Saturday, August 13, 2016

2016 Hoffman Challenge

   The 2016 Hoffman Challenge was Crystalia! A gorgeous digitally printed fabric in two versions : Opal and Onyx with 10 Blenders from  Hoffman Bali Batiks (Style 885 Dots) and Hoffman Bali Watercolors (Style 1895). !

And Aurifil put together a beautiful matched thread set just for the Challenge which I also purchased. I love their threads! 

    When I read that the main Challenge fabric was N4240, the Butterfly prints, I knew I wanted to fussy cut those gorgeous Butterflies! 
N4240 - Challenge Fabric

   I asked my good friend Karen Miller of Redbird Quilt Company and Karen's Quilts, Crows and Cardinals to quilt it for me! I absolutely love Karen's quilting. I think it really made my little mini shine! I love the echo stitching around the butterflies.

We also had to use the Challenge fabric in more than one location.
(and look at Karen's gorgeous quilted feathers!) 

I loved using the prints to fussy cut for the Patchwork of the Crosses blocks! So fun!

Since the prints were rather busy when combined, I wanted to keep the design simple and really focus on the main print. I love butterflies and pink and green is one of my favorite color combinations. I used all Hoffman Challenge fabrics (except for one piece I picked up by accident.)

 "A Wing and A Prayer" was such a joy to design and create. It combined my love of Butterflies with my love of English Paper Piecing and fussy cutting!

   The 2016  Hoffman Challenge was the first time I have ever entered ANY competition and  although "A Wing and A Prayer" did not receive any ribbons, it was chosen to travel with the 2016 Hoffman Trunk Show! So exciting! 

  I had some Crystalia scraps leftover and wanted to make a table runner for my own personal use. 

   I have always wanted a Crazy Quilted Table runner that I could actually use and throw in the wash without worrying about damaging the decorative stitches.  I used Aurifil 12, 28 and 40 wt threads and some of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine to create "Crazy for Butterflies". I experimented with a little thread painting on the butterflies.  I also added a heat resistant fabric on the inside to help protect my tabletop. 

    I was super excited to learn that the deadline for  the challenge had been extended so I sent "Crazy for Butterflies" along with "A Wing and A Prayer" into the Challenge.
    "Crazy for Butterflies" did not win any ribbons either but it was selected to travel with the 2016 Hoffman Trunk Show !

   I learned so much from the Challenge about myself and some new to me quilting techniques! 
  It is really hard as a quilter/artist/designer to put your work out there to be judged, but I am really glad I did. I do wish that I had taken more photographs to share before mailing my two pieces into the Challenge. Both pieces are backed with the main Butterfly print N4240 in Opal. ( This was during the same time that I found out about my hubby being sick so I wasn't completely focused on my quilting. )

 I do absolutely adore Karen's quilting on "A Wing and A Prayer". Thank you so very much Karen for all of your hard work!

   You can see all the winners and honorees here: Hoffman Winners 2016

It will be September 2017 before they come back home to me! 

If you are interested in having one or more of the 2016 Hoffman Challenge Trunk Shows come to your Guild or shop you can find all the information for the Exhibits here: Hoffman Challenge Travel Exhibits.

  Also I want to say THANK YOU for all the good wishes and prayers for my husband and I. They had to reschedule his surgery for later this month as he was not able to go thru the surgery last month. Hopefully he will be strong enough this time around. I really appreciate all the prayers, emails and cards. I know I haven't been around blogland or facebook very much lately. I have been working hard getting things ready around the farm for when the hubby isn't able to be on the farm. And I have been working hard to get ahead in my ETSY shop and with my I Love Lucy Boston International Bee obligations. I do really miss having time to spend with all of you. 

Thank you so much for stopping by dear friends! Welcome to all my new friends and followers. 

Happy stitching!
xo jan

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hoffman Challenge sneak peek, Patchwork of the Crosses and Little Dresses for Africa!!

