Category Archives: Family

Feeling Accomplished

Last fall I wrote a post to explain our family’s thoughts about raising show pigs. I had received a number of questions and comments about how hard it must be for Julia to raise these cute animals and then give them up at auction when fair time rolled around. The post generated a lot of comments and generally reader’s liked it. Janine of Quilts From the Little House, suggested I submit it to be published. (Thank you Janine!) I thought about it for a bit and decided to give it a go.

In November sent it in to Country Extra which is a smaller supplement to the magazine, Country. But I didn’t hear back from them so I assumed it was not something they wanted to use. Then in April I received an email asking to use the story in their June/July issue. Success!

Yesterday I received a print copy. It is a fun experience to see my story in print. There’s my girl and Olive!

I very much appreciated how careful the editors were to retain the feeling of the essay while having to shorten it. They sent me the proof to check for any errors or changes that were needed. The woman I worked with was so friendly. It makes me feel good about the whole process and certainly willing to do it again should any idea come up worth writing about.

Susie’s Memory Quilt

As for the sewing room, I have been working on the memory quilt for my friend Susie. Her husband passed away last September and in the spring she asked me to make a quilt using his shirts. It is really coming along nicely. Today I will finish sashing it. She gave me his red plaid robe that I plan to cut up for the outermost border. I think the red is going to look great. She is happy with the progress and I am honored to make this for her.

Woohoo!! Art Gallery is on sale to day!

Today is the last day of the sale on Art Gallery Fabric in my shop. Be sure to come check it out – tons of gorgeous yardage is 20% off. Happy Sewing!

Linking up with my usuals and also with Em’s Scrapbag, Moving It Forward Monday – check out the projects in this link up for some fun inspiration.

Back to the Real World

After a fantastic ten days of family time, my kids have gone back home to their lives and I am getting caught up here at home. We all enjoyed our time together and I am so happy they were here to celebrate Julia’s graduation from high school. It was so much fun to have this long visit together.

My last post was celebrating my five year blogging anniversary! I want to let you know who the giveaway winners were.

For the charitable donation, Jinger S. was selected by the handy dandy Random Number Generator. Her charity of choice is the Alzheimer’s Association. She has family members who were or still are suffering from this insidious disease. I am happy to donate $50 to this cause. I hope someday there will be some way to prevent the disease or at very least, stop its progression. Interestingly, June is Alzheimer’s Awareness month so the timing of this giveaway couldn’t be better. If you would like to see a few of the facts and figures about Alzheimer’s, click here.

For the handmade wooden point turner, Random Number Generator chose Robbin G. Robbin is a reader who actively participates on the blog. I always enjoy her comments on my posts and I am happy to send this prize off to her!

Last Wednesday, during an incredibly hot evening, Julia graduated from high school. I was so proud of her and her classmates as they all completed this phase of life. She had such a great experience at Ghidotti and I know she will grow even more when she goes off to college in September.

Having cake together after graduation.

My grand daughter endured the hot, long (and for her quite boring) commencement like a champ. The high school is quite small, Julia’s class had 43 students in it. The Parent Association provides cake and lemonade at a reception after commencement. I love this picture of H looking up to her Auntie Julia.

The rest of the week was spent celebrating graduation with a family party and just hanging out on a stay-cation of sorts. H loved watering with this little watering can I picked up for her at the Dollar Store. Luckily it was really warm so my plants didn’t mind her zealous watering routine. Haha.

As usual, the cherry tree ripened all at once! We have so many cherries. Ray spent some time pitting fruit and freezing it. We were too busy to can or cook jam. Hopefully later on we can get to it. Cherries rot so quickly but we were able to take advantage of some of the fruit.

Aside from her watering chores, this girl enjoyed pushing a little red wheelbarrow around the property. Isn’t she the cutest?

We also spent an afternoon on the pond at the edge of our property. My son, Ian, caught a bass and it was fun to see H’s response. She was enthralled with the whole process and enjoyed watching the fish swim off when he was set free.

Today my plan is to clean up the house a bit. There are toys strewn everywhere. Then I need to open the many boxes of Mercyful Quilts that arrived last week. The only package I did open last week contained this gorgeous piece by Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts. Preeti named it Oasis and you will surely enjoy her post telling more about the quilt. My grand daughter clearly approves of this donation. It is so pretty and has an hombre effect with the blues gradually changing shade. Thanks so much Preeti.

