Monday, September 1, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop...

Hey yall! Welcome to my stop on the "Around the World Blog Hop"! That's me down there under that big cloud covering North Georgia, USA! If you've landed here, it's probaly because you have been hopping around visiting bloggers from all over our gorgeous big blue orb, better known as planet Earth!

   But before I tell you a little more about me, I would like to say a great big THANK YOU to Karen of Karen's Quilts, Crows and Cardinals for tagging me in this hop. Karen is incredibly talented and generous.
And soon to be teaching her very popular quilt that she cooked up for the Moda Bake Shop, "Red Birds and Berries".
Isn't it gorgeous! It is definitely on my bucket list. And look at her free motion quilting in the background. Just stunning.! Karen will be teaching this darling mini at Quilters Corner in Ithaca NY on Sept 10 and 24th along with three other projects and an open class studio during the Fall Semester! You should see the other projects she will be teaching! Adorable! Way to go Karen! You can read more about Karen and her post in the Around the World Blog Hop here! Thank you Karen for being such a dear and supportive friend!
 
   For this blog hop we were asked to talk about and share the following with you:

1. What am I working on? 
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
3. Why do I write/create what I do? 
4. How does my writing/creating process work?



Hmmmmm....
1.  What am I working on??
 Well if I am anything like most quilters/sewist/crafters I have more than one project in the works at any given moment.
  My latest and biggest UFO to date would have to be my Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses quilt. These are my latest two blocks:
 These are English Paper Pieced. A huge obsession of mine lately! It takes 56 of these little beauties to make the original size quilt of 88"x 99"!   No, I didn't fall off my tractor and bump my noggin'. But farm life is the main reason that I took up English Paper Piecing. I often found myself out at the barn or the hay fields wanting to sew and I began carrying along little hand sewing projects like my Hexie flowers for the Inchy Flower Swap. Then I discovered Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses and was totally hooked. I love fussy cutting. And I am working on a pattern that incorporates these blocks.
I am so excited also to share my love of Patchwork of the Crosses and have opened an ETSY shop "Featherweight Quilt Company" to share my block designs. I sell kits of my blocks from whatever fabric I have leftover after making my blocks. This is a great way to get started making these blocks and to learn fussy cutting. The kits include the necessary fabric and the paper templates for making the block. Additional English Paper Piecing supplies, like hexagons, diamonds for 6 pointed stars and acrylic templates, can also be purchased from my shop! I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to everyone that has been purchasing items from Featherweight Quilt Company!  I truly appreciate each and every one of you and the support that you all have shown to me. I get so excited each week when I am working on a new block to bring to yall. And I can't wait to share my pattern, hopefully in early Spring 2015!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, I do not know how to really answer that except to say that we are all individuals. Even with my Patchwork of the Crosses kits there are usually several layout options so you can change the block up. However, these blocks are all made with the same 24 - 1" honeycombs. The fabric choices and placement makes each block unique. I am very excited about the fussy cutting possibilities within these designs and how you can derive a secondary pattern from fabric/color placement.

3. Why do I write /create what I do?
Well, my English Paper Piecing projects were born out of necessity really. Finding myself daily away from my sewing machine and feeling that need to create was driving me crazy. So I began English Paper Piecing as a way to fulfill that creative desire.
 Many of you already know that I love to write and tell stories. I love, love my blog as an outlet for that. My writings generally stem from my experiences from living on our farm and the happenings of that lifestyle.



I also LOVE photography and have been saving up for a nice camera! And I love to tell stories with photos. I think I would love instagram if I could find a way to fit it into my day and learn what the heck it is all about!
:)

4. How does my writing /creative process work?
Well, let's see. I have not really just sat down and thought about how I think??? :O I think I glean inspiration from my daily routine, unexpected surprises and the things I experience in and around the farm. I would have to say an idea usually hits me and I just have to do it or create it. Whether it is a block design or a story to tell. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and just have to get a pen and paper and start writing or designing something.
I am so grateful that I am finally in a place in my life where I have the freedom to create and the time to enjoy all the simple pleasures that life has to offer.
from Kelly "Always Applique"
Eeeeeek!!! See why I am enamoured by her work! Adorable!! Kelly will be posting her stop of the "Around the World Blog hop on Monday Sept 8th.. Be sure to stop by next Monday and tell her hello. I can't wait to see how her creative mind flows! 


