Sewing Courage!




Hello Farmgirl Friends!

First of all I want to say a very big thank you to all of you that entered my giveaway last month of a subscription to MaryJanesFarm magazine.  The question I asked was for you to tell me what some of your hopes and goals were for this new year.  Oh my goodness!  I absolutely loved reading all the comments and the inspiration I received was so helpful that I hope to write a blog post about it in February!

Our randomly selected WINNER is:  Charlenea!!  

Thank you again, friends!


Learning to trust our instincts takes courage and sometimes in sewing I have to dig deep to step out of my comfort zone.  I teach a little sewing class twice a month to some young students at our local homeschool co-op and honestly those kids encourage me so much.  They have the courage to try pretty much whatever I throw at them.


My youngest grand-girl, Rosetta, was with me on Saturday and she said it had been awhile since she has made a quilt (she’s nine!) and she’d like to make another one.  Of course that’s about the happiest thing you could say to me!




I told her I was ready right that minute to help her get started but I had one request of her. I told she needed to design the quilt herself!  I handed her some graph paper, we figured out the overall dimensions of the quilt size she wanted and she got started drawing.  I love that she didn’t even hesitate!




She added some triangles in her design because a few months ago she and I used the rotary cutter and a triangle ruler to cut a whole bunch of triangles that she wanted, although she was’t sure what she was going to use them for!  She remembered that and drew those into her design.




I have an amazing shelving system that my husband built for me last winter and I keep most of my fabric organized by color.  It makes it really fun for my grand-girls because they just climb up on a chair and start pulling fabric that they want to use.  Rosetta only spent about 30 minutes figuring out all the fabrics she wanted.  She ironed them smooth and we cut them to size.




And now, this is where courage comes in for ME!!!  I am one of those people that have to think, re-think and then over-think fabric selections.  And I absolutely love how children are very comfortable with choosing colors and designs and most of them don’t even have any concern if they go together or not!  I love the freedom that comes from that.




Rosetta keeps her sewing machine at my house and the last few days she’s been coming up and sewing when she’s free from her homeschooling.  I love hearing her up in my sewing room just sewing away.




It might be awhile before her quilt is finished.  But she made a commitment to me that she will work all the way through until it is complete!  In just a few sewing sessions she has really made great process.  I’ll be sharing it with you when she is done!


Creativity Takes Courage


What is something that you’ve got to work up the courage to do?  Is there anything that you would love to try this year?  Or maybe something you’ve done in the past and you want to pick it up again?  Not sure I really want to admit this yet… but I will!  My thing that I’m trying to work up the courage to do this year is to learn how to play the piano again.  I took lessons as a child and even some as an adult.  But I never continued and I feel like I’m going to have to start back at the beginning again.  So, that is my BIG courageous thing to do this year!


Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.



  1. Bonnie I. says:

    I tried unsuccessfully to teach myself latch hook and I think that this is the year I need to take a lesson and really give it a go. I am knitting a throw for my chair right now and when it’s done I think I will find a teacher.

  2. Sharon says:

    Teaching myself to crochet this winter ( kind of reteaching as it went by the wayside for a bit when we sold our home/built our new house). Also want to relearn embroidery & learn Sashiko! (Your article in MJF magazine started that idea)!

  3. Gail Summerlin says:

    I look so forward to your blogs. I feel like I could sit down with you and a cup of tea and discuss quilting and grands and sewing and flowers. I love teaching my grands to sew. I have a cousins camp each year and the girls 6-13 stay all week with me. We sew, bake, do crafts, they all love it and count down the days till the next year.( the cousins live farther away but my grands live close). My grandson, Sawyer, wanted to make a Braves( baseball team) pillow. He was so proud of it, the big grin on his face was priceless. This last year he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer on my 60th birthday. He passed away into the arms of Jesus in Oct. I have that special memory of sewing with him. I don’t take for granted 1 min with my grandkids. I’ve learned the sad way, don’t put off and say we will do it later. Grab the moment.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Oh Gail. I read your comment and cried. I cannot even imagine the pain of losing a grand-child. My heart is with you. And I know you cherish the precious memories.

      Tighest of hugs to you.

      ~ Dori ~

    • D W Dennison says:

      Gail, The beauty and sadness of your post broke my heart. I have no grands, but I agree that we need to live every moment in awareness and gratitude. May your memories sustain and inspire you.

    • Sherry says:

      Gail, I too have an overwhelming feeling of sadness for you at this time. I have to remember that God is so good to help us get through times like these, and He knows just what we need and what we can take.
      Bless you!

  4. Ellen Zook Osborn says:

    I love that look of intense concentration! My oldest grand-girl is 9 and she very much wants to learn to sew — we have generations of amazing quilters in our family — I’m not one of them! . Maybe a potholder?

  5. Debbie Klann says:

    I started to learn how to watercolor awhile back and haven’t taken the time to continue practicing. I have lots of things that I want to try and paint and I am going to do it this year!

  6. Prudence Diem says:

    It’s a treat to read you. Your pictures are just as good as your writing, and hearing about your beautiful life encourages me to press for more, though I’ve transformed mine in these last six months and I’ve never been happier.

