This year I was tasked with making a very, very spooky costume for my grand daughter’s Halloween. A wanted to be a ghost, a spooky, spooky ghost. She was quite specific about this. When asked what a spooky ghost does, she pursed her lips into a tiny ‘O’ and said oooohhhh. That was the extent of it. She is so dang funny.
I asked my daughter in law what she thought would be a good spooky ghost outfit and she sent me a link from The Frugal Navy Wife. It looked adorable and super easy. I agreed to make it and promptly forgot about it! Two weeks ago my son asked me how the costume was coming along. Yikes! I quickly ordered a few things from Amazon and got going on it.
This couldn’t have been any easier. One piece of stretch lace was seamed into a loop sized to fit around A’s chest. A spool of six inch tulle was cut into 40″ lengths, or double the length I wanted the skirt to finish at. (Of course the spool I ordered from Amazon is enough to make about a hundred of these, but that’s ok. It will be used up at some point). I stretched the lace around a box so I would have something to work from.
Each piece of tulle was poked through the opening in the lace and the strip then pulled through the loop that formed. (Does this make sense?) I pulled down on the strips of netting to tighten the knot and made my way around the piece of stretch lace. I also looped a long piece of tulle from front to back so it could be tied as needed in back. It was sort of like the straps to a sundress.
Finally, I cut ovals from black and white felt for the eyes and the spooky, spooky mouth. These were hand stitched to the front.
Once it was finished I decided to make a matching headband with the stretch lace and a bit of tulle.
Our sweet girl was quite pleased with the costume and headband. She wore them to the Halloween party at her little toddler program.
Halloween finally rolled around. A was cranky and not in the mood for much. It turned out she was coming down with a virus and by the middle of the night (of course!) she had spiked a fever and was feeling miserable. I am really glad she got to go to the party at her school and enjoy a bit of Halloween there since she wasn’t able to enjoy it on the actual day.
I highly recommend this costume for anyone. It is simple and super cute! It would also be a great way to make a tutu. All different colors of tulle could be used to make it just how the ballerina wants it.
I am working on a quilt but it is going to be gifted to someone at the holidays. So no pictures of it until after Christmas. I am super happy with my progress so far! Take care everyone.
The last couple of days were such a blast. We have been wanting to have just one of our grand daughters over for a couple of days. Ray and I thought it would be fun to see what it would be like to have just one all to ourselves. Because H has kindergarten it worked best to have A over. I went and spent a night at their house and then brought her home with me the following day. (H will have her turn over one of the holiday breaks in November or December.)
We weren’t sure how this would go, having A over without big sister or her parents. What a pleasant surprise! She was so happy and content. Slept great, played and played, and enjoyed a few adventures with us.
Before she came over, I made a new quilt for the crib. It is getting colder and the quilt she was using is very lightweight. For this one, I filled it with two layers of 80/20 batting and backed it with flannel. It is super cozy.
I used a Fabric Cafe pattern called Dash for the quilt. It is very simple and requires three, one yard, pieces of fabric. I have a lot of yardage of both of the prints in this quilt and had just enough of the textured blue piece.
For the quilting, I stitched in the ditch around most of the pieces. Also, I tied simple knots in the center of each square with Perle cotton.
The backing isn’t a fantastic match but I had this piece of flannel in my box and it was big enough. In the interest of using up what I have, I called it good enough. The piece is super soft so it feels very cuddly.
While I was at it, I made a matching crib sheet and pillowcase. Like I said, I have a lot of this fabric on the shelf!! But it looks so sweet to have it all coordinated. This girl was very excited to see her bed with the ‘strawberry’ blankets. She thought the little flowers were strawberries and who am I to argue??
A is in the midst of potty training so she spent lots of time in her panties – I thought it was easier to skip the pants over them in case we had to get to the bathroom quickly. She didn’t have any accidents though so I think she is on her way to success! She and her grandpa played with this wooden train set I found at a thrift shop for $5.99. Great deal and she had a lot of fun setting it up and (mostly) crashing the train so it would derail. Hahaha.