 Secondly, I chose Cynthia of The Cranes Nest! Yall I met Cynthia through the "Grow Your Blog" Hop party. I actually won one of her giveaways. Her blog is full of gardening, redecorating and remodling and pottery! Cynthia is a very talented painter and sculptor. Her work is adorable and I want to collect it all!
Cynthia Crane on Etsy!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Aurifil BOM.........

Hey yall!
 First, I am so happy to report that we are finally winning the battle over the pink eye around the farm! Hubby has worked relentlessly treating the infected cows,calves and bulls and implementing more preventative measures with the remainder of the herd. We are down to only TWO infected! Yippee!! We also had a neighbor a few miles away call asking if we had seen any pink eye over on our place? He has 8 infected cows right now and our vet has had around a dozen infected. I don't know why this year has been such a problem in this area, but thank goodness it is almost over. Hopefully with all the cows still retaining their sight. One of the two that we have that is still infected is in pretty bad shape though. She is older and may loose one eye. She was born on this farm along with her twin sister. And we still have their mother. Both of the girls have calves on them too. Even if she looses her eye, she will not be going anywhere. She is here to stay. Like her mother who is now 28 yrs old or there abouts.  My hubby can walk up to most every cow in our pasture and lay his hands on them.  She has been no exception, until now. She has become pretty shy of us. I guess she doesn't want us doctoring her anymore, but we have to. Hopefully she will settle back down soon and maybe that eye will clear up. 
  This afternoon I finally had the opportunity to do a little sewing. Each year Aurifil offers a Block of the Month quilt along. Pat Sloan is the incredibly talented coordinator that brings it all together. You can find the Flickr group here where we upload our photos for a chance to win a Large Spool box of Aurifil Thread EVERY MONTH! Woot! Woot! You can also see all the other participants blocks and a list of the previous months winners and find the patterns for all the Aurifil Blocks of the Month ! 
 Here is my August Aurifil Block of the Month:

 A polka dotted button! The pattern this month is brought to us by Michelle Foster! I love this block. Now I always have a difficult time sewing small pieces but  Michele's pattern was very easy to follow! 
  These are my blocks from January , July and August. I have some catching up to do! I have always wanted to make a pink and brown quilt. I am using Pirouette from Fat Quarter Shop. I love how it is turning out so far!
It's not too late to join in the fun! You can find the pattern for this months block along with all the previous patterns here! These are so much fun to sew and I am learning some new blocks too!
  Now to just catch up with the rest of my blocks! Thank you  Aurifil and Pat  for hosting such a fun Block of the Month QAL! 
I hope yall are finding a little time to sew! And since it is Sunday, I am linking up with Slow Stitchin Sundays at Kathy's Quilts! Drop by and see what everyone is working on today!
Have fun yall! 
xo jan


Now how did those sneak in here??  I did get 3 Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks put in the shop this week. :)
Have fun yall!!
xo jan

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Selfies,scissors and Slow Stitchin Sunday!

Hey yall! I hope everyone has had a great week and weekend. We have been battling pink eye with the cattle. This little guys mama has it so they have been in the barn for a week and he has gotten very spoiled.
"Calf selfie"

He is half Braunvieh and half Jersey. I am really hoping that he doesn't contract it. Pink Eye is caused by a bacteria and spread through flies crawling around their eyes and by them rubbing against one another. We keep fly spray  and other deterrents around, but this year has been a battle.
 We treat Pink Eye with LA200 injections and another antibiotic mixed into their feed. We also clean their eyes and put a salve in it. Needless to say that is easier said than done .  We have started treating the whole herd to hopefully put a halt to it spreading any further. Left untreated it can actually cause blindness.  I ran into our local Veterinarian at the Post Office last week and he confirmed our treatments and said they have been battling it at their place this year too. We haven't had any around our farm in probaly 15 - 16 yrs. . This sweetie has a little runny eye so he is being watched very closely and receiving some antibiotics to help ward it off. He has become so friendly and demands his feed very loudly every morning! I am sure going to miss him when he goes back out into the pastures.
And I am so excited! I won a giveaway from Carole at My Carolina Home. for her 100th blogpost!  A brand spanking new pair of Karen Kay Buckley's 7 1/2" Perfect Scissors! Yall I can honestly say that this is the best pair of scissors that I have ever used! 

