Saturday, December 31, 2016

Endings and Beginnings .....

  It is so hard to believe that today is the last day of 2016! And I have a finish to squeeze in! I just picked up from the long arm quilter my Sailboats and Churn Dashes quilt made mostly from up-cycled Men's shirts. Three not very inspiring and lightly stained but well loved men's shirts! The quilt is for my second cousin born in 2015. The shirts were his Grandpas.
  It took me a little while to come up with a plan. I wanted to do something a little different and could not find a pattern utilizing men's shirts that I liked. I did however find Bonnie Hunters You Tube tutorial on de-boning a shirt! It is great! And FAST! And uses every little crumb!

            Wasn't that awesome! I loved the ripping instead of cutting! It really saves so much time! I had some great neutral Sky/Clouds fabric that wasn't sooooo directional that I had to worry about the which way the wind was blowing! lol!  I decided to use it for the background fabric and use the shirts for Sailboats! I had the dark blue anchor fabric in my stash and the light blue stars. I love using up stash! I paired some of the red shirt fabric with the anchors fabric for the churn dash blocks. I had intended to use the Shirt Pockets for the centers of the Churn Dash blocks, but two of three shirt pockets were stained. I decided to use the Friendship star in the sashing because it reminds me of a boat propeller. The light blue star fabric is a Minick & Simpson print that I have been hoarding. I had originally intended on a 3x3 layout, but since I had enough shirt fabric, I made it 3x4. It measures 50x64. I wanted the pattern to be not so "Baby" but suitable for a little boy growing up.
  My friend, Chris, longarm quilted it for me. I LOVE, LOVE the quilting. I wanted a simple pantograph that would represent ocean waves. I think it looks like both waves and wind. I will be ending 2016 with the Hubby watching Dick Clark's Rocking New Years Eve party on the tele and attaching the binding on my little Sailboat Quilts. I am excited about trying out Aurifil's new 80 wt thread for the binding! It is color # 2725!  I hope this will be a quilt that gets lots and lots of use and love!
   I am beginning 2017 making a quilt with my best online buddy , Debbie! For Christmas I got both of us the same book," History Repeated" by Betsy Chutchian and Carol Staehle. I LOVE every quilt in this book!

    Debbie and I decided on one of the Carolina Lily patterns. We both love Civil War Reproduction prints and decided to do a block swap. She is making 2 each of half the blocks and I am making 2 each of half the blocks! We have spent the last few days texting photos of our fabric choices. This is so much fun. Debbie has been such a great friend to me and I really wanted to spend some time with her this year sharing what we love even though we are miles apart!

  I quickly made a trial block on my "newish" Singer 9960. It was a disaster! Nothing matched up even though I started out with a 1/4" seam allowance. The problem (besides the sewist, me) is that the feed dogs on the machine are so far apart that it pulls the fabric through at an angle. I fought this fact the entire time I was making the Sailboat quilt. So, I decided to pull out one of my older machines and give it a try!
  This is a Singer 401a , a workhorse of a machine and soooooo very fast! I almost sewed right over a finger. Sew far, sew good. I hope to get a good sample made up and start on that pile of fabric on the ironing board below tomorrow! Wish me luck! I definitely need it! I really want to send Debbie perfect blocks!

And my first Paper White is starting to open! I should have a full open flower by tomorrow, January 1 ,2017!

A new, fresh beginning for a new Year!
   I LOVE New Year's Day. It's like waking up from a long, restful night. Refreshed. A new start. New plans. New hopes and dreams!  And a new word for the year. Have you found your new word yet? I have but I will share that later in the week!
   Dear friends, my wish for all of you is a very Healthy and Happy New Year! I wish you LOVE, JOY, PEACE, HEALTH and HAPPINESS!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Farm Love Friday 12/23/2016 - Merry Christmas!

