Category Archives: Family

Getting Outside

Today Julia and I needed something different to do so we decided to do a few errands and then go for a short hike. We are fortunate to live in an area with tons of gorgeous walking trails. Julia chose Hirschman Trail for today’s walk.

We have walked here several times before. It is an easy walk and there are some really pretty sites to see.

The highlight of this trail is a beautiful pond. It comes up quickly but I look forward to seeing it each time – once on the way in and again on the way back out. Today there were two beautiful ducks swimming. Other times I have seen large turtles swimming at the water’s edge.

Walking along the trail we spotted this bright blue painted rock with a B on it. It was a little treasure nestled in off the side of the trail. There have been lots and lots of people painting rocks for others to find since the quarantine started. We decided to keep an eye out for more and we were not disappointed.

Wonder what the significance of the letter R was?

This little gem was in the crotch of a rotted tree branch.

This was actually a chunk of wood someone painted. Cute little rainbow!

Another spot of color on the trail.

Another letter, was this “I” the start of someone’s name?

We really enjoyed finding these. It was fun to think of people tucking them in along the way. Julia and I plan to paint a few and plant them on another trail. These made us smile so we will do the same for someone else.

And now…. too make you smile! Look at these two cuties!

These sisters really look alike. Older sister is on the left and little sister is on the right. They are surely cut from the same (very round) cookie cutter!

Hope you are finding ways to change things up a little. Getting outside, doing something new, learning something different? It all helps to keep us sane during this crazy season of life.

It Has Been a While

Hi everyone – somehow about two weeks have passed since I have posted. I am unsure if it is because I don’t have much to tell you or I have been busy or what? One would think with the shelter in place rules, I would have tons of time to write blog posts but it hasn’t happened.

So much to pack up and bring back home!

Actually, lots has been going on – a few days ago we drove to Julia’s university to clean out her dorm room. They decided for sure the students will not return to campus until fall session opens. This was sad and is the case across the country. When we were cleaning out the dorm room, Julia was melancholy. She certainly didn’t get the dorm life experience she was hoping for with all of these changes.

Watching the bagels bake.

Like all of you, we have been keeping busy with projects and cooking – so much baking!! Julia has made cookies, bagels and dinner rolls. Currently she is learning about sour dough starter. She started one batch but it didn’t work so she tossed it and has started again.I made pumpkin bread the other day with some pumpkin from the freezer (actually from out garden last summer). We are trying to cook all sorts of meals based on what is in the freezer – mainly because food tends to be shoved to the back of the freezer and forgotten. Now is the time to take stock of what is there and use it up.

As far as sewing goes, it has been hit and miss. At the time of my last post, I was really into it and then I sort of lost my motivation. But when the governor of California asked residents to begin wearing masks in public, I decided to make masks for the family. I have looked at a couple of patterns and mashed them up to get a result I am happy with. It is a work in progress for sure.

Certainly not the most fun sewing project, but a necessary one.

I mailed a few to my son and his wife in New York. Those two are the members of the family I worry about most. They have been very careful and stay in their apartment most of the time. They have a dog so do need to be outdoors to walk her. It is so awful in New York and they need to be extra diligent.

Organizing scraps.

I spent a couple of evenings cutting lots of scraps into squares for future use. This was actually somewhat satisfying. At least I was able to close my blue bin after doing this. Now of course, I have a new bin with these squares and more on the way. Sigh. It is never ending.

Charm squares and some solids

Another day or two was spent making half square triangles with a pack of charm squares I got from who-knows-where? I thought they would be cute used in some fashion. Can you tell I am just mindlessly, aimlessly sewing? So HST’s are made and trimmed and in a bag. Someday they will be used. Making the HST’s is the worst chore – it will be more fun to stitch them up.

Love these polka dots!

Another fun hour in the sewing room was spent hunting through scraps to find polka dot fabric. I am trying to stick with dotty prints for the 2020 Color Challenge. This month is purple but I have not yet started the block.

The lovely Princess Mirabelle

I am still enjoying lots of texts, photos and FaceTime with my two grand babies in Vermont. Not as good as real life visiting but this is all we have for now. Above is a picture of my grand daughter, AKA Princess Mirabelle, enjoying a pretend birthday party with her stuffed animals. She makes me smile every day.

This is such a random post but it well represents how things have been. These are strange times and it will be something to look back on 2020 and the Corona Virus pandemic. Hope we are are on the other side of this soon! Please do be careful, stay healthy and reach out to friends, family and neighbors.

