Friday, June 28, 2013

A finish is a finish.

Hi yall! Well I finished my first ever redwork. I really like this little girl. She just seems so happy about her cake! And I made a Mini Log Cabin Pincushion. This time of year things get really busy around the farm so not much sewing machine time for me right now! But a finish is a finish I say! So I am linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday! Hurrah!
I hope yall have a quilty kind of weekend with lots and lots of time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
xo
jan
PS I do happen to have a couple of other finishes that I will get to show yall soon :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mini Log Cabin Pin Cushion and Day 2 of the "Stamp on It" Blog hop!

After a full day of raking, rolling and hauling hay, I was more than ready to finish up my little Log Cabin Pincushion and put it to good use.

I like really big pincushions. I had some small strips of Pam Kitty Love Fabric that I had left over from my Back to School with Pam Kitty Civil War quilt and a vintage red button, so I used them to make a Log Cabin Pincushion. It measures 5 1/2" square. One can never have enough pincushions or scissors! I really enjoyed after all that hot dusty work today, just sitting outside and working on my little Dutch girl Redwork and sipping some Mint Tea. The simple pleasures of farm living and a needle and thread!

I hope that you had the opportunity Wednesday to check out all the Stamp On It blog hoppers. These ladies are so creative! I can't wait to see what everyone has come up with for tomorrow. Here is Thursday and Fridays schedules:
June 27


And remember Friday is another round of the New Blogger Blog Hop hosted by Beth of Plum and June. Here is fridays schedule:

Friday, June 28
Green @ So Sew Green
Gwendellyn @ The Rainbow Revolts
Jessica @ Stitched In Thyme
Kathy @ Kayak Quilting
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts
Kris @ Sew Sunshine
Camilla @ Faffling

 So take some time today and friday to stop by all these great blogs and show them what a caring and loving community the online quilting community is. What a great way to meet alot of inspiring people! You might just win one of the giveaways too!

I hope you have a quilty kind of day and take a few moments to enjoy yourself with one of life's simple pleasures!
Linking up with Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday.
xo jan

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tote bag tutorial and a winner!


Hey yall. After my post on Sunday about the dogfood bag tote bags, I had alot of questions and a  few requests for a tutorial. There are alot of different versions on the web of how to make these, but this is how I do it. And this is my first real tutorial so please bear with me and let me know if you have any questions.
First you need a used bag that is made out of Dura Weave. Most dog, cat, chicken and birdseed bags will work. Dura Weave looks like this on the inside:
I use an Antibacterial Dishwashing liquid and wash both the inside and outside of the bag. I usually leave the bottom in the bag until I am almost finished washing because it will actually hold water, then I open up the bottom and finish washing it. I hang mine on the clothesline to dry.

Next determine how tall you want your bag. This one is 21" tall without the handles.

 Most of the time I make them shorter, but I wanted this one for picking corn. Also take into consideration the picture on the front of the bag. How much of the picture do you want on the front of your tote bag?
After you get an idea of where the picture is on the bag, turn the bag inside out. Use the folded seams that are down the side of the bag to help it lie flat on the cutting mat. Cut 3 inches off of the top.( Use those old nicked rotary cutting blades for this)  This will be the handles. Do not cut this apart yet. Leave it in a tube for now.

Now sew a half inch seam across the bottom of the bag using heavy weight thread and an appropriate needle. I use upholstery thread.Then go back and sew a second seam right above your first seam. This just makes it extra strong.

Now open up the bag but leave it inside out. Square up the corners like this:


I find it helpful to lay the bag on the cutting table. Using your ruler and a marker, mark across the folded corner 2.5 inches from the point: (sorry for the blurry picture)

Sew across this line then repeat on the other side.



Now fold down the top and sew with a zig zag stitch. You can double fold this is you want, but it is really not necessary. Fold it down however far you want according to the picture on the front of the bag. Then turn your bag right sides out.

Now, let's make the handles. Take the 3" strip that you cut off and cut apart once. You will have one really long 3" wide strip. Fold one side over about halfway. I use a wooden spatula to press the seam down. Then fold the other side over to about 1/4" from the opposite edge.


