Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day 2017 - Homemade Laundry Liquid!

 To celebrate Earth Day 2017 - I thought I would revisit a previous post and my recipe for making eco friendly liquid laundry soap.

Plus I need a new batch, so this is a great way to celebrate Earth Day and make up a few jugs! I hope you enjoy this beautiful day!

*****************************************************

 Hey yall! Don't you just love freshly laundered quilts? Warm from the sun. I took the opportunity to wash my Scrappy Many Trips Around the World. 




When I went to the laundry room I realized I was almost out of my favorite homemade laundry liquid. So I set about making a new batch and thought I would share the recipe. It is super simple to make and All Natural. Plus it is very economical!  Here is what you will need:



Ingredients:
1/2 cup Borax ( I use Mule Team 20X)
1/2 cup Washing Soda ( This is different from Baking Soda but is also made by Arm & Hammer)
1 cup soap flakes ( You can use Zote Soap, Lux Flakes or Fels-Naptha. I personally do not like the smell of any of those. I would not recommend using Oil of Olay, Tone or any of those bar soaps that have alot of added ingredients. Stick to a natural, pure soap product. I like to use my homemade soap but all I have left  are some Oatmeal bars,and since I didn't want Oatmeal in my laundry , I used an old bar of Ivory. )
8 quarts of cool water
2 quarts warm water
2 pots ( I use a small, old stock pot and an old, large canning pot)
A potato peeler or grater
A Measuring Cup
Something to dip your liquid soap with ( I use a large plastic measuring cup)
A large Funnel ( I make mine out of soda bottles. Just cut off the top about where the wrapper starts)(Oh, and save the cap. You can put it back on your funnel to keep stuff from dripping everywhere :))
Wooden or plastic spoon
At least 3 large containers to store your detergent in.
And a hot pad to place the pot on when you remove it from the heat.

Start by grating your bar soap. I prefer to use a potato peeler instead of a grater. It's easier on my knuckles!  You will need 1 cup of grated soap.You made need to lightly pack the soap down . You want a full cup.I use the whole bar!



Put the 2 quarts of warm water in the smaller pot and heat over medium heat. Then slowly add your grated soap and keep stirring gently until the soap melts. I like to use a wooden spoon. You will see small bits of soap floating around, that is ok.


Remove from the heat. Now slowly add the 1/2 cup of Borax and the 1/2 cup of Washing Soda. Stir until it all dissolves.
.
Now, pour the other 8 quarts of cold water into the larger pot. Slowly add the hot liquid to the cool water. Keep stirring until it starts to thicken as it cools.


Using a funnel, fill your jugs to within a few inches of the top. (You will need room in your container to shake your detergent before using it.)  I use a large plastic measuring cup to scoop up the liquid instead of lifting the heavy pot. I also use a cut off Soda bottle as a funnel. It works great! 


 See how the mixture kinda thickens and clumps up.


Be sure to leave a little room in the top of your containers for shaking. I also have a small container handy that will hold the last little bit.


As it cools and settles, it will separate a little from the extra water. That is fine. Just give it a good shake before using.

 You only need 1/2 cup per load!!! If you have extra dirty laundry, like I do sometimes after we have worked cattle all day, then you can use a full cup!


Now a couple of notes to mention:

You will NOT see suds in the washing machine. This does not make suds. And bubbles are NOT what cleans your laundry. Also, I don't have to use Downy! So that's another savings.

 If you want to add a scent like lemon, rose, lavender or whatever. You may add some using an essential oil. I like the smell of the Ivory or my homemade soaps, so I do not add anything. Plus I don't think my handsome farmer hubby dude wants to go around smellin' like a rose, (although I'd probaly prefer it)  Or you could seperate the liquid before pouring it in your jugs and add a few drops of an essential oil to a few quarts and just write "Smells good" on tha jug!  Or write "His" on one and "Hers" on tha other.

Also, depending on whether you have hard water or not, your whites may not appear as white as normal after a few washes. If so, then the next time you make a batch you can add 1/2 cup Oxy clean to the mix. I do not use the stuff and haven't had any problems. I like keeping it gentle enough to use on my quilts. If you have really stubborn stains, like a cow pattie, just pour a little on the nasty spot and let it sit a few minutes before washing!

