Author Archives: Bernie

The Best Laid Plans

A few months ago my nephew and his wife bought flights to come up for a visit from Colorado. They were to stay at my parents’ house. We were all so excited because we don’t often see them. In the last 10 years, I may have seen him twice and met his wife only once. Anyway, I was pretty excited. Mom and Dad planned a brunch. My sisters and I planned to take them on the ferry over to Seattle to visit some of the touristy area around Pike’s Market.

Well, none of that was to happen for me. I got sick about 10 days ago and by the time the weekend rolled around, I felt awful. I missed every bit of the weekend. How disappointing! I am sure they had a lovely visit and the brunch seemed to go well. My kids were there and my husband too. I spent the afternoon dog-sitting my grand dog and binge-watching the Apple TV show, Trying. (By the way, if you haven’t seen this show and are an Apple TV subscriber, I think it is really cute).

Just before getting sick, I did manage to finish this little strip quilt for Project Linus. Above you can see the backing which is a green batik my sister gave me. I machine stitched the binding with a zig-zag and it looks great.

This quilt was such a good use of these random strips. Most from a scrap bag donated to Project Linus and some from my bin of strips. I tried to alternate the widths to keep things balanced. Other than straightening up some of the strips, this was a breeze. Unfortunately, the monthly Project Linus meeting was yesterday and I was not feeling up to going. So this quilt will sit and wait until the May meeting for donation.

When I was feeling lousy, I went poking around in the sewing room. I wanted to make something and decided to use some fabric given to me by a friend of mine in California. It is an older line designed by Kim Diehl – so very traditional reproduction fabrics. The main reason I was drawn to these this particular week was included in the fabric Stephanie gave me were stacks of pieces already cut into squares and rectangles. I looked through a book, Homestyle Quilts, and chose a pattern that could be easily modified to use the squares that I had.

Even though I sewed just between naps; a little here and some more there, this sure did come together quickly. This was mainly because I had very little I had to cut. Cutting pieces can be very time consuming!!

At this point, all sashing strips are done and I am on the hunt for some darker green yardage for the setting and corner triangles.

Just in case I get lucky here, the above picture is the fabric I would like to use for the setting triangles. It is the same as what I used for the block centers. I don’t suppose any of you have a piece of this sitting on a shelf, collecting dust? It is an older line so I am unable to find any on-line (though I have tried mightily)! If you do happen to have about a yard or maybe 1 1/2 yards, I would love to buy it from you. Leave a comment!! I’ll cross my fingers. 🙂

Recently finishing up the hand quilted mini I posted about earlier, I wanted another hand work project for the evenings. Changing things up, I have been working on a crochet project. This afghan is so soft – I can’t remember where I picked up the first few skeins of yarn. Having only three skeins, I somehow decided to start an afghan. What was I thinking??? Never having made one before I wasn’t clear as to how much yarn I really needed. Let’s just say it is a whole lot more than three skeins! Luckily I found some on Etsy and a bit more on Ebay. So, I will be able to make this a good size to snuggle under on the couch. But jeez – yarn adds up and a project that takes 10 or so skeins is expensive! Crocheting in the evening feels meditative. Especially now that I have the rhythm of this pattern solidly memorized and don’t have to pay too much attention to it. As with quilting, I am not precise when it comes to crochet. Sure, every now and then there might be four double crochets where there should be three but in this sort of pattern, I don’t think it matters a whole lot. Plus, it’s how I do things…..

Hopefully this virus will end sooner than later. I am bored and want my energy back. Plus, my husband is probably tiring of listening to me cough! Hope you are all healthy and enjoying the spring time. Our skies are blue today after a very rainy night. Hurray!

Big Stitches and Strip Quilts

Somehow a month passed by and I wasn’t struck with the urge to write. Not for lack of projects to share however. I have found quite a bit of time to be in the sewing room. Let’s take a look at a few projects.

Quite a number of weeks ago, I decided I wanted to make something that I could hand quilt with big stitches. I love the look of hand quilting and have not done a whole lot of it. I wish I could remember where I saw the inspiration for this but I didn’t write it down. It isn’t terribly unique but I did use someone else’s idea.

