FMQ Refresher

With the onset of the pandemic and especially when everything shut down, my shop went nuts. It took me by surprise, never having owned an on-line business during a pandemic before. (Who knew??). Anyway, I was happy to provide fabric to the many, many people making masks as well as quilters who were not able to physically go into their LQS. As a result of this increase though, I was really busy and had almost no time to sew.

Things have changed and many people are venturing into brick and mortar shops (which is good for the shop owners, as long as people are being careful and masking up.) I think the frenetic mask making has slowed down a tiny bit as well. Thus my shop has gone back to a more realistic level of sales for one person to handle. What does this mean? More time to sew!! Hurray.

This week I had the opportunity to learn to use my friend Sophia’s Baby Lock Tiara sit down quilter. It is a dream. The wide throat is incredible and it sews with a nice even stitch. So much easier than using my Janome (which while it has a bigger throat, is getting old and tired) for FMQ.

When I wanted to first try it, I decided to just bring a piece of cloth over – I wasn’t sure how successful I would be and didn’t want to bring anything I had pieced. I have had a yard of this cute fabric sitting on the shelf for a good 4 or 5 years. I am sure it was a border print made for a panel but I think it is adorable. I used to sing this song to my kids when putting them to bed and now I love hearing my son sing it to his girls.

I decided to use it as a whole cloth baby quilt for donation. To practice with Sophia’s machine, I just stippled this. It was so fun and so incredibly quick. It took (almost) as long to pin baste it as to quilt it.

The bold blue polka dots on the back are really cute. You can see the stippling a bit better on the back side. I used an off-white thread which doesn’t really show on the front.

Now there is a cute baby quilt ready for donation and I have a little practice under my belt with the Tiara machine. It is rather tiny in size (30 x 36″) so I will need to see which organizations can utilize a quilt of this size.

So that is a (small finish for me! Used a little bit of fabric off the shelf, learned to use a cool machine and have a donation ready for someone! My next project with the machine will be the jelly roll quilt I recently pieced. I am looking forward to getting some tops finished up! 🙂

Updating to add:

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TGIFF

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Whoop Whoop

Working with Cooking Up Quilts!

Hello everyone! Just popping in this morning to share a project that Beth Sellers and I ‘cooked up’. As you know, I love to support many of the talented quilt designers in our community by selling their patterns in the shop. My preference is to purchase directly from them whenever I can, as opposed to through a distributor. It helps the designer a tiny bit financially and allows me to get to know the person too. A total win-win.

Recently I placed an order with Cooking Up Quilts to restock some patterns that had sold out in the shop. Her patterns are lots of fun, not terribly complicated and her directions are so clear and easy to follow; making them popular items in my shop.

When the last order arrived and I was able to take an even closer look at Summer Rain, I thought it would look great with a set of layer cakes I have in the shop called Spring Blue. Summer Rain is designed to be used with a layer cake. Spring Blue features blue and white tones with soft florals, birds and butterflies. The bundle is so pretty and with a light background and dark blue corner stones, it just works perfectly! I contacted Beth at Cooking Up Quilts to get her opinion and she agreed.

Beth quickly did a rendering of what the quilt might look like with the fabrics in the bundle. Isn’t it lovely? After seeing the rendering, I decided to add the kit to the shop.

The dark blue used for the cornerstones and binding is very saturated. I think it best to prewash it to prevent any dye issues since it will be placed directly next to the white background. Both the white and blue fabrics are subtle tone-on-tones from the Urban Legend line by Blank Quilt Co.

Here is another rendering Beth provided. This one has a more organized layout. Are you into the random look of the first photo or this structured look? (I love them both!)

Many thanks to Beth for working with me on this kit and for the wonderful patterns she creates! Hope you will take a look at the kit and let me know what you think. Thank you so much, Beth, for your help with this project!!

Catching Up

Hello friends! Hard to believe I haven’t posted in nearly a month. I kept sitting down to write and just couldn’t get into the mood for some reason. Let’s just blame it on the pandemic, shall we? Life isn’t normal and even though I certainly have time on my hands, I find myself dithering it away quite a bit. Sigh.

But here I am, with a cup of coffee and the mood to write. Let’s catch up!

We took a trip up to Washington to watch my favorite grand daughters while my son, Andrew, and his wife moved their family into their new house. My husband and Andrew spent two days working on various little projects at the new house before moving which left Julia and I to play with the girls in the rental. Guess who got the good end of that deal!!

