Author Archives: Bernie

Finished a Mini This Week

Like the really creative title says, I finished up the mini I shared with you earlier! It is so cute. When I was piecing the Mosaic Mystery Quilt (yet to be finished) I had loads of bonus HST’s – you know, the bits that are left over when you make a flying geese block? Luckily, I stitched them as I made the blocks so they were all ready for me to use.

Making this mini used only a small portion of the little 2 1/2″ HST’s. I saw the idea to incorporate a friendship star with the fussy cut center on a site and I cannot remember which it was. I think it was something like All People Quilt but I am not sure. If I figure it out, I will update the post accordingly.

At twelve inches square, it will be easy to find a little spot to hang this. I quilted all triangles except for the background (pale green) pieces. It looks cute and for the most part went well. There are a few wrinkles near the friendship star that could look a little better.

The fussy cut square in the center of the star is my favorite part. I have a stack of squares of this fabric depicting the very famous Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte painting by Georges Seurat. While on a trip to the Chicago, I saw this painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. It is so beautiful. When I saw a handmade shirt at a thrift store made with this fabric, I grabbed it, deconstructing it for the fabric.

There are only so many ways to take a photo of this little quilt. But here is a cute one. You probably noticed I decided to face the quilt, rather than bind it. I like the look of this but it caused me to lose some of the points on the top and right side of the mini. I didn’t lose them by stitching over them with the facing. Rather it was when I rolled the facing to the back, those points are rolled over just enough to make the points round off. Sigh. This was disappointing but I have managed to recover from the trauma. I didn’t have leftover strips of any of the fabrics used on the mini and when I looked at using other fabric for the binding, nothing appealed to me. I do like facing quilts; I just hadn’t considered the issue of those points.

In other projects, I decided what I would do for an RSC quilt this year. Since I skipped doing anything for Rainbow Scrap Challenge last year, the bins are loaded. I need to make some scrappy projects for sure. I saw these pretty diamond shaped blocks over at Bonjour Quilts and thought they would be fun to make each month. Not hard to piece and they will use up some fabric. The blocks will be 6″ x 12″. I suppose I should figure out how many I need to make but I have plenty of time for that. This month is pink and I have cut pieces to make three of them. Pink is probably the scrap bin with the least fabric in it so three will be plenty.

Not a whole lot more to report today! I have had an annoying cold this week. Where the heck I picked that up from, I have no idea. But it means I got no exercise this week and took lots of naps. Hoping to be a little more active this weekend! Hope all of you are well and staying healthy.

Post Update: Now that I am informed about the fussy cutting challenge for Project Quilting this week, this will be entered! Thanks to Wendy and Kathleen for commenting and letting me know. 🙂

Linking with my favorites – check them out at the top of the page under Link Ups.

Project Updates

Somehow almost two weeks have passed since the last post. Not sure how that happened, but here we are. I have actually been in the sewing room quite a bit so I will do a quick update on what has been in the works.

First and foremost, I have been working on a cute baby quilt for my niece. It is just about done – I have a few more inches of binding to stitch down and then into the wash it goes. Once she receives it, I will share it here. I am 99% sure she doesn’t read the blog but since I haven’t taken photos of it anyway, it will have to wait.

Additionally, I decided to make a quilt for Mercy Hospital. If you are new here, I coordinate a program called Mercyful Quilts and you can read more about it here. It seemed like a good way to start off the new year by making a quilt for them. I have a panel (by Three Wishes) in the shop that is very pretty. It has four large sections and each has a quote. I thought, for people who are going through the process of saying goodbye to a loved one, this quilt would provide comfort. The prints are reminiscent of a water color painting.

Being a panel, this was a simple quilt top to create. I cut the panel into four sections and used some of the coordinates to create borders around the squares. (Looking at the squares, I think these would also be fun to use for a tote bag for bible study.)

Now that it is all put together, I am thinking it might be a tad small at 49 inches square. Just trying to decide if I add another border or go ahead and get it basted. Decisions, decisions. I am thinking of using a soft vintage sheet for the backing. I hope I have one in the right colors for this.

