Welcome to Farm Quilter

Enjoy your stay under the variable skies of Eastern Washington and watch the seasons change, from planting to harvest here on the farm...be sure to wrap up in a quilt during the winter, it's cold!!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

2020 Monthly Color Challenge

I decided the only way to keep sane and busy here was to participate in several challenges at one time.  Somehow I decided today to participate and made the block for January
If you are interested in joining me on this monthly color challenge, you can find the information and pattern at Patterns By Jen.  Thank you Jen and her wonderful sponsors!!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Epic Failure

Well, I had made a cover for my Kindle in 2011, so I thought this would be a breeze.  Yeah, nope!  My last cover actually held my Kindle.  I have a cover for my current Kindle and I was planning to cover the cover.  Totally different animal!!  I could not make it work, so I make another snack mat.  Sewing down the binding showed me that I need to take my machine in for a "clean up and fix my tension" visit with the technician.  It's time, I guess.  But I now have another snack mat, with the wolf facing the right way!!
I will be spending some time with Jack the Ripper tonight, taking out the fancy stitching that closed the binding and I'll be hand sewing the binding down.  Sigh...I don't like Jack and I don't like hand sewing, but there is no option!

I hope your Saturday sewing was less frustrating then mine was!!

Jelly Roll Rug and Winner Announcement

The winner of the snips from my post on Tuesday for The Winter Blues Blog Hop is: Jodi - usairdoll!!  Jodi, I send you an email!!!

I finished a jelly roll rug on Monday (21 fabrics, 42 strips), just in time for my post on Tuesday for The Winter Blues Blog Hop.  I watched a single Jelly Roll Rug video on Youtube - there are a bunch of them - but I watched this one.  I did not buy a pattern...I didn't need one.  My rug ended up being 4 feet 4.5 inches by 3 feet 4.5 inches.  I did use a jeans needle and a walking foot...made my life so much simpler!!

I sorted my jelly roll so that the same color strips were together, going from light to dark.  I sewed them, end to end, into a really long strip.  I then folded and pressed the entire strip like I was making the store-bought double fold bias tape - both raw sides were pressed to the center and then folded in half so no raw edges were visible.  I then cut 2.5" strips of Quilter's Dream Green batting, sewed them end to end with a zigzag stitch and put that inside the already pressed fabric strip.  Yes, it was a bit of a pain to unfold the fabric, put the batting strip smoothly inside it, then re-fold the whole thing, but having the pressed lines on my fabric made it much easier to maintain the size of the strip.  I pinned like crazy, until I ran out of pins, then I would sew the strip closed, 1/8-1/4" away from the edge.

Once all the batting was in and the strip sewed shut, I created a ball with the strip, starting the ball with the end that I wanted on the outside of the rug

I kept it in a grocery sack to keep it contained while I was sewing it together.  It worked really well!!  I started by folding the single strip of dark fabric in half and put my needle down in the fold...the sewn sides are together (for the only time - after this, the sewn side is up against the finished side) to provide me with a smooth turn at the first corner.  Looking at the picture below, I started sewing the rug together in the dark blue end that is closest to me.  Watch the video, as she has shown you where to start, but note that I put the seams together, rather than following her directions of keeping the seam-side of the strip against the smooth side of the strip.  I didn't like the way her first turn was twisted and looked lumpy to me.  Make sure you always secure your threads when you start and stop.

It is important to have the "tail" coming into the sewing machine from the right side of the needle.  If you have it coming from the left, your rug will grow into the throat of your sewing machine and you will definitely not be happy!!  I used the zigzag stitch set at 7.0 for width and 2.5 for length on my Janome.  Only once did I have to go back and re-sew because I didn't catch both sides in the stitch and I was lucky to have caught it when I only needed to go back about an inch.

Every three times around, secure the thread (I did the back and forth button as well as the "tie a knot" button) and press with steam (or spray with water) you need to do this to keep the rug flat.  I went 4 times around once and I had to work way harder to press it flat.  The ends will want to curl from going around the corner, so by pressing every three rounds and not putting any tension on the tail, you will have much better luck at keeping your rug flat.

Keep the edges "kissing" and you won't end up with holes.  Because I wanted the smooth edge of the fabric to be on the outside of the rug, I started by folding the single dark strip in half, with the sewn edges together.  This is contrary to what the Youtube video said to do, but it makes it much easier to make the first turn with no lumps.  That is the only place the two sewn edges are together.  Go slowly - I had my speed set on the 1/4 mark, close to the turtle!!  With every stitch, you are asking your needle to go through 4 layers of batting and 4 layers of fabric...if you go too fast you will get needle deflection and you may break your needle or shred your thread.

