Wednesday, April 30, 2014

W.I.P. Wednesday.....

Goodness! Is it Wednesday again already? Well I haven't gotten much sewing done this week.Very busy around the farm! I am working on the above block and just finished the block below.
Not real sure how I feel about this block. I am just not in love with it. It is made with 1800's repro fabrics. I love the fabrics. Just not sure about the overall effect. But I hope yall are having a great week and getting lots and lots of sewing done!
And, Welcome to my newest friends and followers Teresa at Stitchin Friends (she is working on a Lucy Boston POTC that will knock yer socks plum off ya feet!) and welcome to Chrissie at made by Chrissie D.  Yall , Chrissie has made the most adorable dog bed with AMY BUTLER fabrics for her little dog Tatty! Sew cute and she has a tutorial for it up on her blog, so be sure and check that out! Welcome to the farm ladies! I hope that you will grab a button from the sidebar and plow along with us! Have a great day everyone! I hear a cow bawling I gotta go see about!
xo jan
Linking link with the wonderful Lee at Freshly Pieced! I see she's been running around a jungle over there! Check it out! have fun yall!
xo jan

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

W.I.P. Wednesday Woes........

Working on my Bee Blocks and chasing the ever elusive perfect 1/4" seam! Does anyone else have this problem? Both blocks cut the same, sewn the same, same machine, same needle, same thread = 1/2" difference in overall block size? Yikes! All this adds up to the Work in Progress Wednesday Woes! :(
If anyone is looking for me, tell them I am the crazy lady pulling her hair out!
xo yall
Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lucy Boston Patchwork of The Crosses and the Easter Bunny!

 Two new blocks. One for a friend.......
(No, it ain't perfect, but I hope she won't mind)

One for me.......

I guess my sewing machine is probaly covered in a layer of dust by now. I am so glad to have hand stitching to do since things are so busy around the farm right now. But there is a long list of machine sewn quilts and projects waiting patiently too. I finished up that top block early this morning waiting on the Easter Bunny to get here. And look what he brought!

We were very happy to have this little guy arrive safely this morning! This is her first calf and what a sweetie! Now to think of a special name for him since he was born on such a special day! I hope yall are having a wondrous Easter Sunday!
  And, I would  love to give a very warm welcome to all of my newest friends and followers. Welcome to the farm ladies! I am so glad to have yall plowing along with us! Have a great day everyone!
xo jan
I am linking with Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday! Yall check them out! These are some mighty talented ladies linking up over there!
Have fun yall!
xo jan

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter Yall!

Happy Easter from Lily, myself and the rest of the critters on the farm! xo jan

Who took my Golden Egg?

Whew! Now I can see myself again dah -ling! They should have named me Zsa Zsa! I just abhor a hen house view!
At least that rabbit-chicken is good for something! Hard Boiled Eggs! Yummy!
Have fun yall!
xo jan

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fresh from the Clothesline...Homemade Laundry Liquid

 Hey yall! Don't you just love freshly laundered quilts? Warm from the sun. We had a gorgeous spring day and 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:

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 seperate 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 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 love to give a shout out to a few of my newest friends and followers:
Mara  and lomaquilts! Welcome to the farm ladies! I am so happy to have yall plowing along with me!
Have fun yall! Enjoy makin the bubblies!
xo jan