Archive | December 2014

End of Year Finishes

I’ve completed 2 more projects in 2014. I’m always amazed how quilting just adds life to a quilt top. I’ve long stitched the Amish Zippy Strippy quilt using black Perle cotton thread. For the first time ever, I’ve hand quilted with a wool batt and I loved it!

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The batting I used was a Hobbs heirloom premium wool batt and I’m very pleased with the results. I washed the quilt after quilting to take the markings out. It shrunk and is very cuddly now but not puffy.

The back of the quilt is a journey back in time to the 1980’s or ’90’s. I used flannel from mom’s stash.

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The other project I completed was a crib quilt that was in the basket of projects to be quilted. I purchased this panel 7 years ago. Actually I bought 2 panels and hand quilted the first one for the first grandson. This one is NOT hand quilted but quilted on my sewing machine, so much faster!

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Today may be New Year’s Eve, but the Farmer and I will be sound asleep by 10pm, unless there is a cow calving! The milking still needs to be done early in the morning, holiday or not.

We wish you all a Happy New Year! We pray there may be peace on earth.

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Some Christmas Baking

I’ve been doing some baking in preparation for the children’s arrival. Yesterday I baked several pans of  these pumpkin streusel cinnamon rolls.

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I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas tomorrow with friends and family. Be careful and safe with your travels.

Buck A Block

For the past year I’ve been participating in Buck a Block at Caroline’s Cotton Cottage in Rome City, Ind. (She wants and needs to get a new website!) The blocks are made using Thangles and this was the 10th year Thangles has sponsored the program.

I’ve sewn the borders on the Buck A Block project.

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She has turned out pretty cute.

Cleaning the Barn

All animals produce manure and this post is about removing the manure from our milking barn.

Look right behind the hooves of this cow and you will see a gutter.

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When the cows manure or urinate, it falls into the gutter. The gutter runs the full length of our barn and under the manure is a chain. When we flip the switch, the chain pulls the manure and straw all the way through the gutter. There are wheels in the corners of the gutter which enables the chain to turn. The chain runs under the box stalls and up a chute outside.

On the right side of this picture, the strawy manure is coming out of the barn. On the left side, the empty chain is headed back into the barn.

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The manure travels all the way up the chute . . .

IMG_4918And then falls to the ground when it reaches the top.

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The strawy/manure pile. The Farmer will use the skid loader and push this pile onto the larger pile. When he has time, he will haul this onto the field.

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A view of the whole chute.

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The empty gutter the length of the barn.

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The cows step over this gutter into their stalls all the time, but they panic if it is empty! They will refuse to step across, so we sweep the barn floor and the loose straw, sawdust and hay camouflages the emptiness. See the barn flites peeking out through the sawdust?

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This is the way our barn is cleaned. Most dairy farms do not milk in tie stalls, so they don’t have a barn cleaner.  A good place for your family to learn about the dairy industry is Fair Oaks Farm. Here is a You Tube video about Fair Oaks for you to watch.

The Jane Stickle Quilt

I’ve already showed you the 3 Dear Jane blocks I pieced at the Dear Jane Retreat. Here are the rest of row A blocks.

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And row A sashed and ready for row B to be attached. IMG_5000

These little blocks finish at 4 1/2 inches. Over the years I’ve watched other people piecing this quilt and wondered ‘How do they piece those tiny, little blocks?’ Well, I’m doing it following the directions from That Quilt. I’m going to try to complete a row a month this winter. There are 13 rows of square blocks and then 4 triangle rows. I hope to have this top completed in 2 years.

Country Threads BOM

The December block was a very easy block, all we needed to do was to sew borders on the March block. She now finishes at 12″.

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The top is now sewn together and measures 60″ by 80″.

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I normally don’t participate in mystery quilts, I guess I’m too much of a control freak. I just decided to try something different for 2014.

I haven’t determined yet if I am going to quilt her at this size or if I’m going to add borders and turn her into a bed quilt.

Farm Chick Quilts is planning on continuing with the mystery Block of the Month in 2015. This was a fun project to work on in  2014 but I’m not going to participate in any BOM’s next year. I have enough projects of my own to complete.