Once the house is (somewhat) under control, I need to baste my Squared Away quilt top. I am excited to quilt this one up. It is going to be a warm day so this will be a perfect way to spend the afternoon. How about you??

Spring Equals Birthdays & Proms

May has been such a busy month! School is winding down – senior year is coming to a close for Julia. Plus we have celebrated her 18th birthday and she went to her Senior Prom. Crazy to see this girl finishing up high school because it was only a few weeks ago that I felt like such an awful mother as I left her crying on the first day of Kindergarten. Such is life, right?

A few weeks ago, I posted this desperate plea on Instagram and Facebook. Julia’s prom dress didn’t really fit well and she asked if I could fix it. This was the week before prom. Being the confident sewist, I immediately suggested we return it and quickly find another dress. But she #1 – threw away the receipt and tags and #2 – said she loved this dress and wanted to wear it. OK, I promised to do what I could. The main issue was the lining was too snug around her waist. I looked at letting it out and adding some width to the side seams. But I suspected I would end up with something bulky that wouldn’t lay flat. My brilliant daughter, who doesn’t sew, asked if I couldn’t just lift the lining up, folding it right sides together, sewing all the way around, which would make it a little wider at her ribs. Does this make sense to you? It worked like a charm and was super easy. Sort of hard to explain though.

Photo credit to Natalie Webster.

The next issue was the hem. It was really long and she didn’t want to be tripping over it at the dance. I was a bit leary of this task because the outer fabric was a slippery chiffon. But with the help of YouTube, it was not hard at all. The video I watched instructed me to pin it about 1/4″ longer than I wanted it to be. Press it and stitch all the way around. Then trim the excess as close as possible to the seam line. Finally, roll that stitched line to the inside, pin and press and stitch again. I was amazed by how wonky the original hem was. There was no way to straighten it so Julia and I figured if we hadn’t noticed how wavy it was before, no one else would either and I just stitched it – crooked as can be.

Photo credit to Natalie Webster.

Hiding under that pretty dress are black sneakers because my daughter won’t wear much else!

Following the prom, we celebrated Julia’s 18th birthday. Not sure if you remember but last year I made a cake for her 17th birthday and was not entirely successful!

This was one ugly cake!

This year Julia asked for the same yellow cake with strawberry filling and chocolate frosting. I wanted to use a cake mix again but with better results. My trusty internet sources advised adding an extra egg yolk and replacing the required water with milk. I did both of these, though I used almond milk to keep it dairy free for my husband. Also, another site suggested adding a couple of tablespoons of any pudding mix that would match the flavor of the cake. I had an old box of butterscotch pudding that likely expired in 2010 or so. I opened it and added two tablespoons and tossed the rest. Guess what? It worked wonderfully.

Such an improved version!

Julia was happy and we are hoping her wishes come true for this year!

With all of this, plus two different awards nights at school, I haven’t done tons of sewing. One thing I am working on though is quilting a top given to me by a family friend. She actually donated three finished quilts to Mercyful Quilts. Then she sent me four tops she had, asking if I would finish them and donate those as well. I don’t normally do this because it takes a bit of time which I am sorely lacking, but she was so sweet to donate the other quilts and I agreed. I know they all won’t be finished terribly soon but I am working on the first one.

This string quilt was probably made a while back. There are many fabrics that look to be circa 1980’s and it is very pretty. Unfortunately, it doesn’t lie anywhere close to flat. I don’t think these string blocks were pieced with any sort of foundation paper or fabric, making them quite stretchy. I pressed it and starched it before pin basting. While pin basting, I took little tucks all over the place and hand stitched them which really helped. When I get to those bits, I quilt heavily over them so they won’t come apart. I am just using a loopy meander which is quite forgiving when I come to a section that is wavy. After binding and washing this it will, hopefully, crinkle up and be very cozy.

The backing is from the sale section in my shop. It is an Oval Elements piece from Art Gallery Fabric. Fabric for the binding has yet to be selected though. I am just about out of thread (which is silly since I am quilting it with white thread) so I won’t get too much farther on this today. I am counting this as my one project for Hands 2 Help and it should be finished early next week.