It took me no time to stitch these strips together. The most time was spent on choosing the fabrics. All came from the scrap bin though!

The first fabric I selected was the red print in the upper left corner (actually, this picture shows the project upside down). Not that anyone would know that but in my mind, this is upside down.

After assembling the top and basting it, I began to quilt it by hand. I didn’t use a hoop and maybe I should have. By the time I was done quilting it, it was somewhat distorted and this made it a challenge to square up for binding.

I love the stitching, even with all of the wobbles and wiggles.

Currently I have it hanging on a wall in my sewing room. I like this little hanger (made by my friend’s husband). I switch quilts here fairly often because it can be done easily. You can see this is crooked on the right side. Well, I should clarify, it is actually cut squarely but the strips are distorted. It is quirky but I like it. The colors are right up my alley. This little quilt provided many evenings of hand sewing which I enjoyed greatly.

In between times, I have been sorting and cutting a bag of fabric scraps for Project Linus. I was able to cut a large stack of charm squares and 3 1/2″ squares for future projects. In the scrap bag there were loads of strips. Rather than sort and cut them, I decided to just trim them up and make a quick quilt top.

I think I will add another strip or two to both the bottom and top to make it a bit larger. Then it will be finished up. The meetings are the last Sunday of each month so I have time to get this done by the next session. It is cute, kind of busy but it has a lot of fun things to look at. I’ll share it again when it is finished.

In between sewing, we have had lots of good family time. We had my son and his wife out from New York for about 5 days which was so nice. I miss them all the time and treasure when I do get to be with them. We also celebrated Easter with lots of family, including my sister and her husband who came up from Colorado.

I have been waiting for the rain to stop and it looks like it has. Time to get some time outdoors! Hope you will leave me a comment and tell me how you are doing. It has been a long time since we’ve chatted!

Villa Rosa Blog Hop

It is time for the second annual Villa Rosa Designs blog hop! When this got started last year, I was very happy to participate and this year is no different. For a little bit of background, Villa Rosa Designs is located in Grass Valley, CA. This, as you may or may not know, is where I lived for almost 30 years. The owner, Pat Fryer, is a creative force and her shop carries gorgeous fabrics. In addition, she has a HUGE number of postcard size patterns for sale. You may have seen these in your local quilt shops. They are usually patterns that come together quickly, often using pre-cuts. Having produced over 600 patterns in the history of VRD, there are many to choose from. The VRD on-line shop is wonderful! Shoppers will find patterns and fabrics, quilt kits to go with the patterns and often times a fantastic sale section (for the bargain hunters out there).

This year, the bloggers on the hop were given a set of five patterns to choose from. I chose to use the Ebb Tide pattern.

I decided to make a quilt to donate to Project Linus and had some cute fire truck fabric the build around. This pattern allows for the fabric to be seen in large blocks which is perfect for a child’s quilt.

Here is a progress shot. I had the blocks (simple squares and rectangles) cut out as well as most of the sashing. I kept the fire trucks front and center as the focal point. The two squares of yellow add a vibrant pop to the quilt!

The simplicity of this pattern meant it went together extremely fast. This allowed me time to practice some free motion quilting on it!

The loops and circles are free hand. The straight lines and angles were done using a ruler.

The backing probably took more time to piece than the top! It was great to use up lots of pieces from my stash and I really wanted to include as much of the firetruck yardage as I could. I have very little left of that fabric.

This simple pattern was fun to put together. It made a super cute child’s quilt and were it used with a cool large scale fabric it would look wonderful. For collectors of Kaffe Fassett or Anna Maria Horner fabrics, this would be an excellent choice. I could also see this pattern used for chopping up sections of a panel. So many options here!

Thank you to Villa Rosa Designs for inviting me to take part in this fun blog hop. I think VRD patterns are a lot of fun and look forward to seeing the quilts made by the others involved in the hop. Tricia, coordinator of the hop, has lined up an incredible selection of prizes! The generosity of the sponsors of this event is amazing.

To be included for prizes for the event be sure to leave an email address so we know how to contact you if you win. Registration for the prizes closes on Sunday, March 24th. 