Scrappy Dresden and Monthly Color Challenge Block

Happy Saturday Everyone. It is National Quilting Day so I really hope you each find a few minutes to work on a project or at the very least look at fabric and plan the next project!

I got my two monthly scrappy projects done for March! For RSC2020, the color is teal and I decided to make a smaller Dresden plate. I will combine it with the larger orange one I made in February and likely need to make one or two more before I put them together into some sort of wall quilt.

For the Monthly Color Challenge, hosted by Patterns By Jen, the color is orange. You might remember I did the January and February blocks with polka dot fabrics. That caused me to do a quick search though my scraps to see if I have enough polka dotted scraps to make this a theme for the sampler. I believe I do! So this month, I continued with the dotted fabrics.

March Scrappy Blocks

The block was a breeze with a pinwheel block in the center and then some flying geese to surround it, making it a square in a square. Easy peasy and very cute!

Next up is another quilt I am working on for Mercy Hospital. I had thrifted some pretty fabrics about a week or two ago. I knew I wanted to use them in a large block design because they are quite large in scale of print. I gathered another piece from my scraps plus a cut from a blender in the shop and pieced a Giant Star Quilt using a tutorial by Jeni Baker from In Color Order. This pattern is super simple and a lot of fun. Side note: I actually made something very similar when I was about 19 or 20 years old for my parents. I remember I saw the pattern in a magazine and made with in tones of burgundy, navy blue and it had a muslin background. I filled it with a puffy polyester batting and yarn tied it. That was a whole lotta years ago!

At this point, I have the quilt basted and did some ditch stitching to stabilize everything. This weekend I should be able to get it quilted. I need to find something fun to use for the binding.

Since all of California is mandated to now ‘shelter in place’, there is plenty of time for sewing and also lots of time to read. I am LOVING this book and highly recommend it if you want something to read while we wait out this Covid-chaos. My girlfriend loaned it to me and it is such a great read.

Let’s close with a picture of my sweet grand daughters, shall we? Little sister has decided she isn’t terribly fond of sleeping in her bed and is creating some sleep deprived parents these days. Coincidentally, big sister is thinking afternoon naps are passe`. Yikes, this doesn’t make for a good combination. Hoping the baby starts to cozy up to the idea of sleeping in her bassinet soon!!

Linking to lots of fun places including Brag About Your Beauties and Oh Scrap!

Rituals and Traditions with Meg Cox

I think I have mentioned that I am the program chairperson for my local quilt guild. I really like this task as it allows me the opportunity to learn about so many great teachers and speakers. I talk and email with them and then choose who might come to the area and talk with us or teach a fun class. About a year ago, I was told that Meg Cox would be doing a West Coast speaking tour and would be in our area. She has a friend here she wanted to visit and it worked out she could schedule her visit with her friend around the time our guild met.

Meg Cox is a writer, journalist, and a quilter. She has had a really extensive career which includes authoring five books, being a reporter for the Wall Street Journal for 17 years, a quilter for about 30 years, and has written many articles on family traditions and rituals for lots of trade magazines. I felt really lucky to be able to work this out. Our guild is fairly small and wouldn’t have been able to pay for her travel out here and back as she lives on the east coast. This was a gift dropped in our laps, so to speak.

Last week Meg spoke to our guild about the value of family traditions. We heard about how traditions and rituals give family members something to look forward to and create a stronger feeling of connection. She shared some fun ways to build tradition within the family, whether your family be a traditional one or a creatively built family of friends and/or relatives. She also talked about the wonderful quilting traditions we all immerse ourselves in. Memory quilts and making quilts for those in need is a huge tradition in our arena and she shared all sorts of beautiful examples of these. Her lecture was really timed perfectly as we go into our holiday season which is rich with tradition. I encourage you to check out her website. Meg also has a wonderful monthly newsletter, titled Quilt Journalist Tell All. I subscribe to it and enjoy reading it quite a bit.

Listening to her made me think about the rituals my family has. Some are common and others maybe not so much. But these are the times we all look forward to and look back on fondly. These rituals keep us connected. For example, in my family we made birthdays special in small ways. The person celebrating their birthday chose the meal for dinner that day. I remember when my kiddos were small, they would choose the same thing over and over. Julia went through a stage of wanting hot dogs with dill relish. Not my favorite meal (by a long ways!) but when she was 6, 7 and probably 8 that was her birthday meal. My son Ian chose chicken and tortilla casserole over and over for a couple of years in a row.

