Friday, May 12, 2017

God's Love from A diaper Bag and Mother's Day!

  I received the best email ever today from my dear friend Pastor Bill Barker from Appalachian Regional Ministries in West Virginia. Mr. Bill was writing to share some photo's of Mom's and Grandmother's learning to sew on the sewing machines that I donated last year. The machines, fabric and supplies went to a ministry in Kentucky that serves new mothers " God's Love from a Diaper Bag".  Several of my super generous and kindhearted friends donated fabric and other sewing supplies to go along with the machines to get the group started.  

It looks like a full class! And they have really set up a nice classroom too! I love those full aprons!

God's Love from a Diaper Bag serves a huge community including new moms on a daily basis with everything from diapers to clothes, formula, blankets etc... 
Below is a list of just some of their current needs if you would like to help out:

List of current needs: 
1. Diapers and Baby items
2. New toys for Christmas this year.
3. Emergency Food.
4. Baby Clothes and Children's Clothes.
5. School Supplies.
6. Hygiene Products.
7. Janitorial Supplies.
8. Tennis shoes in all sizes.
9. Dental Supplies
10. Lice treatments

   I am really happy to see that the machines are being used to teach sewing and quilting and so excited to be a small part in that endeavor! 
Here is the link to God's Love from a Diaper bag and Appalachian Regional Ministries!
You may be familar with Appalchian Regional Ministries through your church and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and Christmas Backpacks program.

I also wanted to tell you about a great sale that Craftsy is offering until May 14th for Mother's Day!  Any class for $19.99! I love Craftsy classes. I am a Craftsy affiliate and I only endorse products that I have used and enjoyed. One of the many things that I enjoy about a Craftsy class is that once you purchase a class you can view it as many times as you like. You can also stop, start and rewind or replay any portion that you need. The teachers in the classes are also available to help and answer questions through online emails and chats! This is a great way to learn new techniques such as English Paper Piecing, Quilting, needle turn applique and even Cake decorating! You can also gift classes! Offers end May 14th!
 Click on this link for all the details and included classes and fabric sales!

   We had Mother's Day last weekend , so this weekend I am planning on planting a few garden beds with the plants I received from my daughter! We just don't have time for a full garden any longer so I have switched to a few raised beds and that has worked great in the past. 
 Whatever your plans for the weekend, I hope you have a fantastic , fun filled Mother's Day!
 xo Jan

Sunday, April 30, 2017

2017 Little Dresses for Africa Sew Along!

  In 2013 I heard about a not for profit organization called "Little Dresses for Africa". Below is a little information about this organization from their website:

About LDfA

Little Dresses for Africa, founded in 2008 by  Rachel O’Neill is a registered  non-profit 501c3 Christian organization. Our mission is to provide relief to vulnerable children throughout the Continent of Africa and beyond.  Volunteers from all over the world join together to make little dresses out of pillow cases or other simple patterns. Some sew. Some donate. Some go to Africa, and some send others. Little Dresses for Africa sends the donated dresses through misions teams, mails them directly to verified communities and takes them personally with their short term teams.   Your donations are distributed through orphanages, churches, and schools.  Together, we can make a difference.
How We Make a Difference-
Because of the widespread AIDS pandemic, and other disease, little girls are often left to be the primary care givers of their young siblings. The road is especially tough for little girls and women. It is our hope that in delivering dresses to these young girls, that a seed will be planted in their hearts, in the name of Jesus, that they are worthy.  We plant the seeds; God sends the harvest.
It’s more than just a dress! 
Although clothing is needed, these  little dresses are so much more.  They go as little Ambassadors into the homes and villages where we are able to teach simple lessons clean water, and sanitation and to promote good  health and family skills knowledge. As relationships are formed we are able to identify other needs that can be met through your generosity.
Who Is Making the Difference?
Simply stated… you are! We believe that most people want to help others less fortunate than themselves. They just need to know how!  Lives are changed here and across the ocean as we join together to help others.  Whether you sew or not, this ministry has something for you!  You can sew independently or form a group to sew.
    After reading more about the organization AND seeing all the beautiful photos of the children , I knew it was something I had to participate in. In 2013 I made my first 10 little pillowcase dresses. I so enjoyed making those little dresses. It is a great Charity project and now I really enjoy hosting a linky party every year with prizes to encourage people to make a few dresses and link up! Below are photos of some of the previous Dresses I have made. I am very excited to announce I am once again hosting a Little Dresses for Africa Linky Party for 2017!!.