As your rug grows, it needs to be supported.  I have a Sew Steady extension table for my Janome (love it!), but when the rug outgrew it, I used books to create a larger, flat surface behind and to the left of my machine.  You'll see those books later, as I used them to weigh down my rug to help it remember to lie flat.

I left about 1.5" at the end of my last strip unsewn and with no batting.  I folded over the end to hide the selvage edge and then laid the empty fabric over the preceding row to finish off the end of the rug.

This keeps the rug reversible and cleanly ends the rug.  I did back-stitch to really nail it down.

To make sure it was flat, before sewing on the last of the fabric, I laid it on the floor and found a good use for the encyclopedias my dad still has (I also used them, stacked 2 high, to support the rug beyond my Sew Steady).  I pressed the finished rug on the floor and covered as much of the surface with books after I finished the rug and I left it that way for 24 hours.  Press with steam or spritz with water!  Hot forgets, cold remembers...so after each pressing, let the rug cool so it has the correct memory!!

If you decide to make a rug, I would love to see a picture of your handiwork!!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Project Quilting Challenge 11.2 - Team Colors

Since I'm not a big follower of professional sports, I went back to the university I got my B.S and M.Ed. degrees from - University of Nevada, Reno.

I found a picture of the logo and drew it as well as I could on to fusible.  Of course, I forgot to reverse it, so with the one facing the proper direction, I am making a cover for my Kindle...it's not finished yet, but I did make myself a mug rug/snack mat!

I love these little scissors!  I keep them by my sewing machine, another pair on my ironing board, and another on my longarm!!  Love cutting out those little details!
Second one, so it will be heading right, in the correct direction!
I did sew around the edge with a straight stitch, to make sure everything stayed in place - I know fusible isn't forever!!
I had fun with the quilting!  I used So Fine in white and dark blue...I was bold and did some quilting on the white fabric with the dark blue.  I miss my longarm!!  I also did a faux piping binding (the binding matches the backing, I forgot to take a picture of it), so I easily sewed it down on the front with the dark blue So Fine.  The school colors are dark blue, silver and white.  I found a beautiful silvery grey in my stash and used it.
This is how I intend to use my mug rug/snack mat!!  My beautiful mug (in my favorite color) was a gift from a friend in England, Susie, who started out as a reader and became so much more!!

Thank you, Kim, of Persimmon Dreams, for these challenges!!  I'm having so much fun stretching myself, especially with my quilting on my DSM!!  I'll be linking up with Kim on her blog.  #pqseason11

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Winter Blues Blog Hop - Day 4

Thanks to Carla of Creatin' in the Sticks, we have a lovely blog hop going on featuring all things blue!!

Thursday, January 23rd

These are the blogs that are up with their ways to beat the winter blues with their creations!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Winter Blues Blog Hop - Day 3

This is the third day of The Winter Blues Blog Hop, all coordinated by Carla of Creatin' in the Sticks.

Wednesday, January 22nd

These lovely bloggers have eye candy to start your day with their creativity.  Leave them a sweet note to encourage them.

Monday, January 20, 2020

The Winter Blues Blog Hop, Day 2

Wasn't the eye candy yesterday fantastic!!!  I just love hops where everyone has fun creating something beautiful using needle and thread.  Please check out the other quilters showing off their creations today.

Today is my day to share in 

For my Winter Blues quilt I am showing the quilt top I made with Alicia of Alicia Quilts and her Winter QAL.  I love the color teal and have quite the lovely curated collection of teals!!  Alicia makes most of her quilts for Quilts of Valor, so the colors she chose for her quilt are red, white and blue.  I went with teal, white and orange.  I don't like the color orange very much, but it really sparkles with teal, so I am trying to embrace the orange!!  It's funny, but the last 3 project I have worked on have included the color orange!!  My Winter QAL, the Mystery QAL (here) and my Project Quilting with Kim of Persimmon Dreams.  Thank you, Carla, of Creatin' in the Sticks for coordinating this fun blog hop!!

I am calling my quilt Sparkle!  It all started with the fabric pull and show, which my dear Tara totally ignored!
And they became this:

Thank you, Alicia for the wonderful pattern and the encouragement to get sewing again!!  Thank you, Carla, for giving me a place to show it off!!  I will quilt it when I get home to my longarm!!  A big thank you to Amy and Katherine, my dad's hospice CNA and RN who were kind enough to hold my quilt so I could get a decent picture of it in the sunshine!