From the comments on this post, I will select names to win a prize or to be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing. One person will win a set of the blog hop pattern cards (see photo above). The other names will be sent to Villa Rosa Designs to be entered to win one of many prizes. If you would like to be entered in the drawing, please leave a comment telling me if you have ever used a Villa Rosa pattern card. Does your local quilt shop carry them? Have you shopped on their website? I would love to hear of your experience with this company. If you are an international reader, please do let me know. Some of the sponsors are able to ship internationally and some are not.

Again, enjoy the hop. Go check out the other bloggers and see which pattern(s) they have made. I plan to do the same!


Blog Hop Schedule:

Thursday, March 14
https://villarosaquilts.com/

Friday, March 15
1. Kathleen McCormick — https://kathleenmcmusing.com/
2. Cheree H — http://livelylatte.blogspot.com/
3. Roseanne Nelson — https://www.homesewnbyus.com
4. Wendy Tuma — https://www.piecefulthoughts.com/
5. C&T Publisher (Valerie) — https://www.ctpub.com/blog/

Saturday March 16
1. Bernie Kringel — You are here!
2. Sandra Walker — https://www.mmmquilts.com/
3. Linda — https://www.texasquiltgal.com/
4. Debbie Huber – http://time4stitchn.blogspot.com/
5. SIY (Branyn/Jennifer) – https://blog.siysewityourself.com/

Sunday, March 17
1. Carolyn — https://quarterinchcapers.blogspot.com/
2. Emily (Norton House) — https://www.nortonhousequilting.com/blogs/news
3. Gail Shepperd — https://quiltinggail.com/
4. Susan Slaton — http://wazoonewsbits.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 18
1. Nann Hilyard — https://withstringsattached.blogspot.com/
2. Jaftex (Jennifer) — https://scottfortunoff.com/
3. Jan Altomare — https://www.cocoaquilts.com/ 
4. Tricia – http://quiltwithaview.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 19
1. Joy — https://shout4joy-shouting.blogspot.com/
2. Emily Leachman — http://thedarlingdogwood.blogspot.com/
3. Vicki S — www.knitbug2.blogspot.com
4. Rose Mikulski — https://somethingrosemade14.blogspot.com/
5. Quilts of Valor (Lexie) — https://www.qovf.org/

Wednesday, March 20th
1. Nancy — https://www.graceandpeacequilting.com/
2. Jocelyn — https://happycottagequilter.blogspot.com/
3. Tracie — https://joyfullytracie.com/
4. Daryl Perry — https://patchouli-moon-studio.blogspot.com/
5. Electric Quilt (Diane) — https://doyoueq.com/blog/

Thursday, March 21st
Tricia villarosaquilts.com

Villa Rosa has planned for a terrific set of prizes to be given away! You will not want to miss out on these opportunities! Check out the list of sponsors:

Hoffman Fabrics — https://hoffmancaliforniafabrics.net/
Moda Fabrics— https://modafabrics.com/
Timeless Treasures — https://www.ttfabrics.com/
Jaftex — https://jaftex.com/
Electric Quilt — https://electricquilt.com/
Banyan Batiks/Northcott — https://www.northcott.com/home.aspx
Benartex — https://benartex.com/
Hancock’s of Paducah — https://www.hancocks-paducah.com/
Fox Chapel/Landauer — https://foxchapelpublishing.com/
C&T Publishing — https://www.ctpub.com/
P&B Textiles — https://www.pbtex.com/

This event has been sponsored by so many wonderful companies!

Thank you Sponsors! Without you, this Blog Hop wouldn’t be possible.

2024 Stay At Home Round Robin – Finish

It is a bit early but my SAHRR project is finished and I am excited to share it! This event began in mid-January. With suggestions each week from a group of bloggers, the participants made quilts that could not be more unique. We were to pick a center to start with and build from there. Some quilters kept their center at the middle and others chose to off-set it. I made a small quilt (17″ x 18″) and others made large lap size quilts. Overall, it was so much fun.