If you have little ones around, I would not use a container that normally would hold a beverage item. They may think they can drink it. Instead use old Downy bottles or something of the sort and keep it put in a safe place like you normally would.

Cost Comparision: 1 to 2 cents per load! Yes .01 cents to .02 cents per load depending on how much you use! Most popular well known liquid detergents are approx. .45 cents to .52 cents per load!



The savings alone should make your laundry smell a little sweeter! Plus you know that you are helping to do your part to keep this world a safer, greener place to live!


Well, I hope that yall have enjoyed this little tutorial on how to make Liquid Laundry Detergent! We are expecting rain today and tomorrow, but I can't wait until the next sunny day to launder a few more quilts!
Thank yall for stopping by! I hope that Spring is making an appearance in your neck of the woods.

I would also like to give a big shout out and welcome to my newest followers! Welcome to the farm ya'll! 
Enjoy makin the bubblies!
xo jan

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter from the Farm!












   Happy Easter everyone!
  Spring has definitely sprung on the farm. Iris, periwinkle, Apple trees and Snow on the Mountain are all blooming profusely this year.
    I have a little Doe visitor everyday down at the house. There are 6 deer that stay scattered out all round the house, but this little doe likes to graze along side the driveway. She watches me watching her.
  One of my 1930's & Feedsack Patchwork of the Crosses Block of The Month members made great progress on her quilt for March. Liz is using a pretty pink for the connecting squares. This is going to be such a bright, happy quilt!
 It has been a really busy Spring around the farm with alot of beautiful sunrises and sunsets. All of the cows are doing great and we have a few new calves.
  The photo of Lily with the Easter basket is from a couple of years ago but was so fun I wanted to share it again.
I hope everyone has a beautiful, blessed Easter day!
xo jan

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses Block of the Month - 1930's & Feedsack!


Hi everyone - just an update - Our 2017 1930's &  Feedsack Patchwork of the Crosses BOM is full. Thank you to everyone that is participating! woohoo! 
xo jan



Hello!
I am super excited to offer additional memberships in our 
2017 Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses 1930's and Feedsack Reproduction prints Block of the Month Club exclusively from Featherweight Quilt Company!

   For the new members signing up, the program will begin in April. This will be a 9 month program running April 2017 thru December 2017. Once subscribed you will be automatically enrolled in our club program.

What you will receive:

 Each month for 9 months you will be sent a package that will include adorable and fun fabric to create three Patchwork of the Crosses quilt blocks along with a Paper Pieces 100 piece package of 1" Honeycomb cardstock templates. You will be making 27 Patchwork of the Crosses quilt blocks.

 Fabrics will be focused on 1930's and Feedsack Reproduction prints along with coordinated dots, stripes, solids and other blenders. You will also receive a 100pc package of 1" Honeycomb cardstock templates. You will use 72 of the Honeycombs each month to make your POTC blocks and the remaining 28 each month you will use for part of your background honeycombs. You will need to purchase 4 - 6 yards of background fabric and 2 - 3 yards of connecting and cornerstone fabric of your choice separately. I recommend you purchase plenty of background and connecting/cornerstone fabric in case you decide to make a larger quilt. Each month there will be at least one additional fabric remaining from your block fabrics that can be used for the centers of the cornerstones for a fun and scrappy look. I do reserve the right to substitute fabric where necessary. All kits may or may not include the same fabrics as other members kits. ( for instance, if I run out of a fabric I may substitute it for a different fabric.) 

 We will also have a facebook group for PAID subscribers only where we will show and discuss layout and occasional fussy cutting options so I encourage you to join the facebook group.  I will not be showing block layout every month however occasionally there will be opportunities to fussy cut and I will try to  share these along with other tips and techniques within the facebook group. I will also be sending out periodic newsletters.

