Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year From Zelda!

Hi!  My name is Zelda.
Kay is away from the computer and I am writing her post.

 I have been visiting and having a great time.
There are so many things that I need to explore in Dean and Kay's house.
I checked out the Christmas tree and since it wasn't a real tree, I didn't try to climb it.
 All the pretty decorations were fun to check out when no one was looking.
There are so many places to play and hide in their house.

Kay kept her sewing room door closed so I only got to explore her room once.
There was something said that she was afraid that I might swallow a sewing pin and that her room wasn't kitty proof.  Do you think that I would do such a thing?
I did get a sneak peek at this little wall-hanging that Kay received from her sister, Jenny for Christmas.  

Aunt Jenny sure does great work!
I love the shiny thread that she used and the metal star.
Check out the neat curves!

Kay said that this pattern is from Vikki Pignatelli.
Aunt Jenny and Grandma Rita took a quilt class from her.
Sounds like fun--if you're a quilter, but I'm a cat and have more important things to do like "cat napping"!

Happy New Year!

Zelda the Cat

P.S.  Please don't tell Kay that I posted for her!  She has been having too much fun playing with me :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Images of Christmas

The best things of Christmas aren't things.

It's the people that we share our lives with whether friend or foe.

It's a season of forgiveness, love, and tears.
It's season that magnifies our losses, but it's a season of hope.

 So take time this season and hug someone, forgive someone, and shed tears of sadness or happiness with a confidant or an adversary. 

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

Happy Quilting!

Kay Lynne

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Moment of Silence

This week I decided to have a moment of silence.
I dearly love children and as  a mom my heart breaks for the mom's and dad's who lost children in Newtown, Connecticut yesterday.  I can't imagine the nightmares that children and adults will have in the future over this terrible rampage.
I love to blog about quilting, but sometimes a moment of silence for those that are broken is appropriate.
Best Wishes
Kay Lynne

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Zipper Replacement in a Leather Jacket Tutorial

When my son came home for Thanksgiving, he brought home a job that I really wasn't sure if I could do it or not.  He received this leather jacket as a gift from a friend about five years ago and the zipper needed to be replaced.  After calling my Mom and asking her how she would handle this project, I was ready to start.  I've replaced many zippers in jackets before, but I have not worked on a leather jacket.
The first thing I did was make my zipper exactly the length as the old zipper so I marked it with a pin and used my needle nose pliers to take off the zipper stop and the extra zipper teeth that I didn't need.

I carefully removed the old zipper using my seam ripper. 
 Since I cannot use pins in leather, my Mom and I came up with the idea of using double stick tape instead of pins.  The tape would be inside of the coat so it would not matter.  The zipper was carefully lined up along the edge of the coat.  Don't forget to reattach the zipper stop for a professional look.  Once the zipper was lined up,

 I used more tape to under the zipper so the leather lining would stay in place as I sewed.

I took my time and made sure that everything lined up on the top and bottom of the zipper.
I also double checked to make sure that when I sewed it would catch the zipper.

I used a silicone spray on the bed of my sewing machine so the leather would easily slide while I sewed.
I also used a Teflon coated foot so it would make the sewing easier.

Below I am matching my stitch length with the holes in the coat.
I don't know what you call the little yellow tools in the picture, but I use them when I am sewing on heavy fabric.  It makes it simple to sew on or off thick pieces of fabric.

Here I am sewing and found that this coat is extremely heavy and I broke my leather needle after taking this picture.  I found that this coat was really putting a drag on my machine and my needle wanted to hit the needle plate so I hand cranked one stitch at a time, which I wasn't planning on.

I did get both sides of the zipper in.
After I was done, I decided to double stitch the zipper half way down so it would stand up to the wear and tear.  I'm happy with the results and my son is extremely happy that this was all done free of charge.
Now I am ready to sew something fun!

Happy Zipping
I mean Quilting!

Kay Lynne

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Thread Painted Lady Bugs & A Different Season

I am teaching a thread painting class in January.
Above is my sample wall hanging.  We will be thread painting lady bugs in class.
The applique is from a Sizzix die.

