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,


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Me & appliqué

I've loved appliqué quilts for a long time. I've always wanted to make one but I was influenced/intimated into not making an appliqué quilt because I was told that it was too hard, it will take a long time & that I wouldn't like doing it. 
Well I decided that it was time to sink or swim & I joined an online BOM ( Block of the Month) that was going to have a lot of  needle turn appliqué in it. I don't think that I realized how much appliqué there was going to be. I'm the type of quilter that has to complete each step before I can move to the next step. Well month ones blocks are all done! Yeah! I'm now into month 2 blocks. There's one pieced block & 8 half blocks that have wreaths with leaves, ALL APPLIQUÉ! Oh my goodness. My original plan was to give the needle turn a shot but have some wool standing by to use just in case I didn't like the needle turn. Well I've done 3 blocks of just the vines & I think I'm doing ok. Here's my first ever needle turn appliqué! It takes me about an hour to do this stem. I'll get all of the stems appliquéd on & then I'll do my leaves. 

I'm also making good progress on my wool appliqué project. I'm at the half way point on the 11th block. Here's 9 of the finished blocks 

& the 10th block I finished this week, sunflowers😊

I started the wool project last August & I'd love to have the quilt top done by this August. There's still a lot of stitching to do but I'll give it my best shot. It's good to have goals. They keep you focused. 

I'm trying to do as much piecing as I can while working on the 2 appliqué projects. I've got some deadlines coming up that I will not miss! 

I hope y'all are doing well. I'm loving the weather here in Kansas. Cool & sunny☀️
More later on,


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Day 5 of the 5 day quilt challenge: Memories of family & the sea

The summer of 2005 my family went to the Oregon coast to celebrate my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. Everyone was there in one house. Lots of fun memories of that trip. One evening my dad came back from a walk on the beach & he handed me this starfish

Yes I still have the original star fish. I keep it in 2 plastic bags (one of which is a zip lock bag) becasue after 11 years it still stinks. No it does not smell like the sea, unfortunately. My Aunt Ruby (who is a master quilter/seamstress) said that the starfish would make a great appliqué. So the next day  a few of my aunts, my mom & I went fabric shopping. I got all of the fabrics that I would need for different star fish, sand & the ocean. My friend Liz told me after the quilt was done "Vicky you are the only one I know that makes their own souvenir". That night I had a machine appliqué lesson from Aunt Runy (She would keep a sewing machine in her car. Gotta always be prepared.) I was able to get a few of the star fish appliquéd before we came home.

Here's the quilt

I made this pretty early on in my quilting life. It very much stretched my skills at the time. I machine quilted it. (Which took forever) I think that I originally wanted to quilt in the blue ocean fabric but by the time the sand/starfish were quilted I was done!

I love it when scraps from this project pop up in my scrap bins. It brings back great memories. I hope that y'all have enjoyed seeing the different quilts. I nominate my friend Joeylyn Feverly for the 5 day quilt challenge.

Have a great day! More later on,


Friday, April 15, 2016

Day 4 of the 5 day quilt challenge. One of my favorites

I LOVE this quilt! It is one of my most favorite quilts & it's on my bed more than any other quilt. Here's the quilt stats:

Original dimensions (110x110) I've washed it so it has shrunk some.

There are 10,000 one inch pieces in the quilt using just shy of 19 yards of scraps. ( border yardage not included)

I started the quilt on November 11, 2012 & it was on my bed January 9, 2013, (69 days)

It's "Perkiomen Daydreams" by Bonnie Hunter (the pattern is in her very first book).

I had been wanting to make this quilt for a long time but I allowed the 10,000 one inch pieces to intimidate me. The holiday season of 2012-2013 I wanted monotonous sewing, just putting fabric under the needle. I decided that this quilt fit the bill. It looks very intimidating but it's not. You're making the same block 400 times. Lots of chain piecing ( I did not piece all of those tiny squares one at a time). The hardest part is putting all of the blocks together. You've got to follow the diagram. I would highlight each block as I sewed it to the next one on the row. At about the 2/3 mark I took a pic of my progress & showed it to Theresa & she found that I had turned 1 block 90 degrees the wrong way, DOH! Well it had to been taken out & fixed. 

