Category Archives: Family

Quick Check In & an Interview

Not a whole lot of sewing is happening for me – mostly because I am about 800 miles away from my sewing room! My husband and I and Julia all drove up to Washington state to visit my son and his family. We have not seen them since early October. What a treat to be with all of them. Both girls will have a birthday this month so it seemed like a great time to visit.

The girls are just a delight. H is nearly four years old. She is very imaginative and loves to make up games to play. Lots of pretend play as well as drawing and making things. She is working on using scissors and spent quite a bit of time this afternoon cutting confetti which we promised she could toss in the air on her birthday this weekend.

The baby, A, is nearly one! She is trying to walk and has taken two or three steps at a time. When we first got here she was a bit shy, having been with only her parents for months on end with the quarantine keeping everyone at home. It didn’t take too long for her to warm up though and we are good buddies now. Her personality is delightfully easy going.

My two favorite little girls.

Here are a few pictures from our first few days here.

This neighborhood is lush and heavily wooded.

We have gone on walks in the neighborhood each day.

Today H made donuts with Grandpa.

Grandpa asked H to be careful and not lick her fingers while icing the donuts. She was pretty darn happy when he told her the icing was finished and she could lick her sticky, sweet fingers.

I feel so very fortunate to be with them. I know many of you have been separated from your kids and grand children for way too long and miss them. I hope you are able to enjoy them in person before too long.

I also want to share that I did an interview with Leanne from Devoted Quilter for her “Let’s Get to Know” series. I very much enjoyed the previous two interviews she posted, one with Sarah Craig, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and the other with Holly Ann Knight of String and Story. If you’d like to read it and get to know a bit more about me, click here. It is a lot of fun to learn more about the quilters we all associate with.

That is it for now. Wishing all of you a wonderful day.


Wednesday Words

I fear I have become a lazy blogger. No fair to just read all of your posts and then never write one. Becomes a bit of a one-sided conversation. Here is a quick update for you.

Julia and I were called to jury duty on the same case – a faux pax on the part of the jury selection system I suppose. Anyway, we both went and answered their questions as well as filling out a huge questionnaire. Fortunately neither of us were selected. It was an ugly case involving domestic violence, rape and more. I know this stuff happens and it is horrible but listening to this case for three weeks would have been quite unpleasant and we were both just fine with not being picked for the jury.

This is the road we have been using for our walk/jog program. So pretty!

Last week we both (Julia and I) decided we need to up our exercise game. We walk most days which is nice. After tossing it around a bit, we downloaded the Couch 2 5K app. This is an app that adds short segments of jogging to the walk and eventually shortens the walking segments and lengthens the jogging. Today will be the 3rd day of it. (We walked on the days in between doing a segment of C25K). I have used this app before to get into running and it works quite well. In the beginning, where we are now, it is basically a warm up, then walk 90 seconds, jog 60 seconds, and repeat for about 20 minutes, ending with a cool down walk. My legs are a bit sore but that is to be expected. So far I can’t say Julia is loving this but she is willing to keep at it for a bit.

In the sewing room the other day, I wasn’t feeling like working on the myriad of projects I needed to be. So instead I decided to try something different – I wanted to learn something new. I decided to make a pair of underwear. Not the normal project for me but I had fabric that would work as well as some lingerie elastic. Needing some cotton fabric for the crotch lining, I went to Ray and asked if I could cut up one of his white undershirts. He looks at me and says sure you can, but why? I told him I wanted to make underwear. He got such a funny expression on his face and says, ‘uhh… for me’? Hahaha, nope. For me. Anyway, I made a pair and it worked quite well. The only problem was I cut the elastic for around the hips too big which means it didn’t gather correctly. While they fit reasonably, I think they would feel like they were slipping down. So, I am going to try again. It was fun to do something different. No pictures because I am just not much on modeling underwear!

The Bloom with Grace quilt that I am making for Mercy Hospital is coming along great. I am just over 1/2 way done with quilting it. Shouldn’t be much longer and this will be a finish to share. More on this one soon.

My sweet Vermont native was beyond thrilled to have snow in her new home in Washington state. This girl loves being outdoors and cold has never been an issue for her. She was so excited to have snow to play in for a couple of days.

For my other sweet girl, snow was a completely new experience. She isn’t quite walking yet so when plopped down, there she stayed. I don’t think she quite knew what to make of this cold stuff! Luckily her parents have tons of snow gear in all sizes from her sister so they were well prepared.

