Friday, April 14, 2017

The Long absence & my battle with technology

It appears that I've been absent from blogging for about 6 months. Wow, sorry about that. Our lives here have undergone a major change (husband started his own business from home). It's been a wonderful blessing having him home but also a huge adjustment. I'm his secretary, accountant & _________fill in the blank with whatever other tittle that I need at the time. I also went on blogging hiatus because of my issues with technology. The app that I used to write my blogs was not working & for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to get my pictures into the blog going through the website. So I just let it go until I found this new app. I'm hoping that it will work beautifully & that I will get into the ritual of blogging again.

With husbands new business it has been hard finding the time to get some sewing time in. It has been easier to do hand work. Last September I started a hand embroidery club at my local quilt shop. I wasn't to sure on how well it would go over but it has been a blast. Each month is a different stitch in a different pattern. I like to use plastic quilting templates if I can but I also show how to transfer a pattern from paper to fabric. That isn't generally a difficult thing to do unless your background fabric is black (or any other dark color). This first Embroidery quilt sampler I'm doing in 2 color ways, a white back ground with 30's fabrics for the sashing & a black background with bright batikcs for the sashing. Here's a pic of the completed white with 30's quilt.
(Please excuse the vacuum cord & my husbands boots.)

As soon as I get the black version done I will post pics of that as well. Scratch that I probably end up posting pics of it as I go & then with the finished project.

I've also tried my hand at big stitch quilting. I wasn't too sure about working on a project this large. I started it last December. I was concerned about it in the beginning because I wasn't sure how long it was going to take, but as I worked on it more I enjoyed the process more & relaxed about how long it was going to take.
The pattern is my own design "My Kansas Quilt". The first time that I made this quilt I used Civil War Repro scrap fabrics. I wanted to see what the pattern looked like using a different colorway. I used a silk batting & Aurifil 12 perle cotton for the thread (4 1/2 rolls). It's not perfect & I'm good with that.  It has a special meaning for me because it was made from start to finish by my hands.

While doing all of this hand work it got me thinking that I should create a new program (offered to guilds) centered around all of the different types of hand work, embroidery, big stitch quilting, hexagons (English Paper Piecing) etc. So now I'm busily making projects (quilts) with those different techniques. Knowing me I can't go/do small. I want my quilts big or at least big enough to use. I've never been much of a wall hanging person. I do have 2 wall hangings that are up year round. My very first big stitch project.

And the 30's butterfly's embroidery quilt that hangs behind my treadle. 
(Yup that's a fishing rod in the pic) Kiddo placed it there & I think forgot about it.)

So the majority of the projects I'm working on (yup there's more than 1 project going on. Shush, husband doesn't know that. When I started quilting he said that he didn't want me to be working on more that 1 project at a time.) are all big. I'll share them (the hand work projects )as I'm working on them &  I can't forget my sewing machine though & I'll share what scrappy projects I'm working on.

I hope that y'all are having a great Friday. Its raining here (a great time to be sewing!). Kiddo didn't have school today (Good Friday) so he's out enjoying time with his dad in the shop. Off I go to stitch something, by hand or machine! More later on,


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The consumption of my time

Life has been very hectic with a huge life change in the last month. My wonderful husband left his job in town & has started his own business. Kiddo & I are thrilled to have him home. He had been working 70-80 hour weeks & when you work that much you don't have any time with your family. There is a lot to do when you start a business from the ground up & my life has been VERY busy. I told DH that The Scrappy Farmer still needs to sew up those scraps & that I would need some sewing time. He has been very understanding. I've also started a hand embroidery club at the local quilt store. Each month I'll teach a different stitch with a different project. Last month was the first time that we met & we had a great time.  For October we'll be doing the "Blanket Stitch" with wool appliqué 

I love this little project so much that I've cut out enough so that I can make a much larger quilt! I've started on the next month's project which we'll be working with French knots. Lots & lots of French knots! I guess I should say that my goal for each class is that by the time class is over I want you to know that stitch. Here is the project in progress for the November class " The French Butterfly"

I'm not really sure how I want to finish it when I'm done stitching it. It's very heavy & any quilting would have to go around it & not through it. We'll see what the quilter says.One possibility is to make it into a pillow, we'll see what happens. I do need to have it done & to the quilt store by this Saturday. They are having their monthly Saturday Sampler BOM & they like to have all of the class samples there. 