As with most toddlers, this girl needs to get outside to play. She gets stir crazy if she has to be inside all day. One rainy day, we went out to look for puddles to jump in. When she finished jumping in this one, she immediately went into her pretend mode. Her imagination is always going and at this moment, she was making soup for her horse. Each time she added pine needles to the puddle, it was a different ingredient. Some meant for soup and some not so much. “It needs parsley. Let’s add a carrot. Now I will put in an egg. Here’s the rainbow sprinkles.” On and on, all the while stirring her creation with her stick.

It took very little time to go from mixing her horse’s soup with the stick to standing in the puddle and going all in with her hands. How I love this girl.

Just a couple of days later, we were all in the new house. We tried to keep the kids corralled while the movers brought in nine million boxes. My husband ran around inside keeping the movers organized and my son checked the boxes off the list outside. Such a process.

I have never had movers pack my house before. But with a new baby and moving across country (not to mention a moving stipend from their new employer) the kids had this luxury. It was so odd to see some of the things the movers packed. It seemed like every third box contained a weird surprise. One time I unpacked a plastic trash can from the bathroom that was packed with the trash still in it. Another time, an apple was carefully rolled up in a huge amount of paper. Now it helps to know, the house was packed in mid July and everything was stored until they moved in on September 28th. That apple was a mess. There was a box with a container of honey that leaked all over the place, yuk! They also packed a pop-tart which they found somewhere in a zip lok bag, thanks to a three year old who must have left it in some odd place? (They told my kids that they were not allowed to pack any food items that were open but I don’t think they followed this rule at all?) Oh well, for the most part, it all went very well and there were not many items that were damaged in the process.

This little one was a breeze. She is so happy and just sort of went along with everything. I was setting up the laundry room at this point. (She is chewing on an old watch of her dad’s?!) Honestly, I could set her down most anywhere and she would just play with whatever I handed to her. She is starting to scoot around though so it was nice to contain her when I could. Hence the laundry basket. Haha.

I brought up this picnic quilt for the girls and we used it a number of times while playing outside. Babies on quilts, nothing cuter!

Back to this girl and her love of the outdoors. I was pulling a few weeds while she played and showed her a fat worm I found. This quickly led to her digging for worms and figuring out which was a daddy, the mama, the grammy etc. She kept them in this bowl for a bit, ‘feeding’ them grass. She is very inquisitive and asked if they had eyes so we talked about the life of a worm and she happily put them back in ‘their home’ when she learned they would die if not in the dirt. Just before putting them back in the dirt, she did need to sing a ‘wormy song’ to them. My heart melts with her.

The two weeks ended way too fast, as always. I love this picture even if it is quite blurry. We squeezed the girls a million times and drove back up to California. Luckily by the time we got home, our area was basically smoke free. What a wonderful thing it is to have clean air after nearly two months of staying inside to avoid the smoke.

As (bad) luck would have it, just a couple of days after we left, my daughter-in-law tripped and fell. She was carrying the baby so when she was falling her only thought was to protect the baby. She couldn’t break the fall which meant she broke a couple of bones in her foot. So she is hobbling around with a cast and waiting for her foot to heal. So unfair when she was so excited to set up her house and get settled. Such is life. I wish we were still up there so we could help.

That is a fair summary of the last few weeks. I was really having trouble getting in the mood to sew after getting back. It happens, right? But now I have started to spend some time in the sewing room and it all feels great. Yesterday, I had some sewing time at my friend Sophia’s house. She has a Baby Lock Tiara sit down machine. It is the best! I will share more on that next time. I have also been preparing for the holiday season in my shop even though it is somewhat hard to predict how this year will look. Business was crazy for months and then slowed back down as quilters and sewists were able to return to in-person shopping. Now with the unfortunate rise in the number of cases, I need to decide how to plan for that. Such a strange time in life.

OK – back soon with updates on sewing related things! I have missed you all and have not been on-line much at all with regard to blog posts or social media. I need to catch up with so many people! Hope you are well and enjoying your Saturday.

Another Project, Squirrel!

After finishing my last quilt, I made a plan to make a bunting with the name of my second grand daughter on it. Her father made mention (not so subtly) that I made one right away for the first grand daughter but have not made one for the second who is now six months old. (I am fairly certain the baby hasn’t yet noticed this injustice but still.) Well, it still hasn’t happened.

