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