Stepping Stones Quilt; May, 2016

My main goal was to use a bag of fabric that remained from my Stepping Stones quilt, made back in 2016. While I wasn’t able to use all of the scraps, I did manage to stick to using bits from that bag for this mini quilt.

Choosing designs to quilt in the various sections was fun. Loops, cross hatch and triangles filled most of the sections. I did quite a bit of dense pebbling on the black strips which was silly because it is impossible to see. I felt like I was quilting in a very dark room and just hoping what I was doing was right. The black thread was nearly impossible to see on the black fabric. I wish I had used dark gray.

Here is a close shot of some of the quilting.

I have the quilt hanging above the guest bed (which is in a corner of the sewing room). It looks a little lonely having there but I am on the hunt for something to hang with it. For the meanwhile, it is hanging out all by itself. Doesn’t this picture make a person think I have an immaculate sewing room?? Let’s just say there is a reason the photo was taken from this angle. 🙂

Many, many thanks to Gail, Wendy, Kathleen, Anja, Emily, and Brenda for the fun weekly prompts. I am excited to see the other finishes that are linked up at Quilting Gail’s site on March 18th.

I hope you will participate in and enjoy the upcoming Villa Rosa Designs blog hop!! It is sure to be lots of fun – so many quilts and patterns to be shared and prizes to be won. See you back here for my post on Saturday, March 16th!

Scrappy Pink Finish

Not sure why I have not posted this already but I finished up the pink heart quilt for the twin bed. Actually I finished it several weeks ago. I kept thinking I would go take some sort of artsy, creative photos of it but really, a twin size quilt is a bit cumbersome to take outside and hang over a fence or tree branch. I settled for somewhat boring shots of it on the bed. Better than never recording the finish!

It is cozy, warm and very, very pink! Just what little girls need when spending the night at their grandparent’s house! Simple cross hatch across the heart and then minimal straight line quilting over the white portion did the trick. I am somewhat concerned I need more quilting over the white background and will add another set of double lines between the existing sets. Shouldn’t take any time at all to pop the walking foot on the machine and add a bit more stitching.

It looks puffy because it is! I wanted this to be super warm. The girls often wear nightgowns or little shorts and t-shirts to bed so I gave this quilt an extra layer. When I basted it, I had the batting (80/20) and then also added a layer to thin pink flannel between the batting and the dark pink backing. Not surprisingly, this added some heft to the quilt. I think it feels super cozy.

Here is the backing. I have a number of yards of this leftover from the shop so it felt great to use a large portion to back the quilt and to bind it as well. I prewashed it to prevent any color bleeding into the white portion from the front of the quilt. It shouldn’t be an issue.

Both of the heart quilts look sweet side by side in this guest room. These will keep the grand kids cozy for the next sleepover!! Enjoy the weekend everyone. We don’t have any plans so maybe a little sewing, a little exercise and some yard work. Sounds good to me!

Linking to my usuals. Check them out at the top of the page, under link ups. Additionally, I am linking to the Favorite Finish link over at Quilting Jetgirl.

SAHRR – Final Round & a Little Extra Project

I knew this event would go quickly! Here we are finishing up the sixth round for the Stay At Home Round Robin and then it is time to quilt it. Crazy fast. The final week was set up by Kathleen McMusing. For her prompt she asked we incorporate letters or numbers into the round. In her post, she provided so many fun ways a person might do this.

I really didn’t want to add more pieced blocks to this very busy little quilt. Instead, I took the fabric I had left from the five inch square you can see at the top, cut a narrow (1.5″) strip of it and stitched it to the side. To balance things out one last time, I added another strip of the blue along the bottom.

I am calling it done. When I look at this, I feel like it is complete. Hopefully I will baste it and begin quilting it this weekend. Everyone will be back on March 18th to share their finished quilts. I believe Gail (the originator and organizer of the event) said there were about 50 quilters participating. Creativity abounds in this group so I am excited to see the finishes!

While I am here, I want to share this quick little placemat I made this week. My grand daughters both have birthdays in March – Big sister will be 7 and Little sister will be 4. I thought it might be fun for them to have a birthday placemat they can share, each one using it on their birthday.

