A Farm Update and Tour of My Sewing Room

Welcome back. I invite you to join me with your cup of tea (I have hot chocolate mixed with coffee this afternoon).

The snow storm we had last week ended up giving us over twenty inches of fresh, fluffy snow.  The cold weather as in -29C finally broke today.  At this moment in time it is -12C and beautifully sunny. 

We had one sad thing happen this week.  One of the new cows we just purchased aborted her calf about three months early.  We are not sure why, but suspect the stress of moving to a new farm and joining a new herd of cows.  It is not a nice thing to have happen, but life goes on when you are stewarding living creatures.

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With so much fresh snow the mule deer have a harder time finding feed in the forest.  I think they are just like humans.  If there is an easier way to do something they will.  Six or seven deer have decided that they like living in our yard.  We feed square hay bales to the weanling calves.  The deer have decided that the bales are easier to feed at than trying to get through all the snow to eat their natural diet.  One doe that was hanging around ended up getting a really dirty backend.  We contacted the Fish and Wildlife officer to find out if she could be sick with something that would transfer to our livestock.  He told us that this time of year they should be eating the buds of willow and poplar trees not rich alfalfa hay.  This rich feed caused her to have diarrhea.  He also told us that we didn’t need to be concerned about our domestic animals.  We are thankful for that.  We are also thankful that there are only two deer.  In the past when we have had heavy snowfall years we have had up to thirteen deer.  There was so many one year that they would crowd around the round bale feeder and keep the lambs from eating.

Today I want to tell you about my sewing hobby and take you on a tour of my sewing area.  It used to be a sewing room, but has spread to multiple rooms so I call it an area.

My sewing area is one of many places where I let my creativity run wild.

My sewing room has always been somewhat transient.  Its location usually depended on how many children we had and what we needed spaces for.  I am thankful that I have always had a place that was not on the dining room table.  When I am working on projects I find it extremely irritating to have to pack everything up and put it away.  Sometimes my space has only been a little desk in a corner of the living room.  Never the less it had its own little space. 

Over the years my collect of sewing “stuff” kept increasing.  When my mother passed away I ended up with all her sewing things.  Now just so you understand she was addicted to sewing.  In her house the sewing area was spread across the whole basement.  She had a huge collection of fabric and sewing tools.  Well, I ended up inheriting a good portion of these things.

Now my sewing area would no longer work in a corner of the living room.  It had to find a bigger home.  For quite a few years it was in the basement.  Now, just so you know our basement is a walk-out style.  On the walk-out end are two large windows that let a tremendous amount of light in.  It was a wonderful place to work.  A bonus is that we have in-floor heating so the floor was always warm in the winter.

As our children have grown up, moved away and gotten married we ended up having extra space in the loft of the house.  So when our oldest son was married three years ago we offered to renovate the basement into an in-law suite.  This would allow them to have a place to live while saving money for a down payment for their own place.  Now I needed to find a new home for my sewing area.

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Because of the renovation we had to find new homes for everything that was in the basement.  This actually gave us the opportunity to sort through all the stuff that had accumulated down there over the years.  A lot of the stuff found a new home where it was more easily used, while other things found a new home either at the thrift store or the dump.  We also had a huge collection of books that had to be sorted out.  Being homeschoolers from the beginning of our children’s school life you can imagine that we had collected a lot of books.  That seems to be a common occurrence for homeschoolers.  So we packed everything that we wanted to keep in the house and moved it up to the loft into every available nook and cranny we could find.

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Because of the shambles that everything was in up in that loft plus a lot of other renovations that needed to be done on the main floor I didn’t bother to organize the sewing area until last fall.  I did have my sewing machine set up on an old kitchen table, but only used it for mending jeans when needed.  It was not a pleasant place to work. 

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So last November after all my outside work was done and all the food preservation projects were accomplished I set about an organizational project.  I’ll tell you it was almost overwhelming to look at what had to be done.  Piece by piece though, I was able to set up the area to once again be a pleasant place to work in.  You may have noticed that I changed from a sewing room to sewing area.  By this time I have three children who have married and moved out.  This gave me some extra rooms to spread out in.  The main location of my sewing machine and serger overlook the living room.  This allows that room to have all the light from the picture windows in the living room and dining room.  Across the hall is where my big cutting table is located.  It is a 4’ x 8’ smooth top table where I can work on pattern alterations and fabric layout and cutting.  Both rooms have a ton of shelves that hold all our fabrics, notions and crafting supplies.  The room with the cutting table also doubles as a guest bedroom.

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When my children were young I sewed a lot of their clothing.  I also sew most of the guys in the family western shirts.  For many years they always got new shirts for Christmas.  When my children were about to get married I sewed a lot of the wedding cloths.  I sewed my daughter’s wedding dress and jacket, four sets of white shirts and black vests for her dad and brothers and her fiancé’s vest.  For my oldest son’s wedding I made his shirt and vest plus a junior bridesmaid dress for his youngest sister.  I also did all the alterations on his fiancé’s wedding dress.  For a middle son’s wedding I actually didn’t do any sewing.  I also sew a lot of my skirts.  I would like to sew more of my shirts, but have a harder time fitting these nicely.

I still like to sew clothing, but now am looking forward to doing something I have done very little of.  My upcoming projects will be window coverings to our house.  Not being a person to do things conventionally though I plan on making “Log Cabin” quilts.  I really like roman shades so will do this with them.  My south living room and dining room windows are huge so this project might take me a couple winters.  For the remainder of this winter I will start on my kitchen window which is considerably smaller.
I will keep you up to date on these projects as I go.  But I better sign off for now.  This is getting to be a long post.  Plant starting season is just around the corner so I will be talking a little about what we do next week.  Until then have a great week.

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