Sew handle with a zigzag stitch being sure to encompass the raw edge. I then sewed another seam beside the first one. Totally unnecessary, but I liked the look of two zigzags on my red checkerboard :)
Next, Fold this long strip in half and cut on the fold. You now have two handles.

Sew on your handles approximately 5 inches from each side right above the seamline of the top hem. I kinda double sewed mine. I use my Singer 401a machine, which is not a free arm machine, so it is kinda hard for me to turn the bag, so I use reverse!
I know it's not pretty but it is functional.  Repeat for the other three ends of the handles.

Now, this is what the inside bottom looks like.
 I like to lay a piece of stiff cardboard in the bottom. Just measure the outside bottom of your bag (mine measures 5x15) and cut a piece of cardboard slightly smaller than that. I reused a Priority Mail box. :)


Now you have a free, totally spiffy and useful recycled tote bag. I have a bazillion more to make. But I love keeping these old pet food bags out of the landfills. These are great to take to the pool or beach to carry all those wet clothes, toys, beachtowels, lotions and all the other little messy things we have to have with us. I use mine alot in the garden to pick beans, corn, tomatos, squash, turnip greens and poke salad! They hold alot of Poke Salad!

Well I am sure these instructions were just clear as mud, so if you have any questions, please let me know. I hope you enjoy repurposing all that Dura Weave stuff out there! I would love to see your tote bag if you decide to make a one.
.
And now I promised a winner of the charms from last friday! The winner is:
To repeat "They are all awesome". I even signed up on a couple of them to read their blogs daily. The charms a beautiful and thank you for sharing this hop with us.

Congratulations Bonnie. If you will please email me with your mailing address I will get them sent to you! And the New blogger Blog hop continues this week. This coming Fridays hoppers are :
Friday, June 28
Green @ So Sew Green
Gwendellyn @ The Rainbow Revolts
Jessica @ Stitched In Thyme
Kathy @ Kayak Quilting
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts
Kris @ Sew Sunshine
Camilla @ Faffling

 Also, "Stamp On It" Blog hop begins Wednesday the 26th. Here is Wednesdays schedule:

 Please be sure to stop by each of these talented ladies and show them some bloggie love. I hope you have a quilty kinda day! And have fun making those tote sacks! Oh, and let me know if you need a recipe for Poke salad!
xo jan

                                                                               

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Dutch girl and Dogfood....

So what does a Dutch girl and dogfood have in common?
Nothing as far as I know, except these were the two things I was working on over the weekend. Once again on Saturday I found myself headed to the hay field. We were just hauling hay this time, so I took along a little project to keep me busy.
This adorable Lil Dutch girl that won First Place with her cake! (I cut the Blue  ribbon out of the picture because it had just a hand holding it, looked kinda weird) . Last year I found this embroidered trim at an Attic Sale and then found the adorable prints online. You can read all about the fabric and trim here. I think she will be adorable with the fabrics and trim. This is an Aunt Martha Iron On transfer that I found at Joanns.
I made pretty good progress throughout the day. This is on a 13" square pc of fabric. I plan on making several different scenes in Redwork Embroidery to incorporate into the quilt. I hope it will tone down and break up some of the bright colors in the Bavarian fabric. I haven't picked a pattern yet, so I am embroidering these onto large squares so that I will have room to cut them down if need be. Plus I hope this project will improve my embroidery skills! Practice, practice, practice.
But what does all this have to do with dogfood? The dogfood bags were my second project I worked on early Saturday morning. I like to take these.....
and turn them into these.....
A 15x5x21" tote bag! I love to use these to pick vegetables out of the garden. They are made out of Dura Weave, so they hold up really well and can get dirty but wash up very easy. These are great for picking beans, corn, squash tomatos etc.... They are very lightweight. Not near as heavy as a bushel basket or some other tote .
I just love the checkerboard handles.

This Limited Edition Retro bag is really cute with the checkerboard plus it has a Border Collie on the front and we have three Border Collies, Max, Millie and Lady! These bags are a great way to recycle something that would normally go into the trash.