The quilts continue to arrive for Mercy Hospital and the Mercyful Quilts drive. The Hands 2 Help event at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has been amazing. I cannot even believe the number of quilts made for all of these deserving organizations . Just so inspiring. Some quilters have made 4 or 5 quilts – some even more than that. I have this stack and another box full ready for pick up. Judging by the emails I have received and blog posts I am reading, there are many more on the way. Thank you to all of you generous quilters!!

I hope everyone has a lovely long weekend. In the US, Monday is Memorial Day which many mark as the beginning of summer. We have had rainy, gloomy weather all week so it sure doesn’t feel summery here!

Spring Break

I have been absent from blog land for a bit. Julia was on spring break and we had a lot of time to hang out together. It was really nice to have her home relaxing, not working on homework.

The break started with my son and his wife here for the weekend. Julia picked out her pig for this year and they wanted to come and join in on the fun. (My son raised market hogs during high school too and really enjoys this common interest he has with Julia.)

Leo, hiding in the corner while Julia waits patiently.

Let me introduce you to Leo. He is about 11 weeks old and has a very sweet personality. When Julia brought him home, he was very skittish. Poor little guy was so shy and wanted to hide in a corner of the pen, behind some weeds. Julia was very patient with him and just stayed near him but didn’t try to engage very much at all.

It didn’t take more than a few days before he would sniff her hands and come closer to her. She continued to just be with him, letting him approach her.

One week later, Leo is so much friendlier.

After the five days or so, Leo became very comfortable. He has gotten very social and loves to be scratched and rubbed whenever Julia is out with him.

Look at his cute smile!

Now they are best friends. He will not leave her side if she is in the pen. He nuzzles her legs and wants all of her attention. She did such a good job of gaining his trust and this will make it much easier for her when she starts to train him for showmanship.

Buttermilk Bend Trail on the South Yuba River

In between playing with Leo, we did go do a few fun things. One day we took a hike on the Buttermilk Bend trail along the South Yuba River. The wildflowers are gorgeous this time of year.

Globe Lillies

These wild lillies are one of may favorites.

With so many wildflowers, comes an abundance of butterflies. There were many and we enjoyed watching them.

Try as she might, Julia couldn’t get one to land on her hand.

Cherry Blossoms

At home everything is blooming too! This is our cherry tree. Each season it is anyone’s guess whether we will get cherries. Judging by the incredible bloom we have this year, I am feeling hopeful we will have fruit. The birds take more than their share, but I think we will have some to enjoy as well.

Asian Pear Apple Blossoms

We have two Asian Pear Apple trees, each of which are about four or five years old. This is a strong blossom year for both of them so maybe we will get fruit! Last year I think we only had two or three apples and they were not very big. Crossing fingers for this year.

Mason Jar Cozy

My quick sewing project for last week was this cozy for a pint size mason jar. My daughter in law takes jars of layered oatmeal (I think she puts fruit, milk and yogurt with the oats) to work and cooks them for her breakfast. She wanted a cozy for the jar because it gets fairly hot in the microwave. This isn’t exactly gorgeous, but I am fairly happy with it. First I measured the girth of the jar and the height I wanted. I cut two rectangles of fabric and one of batting, each 4 3/4″ x 11 1/2″. I also cut two circles of fabric and one of batting, 3 1/2″ in diameter. Then I quilted the batting to the exterior fabric. Stitching a seam along the short side first, I then pinned the outer fabric circle to the cylinder I had made. That was the most difficult part.

I couldn’t get it to fit correctly without a few tucks along the way. I did the same with the lining (except no batting this time). Then I stitched the lining and outer fabric right sides together around the top opening of the cylinder, leaving a couple of inches open so I could turn it right sides out. It worked well enough but I am sure if I made a few more, the aesthetics would look a bit nicer. (I did make a mock up with some ugly fabric before I started so I could be sure it would fit the jar.)

The week went by so quickly! School is in session again and we are back to our routine! Today I even did a bit of quilting on a baby quilt I am making. I love the way these flowers look. I backed the quilt with a vintage sheet I had thrifted a long while back. It is so soft! I will share this with you again when I get it finished up.

I hope you have been enjoying springtime! We are definitely in full spring season here in Northern California.

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?

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….)

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.