This is the quilt that I hang at all of my presentations. It's a real attention getter & conversation starter. 

If you find a pattern that has you intimated by the piece count start it! Making a quilt like this is like eating an elephant, one bite at a time. You can do it!!!

I hope that y'all are having a great day. It's gorgeous here. I'm sitting on my front porch drinking my tea while typing this up & soaking up some fresh air & sunshine☀️

More later on,


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Day 3 o the 5 day challenge: Kiddo quilts

My kiddo has grown up in quilt stores. He used to be able to tell you which ones were the nicest to him & the ones that had the best toys. I started quilting when he was a year old. He doesn't remember life without quilts. I started raiding his closet today looking for the quilts that I've made for him over the years & WOW, the memories. I remember making these for him thinking that #1 He's so huge so I'd better make them big so that he'll be able to use them for a long time (He has outgrown many of them now).
#2 Maybe his kiddos will be able to use them & love them, knowing that their daddy slept under them.
Ok gotta stop, the tears are starting to build. I'm going to break the rules (though I'm not sure there are any & give you a few quilts instead of just one)

He loved (still does but not quite the same intensity) all things John Deere. My dads mom embroidered the tractor blocks & I put the top together. Theresa quilted it for me & did a fabulous job.

Here is a close up of the embroidered block

 I love the fact that my grandma & I both worked on this quilt for him. 

We did have to put it up because some of the embroidery was starting to come out. My kiddo loves & uses his quilts well!

I'd have to consult the quilt book full of my quilt pictures to remember for sure when I made this one. I think that it was one of the first that I made. We/Me had John Deere fabric coming out my ears for years. It brings back great memories when they pop up in my scrap bins.

I think that I started off making this quilt for his daddy. Turns out that it wasn't quite long enough & kiddo jumped on it & claimed it as his. I was starting to run out of big piecies of JD fabric & was using up what I had. It's got a green fleece on the back.

As kiddo grew up he requested that I make him a quilt. He requested that I make it solely from fabrics/scraps that I already had. (He's definitely his daddy's boy). I was starting to really get into all things Bonnie Hunter so I made him this quilt

This is her pattern. I can't remember the name for sure but I think it's "Hopscotch Butterscotch" from her second book "Adventures with Leaders & Enders". Learned some great lessons on this quilt. The main one is that when making half square triangles & you've drawn a line on the back that line is your fold line not your sew line. Once I grasped that concept it made a huge difference. I put a blue shaggy minky fabric for the backing & Theresa quilted bulldozers on it.

For his latest quilt I made him this 

He is all about the military. He especially loves all things WWII. I found this fabric for him while at Missouri Star one day. There is a previous blog post all about this quilt.

My kiddo will always be one of my favorite people to make quilts for. He's like me, in the fact that he attaches memories/feelings with objects. He knows that I poured my love for him into each quilt. He also uses them!!! That is one of the biggest compliments that I can ever have as a quilter. When I see you using the quilts it makes me happy. Baby quilts are meant for tummy time, to be spit up on, slept under & forts built from them.

I hope that y'all are having a great day. It's pretty spectacular here & I'm loving this weather. The sun is out, a nice light breeze & I'm not sneezing. More later on,


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Day 2 of the 5 day challenge

Day 2

5 years ago my husband asked me to make him a quilt. He had some "rules" or requests in its making.

 #1 It had to take me a long time. I'm guessing that he thought that if I made a more intensely pieced quilt that it would take me a much longer time to make. It took me a while but I decided on "Ocean Waves". I love antique quilt patterns. The problem or issue that I find with them is that they generally have very difficult instructions on the construction. I found Bonnie Hunters "Ocean Waves" pattern on her website & knew that I could make this! It is the easiest pattern I have found to make this quilt. There are no Y seams!

