Incredible Stitches!

While I don’t have any work of my own to share this week, I do want to pop in and show you something pretty! As program coordinator for our guild, I have scheduled Cindy Needham to come teach a workshop in February for us. I scheduled this a long while back and felt fortunate even then to be worked into her full teaching/speaking schedule. Luckily for us, Cindy lives only two hours from here which made her very affordable for our guild.

Mini quilt pieced and quilted by Cindy Needham.

Anyway, on to the good stuff! When I schedule someone to teach, I always request a sample of the project they are going to teach. Guild members love to see the samples, as opposed to a picture, when deciding if they want to take the class. I believe most guilds provide samples for this reason. Cindy will be teaching a workshop on planning quilt motifs and quilting feathers. The sample above is pieced with silk. The mini measures approximately 20″ x 28″ or so (I didn’t actually measure it.) This particular piece is labeled as a Gaudynski sample as it looks to be stitched in the style developed and taught by Diane Gaudynski.

Up close, quilting by Cindy Needham

This sample is just incredible. I knew Cindy was an extremely talented quilter. But seeing it up close is such a treat. She free motion quilts and for the life of me, I cannot imagine ever quilting like this. I thought it would be a fun thing to share this beautiful stitching with you.

Quilting by Cindy Needham.

The motifs are so tiny and so detailed. It is hard to imagine having this sort of control. I tried to watch her lines, where she traveled to and from. Jaw dropping work!

Check out these feathers! Quilting by Cindy Needham

The feathers are beautiful but to me the most impressive are the petals to the right of the feathers. Those tiny spaces between each petal are stitched down with minute stitches causing the petals to pop. Same for the flat space between the feathers. Such teeny tiny stitches!

Quilting by Cindy Needham.

These look like tulips to me. I love them because they show off the silk beautifully. The whole effect overall is elegant. Pale colors of pink, rose and a really light gold all worked together. Cindy collects vintage linens and textiles and works them into much of her art. I am so looking forward to her trunk show and listening to her lecture. I will post an update in a couple of months after our February guild meeting.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks to so many of you who shopped my Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday sales! The last of those shipped out yesterday.

I am still cutting kits for the Push Pull QAL. My customers have been really patient as I ran out of the darker fabrics for both kits and had to re-order. An interesting thing of note – I offered four kits. Two teal blue kits where the quilter could choose a light or dark background and two orange kits with the light or dark background.

Every single kit sold so far has had the dark background. Not sure why this catches my attention but it does.

I am curious what your thoughts are? Maybe the transparency effect is shown better with the dark background? I like them both but clearly that is not the opinion of most! I still have a few kits left if you are interested. Click here to check them out.

It is going to be a rainy weekend so tomorrow I should be able to find some time in the sewing room. I have several holiday gifts I am working on and I need to make some progress with those! Sunday we are driving over to my son and his wife’s house for lunch. We haven’t seen them in a long while so I am excited about that! How about you?

Push Pull QAL has Begun

You may have seen the promotions of the Push Pull Quilt Along on social media over the past couple of weeks. This quilt along is being hosted by Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl. She is well known for her striking use of transparency technique to achieve a look of layered colors in her quilt design. Her Push Pull design also uses transparency to achieve that effect.

I like the pace of this event. She is sending out instructions approximately every three weeks. It is different in that this is a purchased pattern. I bought mine this week and look forward to participating. At this point, I am debating using a dark blue palette and making it as a crib size quilt.

A couple of weeks ago, I chatted with Yvonne and we thought it would be fun to put together some kits with fabrics that create the transparency effect for this pattern. Yvonne chose two different sets of solids.

One collection runs from teal blue to a very pale mint green.

If you preferred the lighter tones, you can choose to use the mint green as the background. Isn’t it fun just to look at how the quilt changes based on the light versus dark backgrounds?

The other includes three stunning shades of orange. Again, this one uses the darkest orange as the background.

Here you see the kit utilizing the lightest orange tone as the background. Which one do you prefer??