My sister, Cathy, has a shop on Etsy called 6 Monkeys & Co where she sells handmade childrens’ clothing. She thoughtfully saves many adorable scraps for me to quilt with. Making clothing means a large amount of extra fabric that isn’t useful to her but is very fun for me. Anyway, that this where the birthday fabric scraps came from. Just enough to piece together a placemat.

I glued strips or rick-rack trim around the edges before I put the binding on. I was concerned it might make the binding bulky but it wasn’t a problem at all. The backing fabric is a festive rainbow of polkadots. Hope the girls enjoy this during their birthday month. I won’t see them for a couple of weeks so I need to get this off in the mail to them.

Update to last week’s post – I attending the Project Linus meeting and it was quite fun. These women work hard! So many donations that needed to have labels attached. Also loads of donations of fabric which I spent several hours sorting and measuring. I plan to return to the next meeting. Yay!

Enjoy the weekend everyone! I will be working on the SAHRR quilting which I am looking forward to.

2024 SAHRR – Round 5

It took me all week to get upstairs to work on my Round Robin project this week. But yesterday I did it! This week was Quilting Gail’s week to supply the prompt. Her only request was that, somehow, the number 4 factored into our decision for what to do with this round. Four patch blocks, use four colors, maybe 1/4 square triangles or pinwheel blocks – these use the number four in one way or another.

I had no problem deciding how to implement the suggestion of four in my round. I looked at the bits of leftovers I am working with and counted out four blue strips with tiny black and white HST’s attached to them.

I connected four of the HST’s with a square of the blue in between each one. Then I added enough of the blue strip to each end to be able to border one side of the Round Robin project.

It looks great. After attaching it to the left side of the quilt top, I measured the width of the rounds on each side of the original center block. Unless the prompt doesn’t work out, I plan to add the final round to the left side of the project and hope to emphasize black in that last round. This should lessen the asymmetry and balance things out a bit.

This has come together quickly and now that it is almost finished, I am looking at each section and planning how to quilt it. I enjoy quilting something small and easily maneuvered. This one will be fun.

We had one really nice day of sunny weather this week which was such a treat. Ray wanted to take out the boat as he had done quite a bit of work on it and needed to test a few things out.

As you can see, there was no one on the water. But the sun was out and the sky was just gorgeous. It was the perfect way to take advantage of a bit of sunshine. Heading to the end of February is leaving me hopeful spring is not far off!

This weekend I plan to attend a monthly meeting of the local chapter of Project Linus. I have donated to them before when in California. However, I haven’t ever gotten involved. Since moving up here, I haven’t been interested in joining a guild but I am interested in meeting other quilters and, as always, love service clubs and projects. Have any of you gotten involved with Project Linus? I am sure I will meet some like minded, nice people in the group!

100 Year Old Ladies, SAHRR Round 4, Ruler Quilting, and Hand Quilting

Lots to catch up on today! I think my priorities are correct in introducing my 100 year old grand daughter. Big sister is in first grade this year. She loves school so much. This week her class celebrated the 100th day of school for this year. The children came to school dressed up as though they were 100 years old. It was so much fun to see the joy on her face when the day finally rolled around.

She was so cute with her gray hair (wig) and cat eye glasses on a chain. H was watching the bus pull up with this huge grin on her face. These special days at school are so much fun for the kids.

Moving on to this year’s Stay At Home Round Robin…. It was Brenda’s week to choose what we were to incorporate into the round. She chose the square in a square block, also called an economy block. For some reason, I had the idea I needed to make a larger block and it was bothering me. I couldn’t come up with a way to use a bigger block. At first, I thought I would skip the whole round. But then I decided to try and make a tiny one. My first attempt was very wonky and I tossed it. Then I tried again and made two blocks I was happy with.

The blue piece set the size for the block. The blue square measured 1 1/2″. I cut large white squares for the surrounding triangles and chopped those in half. The finished square ended up being two inches. I made two of these. They are totally improv which means the center is not square. (I still need to trim the blue corners on the back side). I love them!