#2 It had to take me a long time. Again I'm thinking that my dear husbands thought process was that if it took me a long time to make then I wouldn't be making as many quilts. I started this quilt in April of 2011 & gave it to him for our Anniversary in September 2011. There are a couple thousand half square triangles in the quilt but if you take them one at a time, they're not bad to complete :)

#3 I had to use his "Dirt Colors". I had not been a big fan of Civil War Repro fabrics. I like bold & bright colors so making this quilt with CW fabrics was definetly getting me out of my comfort zone. Thankfully the quilt store here locally had A LOT of CW scraps & I was in luck!

Here's Husband John's "Ocean Waves" quilt

He loves this quilt & is not a big fan of me taking it with me to my presentations. It always stays on his chair & he uses almost daily. 

I hope that y'all are having a great day. It's beautiful here. The windows are open, the flag is gently waving in the breeze & I'm getting ready to do some sewing. More later on,


Monday, April 11, 2016

5 day quilt challenge. The quilt that started it all

My friend Theresa Ward from Always Quilts nominated me for the 5 day quilt challenge. I decided to start the first day of the challenge with the very first quilt that I ever made.

It all started in January 2003. My mom thought that it would be a good idea if I started quilting. She & I would do the Saturday Sampler at Quilters Quarters here in Leavenworth. The plan was that mom would come up to my house after the meeting & she would teach me how to put the blocks together.

I sold the idea to my husband that the quilt was only going to cost me/us $5. The first month you had to pay $5. If you brought your completed block to the next month's meeting you could get that months block for free. I knew nothing of sashing, backing, batting & the quilting. Needless to say it was not a $5 quilt. I loved quilting! I thoroughly enjoyed the first Saturday's with my mom. It was shortly thereafter that I discovered scraps & the rest is history. I remember thinking that it was huge. Comparing it to the quilts that I make now it's kinda small, a good lap size quilt.

This 5 day quilt challenge is going to be fun. I hope that you enjoy it!

I hope that y'all are having a great day. More later on,


Monday, March 21, 2016

It all started with a simple phone call

It all started with a simple phone call last Friday afternoon. Here's an excerpt from the conversation:

Marilyn: Hi Vicky! I've got another box/bag of scraps for you! Would you like them?

Me: YES MA'AM!!! When would you like me to come & get them?

Marilyn: Tomorrorw around 1pm ok?

Me: Yuppers!

Now Marilyn is the one that I talk about in my presentations. She is the one that gave me the microwave box full of scraps. Well she didn't disappoint this time either. She filled a contractors trash bag & 2 smaller bags full. 

She lives about 45 min to the east of me & I made it to her house on time. Chatted for a few minutes, loaded the car & I was off. Well I was supposed to meet some friends who were in from out of town for an early dinner around 5 or so South of Kansas City. I thought why go all the way back home from here to turn around & come back the same direction? Why not go another 45 min to the east & go to Missouri Star in Hamilton MO? I thought it was a spectacular idea! Every time I go there they are always changing things up. I'm not a yardage girl, I'm a scrapper but there are some things that I will buy yardage of & that is my Kona Black (because I've used up the majority of my black scraps) & anything that has the Eiffel Tower on it. I have loved the Tower for as long as I can remember & have been collecting fabrics for some quilty project down the road. I found this yardage! It was new & some of it needed to come home with me.

I had a great time & was able to meet my friends on time & had a great dinner catching up. It wasn't long enough, it never is though.

Yesterday was filled with church & taxes. Today well I'm hoping that today will be filled with some sewing. I've got a deadline on this string quilt & it needs to get finished! I've made more progress since this picture was taken but here's a glimpse of how it's turning out.

My dear husband is home this week. He's taking a week of vacation so that he can get some things done on the farm that require his practiular set of skills. I'm hoping that he'll be able to cross lots of things off of his to do list. I might be learning how to build fence & stretch wire this week. All good skills to have.

I hope that y'all are having a great first week of spring. It looks to be a beautiful day here. I'm off to do more laundry & SEW!!!! Have a good day! More later on,