I had ordered some fall fabrics from Clothworks and they arrived last week. One of the bolts has a panel for making placemats and I really like the colors of the fabric. The line is called Autumn Air and was designed by Jim Ishikawa. They are just perfect for my dining room.

The panel includes four placemats as well as some extra floral print. I cut off the floral print and set it aside for a future project. After looking at the solids I had on hand, I decided to go with green. Adding some borders was quick and then I cut a tone on tone cream color fabric for the backing.

For quilting, I did diagonal lines, 1.5 inches apart on the floral section. I left the borders unquilted. With the borders, the mat finishes at 13″ x 17″. I think these are super and will be perfect to use each fall.

This quick make was quite satisfying. I am so over summertime and hot weather (it is 86 degrees and still smokey outside as I type this.) Using fall fabrics allowed me to pretend it was cool and crisp outside (as long as I didn’t look out the window anyway.)

My sweet girl and her new toys.

I will leave you with this to make you smile. My grand daughter’s little friend has a really cool older brother. You know how cool a six year old can be! He wanted some new Matchbox cars and his mother said he could sell some of his current toys at a garage sale to make money for what he wanted. My grand daughter went ‘shopping’ there and snagged these new toys. She was thrilled. Most of her things are still in storage until they move into their new house and I am sure she was bored of the same toys she has been playing with in the rental.

We are going to head up there soon to help watch the kids while they move to the new house. My husband is going to help out with a few electrical projects before they move in. Hurray for another visit with my favorite girls! (I know, I know…. I had better go work on that bunting. I don’t want the baby to learn to spell before her name is up on the wall.)

Covid Crafting

Between the Covid safety measures and the wildfires out here, our family is basically stuck inside and at home. The smoke continues to pollute the air and our Air Quality Index has ranged from 175 to 352 (the highest I have seen it) over the last month. (As a point of reference, 0-50 is considered healthy, clean air). In our area, the fire that started this mess began on August 14th. Fortunately, that fire has been dealt with but there are myriad other fires up and down the whole west coast, keeping the air very unhealthy.

Having to stay inside so much gets boring and the three of us get antsy. We have been trying to do projects, read a lot, watch tv and play an occasional card game to pass the time. Over the weekend we got crafty! Want to see what we made?

The first project were these silly mummy jars. Julia and I thought they would be fun to have out for Halloween. The project is so simple and if you have small children, it is perfect for them. You only need a few clean jars, some Mod Podge, cheesecloth, and wiggly eyes.

Cut the cheesecloth into strips approximately 1 1/2″ wide. Maybe two strips per jar? Paint the outside of the jar with a coat of Mod Podge. Wrap the strips around the jar as you might wrap a mummy. Haha – like I would know how to wrap a mummy. Then paint another coat of Mod Podge over the wrapped jar. Let dry. The next day we used a hot glue gun and attached the wiggly eyes. Julia’s boyfriend decided one of our mummies needed to have crazy eyes so he used two different size wiggly eyes.

They are quite cute when lit up.

Moving on, and in keeping with the Mod Podge crafting, Julia and I colored two jars. I really love these!

Another simple project, you only need two clean jars, Mod Podge, and some food coloring. For these jars, pour about 2 tablespoons of Mod Podge into a little bowl. Add the color you want (remembering not to add too much!) and about a teaspoon of water. Mix until the color is distributed – we used a toothpick to mix ours. Pour the colored glue into the jar and start to rotate your jar slowly, letting the glue run over all sides of the jar. Once the inside of the jar is well coated, drain the Mod Podge out. If you are going to make more jars, drain back into your bowl. Since we didn’t want to make more than one each, we drained the jars over the kitchen trash. Hold it upside down for a minute or so to let it drain. Then invert it on to a tray with waxed paper on it. Let the jars stand upside down for an hour. After that hour passes, bake the jars – standing right side up – for an hour at 225 degrees. They dried clear and hard.

I don’t know that I would put water in them as I am uncertain if that would eventually wash out the finish we made. But they look cute with dried flowers.

Moving on Julia wanted to make some soft pumpkins. We had everything we needed though the only appropriate socks we found were from Ray’s drawer. I am not a fan of the darker colored pumpkin. I do like the lighter colors though.

