Author Archives: Bernie

String Frenzy Book Tour

Today is my stop on the String Frenzy Book Tour!! You may have already read a few posts about this new book by none other than Bonnie Hunter. Bonnie, queen of scrappy quilts, has been at it again and this new book is the result of hours and hours of work. If you are new to my blog, welcome! I am so glad you’re here and hope you will take a few minutes to look around.

One of the things that impressed me about the book is Bonnie’s level of detail. She discusses the basics on block construction, string blocks, crumb blocks and foundation piecing. Lots and lots of great information for the beginner to intermediate quilter which is right where I fall.

Once she provides a good basis of instruction, she moves into the patterns. This book contains twelve unique quilt patterns with wonderful instruction. The difficulty ranges from advanced beginner to intermediate skill level.

I haven’t made a scrappy quilt in a very long time, which is made abundantly clear by the overflowing scrap bins and the pile of scraps not put away (for lack of a bin to fit them into)! While I didn’t have time to make an entire quilt, I did want to try one of the patterns. Making a table runner seemed more manageable with the other projects I have going on right now.

Daybreak from the String Frenzy book by Bonnie K Hunter

For my project, I selected the Daybreak pattern. I liked the tiny four patch blocks and the string pieced sashing Bonnie used in this pattern. These four patch blocks each finish at 2 1/2 inches. I used strip piecing to make these which was pretty darn quick.

Little four patch blocks.

When I was reading the book I decided rather than going with a totally scrappy look, I would choose a couple of colors to emphasize. My choices were green, blue and purple.

Scrappy four patch blocks

Then I decided I would use a pale green for the setting triangles within each block.

The borders were all pieced using my abundant supply of neutral scraps. I cut them into strings of varying widths and sewed large sections together. Then these were cut into strips measuring 2 1/2″ by 8″.

Finished! My version of Daybreak, just three blocks in all!

This is the finished project! I had intended to use it as a table runner but I really like it and am debating putting a sleeve on the back and hanging it in my sewing room. The finished measurements are approximately 12″ x 32″ and I have a spot on the wall that might work just fine. I need to think on that for a bit.

Quilting it was enjoyable. It has been a while since I have done any free motion quilting. I stitched in the ditch around the five on-point blocks within each block because I knew I wouldn’t be quilting those. I wanted to leave them alone. Additionally, I used loops on the low volume scrappy sashing and some wavy lines on the light green triangles.

As it should with a scrappy quilt, every bit of fabric came from my stash. I didn’t take a photo of the backing but even that was in the closet! Yay for using up some fabrics that have languished for a long while.

All in all, this is a great book. Lots of fun ways to use scraps and if you don’t want to make the entire quilt, go for a mini, a table topper or a runner. I love making smaller projects because there is a satisfying finish and practicing my FMQ is so much easier on small quilts.

Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour and look at the projects made by the rest of the gang. Here is the schedule:

Friday, 4/5: C&T Publishing at ctpub.com/blog

Saturday, 4/6: Pat Sloan at ilovetomakequilts.com

Sunday, 4/7: Sandra Clemons at makeitblossomdesigns.com

Monday, 4/8: Susan Arnold at quiltfabrication.com

Tuesday, 4/9: Bernie Kringel at needleandfoot.com. (You are here!!)

Wednesday, 4/10: Bonnie Hunter at quiltville.blogspot.com

Bonus!! C&T Pubs has generously provided me with an e-book of String Frenzy to give to one lucky reader. Leave me a comment and let me know if you are a scrappy quilter. Do you make lots of scrappy projects? What is your favorite way to use your scraps – and what constitutes a scrap? Will you save a 1.5″ square? How small is too small?? Looking forward to hearing back from you. Giveaway open until Friday and I will draw a winner over the weekend!

UPDATE: Giveaway now closed. Winner was comment #6, Sandy M! Congrats Sandy. Enjoy the book! 🙂

Sale happening in the shop this week!!


