Archive | November 2014

Star Row 2, Fussy Cut Friday

I hope everyone had a pleasant Thanksgiving with friends and families. The Farmer and I shared our Thanksgiving meal with a sister and her husband.

Star row 2 has been completed.


Rows 1 and 2 sewn together. The half hexagon blocks have been stitched too. I don’t know why they are so puckery.



Dear Jane Retreat, Part 1

Today’s post is about my vacation last week.

I’m packed and ready to journey to the Dear Jane retreat which is held at the Farmstead Inn in Shipshewana, Indiana. I’ve packed plenty of projects to work on!


I had a wonderful time, 4 days of nonstop sewing, visiting and eating. This picture is of the 118 quilters at work.


The first project I worked on was Shipshewana Summer by Yoder Department Store. This was their Row by Row Experience pattern. I didn’t participate in the Row by Row experience and had to wait until the “experience” was over before Yoder’s  could offer the pattern to the general public. They have kits in 4 colorways; spring, summer, fall and winter. I purchased a fall kit which includes the 2 wool appliques. I plan to hang this over a doorway in my kitchen.


I guess I was on an ‘Amish’ trend because the next project was also in traditional Amish colors. I’ve had a jellyroll of plain dark Kona fabrics lying around for several years. Of course, what else? A Zippy Strippy quilt! I’m going to long-stitch quilt him using a Baptiste Fan pattern. This picture shows the colors more bright than what they really are.


Next project was to finish this little quilt I had started at home. She was one of the patterns in the Prairie Women Journey 3 class I took at Caroline’s Cotton Corner last winter. I’ll hand quilt her sometime.


At the retreat, we have a resale table.


I don’t normally find anything I “need” to purchase, but this year was different! Here is a partial selection of my purchases.


I also bought 10 yards of beige fabric which will be perfect for quilt backs and 6 yards of embroidered denim. I have no idea what I’m going to do with the denim.


Brenda Manges Papadakis has published a new book, Susanna Culp 1848. Another beautiful quilt to put on the to do list.


This post covers late Wednesday afternoon through early Friday afternoon. I will finish telling you about my retreat next week. I have a BIG reveal! I hope everyone has a peaceful Thanksgiving.

Country Threads/Farm Chick Quilts BOM & Pumpkinvine BOM

The block for the November Country Threads BOM is a very simple one and measures 12″ x 18″ when finished.


I just didn’t like the October block the way the pattern showed. I’ve taken it apart again and rearranged it. Now it is symmetrical.


The owner of the Country Threads shop has retired and Mandy Stromer of the Farm Chick Quilts shop has taken over the sampler quilt project.

The machine quilting on the Pumpkinvine BOM quilt is finished. I think it turned out very pretty.


Another finish!

What Have I Been Working On?

I have a tub with many small projects that need to be quilted and I am determined to empty this tub before I start any new projects! Here are what I’ve completed so far.

Several years ago, I pieced some simple crib quilts to be donated as charity quilts. I’ve quilted them myself on my home sewing machine and used a clamshell stencil.



And the back.


This is the Christmas in July challenge from Pathways to Patchwork at Lolly’s in Shipshewana. It is made the same way as the crib quilts and has been waiting to be quilted since July 2013. I used a Baptiste fan design to quilt this project and added a flange binding.


And a view of the quilting from the back.


I’m no threat to the machine quilters in this area, but I’m learning. Maybe sometime I’ll try some stippling.

I pieced these 9 patch blocks years ago and finally sewed them together in a simple Irish chain design.


Did you notice I set the 9 patches in a log cabin design? This isn’t a very colorful top, I think I’ll wait to add the borders later. This will make a great quilt back with a scrappy quilt on top.

One of my great-nieces embroidered these blocks and asked me to sew them together. She chose beautiful fabrics and it turned out very cute. Her mother is going to add the outside border and finish it with hand quilting.


Ever year the members of the Maple Leaf Quilt Guild work together to make a quilt which we donate to the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale. At the October meeting the kits for the 2016 quilt were handed out. I took 2 kits and sewed the blocks. The one block is not completed, they made a mistake in cutting the 2 1/2″ block. I’ll let the charity quilt committee decide if they want to fudge it or if they want to cut a new block and resew it.


My oldest granddaughter started embroidering these block several years ago, but she was very young and soon lost interest. I finished the embroidery and then put them away. Last winter I sewed them together and this fall I’ve quilted her using a “long stitch”.


