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Barn quilt

Red barn w/quilt

Red barn w/quilt

My barn quilt is fading and needs some work.  Since putting mine up two years ago, more are springing up in the county but not as many as I would like to see.  Our local library has a local artist painting them for a price and the proceeds benefit the library.  I love this idea for the library and spreading the quilting heritage throughout the county.  I’ve decided to start another one for the same barn but for the other end of the barn.  This will be seen as you go either way past the farm.  I also want to put one on all of the other barns but will probably do two each summer. 

I’ve just got to figure out how to keep them from fading and peeling.  Apparently the exterior paint and three coats of polyurethane aren’t enough to fight Mother Nature’s effect on them.  Research is needed before I start the new board.  I’m told that rustoleum latex paints are the best and I used a basic exterior paint.  Experimentation will be the true test. 

I love seeing them all over the county and this winter I’ll being looking for the pattern that suits our farm or maybe use a pattern in one of my quilt like I did for the first barn quilt.

Repairs to my double seater rocker

My kids bought me a gorgeous wooden rocker for Mother’s day a couple years back.  It’s had a rough couple of years and the one of the rockers was broke off last year when someone rared back in it.  I convinced hubby it could be saved!!  I’M A MAJOR REFURBISHER!!!   Is there such a word? 😉

Anyway, I had him take the rockers off and make it a pretty bench for the porch or yard.  As you know from previous posts, we’re big porch sitters and entertain on our porch a lot.   It looked great!

Shannon and Lisa meet Christine for the first time, I think!

Sometime during the big birthday party it was sat in again,  rared back in again and more repairs were definitely needed before using it safely again for entertaining.  Hubby used some ingenuity and placed some braces in strategic places and here’s what it looks like before it gets a new paint job.

IMG_0021  IMG_0019  IMG_0020

And here’s the final project.

Hubby has decided that if this doesn’t keep it upright and strong enough for ANYONE to sit in it will be used for kindling in the winter.  Here’s the finished product have a new paint job.

Freshly painted.

Freshly painted.

I love wooden rockers but this will make a pretty bench for the porch.  Time to make cushions now.

I love wooden rockers but this will make a pretty bench for the porch. Time to make cushions now.

Denim quilted swing and lawn chair cushions

I love to recycle and this spring decided I needed some new cushions for the porch swing and the backyard swing.  I wanted something durable yet easy to clean.  I had huge tote full of old jeans that I had recycled and would use for sewing projects.

First I measured the seat and back of the swings and one is much larger than the other.  I started cutting out 4 1/2″ squares from t he denim.  I then layed out a pattern of sorts on my quilting wall.

cutting out 6 inch blocks

6 inch denim blocks

Then I started pinning, piecing and pressing.

pinning is tedious but necessary

seams much match up

pressing apart qtr inch seams

pressing apart qtr inch seams

pinning together two rows

top finished_now for the bottom

I stitched two of these together on three sides, inserted batting, and sewed up by the hand the fourth long side.  The final project has six layers of batting in it and makes for a very comfortable pad in the swing on the front porch.

IMG_0025

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IMG_0023Of course, this is only one seat made.  I still have to do a matching cushion for the back of the swing and a complete set for the back yard swing.  There is always something to do!!!

Pinterest

Do you know what Pinterest is?  Do you have Pinterest boards?  I would love to meet the genius that came up with this wonderful website!!  Pinterest is website for collecting and organizing things you love.  I have    boards and I use them for crafts I want to make later, ideas for decorating, wish lists, and so much more.  It doesn’t take but a few minutes to sign up for an account and it’s free.  You will have a login and password so no one can mess with your boards.  You can see other Pinterest sites that friends and other people have and you can repin things you love from their pin boards.  Check out my site and see some of the thing I truly love!!

You can find it at:                 http://pinterest.com/ritascrafting/    

I have twenty-six boards and 1626 pins as if today.  I have a 127 followers that love the same things I do and I follow 128 pinterest sites.  I have boards for quilting, crafting, gardening, books, blogs, DIY, cooking, handy tips, Country Style, hunting and outdoors, favorite music, barn quilts, crocheting, front porch living, spring cleaning, primitive decor, fall inspiration, Christmas, primitive outdoors.   I love this site and when I see something on the internet that I may want to use in the future, I pin it.  It’s fun, inspiring, it’s so organized and I think you will love it to.  Here’s a quick glimpse of what my pinterest home page looks like:

 

Birthday Present

I think I told you last week that my wonderful hubby got me a new HP desktop computer for my birthday and Christmas!  I’m getting used to the new programs and catching on pretty quick.  Now, I just need to catch up on some posting.  Hubby knows how much I miss my blog!!