Look at that Bulldogs face. You gotta love him! Most of my bags last two or three summers in the garden. Children love them too and make great summer totes, especially around the swimming pool, beach or sandbox. I like using the large ones for corn and beans. I make smaller ones approx 15x5x15 for tomatoes, squash, etc... I always wash the bags inside and out with Antibacterial soap before I start cutting. I also use a heavy weight thread. I used upholstery thread on the one pictured above. If you would like to make your own bag, I would be happy to share the instructions or write a tutorial for it. Anytime I can reuse or repurpose an item around the farm I go for it!
 Now I have alot of bags to cut and some frosting to put on that little dutch cake! I hope you have a quilty kinda day and if you haven't entered my New Blogger Blog Hop giveaway you may do so here.

Linking up with Beth of Plum and June Let's get Acquainted Blog Hop being hosted this week by Heart of Charnwood!
xo jan

Friday, June 21, 2013

New Blogger Blog Hop and a wee little giveaway!

Hi Everyone,
 I just wanted to remind everyone of the New blogger Blog Hop going on today and each friday though July 26th with Advice for New Bloggers Guest Posts on Saturdays through July 27th.
 Here is today's schedule for the New Blogger Blog Hop being hosted by Beth at Plum and June.
Friday, June 21
Leigh Anne @ Ella's Cottage
Stacey @ The Tilted Quilt
Sarah @ Quilt Candy
Jackie @ NW Patchwork
Erica @ Happy Fabric
Stephanie @ Simple Sewendipity
Lauren @ Seraphym
Each of these ladies have an awesome day lined up. If you are looking for some new blogs with great new and fresh ideas, then this is the place to visit today!
Also each week, Beth has a Guest post lined up to offer advice and help to new bloggers. This weeks Guest Blogger is Janice at Better off Thread. She will be posting on Saturday the 22nd.
I am super excited to be a part of this group this year! My day will be July 12th. You can find the entire schedule
And because I just cannot do a post without at least one picture:
Now, please go visit each of these great ladies and show them some bloggie love,  then come back by and tell me how awesome they are! Then I will get that handsome farmer hubby dude to pick a number and that lucky person will win the 20 charms in this picture! Giveaway is open to everyone. One comment per person please. I will annouce the winner right here on this blog in a coupla days. Now go have fun!
                                                                             xo jan

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

claiming my blog again

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/5996059/?claim=xgf5qh6f7du">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Meet Dixie......


Dixie is our 5 yr old Great Pyrenees.

She works on our farm guarding our livestock.

She guards the gate while we take hay out to the cows. This way we do not have to open and shut the gate everytime we need to go through. It saves us alot of time, especially if it is cold and rainy!

Standing her ground. She will not let that calf get through the open gate. We didn't really teach her to do this, she just learned from watching me, because I am usually the one watching the gate.
Checking on a new baby calf, She stays with the momma cows while they have their babies and then comes and goes every 1-2 hrs checking on them. We haven't lost a calf to a coyote since we brought her home.

Shes staying with this young calf while the momma goes to the water trough.

Having a conversation with two of the sheep. They were out and she was trying to get them back to the barn.


                                                                      She smells the air alot!

Making her rounds. She walks the fencelines on over 60 acres total twice a day, if not more.

Checking on some more cows in a different pasture.

Being silly and getting her belly scratched.

Sleeping in our herd bulls pen.

On alert about something.