First Project Done

The first week in Vermont has gone well.  My grand daughter changed quite a bit since I was out here over the holidays.  She is such a happy girl.  Her vocabulary has increased and now she can tell me all sorts of things.  Her favorite line is ‘My do it myself’.  Can you tell she is nearly two years old?  As long as she is given a chance to do whatever it is herself, she is satisfied and if she can’t complete the task, she is ok with being helped.  I am thoroughly enjoying her.  However, it is surprising how she can tire me out.  I relish her two or three hour nap each afternoon.

As planned, I have been doing a bit of sewing during nap time.  (also prepping dinner, making cookies, doing a little laundry  – remember how much was accomplished during those wonderful nap times?) So far, I have been making four patch blocks for the memory quilt I am making for my friend Susie.  Stitching those only holds my attention for so long.  To keep things interesting, I switched back and forth between that  project and making a little purse for H.

I used a free pattern designed by Pat Bravo called Saddle Bag.  It is a small purse which meant I didn’t have to cut it down. The strap was too long so it was shortened quite a bit. Overall, this is a very simple bag to make.

Bright lining peeks out from inside as well as a tiny pocket for treasures.

An interior pocket was not included in the pattern but I thought it would be a fun addition to the little purse. Who knows what treasures will be stored in this pocket!

The only complaint I have about this pattern is the directions for the shoulder strap. I have made many bags, probably a dozen or more, and they were quite a bit more complex than this little one. But the way the instructions explained attaching the strap was just strange. I couldn’t make it work. Finally after fussing around, I remembered this is for a two year old. She absolutely does not care about the way the shoulder straps are attached. Actually I could have used two huge safety pins and all would have been fine! I decided to just stuff them in on each side and top stitch them down. Works fine!

Owning up to my mistake.

There is a mistake though and I may as well point it out! The velcro closure I added is way (as in WAY) off center! I saw this and remembered, yet again, it’s for a two year old and it is a toy. She doesn’t care about this sort of thing. So, even though I had a seam ripper sitting right there, I just left it be. I sewed a button on for a little decoration and there you have it! A lovely purse sporting all sorts of frogs and butterflies!

Off to the grocery store with dad and a brand new purse!

Isn’t she adorable? Actually, they both are. She loves her purse but she usually calls it her diaper bag. I wondered aloud why she said diaper bag instead of purse and my son explained that his wife hasn’t really been carrying a purse. She tends to throw her wallet into the diaper bag so she has just one bag to carry. This makes perfect sense. It is a diaper bag now!

I feel so lucky to have this long stretch of time in Vermont. When I was packing for the trip I was a bit concerned about the cold weather. Fortunately my son and DIL have tons of cold weather gear. It has been a surprise how much the right difference wearing the right gear makes. Today we took two walks. H really loves to be outside so I try to make it a point to be sure she gets to play outside every day. Today it was 16 degrees out and not a problem. She looks adorable with her snow suit on and her rosy cheeks. Of course I really miss Ray and Julia but this is a very special time for H and me. I feel like I am really getting to know her which is just a delight.

Linking up to my favorite places. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

VIntage Panel Finish

Happy Friday everyone!  It has been really busy here between the shop, the usual migraine nonsense and… wait for it…. getting ready to leave for Vermont!  I am going to be watching my grand daughter for three weeks.  Her mama has to go to Washington DC for a month long training session and asked if I would come and help out while my son is with H.  He commutes a fair bit to work and back which makes H’s daycare time much longer if he is on his own with her.  Between that and snow days and the usual illnesses she is always coming down with, it will be good to have another person there.  I am looking forward to it as much as my DIL is NOT looking forward to it.  You know?  I feel terrible for her to have to leave for so long.  She is a medical resident in Radiology at the University of Burlington and has known this was coming for the last several years but now that it is actually time to go, ugh! She is such a trooper and is trying to make the best of a lousy situation.

I have been cooking meals and freezing them so Ray and Julia don’t have to cook quite as much while I am gone.  They both have long days and it will be nice to have a few things they can just pull out of the freezer and heat up. Also, my friend Sophia has been coming over and learning to run my shop for me.  She is such a good friend and I am incredibly grateful she is able to do this for me.  She will cut orders and ship them for the next few weeks.  I have known her for a long while and we are both into quilting and sewing.  She will have everything under control while I am away!

