Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Little Dresses for Africa 2018 Sew-Along!


Welcome to the 4th Annual Little Dresses for Africa Sew -along! 



Every summer I like to choose a project to make for Charity. In 2013, I came across an organization that makes and collects simple little pillowcase style dresses to help clothe children around the world, Little Dresses for AfricaAfter 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 (sometimes with prizes, more info on that later) 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 2018!








And Boy shorts


And 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) 
These patterns are just suggestions. You may use any pattern of your choice. Please remember that these items will get worn and washed ALOT so they need to be well made! If you use ribbon instead of sewn in bias tape, please tack the ribbon sew that it will not pull thru and get lost. The LDFA website has lots of suggestions and helpful hints! 
      Will you sew along with me?  You can make one or ten or more! Any help is greatly appreciated!!
  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 me or LDFA headquarters. More on that later. 
Please join me on my new FACEBOOK page, Sew fun with Featherweight Quilt Company,  and share your Dresses and shorts & pads! ! 


  I love the Little Dresses for Africas' motto: "

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




I wrote a simple tutorial here:
http://sewandsowfarm.blogspot.com/2016/03/sew-simple-saturday-link-up-party.html


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

xo Jan










Sunday, April 29, 2018

Crocheted Rag Rug!

    Rag Rugs so popular now and have been around for generations. There are so many different methods of making these fun and scrappy rugs from our Grandmother's method of "Toothbrush rugs" to braided rugs sewn together on a sewing machine to those wrapped around cotton rope and then zig-zagged together!  

I like to make things easy when I can so I decided to crochet strips of cotton! This is a great project to work on while watching tele with the hubby! 


You will need lots and lots of fabric strings! I cut mine approx 1" and fold to half inch or if I am cutting off the fabric fold, I cut them 1/2" . I usually cut off the selvage edge at 1" and fold them to 1/2". You can press them over if you prefer. 


I use a size US N15 or 10mm with the folded 1/2 inch strips. I found that too much of the white backside of the fabrics showed if you don't fold them over. If you don't mind that, then you could just cut 1/2' strips for a lighter weight rug. Also, I leave the edges raw - I can't wait to wash it and see how well the edges ravel. 

I started by Chain stitching 6 stitches. ( or more!) 
 You can make your rug round, oval or even square - like a granny Square! 
I decided I wanted mine Ovalish. 
To make an Oval rug:
Ch 6 . Add 2 Double Crochets in the same hole as the last chain.

Dbl Crochet down the side in each chain to the other end.  When you get to the end of the 6 initial chains you will need to do 3 double crochets in the same hole to turn the corner. Tuck in the tail from the beginning. Keep your stitches loose. Turn and then continue down the side to the other end. Do 3 Dbl Crochets in the end hole and repeat. You may need to add extra stitches as you go along to shape your rug.

To add the next String you can either just knot them together if you don't mind the tails sticking up or you can join them by machine. I started out knotting mine, but as the Rug grew heavier, I decided to machine stitch the joins. I sure don't want any know pulling apart. 

Leave a long tail on the Rug.


Join 2 or 3 strings together. I overlap mine and stitch on my machine. If you join more than 3 at a time, they get really twisted and you spend alot of time untwisting them. 


Then join to the tail on the Rug using the same method:


Then just continue Crocheting adding stitches or skipping stitches as needed to help your Rug lay flat. I throw mine on the floor to see how it is progressing. Don't be afraid to add in a few extra stitches if needed to help it lay flat. If it is wavy, then you need to skip a stitch or two and maybe tighten up your stitches a little. You will get the feel of it as you go along. 

I am right handed and I have started folding over the rug to make it more comfortable to stitch. 



This is a really fun project to use up all those scraps. But you could also make a two or three color rug that would be gorgeous! I haven't decided how big I want to make this one. I started out making a Hot pad. It is so squishy I thought it would be a great shower mat  and since it is 100 percent cotton it would be really absorbent! Then I decided I wanted it to go beside the bed but now I think I want to put in the entrance area. 
  I think to finish it off I will gradually switch down to single crochet and then hand stitch the end down. I will post a photo when I am finished! Right now it is 24 long x 20 wide and already weighs 2 pounds! 
 Have you ever made a Rug? I would love to see photos! You can share on my new facebook page created just for you to share your projects! Whether it is English Paper piecing, quilting, rug making etc...we want to see your masterpieces!  Please join us here:  " Sew Fun with Featherweight Quilt Company" 



I hope yall enjoyed my little Rag Rug tutorial! I can't wait to see what you create! 

Happy Stitching and creating!
xo Jan

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy Earth Day 2018 and Slow Stitching Sunday!

 Happy Earth Day everyone!!
   Yesterday was such a beautiful day! The oaks trees and sky were so vibrant! I think Spring is really actually here!


