Monthly Archives: September 2021

WIPs Be Gone 2021

I am in good company as I join in with Leanne at Devoted Quilter for the 100 Day Challenge, WIPs Be Gone 2021. Her thought was we should all gather together and use the last 100 days of 2021 to finish up some projects that have been languishing for whatever reason. I have plenty of these so it makes perfect sense to use this as a way to get some momentum going. Technically this challenge started on September 23rd but I am just now writing a post about it.

This is my list of unfinished items I will try to move forward on or actually finish. It certainly isn’t a list of all unfinished projects but these are WIPs I would love to complete. Leanne has been a great cheerleader for all of us. I strongly suggest you check it out and join in. You still have 93 days left!! (Isn’t that crazy – 93 days left in 2021.)

I have made some progress! Last week I was able to stitch my blocks together for my Positivity Quilt. I am making a smaller version with 25 blocks and a couple of borders. The blocks are assembled and now I need to measure the top and cut borders. More on that as it comes along.

Which month was purple for RSC 2021??

I have a list of all the colors I am behind on for RSC 2021. Purple is now caught up!

Same question – teal blue – which month was it????

Teal blue is now finished as well. I have the dark blue blocks half way to finished too!! (It was surprising to me how little dark blue I had in the scrap bins.) I think that only leaves the September blocks in orange. This makes me so happy – I tend to be one who just sets something aside if I get too far behind. But I really like these blocks and want to finish this quilt. Before moving on to something else, I need to finish both the dark blue and orange blocks. It will be really fun to layout the blocks and see how they are all looking when together. After these blocks are done, I will move on to quilting one of the finished tops. Now you know my progress for the first week of the challenge! Yahoo!!

Hope everyone is doing well – enjoy the upcoming weekend.

Shorts Part 2 – The Spoonflower Version

Hoping you read yesterday’s post as it will help make sense of this one. If you haven’t seen it yet, click here and take a minute to read it.

The tale continues….. It was sometime just after the cute cow fabric debacle I decided I wanted to try printing a special fabric on Spoonflower.

I need to back up just a bit. In March I wrote a post about a very special t-shirt my son made for me for my 60th birthday. He replicated a t-shirt I had back in my college days that I dearly loved.

Three Cow Poly T-Shirts!

When Kyle recreated the graphic, he also ordered shirts for two Cal Poly alums in the family as well as Julia, our newest Cal Poly student. I love these shirts so much. Talking to Kyle when he was visiting here in May, I asked him for the file for the graphic. He deleted the text saying “class of 1982” to make it more generic. I knew it would be fun to get some fabric printed with the graphic as some point.

In July I decided to work on getting fabric made. Spoonflower came to mind and I was just hoping it would be a user friendly website. They did not disappoint. I was able to upload the file in its original size which is approximately 9″ x 11″. Then there was a tool to reduce the size of the graphic and another tool to show how the picture should lay on the fabric and to help decide if the picture should be off set or in columns and rows.

Easy peasy, right? Well, yes, for the most part. I wanted to try making a knit fabric and a woven fabric. I didn’t really have a plan for how I was going to use them at this point. Spoonflower is not a bargain but I think it is great application for something special. The two yards of fabric (one woven cotton and one jersey knit) came to just over $40.00, including the shipping. I placed the order and then waited.

An original design!

When the order arrived, just a few weeks later, I opened the knit fabric first. It was perfect. I wanted the graphic to be large; it is just about 3″ tall and 4″ wide. Take a look at the bottom where it says “Designed by Needle and Foot”. I love that. No one in the world has this bit of fabric. That gives me a tiny thrill. The quality of the knit is very nice. It is thick and soft. I pre-washed it and it laundered beautifully.

OK – then I opened the woven cotton version. I had intended for the graphic to be smaller than the knit version. I (thought I) sized it to be 2″ tall by 3″ wide. Ooops..

This picture shows my son (one of my Cal Poly Alumni) and I holding the fabric I received. These graphics are enormous with only four pictures fitting on a one yard piece. I went back to my order, thinking surely it was a mistake of the part of Spoonflower, but no, this is the size I actually ordered. It is so big that two of the graphics are cut off so the oval frame is not intact. I had no idea what to do with it.

At first I thought I would make a pillow case for Julia. But the size of the graphic doesn’t work for that. Then I thought of making her a banner for her dorm room. She really liked this idea. I used a fusible woven interfacing on the back of the print to stiffen it and then sewed a backing to it. After turning it right side out, I slip-stitched the opening, give it a good press and put a hanging sleeve on on the back.