Finally, I finished the dolly quilt for the snow bunny up above. I need to take some pictures and I will share that soon. It is adorable!

In shop news, you might have seen this cute bolt of wide back fabric in a rainbow of polka dots I shared on social media last week. Well, after I shared it there were a number of orders for it. (Thank you so much!) As I unrolled the bolt to start cutting orders, I noticed all of these teeny tiny white spots splattered on the fabric. At first I hoped it was just the one area. I unwrapped the entire bolt and checked it. This is no small feat with 108″ wide fabric! The spots were all over the place. Ugh. I returned the bolt to the manufacturer and they said they were having trouble with this run of that particular fabric. So sad because it was super cute. Anyway, if you wondered what happened and why I took down those posts, now you know. Customers were very gracious when I explained the discovery and canceled their orders.

I spent some time cleaning up yesterday. For my bargain hunting customers, there are a number of new bolts added to the Clearance section. Plus quite a few new remnants were added to the Remnant section. Be sure to take a peek and see if anything catches your eye!

That’s it for now. I hope you are all staying warm wherever you are located! Such a crazy winter this is for most of the country.

Linking up with Stitch Sew & Show over at Life in the Scrapatch.

A Cute Quilt and a Cute Baby

My niece just had her first baby! She was due on January 25th and this little tiny girl decided to join the family on January 8th. She must have been in quite a hurry to meet her mama and daddy.

Some months ago (in September I believe) I was talking to my sister and she helped me to choose colors for a baby quilt. After some back and forth, I had a stack of fabric in shades of pink, lavender, gray and cheddar yellow. Really unusual colors but I loved them together.

I went back and forth on patterns and finally decided to make a triangle quilt. I have never made one and it seemed like a fun thing to do. My crafty husband cut an acrylic template for me to use to cut pieces. It went really fast and soon enough I had a stack of triangles.

Once I had these rows stitched together I realized it was too narrow. So I sent of this photo to one of my many quilty advisors, Wendy, of Pieceful Thoughts to ask for ideas. She suggested an outer border with segments of triangles within the border. Genius! I loved the idea.

I added a narrow (one inch finished) border to break between the two sets of triangles. Luckily I had another triangle stencil that was smaller and worked well for the border. On opposite corners I put the smaller triangles and then used a pink solid (Ballet from Free Spirit) for the rest of the border.

The biggest hurdle for me was where the points all joined – it became so thick and I knew it would be hard to quilt over that spot. To avoid this, I echoed the lines of the triangles which meant I never had to go through that spot. The quilt is backed with lavender flannel which makes in soft and drapey (I don’t think that is a real word but you know what I mean.)

The two cornerstones between the triangles have flowers quilted on them and the pink sections of the border have loops meandering along.

I quilted the baby’s name in one section of the border and in another section I signed my name to it.

Just look at this tiny peanut! She was just over five pounds when she was born and as often happens, she lost a bit of weight. She is now three weeks old and is over 5 1/2 pounds. I think she is just gorgeous. She is giving her parents a run for it and not sleeping a whole lot unless it is mid-day. Remember that feeling? Sleep deprivation at it’s finest.

I love this photo. For one, it shows how very tiny this little one is. Those are six inch triangles and she is barely covering three of them. It also reminds me of the times when I had new babies and there was nothing better than to just sit and watch them. A new baby is nothing short of miraculous and sitting with them, soaking it all in, is just the best. My sister is on the left (this is her fifth grand daughter!) and my sleep deprived niece is on the right.

That is it for now. I started quilting the Bloom with Grace quilt and it is coming along nicely. Yesterday I went to drop off the placemats for Meals on Wheels but left the placemats at home. Because that is just how I am. So I guess I will drop them off another day. Silly silly me.

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

Maternal Bragging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Special Quilt For a Special Person

I have a pretty finish to share today. I was waiting for it to be received by its new owner before I shared it with you. I made a scrappy jelly roll quilt, using the pattern by From Bolt to Beauty. Michelle calls it the Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt and the name is accurate!