Harvest is done, but the work is never done.
Machinery has to be cleaned up and put away for the season, the bearings on the combine needs to be replaced, and paperwork needs to be caught-up for tax season to just name a few.
Just because there's no activity out in the fields doesn't mean the work is done.
It just means the work is different.
Dean spends a lot of time in his office planning for the next year.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Zelda sure did!

Happy Quilting!

Kay Lynne

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Harvest is Done!

This has been a crazy weekend, but the harvest is done!

We had some wonderful weather it was time to get things done for the season. 
Our combine had been repaired and we were ready.

I was privileged to get to ride in the grain truck with my husband to the grain elevator.
 The line waiting to dump the corn was long so we had a chance to admire the beautiful sunset.

They unloaded the wagon hitched to the truck first.

Dean showed me all the levers and the things to do when dumping in the truck cab.
It'll take some time to learn how to use all the levers when dumping.

Then we were back at it in the dark.  
 You could see lightning off in the distance and we were hoping that we wouldn't get rained on.
We did finish the corn that night and put a tarp over the wagon to protect it from rain in the dark.
No one has lived a full life until they have had to put a tarp on a grain wagon in the dark only using a flashlight in the wind.  There's no experience like it!

Early the next morning Dean took the tractor over to pick up the wagon of corn and I received a phone call that went something like this:  
"Dear could you drive over to Dad's?  I left the hitch pin in my pickup."
So my  husband who was embarrassed quickly  received his hitch pin.

This is what happens when farmers get tired and that is when I get a little worried because farming accidents happen when people work 12 to 16 hour days to try to beat the weather.

Yeah--the corn is finished, but we have one more field of double crop beans to combine.
(A double crop is two crops in one season.  We harvested wheat and planted beans late June.)
Changing the combine from doing corn over to beans takes some time to convert.  I'd rather be changing needles in my sewing machine.  It's easier, not complicated, and cleaner!

Oh no!  When Dean has his tools out like this, it means there's some wrong.
Pictured below is a shaft that has enclosed bearings.
The bearings are going bad--what can we do to band-aid the situation?
We spent 2 1/2 hours shooting syringes full of grease into a pin hole to grease up the bearing just enough to finish the field of beans.  I even microwaved some grease to warm it up so it would flow better through the needle.  
Life on the farm can be interesting some days!

It was an extremely windy day today and combine fires can be a great concern, but Dean quickly combined the opposite direction so the wind would not blow the chaff into the hot engine compartment.

Yes, there is sunshine at the end of this story!  Harvest is done and we are tired.
I am thankful that there were no accidents and the combine can be fixed at a later time.
Since the weather is getting colder, maybe I can spend some time on doing things that I really like doing like quilting.

Happy Quilting!

Kay Lynne

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New-Used Ironing Board

Late this summer I bought a wooden ironing board at a garage sale.  It's longer and wider than my standard one.  My husband thought that I was crazy being excited over an iron board and I told him that it's an important tool that makes a job a little easier when it's more stable and a little bit larger..

Our life is always changing--sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad.
Sometimes you have to take time and go for an afternoon walk.
We are still in the middle of harvest.  Our combine blew a head gasket last week and we just brought it home from the mechanic today.  He didn't have a bill made out, but I am sure it will not be a cheap fix.  I guess machines never breakdown unless you use them.  Hopefully, we will finish harvesting soon!

Happy Quilting!

Kay Lynne

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Update on Block of the Month Quilt & More on Farm Laundry

This is my block of the month project that I am working on.
I have six more redwork blocks to do.  
The blocks are thread painted by machine instead of hand stitched. 
If you click on the picture, you will see that I printed out a plan on EQ7 that is hanging in a blank spot on the design wall.  It gave me an idea of how I wanted to place my blocks.  My design board is too small for a queen size quilt, but it still helps on block placement.
The book called "Redwork Winter Twittterings" by Pearl Louise Kruch below is the patterns that I am using in my quilt.  Her patterns are really cute!  If you are interested, this book can be found on Amazon's website.

 Last week I talked about farm laundry and I've been asked about what laundry soap that I use.  The last several months I have been experimenting with making my own soap.  I have bought laundry soap from a  local salesman for the last 25 years and he is retiring.  Laundry soap is expensive and I thought that I would take this opportunity to try out making my own.  I have seen different recipes on internet and decided to do my own recipe.

