Thursday, October 28, 2010

another civil war soldier's cot quilt

I am making another civil war era cot quilt for the soldiers. Well, actually for me right now, but hopefully some lucky soldier will be able to sleep under it! Anyway, I am making a cot quilt like the ladies would have made for the Sanitary Commission (Northern) to distribute and the Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society (Southern) would have made for the soldiers in the medical hospitals, that were on cots of course! The block I chose to use this time around is the 25 patch - 25 squares sewn into one big square and then sashed with another fabric. I figured this would have been a great way for the ladies in 1862 to use their fabric scraps from other various projects to make quilts for the cause. I am streamlining the process though. I am not cutting every single 2 1/2 inch square out and then sewing them together. I am sewing 2 1/2 inch strips together, cutting them, and then sewing them together.

Here are a few of my 2 1/2 inch strips sewn together into 5 rows. I have been collecting civil war reproduction fabric for awhile now, and it was fun to use some of the fat quarters! I think I made about 20 of these pieces.
Then I cut those larger pieces into 2 1/2 inch strips the opposite way. I got around 8 strips from each piece.

So here are most of them. They are all stacked together in piles of 8 of the same strip.

I then took 5 strips from random piles and put them together. My only stipulation was that the same fabric could not be right next to itself.

Then I sewed them together! I now have about 20 of these 25 patch blocks. They are 10 1/2 inches square right now, but when they get pieced into the sashing fabric, they will be 10 inch finished blocks. Now I need to find that perfect sashing/backing fabric! The cot quilt plan I made requires 15 of these blocks with 5 inches of sashing around each one - sides, top, and bottom. I am sure that this is clear as mud to some of you, but hopefully it made sense to someone! I will show you the finished quilt top as soon as I get that perfect sashing fabric! I need to get this top finished so I can work on hand quilting it while at a reenactment in a few weeks!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oh Susannah

Oh Susannah, Oh don't you cry for me. I came from Alabama with a banjo on my knee.

If only you could have heard it on 3 harmonicas the other day - it was great!

Friday, October 22, 2010


I started our first fire of the season about an hour ago. Darn it. The older I get the more I love warm weather! The fire does feel so splendidly nice and toasty though. As I type, I can hear the fellow across the street mowing his lawn. Kinda funny. We are supposed to get a nice big storm in this weekend, he is more prepared than I! My yard and garden have not been put to bed for the winter. That is something I still must do . . . but for now I will enjoy the warmth of the fire.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

under attack

Yesterday Kendal and I were in a building that had some construction going on. There was a little boy there about the same age (5) playing around. As we were leaving, the little boy grabbed a piece of scrap lumber that magically turned into a gun. He ran up and shot us on the way out of the building. My sweet little Kendal didn't even miss a beat - when she heard the little boy firing his magic gun at us, she turned around and sprayed him with her Spiderman spiderwebs. It completely took the little boy off guard to be under attack so swiftly. She let him have it all the way out of the building -she walked backwards and sprayed spiderwebs the whole way out. I love her.

Since we are posting hand pictures, here is Matt's a few days ago. He routered his index finger while making a pinewood derby car with Kelsey. Ouch! It actually looks pretty good here, the flaps of skins all back where they need to be and a few days of healing!

Kelsey was practicing her violin last night and I must admit, after 4 lessons she is sounding pretty good! Twinkle Twinkle Little Star only has a few pauses for finger changes! Anyway, when she was finished practicing she was fooling around. Maybe she wants to play the 'dog house bass' like Brian of The Bar J Wranglers!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

i wanted cdvs

Last week was super busy for us. My dad came up for three days and helped with the basement project. He did so much work! He said to my mom, very jokingly of course, "Rachel is working me like a borrowed mule." I sure appreciate all that he did. The final inspection is today! I have some trim to paint and a few things to touch up, then carpet, then move it! I will be posting picture of that soon! I am so excited I can hardly stand it.

Last week I also made an appointment to have the kids pictures taken, 1860s style. When I made the appointment I told them what I wanted - images that looked like they were taken in the 1860s. No smiling (they were not angry in 1862, but it took a while to take the picture so it was easier to just have a relaxed face), simple backdrop (wooden chair or bench with plain background), a few period correct props we brought to show my kid's personalities, no trendy poses, just straight on like in 1860. They didn't get me - at all.

Here are a few of them. They are cute, just not what I had in mind. I wanted it to look like an 1860 cdv of my kids. Next time I am going to have my sister Tori do it, she gets me.