Here it is on the wall of her dorm room. It looks great!

Moving on to the knit fabric. I really wanted to make shorts for her. I also wanted the shorts to fit!! Once I was finally successful with the last pair of shorts I made her (see previous post) I felt confident enough to cut into my $22.00 per yard knit fabric.

I think these are so cute – certainly no one on campus will have these pajama shorts. Well I assume so – I doubt she will see many kids wandering around campus in their pajamas. I just put them in the mail to her yesterday. She hasn’t tried them on but I think they will be fine. Once she has them, I will ask for a picture so I can update the post.

Thus ends the tale of the many pair of shorts I made over the last 5 weeks or so. I ended up with three pair and Julia has two. It all worked out, even if I am still a bit bruised from banging my head against the same wall for several days. Will this whole experience teach me not to be quite so stubborn? I hope so, oh how I hope so.

Shorts, Shorts, and More Shorts-Part 1

This is a tale of personal stubbornness, my own to be exact. It is a long story because I am quite the stubborn person. Some months ago, I found a cute piece of fabric while shopping at Ben Franklin. It was green with tiny black and white cows all over. I thought it would be fun to use it for a pair of sleep shorts for Julia. Then it sat on the shelf, patiently waiting to be cut up and used.

When I finally got around to making the shorts it all came together quickly. The shorts were so cute.

I was even feeling smug that I thought to add on a little pocket on one side for the ever present cell phone.

But smugness is not a quality that bodes well for a person. The shorts didn’t fit Julia at all. They were very tight across the bum and the rise was too short. I had already finished and trimmed the seams and couldn’t let anything out to make them bigger. Why I didn’t have her try them on earlier in the process is unknown to this sewist. Another mystery is I have made her flannel pajama pants from this same pattern a couple of times and they fit just fine.

Luckily, they fit me so I decided to just keep them for myself – who doesn’t want a pair of shorts with tiny cows all over? Determined to make my daughter a pair of shorts, I decided to take the pattern, cut it a bit larger and have another go at it.

This time I used a batik fabric I had on hand. I knew she wouldn’t really like them but I wanted to figure out how to cut them to fit her and then I could make a pair that fit her. (Note – I knew I liked the fabric and would keep them for myself anyway so no loss of effort here!)

This pair fit better across her backside but was still too short in the rise. Of course they were too short in the rise, I had not adjusted that at all. I only adjusted the width of the hip area. Oh well, another pair of shorts is put in my drawer and I returned to the proverbial drawing board.

These look wrinkled because I have worn and washed them a number of times already.

Talking to Julia, I decided I would try making jersey knit shorts. Maybe a stretchier fabric was what I needed. I have some knits left from my shop and cut out a pair of gray shorts – after prewashing the fabric to avoid any shrinkage problems. But guess what? They didn’t fit – not at all. OK – what is that saying? Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. (Rita Mae Brown) I was absolutely stuck with this whole project – totally stuck. Julia very patiently asked why I continued to use the same pattern (well because I am stubborn, that’s why). She pointed out the rise in the front and back was the same. She needed the back side to have a higher rise than the front. A lightbulb burst into flames right above my noggin. Of course! Without sharing too much info, I have a very flat bum and Julia’s is not. She is much curvier than I (lucky girl)! Jeez, why didn’t I see this? Because I am s-t-u-b-b-o-r-n, that’s why.

I went on line and looked at tutorials and patterns. I landed on the Life Sew Savory page and found what looked to be a great (free!) pattern. Lounge shorts that could be made with either a woven or knit fabric. I printed it out and got it all taped together.

I made a pair right away with an old piece of knit I had bought at a thrift store some years ago. They fit!!! Julia loved them! Success! OK – the story doesn’t end here. Come back tomorrow for Shorts, Part 2 – the Spoonflower Version. See you then!!

Changes All the Way Around

So many new experiences on the horizon for all members of the family. Today we take Julia to college. After more than a year of very boring college on-line in her bedroom, she finally gets to be in person again. She chose to return to a new university though. This one is 350 miles from home, as opposed to the 55 mile drive to her previous school. That is a big change. She won’t be coming home on weekends so easily. But I think this is the right choice for her. The school has a very different vibe, has 18,000 students as opposed to 35,000. The town is wonderful and it is just a few miles to the beach so the weather is much better. All good things. She is feeling nervous and excited, as are her parents.