First I measure out 2 quarts of cold soften water and pour it into a sturdy plastic 1 gallon container.
Next I heat up 4 cups of water in a 2 quart glass measuring cup to almost boiling in the microwave.
I add:  3/4 cup Borax
3/4 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Dawn (original) Dish Soap
1/2 cup Sun Oxygen Cleaner
I stir until everything dissolves and let it cool to room temperature.
The mixture is then added to the water and it will bubble up.  I hate seeing soap go down the drain so I will let the bubbles settle down and add water till it equals a gallon.  Each time I use the soap, I shake up the jug to make sure it is well mixed.  I use 1/8 to 1/4 cup of soap per load of laundry.  It works well in my old fashioned washer.  I have no idea of how it works in other washers.
I also have been using white vinegar as a fabric softener and to my surprise it really does work.  Since winter is coming, I don't know how it will work with the static cling that comes when it is so dry in the house.  I use only a 1/2 cup and I am blessed with a washing machine that has a special place to put softener. My laundry comes out smelling fresh with no vinegar smell.

I also use laundry soap nuts.  You can find them at: 
They work really well, but on Dean's farm laundry we need the heavy duty stuff.
If you try out soap nuts, please make sure you buy the soap nuts without the nut inside.  I have read that they will stain and ruin clothes.  We are only talking about the shells.  When I use them, I heat up a mug of water in the microwave.  Then I put the cloth bag of soap nuts in the mug of hot water.  This will release the natural soap in the nuts.  This way you can still wash in warm and cold water.

I am new at this and I am not a chemist.
We will see how this works out over time.  There are other recipes on internet, but I don't see myself grading up soap bars. I'd rather be working on a sewing project ;)

We are still in the middle of harvest.  I even helped fix the combine.  Sometimes Dean literally needs an extra hand to hold things while he's working.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those that will be affected by the hurricane that is predicted to hit the east coast of the United States this weekend.  If you live on the east coast, please be safe!

Happy Quilting!

Kay Lynne

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Block of the Month & Farm Laundry

We are still in the middle of harvest.  A few rainy days has made it possible for me to actually sew.  My quilt club started a block of the month last January.  I was really good about keeping up with the blocks until the weather had gotten warm.  Now is the time to start catching up.  This quilt won't be finished for Christmas, but I am planning on having the top all put together by then.  I am hoping to be quilting it this winter.

 Why do I have a picture of Dean's dirty farm clothes?
This is the type of laundry I have when he is working on the combine.  His coveralls are so dirty that he left them out on the garage floor, which I really appreciate.  Right now I have what is considered an old fashioned washer with a large agitator and his clothes come out pretty clean.  I have looked at the new water saving washing machines and I am beginning to wonder if the new machines will handle this type of dirt.  They don't even have an agitator.  My washer is working just fine, but it's over 15 years old.  Water saving washing machines in our area is not a concern.  We actually have too much water and flooding can be an issue.
If you have any advice, please feel free!
Maybe the new washing machines do a good job, but I'm wondering.

 It's nice to stop just for a second to notice the beautiful fall colors.  

Happy Quilting!

Kay Lynne

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Life Has Been a Blur

Summer has quickly faded and fall is definitely here.  
It has been a while since I've updated you.  Life has thrown us some curve balls that we haven't expected and it has been a blur for the last two months.
Spending extra time with family and friends when they need it is what life is all about.
The blurry picture below is me following Dean after dark.  He is pulling two wagons of corn and I'm following him with the four-way flashers.

Farming activity is in full swing.  Dean is watching a leveling auger in the picture below.  It evens out the corn so it dries better.  This bin is a drying bin which has a large drying fan that will dry a batch of corn in a few hours.  There is also a propane heater that is attached to the fan to help dry the corn.
 We try to keep our drying costs down by letting the corn dry naturally out in the field.
If you are wondering why the corn has to be dry, it will spoil in storage if the moisture content is too high.

Below is my tractor with empty wagons that are ready to be filled later in the day.

Dean decides to switch from combining corn to beans so he has to switch from the corn head to the bean head.

The last few weeks have certainly been busy doing so many family activities, but there's always time to stop a minute and count your blessings!

Happy Quilting!

Kay Lynne