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