I love using decorative stitching on the bias tape ties.
  Boy shorts and Sanitary pads are also desperately needed.
 Did you know that the girls cannot attend school during their monthly periods because they do not have sanitary pads!!!  

 Below are the patterns for :
1. Pillowcase Dresses from yardage- Please make sure fabric is good quality and not see through. This is the pattern I use. I also pre-washed my fabrics. These dresses have to last and hold up to alot of wearing and washing.Please make sure that all inside raw edges are finished. You can also do a French Seam and enclose raw edges.

2.. Pillow case Dresses from Pillow cases.
4. Boy Shorts - made from T Shirts ( or any drawstring type of shorts will work) 
      Will you sew along with me?  You can make one or ten or more! Any help is greatly appreciated!!
   AND once again the generous folks at Fat Quarter Shop and Aurifil Threads are sponsoring the LDFA Sew Along with prizes for linking up! 
Woohoo!  A $50.00 Gift Certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop for one lucky participant! Someone will have a great time spending that!! 
  I haven't received the threads yet from Aurifil but I will post a photo once I receive their contribution! 
I will also be offering a Gift Certificate to my ETSY shop!
  Please help spread the word through your blog, facebook, twitter, instagram and with your sewing friends and groups. 
Feel free to copy this image to help spread the word!

I am so excited about getting started on this years Dresses. A new to me online fabric store sent me a few yards of my favorite "Carousel" fabric in 2 colorways to use for dresses: Thank you so much to Tonia and the great folks at Fashionable Fabrics in Alta Loma, Ca for their generous donation. They have a large selection of adorable and up to date fabric collections! Tonia also works with her church group on making little dresses! 

  I mentioned above that I like using the decorative stitches on my machine with  Aurifil thread on the bias tape. I think it looks really cute and maybe all the extra stitching will help the bias tape ties endure many, many washings! 

Please let me know if you have any questions! I can't wait to see the paradof Little dresses and Shorts . 

   The sew along begins now and will run until the link up party July 1st through July 3rd, 2017. The winners will be announced on or after July 4th, 2017!! So gather your friends and fabrics and have a great time stitching! Please note to be eligible for the drawings your entries must be made between April 30th 2017 and July 3rd 2017. 

  There may be another missionary group going to Africa this fall so you may have the opportunity to send your items to go with this missionary group or you may be sending directly to LDFA headquarters. More on that later. 

  I love the Little Dresses for Africas' motto: "

"We're not just sending dresses, We're sending Hope!

Thank you for stopping by everyone! I hope to see ya'll linking up those adorable dresses, pads and shorts in July! Watch this blog for more information!

Happy Stitching!
Thank you for stopping by!
xo Jan

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day 2017 - Homemade Laundry Liquid!

 To celebrate Earth Day 2017 - I thought I would revisit a previous post and my recipe for making eco friendly liquid laundry soap.

Plus I need a new batch, so this is a great way to celebrate Earth Day and make up a few jugs! I hope you enjoy this beautiful day!


 Hey yall! Don't you just love freshly laundered quilts? Warm from the sun. I took the opportunity to wash my Scrappy Many Trips Around the World. 