I wanted to give them a few test runs before I shared with yall. There are a few reasons why "Perfect Scissors" is the perfect name for these jewels! First, my hands pretty much stay sore from farm chores and sewing so much. I love the soft grip handles and they have a large opening to accommodate my tired and sore fingers. So they are super comfortable to use.  Secondly, they have a micro serrated edge! I have never used a serrated scissor until these. Awesome! The serrated edge actually grips the fabric and keeps it from sliding away from the scissor blades. I never even realized that fabric did that until I used these and saw and felt the difference! With all my hand sewing it has made accurate cutting a breeze. And thirdly, I LOVE the super sharp points and the fact that these will cut the fabric all the way down to the point of the scissors without any fabric slipping or twisting. I love that accuracy with English paper Piecing and cutting those small 1 inch pieces of fabric! And my favorite thing about using these is that with the serrated edge, there is NO FRAYING of the fabric edges!
 
I cut 8 layers of fabric just to try them out and they cut through all layers perfectly straight and with no fraying! That is especially great with needle turn applique and English Paper Piecing! Frayed edges drive me crazy sometimes so I am especially happy to eliminate that problem! I completely believe in using the right tool for the job and these really are the "Perfect Scissors"! Plus they come with their very own protector that slips over the blades. Love that!  So thank you so much Carole @ From My Carolina Home for this awesome giveaway and thank you Karen kay Buckley for creating these Perfect Scissors. I really have enjoyed using them and look forward to trying the the other sizes that you offer! Also, thank you Carole for your cute handmade card! It is so adorable! And if yall haven't checked out Carole's blog then you should. Carole shares a wealth of information in all types of tutorials. This week there is a tutorial on making a Rayon Challis Three Season Skirt using your blind hem foot. There is also gardening, decorating, recipes and beautiful photography! I am so thankful that Karen of Karen's Quilts, Crows and Cardinals introduced me to Carole's blog after she completed one of Karen's Spring Basket pillows. So thank you ladies! These scissors have definitely found a good home here on the farm. They spend as much time out at the water trough watering cows and working on Lucy blocks as I do. Yesterday I used them to cut out my latest Lucy Boston
Patchwork of the Crosses block. I really wanted a soft scrappy block after those last two bold and bright blocks. And I really love using black in a quilt. 



Now to decide on the layout! Decisions, decisions... If you get a chance let me know which option you like best, 1,2,3,or 4??
You can find this block and a few others in my Etsy shop, Featherweight Quilt Company!
 I hope that yall have found some time to stitch this week. Between hay fields and battling pink eye I haven't had as much time as I would like, but I did get to do a little Slow Stitching today! So I am linking up with Kathy's Slow Stitchin' Sundays! Check it out yall. There are some really adorable projects being linked up over there! 
 Also, I would love to give a big warm WELCOME to all my new friends and followers, the latest two being WoolWoman and Lady bug! Welcome to the farm ladies! I hope yall enjoy plowing along with us! 
Have fun yall!
"Get yourselves excited and make something! "
And thank you for stopping by!
xo jan



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hay fields and Honeycombs......

 The last few days have found me away from my computer, away from my sewing machine, away from the kitchen and even away from my end of the county. A few days back we headed up to the north end of the county to the hay fields.
Lawd, but I love to go to this particular field! Some of yall may remember last years post about the Glory Clouds!

 Being out here is pretty much like magic!
 It helps you to find your way.
Makes you remember who you are.
 Gives a soul time to think,
and
 plum fills your heart with joy!
Not to mention rejuvenates the spirit and gets those creative processes flowing.
Why even my dog loves to go,


I always feel a little bit of relief every time we haul a load of hay to the house.


It amazes me how just a few miles makes a difference in the fields. We haven't had near as much rain at the house on the pastures as there has been on the hay fields..
Dust kickin up, fly swattin, sweat pouring heat!  No wonder my eyes just soaked up all that green grass and blue sky! I love the sweet smell of that golden brown hay!  It always tickles me when we are headed out of the hay field and back toward the house because we have to pass a few different pastures and we always have cows mooing and horses whinnying at us as we drive by when they get a whiff of that hay!

 And Missy LOVES to sit on top of a roll of hay! I guess she feels big as a mountain up there. She is only about 10" tall. The hay is 5 1/2 feet tall.

I love the golden brown color of this cuttin of hay. We cut it during the light of the moon so its golden bright!


Libby and some of the others line up at the fence as we come up the driveway with the hay!
She's always throwing that nose up and those big ears up. 

Libby's daddy, Quinto, heads to the gate because he knows we will put a fresh roll into the hay ring for them to nibble on. He's a big baby, 'bout 2300 lbs worth. 

All that hard work tuckered little Missy out. I had to wake her up when we got home,


I also feel a huge sense of relief when that handsome farmer hubby dude gets down off the top of the hay and gets it unloaded and safely into the barn. Now another 150 or so rolls to go and we should be in pretty good shape for winter. I am trying to see the barn as half full instead of half empty !