Ray and I are taking a couple of days to relax after we settle Julia at school. We haven’t been to the coast since pre-pandemic and are excited to do this. No indoor restaurants or shopping though. Just a few hikes, sleeping in and reading books. Sounds like heaven to me. The air shouldn’t be smokey and the temps in the low 70’s – oh my gosh, I cannot wait. I am not bringing my laptop or iPad so won’t be blogging or reading blog posts for the rest of the week.

My shop is done! I put it on vacation mode which means it is closed but I have the option to use it again. I don’t want to lose the name. I believe if I truly close it with Etsy, I would not be able to use the same name again. It is best to leave my options open. What a strange feeling. My usual morning was to check in when I first woke up to see what orders came in during the night. Then make the coffee and head downstairs to prep any orders needing to be packed. This weekend I felt I was fumbling around not checking my phone for orders or customer questions that needed my response; it was so strange. But I am grateful and excited for this next phase.

Because of the shop, I spent a fair amount of time with Facebook and Instagram. But as most people know, that habit becomes a huge time suck. Look at one thing and down the rabbit hole I would go, wondering where that 30 minutes (or more) went when I resurfaced. I deleted FB and IG from my phone – at least for now I am going to stay away from social media. By the way, I don’t consider this blog, or the blogs I follow, as a form of social media. I love them and will continue to participate. I am unsure why, but social media has been annoying me lately; this means I need to take a break.

OK – that’s it for now. The car is packed to the brim – I hope Ray left a spot for me to squeeze in!! We will get our youngest moved in and then feel happy/sad while she moves a little farther from us (metaphorically and physically). I hope she is happy, makes some lifelong friends and learns all the things she wants to learn. I hope she loves, or at least likes, the three girls she is going to have as roommates and experiences all the fun college has to offer. She told me last night she is just excited to hang out with people her own age. She has been has been isolated with her parents and grandparents during the pandemic and really needs friends younger than 60. Haha.

I hope you are all doing well. If you have a second, I would love to hear your thoughts on Instagram and Facebook in the comments. (I won’t respond right away but promise to in a week or so.) I’ll be back in touch soon but until then, go make something!

Positivity Quiltalong-Winners!

Hello all – I was supposed to post this yesterday but it was totally forgotten. I am so sorry. We had a such a nice weekend with my son and his wife in town visiting. My parents and two of my sisters, plus one wonderful niece were able to come for dinner on Saturday night. It was a lovely weekend filled with visiting and family time. Unfortunately, writing this post up was completely overlooked. Before I announce the winners, let me thank Preeti and all of the amazing quilters who participated in this event benefitting Mercyful Quilts. Currently I have received 21 quilts and there are several more on the way or in process (including my own which has gotten a bit closer to the flimsy stage.) To see a parade of quilts, those received and those on the way, check out this post by Preeti. She also announced another quilt along for summer of 2022 which is so exciting!

Without further chit chat, here are the winners (in no particular order)!!

Judy Blauer – a wonderful scrap pack curated and donated by Preeti

Roseanne Nelson – the fat quarter bundle of Mystical Land, designed by Maureen Cracknell and donated by Art Gallery Fabric

Nikki Moshier – the fat quarter bundle of West Palm, designed by Katie Skoog and donated by Art Gallery Fabric

Bonnie Stapleton – a five piece bundle of Mayfair with a yard of coordinating yardage donated by yours truly!

Wendy Tuma – $25 certificate to Hancock’s of Paducah

Liz Arbaugh – the 1/2 yard bundle of Geometric Bliss, designed by Jeni Baker and donated by Art Gallery Fabric

Sylvia from Treadle Stitches – a wonderful scrap pack curated and donated by Preeti

This wraps up the 2021 Positivity Quiltalong. If you have quilts in process, I am very excited to see them. Send them when you are ready. Winners will be notified by email this morning!! Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!!!

Because any post is a bore without a picture, here is my sweet girl after snitching a chocolate out of the box of See’s she was thrilled to find! Pretty much the same expression I have after a piece of good chocolate.

Quilts, Projects and a Fun App

The Mercyful Quilts continue to arrive! I have a large stack of quilts to deliver to the hospital and I know they will be thrilled to have them.

Lots of boxes to recycle as I open the beauties!