For some time now, I have wanted to make a quilt for my (first) mother in law. I have posted in the past about my first husband. He passed away in 1994. Since his death, I have stayed close to his mom. When she retired, JoAnne moved up to the foothills and lives only 60 miles or so from me. We used to have girl’s day out together fairly often, going to lunch and shopping. She has developed some health issues that make this a bit of a challenge. Between her health and the chronic migraines I deal with, we rarely actually see each other now. But we do talk on the phone, text and generally keep in touch. I am grateful for our friendship.

JoAnne developed some problems with her back which necessitated surgery. She waited and waited because of the pandemic but finally her doctor said she needed to have it taken care of. After surgery, she went home to her son and DIL’s house to recover. Unfortunately, she took a tumble, breaking her leg just one day after getting home. Back to the hospital she went, this time for surgery on her leg. It has been a really rough time for her. I decided I needed to get her quilt finished up so she could cozy up with it while she recuperates.

Making this scrappy quilt was a lot of fun. I had a portion of an older Moda jelly roll hanging around and I cut 2 1/2″ strips from various fabrics that worked with it. For the background I used an off-white polka dot fabric I used to stock in the shop. The soft colors, shades of pink, green, brown and off-white, were selected because I knew they would be loved by my mother in law.

I backed it with a cute text print that is all about family and home. Two things very important to both me and JoAnne. This Kimberbell print is called Make Yourself at Home. (There is still a small amount left in the shop.)

When I was quilting it (on my friend’s Tiarra sit down quilter) I used lots of loops and a variety of flowers. I also tucked in my late husband’s first name. See it above?

Just below his name, I also put his birthday. I thought she would love these bits about Mark to be in the quilt.

In the photo above, my sister in law and her daughter are looking for Mark’s name and birthday. I had tucked a note in with the quilt telling JoAnne I had stitched them in for her.

Today we had a fun gab session on FaceTime and I think she loves the quilt. It makes me happy to have finally made a quilt for her. I don’t know why I didn’t do this years ago. But now was the time – after two surgeries, lots of pain and discomfort, she is going to need to take it slow and heal. The whole experience has been so stressful with the extra layer of nonsense the pandemic adds. When she was in the hospital she couldn’t have anyone with her. This is just the worst. Being in pain and on lots of different medications makes it so hard to think clearly and make decisions. The doctors were, for the most part, pretty good about working with my brother-in-law as he was advocating for his mom. But not having anyone in the room with you is so miserable and lonely. I am really grateful she is home with her son and finally getting better.

The virus is really getting crazy in California. The governor has mandated a 10pm curfew until December 21, 2020. I wish everyone would take it seriously, stay home and keep the darn mask on when they have to be out and about. It is hard – I get that. People are lonely. But until there is a vaccine, it is the only way to keep things under control. What a mess. I hope you are staying safe and healthy. Be careful and try to be patient. This won’t last forever.

I was so inspired by this news of Dolly Parton’s donation to help fund the Covid vaccine. Her generosity is inspiring. We need all the positive news we can find. There is far too much going wrong in the world and it is nice to read about people trying to do good.

Linking up with Brag About Your Beauties, Whoop Whoop, and Finished or Not Friday. Hop on over and take a look. Lots of quilty inspiration to be had on those link ups!

Autumn Activities

This is my favorite time of year. Not because of all the pumpkin spice lattes either. (I am not a fan of sweet coffee.) But the weather, oh how I love this weather! I also love that we live in an area with great fall colors.

The maples in our yard are gorgeous. I wish the leaves lasted longer. It seems like they fall so quickly once they change colors. We try to really enjoy them while they are here though. So much so, that we have learned the succession in which our trees tend to turn color. It is truly exciting when we see one start to become colorful. Simple pleasures, right?

In this family, Halloween is not a huge deal once you don’t have little kids around. But this is Covid and we are doing anything we can to keep busy. Remember when Julia and I painted rocks last summer and put them on our local walking trail? I suggested we paint pumpkin rocks and set them out before Halloween for the kids that walk the trail. (Or adults, we make no judgement!)

Artists at work

After our masterpieces were finished, we went for a walk and set them out on the trail for others to find. This is my favorite part.

Aren’t they funny? The nice, precise jack-o-lanterns are made by Julia. The others are the work of my husband and me (the less talented pumpkin artists in this house!) We haven’t returned to the trail yet but I am certain they made people smile to see them.

In an effort to stay busy and creative, Julia has been using You Tube to teach herself to embroider and to knit. She was wanting ideas of what to stitch and I asked her to do a word for me. She embroidered this pretty bit and I am now working on making a little frame for it. I will just do something simple and then add some bit stitch quilting. It will be so sweet.