I have had alot of questions about our farm and our farm animals. I thought I would start sharing a little about our life around here, so I will try to do a post occasionally about our farm. I hope you have enjoyed meeting Dixie! She is very important to our farm and a member of our family!
Say Bye Dixie..
 Facts about Great Pyrenees.
1. They are nocturnal. They stay up all night and bark to warn off any predators.
2. They will usually bond with whatever you put them with to protect. Therefore, if you want one to guard animals, KEEP them with the animals from the first day. Dixie and Daisy were put at the barn at 8 weeks old and slept with the calves. Do not keep them with you (very hard to do because they will love you and are so adorable and look like giant powder puffs when they are little) or they will bond with you and want to stay with you instead of the animals.
3. They are extremely territorial. We eventually had to seperate Dixie and Daisy  (her sister) because of this.
4.They will fight coyotes, bears, other dogs or even people if they feel a threat to their animals that they are protecting.
5. They will grow up to weigh between 80-125 lbs and eat ALOT!
6. They shed ALOT. They grow a very thick mane around their neck. This is to protect them when fighting off predators. They also have webbed feet.
7. They are great family dogs except they love to guard and are nocturnal. I would not suggest one because of this overly protective trait.
8. They are very independent and not easily trained for things other than guarding. Dixie knows our routine better than we do. If an animal is not where it is suppose to be , she knows and it upsets her and she tries to correct the situation.
9. She doesn't like it when an animal has to leave the farm. They are her "flock". If we sell a bull or sheep we usually put her up so she doesn't try to ""follow" that animal. She is the same with the chickens.
10. She is worth her weight in gold to our farm but most importantly she is a part of our family.
I hope you have enjoyed meeting Dixie.

I am so glad you stopped by to visit me today! Please feel free to take a look around. (There really are sewing projects on here too )

I am linking up to The Chicken Chick  blog hop.
xo jan

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

And the winner is.........

The "Tammy Project Bag " Blog hop has been so much fun! I really appreciate ALL the sweet and fun comments!  Just in case you need a reminder , here is my little gift that I am sharing with one reader:
 And the winner is:
Oh, Jan - what a fun read this morning. I smiled through your whole post and was wishing I could have spent the day with you and Tammy! I love your blog header and a little ambiance? well, of course, always a good thing. Thanks for the smile this morning!

Congratulations Katie! If you will please email me your mailing address I will send your gift to you.
And a big thank you to everyone that visited us during the Tammy Blog Hop. It was so much fun.
xo
jan

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Happy Mail and My Giveaway is tomorrow!

I received this beautiful package yesterday from Sarah at Quilt Candy after winning her recent giveaway. Such a great gift.

This fabric is so gorgeous. I can't decide if I want to try to showcase the large circles of print or cut it all up and make lots of gorgeous hexagons! The lavender solid she paired with it is a perfect match.
 There is over a half of yard of the print! Thank you so much Sarah. And if you haven't found her blog yet , you should check it out. She makes the most adorable Baby Quilts and Bunting which she offers on her website Quilt Candy.co.uk.

Also, just a reminder you have until midnight EST tonight to enter my giveaway. 
1 yard of "Checkered Floral" from the "Wildwood Collection" for Free Spirit and the clasp and rings to make your own bag! This giveaway is open to everyone. You may enter here. I will announce the winner tomorrow right here on this blog! Good luck! And be sure to go by and say hi to Sarah!
xo
jan

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fathers, daughters and fabric...