I also made this blue border by alternating the solid blue with two tiny black and white HST’s. As I mentioned before, all of these bits are leftover from a quilt I made a while back. As of yet, I have not attached the blue border or the tiny S-I-S blocks. I want to wait to see what comes up on Monday. But for now, I like the idea of this layout.

Stepping Stones Quilt; May, 2016

Since I keep referring to the quilt I first made with these pieces, I thought I would show the original quilt to you again. I made this quite a while ago as part of a quilt along with The Inquiring Quilter. Seems like seven plus years is long enough to hold on to the extra bits. Time to use them up!!

Hand quilting is a great way to keep my hands busy while watching television or listening to an audio book. This peek shows a snippet of a wall quilt I am working on. I stitched much of this while Ray watched the Super Bowl last weekend. By the end of that time, my fingers were sore. Even with a thimble, it is hard to push that needle back and forth for a long period of time.

In the sewing room, I have been working on a quilt for a blog hop in March. (I am way ahead of schedule on this)! The layout of this quilt allows for lots of FMQ practice. I have been quilting it with a straight ruler. After a number of squares like the one above, I think it is time to switch to a curved ruler. When I practice with the curved rulers, I have a lot more hiccups. There are so many pretty motifs to be stitched with rulers so I am motivated to keep practicing.

2024 SAHRR – Round 3

Another Monday rolled around and this meant a new prompt for the 2024 Stay At Home Round Robin (SAHRR). Hosted by a group of bloggers, headed up by Gail, this annual round robin is a great way to push myself creatively. The blogger for the week suggests a block or an idea and we interpret it as we feel works with our quilt.

This week’s blogging host is Emily of The Darling Dogwood. Her only specification was to incorporate triangles in this round. This clicked with me right away. After last week’s round (use only two colors) I knew I wanted to incorporate some of the black and white charm squares I have set aside for this project.

These leftover charm squares already have a 1 1/2 inch strip of blue already attached to them. I decided to cut triangles from the side where the blue meets the charm square.

I cut a 2 1/2″ triangle from each of these. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get two triangles from each one so I am saving the remaining pieces for another round (hopefully).

I wanted an equal size, white triangle in between each of the blue/black units. However, I didn’t really realize by doing this, I would be chopping off the points when I attached something to the top of this row. I should have made the white triangles larger so the points of the print charms would be encapsulated by the white and thus the points would be preserved. I am leaving it as is and not going to worry about it. Let’s all pretend I meant for it to be this way, ok?

I have some ideas for the next round but of course, I am waiting to see what the prompt is. I hope I can work within the prompt and the idea I am playing with. Currently this measures 15″ x 17″ which is great. Three more rounds should keep this to a nice wall hanging size.

Want to know one of the toughest parts about this event, for me anyway? It is waiting until the following Monday! Now that I sat and worked on it this morning, I don’t want to stop but I have to. Patience is a virtue, so they say. I need to work on that a little. Haha.

While I wait for next Monday’s prompt, I will go back to this project. I have a blog hop coming up in March and yesterday I spent some time piecing a backing for the quilt. It is so cute! Can’t wait to share this one with you all.

Hiking, Tea Parties, Crafts and Sewing with My Girls

We had the pleasure of spending last weekend with our grand daughters. They haven’t had a sleepover at Grammy and PePaw’s house since early fall so this was really a treat. My son dropped them off on Friday and came back Sunday to pick them up. As usual, we managed to do all sorts of things over the weekend.

On Friday, we spent a lot of time outside as Saturday promised to be very rainy. These girls love being outdoors and like all kids, they need that time to run around and burn some energy. They played frisbee and basketball for quite a bit before heading to the woods in front of our house. Both girls decided to dig for treasure without any preconceived notion of what that treasure might be. After digging for a long while, PePaw asked if they wanted to dig for worms.

They were excited about this and ran right to the compost bins. Previously the girls have held the worms in their hands, especially Big Sister. This time, they wanted them on their shovels to look at and then off the worms went, into a bucket. These girls are adventurous and try most any activity they are offered. While they were playing with worms, I snuck into the house and grabbed a handful of ‘treasure’ (marbles and little glass gems).