 A small group of Tree Swallows showed up at the house. We have Gourds up at the farm but not at the house. It was a scramble to try to get some put up at the house before they left.


Swallows are not scared of people and will usually settle in close to your home or barn. This little guy kept flying very close to me.


This one decided to check out one of the bluebird houses but he quickly left when he discovered 4 bluebird eggs in the house.


Today it is raining after that gorgeous bright blue sky yesterday. A small limb broke off of the snowball bush when hubby cut grass, so I brought it in to enjoy on this rainy day!


  I had planned to plant some trees for Earth Day but they have not arrived yet. They will get planted once they get here.
   This afternoon I went back to working on my Buttermilk Basin FREE Block of the Month. With the ETSY shop  I work most days, but took a break today to have some fun sewing for myself :)! ! This is my first adventure into wool applique. I have so much to learn about that. Have you ever done Wool applique? What did you like or dislike about it? I made a HUGE mistake on this first block and used iron on fusible so now I am really having a hard time getting my needle thru. It keeps gumming up. I am tempted to toss it and remake the block. 


This is the 3rd block that I just started. I used small dabs of Applique glue . So far no problems. 

Sorry for the blurry rainy day photo! 

All in all it has been a beautiful and peaceful Earth Day! I hope you are having a wonderful day wherever you are!
  Linking up to Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday!
Thank you for stopping by!
xo Jan

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Estate of Mr. & Mrs. C.

  I ventured off the farm early this morning to run a few errands for the hubby. While I was out and about, I saw an Estate Sale sign pointing into a beautiful, old neighborhood. So how do yall feel about going to Estate Sales? I love a good yard sale, a good rummage sale, a junky garage sale and a good bake sale. I'll haunt Antique shops every chance I get, but I generally steer clear of Estate Sales. 
  It was a beautiful morning, so I thought I would stop and just see if I could find any of my missing china pieces or an old sewing machine, a jar of buttons or just a fun piece of something that I didn't even know I wanted. The neighborhood was gorgeous with large 1970's era brick homes with azaleas and dogwoods blooming. Fresh mown lawns. The picture of Spring. 
  I ambled the old farm truck through this pristine neighborhood following the "Sale this way" signs and  throwing my hand up at everyone that seemed to stop what they were doing to stare at me in hubby's old dented and dirty truck loaded down with a pallet of seed. I think they thought I was looking for yard work. It is a rather hilly area and I was beginning to wonder if I would start going backwards at any moment with my large load of seed dragging me back down the hill. I finally rounded the corner and spotted the house up ahead. I could tell it was "the house" without all of the neon red signs pointing the way because of all the vehicles parked at the bottom of a very steep, long white cement , and roped off,  driveway. 
  I sat for a few minutes and looked at the beautiful home before me. Perfectly manicured. Azaleas and dogwoods blooming. Holly and boxwoods trimmed nice and neat. Oakleaf hydrangeas just putting out new leaves. Beautiful brick with tall windows that looked over the city toward the mountain and toward our little farm. I watched people coming and going up and down the long drive. 
 I decided I would not find any missing china pieces sitting in the truck so I gathered my bag and started the climb. I saw the bird bath dry and empty with an orange neon price sticker on it under one of the dogwood trees. The huge"See Rock City" birdhouse sitting atop a pole had a "Sold" sticker on it. The green tractor " Corn Cob" Squirrel feeder had a young squirrel looking at the empty nail head. I guess he was wondering why Mr. or Mrs. C. hadn't put him out a new ear of corn. 
  The sidewalk leading to the front door was roped off. The driveway led around to the side of the house towards the garage. There were people and Mr. & Mrs C's belongings scattered everywhere. The first items I came upon were 2 wheelchairs, several different types of walkers and canes. A shower chair and a bedside commode chair. With that blunt reminder of why I hate Estate Sales, I almost went back to the truck and probably would have if the crowd hadn't ushered me along though the open garage doors. 
 There were 3 women and a man in the garage all taking money and helping "Customers". One of the women started explaining how Mr. & Mrs. C's items were priced and I was told "Let me know if you need help carrying any of this stuff out".  I stepped back a few feet to gather my wits and found myself in the kitchen. Some of Mrs. C's dishes were laid out on the "kitchen" table in front of the sliding glass doors that looked out onto a brick patio surrounded by azaleas. I saw a Silver Anniversary Charger. I turned to find my way back out and saw two red neon signs indicating the washer,dryer and freezer were "SOLD" . I walked past the mismatched pots and pans into the "Den" area. The built in bookcases revealed that Mr. C loved autobiographies and Mrs C loved gardening and popular novels. I picked up a well worn copy of "Organic Gardening" with a $1.00 sticker. How many times has Mrs C thumbed through and referred to this book?  I eased my way thru the formal Living room, past crystal lamps and christmas ornaments. The front door was locked. I turned and saw the basement stairs and headed down. Mr C's golf bag, clubs, and golf hats were laid on a pool table . There was a very nice sofa and loveseat with an $850.00 price tag still on it. It was cream colored. There were 2 sets of suitcases. One floral and one black. The basement door was locked. 
 I went back upstairs and couldn't go back the way I came for a suge of people, so I went to the right. Big mistake.I found myself in Mr. C's bedroom. There were hospital type homemade gowns and large adult bibs. Waterproof mattress pads and robes. Mr. C's heavily starched Nautica and  L.L. Bean shirts. Polo pull over golf shirts and well worn shoes. I scrambled out of that room through a Jack and Jill bathroom with a hairbrush, comb and shave kit laying on the counter and found myself in Mrs. C's bedroom. All white. Even the iron bedstead that had an orange neon sold sticker on it was a beautiful soft white. There was a solid white cotton Chenille bedspread folded up with a $125.00 price tag glaring out stuck to it. 
  Laid out on the bed were several very small,well worn flannel nightgowns and 2 pair of well worn house slippers. I glanced up and saw myself in a white framed , smudged mirror. I stood there wondering why the mirror was so smudged when everything else in their beautiful home was so pristine. I realized it wasn't the mirror that was fogged up when one of the women that was "helping" dispose of Mr. & Mrs. C's belongings asked me if I was ok. I must have given her a satisfactory answer because she took Mrs C's "Organic Gardening" book from my hands and said she would hold it outside until I was ready to "Check out". I ran my hand along Mrs. C's dustless dresser and walked from the room. I headed for the door but found myself in the formal Living room again. This time I was the only person in the room. I glanced around at the beautiful paintings, mirrors and crystal sconces with their long, white, never been lit tapered candles. I looked down at 2 plump and worn matching chairs and ottomans. On the wall opposite the chairs were 2 paintings with a large mirror between them. One of the paintings was of a Golf Course in Lancaster Pennsylvania. The other painting was a soft water color in a white frame with a white mat. I walked over when I saw the neon orange $5.00 price tag and lifted it off the wall. 
  I heard raucous laughter coming from the open kitchen door off the garage and headed out to find Mrs. C's book. A man told me that there was more stuff and tools in the shed around back. I responded with a No Thank you and asked what did I owe. I paid them the 6 dollars and headed down the drive. Back past the walkers and wheelchairs and canes. Back past the dry and empty bird bath, Back down the steep hill to our dented and dirty farm truck. I pulled out my cell phone and called the hubby. He was fine , just busy and wanted to know what was taking me so long. I told him I was on my way and headed back toward the mountain and our little farm. 