Have you ever come across a fabric that had a special meaning to you? Or maybe it brought back sweet memories.I have. But before I tell you which fabric that is, I would like to tell you a story. One that I used to tell my daughter as a bedtime story growing up. One that she still cherishes. One that makes me miss my father so much my heart squeezes just to think about him.
One hot July morning, when I was 7 years old, my brother and I decided we had to get to our favorite hideaway, or perish in the languid steamy south Georgia air. Now if you have ever been to South Georgia you know exactly what a July morning is like. Hot, not just warm, no breeze and your arm getting tired from swatting gnats with no relief in site from the heat or the gnats!
  Now our favorite spot was a blue hole down near the Kinchafoonee creek. I could already feel the water cooling me off as I begged my brother to get ready. It is not easy getting to the blue hole. You have to cross Mr Adams' cornfields. Usually he planted 35 to 40 acres of field corn for the cows. The corn was already head high and itchy! Sometimes it felt as though the corns fodder would cut you to pieces as you ran through it.
  We packed us up a few snacks. Two cans of Vienna sausage, a whole row of soda crackers, the last piece of Apple pie, a thick slice of hoop cheese and two boxes of juice. Tied it up in one of daddys' clean white cotton t shirts and set out for the bluehole.
  Now about half way across the corn fields we came to Mr Adams' irrigation system. It stretched across the fields like a giant praying mantis, shining in the sun. My brother decided he wanted to rest a spell and play Hide and Go Seek. I didn't mind playing, but I never won. After a round of eenie meemie miney mo it was determined I would be the seeker. No surprise there. I never won at eenie meenie miney mo either.So I climbed up on the tire of the irrigation beast and started counting while my brother took off. He was a great hider. No matter how fast or slow I counted, he would become almost invisible. When I eventually reached one hundred, I hollered " Ready or not, here I come" without much enthusiasim. I stood still and listened. I couldn't hear a thing. It was really too hot to be running around a corn field anyway. I decided I would climb to the top of the Praying Mantis and see if I could spot the top of his head! I shimmied up the hot metal and peered over the tops of the corn. Nothing! I sat there a minute deciding which way to go when I saw a movement. There! A brown flash moving through the corn. Aha!  He's not going to win this time. I jumped from my perch and took off running. I hollered " I see you". But he wasn't playing fair. I as drew closer he drew farther away. "You can't keep moving from your hiding spot" I yelled. But he kept moving away from me anyway.
  I heard a rumble just as I cleared the cornfield and stumbled into the edge of the woods. "That's not fair" I yelled "I'm going home". I turned, mad and frustrated, to make my way back home when I realized I didn't know exactly which way home was. I hadn't been to this side of the field before. I started walking along the edge of the woods when I realized the wind had picked up and it was dark and cloudy. Then the first splat of rain hit. Hard.This was just great! Not only was I lost but now a thunderstorm was upon me.
 I headed for the woods as fast as I could run. I didn't fancy getting soaked and knew I needed to find some shelter and the towering oak trees were my best bet. As I ran into the woods I saw a beautiful brown doe watching me. I realized that this was the brown flash I had been following. She wasn't scared of me either. She bounded ahead a few yards then turned and looked at me. I edged a little closer. Now I have seen a lot of deer but never one this close. She was beautiful. Sleek and shiny, soft caramel colored fur and large brown eyes. She bounded off again and I followed. The rain was coming down hard now. I lost sight of her. I rounded the base of a large oak and spotted  her on the other side. She had stopped. I looked around and saw that the base of the tree was hollow.
I scurried over some fallen limbs and climbed into the hollow tree. I didn't see my friend anywhere, so I scooted as far back as I could go into the warm mossy hollow and curled up to wait out the storm.
 I must have fallen asleep because when I awoke the sun was shining through the canopy of treetops and my clothes were almost dry. I slowly eased out of my warm bed and then I saw her. My new friend was there to greet me! She was standing just outside the hollow of the tree. I scrambled to my feet and spoke to her as she bounded off back the way we came. I followed her out of the woods and back into the edge of the cornfield. Then I heard it. "Jan, where are you?" My father and my brother were searching for me. "Over here" I answered. I turned to look back at my friend but she was gone. My brother and father stepped out of the cornfield and into view.  I ran to them. " Did you see her, did you see her?" I asked. My father picked me up and hugged me tight. "You had me scared to death!" he said. I tried to explain how my new friend had lead me to safety.  My brother said I had too big of an imagination. And continued to fuss at me for running off. As my father lifted me to his shoulders and turned to head home, I looked back hoping to catch a glimpse of her soft fur and big brown eyes. I knew she was there, watching me go perched high upon my fathers shoulders.

Now this is a true story. I grew up in rural South Georgia with the woods and  fields as my playground and all the animals of the forests as my friends. That day was a day that I hope will be etched in my mind forever. I can still feel my fathers fierce hug and his strong arms as he lifted me high above his head.


At first I had planned on making a pillow, then I saw this adorable frame at Hobby Lobby and thought it suited the fabric and the story. It now hangs on a wall at my daughters' house.
 
