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:

Brag About Your Beauties, Finished or Not Friday, UFO Busting, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop

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!

Covid Crafting

Quarantine life goes on and the days are somewhat repetitive. Julia and I continue to look for projects and crafts to keep us busy and mix things up a bit. Recently we decorated two clay pots we found in the garage.

Julia has been into house plants this summer and has quite a few in her room. We thought it would be fun to take a plain clay pot and make it pretty. Wanting to use supplies we had at home (always frugal, right?) we browsed Pinterest for ideas.

When we came across a link for using decorative paper napkins and Mod Podge we decided that would be a fun way to go. We took our inspiration from that post but didn’t do all they suggested.

First coat of paint

First step was to paint the outside of the pot with basic, water soluble acrylic paint. Again, we used whatever we had. Julia chose white and I chose yellow.

We made sure to paint to upper part of the inside of the pot. The instructions said to seal the inside of the pot. My guess is to prevent any water from soaking through and damaging the paint or decoupage. But we skipped that part. Whatever happens is fine with us. 😉

We had two choices of decorative paper napkins in the closet. Either Christmas theme or these yellow, blue and white flowers. Guess what we chose. Julia and I cut out bits and pieces that we liked. Then we carefully peeled away the second ply of paper. These napkins are fairly thick and it looks nicer if you just use one ply of thickness. Then we painted the spot we wanted it to adhere to on the pot. After smoothing the napkin bit over that glue, we carefully painted a layer of Mod Podge over the paper. It looks all thick and white but dries very clear.

Julia chose to paint a layer of Mod Podge over her whole pot. For some reason, this layer did not dry clear. It has a brown-ish tone to it but I think it just looks rustic.

Julia’s finished flower pot
My finished pot.
Aren’t these cute?

These were really fun to make and a good way to fill another afternoon at home. Kind of satisfying to make something with supplies we have on hand. Much like sewing from the stash in my closet!! Honestly, the Covid quarantine has had some upside in that we are much less inclined to run to the store for odds and ends. We eat more out of the pantry and freezer and projects are often made with what is on hand. This has been a nice change for us.

Now, for a little sewing related chit chat. Have you all been wondering and waiting to hear whether I have kept up with the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge BOM? I know, I know – how rude of me to forget to post the June block. My apologies to all of you. Hahaha. I did get the block done and it is a cute one.

Kind of wrinkled but still so cute.

Now that the year is half way done (and that alone is very, very strange) I enjoyed putting the first six blocks together for a quick look. I am really happy with the polka dot theme.

These blocks look so happy together.

This month’s block looks to be a nice one but I haven’t even cut it out yet. I have three weeks to go so there is plenty of time!!

That’s is the news from here. Like everyone else, we are trying to make the best of these strange times. Lots of time to make things, bake things, play cards, and take pretty walks. Here are two pictures from this morning’s hike up in Nevada City.

This buck had only one antler. I am guessing he got into it with another buck and lost the argument?
I love this look-out about 1/2 way up the trail. It is just gorgeous.

OK – time to go get to work. The kitchen is a mess and I have a number of orders to cut and ship. What have you been up to?

I hope all of you are staying healthy and sane. Reach out to each other and keep in touch. I think staying in contact is super important these days. I am one who enjoys time to myself but with all of the current restrictions, too much alone time isn’t good. We need to talk, visit, and stay in touch with friends and family. Hang in there. 🙂

Keeping Busy

June is winding down. Not sure how that is possible but really, it is best not to question things these days. Time passes, some days fly by and others feel so incredibly repetitive. Such is life during a pandemic.

I haven’t shared much lately so I need to get caught up! First off – a little crafting. Julia and I have been trying to spend some time together making projects. A few weeks ago, my son and his wife were here for a weekend (the first time we had seen them since Christmas!!). We spent some time painting small rocks Julia had collected outside. The goal was to place them here and there along a local trail so others could spot them as they walked. We pulled out some (really old) acrylic paints and started painting. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon and we made quite an assortment.

Flowers, an avocado, a monster and some sweet daisies

A few days ago we lucked into a nice cool morning so Julia and I walked the local trail and tucked the rocks here and there as we went. Love the monster with the googly eyes and the avocado (my DIL painted). Pretty creative!

Clouds, Gnome, Ladybug, Flag and the scariest Shark EVER!

More fun! They look really cute out there. The shark is probably my favorite of this bunch. Plus he is sitting on the branch of a Manzanita tree and that curly bark is always fun to see. Julia and I will head back to the trail later this week. We want to see whether people leave the rocks there for others to see or if they pick them up.

A play fort

About half way through the loop, there is this huge old oak tree. I have pictures of Julia sitting in it from years back. This time, there was this play fort built around the base of the tree. So many branches were collected and assembled teepee-style around the base. We went and peeked in. So cute!! There were a few bits and pieces of construction paper with flowers drawn on them hanging on the inside with string. At the opening to the fort there was a bit of red glitter sprinkled on the ground. I just love thinking of the kids who made this. I hope it stays in place as it must have taken quite a while to gather the branches and assemble this. There is nothing like pretending in a fort like this. I know my kids would have loved this when they were young.

Vintage Simplicity Pattern

About a week or so back, I posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook. I decided to make a summer dress. I have had this vintage Simplicity pattern for a long time now. It was printed in 1966. I thought this would be perfect for lounging around. The fabric is a voile by Art Gallery Fabric. I love their voiles because they hang nicely and don’t wrinkle after washing. Super soft and comfortable too. The voiles have been quite popular in the shop lately so I am running low. I just placed an order for more and cannot wait until they arrive (maybe another ten days or so?)

The dress took no time to put together. Four pieces to cut out and since it ties at the shoulder, no zipper to fuss with.

French seams to prevent fraying

I used French seams on the two side seams to prevent any fraying. These are super simple when dealing with simple, straight seams.

While it is certainly nothing fancy, it is just what I wanted. Cool and loose and comfy which is just my style. Whether it be 1966 or 2020, the pattern works just fine. Be warned though – sewing with vintage patterns is a little bit tricky. The sizing is very different. Don’t assume you are the same size with older patterns as with current. Rely on the measurements listed on the pattern – that will tell you what size you need to use. It was a fun dress to make.

The kick off for this year’s Mystery Quilt Along happens this week! I am really excited. Probably due to the lack of local quilt guild activity and community quilting (with everyone staying home during the pandemic), the sign ups for this years QAL increased greatly. If you have not participated before, I encourage you to give it a try. I love working with Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs, the host of this event and her patterns are always a hit. Without divulging anything I will tell you Cheryl described this year’s pattern as beginner friendly and it does not require any paper piecing or difficult techniques (eg the dreaded Y seams or curved blocks.)

Here are a few of the kits available. Pop over if you want to see the rest of them!

There are kits available in the shop if you prefer working from a kit rather than picking fabric yourself. Take a peek. They are selling like crazy and I have been cutting yard after yard of fabric this week!

Covid numbers continue to climb. Life is filled with this strange feeling of uncertainty even as we live in quarantine, doing the same things over and over with one day melting into the next. Hang in there, support each other and above all, sew something!