Surprise, surprise!!  I got another blue project finished!!  I just couldn't stop working on this and got it finished yesterday.  Originally it was going to go in my kitchen at the farm, but it may end up in the guest bathroom or in my quilting room.  I had never tried this before, but one Youtube video later, here it is:

A double jelly roll rug!!  I'll post a mini tutorial on Saturday because there are definitely some tricks and tips to making this.  I am beyond thrilled with the way it turned out.  I believe the double jelly roll I used was made by the quilt shop owner, so it is not just one line of fabric.

Here are the bloggers who are participating in The Winter Blues with me:

Monday, January 20th

Tuesday, January 21st - TODAY

Wednesday, January 22nd

Thursday, January 23rd

Friday, January 24th
Creatin' in the Sticks

If you read down this far, thank you for stopping by.  I'm going to have a little giveaway of a pair of my favorite snips.  Thank you, Kevin the Quilter for introducing me to them.  They are by Golden Eagle.  To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment and I'll have my dad draw a winner on Saturday, January 25.

Bush Fire Tree Blocks #bushfireblocks

I follow Life in the Scrapatch and she made a block to send, so I thought I could do the same!  One block will fit in a regular envelope and the postage wouldn't be too horrible.  So, these are the blocks I made

These are the two blocks I'm putting in the mail tomorrow.  I don't know how long it takes for mail to get from the USA to Australia, so rather than be late, I'll put them in the mail now.  I found out just how few greens I brought with me or have accumulated since I got here!!

If you can help this way, thank you.  I know the people of Australia will be grateful for any support they get!

It is destined for the 

who are collecting tree blocks from all over the world to make
quilts for those affected by the terrible bust fires in Australia.

"Our NSW communities have been ravaged by fire since August 2019. In particular, the South Coast of NSW were devastated by bushfire on New Year’s Eve. Our state has suffered enormous losses. Families have lost loved ones, others their homes and all their belongings. Farmers have lost livestock, others their livelihood, not to mention the extensive loss and damage to our native flora and fauna. Unfortunately, it is only the start of our fire season and immediate forecasts predict worsening conditions, and anticipate further loss and destruction.
So whilst feeling deeply saddened by the overwhelming scenes of widespread loss and suffering - it got Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild thinking..... What can we do to help? Well, we can make quilts of course!!
So we would like to call-out to anyone else who would like to help us in making quilts for the affected families within our communities.
How you can help:

We have decided to make tree blocks. The tree is a symbol of growth and nourishment. A tree symbolizes the generations of a family; a tree sprouts from a seed, the roots provide strength and stability, and whilst the new sapling is young and vulnerable they are protected by the other trees until they grow and flourish. In time the branches spread and then create new fruit that gives life to the next generation.
There is no restriction to one type of tree block. We would love our quilts to be beautiful and diverse just like our wonderful communities. The below quilt blocks have been designed and supplied for inspiration, but please feel free to use your own ideas and colours. If you would like to help, please make a tree block of a generous 12.5 inch square using a low volume / white or pale grey background. Once completed please send to:
Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild
PO Box 54
Jamberoo New South Wales
We are going to distribute the quilts made to the families who have lost everything.
We would like to ask that blocks be mailed for arrival by the end of February. We thank you in advance for your support. #bushfireblocks

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Winter Blues Blog Hop, Day 1

Today is the first day of The Winter Blues Blog Hop, thanks to the efforts of Carla of Creatin' in the Sticks!! 

These quilters are up on Day 1, so go and check out the eye candy and get rid of those Winter Blues!!!

Monday, January 20th

Tomorrow is my day to share, so I'll see you then!!

I Won!

I have been remiss in thanking Kim of Persimmon Dreams for the awesome goodies I won when I did the Mystery Quilt-A-Longwith her that ended the first week of January.  I am still thrilled every time I look at what she sent!!  Incredibly generous prizes for a really fun MQA that only took a week!!!
It wasn't a wee little box!!  Oh, no!!  And it was stuffed with this awesomeness!!!
A layer cake of Island Batiks!!!  And in my favorite colors of teal and purples!!!
And more Island Batiks in in teal, purples, oranges and reds...be still my heart!!!
These fabulous buttons...and yes, I'm wearing the NOT NOW!!  It's ProjectQUILTING challenge week...because, you know it is!!!
A koozie from her so I can keep my drink cold and not get dehydrated when I'm in the zone quilting!!
Last but not least are these nesting tins!  They no longer nest because they all have something quilting related inside them so I can get a wee bit more organized!!  Okay, I'll confess, one of them contains chocolates, because chocolate!!!