These kits make it easy for quilters to work with this sort of color play without making the decisions about value or depth of the shades.

Yvonne’s pattern includes three sizes to choose from, small/baby, lap quilt or queen size. This quiltwould make a really dramatic statement on a queen size bed! I appreciate Yvonne taking the time to do the math to allow quilters to make whichever size works best for them. The kits are also available in each of the three sizes. Click here to shop.

Are you going to join in? I hope so – I love this sort of social on-line QAL. Looking forward to interacting with other Push-Pull QAL participants on the Quilting Jetgirl Facebook page or Instagram. See you there!

Today is the last day of my Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday sale. If you were debating picking up a kit, today is the day! It is 20% off through the end of the day, along with all other yardage, pre-cuts, notions and patterns. The sale may end tonight but kits will be available while supplies are available.

Sparkles and Sequins

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with my son and his family. They were spending a long weekend in Colorado while my daughter-in-law interviewed for a job she is interested in. Since moving and changing jobs is a huge decision, the kids wanted time to look at the area without the added help of their two year old daughter. So I got to be the nanny for a few days.

I had not been to Denver until this trip. Denver is at an altitude of nearly 6,000 feet and I usually avoid high altitudes because of my issues with migraines. But it seemed like a reasonable decision to go and spend time with the kids and hope for the best with my head.

Fortunately, it was a wonderful trip and my head only gave me a bit of grief one evening. We stayed in an Air BnB in the perfect location. We were walking distance to a little park and coffee shop. Across the road and just down a little ways was the Denver Zoo and a great natural history museum. We kept ourselves very busy!

All sorts of sparkles.

Right before I left, I put together a little project for my grand daughter and I to do together. I wanted to make a Christmas ornament with her using what I had around the house. I gathered some green felt and a little piece of green velvet. From these, I cut some triangles to make Christmas trees. Then I went outside to find a branch that might work for the trunk of the tree. I topstitched the triangles together and put the tiniest bit of stuffing inside. Then I used hot glue to affix the branch/tree trunk. I had a container with an odd mix of sequins and shiny things in it which would make perfect decorations for the trees.

An artist at work.

We had so much fun decorating these little trees. I squirted a pool of Tacky Glue on a piece of waxed paper and gave my little one a q-tip to apply the glue to the tree. Then she carefully picked out a sparkle or sequin to put on each spot of glue. I was impressed with her attention span and how carefully she chose her decorations. It was so hard not to tell her where to put something!

Concentrating and creating.

When she was done, we had four sweet trees.

This one is for Grammy.

I kept one to hang on our tree here at home and she took the other three back to Vermont. I just love this age. We really had a wonderful time together.

Now I am back at home and catching up on things. I am also enjoying a cold that I caught during the trip. Yuk. Doesn’t it seem like this happens all the time – fly somewhere and then catch a bug?

Thanksgiving is this week in the US and I am getting ready to cook. Julia came home last night on the train. Yahoo!! We are hoping to spend lots of time baking and hanging out over the long weekend. She will also be studying a lot – end of quarter projects are due soon and then she has her first round of final exams. Busy girl!

Finally, make sure to come by the shop this weekend! I will be holding a 20% off sale starting on Small Business Saturday lasting through Cyber Monday. All yardage, precuts, patterns and notions are all on sale! This is a great time to stock up for yourself or to choose some gifts for those special people on your list. All orders of $10 or more will receive a free fat quarter tucked in with your order. Happy shopping!!

Rituals and Traditions with Meg Cox

I think I have mentioned that I am the program chairperson for my local quilt guild. I really like this task as it allows me the opportunity to learn about so many great teachers and speakers. I talk and email with them and then choose who might come to the area and talk with us or teach a fun class. About a year ago, I was told that Meg Cox would be doing a West Coast speaking tour and would be in our area. She has a friend here she wanted to visit and it worked out she could schedule her visit with her friend around the time our guild met.