I love this picture! We took A to the beach and hunted for shells. She was really immersed in this whole process. When we set the bag down for a bit to climb on some rocks, a couple of seagulls came over and pecked at the corner of the bag, trying to pick it up. Oh my gosh, she went nuts – clapping and shooing the birds away from her bag. It was really funny. Serious stuff for this two year old.
Remember this fabric doll kit I posted about earlier? It was a hit. She understood right away to use the velcro bits to dress her up. It was so sweet – she played with the princess quite a bit.
One afternoon I gave her some flannel pieces I had cut out ahead of time. She made Halloween ghosts and was able to use the little bits to create different faces. It is so satisfying to watch her enjoy these simple games and toys. She made happy ghosts, angry ghosts and spooky ghosts; each one’s mood dictated by the shape of the mouth she gave it.
Our time went by quickly. Both Ray and I were thrilled that she was so content to be here. We look forward to having her back soon – well, maybe after we take a couple of naps to recover!
It has been a while since I shared any updates on Julia. She is doing great at school this year. She works at the swine unit on campus and spends a lot of time helping the sows when they farrow. This photo is from the middle of the night when she spent a long while with a mama sow who was struggling to deliver her piglets because they were so darn big. They kept getting stuck and Julia ended up having to manually help them deliver (by reaching in and pulling the piglet out). These little guys are just enormous compared to the newly birthed piglets she usually sees. It is such a great picture because the piglets look so happy to be out in the world and Julia is clearly happy with the outcome of the experience.
That is it for now. I hope all of you have a lovely weekend!!
If you are around my age, you might remember Betsy McCall. This cute paper doll was printed in McCall’s Magazine beginning in the early 1950’s. I am unsure how long the doll was included in the magazine but I did read that Barbie took over in popularity pushing poor Betsy aside. I remember cutting out the dolls and her clothes though. As kids, my sisters and I also enjoyed these booklets made of heavier paper with dolls and their clothing printed in them. I think the printings were perforated so it was easier to ‘cut’ them out.
Fast forward to 2022 and a new way of playing with dolls!
I have had three of these panels in my stash for a short while. I saw them on a destash sale and snapped them up ($3.00 each including shipping)! I thought it would be fun for my grand daughters to play with plus having another panel for a future gift wouldn’t hurt.
This week I put this together. It didn’t exactly go together according to the instructions by Riley Blake. Creating the outer pouch and handles was very simple. It is filled with a stiff, fusible fleece to give it some body.
When the pouch is opened, you see a bed for the princess and on the other side is her closet – much needed for her beautiful dresses.
There are quite a few dresses for this girl to choose from!
This is where Riley Blake’s instructions failed me (and other makers according to a quick internet search). The company then tells us to cut out the doll and her dresses. We are told to fuse flannel to the back of the dresses so they will stick to the doll. Ummm, nope – that was a fail. The dresses didn’t stick even a tiny bit. Just kept sliding off the princess in the most embarrassing way. I felt so sorry for the girl. Also, for some reason the flannel doesn’t adhere terribly well to the doll and clothes so I did a quick stitch around the perimeter to make sure they didn’t come apart. I think the flannel is helpful in adding substance to the clothes so stitching it is better than just skipping that step.
To fix this, our princess had to undergo a bit of surgery where I stitched a small bit of velcro to her chest and head. It didn’t seem terribly painful and she recovered quickly. Then I stitched matching bits of velcro to the backside of each dress and hat. Now she won’t endure the shame of running around in her nightgown and my grand daughters won’t be upset when they cannot keep her clothes on.
My younger grand daughter is coming tomorrow for a sleepover. Her big sister has a field trip to the pumpkin patch and her dad is volunteering with that. I am curious to see how A likes this new toy. I could see this being great for a distraction on a car ride or maybe in a restaurant while waiting for dinner. But mostly I plan to play with her and see where her imagination takes this princess.
So excited to see the kids this weekend! I hope life is treating you well – What are you up to? Home enjoying the beginning of fall weather? Doing something creative in the sewing room? Tell me!
Linking to my favorites – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Lots of fun happening around here these days! Making, baking, getting outside and spending time with family have taken the bulk of my time lately. I couldn’t remember what I had shared lately but after taking a look at my photos on my phone, I found several projects to write about.
