Sunday, November 30, 2014

Aurifil BOM and Lucy Boston

Hey yall!
   I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We were busy, busy here on the farm. The twin calves are really growing and following me EVERYWHERE!

 I have to keep them closed up in the barn or they would follow me to the house!  We had a fantastic visit with family and ate way too much delicious food!
    I did manage to get my November Aurifil Block of the Month sewn just last night. The block this month was designed by Scott Hansen of Blue nickel Studios. Scott is fantastic. He uses ALOT of bright happy colors. Here is his block:

Scott Hansen - Blue Nickel Studios
Cute, right? I love it. You really need to go to his blog and see the scrumptious one he made using Liberty fabrics. And the awesome look you can achieve when you rotate these blocks and put several together!
  Here is my take on Scott's block:

I couldn't help it! I had to make a little farm out of it. I love my pink house with the Rose Wreath on the door and the brown thatch roof. It is raining on my little house and yard. The brown flying geese above the roof is a rain cloud. There are rose bushes growing on each side of the house .Across the dirt road, is my hubby with a wheelbarrow of mulch for my rose bushes. Funny thing is that he has a hat alot like that one, only he doesn't carry a slingshot in his back pocket :)! Then there I am feeding my little chicks. I do occasionally wear my hair in pigtails :).
  I had to tea stain the fussy cut fabric because it originally has a bright white background. I have 2 more blocks to catch up and then December's block is right around the corner. Here are my blocks so far in no particular order:

I still can't decide if I want to remake the top right block. These have been so much fun! And it is a FREE Block of the Month sew along with Pat Sloan and sponsored by Aurifil thread. Pat always makes everything fun and Aurifil has been very generous! Each month you have the opportunity to win a LARGE spool box! That is a $120.00 value.! You can find the flickr group here: Aurifil BOM flickr group. There are so many different versions of the BOM. Really inspiring!
  I also wanted to share a couple of my latest Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks in my ETSY shop Featherweight Quilt Company. I had several requests for bright blues and oranges.
   And those that know me, know that "bright" is a little outside of my comfort zone.
 But these were really fun;

I am still just so hooked on making these blocks. The possibilities are endless. But I have to do some holiday sewing that I must get finished, so I am going to set these aside for a little while, I think. I can't hand sew right now anyway. I am still just glue basting.
  So, do you have Holiday sewing to do? I really want to make a flannel quilt BEFORE Christmas! EEEk! Has anyone sewn with flannel? Do you have any tips or techniques that will make it easier on my wrist? The front and back will both be flannel. Do I need to use batting? Should I have it longarm quilted? I am planning on using my Singer 401a. She will sew through just about anything I put under her needle. And of course I will be using Aurifil thread. My machine loves it!
  Happy stitching everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by. Any advice on the flannel is much appreciated!
xo jan

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

 I am so grateful for YOU my friends for all your love, encouragement and friendships! I hope yall have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
xo jan

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bottles, Babies and Lucy Boston

Hey yall!
Autumn is hard upon us although it seems more like mid winter especially for those of you in the Northern United States. All the hay is home and in the barn which brings a sigh of relief although we have approximately 100 less rolls than last year. So we will either be selling alot of cows or hauling more hay when we can find it at a reasonable price. Usually those with bountiful hay figure out that they have too much around January and will start selling some off. So we are fine for now. We were getting the equipment ready to start picking corn when we had a few stumbling blocks arise. The first was these two:
This brother and sister pair were born November 9th. Their mama suddenly passed away on the 11th. The vet said he thought it was a blood clot. We had just fed her and less than an hour later she was gone. And the babies just 2 days old. Early the next morning I took off to the feed and seed to buy a 50lb bag of milk replacer (formula) and a new bottle and 2 new nipples.
The bottle on the left is probaly 20 years old. I think it is a "Sealtest". 
The good news is that these two are doing great. They are so much fun. I have become their new mama. They come running as soon as they hear my voice or see me. 
Please excuse the no makeup, farm clothes and my pink fuzzy socks! These rascals are rambunctious! The little girl has the red tinted hair on the right. I was so worried the first few days especially because of the Artic blast we had and them being newborns. Their umbilical cords still haven't fell off. I tried to upload a cute video of these two but blogger would not let me. You can view it on face book  here.
  After losing their mama, we had a young heifer( 2 yrs old) get injured at the hay ring. The vet was here again today and we are pretty sure her leg is broken. We are not giving up on her yet though. We have pain medications and she is eating and drinking well. The vet didn't give us a good outlook for her though. 
  Then if that wasn't enough, we had this little girls mama prolapse 4 days after she was born:
Usually if a cow is going to prolapse, they will either do so before calving or when they calve. Not 4 days later. So the vet showed up again and we put her back together and sewed her up with a few stitches. She should be fine now. The stitches will have to come out in a couple of weeks. Her daughter is a gorgeous smoky, silver gray!
 She is half Black Angus and half Braunvieh.
   So that's the farm report this week. Other than I wanted to show yall a picture of Gracie:
Gracie has started following me to the barn from the house, especially when I go out to feed the twins. I think she has her eyes on those bottles!
  I also wanted to share about our  "I Love Lucy International Bee". We ended up with 10 members instead of 12. These are the beautiful blocks that I received from my Bee mates this past year: (with a couple of my blocks). Each member gets to chose their color and style preference. I requested florals.
I think everyone did a fantastic job! It was so much fun and I am really looking forward to round 2. We decided with the upcoming holidays to take a break and start Round 2 in January 2015. I am hoping that this down time will also give my Carpal tunnel time to get better. I am really concerned because it seems to be getting a little worse instead of better. I think that wrestling with those twin baby calves everyday is keeping it irritated. I have been having to glue bast honeycombs for my blocks for my Etsy shop,  Featherweight Quilt Company as I can't hand sew right now.  If you are interested in joining our Bee, please let me know. We would like to have at least 2 more , possibly 3 if my hand doesn't get better, members. If you are interested in joining our group, just send me an email and I will tell you more about it. My email is on the right side bar with the little mailbox and I will get back to you asap.
 Yall, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It is my favorite time of year. I love to try to give back in some way during this time, so be on the lookout for some upcoming giveaways. I had planned on having a sew along but things around the farm has kept me pretty busy lately. Maybe in the very near future we can get around to that. So in the meantime, I hope that everyone is staying warm and safe and that you are enjoying your Autumn and finding a little time to sew. 
  Happy Stitching yall! Keep your fingers crossed for me and the little ones and the other two. Hopefully all the problems are done for a while around here!
Thanks for stopping by yall!
 xo jan