Acting quickly, I tossed them into the dirt nearby. It took forever for the kids to discover them but once they did, they were very excited. The interesting bit about this was how each girl thought the gems got there. H, being a very worldly six year old, immediately said “Grammy, the kids who lived here before you must have been playing here and forgot about these.” (Note – she has no idea whether any kids lived here before me). A wasn’t close by when her big sister explained this to me. A few minutes later, Little Sister asked me, “Do you think some pirates left these gems here?” Two very different theories. Of course at three years old, A doesn’t feel the need to explain where the pirates came from or why they left this treasure for her. She found five pieces of treasure and was so excited.

Back to the weekend, as expected it rained most of the day on Saturday. But this made for perfect crafting weather. We were looking at images on the computer trying to learn if rainbows could have pink in them even though poor, poor pink sadly is not ever mentioned in the ROYGBIV order of things. We decided yes, pink can be seen in rainbows. While doing this important research, we saw a craft making rainbows with colored stickers. Miraculously, Grammy had stickers in the craft drawer. They added cotton balls for clouds too. It was interesting to me to watch each girl make her rainbow. Big Sister wanted her stickers aligned on the guidelines but not touching. Little Sister insisted on overlapping her stickers so no guideline could be seen.

After lunch on Saturday we were invited to my parents, Great Papa and Great Grammy, for hot cocoa and cookies. The girls loved it and were super about letting us visit while they colored pictures and ate cookies.

Big Sister always asks to sew something while she is here. She knows I won’t refuse her this request. Usually we don’t sew when Little Sister is around because she really isn’t old enough. But it all worked out.

First project was to make this whole cloth project with A. She loves fire trucks and ambulances so I thought she would like this. My vision was to show her the matchbox cars and she could drive them along the roads, keeping busy so I could sew with H. She didn’t get into this at all. Blankets are for babies and stuffies. I don’t think a matchbox car even touched the fabric. It was immediately put to use to wrap up a stuffed animal. Soon Pepaw came to the rescue and took her downstairs to play.

This gave Big Sister and I plenty of time to get started on her first quilt. She was thrilled. Being a very tactile person, she favors the bin with flannels and minky scraps. Her choices centered around dog and cat fabrics and a bright pink scrap to brighten things up. I cut a stack of squares for her to arrange on the design wall.

I loved how seriously she took this part of the process. She wanted symmetry and was able to work it out with the squares she had. I wish I had taken more pictures but it is more fun to stay in the moment with her. This time, she was a very able participant. She sat on my lap and guided the fabric along. I showed her the 1/4″ markings and we talked about the need for a straight line. Fortunately, my machine has speed controls and I could set it to go very slowly. She also learned to pin the pieces together. This made her Grammy a little bit crazy. She looked at the pins like she was judging the quality of fine diamonds, choosing which pins she wanted to use. At times, I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, ‘c’mon, just pick a pin’. If you think about it, when sewing many things happen at the same time. Pressing the pedal, guiding the fabric, taking the pins out, pressing the seams etc. She was wanted to do each part. I did help quite a bit with keeping the fabric straight but she will get there.

To simplify the project, we didn’t use any batting. The quilt is very soft with a flannel backing. We sewed the layers right sides together and then flipped it right side out. H did a great job turning the corners out. That was as far as we got the first day. Sunday morning we finished it up with a topstitched edging and two lines of quilting, corner to corner. She chose to use ‘special stitches’ for those seams. I love the joy on her face in this picture. She was very proud of this project.

Sunday was better weather wise. We took the girls to the nearby park which also has some great hiking trails around it. After playing on wet slides and swings, we wandered into the woods. The girls spotted this rotten tree stump and started playing. They decided to make a person. Using moss for hair and the smile and leaves for eyes and nose, they soon had a person. Big Sister immediately named her Treetopolis.

Now you have a snapshot of the weekend. Not pictured are the pizzas we made, the paintings the girls did and the amazing shows they performed form us. One involved dance and the other featured their amazing air guitar skills. They are becoming such good friends. So much fun to be with – even if we did go to bed at 8:30 Sunday night after they went home. 🙂

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