 You do need to have a basic knowledge of English Paper Piecing. There is a Patchwork of the Crosses tutorial at the top of this blog.
 I do recommend using the 1" Honeycomb Acrylic for cutting your shapes and for occasional fussy cutting. I also recommend a good quality thread.My favorite thread for English Paper Piecing is Aurifil 50 weight. I also recommend Foxglove Cottage Straws or Sharps Needles. I use sizes 10 or 11. If you are not familiar with these needles, I have Sample packs and vials in my ETSY shop along with Acrylics and threads. I also have the 1" Square cardstock templates and acrylics along with edge finishing pieces. I cannot combine orders from the ETSY shop with the BOM subscription. 

 Currently the 2017 Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses 1930's and Feedsack Reproduction prints Block of the Month Club is open to US residents only. The program is a 9 month program and will run April 2017 thru December 2017 and is noncancellable.  The costs of the Club is $24.95 per month and this includes shipping within the United States. I do not keep your credit card information on file.  Each month APRIL thru December 2017 you will receive a Paypal invoice by the 5th of each month for $24.95. The invoice will be DUE UPON RECEIPT. You may remit payment from your Paypal account or by credit/debit cards thru paypal. Membership will be deleted if Invoice is not paid by the 10th of each month.  Your BOM Club kit will ship within 3 business days after receiving cleared payment. (Please note that e-checks take longer to clear and may delay shipment. I do recommend setting up a Paypal account.)

 Signup forms are below. ( If you are having problems with the signup form, please contact me).  Be sure to use the correct email for receiving your invoice and Newsletters. Make sure your Paypal mailing address represents where you would like your 2017 Patchwork of the Crosses 1930's Feedsack Reproduction Prints BOM Club package to be sent. Please fill out ALL lines of the form. You will be sent a confirmation email that you must validate before your registration is complete.  There are only a select number of memberships available and the signup form will be removed when all the spaces are filled.  By signing up below, you agree to participate in the full 9 month program.

I am so excited to start on this fun and exciting BOM with you! 
Please let me know if you have any questions.
xo jan

PS. There may be a few little surprises and treats along the way :)!


Sorry - we are now full. xo jan

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses 2017 1930's & Feedsack Reproduction Prints Block of the Month Club!

Good Monday morning everyone! Thank you to all who joined our 2017 1930's and Feedsack BOM!

Our first Newsletter was sent on March 2nd! Be sure to check your email.  March invoices were sent today. I aim to ship packages 1 - 3 days after receiving cleared payment. 

I want to encourage you to join our 1930's BOM Facebook group! This is a Private Group for subscribers only. We will be sharing tips, techniques and photos of our blocks for lots of inspiration! It is also a great way for me to reach you if any problems arise. 

I may have more slots open soon, so be sure and watch this space and facebook for an announcement when more spaces are available!

This is going to be so much fun! I can't wait to see what you create!
xo jan

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses 2017 1930's & Feedsack Reproduction Prints Block of the Month Club!



WOOHOO!! Our 2017 1930's & Feedsack BOM is currently full. Thank you everyone that joined up!  If you wanted to join and did not get a place, please email me and I will let you know when we have openings! 
xo Jan

Hello!
I am super excited to announce the launch of our 
2017 Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses 1930's and Feedsack Reproduction prints Block of the Month Club exclusively from Featherweight Quilt Company!

  This will be a 10 month program running March 2017 thru December 2017. Once subscribed you will be automatically enrolled in our club program.

What you will receive:

 Each month for 10 months you will be sent a package that will include adorable and fun fabric to create three Patchwork of the Crosses quilt blocks along with a Paper Pieces 100 piece package of 1" Honeycomb cardstock templates. We will be making 30 Patchwork of the Crosses quilt blocks using a 5x6 block layout. 

 Fabrics will be focused on 1930's and Feedsack Reproduction prints along with coordinated dots, stripes and solids. You will also receive a 100pc package of 1" Honeycomb cardstock templates. You will use 72 of the Honeycombs each month to make your POTC blocks and the remaining 28 each month you will use for part of your background honeycombs. You will need to purchase 4 - 6 yards of background fabric and 2 - 3 yards of connecting and cornerstone fabric of your choice separately. I recommend you purchase plenty of background and connecting/cornerstone fabric in case you decide to make a larger quilt. Each month there will be at least one additional fabric remaining from your block fabrics that can be used for the centers of the cornerstones for a fun and scrappy look. I do reserve the right to substitute fabric where necessary.