Let’s start with these cute matching sweatshirts. I wanted to play with the serger machine my sister gave me a while back. It is really useful for finishing a seam when making clothing. A couple of years back, I picked up about two yards of extra wide pink fleece at a thrift shop. I am not one for this color so I didn’t make anything with it. With cooler weather coming, I decided to make my grand daughters matching pullover tops. When they were here a couple of weeks ago, I tried them on the girls. I had made the necklines with the fleece fabric and there wasn’t nearly enough stretch. I could hardly get them over the girls’ heads. Back up to the sewing room to unpick the stitches and replace the necklines with a ribbed knit (also thrifted!). I haven’t tried them on yet but the neck is quite stretchy so I think they will fit well now.
This next project is long overdue. I don’t wear an apron too often but if I am doing something messy in the kitchen I like to have one on. This (thrifted) fabric is so cool. It is a very lightweight denim with a print that looks embroidered on it.
To give it some body, I lined it with a piece of yardage off my shelf. The pattern called for hemming the edges but really, lining the full apron is better. It gives the apron some heft and takes much less time than rolling the hem all the way around the entire apron. I think it provides a nicer finish overall plus it is reversible.
I wasn’t in need of another sewing machine but when I saw this at an estate sale, I couldn’t pass it up. It works so well and has the basics – different speeds for sewing, needle up/down, and a nice selection of stitches. It will be great if I have someone over to sew with, for teaching my girls to sew (this machine is less complicated than the Bernina), and for a back up if the Bernina is getting serviced. It is also much lighter in weight which is nice when taking a machine to a class. Totally worth the $28 I paid for it!!
I make these on a regular basis. Wrapping gifts at holiday time uses lots of paper which isn’t terribly ecological. Since I have quite a collection of Christmas fabric, I made four more gift bags. These are lined and have ribbon drawstrings. I tend to make them in a variety of sizes and fabrics so they fit different size gifts. I tried for a better photo but honestly, I got lazy and didn’t want to stuff them. Hahaha.
What do think? This is just a peek at a project I am working on now. It will be a wall quilt for our bedroom. More on this as it progresses. I am really thrilled with it thus far.
These cookies were so yummy. I wanted to make some non-dairy cookies for last weekend. My son and his wife came for a weekend of visiting, beach walks and some fishing. Anyway, I chose to try these Tahini Cookies from The Mediterranean Dish. Wow! Soooo good. Tahini is a sesame seed paste and has a different flavor. My DIL didn’t really like them but the rest of us sure did. I made a few substitutions with the recipe – mainly using vegetable shortening instead of butter and rolling them in confectioners sugar after they cooled a bit. I will surely make these again.
My son turns 32 years next week. Since we won’t see him on his birthday, I made a cake for him last weekend. Again, dairy free. This bundt cake is based on a cake mix but I added chocolate chips (dairy free), dairy free yogurt, an extra egg, and a splash of Kahlua. For the frosting, I heated one cup of oat milk and poured it over one cup of dairy free chocolate chips. When they melted completely, I whipped the mixture with powdered sugar until I got the consistency I wanted. It was sort of mousse like? I had to keep it in the refrigerator because it doesn’t really set up. Really yummy though. Ian took a chunk home with him and we finished the rest this week.
I had the pleasure of hanging out on the beach with my DIL, Shar, and their dog Isla while the guys fished. Shar actually likes fishing as well but didn’t have a license so we were on puppy care duty. It was a beautiful day out.
I saved the best for last in this post! Shar loves to embroider and made this for me for my birthday. I love it so much. The quilt is adorable and each square has a different stitch. Look at the clothes pins holding it to the line – the detail work in this piece is just awesome. It is so special to me and I am really touched that she made this for me.
OK – I think I have caught you up for now. This weekend is a local quilt show. The featured quilter is actually someone from Grass Valley (where I used to live). She was in the guild there and is now President of the guild up here. I am looking forward to seeing her work.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!! Is fall weather starting where you live? The days are getting shorter and the leaves are just beginning to change here.
Linking to my favorites – see the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
October is here which means we have been in our new house for almost six months. Seems like one would have all the boxes unpacked at this point but nah… there are too many other fun things to do.