Meg Cox is a writer, journalist, and a quilter. She has had a really extensive career which includes authoring five books, being a reporter for the Wall Street Journal for 17 years, a quilter for about 30 years, and has written many articles on family traditions and rituals for lots of trade magazines. I felt really lucky to be able to work this out. Our guild is fairly small and wouldn’t have been able to pay for her travel out here and back as she lives on the east coast. This was a gift dropped in our laps, so to speak.

Last week Meg spoke to our guild about the value of family traditions. We heard about how traditions and rituals give family members something to look forward to and create a stronger feeling of connection. She shared some fun ways to build tradition within the family, whether your family be a traditional one or a creatively built family of friends and/or relatives. She also talked about the wonderful quilting traditions we all immerse ourselves in. Memory quilts and making quilts for those in need is a huge tradition in our arena and she shared all sorts of beautiful examples of these. Her lecture was really timed perfectly as we go into our holiday season which is rich with tradition. I encourage you to check out her website. Meg also has a wonderful monthly newsletter, titled Quilt Journalist Tell All. I subscribe to it and enjoy reading it quite a bit.

Listening to her made me think about the rituals my family has. Some are common and others maybe not so much. But these are the times we all look forward to and look back on fondly. These rituals keep us connected. For example, in my family we made birthdays special in small ways. The person celebrating their birthday chose the meal for dinner that day. I remember when my kiddos were small, they would choose the same thing over and over. Julia went through a stage of wanting hot dogs with dill relish. Not my favorite meal (by a long ways!) but when she was 6, 7 and probably 8 that was her birthday meal. My son Ian chose chicken and tortilla casserole over and over for a couple of years in a row.

Growing up, my family had lots of rituals to observe, both within our family and our religion. I was raised in the Catholic church and attended parochial school through 8th grade. Catholicism is heavily steeped in ritual, as are most religions. But the traditions I really remember are from within our family. Watching Christmas TV specials was such a treat each year. Living before DVD’s and DVR’s, we really looked forward to watching Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. My sisters and I looked forward to watching these cartoons.

When the six of us were old enough to know the hard truth about Santa, my mother decided we would draw names and fill each other’s Christmas stocking. I think this was one of my favorite things about Christmas; filling a stocking for a sister of mine and opening my stocking that was filled by a sister. We were supposed to keep it a secret and not tell each other whose stocking we were filling. I doubt we were very good at that.

We filled each others stockings with things like nail polish, 17 Magazine, lip gloss, Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers, and Love’s Baby Soft perfume (because what girl doesn’t want to walk around in a cloud of baby powder scent?) and candy.

Were you a teenager in the 70’s? If so, do you remember this lip gloss?? It was an incredibly thick goop that we applied with a ‘roller ball’ applicator. Ugh. By the way, what is this girl doing kissing Roger, Richie, Fred, David and Bob – hmmmm…

There was also the lip balm style that came in all sorts of flavors. I have such fond memories of our secret Santa stockings we made for each other!

After the lecture I was visiting with some guild members and it surprised me to hear that some didn’t really have strong memories of family traditions while growing up. This made me a little bit sad. I very much enjoy these connections and hope my kids have fond memories of our Christmases, birthdays and other family times.

I would love to hear about your traditions. Let’s share them in the comments. Maybe we can inspire each other and learn some ideas for fun ways to build our family celebrations and holidays. If this has not been something you have done, I urge you to take just one idea and implement it. Your kiddos or grand children will love it. It is a wonderful way to enhance family life.

Quilt Shows and Quilt Alongs

Good morning all. I am enjoying a lovely, quiet morning here with coffee and some blog reading and I thought it a good time to catch up. It has been a while right?