 We will also have a facebook group for subscribers only where we will show and discuss layout and occasional fussy cutting options so I encourage you to join the facebook group.  I will not be showing block layout every month however occasionally there will be opportunities to fussy cut and I will share these along with other tips and techniques within the facebook group. I will also be sending out periodic newsletters.

 You do need to have a basic knowledge of English Paper Piecing. There is a Patchwork of the Crosses tutorial at the top of this blog.
 I do recommend using the 1" Honeycomb Acrylic for cutting your shapes and for occasional fussy cutting. I also recommend a good quality thread.My favorite thread for English Paper Piecing is Aurifil 50 weight. I also recommend Foxglove Cottage Straws or Sharps Needles. I use sizes 10 or 11. If you are not familiar with these needles, I have Sample packs and vials in my ETSY shop along with Acrylics and threads. I also have the 1" Square cardstock templates and acrylics along with edge finishing pieces. I cannot combine orders from the ETSY shop with the BOM subscription. 

 Currently the 2017 Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses 1930's and Feedsack Reproduction prints Block of the Month Club is open to US residents only. The program is a 10 month program and will run March 2017 thru December 2017 and is noncancellable.  The costs of the Club is $24.95 per month and this includes shipping within the United States. I do not keep your credit card information on file.  Each month March thru December 2017 you will receive a Paypal invoice by the 5th of each month for $24.95. You may remit payment from your Paypal account or by credit/debit cards thru paypal. Your BOM Club kit will ship within 3 business days after receiving cleared payment. (Please note that e-checks take longer to clear and may delay shipment. I do recommend setting up a Paypal account.)

 Signup forms are below. ( If you are having problems with the signup form, please contact me).  Be sure to use the correct email and mailing address of where you would like your 2017 Patchwork of the Crosses 1930's Feedsack Reproduction Prints BOM Club package to be sent. Please fill out ALL lines of the form. You will be sent a confirmation email that you must validate before your registration is complete.  There are only a select number of memberships available and the signup form will be removed when all the spaces are filled.  By signing up below, you agree to participate in the full 10 month program.

I am so excited to start on this fun and exciting BOM with you! 
Please let me know if you have any questions.
xo jan

PS. There will also be a few little surprises and treats along the way :)!


UPDATE:     We are currently full - please email me and I will keep your name on a list for when we have openings. xo jan

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses Tutorial


  Patchwork of the Crosses by Lucy Boston is easy to make and so much fun to English Paper Piece. Lucy made her original quilt by the English Paper Piecing method and today I would like to share a tutorial on how to make these fun and intriguing little blocks! 

1. Gather your supplies . ( I have kits and supplies available in my ETSY shop)  .
2. Thread: My favorite thread to use when English Paper Piecing is Aurifil 50wt. 
    Colors shown are    1100,2000 &2888. 
3. Needle : I love Foxglove Cottage Straws 10 or 11's. ( I also love using a Ring Pincushion)
4. Scissors
5. Applique pin. Applique pins are short so your thread will not get tangled on the pin.
6. 1" Honeycomb Acrylic and templates. I use Paper Pieces acrylic and cardstock templates exclusively. Also available in my ETSY shop.
7. Basting thread or Glue Pen. You can either glue baste or thread baste. I prefer Fons & Porter.
8.  Lead pencil or pen for tracing your shapes.
9. Fabric for your block. I have all types of coordinated fabric kits available in the shop also.









DO NOT REMOVE YOUR PAPERS YET - PHOTO BELOW IS FOR INSTRUCTION PURPOSES ONLY!




After you have all the honeycombs basted you can start assembling the block as follows:
 With right sides together:









   And here is your finished Patchwork of the Crosses block! Wasn't that fun? I leave my paper templates in my blocks until they are joined onto the connecting blocks. ( You can remove the center 8 if you want to reuse them, but leave the outside papers in place).