Calling to all customers!! I have all Michael Miller fabrics on sale at 50% off through the weekend! Yep — Such a great deal. Hop over the shop and take a look. I am sure you will find something you love. Prices can’t be beat. Shipping is a flat rate of $6.99 no matter how large the order is. Happy Shopping!!

Newsletter!

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Odds & Ends

I am supposed to be at a class today. I have been really looking forward to it – Mel Beach came up from the South Bay to teach a workshop for our guild. But, as you can probably guess, the past two days were migraine days and I am wiped out today. It seemed ‘too difficult’ to cart the sewing machine and supplies and be in class, listening and comprehending a technique today. The day or two after a migraine are just weary for me. So, I am home.

I thought I would catch up with you. It has been a while since I have shared the Mercyful Quilts I’ve received. They are just gorgeous, I am sure you will agree!

Six new beautiful quilts for Mercy Hospital!

As always, the quilts are stunning. Each one is so unique and more beautiful than the last. Mercy Hospital’s Palliative Care team is so grateful for these. I hope you know how much your work and generosity are appreciated by staff and the families who are given these comforting, loving quilts. If this program is new to you, read this post and this one to see what it is all about!

I could drool over these Art Gallery bolts all day long.

I have been running out of space in the shop so I ordered a wire shelving rack. It is now filled with Art Gallery Fabric, my favorite of all fabric. Isn’t it a pleasure to look at this and just think of the projects one could make??? I have a box of AGF arriving today and I can’t wait. There will be a couple of new colors from the Pure Elements solid line as well as a few more from Maureen Cracknell’s Sun Kissed line. It’s like Christmas morning every time a box shows up!!

Did you have any idea of all the choices??

I am out of Mary Ellen’s Best Press and went to order a bottle on-line. Did you have any idea of the number of scents it is made with? I thought there was just the regular Mary Ellen’s – this caught me by surprise. Just what do you suppose “Caribbean Beach” smells like?? Of course I ordered unscented. I am not a fan of fragrance – not in lotion, creams – none of it. This was news to me. (I lead such an exciting life.)

OK – Better get busy. My project for today is to make a couple of simple curtains for the Downieville house. There is a stairwell off the kitchen, leading to the basement and it has a couple of windows. Those windows are single pane and can be quite warm in summer and chilly in winter. I am going to use this vintage sheet and line them with a heavy muslin. I think that will help and they will look cute. The old fashioned floral is perfect for the house. I have an old curtain from the window to use for measurements so this should be a quick project. (if my post-migraine brain cooperates.) Wish me luck!

If you haven’t yet read the fantastic comments and discussion on this post, please do! So many quilters are sharing their mistakes and quilting blunders. So funny to read these and very validating!! There is time to enter a comment sharing your experience as well. ( I am definitely reading all of them and trying to comment on most – it has been a challenge because of my head.) Prizes are offered!! Winners drawn Saturday morning. Go check it out.

Quilting, In Real Life

I have thought about hosting an event like this for a long while now. Occasional frustration while scrolling my various social media feeds got me thinking. While I do love the inspiration found on Instagram and Facebook, sometimes it makes me wish I were more skilled or more artistic or more prolific a quilter or more, just more. Know what I mean? It seems to me we should share both – the mistakes and the achievements, the blunders and the best of our work. This would present a balanced picture, it would show quilting – in real life!

In an effort to do this, I invite anyone who wants to share to leave a story in the comments. Explain what your mistake was, how you did or didn’t fix it, and what you learned from it (if anything!). Bloggers – if you write a post describing the same, please put the URL in a comment so we can all click through and read about your silly mistake or misunderstanding.

I have so many I could tell you about but I have chosen one big one that I chuckle about almost every time I bind a quilt. I would define this as a complete misunderstanding. I don’t have any wonderful pictures to illustrate this so I will just have to tell the story.