To make these we used a tutorial found at A Well Purposed Woman. I won’t go into the details since we really followed her instructions completely. This was a lot of fun to do together. Julia had the great idea to wrap floral wire around a pencil to make the little curlicue ‘vines’ we glued at the top near the stems. I like the fact that the instructions told us to put 1/4 cup of dry rice in first and then the polyfil stuffing. This weight at the bottom really makes the pumpkins sit nicely. If I were to do this again, and thrift stores were a feasible option, I would look for some socks with better colors or a knit sweater that could be upcycled. However, considering we were only using what we had at home, I call this a success.

One more fun thing to share – my sister, Juanita, is a yoga instructor who lives in Texas. With all of the travel restrictions in place, my family (like yours I am sure) is unable to be together. To allow family members to be able to spend time together, my sister has been teaching a yoga class via Zoom on Sunday afternoons. The link goes out to everyone in the family and whomever is available joins in. I took a screen shot over the weekend to share with you.

This doesn’t even show all of the family that participated. I couldn’t fit everyone on my screen. But it is such a great way to spend an hour together. Do a little yoga and then we all visit for a few minutes. It is just real life connected virtually. During family yoga this past Sunday, my sister in the upper right corner had her 16 month old grand daughter in and out of the room and my niece, bottom row, far left had to stop to help her three year old put her pants back on. It all makes us laugh and we (sort of) get to be together.

It takes some effort and a bit of creativity but I am glad we can find ways to stay connected. I hope you are able to as well!

Could it be?? Another Finish?

Yep – it’s true. I have another finish to share. The very small, almost non-existent, silver lining to the fires and smoke we are experiencing is having to stay inside. The smoke is thick and the air very unhealthy so we have been indoors continuously for a long while. This means I can sew!

OK – I started this quilt ages ago. The fabric was leftover from the twin size quilt I made for Julia’s bed in our Downieville house (which we sold this summer.) I made that quilt back in early 2016.

Downieville Quilt

This was a huge quilt as I wanted it to hang over the edge of the bed by a ways. I had planned to make two matching quilts for that bedroom but the second one never happened. However I had already cut many squares intending to make the second one. I decided to use the leftover fabric to make a Mercyful quilt for the families at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento. I matched up a number of the squares, making sure each was partnered with the tan solid and made large (10″ finished) half square triangles with (some of) the leftovers.

Quilt Top Completed!

I made the quilt top in November 2018 and promptly stashed it away – for almost two years!! Why?!?

Basting the top – Finally!

In my last post, I shared I was basting the top and planning to finish it up.

Marking my lines with painter’s tape.

After some thought, I decided to go with simple straight lines for the quilting. Marking the quilt with wide painter’s tape, and starting from the center, I did a two lines of stitching with my walking foot. I used the width of the walking foot to mark off the separation for the second line in each set. This, naturally, went very quick.

My quilt holder, aka Julia, and I took some quick photos on the deck. Didn’t want to stay out long because it was too smokey! I am so pleased with the way this quilt looks.

For the off-centered diamond, I did some extra quilting on the diagonal. I didn’t measure this accurately and my center line is a bit funky. Such is life. I am not overly bothered by this.

The overall effect is good and as we know, I am not one for precision.

A peek at the backing.

For the backing, I used one of the vintage sheets I have stashed. I know many quilters dislike backing with sheets but I have not had a problem with it. They quilt up fine and I have washed the finished quilts (those I have kept) many times without issue. I love how the soft purple and greens complement the darker shades in the quilt top.

This quilt is headed to Mercy Hospital and I hope the family it is given to will take comfort from it.

Unfinished Quilt Tops

About two weeks ago, I made this collage of the unfinished quilt tops I have. I have finished two of them since then which makes me so happy. I haven’t decided which one I will tackle next. I think I need to decide on backings and see what I have available.

For my next project, I need to make a bunting (with the letters of her name) for my youngest grand daughter. When we were up in Seattle, my son reminded me I had made one for older sister before she was born yet this baby is nearly 6 months old and I haven’t made hers. Yikes. Better get on it!!

Take care everyone. If you are affected by the fires (and pretty much everyone in the west is) please take care and be safe. If you have extra rain, please send it to us. We are all in dire need.

Sharing at:

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Farm Quilt Finish

I am in a quilting and reading phase. Quilt a little, read a lot, quilt some more. There are always so many projects to make and books to be read, am I right?