I did play a bit in the sewing room this week, though not as much as I would have liked (is there ever enough hours in the day?). I had four custom orders, two are finished and the other two are prepped to be completed today.

Inspired by watching Marie Kondo on Netflix the other day, I thought I would clear out some old fabric that just wasn’t ‘sparking joy’ for me any longer and give it away.  But as soon as I sat down and started going through things, I found this panel I had picked up at a garage sale last fall.  That was the end of the Konmari cleaning effort!

I just love this panel.  I did several reverse image searches to try and find it on-line and see what line it was from.  One person on Facebook or Instagram (?) commented that she made pillow cases with it in the 1980’s for her children.  So it is an older fabric.  I wasn’t sure what to do with it but finally decided to make a doll quilt with it for A Doll Like Me.  It is so pretty and, at 22″ x 26″, just the right size for this.

 

I found a batting scrap and some backing fabric and quickly put it all together.

I love the pig and unicorn both!

The quilting is basic since it really doesn’t show up and the animals are the star of the show here.

Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!

I free motioned around most of the animals and some of the vines to hold everything together. Around the outer border I FMQ’d flowers.  That was good practice as I am really rusty these days.

The backing and binding were also a thrift store find – I believe it was an older RJR print.  Great colors thought, right??

Don’t you love making something start to finish with bits of fabric you already have. The stack of fabric in my closet holds so much potential. I will keep this little quilt and mail it to Amy when I have a few more things to add to it.

Time to go finish up those two orders.  Also need to make meatballs for the freezer. Yesterday I had a roast in the crockpot for shredded BBQ Beef sandwiches.  I am filling our freezer!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Ours will be gray and rainy out, as it has been all week.  The wet weather inspired me to cut a few gray and white fat quarter bundles for the shop.  Aren’t these pieces wonderful?  Included are flowers, stripes and text prints by Carrie Bloomston, Alison Glass and Sarah Fielke!  Click the link if you want to add them to your stash.  🙂

Linking to my usual sites.  Check them out at the top of the page under link ups!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Kringel Style

Remember the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles?  Starring John Candy and Steve Martin, it was a comedy about their trials and tribulations during a trip home for the Thanksgiving Holidays.  It was quite popular in the mid-1980’s.  It turns out Julia and I had the opportunity to re-enact the movie on our last trip home from Vermont. Well, that might be an exaggeration but our day of travel certainly reminded me of the movie.

The day before we were scheduled to fly home, I was checking in for our flights from Vermont to California.  A screen popped up explaining the flight was over-booked (a very common occurrence with many airlines) and asking whether we would like to volunteer to be bumped.  United Airlines asked how much money we would bid to accept in return for taking a later flight.  The choices were $800, $1,000, or $1,200.  Hmmm…..  the bargain hunter in me thought – this could mean an ‘almost’ free trip back to Vermont to see my adorable grand daughter.  We were supposed to leave on a Friday – would it really make any difference to us if we left on Saturday???

I talked to Julia, my son and my daughter-in-law and we all decided it would be good to volunteer. The pop-up screen explained that the lowest bids would be accepted first.  Not taking any chances, I selected the $800 bid.  Thinking this would be split between Julia and me, that would basically cover another flight out to the East coast.  Rules were, we still had to show up at the airport and check in for our flight.  They would then determine whether the flight was indeed overbooked (in case people with tickets for the flight failed to show up). If it was indeed overbooked, they would start calling from the list of people who had volunteered to be bumped.  Well we had quite the early flight scheduled but my wonderful son had us to the airport by 5:30 am.

OK, The airport has grown a bit since this vintage postcard was made

We had to check our bags – they were too big to be considered carry-ons.  We got to the United area and we were shocked to see the line.  Have you ever flown out of the airport in Burlington, Vermont? It is so tiny.  Normally there are one or two people in front of us.   When we got there early that morning there were people everywhere.  Lots of skis and snowboards being checked in at United.  Vermont has excellent skiing and clearly vacations were ending and travelers were returning home.  We waited in line and checked our bags.  The security area in this airport is very small with one line walking through a small room. After going through security we checked with the attendant at the gate and asked if we would be bumped.  She said it was too early to tell.  We were asked to wait until the plane had completely boarded so she could figure it out.