When I started quilting, I basically taught myself. This was back in the late 1970’s. At that time, I made three quilts – each one queen size. I had no clue about actually quilting a quilt so they were hand tied. Also, I didn’t know about binding a quilt so they were sort of made ‘envelope’ style. I layered the front and back, right sides together. Then I stitched around the perimeter, leaving an opening large enough to turn it right sides out. Then, get this, I took a layer of polyester batting and inserted it into the quilt and basically crawled in with it as far as I could to smooth it out. So the batting wasn’t really stitched in to anything and you can bet it was lumpy but I was 17 or 18 and I thought this was fine. This is sort of the back story – it isn’t the misunderstanding. We haven’t gotten there yet! I just wanted to tell you where I was coming from as far as quilting knowledge goes! It helps to know that though I began sewing when I was 11 years old, I made clothes – not quilts. I took home ec classes in high school and learned a lot about sewing then. You can read a post here that talks more about those classes if you like. The rules for making clothes are quite different than those for making quilts. This is what caused my major misunderstanding!!

Fast forward from 1978 to 2010 and I began quilting again. This time I had the benefit of all the tutorials on the internet. I read many and they were (and still are) very helpful. Some of the first projects I made were minis and table runners. Then I moved on to trying to make some lap size quilts. Binding quilts was quite tricky for me. I would look at the pictures of other quilts and the crisp bindings with beautifully mitered corners and wonder why the heck mine looked so weird.

Want to know why? Let me tell you. For the most part, I understood the process of making the double fold binding, stitching to 1/4″ before the corner and then off the corner, then I mitered the corner as I turned. All of that worked well. Once I got the binding entirely stitched on, I made my mistake.

I assumed that the 90 degree corner needed to be clipped! After all that work, I went to each of the corners and snipped them off!!! No kidding. I didn’t do this only once either. I did it to a couple of quilts before I figured it out. When sewing clothes, pillow cases or anything with a 90 degree angle, the corner is clipped off so when you turn it right side out, there is a nice crisp corner without excess fabric bunching it up. Well, as we know, bindings are folded over the corners and the corners need to be intact so they fill the binding. My habit to clip those corners was so strong I just did it automatically. Let’s just say the bindings on the first couple of quilts were very weird indeed. I don’t have any pictures of this. But I assure you, I did it repeatedly.

There were actually several habits that were hard to change when I started quilting. Using a 1/4″ seam felt so wrong to me. It didn’t seem like such a small seam could actually hold the pieces together. When sewing clothes, it is standard to use a 5/8″ seam. Also, I am used to back tacking each time I start and stop a seam. Most of the time, I still do this. Old habits die hard. But when I am piecing small blocks, it is problematic if I tack at the beginning and end of the seams – it can make my seams too fat, make the blocks too small, and sometimes causes those bitty pieces to get sucked into the machine at the feed dogs (which makes me crazy!)

We are all constantly learning. Many of my readers are amazing quilters, some are quite new to it and others are like me – gaining confidence with much still to learn. But – we are all right where we should be. Our projects should not be compared. They are as unique as each of us which is what makes life interesting.

I am looking forward to reading tales from others about your blunders, mishaps and misunderstandings! I had planned to have a link up ready for those with blog posts. Well, the weekend got away from me and it didn’t happen. Instead, bloggers, please leave the URL link to your blog post in a comment. Readers, please scroll the comments and click through to read the mistakes others have made. I can almost guarantee I will both learn something by reading these and will also have a laugh or two. For readers who are not bloggers, will you tell your story of a mistake or goof you made? Explain it, tell us how you did or didn’t fix it – share with us! Your story in a comment enters you in the drawing for the prizes! Readers, if you want to comment on others stories, please feel free. I think this will be a lot of fun.

At the end of the week, I will close the comments. Then I am going to draw names from all who entered their story and prizes will be given! Remember from the prior post? We have a gorgeous fat quarter bundle from Art Gallery Fabric, a $30 gift certificate to my shop, three pdf patterns from Bonjour Quilts, one pdf pattern from Devoted Quilter, two mini charm packs from My Sewcalled Quilts. Also, one more prize has been thrown into the mix – one book from C&T Publisher will also be awarded. Lots of fun things to give away!! (Note, when you leave your comment, please let me know if you live outside the US. I have to limit the fat quarter bundle to US residents only – darn those shipping costs!)

Thanks to everyone for participating! We need to encourage each other – one way to do this is to show both sides; our successes and our blunders!