Have you been wondering about Julia’s little chicks? Of course you have. She took a few outside to the lawn (they currently reside in a box in the laundry room.) At first they were shocked, never having seen the world outside of their box. But once they got settled down, they had a great time. The girls are at the awkward (aka ugly duckling) stage these days. The cute fluff is falling out and their feathers are growing in. They will live in the house until they are fully feathered and can stay warm out in the coop. It is a bit of a challenge though. As they grow their feathers, they like to try them out to see if they can fly. Julia keeps raising the cardboard walls of their home because now and then, they fly out and cannot get back in. Hahaha.

I was weeding out in the yard the other day and saw these little mushrooms. It made me think some fairies should (or maybe they do?) live there.

Ok – that is my update for now. I will be back with a couple of finishes soon. How are all of you doing? Coping, staying healthy? Celebrating the election results? All of the above? Hang in there – these are strange and unprecedented times we live in.

If you are in need of your own fall colors or maybe some Christmas fabric, they are 20% off in the shop (today through Friday.). Lots of cuteness to be had for a great price.

Catching Up

Hello friends! Hard to believe I haven’t posted in nearly a month. I kept sitting down to write and just couldn’t get into the mood for some reason. Let’s just blame it on the pandemic, shall we? Life isn’t normal and even though I certainly have time on my hands, I find myself dithering it away quite a bit. Sigh.

But here I am, with a cup of coffee and the mood to write. Let’s catch up!

We took a trip up to Washington to watch my favorite grand daughters while my son, Andrew, and his wife moved their family into their new house. My husband and Andrew spent two days working on various little projects at the new house before moving which left Julia and I to play with the girls in the rental. Guess who got the good end of that deal!!

As with most toddlers, this girl needs to get outside to play. She gets stir crazy if she has to be inside all day. One rainy day, we went out to look for puddles to jump in. When she finished jumping in this one, she immediately went into her pretend mode. Her imagination is always going and at this moment, she was making soup for her horse. Each time she added pine needles to the puddle, it was a different ingredient. Some meant for soup and some not so much. “It needs parsley. Let’s add a carrot. Now I will put in an egg. Here’s the rainbow sprinkles.” On and on, all the while stirring her creation with her stick.

It took very little time to go from mixing her horse’s soup with the stick to standing in the puddle and going all in with her hands. How I love this girl.

Just a couple of days later, we were all in the new house. We tried to keep the kids corralled while the movers brought in nine million boxes. My husband ran around inside keeping the movers organized and my son checked the boxes off the list outside. Such a process.

I have never had movers pack my house before. But with a new baby and moving across country (not to mention a moving stipend from their new employer) the kids had this luxury. It was so odd to see some of the things the movers packed. It seemed like every third box contained a weird surprise. One time I unpacked a plastic trash can from the bathroom that was packed with the trash still in it. Another time, an apple was carefully rolled up in a huge amount of paper. Now it helps to know, the house was packed in mid July and everything was stored until they moved in on September 28th. That apple was a mess. There was a box with a container of honey that leaked all over the place, yuk! They also packed a pop-tart which they found somewhere in a zip lok bag, thanks to a three year old who must have left it in some odd place? (They told my kids that they were not allowed to pack any food items that were open but I don’t think they followed this rule at all?) Oh well, for the most part, it all went very well and there were not many items that were damaged in the process.

This little one was a breeze. She is so happy and just sort of went along with everything. I was setting up the laundry room at this point. (She is chewing on an old watch of her dad’s?!) Honestly, I could set her down most anywhere and she would just play with whatever I handed to her. She is starting to scoot around though so it was nice to contain her when I could. Hence the laundry basket. Haha.

I brought up this picnic quilt for the girls and we used it a number of times while playing outside. Babies on quilts, nothing cuter!

Back to this girl and her love of the outdoors. I was pulling a few weeds while she played and showed her a fat worm I found. This quickly led to her digging for worms and figuring out which was a daddy, the mama, the grammy etc. She kept them in this bowl for a bit, ‘feeding’ them grass. She is very inquisitive and asked if they had eyes so we talked about the life of a worm and she happily put them back in ‘their home’ when she learned they would die if not in the dirt. Just before putting them back in the dirt, she did need to sing a ‘wormy song’ to them. My heart melts with her.