Hi everyone!
    Wow - It has been a while since I have had the opportunity to share with ya'll here on the blog. I hope everyone has been having a great summer! We have been very busy around the farm. And lots of time spent in doctor's offices.  My hubby has not been well and was supposed to have surgery a week ago, but wasn't well enough to undergo it at that time. He is feeling better and they have rescheduled surgery toward the end of August. His doctor is very optimistic that the surgery will handle the problem with no follow up treatments. Hubby is looking at an 8 - 12 week recovery with no outside activity or lifting. We have sold a few cattle ( prices have dropped by more than .30 cents a pound!) and we moved some to a relatives farm. The remainder of our herd will be looked after by my daughter and her boyfriend, myself and hubby's brother in law and sister. There will be 5 of us doing what he would normally do each day. Maybe we can handle it! Now more than ever, I have to concentrate on my ETSY shop and do the best I can do with that. I would really appreciate all your prayers and good wishes during this time for our family and farm!!
    A little while back I mentioned a secret project that I was working on. I entered the 2016 Hoffman Challenge! I had purchased the fabrics and Aurifil thread set when they first announced the Challenge fabric. Life got in the way and I barely made the entry deadline! My very good friend , Karen Miller of Redbird Quilt Company quilted it for me! I did not get to stick to my original design, but I love the way the project turned out! And the great news is that it was one of the projects chosen to travel with the 2016 Hoffman Challenge Trunk show for the next year! Judging will be the week of August 1 - thru August 8th! Fingers crossed! I haven't ever entered a competition or quilt show in the past so this was a first for me! I do not think we are allowed to share the completed projects yet, but here is a sneak peek of "A Wing and A Prayer". AWAAP was English Paper Pieced by me and machine quilted by Karen L Miller.

  These bright Hoffman batiks and gorgeous digital printed fabrics of Crystalia really challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone! I can't wait to share the completed quilt with you. I LOVE LOVE the way Karen quilted this mini too!
  I had quite a few scraps of Crystalia left over so I decided to use them up in a table runner for me. Then Hoffman Fabrics extended the deadline so I finished the runner up and entered it also. Here is a sneak peek of my second entry, "Crazy for Butterflies"!  It was also chosen to travel with the 2016 Hoffman Challenge Trunk Show! I used lots of Aurifil thread in different weights. I experimented with Thread painting with assorted Aurifil colors and weights and used the decorative stitches on my machine for top stitching! I had a blast creating this piece!

  I have also been busy trying to catch up with my "I Love Lucy Boston International Bee". These are my latest two blocks and they will also be available in my ETSY shop next Friday August 5th! These were really fun to make!

 And I just found out that my Aunt 's church in Ellijay has a Missionary leaving for Africa the first week of September. I have already sent all my other dresses (and the ones ya'll sent to me) with two other missionary groups going from a different church earlier in the summer. I received this photo back from one group that I sent:

Look at those smiles! Thank you to everyone that sent dresses and shorts! I really appreciate all your hard work!  I only have a couple of weeks to prepare some Dresses and /or shorts for the next trip! I would love some help! If any of you have time and would like to make a Dress or pair of shorts it would be greatly appreciated! I need to RECEIVE them by AUGUST 26TH so I can get them delivered before they leave the first week of September! Just email me for my mailing address whenever you are ready to mail! I would really appreciate any help!

 I made one little dress this morning. I just LOVE this fabric! Hubba Hubba by Me and My Sister!

And how sweet are these ties! I used Aurifil 5015 and a decorative stitch on my machine!

Please help spread the word for Little dresses! 

If you need a pattern you can find one on LDFA website here:

or I use the pattern from Nancy's Notions here:

and I have a tutorial on this blog here:

  I have had pounds and pounds of Zucchini from my little garden bed. I have been sharing with my neighbors and making lots and lots of Zucchini Bread. I really like to make small loaves for the freezer. They freeze really well and will be fantastic this winter!
(I shared this photo on social media but couldn't remember if I shared here)

I love using crushed pineapple and fresh de-pitted cherries when making Zucchini Bread. The pineapple really keeps it moist! I will try to write up my recipe and share it next time!

Thank you all for stopping by! I really love and appreciate my readers/friends! Please keep my hard working hubby and all of our family and critters in your thoughts and prayers over the next couple of months!

Have a great weekend! Please let me know if you can help out with the dresses/shorts!
xo jan

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Patchwork of the Crosses

I am still totally in love with Patchwork of the Crosses! This block is for my May (yes I am running behind) Bee mate, Ann Caldicott,  in Australia! She chose Purples and greens.There are several options for fussy cutting. I decided to put the flowers in the center instead of making a "square" block. I used Aurifil 50 wt color #'s 2520 and 2886. I just LOVE how the 50wt melts right into the seams.

There have been several requests for kits so I may be adding this one to my ETSY shop.

