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 Purple Martins 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.


Martins 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

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A friends quilt - 18 years in the making!



   Recently a dear sweet elderly friend called and asked me to stop by because she had something she wanted me to have. Turns out it was a quilt top that her sister (deceased)  had started hand piecing some 18 or so years ago.  She thought maybe I would like to have it as she no longer sews herself. She already has finished quilts that her sister had made in years past. She also gifted me a bag of her sisters scraps.


The quilt is an X's & O's or Hugs and Kisses quilt. Her sister had been foundation piecing it on newspapers, back when Spaghetti sauce was .88 cents a jar and at least the year 2000. 





I was so excited and really felt honored that she would gift me this treasure! 
 Some of the fabrics seem more vintage than others. SWOON! 



When I started examining the quilt, I found the exact spot where her sister had left off , needle and thread in place ready to stitch.


The needle was hard to pull out and a little rusty, so I switched it out and finished that seam with her thread which was still strong.

  I then ironed and laid out the top and dug through her scrap bag and found 2 more ROWS already pieced! Yippee!! 
 I also found a few spots where the seams were coming apart. I decided to sew the last 2 rows on by machine. I hesitated to do this since the quilt was by hand. Her sister suggested if I finish it, to do so by machine though. 



 I do not know how to restore a quilt. I decided to remove the newspapers ( a very large box full)and repair some of the seams.




When I first saw the quilt, I decided I wanted to hand tie it. But now after finding several seam problems, I feel it may be better to do some heavy machine quilting, especially before I give it a much needed wash. What do you think? Any suggestions? I am not a hand quilter. Should I do straight lines through the intersections or meandering or stipple quilting? 





  I am amazed. The quilt measures 62x71. These are 9 inch finished blocks in a 7x8 layout which should measure 63x72.  Pretty darn good for hand piecing without any marked seams! And she didn't trim down the blocks before joining either. 
 I thought about adding a border. Would you? If so what type of fabric? A solid or a print? Vintage or Modern? The quilt with its bright happy colors feels so Modern to me. If I add a border it will fit a full size bed. I wish I knew what she had planned. I did find 3 pieces of newspaper cut to 9 1/2" so I am not sure if she cut too many foundation squares or if this is as far as she got with her piecing. She may have run out of some of the fabrics.  There are only a couple of the scraps that match the fabrics in the quilt. There are no more of the solids. Was she stopping after the last 2 rows? I wish I knew her plans. 
  I can't wait to finish this gorgeous quilt. Would this be a quilt that I would have made myself? Probably not. Will it win any awards or ribbons? No. Does it make my heart sing? YES!!YES!! and YES!!  I can't wait to get it finished and add a label! And I can't wait to show it to her sister! 
Let me know what you think!
Thank you for stopping by dear friends!
Welcome to my new friends and followers!
Happy Stitching!
xo Jan