My daughter and family got me a new crafting table for my quilt room.  I spent “three” hours putting it together this morning.  It didn’t take so much time because it was complicated, it was because I took so much time getting up and down out of the floor trying to put it together.  Here’s how it went without me in the pictures:

Not out of the box yet

Not out of the box yet

Figuring out the parts-no brainer!!! I love it when that happens!!!  Getting down there and getting back up was the hard part !  :)

Figuring out the parts-no brainer!!! I love it when that happens!!! Getting down there and getting back up was the hard part ! 🙂

 

Table supports together and done correctly! YIppee!

Table supports together and done correctly! YIppee!

 

Both sides folded down, both sides up, one side up.  This is going to be so useful!!

Both sides folded down, both sides up, one side up. This is going to be so useful!!

 

Table top is together and on it's feet (and me too!).  Daughter helped me turn it up and we inspect for sturdiness.

Can’t wait to get started on some new quilts and other projects.

How to make a ladybug for your garden

I love finding new things to add to my flower gardens.  This year I found the cutest new addition on Pinterest and decided to make one for myself and my buddies, Jackie and Margaret!  I also saw these in a friends flowerbed but hers were smaller and   a entire family of them crossing the flowerbed.  Hope you like these!

First, you need an ordinary bowling ball.  Jackie found four  of them for me at the local Goodwill stores for a couple bucks.  I took them home and hubby cut them in half for me.   He said this was no easy chore because he wasn’t sure he was cutting them exactly in half.

Bowling balls cut in half

Bowling balls cut in half

 

 

 

 

Next, clean the bowling balls making sure that all dust and residue are gone before the first coat of paint is put on.  I used a spray enamel for the interior and exterior.  Let the first coat of paint dry completely.  I let it dry overnight.  A mistake I made with the first venture was not painting the bottom.  I sprayed the bottom of each half with black enamel (two coats, dry completely between coats) and then spray the red, orange, yellow, whatever color you want.

First coat of red paint.

First coat of red paint.

After the third coat of red had dried, I turned the crafting over to my granddaughter to paint their faces and bodies.  She’s pretty good and has a flair for the dramatic.  I was afraid she would get a little carried away and decided she needed a template to go by.  After all her hard work we decided they would look better with a whimsical flair.

Victoria helping Nana with the artwork.  We started with serious ladybug faces.

Victoria helping Nana with the artwork. We started with serious ladybug faces.

We sat them out in the sun to dry and that's when we decided we needed to make some changes.

We sat them out in the sun to dry and that’s when we decided we needed to make some changes.

This is the point where we decided they needed  a touch of whimsy!  After all her hard work, Nana decided to paint over their faces and add some legs.  The legs were designed by hubby and his workshop.  They consisted of some dowel rods about three inches long and tiny little boots made from scrap lumber.  Once put together, I painted their sneakers white or black with contrasting laces.    What do you think of the end result??

Big eyes & eyelashes.

Big eyes & eyelashes.

Cute red tennis shoes.

Cute red tennis shoes.

Crafting is so much fun and I promise more projects in the very near future!!  Thanks Victoria for helping Nana!!

Quilting

I’ve got a hobby that started just a few years ago in earnest called quilting.  My grandmother Bradley used to quilt for the whole family.  She saved every scrap of fabric leftover from making grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s clothes.  I think I got my talent from her as none of the other family on my mom’s side quilted that I know of and my Mom had to many kids (7) to think about sewing for a hobby; it was only done by necessity.  I love the peace it brings me and the satisfaction of piecing together bits of fabric and making something beautiful.  Here are a few that I have pictures of that I’ve made.

 

9 Patch w red backing quilt 001

 

Nine Patch

 

HEATHERS MIRACLE

 

Blue & White Shock

Hunting Season 2011 072

 

Splash of color for hubby!