I'm also working on a new scrappy pattern. I was inspired by another tile floor & the pattern is very cool & I'm loving how it's turning out. When I get it made I'll share the pics with y'all.

I'd better go. Dinner is not quite made & it's already 9:30 pm. Another late night on the farm. Hope ya'll are having a great day. More later on,


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Life, it's not slowing down.

I think that I'm coming to grips with the fact that my life is not going to be slowing down anytime soon. I just need to manage my time better so that I can fit in all that I need & want to do. I also need to be flexible & realize that my plans for the day can get totally changed on a moments notice. For instance last Wednesday I was running some errands in town & I needed to stop by the quilt store. While dropping off a few things my friend SL said " Hey Vicky I've got a few bags of scraps in my car for you". OH MY WORD!! Her bags were large trash bags full with glorious scraps!

When I got home I purposely did not get into them until I got all of my other responsibilities done. That way I would not be interrupted in my joy.
I was having a ball & had all of the fabric out on the floor & my husband walked in & said " You must be in heaven" & I was! Oh my goodness the possibilities! I'm looking forward to seeing what can be out of this wonderful pile of scrappiness.

I'm still trying to work on my list of UFO's. My current UFO project is "Exploding Nine Patch". Last year my guild hosted Jennifer Dick of 42 Quilts as our speaker for our July program. We also had her do a workshop on her pattern "Exploding Nine Patch". Well my first idea went clearly out the window. Since we were having the workshop at the local quilt store I decided to go shopping, for yardage. Talk about awkward. I felt so awkward shopping for yardage. Anyway I decided on my focus fabric, I had my background (black) & 2 cordinating solids. I was ready or so I thought. I made a few blocks & I didn't like it at all, put all of the fabric in a bag & didn't look at it for a year. Here is what the first block looked like
Not really what I was looking for.

Well last week while in the quilt shop I saw the focus fabric & noticed that I could use 2 additional solids fabrics, one in the pink & one in the green/blue family. So here are my new blocks.
The blue blocks

The Pink block

I really like these! I've got 32 blocks cut out & ready to sew up & I figure that I should do that & figure out how I'm going to set them before I make any more.

I'm still working on my friend Liz's quilt as my L/E project. It's slow but any forward progress is good.

Starting in September I will be teaching/hosting a hand embroidery class the second Thursday of the month. Each class will be a different hand embroidery stitch. The first class is on the Stem stitch & how to transfer your pattern to the fabric & on black fabric its kind of interesting.

Octobers class will be on the Blanket Stitch & we'll be doing wool appliqué.

I have completely fallen in love with this block & am currently working on cutting out more so that I can make a much larger quilt.

It has slowed down some on the farm now that all of the hay is done! So excited about that!
 I hope that y'all are doing well & are finding some time each day to do some stitching weather by hand or machine. More later on,


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Free Pattern "Sprinkles"

This fun block was inspired by a tile floor & the quilt was named by my dad. My mom & I both bought the same batik layer cakes sometime last year. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with 1 layer cake so I put it to the side & worked on other projects. Well my mom decided that what she wanted to use the layer cake for was not going to work with her idea. So she gave it to me along with a charm pack for Christmas last year. The 2 layer cakes & charm packs sat in my sewing room for months until inspiration hit in April when saw another quilt block pattern in a tile floor. I started making the quilt on my kiddos birthday in May. He demolished me in Monopoly so while I was waiting for him to do the same to his Dad & Grandma I started cutting fabric!! Here is Sprinkles!! I made mine with a 10x10 layout so it finishes out at 100' square.