In the on-going saga of pretending to clean the sewing room, I started playing with a stack of leftover HST’s from the Mosaic Mystery Quilt I participated in last winter. (The top is still in the closet, patiently waiting for me to get it finished up.) As a result of piecing that top, I have a large stack of 2 1/2″ HST’s that I want to use for something. I poked around that wonderful rabbit hole, aka Pinterest, until I found some inspiration. I am working on a mini. I haven’t made a mini in quite a while. I remember making a bunch of them when I first started blogging but seems like it has been a while. So this will be finished up soon and I will share it with you then. I am thinking it may need to be hand quilted.

OK – that is it for now. Sorry to have been remiss in posting. I have been reading tons of posts and am loving the Stay at Home Round Robin that is going on. Have you seen the posts about this? It is being hosted by Quilting Gail and I am enjoying it. Check it out – maybe you have the perfect orphan block to build from.

Linking up to Stitch Show & Sew as well as a few others. Check out my Link Up tab at the top of the page.

New Year, New Placemats

First project to share for this year! Continuing on with my supposed clean-up in the sewing room, I found my bag of linen scraps. These are scraps left over from making French Press cozies which I sell in my shop. I cannot bear to throw these scraps away so I have been stashing them in a zip lok bag and stuffing them under the sewing table.

The first mat

Last February, I made one place mat – fully intending to make several more for the table. That didn’t happen because – you know…. I got distracted. But I have used it here and there in the house and love it.

And now there are three.

I made two more placemats but this time, I didn’t quilt them as much. I decided to go with a minimalist approach which I think looks a lot better. The fabrics are so pretty and have a lot of texture – they just don’t warrant heavy quilting.

What do you think? They really need coordinating cloth napkins. I have some off-white cloth napkins but they are getting really grungy. It is definitely time to replace them. I still have more of these linen scraps so hopefully I will get a few more coordinating placemats made. For now though, at least I have three, enough for Ray, Julia and me!

In my last post I mentioned I was going to tackle taking down the Christmas decorations. Well Julia and I did a lot of it and then got bored of doing housework. So we only got about 1/2 way there. Maybe today I will get around to the rest of it. I am also working on a cute baby quilt for my niece who is due to have her first baby in a couple of weeks. Hopefully I will have that finish to share with you soon! Finally, last night I attended a Zoom meeting of our local quilt guild. These have been happening for a while now and this is the first time I joined in. While it wasn’t the same as the in person meetings (obviously), it was really nice to see so many of the people I haven’t seen in such a long while. The coordinators of the meeting really try to keep it warm and interactive. The ‘show and tell’ portion of the meeting was actually kind of a bonus since we could see the detail in the guild member’s work up close (on our screen) rather than from the front of a large room. So that was great. If you haven’t tried joining in on something like this, give it a go. We are all home so much of the time and this provides a much needed bit of community. Take care all of you!

Linking to Stitch, Sew & Show over at Life in the Scrapatch (this is a new link up that just started this week. Go take a look.) Also at Finished or Not Friday and a few other link parties – they are listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Christmas Gifting

Hello all and Happy New Year to you. I hope the holidays were pleasant for all of you. While this year was definitely not how we normally celebrate, we did enjoy them. We scheduled a Zoom call with our three boys who live away from home and that was great. Also, my son set up a Zoom so we could just quietly watch the girls’ Christmas morning excitement. That was especially great – seeing them so excited, opening their gifts. Sometimes I wish I could just have a webcam to the girls’ play room and watch them all the time. However, that would also mean I would get absolutely nothing done. They are so entertaining.

This year our tradition of making some holiday gifts continued. I wanted to show you some of them.

Bookmarks!

Have you made these bookmarks before? There are loads of tutorials for them on the internet and they are super fun. It is made to slip over the corner of the page to keep your place. I used a stack of miscellaneous charm squares I had for these. I tucked them into cards for my sisters and included them in gifts to (most of?) the family. Coincidentally, I also received one in the mail from a quilting friend which was a fun surprise!

Pajama Pants

I made three pair of pajama pants. The two above were made for my parents. I believe this is their first pair of matching pj’s and I am hoping they will take a picture of both of them when they wear them.

Opening gifts.

They seemed quite happy with the idea of matching jammies though I did get them different color t-shirts to go with them.