Thank you, Kim!!  Love all my goodies and I love creating with you!!  #ProjectCHALLENGE

Challenge 11.2 Starts Today!

Trish is the Challenge Mistress this week at Persimmon Dreams and she came up with a good one, especially for sports fans!  Go check it out, while I check my stash to see if I can come up with an idea for my project!!  Do I go all the way back to junior high, high school, university???  I'm not a super fan of any professional team, so this will be interesting to see what I can come up with!!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Which Needle to Use

I just read a wonderful blog post by Kate who blogs at Seams Like a Dream and she has great information on what needle works with what fabric and why!!  Best of all, she put it into a chart that you can easily copy and save for future use right here

I'm really good at figuring out which needle to use with my longarm, because I use different weights of thread when I quilt and they demand different sizes of needles to work properly.  I'm not that attentive when I am piecing...because I usually use cotton so my needle stays the same!  Remember the Tummy Time quilts I made for babies?  After reading Kate's blog, I understand why I was having issues when piecing the poly fabric to the cotton...it kept wanting to shift and stretch on me!!  Lesson learned!  I now have a copy of Kate's list of fabrics and the needles they pair with in a folder on my desktop so I can access it.  When I get home, I'll print out a copy and keep it in my sewing room!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Auction for Australia

Mister Domestic is having an auction on his Instagram account here with all proceeds benefiting several groups in Australia as they deal with the horrific fires.  Quilts, bags of all kinds, fabric, notions...all have been donated to help Australia.  Did you know that they now estimate 1/2 billion animals have been killed?  Just breaks my heart!!!  I visited Australia over 10 years ago and totally fell in love with the country.  I bid on one of the items in the auction and I would hope someone else will pop over there and help as well.

Jo is running a quilt, quilt top, backing, block drive (thank you to Mari of The Academic Quilter for bringing this to my attention).  If you can help that way, the postage isn't too awful if you can put a block or two in a first-class envelope!  According to Jo, 1,300 homes have been lost.  If you know anyone who has lost their home to fire, you know there is little left to recover and there are things (pictures especially) that are gone forever.  Everyone pulled out all the stops to help those affected by the Paradise fires and the Carolina hurricane victims...now the country of Australia needs help.

The firefighters from Canada and the United States who went to Australia to help out were greeted with cheers by those in the airport, but I'm sure the Australian firefighters they will be helping will be even more grateful.  So many of the firefighters are volunteers who have other jobs that are spending their days and nights fighting the fires, and I'm sure some of them have lost their homes.

Pray for Australia, the firefighters, those caring for those driven from their homes by the fires, those caring for the animals who have been injured and driven from their homes, and for a change in the weather...they need a gentle, constant rain to put out the fires but not create floods.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

11.1 Notably Numeric Challenge Done

This week I have participated in the challenge presented by Kim of Persimmon Dreams and Trish, the designer.  I have a total finish!!  It has even been bound, per the rules!!

One way:
I started with the top and fusible fleece for batting.  I did the quilting on the purple with just the two layers.  I then added the the backing fabric and did the quilting on the orange and the blanket stitch on my sewing machine all around the letters and arrow.
I added a piece of white fabric to the border and binding to show how narrow the way is...the old "Stairway to Heaven vs. the Highway to Hell".

This snack mat is a gift and this is how I hope it will be used:
Thank you so much, Kim and Trish!!  I had fun with this one!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Project Quilting

I am participating in Kim, of Persimmon Dreams, Project Quilting again this week.  I am so happy to be back to sewing and quilting again and definitely need to challenge from Kim to get back there!!  Thank you, Kim, for doing this again!!

Notably Numeric is our clue for the week.  I got the clue on Sunday and made the top, yesterday I did the quilting on the purple part of the front and some of the blanket stitching around the letters.  Today I finished the blanket stitching and quilted the orange border.  For someone who really doesn't like orange, I have used it in my last three projects!!!  I love teal and purple...both of those colors are really set off by orange, so I guess I need to embrace the orange!!

This is my pup Tara (she was rescued 9 years ago), playing with her new gingerbread man sent to her from her friend Treacle in England for Christmas.  She has a blast with it!!

Do you need a bit of help to get back to the sewing machine?  Kim's challenges aren't difficult, they are lots of fun and I won the prize offered for participating in, and finishing the top, of her Mystery QAL last week when we made our spool quilt!!  Yes, there are lots of prizes offered again...come on and have some fun with us!!