He also had a side hustle or two.
Dad was a fence builder.
Not those fancy white plastic fences we see around today.
He built REAL, manly fences.
The process started by finding a forest of cedar trees that had not been burned by wildfires, nor inhabited by mountain lions.
Then, using a 2x4 as a template, he'd look for straight trees with trunks 6 - 8 feet tall, not too fat at the bottom or too narrow at the top, strong enough to plant into the ground and secure many miles of tightly stretched barbed wire.
Cedar doesn't rot in the ground so long as its protective bark remains intact. However, it also doesn't grow particularly straight or tall. It also provides habitat for cougars.
Dad's fences were expected to last a hundred years without maintenance and, often, would never be seen by humans again.
My brothers joke about being PhDs when they were teenagers.
The joke is that PHD stood for Post Hole Digger.
It was dirty, hard, dangerous work. We often worked as a family, far away from any kind of civilization. I hated it, (because I was a brat that way... still am.) but it put 5 of us through college.
My portion came as a death benefit. Dad died of a brain aneurysm during my senior year of high school. He was 48 years old.
Let's talk Turkey
Last week we began the Timid Tom Turkey project. Here's a link if you missed Part 1.
We made a pretty row of tumbling leaves.
And we made a cute checker board accent.
(Without the stripes. We'll add that today.)
This week I promised we would build the fence.
Barbed wire and mountain lions not included!
Here's the deal about our fence:
- The fence is the base for all the applique. ...no pressure.
- Much of it is hidden under the applique when finished. NEVERTHELESS...
- It's an important part of the "scene".
Grab your fab and let's build a fence!
The pattern assumes your fabric has at least 40-1/2" usable width.
Label the strips as you cut.
Cut a piece of background fabric 18” x 10-1/2”
Cross-cut that piece into 1 each: 4-1/2” x 18”, 2-1/2” x 18”, 3-1/2” x 18” strips
Also cut from the background fabric (use the remainder of the previous cut where possible)
2 strips 1-1/2" x WOF and subcut
2 (two) 1-1/2" x 13-1/2”
1 (one) 1-1/2" x 28-1/2"
1 strip 2-1/2” x WOF and subcut
1(one) 2-1/2"x 28-1/2”
1 strip 1-7/8" and subcut
14 squares 1-7/8”
From the fence fabric cut:
3 strips 2-1/2” x WoF and subcut
7 strips 2-1/2” x 13-1/2”
2 strips 2-1/2" x 18"
For the horizontal fence pieces sew the18” strips into the following strip-set as shown:
Fence fabric 2-1/2”
Fence fabric 2-1/2”
The unit should measure 13-1/2” tall x 18” wide with horizontal seams.
The pieced unit should lay flat with all the seams straight. Press all the seams the same direction.
From the strip-set, cross cut 6 slices 2-1/2” wide. You'll have couple of inches extra, so don't be afraid to square up when needed.
For the vertical pickets:
Lightly mark a diagonal line, corner to corner, on the back of each of the 14 (fourteen) 1-7/8” background squares.
Create points on fence pickets by placing a marked square in the upper left corner of the fence strip, right sides together. Sew about 2 threads outside the marked line to accommodate the fold. Trim to 1/4” seam allowance then flip the remaining triangle into the corner and press. Lay another marked square on the upper right corner and repeat sewing, trimming and press.
Repeat on all 7 fence pickets. Each picket should measure 13-1/2” tall with the point of the picket 1/4” below the top edge of the fabric.
Build the fence by sewing the 7 pickets alternately with the 6 strip-pieced slices. Begin and end with a vertical picket. Press to the pickets. Your fence should measure 13-1/2” x 26-1/2”.
Border the fence by adding a 1-1/2” x 13-1/2” background strip to each side of the unit. Press to the background.
Then sew a 1-1/2” x 28-1/2” strip to the top of the fence. Be careful no to cut any points off the pickets. Press to the strip.
Finally, add the 2-1/2” x 28-1/2” strip to the bottom of the unit. Press to the strip.
Sadly, I didn't take a pic of just the fence. This is what the finished unit will look like from the back. Consider the machine applique lines a sneak peek into next time.
The fence unit should measure 16-1/2" x 28-1/2".
Frame the fence unit to keep it grounded.
From the Float border fabric (stripe in the sample) cut:
3 strips 1-1/2” x WoF and subcut
2 strips 1-1/2” x 30-1/2”
2 strips 1-1/2” x 16-1/2”
Sew a 1-1/2” x 16-1/2” strip of the frame fabric to each side of the fence unit. Press to the frame.
Sew a 1-1/2” x 30-1/2” strip of the frame fabric to the bottom of the leaves unit
Next time we'll do some machine applique and finish this cute project.
Be ready to let your inner artist out to play!
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See you next time!
PS. Wanna see where I hang out when I'm not at Seamless Piecing?
The Quilt Pattern Magazine is an online, monthly magazine where I publish some of my designs.
AND... it's not just a magazine. It's also a delightful, private, online community called Pattern Pastiche. Some of the best and nicest quilters around hang out there along with others, like me, who just want to rub shoulders with them.
It's a safe place to ask questions and get mentoring from those who know and care.
AND... If you go there from here you can use a special discount code just for Seamless Piecing readers. Here's the link. The code is: SP
The 9-patch Design Challenge is still going strong, but it won't last forever.
Fabric Requirements for the upcoming Quilting Weekend have been posted. You won't want to miss this fun weekend Fri., Sep. 20 to Sun., Sep. 22 . Nan Baker's awesome pattern is included. Skill Level: Easy.
Pattern Pastiche.) The adventure runs until March with new clues every two weeks.
Groups have sign-up deadlines so you don't want to dilly-dally!