Pieced by Tina C from Delaware.

Most of the quilts are from the Positivity QAL, hosted by Sew Preeti Quilts. However I also received two quilts from Tina C in Delaware. Tina has contributed to Mercy before and she is a fantastic quilter. I really like this sampler in particular though.

Isn’t this the cutest?

Up at the top, there is the sweetest pup appliqu├ęd to the quilt. It is about ten inches tall and such a fun surprise when you look through the quilt.

Also made by Tina C.

This smaller lap quilt is a pretty one. I do love Dresdens! This will be so sweet for a petite patient.

From Wendy!!

This Positivity quilt was sent to us from Wendy of Pieceful Thoughts. This one is particularly fun for me because she used a bundle of fat quarters from my shop. A couple of years ago I held an event selling a series of blogger bundles and Wendy collected them. This bundle was curated by Quilting Jetgirl. It is fun to see the bundle made into a quilt.

Made by Mary R in New Mexico

This quilt came at the same time as Wendy’s which was sort of fun because they have a very similar vibe.

With Mary’s quilt, there is such a subtle shade difference in the strips connecting the pluses. Isn’t that a cool design? Your eye is really drawn to the pluses. Great idea Mary!

There are so many more quilts and I will share more in the next post. I am so grateful to Preeti for cooking up this event and have heard rumblings she may do it again next year! Prize winners for the finished quilts will be announced on Monday, the 6th of September. If you (like me) didn’t finish your quilt yet, that is ok too! Finish it when time allows because Mercy Hospital is always in need of quilts. We will welcome it at any time.

Painting is not nearly as fun as quilting

As for me, I continue to be distracted from the sewing room. This week my husband painted the master bathroom. It looks so fresh – we have been wanting to clean up this bathroom for a long time now. I painted these cabinets for him out in the garage. We shared the painting duty on the bathroom door because I was waylaid by a migraine. The cabinets and the door are back in place and the bathroom looks wonderful!

Time to clean those boots!

Julia is getting ready for college to start up this year. She goes back on campus which will be so much fun. She has been packing and organizing her things. Her boots are ready to go for her beef production lab this quarter. in the upperclassman housing, she has a suite with three other women. They will share the common space and kitchen. Julia has collected quite a set of kitchen supplies through hand me downs from her older brothers so she will have a nice kitchen set up. We take her down to campus in another ten days or so.

Playing Memory together

I have been meaning to share this fun app for quite a while now. This is something I really enjoy using with my grand daughter. For the past year or so, we have played together, read books, had silly conversations and colored pictures using the Caribu app. It is a really nice way for me to stay in touch with her. I love getting a text from her (on my son’s phone of course) asking if I have time to play Caribu with her. (By the way, this is not an affiliate link – just a very cool product that I wanted to share with you.) Caribu has games, books, drawing, worksheets, addition and subtraction, matching, working with sounds and numbers, and mazes – plus more I am not remembering at the moment.

Peter Rabbit – a classic!

There are a large number of books to read and they are divided into age groups or subject categories. The selection of books isn’t exactly Newberry quality. But for our purpose, it is fine. She loves picking books out. Right now Angelina Ballerina is one of her favorites and we read them quite often. The user can mark something as a favorite so it is easy to find again.

A delicious ice cream cone.

Drawing is another favorite. At four years old, she usually needs me to draw the item first and talk about each step so she can relate it to the pictures on the right. Then she tries to do it herself. I love seeing her facial expressions as she works on her drawing.

We spend a lot of time together this way and it is really a special way for her to have time with her Grammy. She has some older cousins who also read books on Caribu to her. There is a subscription fee which can be paid monthly or annually. The free version is available but is very limiting because you can only do a few activities each month – but if you want to try it out, that is a great way to do it. One suggestion, it is nice to look through some of the activities ahead of time. Once we get on the computer together, H is so excited and doesn’t want me to have to ‘figure out’ where something is, or how it works. It is easier to take a quick peek at the screen before we start a call. I have found it works better on a tablet than on my laptop (though I am not sure why?) Enough on this – I think it is a fun time spent with H and if you have a distance grand parenting thing going on and want to have another way to stay in touch with your grandchildren, give it a try.

My shop inventory is disappearing quickly – It looks so strange downstairs with only a few shelves of fabric left. At 40% off, there are still some bargains to be had. I expect I will be officially retired by mid-September. Woohoo!!!