Last weekend I spent a couple of days as a vendor at a fun show in the small town of Brownsville. I can’t say how much I enjoyed this little show. It was so relaxed and the people, quilters and wanderers both, were incredibly friendly. This guild has a membership of about 30 people with roughly half being very active. The town has a population of approximately 1300 people. It was quite nostalgic for me as my first husband’s grandparents lived in Brownsville and we spent many Thanksgiving weekends with them in their very tiny house. Grandma Ada cooked on a woodturning stove and was into quilting, crochet, and stamp collecting. I have one quilt of hers, all hand stitched hexies. It is in need of repairs, being made in the 1940’s and hopefully one day I will get around to it.

The toddler books and the sweet tape measures were a popular item during the show.

Back to the show! Because it was a very small show, I didn’t bring as much inventory as I normally do. There was a corner of one table with fun notions and projects. The toddler fabric books were a fun find for customers – I had a sample of each one available.

I pre-cut quite a bit of fabric into one yard cuts so I would have enough selection without having to pack and unpack all of those bolts. Not shown in the picture is another table which displayed a number of bolts as well as the pre-cuts.

Everyone wanted to pet Jack, an emotional therapy dog used by the Sherrif’s department.

Other than the friendly quilters, one thing I was really taken with was the presentation done on Sunday afternoon at the end of the show. This small group of quilters makes an impressive number of community service quilts each year. They get together every Wednesday to work on their CS quilts. The stack they had on display was just amazing. On Sunday afternoon, the representatives of the groups to which the quilts are donated are introduced and presented with their quilts. There was a representative from the Fire Department, Hospice, local Domestic Violence as well as the Sheriff’s Department. Most of the representatives told a heartwarming story of how the quilts are used before thanking the group and loading up with quilts for the year. There was an emotional support dog who came along with the sheriff that works with children who have been removed from scary situations. The idea of presenting the quilts in this way was really touching. Do any of you do this with your community service quilts? I think it provided a meaningful opportunity for the quilters who make all of these gifts to see how valued and appreciated their work is.

October piecing for the Mosaic Mystery QAL

Last week I finished up the October blocks for the Mosaic Mystery QAL. These were simple (as you can see) but I think this is truly the only sewing I did all week! At least I am caught up and can begin the November piecing now.

The Truckee River in November

My husband and I spent a couple of days away earlier in the week. We had to go up and check on our house in Downieville since we had not been up there for so long. Because of the power outages we had to toss everything in the fridge and freezer which was quite annoying. We also spent a day with my in-laws which was lovely. We took a long walk along the river and got a lot of visiting in.

Coming soon!

Finally, just in case you haven’t seen this yet – there is another great quilt along coming up. The Push-Pull Quilt Along begins next week. The schedule is very relaxed with prompts announced every three weeks. Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl is the host and as with the last QAL, it is a transparency quilt. This technique is so unusual and the results are always striking. Needle and Foot will be sponsoring some of the prizes for the link ups. Quilt fabric kits will also be available in the shop for those who want to choose a ready-made collection of solids. The kits were curated by Yvonne so you know they will be a stunning set of color. Photos of these will be shared in a couple of weeks.

This is a three day weekend for many in the US (honoring the veterans in our country). For me, it means Julia had time to come home from school. She is here until Tuesday early morning, when I will take her back down to school. She sent a list of foods she has been missing so lots of cooking is going on. This is what all of my kids seemed to do when they were home during college. “Mom, will you make XXX for dinner?” So spaghetti and meatballs, bbq pulled pork with slaw, and Baked Potato Soup are on the menu this weekend. Ah, a light and low fat menu to be sure!! I love feeding my kiddos. Hope you are enjoying the long weekend if you are in the US. Many thanks to all of those in Service who support our country now or did so in the past!

One Adorable Pumpkin

Happy Halloween!! Your recent two weeks of family time in Vermont were wonderful. The goal was to hang out with our son and his wife and spend as much time as possible with our grand daughter. 

Grandpa was her favorite during our visit!

While there my grand daughter came down with a miserable virus and had terrible croup. Poor little girl was sick for a long stretch and toward the end of it, my husband came down with it.  Not a fun bug at all!  The two days before we left, my son and his wife were starting to come down with it but it didn’t look like they were going to be quite as sick.