Big Decisions!

It is that time of year. College acceptances and declinations are being emailed out to all sorts of college seniors. Julia and her friends have been texting like mad, announcing what universities they did or didn’t get into. It is a very competitive process these days. I remember back in the day; you know, when I was walking five miles to school (up-hill) each way in the snow, it wasn’t such a huge deal to apply for college. I went to our local community college for two years and when I finished up the general education classes, I chose a four year university and picked a major. My main decision point was, in all honesty, where was my boyfriend going to attend? Sounds terrible, but it’s the truth. I also remember that in 1980 when I started college, the tuition fee each quarter was $69 ($207/year). I applied and just assumed I would get in. It wasn’t thought to be a big deal. I took the SAT’s but didn’t do anything amazing with those. My grades were reasonable but certainly not more than a 3.4 (or so?) GPA.

Oh how things have changed! The tuition at my alma mater is now up to approximately $3,200 per quarter ($9,600/year). Last year of the 55,000 applicants about 16,000 were accepted. There were 10,000 applicants with GPA’s of 4.0 or more who were turned down. The competition is fierce. College juniors and seniors take the SAT and ACT tests multiple times and when they aren’t satisfied with their scores, they work with SAT prep tutors. GPA’s of 4.0 and higher are prevalent and these kids are fighting for their spot.

Julia was fortunate in that she applied to four universities and was accepted at each one. We have done tours, walked campuses and, of course, talked and talked and talked. Julia had several decision points when choosing where to go but the most important was….. the swine unit! Once we got to this one, I knew her decision was made!


My daughter in her happy place.

The swine unit at this particular university is gigantic. There are approximately ten litters born each month. We saw the nursery area and drooled over these tiny piglets.

Look at them, one on top of the other! So funny.

We had toured the swine unit at other universities last year and while they were nice, they just didn’t compare.

Tell me the pig on the right isn’t smiling!

We went home from this particular tour and my daughter thought and thought about her choices. We called and cancelled our flights and the campus tours which were scheduled for next weekend.

Last Saturday she committed and is officially going off to college in September! This is such a milestone in her life. (Mine too! She is the last kiddo at home – the chicks will have all flown the coop!!) Here she is accepting the offer and of course, you know what the next step was. “Mom, what credit card should I use for the deposit?” Here we go!

I thought I would make a little something to surprise her – to celebrate this important decision. Looking through my stash, I remembered a piece of fabric Julia picked up last fall during a trip to Ben Franklin. It was a Riley Blake piece with piggies wallowing in mud and it made her smile.

Aren’t they cute? Snorkels and beach balls. Hahaha.

Pigs truly have a love of mud. Julia usually keeps a nice sized mud puddle in the pen for her piggies to play in and cool off with.

Anyway, my thought was to make a couple of pillow cases. They are simple and so fun to make. It had been a while since I had made these so I looked at the tutorial at the Seasoned Homemaker to refresh my memory. These are super easy to make and look so nice when complete. Using French seams creates a lovely finish on the inside.

These took very little time to whip up. I used a white on white fabric called Fool’s Gold from my shop. It is by Libs Elliot and the white is absolutely crisp. I think it dresses up the look just a bit (if that can happen with pigs playing in mud?!?) The soft pink trim was a scrap I had (always nice to use those up!)

I know the match isn’t perfect for the quilt she has on her bed but they are cute nonetheless. Julia is excited these days because there is so much going on with the last semester of high school! Next weekend she will select her piglet for this year. Photos to come!

If you haven’t tried making these ‘burrito style pillowcases’, I encourage you to give it a try. They look so pretty and are not at all difficult. Is it time to personalize your bed with some nice new pillowcases?

Owning Our Imperfections

Not sure if you read my previous blog post but I want to remind everyone that on April 1st (next week) I am hosting an event inviting everyone to share their mistakes, goofs, boo-boos and misunderstandings about quilting (or sewing in general)! It is often disconcerting to look at the world of perfection that is usually shared on social media. There are some who generously share their errors along with their gorgeous quilts. But it isn’t often enough. At times, this leads to a feeling of discouragement. Surely I am not the only one who has scrolled Instagram and come away feeling like everyone’s quilts are so much better than mine. Quilting isn’t done to one-up the next person but it is hard to avoid this feeling. Maybe it just depends on my state of mind on any given day but it happens.