Julia and Townes

This is the only picture I could find of Julia in her new pj pants. Cute polar bear flannel, right? You will also see Townes in this photo. Julia is fostering him for the shelter. This is the third dog she has fostered and he is such a sweet animal.

Wooden Christmas Trees

My husband made a set of these sweet Christmas trees, enough for one for each of our children plus our parents. I love these and they are definitely one of my favorite of all the things he has made. So simple and really pretty.

Julia painted this wooden ornament for me. A while back, Ray sliced a branch into small rounds and gave them to her to craft with. She has made several ornaments so far. Mine is so sweet. She made one for Ray as well but he keeps it in our room and I failed to grab a picture of it for this post. It is a cute camping scene of a lone tent in the mountains. Perfect for him!

I also made two aprons, one for Julia and one for my daughter-in-law, Shar. I don’t (yet?) have any good photos of those gifts though.

I do love making gifts for people. I am happy to see Julia also making some gifts. It makes gift giving even more special. Today is going to be the take-down-the-holiday-decorations-day. How about you? As much as I love Christmas, I am ready to get the house back to normal. Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Holiday Tales & Traditions Blog Hop

Post Update: Two things I wanted to update here. First of all, the winner of the giveaway on this post is Darci. Congrats Darci and I hope you enjoy the fabric. Second update: I talked about the Christmas Through the Decades later in this post and mistakenly said it was on Netflix. However it is really available on Amazon Prime’s streaming service. Sorry for the misinformation.

Hello everyone. If you are new to my blog, coming here from the Holiday Tales and Traditions Blog Hop, welcome. I have been blogging since 2014 (which seems crazy but it has been over six years now)! I would love to connect with you and invite you to take a look around to see what Needle & Foot is all about.

This week I am hosting a blog hop to share some traditions celebrated over the holidays. I asked a number of bloggers to write a post telling a tale they remember from their holidays or a tradition they celebrate during the holidays. Last year I wrote about family traditions from this time of year and I really enjoyed reading comments about the traditions all of you remember. I thought I would carry this forward to this season as well. We certainly need to come together and lift each other’s spirits during this time of year, especially in 2020 when so much feels heavy and abnormal. I hope you will enjoy the hop. Be sure to click through to the other blogs and enjoy some holiday stories.

I have a few tales to share with you. One from my childhood Christmas memories and the others from Christmases spent with my children. Because I think blog posts are more fun with photos, I am randomly including holiday pictures here and there.

Ian and I, Christmas 1994

When my three boys were young, Christmas was naturally an exciting time. As it is for most kids, right? After we put up the tree, I would wrap the gifts from Mom and Dad and put them under the tree. This happened about ten days or so before Christmas. My boys would spend a lot of time checking out the presents, shaking them, trying to guess what they were. It drove me crazy if they guessed correctly – I wanted it to be a surprise on Christmas morning and I don’t have the best poker face! So, one year I decided to try to outsmart them. I bought three rolls of wrapping paper. Using one roll for each boy, I wrapped their gifts. Then I didn’t put any tags on the gift. They were just blank. Under the tree they went. The boys were totally befuddled. “Mom, how do we know whose is whose?” they would ask. I would casually reply, ‘oh, I’ll figure it out.’ or ‘don’t worry about it, we can figure it out on Christmas.’ They went nuts and I thought it was hilarious. On Christmas morning, I played Santa (usually it was one of the boys) and passed gifts out to them. When each boy had gifts wrapped all in one type of paper, they figured out what I had done.

The following year, I knew I couldn’t pull the same stunt. It would not be as fun because they would know what I was doing. Instead, I switched name tags between two of the boys. When wrapping Ian’s gifts, I put a tag on them saying “For Andrew”. On Andrew’s gifts, I did the same, putting a tag on them saying “For Ian”. Kyle’s gifts had his name on them (I couldn’t figure out a way to mix it up any further without making some sort of mistake.) Christmas morning I played Santa again and placed all of the ‘Andrew’ gifts in front of Ian and the ‘Ian’ gifts in front of Andrew. Fooled them again!

My favorite holiday quilt-I hang it each season.