The two weeks ended way too fast, as always. I love this picture even if it is quite blurry. We squeezed the girls a million times and drove back up to California. Luckily by the time we got home, our area was basically smoke free. What a wonderful thing it is to have clean air after nearly two months of staying inside to avoid the smoke.

As (bad) luck would have it, just a couple of days after we left, my daughter-in-law tripped and fell. She was carrying the baby so when she was falling her only thought was to protect the baby. She couldn’t break the fall which meant she broke a couple of bones in her foot. So she is hobbling around with a cast and waiting for her foot to heal. So unfair when she was so excited to set up her house and get settled. Such is life. I wish we were still up there so we could help.

That is a fair summary of the last few weeks. I was really having trouble getting in the mood to sew after getting back. It happens, right? But now I have started to spend some time in the sewing room and it all feels great. Yesterday, I had some sewing time at my friend Sophia’s house. She has a Baby Lock Tiara sit down machine. It is the best! I will share more on that next time. I have also been preparing for the holiday season in my shop even though it is somewhat hard to predict how this year will look. Business was crazy for months and then slowed back down as quilters and sewists were able to return to in-person shopping. Now with the unfortunate rise in the number of cases, I need to decide how to plan for that. Such a strange time in life.

OK – back soon with updates on sewing related things! I have missed you all and have not been on-line much at all with regard to blog posts or social media. I need to catch up with so many people! Hope you are well and enjoying your Saturday.

Covid Crafting

Between the Covid safety measures and the wildfires out here, our family is basically stuck inside and at home. The smoke continues to pollute the air and our Air Quality Index has ranged from 175 to 352 (the highest I have seen it) over the last month. (As a point of reference, 0-50 is considered healthy, clean air). In our area, the fire that started this mess began on August 14th. Fortunately, that fire has been dealt with but there are myriad other fires up and down the whole west coast, keeping the air very unhealthy.

Having to stay inside so much gets boring and the three of us get antsy. We have been trying to do projects, read a lot, watch tv and play an occasional card game to pass the time. Over the weekend we got crafty! Want to see what we made?

The first project were these silly mummy jars. Julia and I thought they would be fun to have out for Halloween. The project is so simple and if you have small children, it is perfect for them. You only need a few clean jars, some Mod Podge, cheesecloth, and wiggly eyes.

Cut the cheesecloth into strips approximately 1 1/2″ wide. Maybe two strips per jar? Paint the outside of the jar with a coat of Mod Podge. Wrap the strips around the jar as you might wrap a mummy. Haha – like I would know how to wrap a mummy. Then paint another coat of Mod Podge over the wrapped jar. Let dry. The next day we used a hot glue gun and attached the wiggly eyes. Julia’s boyfriend decided one of our mummies needed to have crazy eyes so he used two different size wiggly eyes.

They are quite cute when lit up.

Moving on, and in keeping with the Mod Podge crafting, Julia and I colored two jars. I really love these!

Another simple project, you only need two clean jars, Mod Podge, and some food coloring. For these jars, pour about 2 tablespoons of Mod Podge into a little bowl. Add the color you want (remembering not to add too much!) and about a teaspoon of water. Mix until the color is distributed – we used a toothpick to mix ours. Pour the colored glue into the jar and start to rotate your jar slowly, letting the glue run over all sides of the jar. Once the inside of the jar is well coated, drain the Mod Podge out. If you are going to make more jars, drain back into your bowl. Since we didn’t want to make more than one each, we drained the jars over the kitchen trash. Hold it upside down for a minute or so to let it drain. Then invert it on to a tray with waxed paper on it. Let the jars stand upside down for an hour. After that hour passes, bake the jars – standing right side up – for an hour at 225 degrees. They dried clear and hard.

I don’t know that I would put water in them as I am uncertain if that would eventually wash out the finish we made. But they look cute with dried flowers.

Moving on Julia wanted to make some soft pumpkins. We had everything we needed though the only appropriate socks we found were from Ray’s drawer. I am not a fan of the darker colored pumpkin. I do like the lighter colors though.