All that time in the pretty green field with that gorgeous deep blue sky had me thinkin about some honeycomb blocks. So today I went out and sat down at the table near Libby's pasture where I usually sit and run water and talk to her and the other cows and made this pretty little stack. 

And this block , 
Option 1?

Option 2 ?


Or Option 3?

That darker blue makes me think of raindrops.
These dang things are so much fun to play around with.
 Then I decided to make a hay stack block

Option 1?



option 2?



Option 3 ?

 or Option 4 ??

 I don't know why I haven't used much yellow before. I really love yellow in a quilt, but my stash is slim on it. I'm pretty sure I will be using more of it in the future. And I know every time I look at these blocks, regardless of which layout I choose, that I will remember my time in the hay fields. 
 I'll be listing a few of these blocks in my ETSY shop. 
Yall, I hope you get the chance where ever you are to see some Glory Clouds
Glory Clouds 2013

Or if you get a chance you can go back and look at this post. It does a soul good to connect with this glorious Earth that we call home.
Have fun yall!
 Get yourself excited and make something spectacular!
xo jan

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Sew,Grow,Ride and Bake Your Own" winners.....

 Hey yall!
  First I would like to say a great big THANK YOU to everyone one of YOU for making this such a fun giftaway! I hope that yall had as much fun as I did the last few days. You guys tweeted, instagrammed,pinned, facebooked ,commented and visited! Yall have been a very busy bunch! I got so many ideas and inspiration from all the items that yall came up with to use these panels for. I should have bought the bolt! I am very happy that I did buy the 5 extra panels that I did for this giftaway! And I am very grateful to Aurifil and the Fat Quarter Shop for their generosity and participation in this giveaway!
 So let's get some winners! These will be the same order as listed on the giveaway post:

First the winner of a " Sew Your Own " panel and an Aurifil 10 spool collection of "I Can Fly" by Mark Lipinski is:

#322 QuiltaliciousJuly 31, 2014 at 1:51 AM  who said:
Wow... love what you did with these panels - and with your Aurifil thread (my favorite!). Very cute and so creative!

Thanks for sending folks over to my blog, always nice to have visitors!
********************************************************************************************

Second for a "Sew Your Own "panel and 2 spools of 12wt variegated Aurifil thread the winner is:
# 411 Raina July 31, 2014 at 9:54 AM Who said:
I receive the Auribuzz and Joplly Jabber newsletters
********************************************************************************************

Third for a "Sew Your Own" panel and 2 spools of Aurifil 12 wt variegated thread the winner is:
# 183.Marti TaylorJuly 30, 2014 at 9:45 PM Who said:
I receive Auribuzz emails and follow The Jolly Jabber on bloglovin
********************************************************************************************
Fourth for a "Sew Your Own" panel and 2 spools of Aurifil 12 wt varigated thread is:
I pinned: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/51158145742238442/
********************************************************************************************
Fifth for a "Sew Your Own" panel, a spool of Aurifil 12 wt thread and a bundle of 1930's Playtime Petite Bundle the winner is:
Love Love love this! I want to make a sewing machine cover, a casserole cover and a wall hanging for my niece with the grow your own as we ventured into organic gardening for our vegetables this year. I am sure I can come up with something for the ride your own too. I think a messenger bag would be so cute for that. What a great giveaway. You have outdone yourself.

WOOHOO!!!! Congratulations everyone! I will be emailing each of you for your mailing addresses! 
 Yall thank you so much for participating in my Summer giveaway! I hope that you had the opportunity to meet some new people and gain some inspiration. Thank you to Aurifil and Fat Quarter Shop for their generosity! This has been so fun!

Now, those of you that know me know that I hafta show yall my latest Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks! Both of which can be found in my shop, Featherweight Quilt Company.

I can't decide which layout I like best! Do you like Option 1?




Or option 2?


And here is the second block with different layout options.

Option 1?




I am so hooked on making these. They are super easy and considered a beginner block! 
Let me know which option you like best. And if you get a chance, drop by facebook and see me here! 
And because I can't leave without showing a couple of farm pictures, I'd like for you to meet "Libby",

She is in the "Big Girl" pasture now. No more hugs for me :(

And I tried to take a selfie with Daniel
But he almost ate the camera!

have fun yall! Thank you for playing along in my giveaway! A GREAT BIG HUGE WELCOME TO MY NEW FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS! 
Yeehaw yall!
Now get excited and make something!
xo jan