Let’s build each other up by taking a view of quilting in real life! Share a mistake you made, chuckle at yourself, explain how it taught you something or maybe how you fixed it. (If you threw it out, explain why you decided to). This will be so much fun!

From our very generous sponsor, Art Gallery Fabric

Plus prizes… who doesn’t like prizes??? We have a very generous gift from Art Gallery Fabric. They have donated a fat quarter bundle of Matchmade, a gorgeous new line of blenders featuring deliciously saturated tones. Designed by Pat Bravo, this bundle has 20 different pieces which means this bundle is a gift of five yards of fabric from AGF to one lucky winner!

More prizes!!!

Look, more prizes! Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts has provided three PDF patterns! Have you seen her work? So many wonderful patterns to choose from! Leanne at Devoted Quilter has given a PDF pattern too! Another talented designer, Leanne has an assortment of striking patterns in her shop. She also has several free ones that are tempting me as I write this! Linda of My Sew-Called Quilts has provided two mini charm packs of Grunge. There isn’t one of us that wouldn’t love these cute bits of Grunge!! (Please note – I am limiting the fat quarter bundle prize to the US only. Shipping is so darn expensive and the size of the bundle makes it prohibitive for me to ship outside of the US. If you have a US address I can ship to, go ahead and let me know that so I can include you!)

As for Needle & Foot, one gift certificate for $30 is also in the mix. This makes six fun prizes – awarded by a random drawing of those who link up! Yay! Event begins on April 1st (very appropriate way to celebrate April Fool’s Day!) and closes Friday, April 5th. Winners drawn and announced on Saturday, April 6th.

OK – think about learning to quilt…. remember all of those mistakes and frustrations. Share your experiences so we can all share a laugh and realize no one, NO ONE, was born with a magical ability to create award winning quilts. We all learned, we all began somewhere. That’s real life quilting.

It’s the Little Things

It all adds up, right? I have had a lot going on but each is a small-ish project. Somehow this has filled my days over the past week or so. It’s all good though – creativity takes many forms and, for me, it is always quite satisfying.

Little four patch blocks.

I am working on a project for an upcoming book review. You’ll see the review and more of the project in a couple of weeks or so. But these little scrappy blocks are a lot of fun. The four patch blocks are 2″ finished. I don’t usually opt for small piecing (and for many, this isn’t very small at all!).

They are fun to make and I think the project is going to look really good. Plus I am using up a few scraps. I have not touched my scrap bins in many months so this makes it extra satisfying!

Binding a quilt for our guild

In our local quilt guild, there are many ways one can help with the community service projects. My usual choice is to bring home quilted pieces and machine bind them. Very quick to do and it enables me to contribute. Since we have a guild meeting a week from today, I thought I should finish this one up. That way I can bring it in and grab another one to take home.

A new QAL coming up soon!

My friend Sandra over at MMM! Quilts is hosting her 3rd annual QAL. She is so much fun – which I am sure you already know. She had curated a blogger bundle for me last year (the November bundle). Some of her readers asked if she would do a QAL using the bundle. She graciously agreed and this Beothuk Star the resulting event. Because there are only five or so of those November bundles left (should anyone else want to make it with those fabrics) she and I decided to create a second bundle for the QAL. Sandra curated this one as well and it is so bright and cheerful.

This bundle is built around the Sunny Side Up piece of fabric in center, by Maureen Cracknell

I really love this bundle! The reason there are two of the teal pieces is because one is used as the binding. If you are curious to see it close up, it is available in the shop now.

The other bundle, based on the November Blogger Bundle

Above is the other kit being offered for this QAL. It is based on the November blogger bundle but with two changes.