Let’s go back in time now to Christmas in the 1960’s when I was a child. I have a fond memory of one year when my father was scheduled to work at church on Christmas morning. I am sure it was the only year this ever happened but there we were, waking up and Dad was going to be gone for the majority of the morning. Mom insisted we would all just wait until he got back and then we would open gifts. Not so easy for a child, let along six of them! To distract us, Mom thought she would light a fire in the fireplace. Well the damper wasn’t opened and she totally smoked out the living room. She sent us all outside while the smoke cleared. I remember being on the front lawn with my five sisters in our pj’s on Christmas morning. I wonder what the neighbors thought of that. 🙂

Since I grew up in the 1960’s, I had a lot of fun watching a show on Amazon Prime recently, called Christmas Through the Decades. The episode on the 1960’s was especially fun. I enjoyed hearing what the top selling toys were for that decade. The list is slightly different depending on what you are reading but this was the list from the documentary.

1960 – Chatty Cathy
1961 – Ken Doll
1962 – Slinky
1963 – Mouse Trap Board Game
1964 – GI Joe (“Pull his ‘dog tag’ and he will issue commands”)
1965 – Rock’em Sock’em Robots
1966 – Spirograph
1967 – Battleship
1968 – Hot Wheels Cars
1969 – Big Wheel

I think it is interesting that, other than GI Joe and Chatty Cathy, all of these classic toys remain popular today. I read that GI Joe is going to be re-introduced but I am not sure if that is already happening.

1/2 yard bundle of Wintertide and 1 yard of an old fashioned Santa print

Thanks for taking this little trip down memory lane with me! Since this post mostly centered on childhood gifts, I would love to hear your memories of toys that were popular when you were a child. Did you receive something you really wanted or give your child a toy he or she was drooling over? Leave a comment – it is so much fun for me to read your experiences and I know other readers will enjoy going through the comments as well. I would love to give one of you a gift this year as well! I will draw a random name from the comments and send along a fun holiday package of fabric (see above) to the winner. Winner will be selected on Friday evening, giveaway is open to US residents due to the cost of postage.

The Holiday Tales and Traditions Blog Hop is being celebrated on the following blogs:

Sew Preeti Quilts
Quilting Jetgirl
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Academic Quilter
From My Carolina Home
Pieceful Thoughts
Devoted Quilter
The Colorful Fabriholic
Me & My Quilts
Kathleen McMusing
Sarah Goer Quilts
MMM Quilts
Needle and Foot  – That’s Me!

Thank you to all the bloggers who participated in this fun event. Wishing all of you the happiest of holiday seasons!

Guess Who, Then and Now

Post Update: Well, as continued evidence that the quilting community is nothing but totally generous I received a few emails this morning and want to share them with you. First I got one from Sarah, the third place winner. She actually tied with Preeti from Sew Preeti Quilts. Sarah asked me to split the prize between them and send the charm pack to one and the quilt pattern to the other. Of course, I thought this was great and told her so. Then I received an email from Emily of The Darling Dogwood. Emily was one of the bloggers who participated in the whole thing, see photos below. She said since she is a participant, she didn’t think it fair to win a prize. (This wasn’t a ‘rule’ but it is how she feels). So – now the winners shift a bit! First prize still goes to Kathleen McMusing, second is now going to Sarah Zimmerman (@cedarforksarah) and third prize is off to Preeti! Thanks everyone – kindness overload and I appreciate every bit of it!! OK – read on and enjoy the fun photos!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thanks to all who gave their best guess for the Guess Who game!! It was not an easy task. There was a huge variation in most of the entries. I hope you enjoyed looking at these fun photos, whether you tried to guess at it or not.

Let’s take a look at who is who now. Each childhood photo is now side by side with the blogger today. I love seeing those little eyes on the face of an adult.

Now let’s announce the winners!
First place: Kathleen M. She guessed twelve out of the fourteen! Well done Kathleen.
Second place: Emily L. had a score of twelve as well, but one of them was her own picture. So, I counted her as actually guessing 11! Good job Emily.
Third place: This was a tie between Sarah Z and Preeti. So I had Julia pull a name and Sarah’s name was picked.