Since we were having some quiet time at home and H was taking long naps due to being sick, i did have time to do some sewing. I pulled out my DIL’s sewing machine to make a Halloween costume for H. She and her mom found a cute picture of a little girl dressed up as a pumpkin with green leggings and t-shirt on underneath. 


I used a Simplicity pattern for the costume. There is a Jo-Ann’s in the next town over so off I went in search of orange fabric. At first I planned to use a wool felt but it was so stiff. I knew H wouldn’t have fun running around in that at her Halloween party (at her daycare).  I was with my son Kyle (he and his wife drove over from New York for a weekend) and he spotted a bolt of orange fleece way up on a top shelf, not yet unwrapped. Lucky for me he is 6’ 2” and was happy to hop up and down to grab it. This was perfect. 


The pumpkin is lined with fleece and filled with batting. Even trick or treating in Vermont, this girl is going to be quite warm. Her outfit is so heavy!!  There was a stencil for the face but i felt like it was too big so I ended up cutting the pieces out free hand. Using a few bits of ‘Wonder-Under’, I fused the face to the front and appliquéd them with a simple zig zag stitch. 
The pattern called for a casing to be made at the hemline with elastic inserted to make it puffy. However with the fleece, there was already a nice shape to the pumpkin. Instead, I trimmed the fleece lining to be about two inches shorter than the outer layer.  Turning one inch of the outer layer to the inside, I machine stitched the hemline. 

She was trying on the hat when I first finished it. But it was a bit too big.

Ok- my favorite part of the whole costume is definitely the hat. When I made it, H was quite happy to wear it about the house for an afternoon so I really hope she wears it on Halloween. It looks so darn cute on her. I made it during a nap time, guessing at the sizes and it was too big for her.  There wasn’t a clean way to fix this without doing a lot of seam ripping. I had to rip one seam on the  pumpkin and it was difficult to manage with that puffy fleece fabric. So I cheated and took a little tuck and just stitched it up. The hat is still a bit large but better than before. 

So darn cute!

When I left I had not had time to run out and buy some velcro which was needed for the shoulder straps. So I left it unfinished and my daughter-in-law took care of it. I received some really cute pictures of H having fun with her costume today.

Getting ready for daycare earlier this morning. So much excitement!

I am glad they had a little party at her daycare. I hear they are supposed to have a lot of rain tonight so that may put the kibosh on any trick or treating.

I love the green and white striped leggings and t-shirt under her pumpkin costume.

Just in case there was a chance for trick or treating, I also made her a tiny treat bag to carry.

This was designed off the cuff and I didn’t write down any measurements. If I had to guess, I would say it finished at about 8″ x 11″ or so. Maybe even a bit smaller. I had that polka dot ribbon on hand (actually had all of the supplies on hand) and I took two pieces and sewed them together (wrong sides together) just to make it a bit heftier.

The bag is lined, which makes it a bit stronger. Since she does not yet know what trick or treating really is, she won’t be disappointed this year if they skip it due to weather. She can play with this bag or use it next year.

While I was there H and I made a festive bandana for their dog Wusha. I think Wusha looks a bit embarrassed to wear it but this dog will do anything my grand daughter asks of her. I had the triangular pieces cut and pinned and then had H sit on my lap and help me feed the fabric through the machine. I tried to take a selfie because it was so sweet but I am really, really not good at those and didn’t get much of a picture! But we had fun and she was thrilled to help Gram-gram sew for a few minutes.

Introducing Georgie Ghost

One last project while we were there was to make a little ghost to hang in the dining room. We had been taking walks around the neighborhood and she really liked looking at the neighbors decorations. She loved the ghosts and a few little scarecrows we saw. I asked her if she would like to make a ghost and she was so excited.