I washed this crib quilt in cold water but I forgot to add a color grabber. That was a mistake, so I washed it again, this time with the color grabber.


Much better this time around. I’ve included the color grabber in the photo.

I quilted this crib quilt in a hoop. That is not my favorite way of hand quilting, but I thought I’d try it once. I had problems seeing the marks on the outside border, so I did free motion hand quilting. Not the greatest, but it worked.

There are still more projects in the tub to be quilted and you will see them when they are finished.

Fussy Friday Progress

I’ve selected the fabric to be used for the diamonds in between the stars. This is a Fossil Fern design from Bernartex. Plain white fabric is too white and whatever it is they use to print the design on the white on white fabric often make it look dingy yellow.


I’ve cut the fabric into  2 1/2″ strips and used the diamond template to cut the diamonds.


I’ve got a stack of them, I didn’t count them; just cut and count later.


For the half hexagons, I cut the strips of fabric 4 1/4″ wide; again I’ve used the heavy plastic template for my ruler. These half hexagons will be on the top and bottom rows.


I purchased the stencils and papers for the English paper piecing from Paper Using these tools make it much easier to piece these stars.

Milking the Cows

We milk our cows in a tie-barn set up.


We also milk in box stalls.


The Farmer sprays teat wash on their teats and wipes them off with a paper towel.


He holds the milker in his left hand and with his right, places the inflation on each individual teat.


The milk travels through the milker hose up into the pipeline.


When he removes the milker, he dips each teat into an iodine post dip.

IMG_4865The cows are milked twice a day.

Fussy Cut Friday – the Layout

I have been wondering how I would set the stars ever since I started this project.

Sheryl from the Temecula Quilt Co. blog has set her blocks in a modified Seven Sisters design. I want to do a Seven Sisters sometime, but I want the fabric to be more coordinated than what I’ve used in this project. This is what a Seven Sisters block looks like.


Equilateral triangles are set in between the Seven Sisters blocks.

Sheryl also suggested several settings, hexagons between the stars  . . .


Or diamonds around the stars.


I’ve to decided to with the simple diamonds around the stars and lay the stars in a 6 x 9 setting except they don’t go in an exact 6 X 9 setting. I will use the leftover stars in the even rows, they will get cut in half when I trim the edge.

Harvesting Soybeans

Last week we ran the soybeans. As usual we custom hired the combining. The head on the combine has a reel that sweeps the soybean stalks into the machine.


Just like combining the corn, the stalks and husks are blown out the back of the combine. Beans are very dusty to harvest.


We store the soybeans in a grain bin behind the barns. It very small compared to the bins at the feed mill, but it is large enough for our needs.


The Farmer pulls the gravity wagon to the auger. The bottom of the auger rests in a hopper.


The beans are unloaded into the hopper, then they run up the auger into the bin.


The auger is powered by the PTO shaft on the Allis.


We will store the beans this winter. The Farmer watches the soybean  price and sells when he thinks the price is good.

The first soybean field harvested was no-til planted to wheat. I wanted to take pictures but the drill didn’t arrive until after dark.

The combine finished the beans and left around 10 pm, the Farmer unloaded the last loads of beans and closed the lid on the top of the bin. The no-til drill was still planting when I went to bed, but he finished planting the wheat. It was raining when we got up the next morning, but that’s ok, the beans are in the bin and the wheat is planted. Harvesting is almost completed for us, we have a few acres of wet corn that we will shell later this month.

November Garden & the Maple Trees

There isn’t much happening in the garden this time of year. The garlic is sprouted up through the sawdust mulch.


The carrots taste delicious. I’ll wait until later in the month before I pull them to store for winter.


I didn’t get the tomatoes picked before the killing frost, such a waste. I won’t taste delicious tomatoes again until next summer. Those things they sell in the grocery store don’t taste like real tomatoes! I think they are colored baseballs.


The maple trees have been especially beautiful this year. We don’t always have the orangey/red color but this year we had color in an abundance.



Those are soybeans at the bottom of this picture. They are ready to be harvested.


Last spring my forsythia didn’t bloom, then I noticed this several weeks ago. Does forsythia often bloom in the fall? Maybe it does and I never noticed it before.


I took the pictures of the trees earlier in October. The leaves have steadily fallen from the trees and it snowed on Friday, October 31. I’m so not ready for winter!