Growing up, my family had lots of rituals to observe, both within our family and our religion. I was raised in the Catholic church and attended parochial school through 8th grade. Catholicism is heavily steeped in ritual, as are most religions. But the traditions I really remember are from within our family. Watching Christmas TV specials was such a treat each year. Living before DVD’s and DVR’s, we really looked forward to watching Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. My sisters and I looked forward to watching these cartoons.

When the six of us were old enough to know the hard truth about Santa, my mother decided we would draw names and fill each other’s Christmas stocking. I think this was one of my favorite things about Christmas; filling a stocking for a sister of mine and opening my stocking that was filled by a sister. We were supposed to keep it a secret and not tell each other whose stocking we were filling. I doubt we were very good at that.

We filled each others stockings with things like nail polish, 17 Magazine, lip gloss, Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers, and Love’s Baby Soft perfume (because what girl doesn’t want to walk around in a cloud of baby powder scent?) and candy.

Were you a teenager in the 70’s? If so, do you remember this lip gloss?? It was an incredibly thick goop that we applied with a ‘roller ball’ applicator. Ugh. By the way, what is this girl doing kissing Roger, Richie, Fred, David and Bob – hmmmm…

There was also the lip balm style that came in all sorts of flavors. I have such fond memories of our secret Santa stockings we made for each other!

After the lecture I was visiting with some guild members and it surprised me to hear that some didn’t really have strong memories of family traditions while growing up. This made me a little bit sad. I very much enjoy these connections and hope my kids have fond memories of our Christmases, birthdays and other family times.

I would love to hear about your traditions. Let’s share them in the comments. Maybe we can inspire each other and learn some ideas for fun ways to build our family celebrations and holidays. If this has not been something you have done, I urge you to take just one idea and implement it. Your kiddos or grand children will love it. It is a wonderful way to enhance family life.

Quilt Shows and Quilt Alongs

Good morning all. I am enjoying a lovely, quiet morning here with coffee and some blog reading and I thought it a good time to catch up. It has been a while right?

Last weekend I spent a couple of days as a vendor at a fun show in the small town of Brownsville. I can’t say how much I enjoyed this little show. It was so relaxed and the people, quilters and wanderers both, were incredibly friendly. This guild has a membership of about 30 people with roughly half being very active. The town has a population of approximately 1300 people. It was quite nostalgic for me as my first husband’s grandparents lived in Brownsville and we spent many Thanksgiving weekends with them in their very tiny house. Grandma Ada cooked on a woodturning stove and was into quilting, crochet, and stamp collecting. I have one quilt of hers, all hand stitched hexies. It is in need of repairs, being made in the 1940’s and hopefully one day I will get around to it.

The toddler books and the sweet tape measures were a popular item during the show.

Back to the show! Because it was a very small show, I didn’t bring as much inventory as I normally do. There was a corner of one table with fun notions and projects. The toddler fabric books were a fun find for customers – I had a sample of each one available.

I pre-cut quite a bit of fabric into one yard cuts so I would have enough selection without having to pack and unpack all of those bolts. Not shown in the picture is another table which displayed a number of bolts as well as the pre-cuts.

Everyone wanted to pet Jack, an emotional therapy dog used by the Sherrif’s department.

Other than the friendly quilters, one thing I was really taken with was the presentation done on Sunday afternoon at the end of the show. This small group of quilters makes an impressive number of community service quilts each year. They get together every Wednesday to work on their CS quilts. The stack they had on display was just amazing. On Sunday afternoon, the representatives of the groups to which the quilts are donated are introduced and presented with their quilts. There was a representative from the Fire Department, Hospice, local Domestic Violence as well as the Sheriff’s Department. Most of the representatives told a heartwarming story of how the quilts are used before thanking the group and loading up with quilts for the year. There was an emotional support dog who came along with the sheriff that works with children who have been removed from scary situations. The idea of presenting the quilts in this way was really touching. Do any of you do this with your community service quilts? I think it provided a meaningful opportunity for the quilters who make all of these gifts to see how valued and appreciated their work is.

October piecing for the Mosaic Mystery QAL

Last week I finished up the October blocks for the Mosaic Mystery QAL. These were simple (as you can see) but I think this is truly the only sewing I did all week! At least I am caught up and can begin the November piecing now.

The Truckee River in November

My husband and I spent a couple of days away earlier in the week. We had to go up and check on our house in Downieville since we had not been up there for so long. Because of the power outages we had to toss everything in the fridge and freezer which was quite annoying. We also spent a day with my in-laws which was lovely. We took a long walk along the river and got a lot of visiting in.