       Holy Cow! I can't believe 2016 is almost over! I LOVE my "Holy Cow!" ornament my dear friend Karen Miller of Karen's Quilts, Crows and Cardinals sent me last year. I actually keep it out on a display shelf year round. The weather has been so unpredictable. The drought stole all my pecans off the old tree. A couple of weeks ago it so cold I was crocheting a new Beanie and neck warmer and browsing through my new seed catalog and dreaming of Spring. The Sky has been as blue as the old truck  and then, bang! The weather changed again! It is supposed to be 70 degrees here on Christmas Day! Our cows have already started putting on their winter hair too so they will be a little warm for a while. We did get a few seeds planted before it rained but to no avail. What the rain didn't wash away the crows ate. Our pastures are nonexistent so we are feeding hay, hay, more hay and Range cubes plus each pasture has a molasses tank.The cows seem fat and happy.  Hubby spent yesterday putting out more seed before the rain gets here tomorrow and next week. Hopefully it won't wash away and maybe the crows won't get it all. I brought my little Winter Homestead House into the living room . I love turning off all the lights and having just our Christmas tree, Winter Homestead and the Old Stone Church lit up. I also have 12 little Hallmark Church ornaments on a shelf that light up . I will get a photo of them next time.

  This afternoon as we were finishing up and the sun was setting, I really thought my heart would burst with gratitude. My heart runneth over. 2016 was a challenging year with the drought and hubby's cancer and surgery, but we made it! I think 2016 was the best year ever! I have so much to be Thankful for! Hubby's health continues to improve (they removed all the tumors) , we still do not have pastures but we do have hay and feed for our cows.I was able to hang onto my ETSY shop and it may have even prospered a little this year. And I have you! Dear sweet friends... Thank you for being there for me this year. Thank you for sharing little glimpses of yourselves and your lives with me and sharing in mine. It's been a challenge getting my blog voice back, but I'm working on it.

     My wish for you dear friends is Health and Happiness! I wish you and your family the very Merriest of Christmases! Those of you that may be living alone this Christmas, please remember that you are loved and that you are not alone! I wish you all the very, very best Happy , Safe, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Merry Christmas dear friends!
With lots and lots of LOVE!
xoxoxoxo jan

Thursday, December 1, 2016

In Our Garden Block of the Month - December!

        Wow! I can't believe it is already December and my turn to share some fun blocks with you for the In Our Garden Block of the Month organized and hosted by the ever so talented Amy of Sew Incredibly Crazy!!!

   First however, I would like to say a great big THANK YOU to Amy of Sew Incredibly Crazy for hosting and organizing our Block of the Month! Amy has done a fantastic job not only organizing this BOM but the all the behind the scenes help and support!!  You have really done a wonderful job AMY! Thank you!  Woohoo!

    This year we have moved through the seasons with our blocks, so I wanted to continue with that theme for December! My sponsor was Henry Glass. I am using "Sunday Best" fabrics by Kim Diehl.
Thank you Henry Glass for these beautiful fabrics!

   Both of these blocks were really fun to create  I am a big fan of Sun Bonnet Sue! In my "Sun Bonnet Sue and Friends" block, Sue is getting loads of help from a little Bunny offering up his last carrot for Frosty's nose. And the pretty little Dove is bringing Sue another twig for Frosty's arm!  This block is really fun to create. I used tiny buttons, 3/8" ribbon for the Scarf and embroidery for the eyes,mouth and twigs to embellish Frosty! The pattern also has the Scarf for needleturn applique if you prefer applique.

I always think of a Winter Star shining bright in the night sky in December. My "Winter Star" block has a fun little twist with the striped star points!

                           You could also add in a third color for a fun variation of this block!

     Both patterns are available for Free download for the month of December here and here! I can't wait to see your blocks!

      All the Designers have really done a fabulous job with sooo many cute and fun blocks this year! Thank you all for sharing your talent and inspiration with us!

    Don't forget to upload your photos to the group facebook page AND be sure to link up your photos on the  Linky party on Amy's Blog for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle and
 the Fat Quarter Shop has generously donated a $25.00 Gift Certificate to one lucky participant, so be sure to link up your blocks on Amy's blog!

  I am also hosting a little giveaway on this post ! I thought it would be fun to giveaway a Jolly Bar of Snowman Gatherings II!

    To enter, leave me a comment with your favorite Snowman building story! Or if you have never built a Snowman, leave a comment with your favorite Winter memory! Winner will be announced December 15th!