 It's been a long and quite day. I sat looking through Mrs C's book while the hubby worked on the tractor. I love Mrs. C's book and her little painting. Seems the painting is a signed Christian "Xtian" Newswanger watercolour from Lancaster Pennsylvania. I guess I know where those suitcases carried them. I should have bought the Golf print and kept them together. 
Hug your loved ones.
xo Jan

Sunday, April 1, 2018

New Neighbors, The Easter Bunny, Aurifil , Little Dresses for Africa 2018 and Patchwork of the Crosses

    Happy Easter everyone! I hope you are having a beautiful Easter Sunday! 
We had some new neighbors checking out the neighborhood early this morning!


They decided to go with a new house and started moving in! 


And the Easter Bunny paid a visit to my very overgrown garden patch!  



I have been very, very busy with my ETSY shop , Featherweight Quilt Company. This years Patchwork of the Crosses Easter blocks are all already gone. 



They were so much fun. And I have lots of new Patchwork of the Crosses kits available in the ETSY shop.


Modern, Traditional, 1930's and Civil War!


And one of my favorites!


I have also restocked my exclusive Patchwork of the Crosses Starter kits! 

This kit is a fun and very popular way to get started on your quilt! 

 I have also put all Aurifil thread sets on Sale!! 

 Large spool sets:








Small Spool boxed sets:










And a few fun and popular sets with Mini Charms and a Free pattern: 







Supplies are very limited on Thread sets! You can find them here:

    Also, our 2018 Little Dresses for Africa Sew- along link up party will be the first week of July. Exact dates, pattern links and sponsor prizes will soon be announced!  


 This is the highlight of my summer! I love having a Charity project to work on and seeing these smiling faces is such a blessing! 

Little Dresses for Africa also needs boy shorts. They will accept new or slightly used shorts in all sizes! So keep that in mind. It is fun to make a few simple shorts.


Be sure to watch for an upcoming post for Little Dresses for Africa sew along! I plan on going ahead and getting started as soon as I can so maybe I can reach my 10 Dress goal again this year! 


I sure do miss these two silly girls, Lilly and Lucy! 

Happy Stitching dear friends!
Have a beautiful Easter day and Thank you for stopping by!
xoxo Jan