 I have Starter Kits and supplies available in my ETSY shop. I can also substitute this block for any of the blocks currently available in my ETSY Shop if you prefer different fabrics. I would LOVE to help you get started on your Patchwork of the Crosses journey! 

  We are currently offering Mystery Patchwork of the Crosses kits in the shop! These kits provide the fabric and the cardstock templates to make a beautiful fussy cut Patchwork of the Crosses block. The Mystery kits are so fun because you get all the color and scale coordinated fabrics you need to make a block, but you get to decide where you want to fussy cut and the layout arrangement. 
You do not have to sign up for the Mystery Kits. This is an ongoing offer, so you can start, stop and start at anytime with no set number of blocks to purchase.

    Also, please stop by my Facebook page! I'd love to see you there too! I post on facebook when new kits available so be sure to "Like US"  and "See First" as kits are limited. And I would love to see your blocks so be sure to share!!! And stop by my Pinterest page for lots of Patchwork of the Crosses inspiration! 

AND I have a new and fun Patchwork of the Crosses program coming soon! 



1930's and Feedsack Reproduction Prints Patchwork of the Crosses! This will be so much fun. Be sure to watch Facebook for my announcement for when these kits are available! 
    I hope you enjoyed my tutorial. Please let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you so much for stopping by! I can't wait to see what you create!
Happy Stitching!
xo jan

PS. Please be respectful and do not leave comments below selling or suggesting other       products/methods.






Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My January!
























 Oh Dear Sweet January! I hate to see you go! I LOVE January! A fresh start to a New Year!  And such mild weather this year!
    Look at that sweet Dixie! She is such a sweetie pie. She has a pin in her knee from an accident when she was 9 months old, so she is a pet instead of a working dog. She used to work with her sister Dixie, but I am afraid a cow may hurt her or more likely that she would get in a fight with a coyote or her sister, so she stays up close to the barns.
    Hubby and I walked all over the farm about 3 times searching for a cow that was about to calve. I was so tired that I just sat down on the tire of a wagon , leaned back and looked up! Of course the hubby just had to say " Well she won't be up there!" .  I said " No, Smartie Pants but a Met Life Blimp is :)!"  Sometimes it pays to look up.  After I rested a few minutes, I decided to recheck around the hay rings and sure enough, there she was hiding behind a tree. Cows will go off by themselves when they are ready to calve. She wound up having the calf late that night. And I caught a beautiful sunset on my way back to the barn.
  And just today the pulpwood company was burning off some timberland that they had already harvested. The beautiful blue sky and mild temps had me digging out some more gardening books. I love my vintage gardens books. My favorite is Kitchen Gardens by Mary Mason Campbell. There are quite a few drawings and a painting of a Cottage Garden that I love.
  I haven't made any progress on teaching myself Crewel. I have had fun with the little time I have had to spend with it. I've also been winding some more of my Peruvian Wool that I am knitting into a bed runner.
  I had some coordinating fabric for the Sailboat quilt so I made a pillowcase to use to gift it in. I love to make matching pillowcases for quilts. I store my quilts and sheet sets in pillowcases. It helps keep the linen closet tidy, keeps the quilts safe and organizes the sheet sets.
 The ETSY shop has been very busy. I am so grateful for that especially since the hubby has not been able to return to work yet.  I am working on setting up a 1930's and Feedsack Block of the Month! It is really going to be fun!
 And I finally got all the holiday decorations put away except for my Cottage in the Snow. I love leaving the light on in the cottage at night, so maybe I will leave it out for a while longer. Maybe March, or April.
     And I almost forgot! Craftsy is having a one day event on Thursday February 2nd! They will have 14 Classes for only $14.00! Woohoo! I love Craftsy classes! And they also have Quilting supplies on sale!
  Goodbye January! I will miss you. Looking forward to February!
I hope all of you have had a great January! Let me know how your start to this new year has been!
Thank you all for stopping by!
Hugs and warm wishes!
xoxo jan