To make these we used a tutorial found at A Well Purposed Woman. I won’t go into the details since we really followed her instructions completely. This was a lot of fun to do together. Julia had the great idea to wrap floral wire around a pencil to make the little curlicue ‘vines’ we glued at the top near the stems. I like the fact that the instructions told us to put 1/4 cup of dry rice in first and then the polyfil stuffing. This weight at the bottom really makes the pumpkins sit nicely. If I were to do this again, and thrift stores were a feasible option, I would look for some socks with better colors or a knit sweater that could be upcycled. However, considering we were only using what we had at home, I call this a success.

One more fun thing to share – my sister, Juanita, is a yoga instructor who lives in Texas. With all of the travel restrictions in place, my family (like yours I am sure) is unable to be together. To allow family members to be able to spend time together, my sister has been teaching a yoga class via Zoom on Sunday afternoons. The link goes out to everyone in the family and whomever is available joins in. I took a screen shot over the weekend to share with you.

This doesn’t even show all of the family that participated. I couldn’t fit everyone on my screen. But it is such a great way to spend an hour together. Do a little yoga and then we all visit for a few minutes. It is just real life connected virtually. During family yoga this past Sunday, my sister in the upper right corner had her 16 month old grand daughter in and out of the room and my niece, bottom row, far left had to stop to help her three year old put her pants back on. It all makes us laugh and we (sort of) get to be together.

It takes some effort and a bit of creativity but I am glad we can find ways to stay connected. I hope you are able to as well!

Farm Quilt Finish

I am in a quilting and reading phase. Quilt a little, read a lot, quilt some more. There are always so many projects to make and books to be read, am I right?

But – the sewing! I have been getting lots done. Today I will share this cute picnic quilt I made for my grand daughters. I carried this line of fabric (it is all gone – sold so fast!) and before I sold out, I stashed away some of the red and yellow yardage as well as a panel of the animals.

I love seeing red and yellow together. It makes for a really cheerful combination. I need did use the green fabric with this project. I decided to save it for another day.

I started to make nine patch blocks last January and split them up, sewing them back together for a disappearing nine patch design.

Some had red centers.

Some had yellow centers. But once made, the blocks were always set aside for some other project.

Well my son and his wife recently bought a house outside of Seattle and we have been calling it “the Farm House”. It isn’t really a farm but it is on 1.5 acres and has a lot of raised beds, greenhouses, and a chicken coop. So, farm enough in our opinion.

I decided I needed to finish the quilt so the girls could sit on it outside and eat a snack or bring their lunch outside. The three year old is always filled with energy and I know she will love their big yard. This property is perfect for them.

I had some fun quilting this. In the center, I stitched in the ditch around the white animal squares. Then I used vertical and horizontal straight lines at various intervals. In the yellow border I just did a wavy line through each one.

I played with the red border. I did swirls, hearts, flowers and whatever else came to mind. On two corners I put the girl’s names which was fun. On the bottom border I stitched “Grammys Girls” but wasn’t thinking of the orientation so it is upside down. Sigh. Not a huge deal but I do wish I had thought to flip it before I stitched the words. Not enough to spend the time unpicking the stitching though. Haha.

The backing is a super wide stripe from Michael Miller. My sister was clearing her sewing area a couple of years ago and gifted me this piece and a few others. I knew it would come in handy at some point. The binding is a repro feed sack print I have in the shop. I like the little flowers framing the quilt, though this picture doesn’t really show the binding off very well.

I ran into a snag when I washed the quilt last night tho. The red bled onto the white animal squares. (I was too annoyed to take any pictures.) Ugh. I haven’t experienced this and was a little freaked out. Both Wendy of Pieceful Thoughts and Jan of Colorful Fabriholic recommended this method by Vicki Welsh to removed the red. By the time I asked these lovely women, I had already cold water washed it twice and rinsed it two more times. After reading Vicki’s method, I chose to alter it a bit. My washer is large and the quilt is about 50 x 50″ so not terribly big. I put it in the wash on the “deep water wash” cycle with hot water. The hot water was the part that scared me but Vicki says that is what needs to be done. Before I put the quilt back in I decided to spray each of the white squares liberally with OxyClean stain remover. I didn’t rub it in aggressively but I did sort of massage it into the stained areas. Then I used a fragrance free “free and clear” type of laundry detergent and put in more than I normally do. Once the machine was filled with hot water I stopped the cycle and let it soak, making sure it was all under water. Finally I let the machine finish its cycle and ran it through a couple of extra rinse cycles since there was a lot of soap in there. It worked! The animals are back in their little white squares as opposed to the pale pink squares that I saw last night. Phew! Thank you Wendy, Jan and Vicki!!