That’s it for now. Please come back on Wednesday for the Holiday Tales and Traditions blogshop! There will be fun tales from twelve bloggers to read. See you then!

Just in case you missed the announcement on Facebook and/or Instagram, I am celebrating the 2021 Pantone Colors with a sale in the shop. 25% off of yardage that is gray or yellow ( not just solids – even the prints that have gray and/or yellow in them!). Come check it out. Sale ends tonight!

Guess Who!

Today you are all invited to play a little game. In recent months the news has been filled with problems, politics and pandemics. Enough with such seriousness. We need to lighten things up a bit. So I thought I would host a game called Guess Who!

I invited a number of quilt bloggers to send me a picture of themself as a child. There is quite the mix of bloggers participating. You are likely to be familiar with many of them, but some might be new to you. Here are the rules to this very challenging game. (Haha – really, this is quite simple.) In this post is a list of all of the bloggers who are playing along. Each of them has a childhood photo showing below. Each photo is labeled with a number – Blogger Number 1, Blogger Number 2, and so on.

Your job is to leave a comment including a list of the bloggers’ names and then next to each name, put the number of the picture you believe is theirs.

The order of the pictures and the blogger’s names are totally random. If you already know what the blogger looks like, great – then try to match the person up with the photo. If you are unfamiliar with the blogger, click their name and you will be taken to their website. Take a look around, get to know the person and see what she looks like. Come back and leave your best guesses in the comments.

To sweeten the deal, there will be prizes! First prize goes to the person who gets them all correct. If this doesn’t happen, it will be awarded to the person who guesses the most correctly. Should there be a tie, I will pick a name between the winners.

OK – first let’s look at the names of all the bloggers who are included in today’s Guess Who game. Again, no particular order was used in this listing.

Now let’s take a look at the most adorable pictures ever!

Blogger Number 1
Blogger Number 2
Blogger Number 3
Blogger Number 4 – just the little girl, not her brother!
Blogger Number 5
Blogger Number 6
Blogger Number 7
Blogger Number 8
Blogger Number 9
Blogger Number 10
Blogger Number 11
Bigger Number 12
Blogger Number 13
Blogger Number 14

Now that you are all on cuteness overload, it is time to match them up. You might want to copy the blogger list into your comment and then add the number of the picture you believe is theirs. I hope you all have a lot of fun looking through these and trying to guess who is who.

Remember the prizes? Here they are:

First Prize – a five piece, 1/2 yard bundle from Mystical Lands, by Maureen Cracknell

2nd Prize – charm pack & one yard piece from Rosewood, by Meags & Me.
3rd Prize – a charm pack of Jen Kingwell’s low volume line, Wovens

In addition to the prizes shown above each of the three winners will also receive their choice of one PDF pattern generously donated by Cynthia Brunz of Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

OK – time for you to match up the fourteen bloggers with the correct picture! The winners of the game will be drawn on Saturday, December, 12th. Good luck everyone. I will also put up a post with the correct bloggers matched to their pictures on Saturday as well! I hope you all enjoy this.

Thank You from Mercy Hospital

Below is a letter I received from the Palliative Care team at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, California. They are so grateful for all of the quilts you have made and donated to their program.

Dear Stitchers,

We are writing to thank you…words cannot explain how important these lovely Comfort Quilts are to the family of our dying patients.  When we deliver them, a look of relief and gratitude immediately takes the place of sadness and loss.  For our families to be able to take home something that their loved one has worn is amazing and unforgettable.

Thank you for all of your skill, hard work, and obvious love that is sewn into each and every quilt; our gratitude for this kindness will never end.  Please know that you are making a difference in someone’s life.  Thank you, again. 

Sincerely and warmly,

The Palliative Care Team at Mercy General

Lisa Seo, Palliative Care MD
Sameera Sandhu, Palliative Care MD
Lori Marsh, RN
Emma Cook, LCSW
Elizabeth K. Mohrherr, MSW
Lucy Zang, SSC

Maternal Bragging

Just popping in to show you what Julia made. About a month ago we were shopping in our little town. It is a gold rush town with a fun, touristy downtown area we like walking around in. At one shop Julia spied a pretty Santa hat, knit in red with a wide white border. She was holding it and looked at me saying, “I think I can make this”. Now you need to understand she hasn’t knit anything before this. Last year I did teach her to cast on and she knit about four rows (literally) and set it down. That was the extent of her knitting experience.