This was super easy. One styrofoam ball from Wal-Mart and a packet of cheesecloth from the grocery store. I cut the cheesecloth in two strips and with the help of one happy two year old, layered the ball with the cheesecloth. Then we worked together to cut the eyes, nose and mouth. I had gotten her a glue stick that starts out purple and dries clear. This way she could see where she was putting the glue to put the pieces on. The addition of the bow on her head turned this little ghost into a girl. H and I had so much fun with this project and it was the perfect amount of work for a two year old.

Checking to see if Georgie Ghost can fly.

My son took the photos of H and her ghost – they are so sweet! We really enjoyed our time with the kids and can’t wait for our next visit. Grand parenting is the best and it would be even better if we all lived on the same side of the country!! Someday…

Linking up with a few fun places, including the monthly Favorite Finish party at Meadow Mist Designs. Be sure to check the top of the page under Link Ups!

Scrappy Fall Table Runner

I have a fun finish to share with you all today. I have been doing a little collaborating with Carole of From My Carolina Home for the past couple of weeks. She is hosting her fabulous Autumn Jubilee which happens each fall season. One of her projects is a set of placemats which I supplied the fabric for. You can check those out here – they are really pretty. Carole does an amazing job creating tablescapes – whenever I see one, I wish I was sharing a meal with her! I love what she did for this festive autumn table. Below you can take a look at the fabric she used. The kit is available in the shop but in very limited supply. I suspect it will sell out quickly. It is a great bundle and she is supplying the tutorial for you!

I wanted to make a scrappy project for my table as well. In return, I decided to try out one of her Scrap Dance patterns.

I chose the Scrap Dance Two Step pattern for my project. As you know, I like simplicity and this pattern has some great blocks that are really easy to piece. Just my style. Though it is intended for a larger quilt (which is really necessary for the secondary patterns to show up), I decided to use it for a table runner containing only three blocks. This is the perfect size for my table because the blocks finish at 12″ square.

I chose pieces from a few of my scrap bins as well as a few fabrics in my shop. It is hard to resist using them, they are just downstairs! Can you blame me?? I cut a bit of Sweet Harvest for the centers of each block as I really love that plum color. Then I used scraps of other Art Gallery pieces for the remaining. The background is Natural Elements. Be it from the scrap bin, or the shop, I did use all Art Gallery Fabric for the top. A little Maureen Cracknell, Pat Bravo, Bonnie Christine and some Sharon Holland, are all put together for an autumnal scrappy look. I do think you could go scrappy on the background but only if they were the same values and the colors were super close. Otherwise the pattern might be lost.

Because there is so much going on with the colors and patterns of the fabrics, I went very simple with the quilting. I did some ditch stitching first to hold everything together. Following that I only outlined some of the background pieces.

The rectangles on either end as well as the triangles making up the star in the center. To keep things calm, I used the same fabric for the border and binding.

Originally, I had planned to make four blocks. However (after cutting pieces) I decided it would be too long for my table. This left me with some extra cut pieces to incorporate into the back. You can’t see the entire back here but the pieced stripe extends the length of the runner. The brown solid was in my stash so I used that bit up.

I have to say, Carole’s pattern was a dream to use. I think it would make an adorable bed size quilt. If you used solid scraps, it would be a bit on the modern side. With prints or repro fabrics you would achieve a very traditional look. I love that Carole includes so many sizes in her patterns. This pattern includes everything from table topper to a king size bed quilt. This gives the quilter many options and the math is all done for you! If you haven’t yet made one of her patterns, go check them out here. She has a number of them to choose from and I know you will enjoy using her beautiful designs and easily understood instructions.

Southern Vermont is gorgeous at this time of year!

I am loving autumn here in the north east. We have had clear, gorgeous skies as well as some stormy gray days. Fall is my absolute favorite season so I plan to enjoy it regardless of the weather!

Linking up with a few fun places. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Grammy Time

Guess what? I am in Vermont hanging out with the cutest two year old ever! We arrived on Sunday last weekend. We are staying for two weeks which is just a treat. My husband came along on this trip which pleased H no end. She does love her Grandpa.

