Saturday, March 31, 2012

Beatiful Scottish Highlanders!!

Good morning! I have missed talking to all of you! I have been so sick with a cold that it has been a real chore to breathe let alone do anything else! I hope all of you out there are healthy and enjoying the spring weather.
The birds have been busy here making their nest. I sure am glad that I cleaned those nest boxes out! There is a bluebird family looking into the one that needs a little fixing,  we hung a bag of feathers and fabric scraps out there. So I guess we will see if they use any of it.

Mkhaila was a dear and went and collected a bunch of various feathers. She thought it would be fun to tease the geese that she was going to take the feathers out of their tail area- well they gave her the stink eye and went elsewhere! A friend of ours needed them for a project- she goes to the Art School- it will be fun to see what she creates! The left overs all went back out in this little onion bag for the birds to use for nesting.

I left some feathers hanging out so that they can just grab them easier. My step mom, Sharon always had a bag of nesting stuff out for the birds in the Spring. It is something I think of every year at this time. She would have been excited to hear that the birds are working on their nests.

So we went out to a farm for a cow/calf seminar the other evening. What people do is come out to see your farm and your animals, ask questions, see what you are doing that maybe they could do on their farm. There is a supper served, some great speakers/ presenters and lots of info handed out. A good time!
So Rachel and her partner Rob had us all out to see their Highlanders and can I just say I  have NEVER seen such a BEAUTIFUL and CLEAN farm in all my life! People were even saying that about the pen areas- NO COW PIES! Very nice arrangement in the barn, beautiful landscaping in the yard and wow nice pasture area for the cows as well as the bulls. They were beautiful animals! I just wanted to put one in my pocket on the way out that night! LOL So anyway lets get to some pictures!!

My artsy kid takes after her mother. Got to take pictures of "cool and unusual things!"

Isn't she awesome????? She is pregnant right now.


One of the bulls checking things out. Nice barn huh??

Yes she is a them horns!

I just love the whole bangs thing! LOL

Rachel put hay out so they would come by the fence and eat so we could see them better.

She came around the corner of the fence and then realized we were NOT her mom! LOL She froze!! What a cutie!

Talking about the fencing.

Talking about how she sits on the cows, brushes them. They were very calm, friendly cows!

Just in case they need the shoots, however they have very healthy animals so they haven't needed to use them. Also the troughs weren't really needed as the animals are all grass fed.

Talking about being able to load them for butchering with just a little grain in a cup. She also can have the vet vaccinate while she is just brushing the animal! Cool huh?

This one has the cutest teddy bear face! Very expressive eyes!

The birthing pen. That way the babies are not born out in the pasture. Sometimes the mom will hide them out in the trees- doesn't make it easy for the humans! LOL
Ok that is what I have for the first part of this blog. We took so many pictures that I can not put them all on one entry! Also Rob likes to restore tractors and well we HAD to take pictures of that as well!
All  can say is that they did a great job of hosting! Their animals are wonderful!  Thanks so much for having us all out there to your farm!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Try It Tuesday!

Good morning! How are you doing today? Are you busy crafting? Or are you busy starting plants for  the garden? Maybe the family has you busy running around with school and sports. Whatever you are busy with I appreciate that you came by and took the time to read my blog! Thank so much!
Today is Try It Tuesday! If you have been on here before I try to do something on Tuesday that I have not tried before- sometimes I like it and it works, other times  try it and well it is a fail. I got the idea from Jo's Country Junction, she always has some great things she tries! Go check her site out and you can see what others are trying as well.  
So I got out a project that actually I have not had all that long. I bought it at the fabric store and thought it would be a great project to stick in the purse and I could pull it out and work on it while waiting or while watching tv or something. It came all pre-cut so it really was not a lot of work on my part at all.  The project a Grandmothers Fan Hot Pad....
Various fabrics that are just fun! I love the one that has the ants on it. Of course the coffee one is right up my alley too! Love me some java!

A close up of the patterns. I always think I need to put fabrics together that match or are the same color, pattern. However I really like the way this looks! Its scrappy, bright, and would fit the decor of more than one house- just in case it is given as a gift. All I have left to do is layer the back and insulbrite and put the center circle on! Then I am actually going to "try" quilting the top - I think I will try just sewing in the ditch.

The other project that I did share with you  already. However I worked on it some more as I am "trying" to get as many yo-yos done as I can. I really want to get this table runner done!  They are fun to make!!

The problem I am having with this project is do I just put the yo-yos together all mixed up? You know not two of the same pattern together. Or do I put them in a flower shape with the center yellow and then petals of the same material around the center? I can't remember what the one I saw looked like as far as a pattern. I believe it was all mixed up. Hmmmm  Let me know what you think, or what you have tried. When I get some more done I will post some pictures and we can have another discussion on it- although maybe I will have made my mind up by then... or not. 
Ok friends, have a fun and productive day! Too see other home-made gift ideas you can go to Tip Junkie and make sure you go get some great ideas over at Jo's Country Junction.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Hiccup in Fabric copyrights!