Joels Christmas quilt 2011 (3) Joels Christmas quilt 2011 (4)

 

Country Hues for my son-in-law.

margarets fall 2010 quilt 001

 

Margaret’s Quilt

rita's first quilt

 

My first work!!

sweet-sixteen-lavender-quilt-2008

 

Guest room lavender!

VICTORIAS CAT QUILT

 

Victoria’s Cats

I’ve made a quilt for my son but don’t have pictures of it.  I made my first quilt with blocks of candlewicking of mauve and pink  butterflies and used unbleached muslin as the background and backed it with mauve flannel.  It was so warm but I can’t find it.    I’ve made two baby quilts and here they are.

Melisa Kele's baby quilt

Melisa Kele’s baby quilt

Ripepi baby quilt

Ripepi baby quilt

Now, I’m inspired to get busy and quilt some more.  The hardest part about making a quilt for me is deciding on the pattern and then selecting the colors to make it pop.  Hopefully 2013 will  be filled with quilting masterpieces.

My herb garden

Back in the spring I was browsing around on Pinterest, which I love.  (http://pinterest.com/)  Pinterest is an online pin board where you can organize and share things you love.  I digress, sorry!!

 

On Pinterest I found this neat way to grow herbs on a wall.  I have a wonderful friend that has a woodworking shop and he made me some pot holders.  I ordered the herb seeds that I use and love.  I cleaned up the insides of 12 clay pots and filled them with dirt and planted my seeds.  When they started sprouting I hung them on the coal house on the farm and now I have little seedlings growing quickly on  a wall and the chickens can’t get to them. (Chickens love to dig up flower and vegetable gardens.)  Here’s the beginnings and I’ll post again before and when they’re harvested.  The pots have marjoram, lime basil, sage, garlic chives, lemon basil, oregano, sweet basil, Italian basil, stevia, parsley, cilantro and catnip for the kitties.

 

 

Entrance to the Farm

My secret project is complete!!  I’m so excited to show you my latest project.  I have in the last few years developed a passion for the beautiful barn quilts I’ve seen as we’ve took drives through the gorgeous farmland in West Virginia.

I decided about a month before my vacation in May that I was going to have one on the barn at the entrance of our farm.  Needless to say I didn’t think it was going to take two months to complete it but I finally did last weekend and my wonderful husband had a carpenter friend of our put it on the barn on Friday while I was at work.  I was absolutely flabbergasted when I came home from work on Friday afternoon and it was staring me in the face along with the “CALDWELL FARM”  sign I had painted and our “Century Family Farm” sign.  You’ll see pictures of all three at the end of this post but first I thought I would write about the steps it took to get the “quilt” finished.

When we told the kids what I was working on my son-in-law wondered why I thought a quilt would last very long nailed to the front of a barn in the wind and weather.  He did not realize that the “quilt” was being painted on a board and attached to the barn.  We all got a kick out of that!!

First I had to decide what the block/quilt would look like.  I had so many favorites and it took as much time to choose one block than it did the whole process of  painting.

 

I chose this design because it resembles my first quilt project and the block was called “morning star”.  This block is just a little different.  The colors I started to use were red, white and blue but when I actually marked the pattern out I decided to go with my favorites which are burgundy and hunter green.

Next I had to cut the plywood (3/4″ good stuff”) but my husband did this for me after we measured about 10 times.  Then I painted the board front and back with a  high quality exterior high gloss white paint.  I put four coats of paint on with a 24 hour delay between each coat.  Once the last coat dried I divided the board up into one foot squares, drew in the design from the picture above and marked it off for the first color.

 

Taping the design entailed careful placement so that when the paint was added the points of each block were perfect and didn’t bleed into the next piece of the “puzzle”.

 

 

 

You can see the pencil marks I drew as a guide where to place the tape.  Once it was taped up I painted another four coats of high quality exterior paint within the lines of the design.  It was easy for me to see where the design was going but hubby was totally confused and just couldn’t see it coming together.

I added the additional colors step by step and it took about six weeks just to get the painting complete and then I covered the entire board front and back with four more coats of a high quality polyurethane and let each coat dry at least 48 hours between coats.    Here is the finished quilt before mounting on the barn and after mounting on the barn.  The last photo shows the farm sign, barn quilt and the century farm sign.  I’m just thrilled with the results and I think my barn quilt is the first in the county!!