We have been on grand parent duty a bit and have also had a couple of days to do some touring around. As you can imagine, the beautiful fall leaves are at their peak right now. Tuesday and Wednesday Ray and I spent time driving east and south to the bottom of Vermont and then up the western side. Of course, this state is small so it doesn’t take long to do this. We stopped along the way though to enjoy the sites.

I will share my two favorite places we visited! First of all we found a place called Vermont Salvage in White River Junction. It is a huge building with three floors of all sorts of things that were kept during various home renovations. Ray and I spent a long time looking through pile and piles of fun things that would be great to have if we were fixing up a house

The selection was incredible. Everything from tubs and toilets to mantles and stained glass windows. There were bins filled with hardware, hinges, door handles, cabinet pulls and more.

If only we could have thought of a way to use these old jail cell doors!

Here we found a wooden phone booth. Where did this come from? I just loved it.

This wooden slide was so fun. It was quite rickety and I found myself wondering if it was made by some devoted father (or grandfather?) for their children.

I allows was thinking that my bum would in no way fit this slide! It was clearly made for little kids. Also, it was so steep. Think of how many kids flew down that slide and scrambled up the ladder for another turn!

The other place we really enjoyed was a trip to King Arthur Flour. I love their website and use their recipes quite often. Our local grocery sells quite a variety of their flours too. When Julia was out here last summer she had lunch here with her brother and sister-in-law. She told me about it and said the shop was something I would love. Know what? She was so right!

The store is enormous and is filled with baking tools, kitchen decor, linens, cookbooks and baking mixes of all kinds. The only thing that restrained us was the fact that we would have to tote things home to California and the fact that lots of the items are available online.

Being there made me want to go home and bake. I really love cooking and baking as does my husband.

They make wonderful breads and baked goods onsite. Samples were everywhere which was a great selling technique! I liked the huge windows which allowed us to watch the baking in process.

Even more, they have a beautiful classroom set up. The day we were there the class was on making hot water pastry as well as short pastry crusts. I wish I could have snuck in the room just to listen for a while!

The restaurant is great too. We had a fantastic lunch after shopping and wandering. So yummy.

We did purchase a number of the mixes and plan to make some over the weekend. My middle son and his wife are driving over from Brooklyn where they live. So family time means lots of food (at least in our family!)

I will close now with this fun announcement! Guess who is going to be a big sister?? We are so excited for grand daughter number two! She is due to arrive in mid-March. Big sister seems to have some understanding of what is to come. She has told me the new baby will cry a lot, want a pacifier and lots of bottles. However she clearly doesn’t get the difference in boy names or girl names. She has asked that this child be called Ferdinand. I am really hoping her parents can talk her out of this!

That is my news for now. Hope all is well with you!

Susie’s Quilt is Finished

Months ago I started to make a memory quilt for my friend Susie. Her husband passed away in September of 2018 and some months later she gave me a stack of his shirts to make a quilt with. I first posted here about this project if you want to see earlier pictures.

That weird little curved line at the too right is a branch from a tree. Creative photography?!

Yesterday I had lunch with Susie and (finally) gave her the quilt. She is really happy to have it and I am hoping she enjoys snuggling up with her quilt and a good book now that cooler weather is upon us. I think it finished at about 65 x 75″ so that is a nice size.

This quilt is rustic and cozy. Because all of the shirts were plaids, I chose to make each four patch block with a solid (from various pairs of shorts) and a plaid. The shirts were Rick’s favorites and he had worn some of them quite a bit. This made it nearly impossible to get a straight cut on the plaids. But I didn’t worry about it. This is a memory quilt and it will serve its purpose well.

My favorite part of the quilt is the red flannel that was used as the border and for the two red heart appliqués. The fabric was taken from Rick’s bathrobe and it frames the quilt perfectly. I love the deep red color. The binding is a soft creamy flannel that is in the shop. It seemed to be just the right choice with that rich red border. It complements the pale green gingham backing too.