  This entry has been copied from Bonnie Hunts Quiltville page. Here is the link Quiltville so that you can check out her site for other treats! I am sharing it just is she posted it so I am letting you  know that ahead of time! I am giving her the credit for letting us all know what is going on, however I want to get the word out as there are a lot of us out here that are afraid of just this sort of thing! 
This sort of thing just chaps my hide!! I know as a quilter I do know always see, read or at times even get what they print on the  salvage sides of my fabric. Plus the company and designer gets FREE advertising and  am sure their contact info was/would have been listed as the fabric source. So instead lets go after the little person, the artist that actually create a product from the fabric.  Unbelievable! Another time where we are sue happy! What are they going to sue her for the sewing machine? Her fabric stash? Please don't take it that I don't think she doesn't have money- that is not what I am saying. It just we  live in a society that sues over people spilling hot coffee on themselves and get millions in settlements! Now this? What are we going to do to protect ourselves?? I wish I knew the fabric line as I would make sure it was on my no buy list!
Ok I am off the soapbox. Read it and make your own decision.

A Hiccup in Fabric Copyrights ---

Or --- things that REALLY scare me as a designer!
Grab a cuppa and sit down. This is a serious post about something that has happened to a fellow quilt designer.
The story goes like this:
Emily Cier is a modern quilter who writes books for C&T. Fabric manufacturers send her the latest newest lines of fabric for her to make quilts with, and these quilts go into her books. You’d think that is what the manufacturer would want, right? To get the fabric line out there in the public eye, hoping to sell more fabric.
And all was hunky dory until Emily was threatened with being SUED. For using fabric by a certain designer with a copyright on the selvage that says “For personal use only”.
Emily writes:
“One designer — one that I’ve been a fan of since their first collection and I’ve come to respect over the years – decided that I’d violated their rights by including photo(s) of a quilt made with their fabric to demonstrate a pattern in one of my books. This particular fabric was sent to me from The Manufacturer — actually, it was their suggestion. Well, The Designer’s lawyers sent a Cease and Desist letter threatening to sue me if I don’t pay tens of thousands of dollars, plus lawyer fees, destroying all copies of the book, etc.”
What is this world coming to when quilt designers become afraid to use certain lines of fabric for fear of being sued? Over QUILTS? The quilts aren’t being sold themselves ---but designs MADE with the copyrighted fabric are the demo models used to promote patterns, books, bags, etc.
The following posts on Emily’s blog show the full story in all it’s ugliness:

Imagine me in all my horror --- with all the 100’s of different fabrics used in my scrap quilts, trying to list each fabric line, each manufacturer, each fabric designer ---in fear of being sued for not mentioning such when I publish a book with a quilt that uses a recognizable piece of that fabric?
I admit that I don’t play with whole fabric lines, which would be really noticeable as "Oh, that's THAT line of fabric" ---you can’t walk into a quilt shop and find a ready made kit or fabric line to make one of my quilts “exactly”.
To me this goes right up there with someone entering a quilt in a show, winning a prize, and then being told that they violated either pattern or fabric copyright because they “profited” from the making of that quilt.
It’s out of hand.
I just want to quilt.
I want to play with my fabric and feel SAFE while I do so.
As a quilter, how does this whole mess make YOU feel?
And just to make myself feel better, I’m headed down to Gastonia today on a little Mary Jo’s Fabric Acquisition Road Trip to meet up with my friend Pati who is visiting the area from Florida! We plan on shopping, having lunch, maybe hit Ikea or the antique mall, and spend the day --- where I will keep such things as the whole content of this post and fabric copyrights in the WAY BACK of my mind lest it give me an ulcer.
This is a post that has info that quilters need to know, so if you want to pass it on to your other quilty places ---please do so.
Happy Monday, Peeps!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Have you ever made a yo-yo?? Paper-Pieced?

Good morning friends- Come on in and have a cup of tea! Its warm but a bit gloomy here as it has been raining on and off for days. I hope you are having a good morning and are listening to the birds singing, here the frogs are also talking. They were so loud coming home last night that I thought they had to be in the grass somewhere! Mikhaila did come in with a cute brown tree frog- he was pretty big! Its a good thing we both like frogs- she brings them in and they usually hop towards me.
This morning I thought I would share some projects that I just tuck in my pocketbook so when I am waiting for something/ someone I can pull it out and be productive. I usually carry around some sort of knitting, however its Spring  so I thought I would try something new that is on my bucket list to do.
The first I have pulled out is something that I use to do about a hundred years ago. English Paper Piecing has been around forever, they come in all sorts of pre-cut shapes. The ones I pulled out are hexagons as I want to do  a Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt- now to me that is a huge project! So I am being realistic and just starting out with making some hexagons and as I get them put together I will start a bin and somewhere in the future I will have enough to make either a lap blanket or a quilt. I know that I will use various light and medium colors for the flower petals, I am going to use the traditional yellow center- I would like to do a pale yellow for around the flowers however it might just be a super light pink. Usually it is white in the quilts I have seen, however I think I would get a white quilt DIRTY! I don't trust myself! LOL So where do you get the paper pieces? Well I tried to find a grid on-line that I could just print off ad cut up but I had no such luck finding any, they all had one hexagon. So I went to a quilt store here in the Haywood area River's Edge Quilt Loft to see if they would have the bags of paper pieces already cut-up. Well to my surprise she had a little basket that had trial sizes of hexagons all ready to go!
This is a good warning as little projects are addictive! LOL When I got ahold of these I could not wait to get started.