Thank you Heather Ross for designing this fabric! It has a special place in my heart. And a special place with my daughter. I think I'll send one to my brother too. Just so I can say "I told you so."
Thank ya'll for listening to my story. It is one of my favorite childhood memories.
Also there are two more days of "the Tammy blog hop" and if you haven't entered my giveaway you may do so here.
xo
jan

Friday, June 14, 2013

My Adventures with "The Tammy Project Bag" and giveaway!

Hi yall!  Today is the 3rd day of the "The Tammy Project Bag" Blog Hop! This bag was designed by Mdm Samm of Sew We Quilt. Warning this is a photo heavy post, so grab a cuppa tea and pull up a chair, this might take a while!

 I have to tell yall this. The Tammy is the little bag that could! Now I am not one to usually carry small bags. I always have too much stuff to tote around. But you can definitley pack this little bag to the brim!

Yep - she's cute!

No matter which way you turn her....

Inside or out! But can she work? Well little did I know but I was about to find out. My handsome farmer hubby dude decided we needed to go to the hay field! Yep it's hay season. So I figured I'd better take along a project or two to keep me busy when I finished my chores in the field. Now I would get to see what that little bag is made of! Could she keep up with this farm girl?

So I loaded her up then off we went. Well, while my darling hubby did his chores, Tammy and I got busy.

First, we hooked the tractor to the tedder so we could fluff up the hay so it could dry all nice and purty -like!

Then we hooked up to the hay rake so we could rake up all that sweet smelling hay into nice tidy rows!
\
     That hubby of mine said I musta been practicing my free motion quilting skills on this row.   
      hmmmmp!

Well then we were so tuckered out after all that work that we decided to take a nap in some purty little peavines.

It wasn't long before my darling hubby had all that hay rolled up and loaded and boy was Tammy ready to go to the house!

Well, the sweetest thing happened next: My handsome farmer hubby dude said he was ataken us to an elegant dinner!  As soon as we got to the house I decided I better get gussied up if I was agoing to my favorite restaurant! So I hurried up and got all purtylike then I decided Tammy had worked hard too and I'd take her along. So I emptied all my crafty little stuff out:
Stuffed my hankie and compact back in her, and set in to gussie her up a little too! I threw a coupla chains on her....

                    And waited by the gate. Soon my darling hubby came trottin out and off we went!

       I couldnt hardly wait to get some vittles at the most elegant restaurant in town and Tammy was so purty, well I just knew she'd fit right in..

I just love some ambiance while I eat my pintos!

 Just look at that flameless candle. It sure doesn't hold a light to my Lil 'Ol Tammy tho!

Now, if you made it this far I have a little gift for one lucky and patient reader.

One yard of Checkered Floral from the Wildwood Collection for Free Spirit and a "Tammy" clasp handle thingy with the rings just in case you want to put chains on yours too.! If you enjoyed spending some time with me and Tammy just leave us a comment on this post. You don't have to follow my blog, or like me or Tammy on facebook, but of course Tammy and I would love it if you did. We will have a winner here in a coupla days when I can get ahold of my hubbys hat again, and I will annouce the winner right here on this blog! Anybody at all can enter. Whether you live here in the Good Ole US of A or whether you live across the pond. I'll ship this stuff to ya. Just make sure I have a way to get ahold of ya!
Now, if you want to make your very own Tammy, you can find the pattern here.
And here is the rest of today's schedule:
June 14th ( friday)







So be sure and go by and see what these gals have been up to with their Tammies and show them a whole lotta bloggie love!
Now I hope yall enjoyed my adventures with Tammy. I am sad to say that she will be leaving me though. She is headed to her new home with my daughter. My daughters one of those Astrophysics people. She just got her Masters of Science degree in it, so that's why I made Tammy out of Constellations by Lizzy House, it has stars and stuff on it. And I got my fabric from Julie at The Intrepid Thread. She has some really purty fabric over there. Ships it out right away too.

 Oh and one last thang. If yall do leave a comment, lemme know whatcha think about my new blog header. I wasn't sure but thought I might throw the flameless candle in the picture. I  like a little ambiance on my blog too.
"Preciate it!
xo
jan
pss. One comment per person please!