I told her to go for it. After she took a picture of the hat for a reference, we drove over to my favorite place in Grass Valley, Ben Franklin’s. She found yarn she liked in red and white and we went home.

Relying on YouTube, she started in. She figured out how to cast on, knit, and purl. She practiced a bit and then started on the white section. (I kind of know how to knit but my skills are very limited. I have been of no help to her.)

Soon she was ready to add the red so she figured out how to do that and then looked around for a stitch she thought would look good. The red section took quite a while. She had to decide how often to reduce the number of stitches (well, she also had to learn how to do that!) to get the hat to taper. Soon enough she decided it was the right amount of long and pointy. (Note my technical knitting terminology.)

Heading back over to YouTube, she figured out how to make the pom-pom for the end. I love how big and fluffy it is.

Of course when she looks at it, like all makers do, she can see things she needs to work on or would do differently if she made it again. But I am really proud of her. She thought she could figure it out and she sure did. One thing being stuck at home has done is provide plenty of time for this sort of project. She is now looking on line for ideas of what to knit next!

Ok – that’s enough bragging for today! Remember, Wednesday is Guess Who day. Come back and try your luck at figuring out which blogger is which by looking at their childhood photos. You don’t want to miss it. The pictures are so darn cute!! See you in a couple of days!

A Bit of Holiday Cheer

It is the fourth of December and I am starting to feel some Christmas Spirit! I love this time of year and in 2020 we need every reason to celebrate and impart joy. I have two small projects to share with you today.

The First Three Stockings

For my younger grand daughter, I had the fun task of making a Christmas stocking. Three years ago I made a set for my son, his wife and my oldest grand daughter. When I did this, I set aside fabric to make more stockings if/when his family grew.

Scrappy Christmas Stocking

This stocking is number four for their family. I used the easy peasy quilt-as-you-go method for the strips. As with the other stockings, I put a ‘toe’ on the foot of the stocking and embroidered a red line of stitching across it. Fortunately I saved some of the twill tape and wooden buttons (made by my husband!) so the stocking is a perfect match for the first three. I think it is super cute – the line of fabric was so much fun when I had it in the shop. It is long gone now.

Next project? Well, remember how I have been ‘cleaning’ my sewing space? I sorted through some of my Christmas fabric. I have a large bag of vintage (1970’s-1980’s) holiday fabric and cut much of it into 3″ and 5″ squares with the AccuQuilt. Once I had that stack of squares sitting there, I couldn’t just put them away, right??

I decided to make a quick patchwork runner for the top of this drop leaf table. (My mom loaned this to me a long time ago for our Downieville house. We have since sold the house and I am hoping she doesn’t ask for it back…. I love the table!) I plan to put a set of photos here of my kids with Santa. I look forward to looking at those pictures each year. But I haven’t brought that box up yet. Julia and I plan to do some decorating this weekend and will put up the tree early next week.

As I have said so many times before, simple patchwork is by far my favorite of any quilt. I am so nostalgic and love the look of this – what can I say? This would have been made even cuter with some hand quilting but I really wanted to use it now. So instead I used a variegated holiday thread I had from Mettler and did simple straight lines.

If you look at the fabrics, you will see the small print of white objects on red (next to the holly on white). This fabric is definitely from 1978. It is the same fabric my sister, Cathy, used to make wedding favors for her December, 1978 wedding. (Side note – if you want to read a fun post from several years ago, I wrote about all the weddings in our family and how most of us made our wedding gowns. Click here for the post)

OK – that is it for today. I do want to let you know I have a few fun things coming up on the blog! Next week I will be hosting a Guess Who game. I have childhood pictures from lots of quilter/bloggers. I want to see if you can match of the adorable faces to the right quilter. Look for that on Wednesday, December 9th. Then the following week, on Wednesday December 16th, I am hosting a Holiday Memories Bloghop. Lots of us will be posting about some of our favorite holiday traditions and memories or stories. I am so looking forward to reading these. Keeping spirits bright in 2020!!