This is a great quilt for precuts & scraps. I used my layer cakes, charm pack & I did have to get a jelly roll so that I would have enough to finish my blocks. I've got plans to make this again & use my Civil War Repro scraps. Here are the directions to make 1 block. The block is 10.5" unfinished so it is easy to calculate how much you'll need to make your quilt.

(2) 4.5" squares
(6) 2.5"X4.5" rectangles
(4) 2.5" squares

This is the block lay out

Step #1 Sew (2) 2.5" squares together. This will be Unit A

Step #2 Sew (1) Unit A to the top of (1) 2.5"x4.5" rectangle

Step #3 Sew 1 Unit A to the right side of (1) 4.5" square

Step #4 Sew (1) 2.5"x4.5" rectangle to the left side of (1) 4.5" square. This will be Unit B

Step 5 Sew (1) 2.5" square to the of (1) 2.5"x4.5" rectangle. This is Unit C. Do this (3) times

Step 6 Sew (1) Unit C to (1) Unit B with the 2.5" square in the top right hand corner

Step #7 Sew (1) Unit C to the Unit B with the 2.5" square in the bottom left hand corner

Step #8 Sew Unit B to the top of Unit A

 Step #9 Sew the remaining Unit C to (1) 2.5"x4.5" rectangle. Make sure that 2.5" square is on the bottom when you sew it to Unit A

I hope that y'all like the block & the quilt. I had a ball sewing this quilt together & I'm looking forward to making another one. If you get inspired to make "Sprinkles" please send me a picture, I would love to see it!

More later on,


P.S. My email address is or you can find me on Facebook under The Scrappy Farmer.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Potential Disaster

It's been a fairly calm yet long hay season again this year. We had a big push to get the hay done on our place this week & we were successful but we also had some set backs. We farm with older equipment. Our tractors are pushing 30 as are our swathers (machines that cut the hay) so anything could break at any time. Kiddo & I were out on Thursday mowing the last of the hay when the U joint on my swather broke.
So kiddo & I switched machines & he took mine back to the house to start fixing it while I stayed to mow. He did a great job fixing it & was able to get it back in the field later on in the evening.

Yesterday I was farming solo. Husband was at work, Kiddo was working (he's been helping a neighbor with his lawn mowing business). I was very thankful for the AC! Mercy it was like an oven yesterday. The silver lining with the heat is that it speeds up the hay drying!
As I was baling up the last piece I see my husband driving out to see me, or so I thought. He stopped me & said " Don't you hear that loud knocking sound? I could hear it all the way from the shop". Well I didn't. It's not exactly quiet in the cab with tractor & the baler monitor going off when it's time to dump a bale. Come to find out that a bearing on a main roller had broken away & now I had metal on metal.
 I just had a tiny bit left so he stayed with me while I finished just in case the baler caught on fire. By the grace of God & the help of my husband I did not!

I've been staying busy since I last posted. Unfortunately not with as much quilting as I would want. I've made progress on my blue/white "My Kansas " quilt. All I have left are the string borders.

Some neighbors down the road were selling some sweet corn. Could I pass that up? Nope. I bought 5 dozen ears of corn. Mercy I like to go big.  Here's 60 ears of corn, shucked & ready for the kernels to be cut off.

When the process was done I had over 40 cups of corn bagged & in the freezer! I would have had more but kiddo & his friend each had a scoop with butter & salt.

During the last month we've also celebrated me & husbands birthdays. I'm on the 18 & he is on the19 of July. My brother, sister in law & their youngest surprised me! Their visit made my birthday.

I also had to show you this hat my parents got me, I LOVE it!
Bling & The Eiffel Tower some of my favorite things!

I hope that y'all are doing well & staying cool. It looks like rain for next week so that means that I  can get some sewing time. I can't wait. More later on,


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Playing in the blue scraps!

One of my current goals is to make each of my quilts in a secondary color way. I'm currently working on my pattern "My Kansas". I want to make each pattern in a completly different color way than the original. So the secondary color way on this one will be blue & white.

I went through my blue stash & separated it into 4 piles, Light, Medium, dark & none of the above. 

