The Barn & Some Sewing

I spent Tuesday through Friday assisting with the trusses on the barn. It was extremely hot and humid and unpleasant. I also got sunburned the first day, which made the next three uncomfortable. Yes, I wore sunscreen, but I was sweating heavily and staring up into the air while setting trusses, so my nose really took a hit. 

We discovered that one of the trusses was not the correct size. After multiple phone calls and emails, a replacement was delivered yesterday. That means we have three remaining trusses to set. We had to pause while waiting for the replacement and also take one correctly sized one off to compare to the new one. 

On top of that, all the installed OSB sheeting on the walls had to be switched out since it was defective--it was crumbling. So that part of the job got to be done twice. Also, I'm thankful that our neighbors were able to help a bit so that I could meet with clients, pay bills, and have a break from the sun. Oh, and I've been doing what feels like endless laundry with all the shirt changes the husband has been doing.

One fun thing is that a house wren kept trying to build a nest in the rental lift. We couldn't believe that she kept flying into the end of the lift while it was in operation! She was very determined.

Once my brain cooled down, I made myself a list of things I want to/need to work on over the next few weeks.  

Sewing things to do:

    1. bind strawberry quilt--currently 1/4 done. It's hard to want to work on this after being outside in the heat.

    2. make and attach binding to front of Under the Sea quilt

    3. finish piecing Betty top--this is my OMG that needs to be done by the 25th. Half the blocks are sewn and five more are in progress. That leaves five more plus the setting after that. I don't enjoy working with precuts, so I'm doing them in smaller batches.

    4. continue to research FBA and try making some shirts--lots more research done and many more free knit patterns downloaded. Need to get up the nerve to just cut one out and try it. I might actually start with a Cashmerette pattern since it has cup size adjustments built in.

    5. make a dress form of myself using t-shirt and duct tape?--weird, but could be very useful for fitting as I like to drape when sewing for others.

    6. keep working through Pro-Stitcher Designer classes/try to trouble-shoot issues

    7. tidy fabric closet; ideally sell some of the doll clothes fabrics to make space. I did tidy the closet because I can not stand working in a messy environment. Did not pull anything to sell yet. Too overwhelming and other things have higher priority.

    8. work towards listing some of my quilts for sale--marketing & shipping materials, etc. My first step will be to fold up a few quilts and measure to get an idea of the box size needed. 

    9. do the fabric pull for Meadow Mist's Malted Mystery quilt. I tried to do this all from stash, but I didn't have enough yardage of some. I ordered the two required and am still waiting for them to ship. I'll share my fabrics once I have them all.

Other chores:

    1. weed lower garden--this is mostly the spearmint, the tree saplings that the critters plant, and some Johnson grass. Maybe a few horse nettles here and there. The coneflowers are putting on a great show right now! 

    2. weed upper garden. I worked on that over the weekend. Not great, but way better than it was. We had a massive invasion of wild lettuce this year. I am planning to rip out all the lamb's ear from this garden in the fall. It spreads like crazy here. I've never had it do that anywhere else I've lived. 🤷🏻‍♀️ While the bees love the flowers, all the stalks hang over the sidewalk and make a mess. And I have plenty of it growing in other gardens.

    3. tidy the office

    4. exercise more--I'm working on this one. I did start walking on the treadmill in the morning again. I haven't done that since I injured my knee last fall. I also did a resistance band workout yesterday. I'm sure I'll be feeling that as the day wears on.

This morning I am taking a workshop with a quilt historian. She will be sharing tips and then evaluating the age and condition of attendees' personal antique quilts. In the afternoon I will be taking advantage of the free sewing time with other guild members. I'm planning to work on the Grassy Creek borders. 

With the long hours on the barn, I didn't get much of a chance to work over the past week. Here are the few I did complete.

First is Carol's long, skinny tree quilt. She requested something with snowflakes. After considering the ones I own and the others commercially available, I chose Midnight Sparkle for this one. It's not totally snowflakes, but the effect is similar. I find many of the snowflake designs to be too intricate and overwhelming for most quilts I receive.

Next is one of Linda's. I drew a design using the IQ's onboard tools to mimic a waving flag.

The last one also belongs to Linda. I chose Cassava for the quilting. I really like how this one turned out.

In my personal sewing, I used a free online tutorial to make my daughter a smock apron to wear while she is handling the chickens. The fit didn't end up the greatest, but she is happy with it and hopefully I won't have to spend as much time on stain removal now.

Fun story--I got my son to agree to trying it on. He's almost a foot taller than her! It was a bit snug around the chest for him, but it hung a lot better otherwise. She's more of a pear and he is a board.

Out in the garden, we harvested some more peas and another pound of green beans. I wanted to blanch the beans and then freeze them. I guess I should have done that immediately, because 24 hours later the whole center of the mass was moldy. 😒 Lesson learned. I threw them in the compost. The peas look pretty dry. They were late to bear and I think the heat is getting to them.

I have lots of tomatoes growing! These are San Marzano tomatoes.

There are a few cucumbers starting. I'm hoping to get enough to make at least one batch of freezer pickles this summer. The beets should be a reasonable harvest. The leaves are huge, but they aren't sticking out of the ground yet. 

I have a few zucchini growing. A critter keeps biting off the flowers and I had one baby fruit rot on the plant.

Well, that was certainly long-winded. Thanks for reading all this, and I'll see you next week.

Linking with From Bolt to Beauty and Alycia Quilts.


  1. That’s a lot of hard work—and in this horrid humidity!?! I’m sure it’ll all be worth it down the road! Love the blocks, and their fabrics. I typically don’t handle my chickens anymore—too messy! Lol—but I just don’t really have the time to make pets out of them I guess. I would like to. I’ve been struggling with pests on our zucchini—not sure it will make it. Might try planting another but again, with the humidity and no real time, I haven’t made it a priority! We’re enjoying lots of tomatoes here, incl the San marzanos :)! It is my smallest planting of them for as long as I can remember tho so I’m just trying to cook with them (or just salads) for now and maybe I won’t need to can any? It is fun to eat all the fresh healthy stuff tho isn’t it?!? Very rewarding! Have a great week!

  2. After a few years of trying to find the perfect size box for quilts, I have one. This is a similar size to one used by Amazon and will fit a queen sized quilt comfortably, and still remain in the affordable shipping category. 18" x 14" x 8"

  3. Whoo - you are crazy busy!!! But!! I am happy for the progress on your barn!! we just got our trusses delivered so things are coming together. and your garden produce - oh my! Love it!! that apron will work out great - she will be able to collect a lot of things with it!!
    Enjoy your Quilt Historian lessons - I love that part of history!! I hope you will share some of the things you use