When I went to the laundry room I realized I was almost out of my favorite homemade laundry liquid. So I set about making a new batch and thought I would share the recipe. It is super simple to make and All Natural. Plus it is very economical!  Here is what you will need:

1/2 cup Borax ( I use Mule Team 20X)
1/2 cup Washing Soda ( This is different from Baking Soda but is also made by Arm & Hammer)
1 cup soap flakes ( You can use Zote Soap, Lux Flakes or Fels-Naptha. I personally do not like the smell of any of those. I would not recommend using Oil of Olay, Tone or any of those bar soaps that have alot of added ingredients. Stick to a natural, pure soap product. I like to use my homemade soap but all I have left  are some Oatmeal bars,and since I didn't want Oatmeal in my laundry , I used an old bar of Ivory. )
8 quarts of cool water
2 quarts warm water
2 pots ( I use a small, old stock pot and an old, large canning pot)
A potato peeler or grater
A Measuring Cup
Something to dip your liquid soap with ( I use a large plastic measuring cup)
A large Funnel ( I make mine out of soda bottles. Just cut off the top about where the wrapper starts)(Oh, and save the cap. You can put it back on your funnel to keep stuff from dripping everywhere :))
Wooden or plastic spoon
At least 3 large containers to store your detergent in.
And a hot pad to place the pot on when you remove it from the heat.

Start by grating your bar soap. I prefer to use a potato peeler instead of a grater. It's easier on my knuckles!  You will need 1 cup of grated soap.You made need to lightly pack the soap down . You want a full cup.I use the whole bar!

Put the 2 quarts of warm water in the smaller pot and heat over medium heat. Then slowly add your grated soap and keep stirring gently until the soap melts. I like to use a wooden spoon. You will see small bits of soap floating around, that is ok.

Remove from the heat. Now slowly add the 1/2 cup of Borax and the 1/2 cup of Washing Soda. Stir until it all dissolves.
Now, pour the other 8 quarts of cold water into the larger pot. Slowly add the hot liquid to the cool water. Keep stirring until it starts to thicken as it cools.

Using a funnel, fill your jugs to within a few inches of the top. (You will need room in your container to shake your detergent before using it.)  I use a large plastic measuring cup to scoop up the liquid instead of lifting the heavy pot. I also use a cut off Soda bottle as a funnel. It works great! 

 See how the mixture kinda thickens and clumps up.

Be sure to leave a little room in the top of your containers for shaking. I also have a small container handy that will hold the last little bit.

As it cools and settles, it will separate a little from the extra water. That is fine. Just give it a good shake before using.

 You only need 1/2 cup per load!!! If you have extra dirty laundry, like I do sometimes after we have worked cattle all day, then you can use a full cup!

Now a couple of notes to mention:

You will NOT see suds in the washing machine. This does not make suds. And bubbles are NOT what cleans your laundry. Also, I don't have to use Downy! So that's another savings.

 If you want to add a scent like lemon, rose, lavender or whatever. You may add some using an essential oil. I like the smell of the Ivory or my homemade soaps, so I do not add anything. Plus I don't think my handsome farmer hubby dude wants to go around smellin' like a rose, (although I'd probaly prefer it)  Or you could seperate the liquid before pouring it in your jugs and add a few drops of an essential oil to a few quarts and just write "Smells good" on tha jug!  Or write "His" on one and "Hers" on tha other.

Also, depending on whether you have hard water or not, your whites may not appear as white as normal after a few washes. If so, then the next time you make a batch you can add 1/2 cup Oxy clean to the mix. I do not use the stuff and haven't had any problems. I like keeping it gentle enough to use on my quilts. If you have really stubborn stains, like a cow pattie, just pour a little on the nasty spot and let it sit a few minutes before washing!

If you have little ones around, I would not use a container that normally would hold a beverage item. They may think they can drink it. Instead use old Downy bottles or something of the sort and keep it put in a safe place like you normally would.

Cost Comparision: 1 to 2 cents per load! Yes .01 cents to .02 cents per load depending on how much you use! Most popular well known liquid detergents are approx. .45 cents to .52 cents per load!

The savings alone should make your laundry smell a little sweeter! Plus you know that you are helping to do your part to keep this world a safer, greener place to live!