  Good luck everyone! I hope you have fun and enjoy making your blocks! I can't wait to see your designs!
Happy Stitching!
xo Jan

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Curveballs and Cabins......

  Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have finally, finally finished and gifted my Log Cabin quilt that has been two years in the making! I mean, it's big, like 92 x 98, but 2 years?? Anyway, here she is : Laverne's Log Cabin!

 I just really love the way this quilt turned out.  I had the pretty little center Kim Diehl panel and thought it would make a really pretty medallion style quilt. But I wanted to make a Queen sized bed quilt for my Aunt Laverne and Uncle John that had recently (ahem, 3 years ago)  moved to Ellijay Georgia! These are her colors throughout her house. The log cabin blocks are made with Jan Patek's "Castlewood" line. ( thank you to my hubby and daughter for holding up the quilt for me to photograph) (sorry for the glare on the photograph) I designed two rows of Log Cabin blocks above the Medallon and three rows below so that the Medallion would be center of the bed. I used Aurifil 50wt color numbers 2460 and 2316.

I really wanted to do some custom quilting on this one, especially with the center medallion, but due to time constraints, I had it longarm quilted with a floral pantograph

It fits her Queen pillowtop bed perfectly! They were both very happy and surprised! I did make two pillowcases but forgot to take a photo. If I can find two of the Center medallion panels I would like to make Pillow Shams with Medallion centers.

  I want to say a great big Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers over the last few months. Hubby is doing very well. The surgery was successful and they removed all of the Cancer and the lymph nodes around it. They also tore his bladder which meant a longer surgery and a little longer healing process. He is back to doing a little work on the farm. He still has help everyday as he is still rebuilding his strength. Emotionally, I think he is doing better than I am. I kinda feel like a Batter in the World Series. If I take my eye off the ball, life will throw another Curve Ball and I'll strike out. Seeing my strong, hard working farmer dude unable to care for his animals and tend his crops has been very difficult. We had to buy all of our  hay this year and we have no corn to harvest. We also had to sell quite a few of our cows :(.  It is still hard for me not to "hover" over him like a mama hen . It is also really hard for me to concentrate (and have an interest in) on other things. I have kept the ETSY shop going but just haven't felt able to start sharing until now. Thank you to Tonia for the gentle nudge to get back to my space here in blogland!
  Thank you dear friends for stopping by and taking time to visit with me! I am soooo glad to be able to finally share Laverne's Log Cabin with you! I hope all of you have had a wonderful summer. I can't believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner!  Oh, I also wanted to share with you this years Patchwork of the Crosses Autumn blocks that I made for the ETSY shop.

I think these are sold out but they were so fun to make. Love those Turkeys!
Happy Fall yall!
Thank you for stopping by!
xo jan


Saturday, August 13, 2016

2016 Hoffman Challenge

   The 2016 Hoffman Challenge was Crystalia! A gorgeous digitally printed fabric in two versions : Opal and Onyx with 10 Blenders from  Hoffman Bali Batiks (Style 885 Dots) and Hoffman Bali Watercolors (Style 1895). !

And Aurifil put together a beautiful matched thread set just for the Challenge which I also purchased. I love their threads! 

    When I read that the main Challenge fabric was N4240, the Butterfly prints, I knew I wanted to fussy cut those gorgeous Butterflies! 
N4240 - Challenge Fabric

   I asked my good friend Karen Miller of Redbird Quilt Company and Karen's Quilts, Crows and Cardinals to quilt it for me! I absolutely love Karen's quilting. I think it really made my little mini shine! I love the echo stitching around the butterflies.

We also had to use the Challenge fabric in more than one location.
(and look at Karen's gorgeous quilted feathers!) 

I loved using the prints to fussy cut for the Patchwork of the Crosses blocks! So fun!

Since the prints were rather busy when combined, I wanted to keep the design simple and really focus on the main print. I love butterflies and pink and green is one of my favorite color combinations. I used all Hoffman Challenge fabrics (except for one piece I picked up by accident.)

 "A Wing and A Prayer" was such a joy to design and create. It combined my love of Butterflies with my love of English Paper Piecing and fussy cutting!