I don’t know the name (or if there is a name) for this pattern I quilted on the four patch blocks. I quilted a diagonal line and then swooped up one side and down the other creating a leaf shape. It was so easy to do and it looks pretty. I first started with a free motion foot and had a heck of a time getting across the main intersection of the four patch. It made me crazy that I couldn’t get over that point without jumping all over the place. When I finally made the switch to the walking foot, it was just a breeze. I didn’t even think of that in the beginning but this design works really well with a walking foot.

I rarely remember to label quilts but I did put one on the back of this quilt. My handwriting isn’t the best but I am glad I labeled it.

There are some tucks on the backing that really gave me trouble. Other than that, this was a wonderful project and I enjoyed making it. I hope Susie takes comfort in it and loves having the quilt as reminder of her many happy years with Rick.

Two Busy Weeks

I can hardly believe I haven’t posted in two weeks! The time flew by and here we are at the end of September. When we got home from our Maui vacation we switched gears and Julia started packing for college. She had been accumulating things for her dorm room over the summer and it was piled up in her room. Time to get organized!

So many things to pack and bring to school. Last weekend Ray and I took her to move into her dorm room. It was such a fun time, though bittersweet as I am sure you all understand. We are really proud of her and know she will do great things at school. But on the other hand, we knew we would miss her.

Even though the university splits move-in days among the odd number and even number dorm rooms with half coming Saturday and the other half on Sunday, the lines were long. So many kids to check in and issue room keys to.

It didn’t take too long to get most of her things unpacked. Her room is cozy and she is happy with it.

I even brought her a tiny pumpkin from our garden for her desk.

We took a short walk to visit the dairy cows which live around the corner from her dorms. (You can see the dorm buildings in the background). Julia is right where she belongs!

In all honesty, it took a lot of scrubbing to get the stink off these boots and make it acceptable for her to have them in her room!! (They are usually kept in the garage!)

A picture with her proud father!

And one with her proud mom as well! So now we all get used to this new change. She is making new friends and will soon be buried in homework.

I did very little sewing this week. But I made sure to keep up with the Mosaic Mystery QAL. Here is the first set of blocks which was the piecing we were assigned for September. There were also a bonus stack of 2 1/2″ half square triangles that resulted from clipping the corners of the larger blocks. I don’t know exactly what I will do with those but surely they will get used at some point. Now I wait for the October instructions!

This morning I worked on quilting my Panda strip quilt but got frustrated because the tension was not right and I have to spend some time with my seam ripper. Not in the mood for unpicking the quilting, I switched gears and decided to do some cooking. I made flatbread for the first time. It was fun and so easy!

Do you cook with recipes on an iPad? I do and so far I haven’t spilled on it. But there is always that chance. Anyway, the recipe is from Keepin It Kind, a vegan site. We are not vegan but I do like to cook dairy free for my husband when possible. Flatbread is unleavened so it is very quick to make. No rising time or kneading is required. The ingredients are mixed with the mixer and then divided into eight equal portions. Rolling them into little pancakes was a breeze.

My mistake was in not heating up the cast iron skillet quite enough with the first one or two pieces. But once it got really hot, they bubbled up and browned nicely.

Yum! If you haven’t had these, flatbread is really like a thick, doughy tortilla. They only cook about one minute on each side.

The recipe only made eight pieces which was perfect. Although if I had made more, I suppose they would keep in the freezer.

We had some for lunch with soup. For dinner we will have them with leftover roast chicken and caramelized onions on them. I am fairly certain we won’t have leftovers. 😉

If you like simple recipes, this one is a great one to try. The only modification I would make is to increase the salt. The recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon but I think I will double that the next time I make these. There will definitely be a next time because they were really yummy and a lot of fun to make.

As for sewing, I plan to continue to quilt the little panda project and I am also wanting to make a trick or treat bag for my grand daughter. Hopefully I will get to both of these during the week. Hope all of you are well and happy! What have you been up to? Tell me in the comments – I have missed everyone!