Now that this is finished, I have moved on to another quilt top. I basted it yesterday and plan to quilt it this weekend. It is miserably hot and smokey outside – I did get a little yard work done early this morning but will be inside all afternoon. We don’t have any plans for the long weekend. Hope you are all well. Enjoy your long weekend and make sure to spend a little (or a lot) of time sewing!

Linking to:

Brag About Your Beauties, Whoop Whoop, Tish’s UFO Busting & TGIFF

Coming Home to the Start of Fire Season

Sad to say, Fire Season is a thing here. Each year everyone hopes for less disaster, fewer homes lost, and that the fire won’t be in their town. It is a very strange ‘season’ that did not use to exist. I have lived in this town for 26 years and while there was an occasional wildfire, it wasn’t an annual occurrence each Indian summer. Now, come August and September, it isn’t a question of ‘if’ a fire will occur, rather it is a question of when and where it will happen.

This morning I looked at the map for California to see where fires were burning and this is what I saw. We had a series of lightening strikes on Sunday and Monday nights this week and many (most?) of these fires were started by those events. There is a fire several miles from our home. It is far enough that I highly doubt we are at risk. There was a point where my parents felt nervous for their home and property so they came and stayed for a night at our house.

My son took this outside his home early this morning.

Up and down the state, land and homes are burning. The smoke and ash are just awful. I am ever so grateful for the responders, firefighters, Salvation Army (who feed everyone working on the fires as well as trying to help those who have lost their homes), the people who set up and run the evacuation centers (which are completely complicated by the need for social distancing and proper care for the Corona Virus), the sheriffs department who is tasked with alerting the neighborhoods that need to quickly evacuate. It is a huge issue and one for which there is no simple answer. Some people (looking at you President Trump) say it is because California doesn’t take care of land management properly and there is too much fuel. I don’t know the answer. But it is awful right now and I am hoping they get the local fire contained soon so we don’t have more homes lost.

Hugging my two girls the morning before we left.

OK – on to less depressing topics. Our trip to Seattle was just wonderful. We were there just over two weeks. We didn’t go out a whole lot – much of the time was spent with our grand daughters while my son and his wife house hunted. Fortunately they found a great place and are under contract for it now. Another 4 – 6 weeks and they will move in. I think it is the perfect home for them.

When I got home I needed to get organized – always so much laundry to be done, groceries to stock up on, etc. Now that is all taken care of so I am anxious to work on some sewing.

Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt, by From Bolt to Beauty

Just before I left, I finished this strip quilt. I had been loosely following along with Michelle, From Bolt to Beauty, who was hosting a quilt along for this free pattern on hers. It goes together so fast. I had about 1/2 of a jelly roll left over from the Postage Plus quilt I made. I added some strips from other fabrics to come up with enough for this lap quilt.

Aren’t these tiny polka dots a fun background?

While the colorful bits were all from my stash, I didn’t have any neutral fabrics in a large enough piece for the background. I decided to use the last of a bolt from the shop. These cute polka dots are from Maywood Studios’ Beautiful Basics line. I think they add a sweet element to this quilt top. I am not totally sure what I will use this one for but I plan to get it basted and quilted up. Otherwise it will be hung in the closet and forgotten.

My fabric stack for the Morewood Mystery Quilt

Last night I started cutting the pieces for the Morewood Mystery Quilt. I think this will be really fun and quite different from anything I have made, based solely on the fabrics I am using. The batiks are a stack of Anthology Fabric pieces that I have had for a really long time. The polka dots are the last of a bolt from the shop. The cut list for this mystery quilt looks super easy which makes me happy. I like easy! If you are interested in joining in, click here for the info. This event is hosted by Cheryl Brickey, from Meadow Mist Designs. Her Mystery QAL is a fun annual event. We are just getting started so you haven’t missed anything yet!

This morning the sun looked like a ball of fire due to the thick smoke. This was taken from my front deck.

OK – I think that is it for now. I am going to go work on a block for the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge. I am a bit behind – July and August are both incomplete. Since we won’t be going outdoors for at least several more days, I will be able to get caught up. How about you? Tell me how you are doing and what you are working on? Sending good vibes and healthy thoughts to all of you!