   The 2016  Hoffman Challenge was the first time I have ever entered ANY competition and  although "A Wing and A Prayer" did not receive any ribbons, it was chosen to travel with the 2016 Hoffman Trunk Show! So exciting! 

  I had some Crystalia scraps leftover and wanted to make a table runner for my own personal use. 

   I have always wanted a Crazy Quilted Table runner that I could actually use and throw in the wash without worrying about damaging the decorative stitches.  I used Aurifil 12, 28 and 40 wt threads and some of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine to create "Crazy for Butterflies". I experimented with a little thread painting on the butterflies.  I also added a heat resistant fabric on the inside to help protect my tabletop. 

    I was super excited to learn that the deadline for  the challenge had been extended so I sent "Crazy for Butterflies" along with "A Wing and A Prayer" into the Challenge.
    "Crazy for Butterflies" did not win any ribbons either but it was selected to travel with the 2016 Hoffman Trunk Show !

   I learned so much from the Challenge about myself and some new to me quilting techniques! 
  It is really hard as a quilter/artist/designer to put your work out there to be judged, but I am really glad I did. I do wish that I had taken more photographs to share before mailing my two pieces into the Challenge. Both pieces are backed with the main Butterfly print N4240 in Opal. ( This was during the same time that I found out about my hubby being sick so I wasn't completely focused on my quilting. )

 I do absolutely adore Karen's quilting on "A Wing and A Prayer". Thank you so very much Karen for all of your hard work!

   You can see all the winners and honorees here: Hoffman Winners 2016

It will be September 2017 before they come back home to me! 

If you are interested in having one or more of the 2016 Hoffman Challenge Trunk Shows come to your Guild or shop you can find all the information for the Exhibits here: Hoffman Challenge Travel Exhibits.

  Also I want to say THANK YOU for all the good wishes and prayers for my husband and I. They had to reschedule his surgery for later this month as he was not able to go thru the surgery last month. Hopefully he will be strong enough this time around. I really appreciate all the prayers, emails and cards. I know I haven't been around blogland or facebook very much lately. I have been working hard getting things ready around the farm for when the hubby isn't able to be on the farm. And I have been working hard to get ahead in my ETSY shop and with my I Love Lucy Boston International Bee obligations. I do really miss having time to spend with all of you. 

Thank you so much for stopping by dear friends! Welcome to all my new friends and followers. 

Happy stitching!
xo jan

Friday, June 10, 2016

Farm Love Friday 6.10.16

     I love the sights and sounds and smells of summer around the farm! The Privet hedges are so tall and full of their sweet smelling blossoms. These are basically a nuisance shrub but I love the smell of their flowers. Honeysuckles are everywhere, full of blooms. Old purple pea vine threatening to overtake the Allis Chalmers 5040. I haven't seen the fox or kits in the last few days. I know she moved the kits out to the old metal scrap pile, and the rabbits are back out and about, so the fox must not be too close either. My sweet little Tuxedo kitten. He thinks he is so tough, but really he is just a sweetie.  I love the old climbing roses. I think the old fashion varieties have the best smell. These little pink ones are my favorite. The twins are growing so fast and continue to climb INTO the hay ring to eat, and nap. I am just waiting for the day that I will have to help them get out! It has been a little over a year since Missy, my rescue Chihuahua mix, had the reaction to the flea medicine and started having those seizures. I am so happy to see her happy, healthy and completely recovered. Riley, the feral cat, that took me 6 months to get my hands on, is really happy summer is here. He stays outside all the time. I have made 3 appointments to get him neutered. EVERY TIME he disappears for at least 3 days! I think he knows what I have in store for him! And the Rain Lilies are blooming, 5 days AFTER it rained. My husbands mother planted these in this hanging basket several years BEFORE she passed away in 2005. I have dutifully been caretaking, praying, watching, weeping, begging, and fretting over them ever since 2005. It will be a very sad day around this house if I ever loose them. I absolutely ADORE them! I sat on the porch late yesterday afternoon, while the hubby was still working , with Riley and Missy and my Rain Lilies and watched the spectacular show that God sent us with the sun set. Our Earth is such a magnificent place. It brings inspiration to my heart and tears to my eyes. 
Have a beautiful day dear friends!
Thank you so very much for stopping by!
xo jan