 And yes, I finally made ME a new ring pincushion. My little orange one was getting rather rough around the edges (and a little grungy) after almost 3 years of hand sewing and 2 summers in the hay fields :)!

I'll keep this old one just for using at the barn and in the hay fields.
Tomorrow I have dental surgery :(. Wish me luck!
Have a great day stitching yall!
Thank you for stopping by!
xo jan

Friday, June 10, 2016

Farm Love Friday 6.10.16

     I love the sights and sounds and smells of summer around the farm! The Privet hedges are so tall and full of their sweet smelling blossoms. These are basically a nuisance shrub but I love the smell of their flowers. Honeysuckles are everywhere, full of blooms. Old purple pea vine threatening to overtake the Allis Chalmers 5040. I haven't seen the fox or kits in the last few days. I know she moved the kits out to the old metal scrap pile, and the rabbits are back out and about, so the fox must not be too close either. My sweet little Tuxedo kitten. He thinks he is so tough, but really he is just a sweetie.  I love the old climbing roses. I think the old fashion varieties have the best smell. These little pink ones are my favorite. The twins are growing so fast and continue to climb INTO the hay ring to eat, and nap. I am just waiting for the day that I will have to help them get out! It has been a little over a year since Missy, my rescue Chihuahua mix, had the reaction to the flea medicine and started having those seizures. I am so happy to see her happy, healthy and completely recovered. Riley, the feral cat, that took me 6 months to get my hands on, is really happy summer is here. He stays outside all the time. I have made 3 appointments to get him neutered. EVERY TIME he disappears for at least 3 days! I think he knows what I have in store for him! And the Rain Lilies are blooming, 5 days AFTER it rained. My husbands mother planted these in this hanging basket several years BEFORE she passed away in 2005. I have dutifully been caretaking, praying, watching, weeping, begging, and fretting over them ever since 2005. It will be a very sad day around this house if I ever loose them. I absolutely ADORE them! I sat on the porch late yesterday afternoon, while the hubby was still working , with Riley and Missy and my Rain Lilies and watched the spectacular show that God sent us with the sun set. Our Earth is such a magnificent place. It brings inspiration to my heart and tears to my eyes. 
Have a beautiful day dear friends!
Thank you so very much for stopping by!
xo jan

Friday, June 3, 2016

Visitors for Farm love Friday 6.3.16

 I took a little time the other day to carry my camera with me out to the pasture to check on the cows.
I noticed these cows were watching something in the pasture.

Do you see it?  Over to the right....

How about now? Peeking out from behind that bush on the right.....

A mama Red Fox....

I have seen her around the farm in the past. Usually in the Fall of the year she will come up next to the house and get Persimmons as they fall and sometimes she gets on top of the well house so she can pick them directly from the tree.

She looks pretty thin. Probably nursing kits...

I started easing around behind the cows so I could get a better look at her. She got a little nervous and then barked that high pitch , shrill bark that they do. She wasn't barking at me, but back to the left of me. I turned around and looked behind me:

Where there is one, there is usually more......

And more....

And one more.... I think one of the calves kicked this one or he has an equilibrium problem....

I decided I better go put the chickens up. And it looks like they will have to stay up for awhile. I talked with the hubby and decided I would feed the mama a little. It might keep her away from the barn and house.

I poured a little feed on the ground and she didn't hesitate to come eat. As soon as the kits are big enough to forage, we will probably put something around their den in the old shed to deter them from coming back to it. Old clothes or boots. Or I'll take Daniel, the male Pyrenees over there and let him mark his territory.  She will probably move them then.

But for now, we will let her be. I caught a glimpse of the daddy but no photo yet. He is really pretty and dark red. Also smaller than the mom. Both parents bring food to the kits and teach them to forage as they get older.
  I think this feisty little guy is probably the one that kicked that kit in the head - I saw him chasing one the other day.

And I wanted to share this picture of the Red Twin sisters with their calves.... No mistaking the family resemblance. These girls are old. The calves are the 4th or 5th generation on the farm. Not worth much monetarily, but will always have a home here. These sisters are ALWAYS together as are their babies, year after year.

Happy Friday ya'll! It has been really busy around the farm and my ETSY shop. Already been to the hay fields. So hot!

Also for those that may have missed the announcement, I am suspending Sew Simple Saturdays. Not sure yet if this will be permanent or temporary.

Have a great weekend ya'll!
Thank you for stopping by!
with love from the farm
xo jan