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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Birthday Surprise at Kelsay Farms

For The Bug's 5th birthday yesterday I told him that I had a day of surprises planned. He was so excited!  We started off with lunch at our favorite spot, Jimmy Johns, and then headed just south of Indy to Kelsay Farms for a day of fun outside on the farm.

The kids were so excited when we pulled up and they saw this giant Bale Mountain.  This is every kids dream!

We toured the milking parlor, where our wonderful friend, Amy, was giving the tour.  Amy and her husband Joe have been great friends of ours ever since our Purdue years.  One of my favorite things about our Indiana Ag friends is that no matter how much time passes, things always seem to stay the same.  Amy, Joe, and their three children all work on the farm, along with the rest of their family . This year, the farm is celebrating an amazing 175th anniversary!

After the milking parlor we checked out the barn where the cows get to hang out.  The kids thought it was so cool that the cows get to take naps on water beds!

One of my favorite parts of the farm was getting to see some of the babies.  This sweet little calf named Sprinkles let the kiddos snuggle right up to it.  She even sucked Nate's finger.  He learned all about how calves don't have top teeth.

We made sure to check out the corn maze, and big and little tractors.  It's amazing how BIG farm equipment is these days!

The rides on the Moo Choo Express and the hay wagon were big hits too!

We finished the day with a wallow in the corn pit & milkshake.

Finally we picked some big fat pumpkins that will make great Jack'O Lantern in a couple of weeks.

If you are interested in experiencing the Kelsay Farm Tour, be sure to check out their website.  They are open all weekends through October 28th.

Whether you know a lot, or a little about farming, I promise that you will learn something new and have a ton of fun while you're at it.

Thanks Amy for a great day!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What I Learned

Since my last post, I've had several questions about my method of putting the quilt together.  Here's a quick list of tips that I found to be super helpful.

1.  Once you have your blocks pieced, and have laid them out just the way you want them, take a picture!  I took a quick pic on my phone, and referenced it when piecing the blocks together.  It helped ensure that I didn't sewing any of those little houses upside down!

2.  Press as you go, and then press again.  If you want a crisp quilt with blocks that line up in the end, be sure to carefully watch your seam allowances and press them well.  I used a 1/4" seam allowance, which is pretty standard.  Here is a good tutorial for learning to line up all those blocks.

3.  I used Dritz Adhesive Spray to make my quilt "sandwich".  Here is a great tutorial on this method by A Quilt is Nice.  This eliminated the need to pin it all together, saving loads of time.  Everything held together extremely well while I quilted, and my needle didn't gunk up at all.

4.  After quilting, I trimmed all of the edges to the same size, and then did a quick straight stitch all along the very perimeter of my quilt.  This keeps everything secure when you get ready to bind.

5.  I used a walking foot to stitch my binding onto the top of my quilt.  This helped keep the bias binding from stretching.

6.  To secure the binding to the back, I used a simple whip-stitch.

And that's it!  Sounds simple huh?  Now what should I quilt next?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Quilt for a Cause

One of my goals for 2012 was to complete my first "real" quilt.  I've tackled baby quilts  in the past, and cheated a bit on the binding.  This year I felt like I needed to teach myself to make a true quilt, piece it, sandwich it, quilt it, and bind it all by my big girl self.

With so many shows over the past couple of weeks, I was ready for a little break from dresses, and it was the perfect time to tackle my quilt idea.  My ever overflowing scrap bin was calling my name, so I set to digging for the perfect pattern combinations.

I following this great little pattern tutorial by Diary of a Quilter.  It was so fast and simple to cut out and piece.

The fabrics that I chose are super soft Michael Miller and Riley Blake prints.  I used the softest cotton batting in the middle.  Someone is going to love snuggling up with this pretty piece on cold winter nights!

The quilt will be raffled off this weekend at the Megan S. Ott Foundation annual Kickball Tournament. Proceeds will go directly to families of women and men battling breast cancer.  What a wonderful cause, and a great excuse to try my hand at quilting!