Coming soon!

Finally, just in case you haven’t seen this yet – there is another great quilt along coming up. The Push-Pull Quilt Along begins next week. The schedule is very relaxed with prompts announced every three weeks. Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl is the host and as with the last QAL, it is a transparency quilt. This technique is so unusual and the results are always striking. Needle and Foot will be sponsoring some of the prizes for the link ups. Quilt fabric kits will also be available in the shop for those who want to choose a ready-made collection of solids. The kits were curated by Yvonne so you know they will be a stunning set of color. Photos of these will be shared in a couple of weeks.

This is a three day weekend for many in the US (honoring the veterans in our country). For me, it means Julia had time to come home from school. She is here until Tuesday early morning, when I will take her back down to school. She sent a list of foods she has been missing so lots of cooking is going on. This is what all of my kids seemed to do when they were home during college. “Mom, will you make XXX for dinner?” So spaghetti and meatballs, bbq pulled pork with slaw, and Baked Potato Soup are on the menu this weekend. Ah, a light and low fat menu to be sure!! I love feeding my kiddos. Hope you are enjoying the long weekend if you are in the US. Many thanks to all of those in Service who support our country now or did so in the past!

One Adorable Pumpkin

Happy Halloween!! Your recent two weeks of family time in Vermont were wonderful. The goal was to hang out with our son and his wife and spend as much time as possible with our grand daughter. 

Grandpa was her favorite during our visit!

While there my grand daughter came down with a miserable virus and had terrible croup. Poor little girl was sick for a long stretch and toward the end of it, my husband came down with it.  Not a fun bug at all!  The two days before we left, my son and his wife were starting to come down with it but it didn’t look like they were going to be quite as sick.

Since we were having some quiet time at home and H was taking long naps due to being sick, i did have time to do some sewing. I pulled out my DIL’s sewing machine to make a Halloween costume for H. She and her mom found a cute picture of a little girl dressed up as a pumpkin with green leggings and t-shirt on underneath. 


I used a Simplicity pattern for the costume. There is a Jo-Ann’s in the next town over so off I went in search of orange fabric. At first I planned to use a wool felt but it was so stiff. I knew H wouldn’t have fun running around in that at her Halloween party (at her daycare).  I was with my son Kyle (he and his wife drove over from New York for a weekend) and he spotted a bolt of orange fleece way up on a top shelf, not yet unwrapped. Lucky for me he is 6’ 2” and was happy to hop up and down to grab it. This was perfect. 


The pumpkin is lined with fleece and filled with batting. Even trick or treating in Vermont, this girl is going to be quite warm. Her outfit is so heavy!!  There was a stencil for the face but i felt like it was too big so I ended up cutting the pieces out free hand. Using a few bits of ‘Wonder-Under’, I fused the face to the front and appliquéd them with a simple zig zag stitch. 
The pattern called for a casing to be made at the hemline with elastic inserted to make it puffy. However with the fleece, there was already a nice shape to the pumpkin. Instead, I trimmed the fleece lining to be about two inches shorter than the outer layer.  Turning one inch of the outer layer to the inside, I machine stitched the hemline. 

She was trying on the hat when I first finished it. But it was a bit too big.

Ok- my favorite part of the whole costume is definitely the hat. When I made it, H was quite happy to wear it about the house for an afternoon so I really hope she wears it on Halloween. It looks so darn cute on her. I made it during a nap time, guessing at the sizes and it was too big for her.  There wasn’t a clean way to fix this without doing a lot of seam ripping. I had to rip one seam on the  pumpkin and it was difficult to manage with that puffy fleece fabric. So I cheated and took a little tuck and just stitched it up. The hat is still a bit large but better than before. 

So darn cute!

When I left I had not had time to run out and buy some velcro which was needed for the shoulder straps. So I left it unfinished and my daughter-in-law took care of it. I received some really cute pictures of H having fun with her costume today.

Getting ready for daycare earlier this morning. So much excitement!

I am glad they had a little party at her daycare. I hear they are supposed to have a lot of rain tonight so that may put the kibosh on any trick or treating.

I love the green and white striped leggings and t-shirt under her pumpkin costume.

Just in case there was a chance for trick or treating, I also made her a tiny treat bag to carry.

This was designed off the cuff and I didn’t write down any measurements. If I had to guess, I would say it finished at about 8″ x 11″ or so. Maybe even a bit smaller. I had that polka dot ribbon on hand (actually had all of the supplies on hand) and I took two pieces and sewed them together (wrong sides together) just to make it a bit heftier.