For instance, we had my mother in law here for a visit last week. She had not seen the house yet. It was super fun to show her the area. Like me, she is a fan of beach combing so we spent a lovely afternoon wandering at the water’s edge picking up shells and sea glass. The weather could not have been better.
Just before she came, I put the finishing touches on this mini. I worked in slow motion when attaching the binding so I could minimize any issues with the hearts. I just didn’t leave quite enough room for the binding. All is well though and I hardly touched the little hand quilted hearts.
It looks so cute on the wall. I already want to start a new mini. They are super satisfying because I can finish them quickly.
These photos make me laugh each time I look at them. Julia and her buddies at the swine unit were making a social media post to welcome the students back to campus. She was trying to pose with one of her favorite 500 pound boars, Leopard. He was feeling frisky and wanted to play rather than stand still. Hahaha.
My son built an electric bike with two seats on it for the girls. The three of them love it and cruise all over with it. It helps for him to have a little boost of power to cart the weight of two kids behind him.
Yesterday Andrew was trying to keep the girls out of the house. My DIL has to work nights for a couple of days so she needs to sleep during the day. They found a festival they could ride too. The girls waited in line for quite a while for this fancy cotton candy. It was huge so they shared it. Isn’t it cool though? I haven’t seen anything like this before.
I had my own bit of fun yesterday. One of the local quilt guilds held a fabric sale as a fundraiser. Fabric was $3.00 per pound so shoppers just filled their bag, it was weighed and then calculated. I told myself not to buy any small pieces as I just don’t need them. Instead I looked for stretch knits to make t-shirts and larger pieces of cotton for potential backings. I also needed some fusible batting for a project I am going to make (more on that later). I was so successful! I bought 20 yards of fabric, a large unopened package of fusible batting and a new triangular ruler for $27.00. I am in the process of washing the fabric now. What fun!
That is it for now. Today’s plan is a long walk this morning and a bit of yard work. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!
This quilt has been a long time in the works. It is ‘just a patchwork’, no complicated piecing, no fussy blocks, but oh I have wanted to make it for a really long time! There are a some really gorgeous quilts made with very bold colors which totally appeal to me. A while back, I started to collect pieces with powerful color and scale. When I had my shop, I would cut 1/3 yard of pieces that appealed to me and set them aside in a project bag. I got lucky at thrift stores and garage sales a number of times and picked up pieces that I knew would work in this quilt. Mixing the scale and the lights and darks to make sure there was a good variety was a lot of fun. Finally the project bag was full to bursting and I knew I had enough to work with.
Doing some very complicated math, I decided to cut 11″ blocks and end up with a quilt measuring about 100 x 110 inches. This is by far the biggest quilt I have made. The piecing was not a big deal. I laid the squares on the floor and moved them around for a bit trying to keep like fabrics from touching. Other than that, I didn’t worry too much about a particular layout.
Once the top was assembled, I had to move furniture around to be able create enough floor space to baste it. Honestly, this is a monster size quilt (for me anyway)! The backing is a wide back I saved for this project when I closed the shop. I am fortunate to have a reasonably sized sewing table but it wasn’t going to work for this. So I commandeered the dining room for a couple of days to quilt this. I don’t know how I could have free motioned it – there is so much weight. Instead, I bought a walking foot (hurray!!) and stitched straight lines, two inches from each seam.
I do love this bar for projects like this. The walking foot came with one for the left and another for the right side. It really wasn’t too difficult except for when quilting the middle sections – there was a lot to stuff through the throat of the machine at that point. It all worked out though – save for a few puckers on the backing. I took a bit of time and ripped out some stitching to fix a few of the puckers. For the most part though, I left them as is. After all, it is the back side of a utility quilt. Who is going to see those puckers?
It doesn’t show in the photos but, on a whim, I decided to use the blanket stitch on my Bernina for the binding. I can’t give a reason for this – I just thought it would look cool. Which it does but, oh my gosh, it ended up taking fooorrevvver to bind this.