Additional pieces needed for the November blogger bundle

She needed another fat quarter so the pink and blue triangular print (Mosaic) was added. To have enough for the background, the amount of the sandy off-white piece was increased. This means if you have the bundle already, you might choose to purchase the kit extension for that original bundle. It is available here. Of course it isn’t mandatory. You could certainly use a different background if you have one you prefer. You could also add one complementary fat quarter of your choosing.

Crushed walnut shells – a new item in the shop

I have been adding a few different notions to the shop lately too. Most recent are these bags of crushed walnut shells for filling pin cushions. Yesterday I bagged up a number of them so they are now available too! Each bag holds six ounces and each order will be for two bags (so twelve ounces total).

Handmade Point Turners

These are not yet available but I am excited to show them to you. I asked my woodworking spouse to make a point turner for me. I have seen them and thought maybe I could be using something more effective than the chopsticks I currently use. (Chopsticks are a reasonable choice but the ends of mine are more square than round so I can’t obtain as sharp a point as I would like. He asked me what I thought I wanted and I described the one on the far left. He said ok but when he made that one, he also made two more so I would have something to compare. His designs are so much better (why doesn’t that surprise me???) I like using the fully rounded handle of the middle one. The piece on the far right has a nice point to it but the handle is flatter and it isn’t quite as comfortable to use. So, I am going for the one in the middle. I also like the extra bit of length on that one. They are really pretty aren’t they? Do you use a point turner? What works for you?

Last, but certainly not least, I have a fun event coming up next week! I have written before about the issues with a lot of us using social media for inspiration. Sometimes it is great to see all of this amazing work out there. Other times, it is kind of a downer and leaves us feeling ‘less than’. I know we are not ‘less than’ but it can feel that way seeing so much amazing work and then looking at our progress and feeling a little bit defeated. In an effort to show the real side to all of us, let’s share some of the ridiculous. We have all goofed. We have all made a project and thought, ‘nope, I’m not sharing this.’ Here is the chance to get real. What better day to open the event than on April Fool’s Day!! Think about this and write a post sharing a mistake or misunderstanding you might have had about our craft. Mine is quite ridiculous and I am sure it will entertain you. Share it next week and link up with me. Prizes will be awarded – just by a random drawing – no judging here! I think it is a great way to all get on the same level with our art by sharing these imperfections. If you have questions, leave them in the comments. Hope you will join in!!

Linking up with my favorites. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Flock of Geese Quilt Finish & Kit

As you may know, I began to stock a fun selection of modern quilt patterns in the shop a few months ago. I have been working on building up a variety of patterns so that my customers will have plenty to select from. So far, I am carrying patterns by Meadow Mist Designs, Bonjour Quilts, Devoted Quilter, Quilting Jetgirl, and – most recently – Cooking Up Quilts. There has been really good response to these and I am enjoying seeing the gorgeous patterns from these talented designers.

Flock of Geese Quilt Pattern, designed by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs.

As often happens, one thing lead to another and I asked Cheryl Brickey (Meadow Mist Designs) if she would help me to create a kit for a pattern of hers. Together we decided it would be fun to make a kit for the Flock of Geese pattern. She and I shopped for fabrics in my shop and came up with such a pretty compilation after many emails back and forth.

The kit for the Flock of Geese pattern contains beautiful fabric from Art Gallery Fabric.

Pulling the kit together was lots of fun and Cheryl made a rendering of the Flock of Geese pattern using the fabrics we selected.

With the exception of two, all of the fabrics in this quilt were designed by Sharon Holland. She is one of my all-time favorites and I wanted to use her work specifically. Above you will see fabrics from her Signature line as well as Sketchbook. They work together perfectly!

Half square triangles, ready to go.

I wanted to make up a sample of the quilt and decided to make the baby size. The pattern includes baby and lap size quilt options. The smaller size was better for me as I intend to use it in the booth at the local quilt show I am working in May.

Quilt top with the blocks on point.

This pattern is a very easy make. It contains half square triangles which make up the blocks and then the blocks are set on point. Very fun and not difficult at all. Cheryl’s instructions are crystal clear which this quilter is grateful for!