All the while, my patient son waited in the hallway outside the gate.  In this airport that means he was on the other side of a window watching us.  He and Julia played ‘rock, paper, scissors’ and we all texted back and forth as we waited. Finally there were about one or two people left in line to board.  The gate attendant told us ‘it looks like you are flying out this morning’.  So we waved to Andrew, he walked off and we waited to board.  Seriously, within two minutes, she looks up with a little panic and says, ‘we are over by two.’  (Why she didn’t know that two minutes earlier, I have no idea.). I texted Andrew and said “waitttttt!!!!!”  He came right back and was laughing – we were all laughing at this point.  It was early, we hadn’t had coffee yet and this was a long process!

They try to retrieve our bags but the plane takes off with Julia’s bag and mine is waiting somewhere in an office. The gate attendants were so nice and thanked us for volunteering.  I told her it was worth it for $800.  She looks up and tells me, well I have been approved to give you $1,000′.  I was surprised and said, ‘yikes, $500 each?  That’s great.’  She looks sort of perplexed and said, ‘no, $1,000 for each of you.’  Julia and I look at each other with a big smile.

The attendant starts looking for a flight to book us on. She seems to be having trouble and keeps muttering under her breath.  It appeared that there wasn’t a route available for both of us to fly home together. She could find a single seat here or there but not two seats.  Remember now, this is a very small airport and doesn’t have a lot of traffic in and out. She looks for about 40 minutes – trying all combinations of Delta, United and American but doesn’t find anything.  By now Andrew and I are desperate for coffee and Julia is practically falling asleep in a chair.  The attendant, clearly frustrated and not knowing what to do with these two people who need to get to California, calls her supervisor for help.  The supervisor comes up and starts looking.  She is rather incredulous as she realizes there really isn’t anything for the next two days.  Julia was supposed to go back to school that Monday so we weren’t willing to stay longer than a day or so.  Finally, after about an hour of this, I asked if it made sense to get us to another airport to leave from.  I asked if there wasn’t some bus or train we could take? The women both looked up in total disbelief and said, ‘you would do that’?? Well, if it means we can go home, yes – of course we would.  The supervisor looks at me and says ‘we will bump you up to $1,500 each if you will do this’.  I looked and Julia and we just grinned.

Two Happy Travelers

They decide to send us home out of the Logan airport in Boston.  It is a three hour drive to Boston and they book a taxi.  I thought this was nuts as the cost was $500 dollars for the round trip to take us out there.  The United attendants felt awful for this hassle.  She kept offering things to us. ‘Here is a voucher for breakfast while you wait for the cab.’  Then, ‘let me refund your bag check fees’.  It was crazy.

An hour later we were off to Boston in a taxi.  By this time, we were so tired both of us slept and the ride passed quickly.  From Boston, we flew to Chicago.  Had a bit of a wait there and finally, late that afternoon, we took off for California.  The flights were great and all was relatively smooth but it was a long, 22 hour, day.  We arrived in California at 11pm which of course felt like 2 am.  We still had to go get the car and drive home which is just over an hour away.

Hmmm…. where should we go next??

What a long day but really, it was worth it. For one thing, neither Julia nor I are what would be described as spontaneous.  We tend to follow schedules and get rattled at times if there is a lot of change.  But we had a really fun day together.  We spent our layovers looking on line (thank goodness for wifi everywhere we went) at places we might travel with our $3,000 jackpot. We took naps on the flight and listened to music.  All in all, not a terrible experience. (This is saying a lot from someone who truly dislikes flying.)

After some family discussion, we bought three flights to Maui in July.  What a fun way to celebrate Julia’s high school graduation and have a great vacation before she leaves for college! Even with this trip, there is still about $900 on these vouchers left to spend. Well worth a 22 hour travel day home. Hmmm….  I wonder if we can get bumped from our flight home from Hawaii??

Have a great day.  I did manage to get some sewing done over the weekend.  I will get my thoughts organized and post an update this week!  Have a wonderful Monday everyone.

Just want to let you know of a sale over in the shop this week!  All Michael Miller fabrics are 25% off through Saturday, January 19th!!  Lots of gorgeous pieces to choose from – florals, feathers, stripes and bikes!! Also, there are some cozy flannels on sale too.  Come take a look!!