The bag is lined, which makes it a bit stronger. Since she does not yet know what trick or treating really is, she won’t be disappointed this year if they skip it due to weather. She can play with this bag or use it next year.

While I was there H and I made a festive bandana for their dog Wusha. I think Wusha looks a bit embarrassed to wear it but this dog will do anything my grand daughter asks of her. I had the triangular pieces cut and pinned and then had H sit on my lap and help me feed the fabric through the machine. I tried to take a selfie because it was so sweet but I am really, really not good at those and didn’t get much of a picture! But we had fun and she was thrilled to help Gram-gram sew for a few minutes.

Introducing Georgie Ghost

One last project while we were there was to make a little ghost to hang in the dining room. We had been taking walks around the neighborhood and she really liked looking at the neighbors decorations. She loved the ghosts and a few little scarecrows we saw. I asked her if she would like to make a ghost and she was so excited.

This was super easy. One styrofoam ball from Wal-Mart and a packet of cheesecloth from the grocery store. I cut the cheesecloth in two strips and with the help of one happy two year old, layered the ball with the cheesecloth. Then we worked together to cut the eyes, nose and mouth. I had gotten her a glue stick that starts out purple and dries clear. This way she could see where she was putting the glue to put the pieces on. The addition of the bow on her head turned this little ghost into a girl. H and I had so much fun with this project and it was the perfect amount of work for a two year old.

Checking to see if Georgie Ghost can fly.

My son took the photos of H and her ghost – they are so sweet! We really enjoyed our time with the kids and can’t wait for our next visit. Grand parenting is the best and it would be even better if we all lived on the same side of the country!! Someday…

Linking up with a few fun places, including the monthly Favorite Finish party at Meadow Mist Designs. Be sure to check the top of the page under Link Ups!

Two Busy Weeks

I can hardly believe I haven’t posted in two weeks! The time flew by and here we are at the end of September. When we got home from our Maui vacation we switched gears and Julia started packing for college. She had been accumulating things for her dorm room over the summer and it was piled up in her room. Time to get organized!

So many things to pack and bring to school. Last weekend Ray and I took her to move into her dorm room. It was such a fun time, though bittersweet as I am sure you all understand. We are really proud of her and know she will do great things at school. But on the other hand, we knew we would miss her.

Even though the university splits move-in days among the odd number and even number dorm rooms with half coming Saturday and the other half on Sunday, the lines were long. So many kids to check in and issue room keys to.

It didn’t take too long to get most of her things unpacked. Her room is cozy and she is happy with it.

I even brought her a tiny pumpkin from our garden for her desk.

We took a short walk to visit the dairy cows which live around the corner from her dorms. (You can see the dorm buildings in the background). Julia is right where she belongs!

In all honesty, it took a lot of scrubbing to get the stink off these boots and make it acceptable for her to have them in her room!! (They are usually kept in the garage!)

A picture with her proud father!

And one with her proud mom as well! So now we all get used to this new change. She is making new friends and will soon be buried in homework.

I did very little sewing this week. But I made sure to keep up with the Mosaic Mystery QAL. Here is the first set of blocks which was the piecing we were assigned for September. There were also a bonus stack of 2 1/2″ half square triangles that resulted from clipping the corners of the larger blocks. I don’t know exactly what I will do with those but surely they will get used at some point. Now I wait for the October instructions!

This morning I worked on quilting my Panda strip quilt but got frustrated because the tension was not right and I have to spend some time with my seam ripper. Not in the mood for unpicking the quilting, I switched gears and decided to do some cooking. I made flatbread for the first time. It was fun and so easy!

Do you cook with recipes on an iPad? I do and so far I haven’t spilled on it. But there is always that chance. Anyway, the recipe is from Keepin It Kind, a vegan site. We are not vegan but I do like to cook dairy free for my husband when possible. Flatbread is unleavened so it is very quick to make. No rising time or kneading is required. The ingredients are mixed with the mixer and then divided into eight equal portions. Rolling them into little pancakes was a breeze.

My mistake was in not heating up the cast iron skillet quite enough with the first one or two pieces. But once it got really hot, they bubbled up and browned nicely.

Yum! If you haven’t had these, flatbread is really like a thick, doughy tortilla. They only cook about one minute on each side.

The recipe only made eight pieces which was perfect. Although if I had made more, I suppose they would keep in the freezer.