Love the simple cross hatch quilting

Using a Hera marker (my favorite tool!) I quilted straight lines in a cross hatch pattern. It worked really well for this design. The cross hatch pattern looks good with these blocks set on point. For someone who is really into FMQ, there is a lot of negative space on which intricate quilting could be done.

Such a pretty quilt for spring time!

This quilt is so soft. The batting is Hobbs Heirloom and with the widely spaced quilting, it drapes beautifully. I haven’t washed it yet but we know that will make it even cozier.

For the backing, I selected Texture Slots, a piece from Sharon’s Sketchbook line. Great colors and it coordinates with the fabrics in the quilt top. The binding is from her Signature line and is called Traveler Raindrops. The binding is machine stitched to front and back. My choice on binding method is dependent on my mood. Sometimes I am feeling the urge to hand stitch and others, not so much. Both methods look fine to me so I go back and forth between them.

The finished quilt is so sweet. I am happy as can be with it and equally happy to offer the kit in my shop. Working with Cheryl has been a treat and I look forward to more collaboration with her in the future! If you are interested in the kit, I have it available in both baby and lap sizes. Also, it can be purchased with or with out the Flock of Geese pattern. For those quilters who might already have the pattern, there is the option to purchase just the fabric. Click here for more details.

A new monthly linkup is coming soon!

Linking up with my favorite Linky parties. Speaking of which, there is a new link up happening at the end of the month. Cheryl, of Meadow Mist Designs, will be hosting a new monthly linkup. It opens the last day of the month and is called Favorite Finish Monthly Linkup. The first linkup is on March 30th. Quilters – link up your favorite make for the month using an existing or new blog post or a post from Instagram. This will be a lot of fun as we celebrate our favorite make from the past month!

Loving These Handmade Gifts

My grand daughter turned two years old last week. Her parents and I wondered how this could be?? Those two years have buzzed by and here she is, a toddler who talks a blue streak, is starting to be potty trained, and has perfected the all-important sentence “I can do it myself”.

Oak and walnut step stool created by Grandpa.

My husband and I wanted to make her a gift from each of us. As one would expect, his was made of wood and mine of fabric. Ray made her a pretty step stool. My DIL actually asked him to make this. Recently they converted her crib to a toddler bed and it is a tiny bit tall for her still.

He laminated strips of oak and walnut together to make the top. Then he framed it with walnut. Always one to think of safety, he angled the legs on the bottom so it wouldn’t tip as she stepped on and off of it. He also put little grips on the bottom of each leg making it hug the floor for safety as well as avoiding any scratches on their hardwood flooring.

She loves her little seat. Such a sweet girl.

Gram-gram chose to make a little bassinet for her dollies and stuffed animals. H is at that age where she loves to put things and people to bed. Sometimes a doll or stuffed animal, sometimes her Gram-gram or her daddy – she loves to cover you up with a little blanket and say pat-pat when she tucks you in. Oh my heart.

I used a tutorial on Sew Mama Sew for this project. It was very fun to make. Nothing too unusual in the process at all, just boxed in corners, a lining of a stiff, fusible batting and a ruffle to decorate the outside. I used a home dec fabric from Jo-Ann’s for the outside. I love the whimsical birds. The lining, ruffle and pillow are made with a purple Kona cotton.

The bed was a little bit ‘floppy’ so before adding the band above the ruffle, I lined it with a stiff, fusible interfacing. That seemed to give it more structure.

A soft little dolly quilt too!

Of course a doll bed needs a little quilt! I used this little floral and just quilted a few lines across it each way. It is just the right size to tuck in a dolly or stuffed animal.

She loved it!

My grand daughter was all smiles when I gave it to her. She immediately loaded it up with a little doll and her stuffed elephant. (I blocked out the name on her hat, that is why it looks a little strange!)

How many animals can sleep in one little bed?

I really loved making this for her and hope she will play with it for a long time to come.

Using the little cushion as her own pillow. Testing out the softness for her baby dolls?

Of course she felt the need to do a little bit of quality control and lay on the cushion from the bed. Any good mommy has to make sure her dollies will be cozy, right?