But – the sewing! I have been getting lots done. Today I will share this cute picnic quilt I made for my grand daughters. I carried this line of fabric (it is all gone – sold so fast!) and before I sold out, I stashed away some of the red and yellow yardage as well as a panel of the animals.

I love seeing red and yellow together. It makes for a really cheerful combination. I need did use the green fabric with this project. I decided to save it for another day.

I started to make nine patch blocks last January and split them up, sewing them back together for a disappearing nine patch design.

Some had red centers.

Some had yellow centers. But once made, the blocks were always set aside for some other project.

Well my son and his wife recently bought a house outside of Seattle and we have been calling it “the Farm House”. It isn’t really a farm but it is on 1.5 acres and has a lot of raised beds, greenhouses, and a chicken coop. So, farm enough in our opinion.

I decided I needed to finish the quilt so the girls could sit on it outside and eat a snack or bring their lunch outside. The three year old is always filled with energy and I know she will love their big yard. This property is perfect for them.

I had some fun quilting this. In the center, I stitched in the ditch around the white animal squares. Then I used vertical and horizontal straight lines at various intervals. In the yellow border I just did a wavy line through each one.

I played with the red border. I did swirls, hearts, flowers and whatever else came to mind. On two corners I put the girl’s names which was fun. On the bottom border I stitched “Grammys Girls” but wasn’t thinking of the orientation so it is upside down. Sigh. Not a huge deal but I do wish I had thought to flip it before I stitched the words. Not enough to spend the time unpicking the stitching though. Haha.

The backing is a super wide stripe from Michael Miller. My sister was clearing her sewing area a couple of years ago and gifted me this piece and a few others. I knew it would come in handy at some point. The binding is a repro feed sack print I have in the shop. I like the little flowers framing the quilt, though this picture doesn’t really show the binding off very well.

I ran into a snag when I washed the quilt last night tho. The red bled onto the white animal squares. (I was too annoyed to take any pictures.) Ugh. I haven’t experienced this and was a little freaked out. Both Wendy of Pieceful Thoughts and Jan of Colorful Fabriholic recommended this method by Vicki Welsh to removed the red. By the time I asked these lovely women, I had already cold water washed it twice and rinsed it two more times. After reading Vicki’s method, I chose to alter it a bit. My washer is large and the quilt is about 50 x 50″ so not terribly big. I put it in the wash on the “deep water wash” cycle with hot water. The hot water was the part that scared me but Vicki says that is what needs to be done. Before I put the quilt back in I decided to spray each of the white squares liberally with OxyClean stain remover. I didn’t rub it in aggressively but I did sort of massage it into the stained areas. Then I used a fragrance free “free and clear” type of laundry detergent and put in more than I normally do. Once the machine was filled with hot water I stopped the cycle and let it soak, making sure it was all under water. Finally I let the machine finish its cycle and ran it through a couple of extra rinse cycles since there was a lot of soap in there. It worked! The animals are back in their little white squares as opposed to the pale pink squares that I saw last night. Phew! Thank you Wendy, Jan and Vicki!!

Now that this is finished, I have moved on to another quilt top. I basted it yesterday and plan to quilt it this weekend. It is miserably hot and smokey outside – I did get a little yard work done early this morning but will be inside all afternoon. We don’t have any plans for the long weekend. Hope you are all well. Enjoy your long weekend and make sure to spend a little (or a lot) of time sewing!

Linking to:

Brag About Your Beauties, Whoop Whoop, Tish’s UFO Busting & TGIFF

Just Because – My Kind of Day

Today is my kind of day. It is National Just Because Day. Is this a real thing? I don’t know but I am choosing to believe it is, at least for today. Seems to me on Just Because day one can do pretty much as they like and not have to answer why. It is the one day when the reply to “Why?” is “Just because.”

So what is the plan? Eat ice cream in the middle of the day? Call a friend you haven’t spoken with in ages? Take a nap? Indulge in a long bath? Skip doing dishes all day long? Leave the bed unmade? Spend the day sewing even though there are dust bunnies everywhere and the bathroom hasn’t been cleaned in way too long? Sure, go for it. Just because.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a little bit Type A. Kinda rigid and a definite rule follower, that’s me. So let’s drop all of that – for today, Just Because! These times have not been easy as of late. Lots of worry, loneliness, long hot days (in California anyway), wildfires and way too much smoke, hurricanes, pandemics, homeschooling, lay-offs, unemployment, and all of the political absurdities – so, so much negativity. For today, skip all of it. I will choose to ignore the news, just because. I will do something kind for someone in my neighborhood, just because. I want to add a small extra in each order I pack and send off to a customer today, just because.

