has started to design fabric. This is scary as we all know just how darn cute their embroidery patterns are.  Now. . .well now they are in cloth!

These little snowmen are simply irresistible.  We LOVE them.  They are just too cute.

PLUS...the panel can pass for embroidery, just frame it and hang it and call it good.
There is an adorable border stripe that arrived with these cute panels and we have two bolts of really cute red that match them as well.

We can't wait to work with it. . .even if it is snowmen!!

Lastly. . .here are the last two steps you need for our quilt along!  Thank you to all who have been participating.  We'd LOVE some show and tell.  Leave us a comment, e-mail a picture, tag us in a Facebook photo or post it on our facebook wall.  Show and tell is always fun :-)