Happy birthday to this two year old. Such a fun time for her as well as Gram-gram and Grandpa. Linking up with my usuals plus two new (for me) Linkys – one is called Show Off Saturday and the other is at The Crafty Quilter. Check the others out at the top of the page, under link ups!!

Remember that this Saturday, March 16th is National Quilting Day. Check your email first thing Saturday morning for a newsletter announcing some fun deals for just that day only! If you don’t subscribe to the Needle and Foot newsletter, this might be a good time to sign up!! Click here to subscribe – and remember, I won’t use your email address for anything else, nor will I share it.

PS – If you would like to see more of my husband’s woodworking, follow him on Instagram! He is @kringelwoods and is a talented kind of guy. (I may be a bit biased, but still….)

Guest Posting at Confessions Of a Fabric Addict Today

Good morning! Just popping in to let you know I am guest posting over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict today. I am thrilled to tell you that Mercyful Quilts is one of the recipients of the quilts made for the 2019 Hands2Help event hosted each year by Sarah!!

Each day this week on Sarah’s blog, a representative for the charitable organizations receiving quilts this year is posting about their group or charity. I have a post about Mercyful Quilts on her blog today. I hope you will hop over to read more about the event and if you choose to, it would be great to sign up and participate! Check back each day this week and learn more about the other wonderful groups you might want to make a quilt for.

Thanks to Sarah for hosting this amazing annual event. This is the ninth year of Hands2Help!! Amazing, right? Thus far, over 1,450 quilts have been made and donated to a variety of groups. I have participated a couple of times and it is very rewarding!

Have a great day everyone!

Vermont Sewing Continues

Time has flown by and I will be heading home on Wednesday. When I was getting ready to come out here I thought three weeks sounded like such a long time but yikes, it has gone by quickly!! We quickly settled into a rhythm and it has been wonderful

H and I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen. She has a new stool to stand on so she can ‘help’ cook and she just loves it. She crawls in and out constantly and has learned to drag it from counter to counter to the sink and back. Washing dishes, stirring and mixing, so many projects. Luckily she and I enjoy baking and we have made SOOO many things. Cookies, focaccia bread, muffins – I have probably put on a couple of pounds during this trip.

Maple Pecan Scones

Yesterday we made these Maple Pecan Scones. She had so much fun and was covered in flour by the end of this round of baking. They are delicious and if you want to try them, here is a link to the recipe on the King Arthur Flour website. I cut them fairly small so she wouldn’t have a huge serving. Actually I put half of them in the freezer so they can have them again after I leave.

As for sewing, I have done quite a bit! I made a table runner for my daughter in law. When I was at Jo-Ann’s, they had the Home Decor fabrics on sale and I picked up this floral print. It is a nice weight and has a linen like texture.

I also grabbed a celery green Kona solid (I don’t know what the real name is – I didn’t check the bolt.) This project took no time at all to make. I cut a rectangle (I think it was 14″ x 50″) and stitched the front and back, right sides together. Once I turned it right side out, I ran two lines of topstitching around the perimeter and called it good. It looks great on their dining room table. However, I removed it after taking the photo so we wouldn’t spill on it before my DIL even gets home!

Another project was to make a super hero cape for my grand daughter. Again, this was a very simple project. I bought a 1/2 yard of red satin fabric at Jo-Ann’s and folded it in 1/2, right sides together. I stitched around two sides and turned it right side out. With the folded side and the two stitched sides, it was finished on three sides of the square. After pressing it (on super low heat) I folded the raw edges to the inside and stitched two seams, one at the top edge and one about 2 inches lower. This left an opening at each side to thread the cord through.

My grand daughter wasn’t thrilled with this. She doesn’t seem to care one way or another about it. However, I suspect she will enjoy it at some point. It is silky and shiny and will catch her eye when she is in the mood for playing dress up.

I have just a few more days with her so I am keeping her home from day care this week. She can go at the end of the week after I leave. Not sure what we will do with our last couple of days but I know it will be fun.

Linking up with the usual parties. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.