It is more than ok to indulge now and then. In fact, it is important. Acknowledge the work you put in each day, whether it is at home or at a job. Give yourself a break, just because – it is well deserved! Celebrate today and don’t explain why you are doing whatever it is that strikes your fancy – do it Just Because. Enjoy the day! Relax those standards and don’t worry about why.

Here are some pictures to make you smile. Why did I include them in this post? Just because…..

Squishy baby thighs!
A very happy three year old.

For all of you, just because:

A fun sale today at the shop – take 20% off your order, Just Because. Enter coupon code JUSTBECAUSE and receive a nice discount plus an extra little gift from me. Just because!

Coming Home to the Start of Fire Season

Sad to say, Fire Season is a thing here. Each year everyone hopes for less disaster, fewer homes lost, and that the fire won’t be in their town. It is a very strange ‘season’ that did not use to exist. I have lived in this town for 26 years and while there was an occasional wildfire, it wasn’t an annual occurrence each Indian summer. Now, come August and September, it isn’t a question of ‘if’ a fire will occur, rather it is a question of when and where it will happen.

This morning I looked at the map for California to see where fires were burning and this is what I saw. We had a series of lightening strikes on Sunday and Monday nights this week and many (most?) of these fires were started by those events. There is a fire several miles from our home. It is far enough that I highly doubt we are at risk. There was a point where my parents felt nervous for their home and property so they came and stayed for a night at our house.

My son took this outside his home early this morning.

Up and down the state, land and homes are burning. The smoke and ash are just awful. I am ever so grateful for the responders, firefighters, Salvation Army (who feed everyone working on the fires as well as trying to help those who have lost their homes), the people who set up and run the evacuation centers (which are completely complicated by the need for social distancing and proper care for the Corona Virus), the sheriffs department who is tasked with alerting the neighborhoods that need to quickly evacuate. It is a huge issue and one for which there is no simple answer. Some people (looking at you President Trump) say it is because California doesn’t take care of land management properly and there is too much fuel. I don’t know the answer. But it is awful right now and I am hoping they get the local fire contained soon so we don’t have more homes lost.

Hugging my two girls the morning before we left.

OK – on to less depressing topics. Our trip to Seattle was just wonderful. We were there just over two weeks. We didn’t go out a whole lot – much of the time was spent with our grand daughters while my son and his wife house hunted. Fortunately they found a great place and are under contract for it now. Another 4 – 6 weeks and they will move in. I think it is the perfect home for them.

When I got home I needed to get organized – always so much laundry to be done, groceries to stock up on, etc. Now that is all taken care of so I am anxious to work on some sewing.

Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt, by From Bolt to Beauty

Just before I left, I finished this strip quilt. I had been loosely following along with Michelle, From Bolt to Beauty, who was hosting a quilt along for this free pattern on hers. It goes together so fast. I had about 1/2 of a jelly roll left over from the Postage Plus quilt I made. I added some strips from other fabrics to come up with enough for this lap quilt.

Aren’t these tiny polka dots a fun background?

While the colorful bits were all from my stash, I didn’t have any neutral fabrics in a large enough piece for the background. I decided to use the last of a bolt from the shop. These cute polka dots are from Maywood Studios’ Beautiful Basics line. I think they add a sweet element to this quilt top. I am not totally sure what I will use this one for but I plan to get it basted and quilted up. Otherwise it will be hung in the closet and forgotten.

My fabric stack for the Morewood Mystery Quilt

Last night I started cutting the pieces for the Morewood Mystery Quilt. I think this will be really fun and quite different from anything I have made, based solely on the fabrics I am using. The batiks are a stack of Anthology Fabric pieces that I have had for a really long time. The polka dots are the last of a bolt from the shop. The cut list for this mystery quilt looks super easy which makes me happy. I like easy! If you are interested in joining in, click here for the info. This event is hosted by Cheryl Brickey, from Meadow Mist Designs. Her Mystery QAL is a fun annual event. We are just getting started so you haven’t missed anything yet!

This morning the sun looked like a ball of fire due to the thick smoke. This was taken from my front deck.