Bad picture I know- but it comes with directions, fabric and the hexies!

This is what you are creating with the samples in the bag.

They give the fabric as well as some hexagons. Also just a note, the paper pieces can be used as again. Just as soon as you take them out of the flowers you make, you can reuse them to make another. They do last for quite some time before you have to get new ones.
 While I   was there I also purchased some 2" 6 point diamonds, she was actually out of the packages of hexagons. These will be fun to try too - I am thinking a smaller project such as a table runner or a pillow would be awesome! If you don't live in my neck of the woods you can order some paper pieces from Paper Pieces and then their is Blank Quilting. If you would like to try paper piecing shoot me a comment and I will send you a sample.

The other project I also purchased at  River's Edge Quilt Loft  was a "Quick" Yo-Yo Maker by Clover. I saw a table scarf done with yo-yos and I really like it! I call it a scarf because it was longer then a table runner, not circular like a doily and it was beautiful. So that was the inspiration for buying the yo-yo maker! I thought I got a bigger size yo-yo maker but the package says small - so hey that makes sense then that the yo-yos are small! LOL I am using some civil war reproduction material scraps that was gifted to me. Also added some red floral fabric that  had sitting here.This is what I have done so far..
Aren't they cute???? Love the look of them!

The front have the swirl and of course the back are flat. I love how the pattens look once they  are in the yo-yo shape.

Bad photo. But you put the fabric between the front and the back of the disk. Then you go around and trim the fabric.

This is the red scrap I had laying around - it will add great color to the project.

The front of the disk after the fabric has been trimmed....

The back of the disk, the ridges are where you sew. Very easy, very simple, actually fast. 
Hope that inspires you to try some paper piecing or some yo-yos. I will update you with progress as they get done. I would be interested to hear what you are working on. Remember to check your local quilt shops- shop local! The small businesses need your support! Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Try It Tuesday.

Ok My it is Tuesday again?? Where does the time fly too? If you are new to my blog thanks so much for stopping over!! Please feel free to subscribe or leave comments,  love to hear what folks are doing with their spare time. Whatever that is right? 
So Tuesdays I try to post about something we here at the  Barnyardchicks Farm have tried. I got the idea from Jo over at Jo's Country Junction - please go  over and check out her fabulous site as she is a great quilter! She also has recipes as well as other goodies to share. I am always inspired after looking at things she has made or tried. Hopefully you will be as well. 
So here at the farm we tried some new things. First I have a glider rocker chair that is broken,  thought it would be a pretty easy fix. hmmm That is not the case.
 I really want this chair fixed so I can sit in it. However it really has  not cooperated! I got all the tools and the glue. The piece does not want to stay n the hole and it has been fixed before by someone else so what does that say. Its a weak spot and maybe I need to figure out how to make it a non-gliding chair!

This was before fixing. As you can see all the glue and well the piece does not want to stay in there at all! What a drag! I want to sew and knit in this chair. If anyone has suggestions on how to make it stay together or make it a stationary char let me know.

So the chair was a thumbs down for the Barnyardchicks!

Next project we tried here was the annual cleaning out of the birdhouses. I always think about this after the fact that they should be done. I would have this year too but I got an e-mail about someone else who was cleaning out their birdhouses. So the first hing I did was seize the moment and do it or it would most likely would not get done again this year. All I can say is yuck!
Here is the first one- doesn't look like its been used in awhile. The bottom on this one needs to be reinforced. I mean we don't want a heavy nest in there and it falling out the bottom! Plus this one the screw doesn't want to told he lid tight so they could fall out the front as well. So I need to fix that.

It was so windy that all the crude went flying right into my face! Lovely! LOL This picture is way not attractive- can you tell I was in the sewing room all day? Wow. OK Next!

This is the other one. These are both on tall post that lead into my pasture.

This one is in better shape as well as it looks like it has been used last year. Still its getting cleaned out. These birds are resourceful though look at that feather tucked in there. I felt bad that all their hard work was being destroyed but they have lots of feathers and all kinds of fresh hay to pick up for their new nests.
So the birdhouses were a thumbs up for the Barnyardchicks! 
I will be putting out some yarn and feathers in an onion bag so that they will have nesting choices. My stepmom always did this when she was alive and I think its a great idea! It will be interesting next year to see what they used to build their nest out of!

The last Try It is dinner. We actually made this for dinner last night. We used the cabbage that we grew last year, added potatoes, carrots, onions and ham and let it cook for awhile on the stove. Then we made crescent rolls and had dinner. Well it was delicious! I am so glad we just froze our cabbage last year, we have really enjoyed making dishes like this that are flavorful as well as filling. Its also cool that we grew some of the produce ourselves!
So that was a BIG thumbs up for the Barnyardchicks. 
Thats it for Try It Tuesday here at our farm. What are you going to try out today? I hope you have fun while doing it! Let us know what you have going on in your neck of the woods.