This quilt is a bit like a quilter’s I Spy quilt. See if you can find fabrics by the following designers: Alison Glass, Sharon Holland, BariJ, Kaffe Fasset, Malta Dubrowsky, or Amy Butler – there is something from all of them. (Plus many where I cannot tell you who designed them)!
Another fun fact – this is the first time I filled a quilt with wool batting. It surprised me how different it was to work with. Much puffier (more loft) so the quilt is thicker. When I cut my usual 2 1/4″ strips of binding, I didn’t know there would be such a difference and it was a bit challenging to wrap that binding over the side. Next time I will definitely cut a 2 1/2″ binding. That should work better. I love the feel and heft of the quilt plus it feels warmer.
I have fabric set aside to make a couple of matching pillow shams. This is going to happen very soon. Shams will finish this off nicely!
Thanks for reading folks! Big quilt equals long post I suppose!
Beginning today, C&T Publishing is holding their warehouse sale! I love this event because they clear out some excellent books at great prices. Enjoy up to 70% off of loads of titles! Sale runs through Sunday, September 25, 2022. (Yep – this is an affiliate link!)
Linking with my usuals, found at the top of the page under Link Ups. Check out some of these sites to see what everyone is making!
Hi All – Just popping in to tell you the following. If you have a quilt for Mercy Hospital and have not yet mailed it, please hold on to it for now! The person who receives the quilts and brings them to the hospital is located near a horrible fire in California. She has been put on evacuation notice. So she doesn’t want any packages to be sent, in case she does indeed have to evacuate her home. I will send out another post when all is well again and Mercyful quilts can be mailed.
If you have mailed a quilt in the couple of days, it will most likely be held at the post office as they do not deliver mail in the evacuated areas. It is just easier to put off mailing things until this fire is under control.
So far, the “Mosquito” fire has burned 30,000 acres and over 6,000 people have been evacuated. Please keep the fire fighters and those who are suffering the effects of these tragic fires in your thoughts. The west coast, and California in particular, suffers more each year. It is an awful season to endure each summer and fall.
When I started to collect my thoughts for this post, I realized that pink is a common theme with the projects I intend to share. This is strange because it isn’t one of my favorite colors. Hence the title to the post. Let’s see what I have been working on.
Remember I shared about a quilt show and lavender festival I attended earlier this summer? While at the show, I picked up an almost finished quilt top because I knew it would be sweet as a Mercyful quilt. Then center was complete but smaller than I wanted so I added two borders.
Quilting this was a quick effort using a serpentine style straight stitch following the lines of the blocks.
What makes this quilt for me is the backing. I have a few pieces of 60″ wide voile made by Frou Frou. It is so silky soft. It was a trick to make this work because the quilt is nearly 60″ wide. Using an excessive of pins when basting (to make sure it didn’t shift while quilting it) worked though. I used a sweet pink floral for the binding. It is ready to be sent off to Patty for Mercy Hospital.
Before Julia went back to California in July, she asked me to make her another bag. She wanted the same pattern as the previous two I made for her. (When this girl finds something she likes, she sticks with it!) I have used this reversible bag tutorial at Very Purple Person. I believe this is the fourth bag I have made with this pattern. Julia shopped my fabrics and found this piece; a fantastic print designed by Ocllo Mason for QT Fabrics. I received it as a sample when I had my shop (I do miss those occasional freebies!). It looks like a galaxy and the colors are so rich.
Julia helped me to center the pieces for the bag so she would have two distinct patterns, one for each side. She chose a pale white tone on tone fabric for the lining.
This girl loves simplicity so there is one medium size pocket inside with a velcro closure as well as a velcro closure for the main bag. Easy peasy. I just mailed off a few things to Julia the other day and this bag is included in the box.
Final project for this post! At the same quilt show I mentioned earlier, I also picked up a few books. This little pamphlet by Moda Fabrics was one of those. It contains super simple ideas for using up 2 1/2″ squares. I often cut my scraps this size and knew it would come in handy.
I have several sets of those bonus HST’s from making flying geese blocks. If I can remember to just stitch them before trimming the corners, they are almost ready to go for use in a new project.
OK – this project is only sort of pink. But the background (while it doesn’t photograph as such) is fuchsia and there is pink in some of the HST’s so I decided it still fits.