OK – I think that is it for now. I am going to go work on a block for the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge. I am a bit behind – July and August are both incomplete. Since we won’t be going outdoors for at least several more days, I will be able to get caught up. How about you? Tell me how you are doing and what you are working on? Sending good vibes and healthy thoughts to all of you!

Family Time, Finally!

For the last week I have been in Seattle with my son and his family! Finally! My second grand daughter was born in March, 2020 but due to Covid, I didn’t meet her until this week. This has been heavenly. Grand parenting is really the best thing ever.

The kids moved from Vermont to Washington because my DIL is (finally) done with her residency and has started working for a Seattle group of radiologists. With Covid, the move process has been really complicated. They have temporarily moved into a furnished rental while they house hunt. It has been crazy to see what house hunting in Seattle is like. The houses list and then sell within a day or two. So if one pops up that you might be interested in, you have to look at it and decide if you want it, make an offer within the day and cross your fingers and toes that you get it. Talk about a seller’s market. The kids made an offer on one last night but who knows? The realtor says there will likely be at least a 1/2 dozen offers made and all will probably be well over asking price. It is such a crazy time.

While they look at houses and my DIL settles into her new work routine, Ray, Julia and I are here to help out a bit and play with the girls. Let’s just say we have the easy end of the deal. So far we have been to the Rose Garden, the Arboretum and the Zoo. Seattle is really strict about face masks and social distancing. People respect the space of the other people they come across. At the zoo, we had to have an appointed time to enter so they could keep track of how many visitors are in the park. (I will say I thought it was a bit crowded at the zoo though.). The Arboretum was incredible though and there was plenty of room for everyone on the walking trails.

Want to see a bit of what we have been doing?

Checking out this cool tree bark at the Arboretum.

Does anyone know what kind of tree this is? The bark was really interesting. The shiny stripes were as smooth as a silky ribbon. I haven’t seen anything like it but there were quite a few on a path through the Arboretum.

Princess Mirabelle picking wild flowers in the neighborhood

We brought a big surprise to H – A stunning Cinderella dress and a tiara. She is sure the tiara is a ‘magical crown’ and sometimes she closes her eyes with great drama, bows her head deeply, and imagines something magical happening.

Dr. Mirabelle, at your service

Having a mama who is a doctor means you are quite familiar with scrubs and stethoscopes. She likes to play with mama’s real stethoscope which isn’t often available. Luckily she now has her own garb. Isn’t this picture hilarious? I just love it.

Good to the very last drop

After mama’s first day of work, we celebrated with ice cream. What a great treat. This girl does not let one bit go to waste. Julia is still getting used to the mess one three year old can make!

Tubby time happens every night – This is her evening routine and then it is off to bed.

I love watching her play in the tub. She has such a great imagination. She talks constantly and makes up all these scenarios that happen during tubby time every night.

The next part of the bedtime routine is she chooses three stories.

Grandpa and Grammy take turns reading books before bed.

Mornings are the best

What is better than baby snuggles and good coffee first thing in the morning? Nothing, absolutely nothing.

Can you do this?

Babies are so flexible. This girl immediately goes for her toes during a diaper change. She loves this game. It is crazy how she can lay her leg against her chest like this. I am fairly certain I would not be successful trying this!

Babies and quilts, the sweetest combo.

Somehow I never made this little one her own special quilt. But I did bring this bright strip quilt up for her. (I have carried kits for this one in the shop for a while – I think there is only one more left though.) She is enjoying a bit of tummy time here. Not her favorite activity but she will play like this for a short time.

We are planning to stay for a while yet so my son and his wife can continue house hunting. Hopefully they will enter into a contract soon. Then we will head home for a while until escrow closes. If they need us to come back up to watch the girls while they move into their house, we will be back in a flash. The joy of being (mostly) retired is the flexibility to go back and forth as needed. With Covid, we are planning to drive rather than deal with airports and flights. I am incredibly fortunate to have a good friend (she is also into sewing and quilting) who enjoys running the shop while I am gone. I don’t think I could have both (the shop and trips to see the kids) without her. I am so very grateful to her for helping out.

Hoping you are all well – hang in there and stay healthy. I am enjoying a moment of quiet – everyone but me and the baby took off for a walk at the beach. I am waiting for a certain chunky monkey to wake up from a very long nap. This is the life!