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Books and a Beanie...

Hey yall! I hope everyone is staying nice and warm. We have had below freezing temps and snow on the mountain! I took this photo the first day of November from a friends hay field. When the hubby told me we were going to start hauling 70 or so rolls of hay home, I was very happy to know that I would be the one driving the truck, where it was nice and warm!

I carried some yarn and a crochet hook with me since I have been struggling with carpal tunnel again with my right wrist/hand. I can crochet and knit, but it really hurts to hold a needle and hand sew!

I love this yarn. It is a very warm acrylic blend. Since I lost my hat last year to a fresh cow patty, I don't like to use good yarn for wearing around the farm, just in case a cow patty claims another one. I really think that my color choices whether I am sewing or crocheting is highly influenced by my surroundings. However, the color name of this yarn is "Teddy Brights"! ha!

 Missy was very intent on supervising my progress! Or maybe she was counting stitches :)!

At least for a little while......

Then I think the warm sun shining into the cab while the wind was howling outside was just too much! I lost her quick! Sleeping on the job. Snoring too!

About the time hubby had the load ready to take home, I was making good progress on my beanie.

  And on a totally unrelated note, I wanted to show y'all this old home that we pass by on our comings and goings.

Isn't it gorgeous? Look at those triangular windows up top! It seems like I should know the history behind this house, but I can't recall it. I will definitely have to look it up.
    When we returned for the 2nd load, I decided to give my hand a rest and finish up a book that I was reading.

. This is "The Funeral Parlor Quilt" by Ann Hazelwood. It is the third novel in the Colebridge Community Series. The first and second books in the series are "The Basement Quilt" and "The Potting Shed Quilt". Now I want to say that I have mixed feelings on exactly how much I want to say here about these books. I am not an experienced book reviewer but I would give all three of these 4 stars. If you go to Amazon and look at the reviews there, you will find everything from 5 stars to 1 star!.The series begins with introducing you to the local florist, Anne Brown, in the small town of Colebridge and her extended family that gather to finish a quilt. There are some very repetitive phrases used throughout the books, especially the first novel, that are mildly annoying. I do not like to analyze why an author uses certain phrases, repetitive or not. Maybe that phrase holds certain memories for the author and she is just wanting to share. I certainly did not let simple over usage of a phrase or incorrect grammar deter me from enjoying what I think is a very well written set of events that brings you into the fold of the community within Colebridge.After all, The Basement Quilt is Ann Hazelwood's first novel!
  Now the books are set up as a SERIES! Someone actually wrote in a review that the books "left you hanging". I did not feel like either of the first two books ended badly.They could be stand alone books.  However, the third book, The Funeral Parlor Quilt, does leave you hanging. And at a crucial point! This, I did not like. It is like one of those movies where something happens right at the end and you don't know the outcome. It kinda leaves you aggravated, for lack of a better word.
  I also want to mention that the series has some "Supernatural" events going on that some reviewed as making the books unbelievable. Ya know, I am one of those people that kinda believe in "Live and let live". Once again this is an issue that did not deter me from enjoying this series. I think the author did a very good job in making the reader feel the attachment that "Anne Brown" feels to the supernatural powers within the books.
  Now all that being said, I have enjoyed reading each of these novels and I have already ordered the fourth in the series, The Jane Austen Quilt Club and the fifth The Ghostly Quilts on Main! From the first book to the third, I often found myself searching for my book. Whenever a book makes me feel like I know the characters personally and I can't wait to see what they are up to next, then I count it as a good book. It's been a while since I carried a book (s) around with me everywhere I went, but I have with this series. I just hope Amazon hurries and gets the next two to me quick! I need to know what happened!

After I finished my book, I finished my Beanie!

Ain't that color gorgeous!

 Yeehaw! for a warm noggin!
And no wise cracks about my gray  silver hair!
Time to head home!
Y'all, thanks so much for stopping by! I know my blog has been rather quiet lately but it really does hurt to type much. Hopefully my wrist/hand will improve soon.
Happy stitching and reading dear friends! 
xo jan
PS. I forgot to mention, these books are published by American Quilters Society and each book has a link for a quilt block pattern! Free! You Can't beat free :)!