Well, I hope that yall have enjoyed this little tutorial on how to make Liquid Laundry Detergent! We are expecting rain today and tomorrow, but I can't wait until the next sunny day to launder a few more quilts!
Thank yall for stopping by! I hope that Spring is making an appearance in your neck of the woods.

I would also like to give a big shout out and welcome to my newest followers! Welcome to the farm ya'll! 
Enjoy makin the bubblies!
xo jan

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter from the Farm!

   Happy Easter everyone!
  Spring has definitely sprung on the farm. Iris, periwinkle, Apple trees and Snow on the Mountain are all blooming profusely this year.
    I have a little Doe visitor everyday down at the house. There are 6 deer that stay scattered out all round the house, but this little doe likes to graze along side the driveway. She watches me watching her.
  One of my 1930's & Feedsack Patchwork of the Crosses Block of The Month members made great progress on her quilt for March. Liz is using a pretty pink for the connecting squares. This is going to be such a bright, happy quilt!
 It has been a really busy Spring around the farm with alot of beautiful sunrises and sunsets. All of the cows are doing great and we have a few new calves.
  The photo of Lily with the Easter basket is from a couple of years ago but was so fun I wanted to share it again.
I hope everyone has a beautiful, blessed Easter day!
xo jan

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses Tutorial

  Patchwork of the Crosses by Lucy Boston is easy to make and so much fun to English Paper Piece. Lucy made her original quilt by the English Paper Piecing method and today I would like to share a tutorial on how to make these fun and intriguing little blocks! 

1. Gather your supplies . ( I have kits and supplies available in my ETSY shop)  .
2. Thread: My favorite thread to use when English Paper Piecing is Aurifil 50wt. 
    Colors shown are    1100,2000 &2888. 
3. Needle : I love Foxglove Cottage Straws 10 or 11's. ( I also love using a Ring Pincushion)
4. Scissors
5. Applique pin. Applique pins are short so your thread will not get tangled on the pin.
6. 1" Honeycomb Acrylic and templates. I use Paper Pieces acrylic and cardstock templates exclusively. Also available in my ETSY shop.
7. Basting thread or Glue Pen. You can either glue baste or thread baste. I prefer Fons & Porter.
8.  Lead pencil or pen for tracing your shapes.
9. Fabric for your block. I have all types of coordinated fabric kits available in the shop also.


After you have all the honeycombs basted you can start assembling the block as follows:
 With right sides together:

   And here is your finished Patchwork of the Crosses block! Wasn't that fun? I leave my paper templates in my blocks until they are joined onto the connecting blocks. ( You can remove the center 8 if you want to reuse them, but leave the outside papers in place).

 I have Starter Kits and supplies available in my ETSY shop. I can also substitute this block for any of the blocks currently available in my ETSY Shop if you prefer different fabrics. I would LOVE to help you get started on your Patchwork of the Crosses journey! 

  We are currently offering Mystery Patchwork of the Crosses kits in the shop! These kits provide the fabric and the cardstock templates to make a beautiful fussy cut Patchwork of the Crosses block. The Mystery kits are so fun because you get all the color and scale coordinated fabrics you need to make a block, but you get to decide where you want to fussy cut and the layout arrangement. 
You do not have to sign up for the Mystery Kits. This is an ongoing offer, so you can start, stop and start at anytime with no set number of blocks to purchase.

    Also, please stop by my Facebook page! I'd love to see you there too! I post on facebook when new kits available so be sure to "Like US"  and "See First" as kits are limited. And I would love to see your blocks so be sure to share!!! And stop by my Pinterest page for lots of Patchwork of the Crosses inspiration! 

AND I have a new and fun Patchwork of the Crosses program coming soon! 

1930's and Feedsack Reproduction Prints Patchwork of the Crosses! This will be so much fun. Be sure to watch Facebook for my announcement for when these kits are available! 
    I hope you enjoyed my tutorial. Please let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you so much for stopping by! I can't wait to see what you create!
Happy Stitching!
xo jan

PS. Please be respectful and do not leave comments below selling or suggesting other       products/methods.