Sunday, May 24, 2015

In the Branding Pen

I promise this'll be the last branding post. Not forever. Just for now. :) Some years I don't have the opportunity to hang over the fence and when I do, well, I guess I get a little carried away.

Now we're finally ready to head into the branding pen where the propane tank and branding box is set up, the water cooler is set out, and the syringes are loaded:

And our resident jolly rancher hands out...what else...but Jolly Ranchers

Ropes are coiled

Calves are caught

Drug to the fire, easy


Flanked into position 


 earmarked, cut if they are bull calves, and vaccinated


Give your Mama that look that says, "You can stop taking pictures now"

But Mama doesn't listen well

She's trying to capture the essence of the day

And stop time

It doesn't work, but that doesn't stop her from trying because there are new generations to teach

And I'm not the only Mama that likes to keep a watchful eye on what goes on around here

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Before the Branding Fire Starts

After our spring works, things got even busier and I never got around to posting the 2nd round of photos I had taken so I thought I'd pop those in here. Finding cattle in this is a challenge, but I headed out to Adobe Pens anyway:

The sun worked its magic and a clear, blue sky took over. Even the moon wanted in on the action:

This road was washed out and completely impassable so the dozer man built it back up and now we're back in business. We're going to get spoiled with nice roads like this:

This is Spotted Tank...our favorite fishing hole...until the drought dried it up and killed all the fish. :( Lots of good memories were made here:

And now we've been blessed with an abundance of water. This is the other side of the road where the water spills over. Looks like the perfect spot for a hammock!

Once I got to the pens, I scanned the horizon until I spotted the herd:

The crew brings 'em up easy

It was a perfect morning to be horseback, but if you ask this girl, ANY morning is a perfect morning when you are in the saddle:

The crew holds the herd

While DH cuts out the bulls and sorts off the drys 

And the boys drive them through the gate

Where they fuss and grumble about being pushed around:


Next up, they walk the cattle into the pens


and sort off the calves

Once they are all sorted and corraled into a holding pen

 They can finally start branding. I apologize for the photo heavy post. I edited heavily. :)


Guess I'm not very good at that. :)


O.K. That's a lot of photos.  I'm thinking we'll save the actual branding shots for tomorrow. Just one more. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Scrappy Summer Graduation Quilt

A few weeks ago, college girl and I were talking about graduation. She asked me where the past 4 years had gone and I laughed. Oh, my dear child...I have the same question. Just substitute 4 for 21.

Her best college gal pal is graduating too and I asked DD about making her a quilt. DD lit up, but she knows how much time and work go into making a quilt and she didn't want to add something else to the long list of what goes on around here in the spring. I told her to look through my Pnterest quilting board and see if something caught her eye. She wanted something scrappy and colorful and fun and when she asked about this quilt, I knew it was doable. This is a fun pattern from Alison of Cluck Cluck Sew fame ,called Scrappy Summer and you can find her free tutorial here. I would have to sew fast though so I started pulling fabrics and sent pictures to DD for approval.


She said it was perfect so the fabric began to fly. In the middle of the fabric frenzy, I made that trip to my Mom's, and a few days after I got back, I cleared all "To Do's", made sure there were leftovers for 2 meals and sewed up a storm.


I don't think I've ever whipped out a quilt this quickly:


I was actually tired of sitting behind the sewing machine. I know. That's a comment worthy of needing a scolding, but its true. This one never even made it to the UFO list.Still, I loved piecing this and seeing it come together. The white has been in my stash for probably 6 years. I found it at Alco, a little dollar store type establishment in some smaller towns. They used to carry fabric...good fabric....quilt store quality fabric...for next to nothing. I have bought Moda fabric there. This is a Bare Essentials by RJR fabric and I bought 6 yards for $1.99...for all 6 yards. The tag says $1.99/yard, but when I mentioned it to the cashier, he said, no, that was the price for all of it. O.K. I tried.


The fabric didn't come on bolts. It was simply stacked in folded piles on the shelf and you never knew how much there was. There was no cutting a yard or any other amount. You just bought the whole lot.

 This is the first time I have used solids too. How many of you are gasping? I didn't have a single solid in my stash. Online ordering to the rescue and problem solved. :)


Most of these are American Made brand fabrics. I wish more fabrics were made in America, but this is a good start and you can bet I'll be sewing with them more.

I sewed fast so that I could get it to Jackie and not rush her. I know this is a busy time for her with graduation and Mother's Day. I have 4 other quilts there and I asked her to just push them back and quilt this one first. She's a gem.


I picked it up a week later and she once again brought the quilt to life with her choice of design. I love the variegated thread.


I let the grass grow a little taller than I usually do, and I sent DH off without me a day or two, and I stitched on the binding:

It finishes at 78 x 86. I didn't want any toes peeking out when she snuggles with it!


I finished it just in the nick of time, but it was a rainy day so the plan for outdoor photos was vetoed:


A run through the washer and dryer and its all set for a really wonderful young gal who's ready to take the world by the horns.


Friday, May 15, 2015

The Granny Square Quilt is DONE

If you're stopping by here from Amy's Blogger Quilt Festival...

Welcome to the end of the dirt road! I'm excited to share this quilt with y'all today. This quilt has been on my UFO list for a long time - 5 years to be exact. As soon as I saw it on the cover of the October 2010 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting I knew I had to make it. Scrappy quilts are always the ones that tug at my heart the hardest. This pattern is by Moda Lissa and I made my first block immediately.

I had only been quilting for a year and I had never worked with such tiny strips, but I was hooked.

Lots of stash building happened while stitching this quilt and I was elated with each and every block.

And the 1.25" strips just kept multiplying

This project kept being pushed back onto the back burner again and again, but every so often the strips would cry out that they had been neglected for far too long and more block making would commence:


I finally finished piecing the blocks and got it stitched into a top and then it sat again.


The pieced border intimidated me, but I had already cut all the pieces and pieced strips and I loved the border.


During one of my trips through Brady, I finally stumbled upon the perfect backing and at $3.50/yard, it was especially perfect:


Then it was off to Jackie for a little quilting TLC and it was finally time for binding!


It finished at 80 x 92" and those of you that know me, know that I wish I had made it bigger. I did make it bigger than the original pattern and at some point and time, there may be another one :)  Rest assured, in the 5 years since I started this quilt, I now have a large enough stash that I can sew the next one entirely from scraps. I love everything about this quilt...

And the Texas Hill Country:

 In the springtime:

Is an especially pretty spot to show it off:

Thank y'all so much for stopping by during the festival! I hope you'll stop in again. 

And thank you Amy for hosting this twice a year. Here's a link to all the inspiration! 

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