The quilting is a lot of fun and nearly complete. The trick will be binding it and not catching any of the hearts in that process. I kind of wish I had added a small border to help with this but I didn’t have enough of the background fabric. I’ll just have to go slowly (not my forte!)
OK – those are the projects I have been working on – and two are even finished! Woot! Here is my closing picture of my girls. Little sister sure misses H during the day. Kindergarten is a full day program in their district and A is so excited when her big sister gets home!
In the ‘live’ version of this picture, A is running toward her big sister. It is adorable!
Hope everyone is looking toward a fun weekend. I know so many parts of the country are dealing with this horrible heat wave. Because it is super difficult to cool off in many parts of the US; I think staying inside and sewing is the only sensible solution. 🙂
This quilt is a first for me. I have never backed a quilt with fleece. As I was making this little Halloween quilt, it seemed like a fun thing to try. I was hoping for a soft, cuddly quilt and wow – backing it with fleece did the trick. Early in the summer, I browsed an estate sale of a quilter. I restrained myself and bought only some Halloween fabric plus a few books. The fabric was from an older line designed by Debbie Mumm.
Using fleece made the quilt feel substantial enough that I decided not to put batting between the quilt top and the fleece. I had read of some issues with quilting fleece backed projects so I pinned the heck out of it before quilting. It was interesting – for some reason, the straight line quilting was more difficult than the free motion. (I tried both out.) I suspect this is because I still haven’t bought a walking foot for my new machine.
A few posts back, I shared the pumpkins I made with strips of fabric. Using a tutorial by Jayne over at Twiggy and Opal, I framed the pumpkins and then cut them so they would be a little bit wonky. I like the whimsical effect of having them slant to the right and left.
To make things a bit more interesting, I placed the panel off to the side so that the quilt isn’t symmetrical. When I quilted it, I did straight lines for most of the borders and then echoed around the tree and the cats on the panel. Very simple quilting was the ticket.
The binding was made with fabric I had on the shelf; machine stitched to the front and hand stitched to the back.
It isn’t feeling like fall outside just yet but while out walking, I have seen some leaves that are turning color already. It won’t be too long before autumn is here. We are spending Saturday afternoon with my son and his family. We haven’t seen them for a couple of weeks so we are looking forward to it.
My son and his wife took the girls on a long camping trip last week. They shared so many great pictures of their adventures. But this was my favorite. These two sisters have an awesome bond.
Hope you are finding ways to celebrate the end of summer! Kids are going back to school and fall is on the way. Enjoy!
Linking up with the Peacock Party as well as other favorites. Find the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Just stopping in to thank all of you for such a successful quilt along. Mercyful Quilts now has another batch of fresh, gorgeous quilts on the way. I am always looking for ways to keep the shelf full for their Palliative Care department and all of you are a huge part of that.
Many thanks to Preeti (Sew Preeti Quilts) for heading this Positivity QAL up for the second year in a row. Preeti designs the quilt, writes up the instructions, keeps the timeline and answers many questions from quilters needing a little help here or there. Without her, this event wouldn’t happen. Thanks also to the quilters who graciously spend their time and money to make a quilt (or two!) for the program. I believe we have about 15 quilts this year as a result of the event. There may be one or two more that get finished up later and that is totally fine.
Due to the generosity of Art Gallery Fabric and Benartex Fabric, each quilter who finished a quilt and either linked up or sent me a picture of the final quilt will receive a gift. I know the prize, or gift, is not the reason we make these comfort quilts. But it is nice to be able to replenish your fabric after you have given up some of your stash to make a quilt for us. These gifts will go out in the mail later this week. If Preeti or I don’t have your address, we will contact you to get the mailing information.
As I write this post, I am thinking about how grateful I am to have your support for Mercyful Quilts. When I consider the time it takes to make a quilt, the expense of the fabric, batting, backing and binding, possible expense of a long arm quilter, and the cost of the postage – this is no small undertaking. Many people don’t understand how many hours and hours go into each quilt. Nor do they know the amount of money spent to make one lap size quilt. But I know and am so thankful. When I count my blessings, each of you are counted.