The "None of the above" pile is on the lower right. Those blues didn't fit in any of the other categories for me. They were more of a teal/green than blue for me or had some other quality that didn't allow them to fit in one of the other categories. For this quilt I want to use the dark scraps & some of the medium scraps. While sorting the scraps I found these 2.5" strips! Woohoo that's a huge bonus! 

I have not posted in a while. I've been busy with kiddo (he now has his learners permit (where has the time gone?) I took a Judy Niemeyere class through my local quilt guild. I wans't sure how to do the pattern in scraps so I did find some yardage in my stash. This is my project
It'll either be a wall hanging or a table runner. 

I finished 3 quilts & put bindings on all of the them!!!! The first one is for my dear friend Liz who is expecting her sweet new bundle of joy any day.

This is the lime green version of my pattern "Mod Squad". It is bright, happy & I love it!!!

The third quilt will be a mystery for now.  I've submitted it to a quilt magazine for publication. If they accept it I will let you know when it will be published & if they don't I will be writing the pattern for it & selling it. Lots of new experiences for me lately & I'm enjoying it!

I'm enjoying my time inside because we should be in the hayfield soon. Hope y'all are doing well.
More later on,


Friday, May 6, 2016

The eternal optimist

It has occurred to me that I believe that I am a eternal optimist. Where I'm going with this is needle turn appliqué. I have tried countless times to do needle turn appliqué & they have all failed. I joined in on a BOM online & there is a ton of NTA (needle turn appliqué). I decided to start with something easy & work on the arches. Well I finished them but I was not pleased with them. So I took them to my sewing machine & sewed them down.

Next I tried to do the same thing with the leaves & well they turned out so bad that there is no picture, it was bad! So in frustration I put the whole project on the back burner & moved onto other things. Well my mind started wondering back to this project & trying to figure out a way to complete it.
First thought that went through my head was to do all of the appliqué in wool instead of cotton. That technique I knew I could do but the whole idea for me on this BOM was to stretch myself & learn knew skills. So more time passed & it hit me this am what about trying NTA but go about it doing the 
"back basting" method. I'll give it a go. I've always got the wool as my backup. (Machine appliqué is not even on the table right now as an alternative. I truly, truly dislike it.) I'll keep y'all updated on my progress.

I've decided to make secondary color ways of my quilts. Why would I make the same quilt twice? Well for a few reasons. One: it is amazing how the patterns change when you make them with a completely different color way or change where you put the value/hues. It can look like a completely different pattern. Second: It's a great way to use up more scraps!!! A lot of my patterns I already have the secondary color way made. On two of the quilts it's worked out that I could make a table runner instead of a quilt, yeah! My latest pattern, Prairie Stones, I've made that pattern 3 times. (It is such a fun pattern to make!) The current secondary color way quilt that I'm currently working on is  "Mod Squad". This quilt came about because I was going to make a French braid quilt. I had everything cut out to make it. I made 2 braids & realized that I do not like making French braid quilts!! Well I already had everything cut out how was I going to use it up? It's fun & pretty simple to make. I always mention in my presentations that I'd like to make it again except using lime green instead of the red. I had the fabrics (Thanks Maria P!) & I was able to get it cut out in a weekend. All of the blocks are ready to go & here it is all laid out. I LOVE IT!! I've got a cool border fabric to finish it off!

While I've been working on this it I've realized that I REALLY need to work on my friend Liz's quilt. She has waited an incredible amount of time for it & well I just need to get it to working on it & get it DONE!
I also need to work on a baby quilt for her new little one. I've got a bit of time until he arrives but not much. I can't be wasting time on Craigslist ( found a steal of a deal on a Singer 301A. I'll write about that some other time) I've got projects to work on & quilts to finish.

I hope that y'all are having a great day. It is simply stunning here! It's going to be a busy weekend. Tonight is set up for my local guilds quilt show tomorrow. We are also AI (artificial inseminating) cows this weekend & it's Mother's Day. Busy,busy. More later on,