I got most of the actual pictures processed in sepia. They look cute, but not what I had expected. I still bought some though because they are my kids, and they did turn out cute. These are just a few from the cd that comes with the pictures.

The reason I had to get pictures done asap, is because my kids are outgrowing their clothing I made for them! Kelsey and Kendal got two dresses each this spring and now each girl only has one that fits, and Kendal's can barely button up in the back! Emmitt's gowns used to almost hit his boots, now they are just below the knee! My sweet ones are growing up!

It was an okay experience that last WAY too long, but next time Tori the Talented will take care of us!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yesterday our little family headed for the hills to get some firewood. Matt has already brought home 3 loads of juniper from the ranch, but I wanted a few loads of quaky for quick starting fires. Matt, Kelsey, and Judd went Saturday morning for one load. Our little crew plus Matt's dad went for another in the afternoon.

The girls were great helpers. They stacked all the wood in the truck and had a great time doing it.

Matt did most of the cutting, his dad did some, and I hauled it all to the truck. It was a beautiful fall afternoon.

Matt, Kelsey, Emmitt, Kendal, and their grandpa.

It was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I have to tell one little story about this jacket. I love it. It is my favorite. If you could see the front of it, you would see a HUGE hole in the red flannel that has been stitched up once and re-ripped. My brother gave me this jacket. It was in a little better shape when he gave it to me, but not much. There are a few buttons missing and I think they were missing when I received it.
Anyway, I got this jacket when I was on my first EVER fire. It was just a little one outside of Richfield and we were initial attacking it overnight since we arrived on the fire in the evening. I had packed EVERYTHING in my pack but a jacket. My brother was on the fire with me, I think he was the Incident Commander of the fire, and around midnight he asked me if I had a jacket because it would be getting cold soon, plus we were getting the fire out. I told him no so he pulled this one out of his pack for me. It went on EVERY single fire I went on for all 5 years I fought fire. I love this jacket. It makes me think of my brother, the smell of smoke and water mixed together, sore feet, drinking warm water from my canteens in the middle of July, my polaski, my sweet nomex pants, sleeping in tents for too many nights in a row with no shower, a do-rag on my head, and many many things. But mostly it reminds me of my brother. He is a good guy and a super big brother. I love him.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Underground Railroad

QUILTFEST is currently going on in my little valley. The state of Utah has a statewide quilt guild and every October they have a HUGE annual event - QUILTFEST. This year it happens to be in Midway. I helped set up the quilt show on Tuesday and there are gorgeous quilts! I forgot my camera of course, I think that means I need to go back today! Anyway, there are hundreds of quilting classes offered at QUILTFEST and last night Amanda and I attended a class on the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was a network of safe houses leading from the south to the north that 100,000 slaves used to run away to the north. Supposedly, quilts had something to do with it all and quilting ladies are making millions selling quilting patterns about the underground railroad. We went last night to learn all about it.

Amanda and I dressed up in our civil war era clothing to go to our class last night. The ladies loved us. When they would ask what we were doing we would reply something like this "We are headed to the underground railroad class of course. My dear cousin Amanda from the south here keeps loosing her help and I told her those fancy coded quilt blocks were the reason. So she came to find out how her slaves are escaping, I and came to find out what quilt blocks to make in what colors so I can make some freedom quilts and help all those poor slaves!" The ladies thought we were hilarious. We had a great time. We ran into ladies we knew and we also made new friends.

After I got home from our silly, fun night, I took out my fancy bun Amanda fixed so beautifully for me. This is what I would look like if I could stay away from a pair of scissors! Rachel with long hair, will it ever happen? I doubt it!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Change is in the air! I was talking with my brother over the weekend as we sat watching my nephew's football game and he said "It is time to put another blanket on the bed" as a cold wind came up. It made me giggle for some reason. Anyway, it is time for another blanket on the bed and it is time for my new quilt to finally be used!

I finished this quilt (and matching pillowcases) almost one year ago to the day. I didn't want to use it a year ago because Emmitt was just a new sweet baby with many nasty bodily functions spewing from his body and he spent quite a bit of time on my bed, and because I didn't have the chance to enter it into the fair (I know, lame reason, but it is true.) So, this quilt happily won Sweepstakes at the fair this year, the weather is cooler, Emmit is 1 year and 1/2 old and isn't so nasty anymore, so now it is time to put it to use.

Here is the view from my bedroom window. You can see the sumac leaves are changing, the corn is done, the woodpile is growing, and fall is here. I will sleep so snug tonight!


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