  7. Mary Homolka says:

    This is the first time that I have had a chance to look at the blog and I’m really impressed. I hope to be watching more you have some really good ideas and things to do myself. I have been doing some needle tatting and love it. Take care and be safe

  8. D W Dennison says:

    Dearest Dori, You are my inspiration! Since the death of our sweet Daddy on January 3, I have begun to plow through some of the accumulations in his house. Must admit, they are mine, not his. My brother wants to get rid of the piano that Momma received when she was 5 (in 1936) because nobody plays it. I told him that no one but me wants that huge piano, and that one day I shall play it. Thank you, Dori! Maybe I am not too old to relearn.

  9. Amy says:

    I receive an infusion every three weeks that requires my medicine to be carried around in this ghastly black bag for 7 hours a day, 4 days a week. I am tired of it’s ugliness. This blog has inspired me to have the courage to remake the bag using what fabric I have around the house. I do not have a pattern so that is what terrifies me. It will have to be durable so i think i will use some old jeans for the base but I want it to also be pretty. Your granddaughter inspired me to quilt part of it and I am not going to try to “match” the fabric but use pieces I love that will bring a smile on the long infusion days…

  10. Randee Foster says:

    I’ve been learning to use watercolor to make greeting cards…and I have much to learn! Also I want to get back into knitting more than just washcloths!

  11. BEVERLY says:

    Dori, hopefully you will share this pattern with us; looks like fun!

  12. Suzanne Griner says:

    I would love to see pictures of your sewing room.

  13. Lauri Neumann-Grable says:

    One of my goals for 2021 is to make greeting cards to mail to members of my church. I am not able to attend due to COVID restrictions and miss the weekly gathering. Therefore I came up with the idea to send a monthly greeting to say that I am thinking of them and miss them. I call my greeting cards “Scrap Happy” as I cut pictures from magazines, catalogs, junk mail, etc. Then I use the various scraps from scrapbooking paper and become one with the glue stick. I have February cards ready to go. My other goal is to refrain from unnecessary shopping – pushing the frugal mentality. I may not sew but I do play with color in my paper crafting. It is so easy to become isolated when we have to maintain a quarantine framework but the gift of creativity can help avoid feeling so alone. Blessings to all. Lauri

  14. Sheri Clark says:

    I loved reading your article about your granddaughter, I only which someone had done that for me. This year is going to filled with a lot of new adventures for me. Not to dwell on a bad subject, that is getting better. My husband has been in ICU for a month today with Covid 19. He is progressing, but I will have my best day when they get him off of the Ventilator and move him to a Acute Long term rehab hospital. I have a quilt that I started a while ago, so my thing to finish this year is that quilt for him. I just have the binding.
    I am going to pull it out right now and get started. Thanks for giving me that push.

  15. Marilyn says:

    As usual your latest blog is interesting and inspiring. I am determined to learn to sew this year. I want to get back to my knitting and dance lessons on my videos. I also want to use Marie Osmond’s body gym to do some exercises. Rosetta is a beautiful young lady and talented,too. Gail, sorry for your loss. Hope you can take comfort in your memories of Sawyer. God Bless.

  16. Maureen says:

    Watercolors. Have all the supplies, lots of books, a beautiful place to live with lots of inspiration. I need to take the plunge and just do it!!!!!

  17. Marti Wynne says:

    I love this post so much!!! I am finally going to finish 2 quilts for my sons birthdays in June. They are tshirt 10 inch squares of their baseball jerseys and some misc tees in there. I’m going to transfer their ball pics to a few squares ( I hope ❤️). It seems overwhelming to me but I’m going to do it !!! I love how you asked what courageous thing are you going to do this year. I try to stretch myself. And I have really done it this past year. At 62 in the middle of a pandemic I opened a hair salon ( just me ) and I haven’t been in a salon for awhile. Although much hair at home family and friends. So I’m off on my new adventure and so thankful

  18. Sandi King says:

    Dori, it is nice to read your post again. I think your grand girl is courageous and wonderful. I love the colorful quilt she is making for herself. As for me and what I would like to have courage to do, I have no idea. I am trying to make sure I send out birthday and anniversary and caring cards this year to all my family and friends. With almost everyone on FB, no one writes to each other anymore – or emails either, I find. I like to write letters and I do and send them in the cards I send out. I have always liked receiving letters and cards through the mail and I know many older people enjoy receiving them. I have a grand niece that has joined me in writing back and forth. I also have another niece that did write to me after receiving a letter in her Christmas card from me. I wish more people would begin to write again to family and friends who live far away from them. I always feel a letter you can hold onto and read is so much more friendly and personable than digital letters. Take care and God Bless everyone.

  19. Patty says:

    I’ m working up the courage to finish quilting that batik quilt. You see, I’ve started quilting it twice now. I’ve had so much issues with tension that I’ve ripped the quilting out twice now. I keep researching and learning and trying new tips and tricks. It’s now time to start quilting again and I really need some courage.

    • Patty says:

      I did it!! I completed the longarm quilting of the batik quilt!! 3rd times a charm!! I didn’t have any issues at all this time!! Woo Hoo!!

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