We had some for lunch with soup. For dinner we will have them with leftover roast chicken and caramelized onions on them. I am fairly certain we won’t have leftovers. 😉

If you like simple recipes, this one is a great one to try. The only modification I would make is to increase the salt. The recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon but I think I will double that the next time I make these. There will definitely be a next time because they were really yummy and a lot of fun to make.

As for sewing, I plan to continue to quilt the little panda project and I am also wanting to make a trick or treat bag for my grand daughter. Hopefully I will get to both of these during the week. Hope all of you are well and happy! What have you been up to? Tell me in the comments – I have missed everyone!

A Week in Maui

Remember the post about the incredibly long travel day Julia and I experienced on our way home from Vermont last winter? It paid off in a big way with a ‘free’ trip to Maui for me, Ray and Julia. Free in the sense of free flights – the rest? Not so free. Haha.

We really had a great time, spending eight days together on Maui. Here is a brief recap with (too many?) photos!

Great condo for relaxing – which we did plenty of! Don’t worry – they weren’t staring at screens much of the time. They were researching places we wanted to visit.

Watching the waves and waiting for the sun to set.
The opening in that seawall was great for the surfers to access the ocean right in front of us.

The views from the lanai were wonderful. We were entertained my many, many sea turtles swimming in the waves. Also, lots of surfers – most mornings there were great waves out front and lots of people playing in them.

Ray took our picture in front of this tree to show the massive size of the trunk. Crazy big!!

We walked a trail one day in Iao Valley State Park which was lovely – it was quite warm that day (really every day we were there!) so we were thankful it was just an easy walk and mostly in the shade.

Julia wrapped in a towel (over her sweatshirt). It was so cold up there!

Our favorite trek was up to the Haleakala Crater. We chose to do this in the evening so we could watch the sunset from the crater. The elevation is over 10,000 feet and we were literally above the clouds. The only time I have looked down on clouds is from a plane so this was spectacular.

This photo is untouched and it was so amazing to see.

Doesn’t this crater look like something on another planet? It was a challenge for me to be at that elevation. I was a bit dizzy and my stomach was very queasy – high elevation and I do not mix well. I really wanted to see this even though I was fairly certain it would trigger a migraine (and it did!). Gotta make choices, right? It was worth it.

Sunset at Haleakala Crater

The week we spent on Maui was unseasonably warm. Just our luck! The temps were in the mid-90’s and of course soooo darn humid. That was really unfortunate. Ironically, the temps at home that week were unseasonably cool with temps in the mid-70’s. Ah well, we got unlucky there.

Food, glorious food. Vacations always mean trying lots of different foods, right? Ray and I love wandering the grocery stores and looking at the differences between home and the destination. We went to a couple of farmer’s markets and bought different locally grown fruits. After a week of eating guava, papaya, mango, dragon fruits, pineapple, custard apple and star fruits, I would have to say that while they were fun and different, I am not a huge fan. They were too sweet for me. Plus the textures weren’t the best. Mango and pineapple are fine – and we eat them here at home all the time. The local pineapples were much nicer than what we purchase here but that makes sense as I am sure they pick them early for shipping here.

As we were driving around the island, we saw this road side stand several times. Finally we had to give it a try. Oh my gosh – it was exceptional. Fantastic rotisserie chicken and the best ribs. Smoky and tender, we brought quite a bit home to our condo and made a few meals with it. Seemed very strange to see a huge (really huge) bbq on the side of the highway but it was delish!

Maui Quilt Shop

Much to Julia’s dismay, I spotted this quilt shop one afternoon when we were out in search of a shave ice treat. It was tiny and carried a good stock of Hawaiian fabrics, batiks and summery novelty fabrics. Lots of patterns and samples were everywhere.

Surfboards, pineapples and palm trees scream Maui to me.

I was very good and just bought a couple of pieces to bring home as souvenirs of the trip. I look forward to making a little something summery that will serve as a fun reminder of the trip.

When we were getting to the end of the trip, I asked Julia to choose what she wanted to do on the last day. I was not even surprised at her decision. We went to Surfing Goat Dairy. (Of course we did!). They had a fun tour, goat cheese tasting, lots of goats to pet and the best part – we learned to milk a goat by hand.

Goat milking!

It was quite fun and the goat cheese was truly amazing! There was an incredible assortment of chocolate truffles with various flavors and you know we sampled several of them. We bought some frozen Quark to take home. We wrapped it well and it was still very cold by the time we got home. The flavor we chose was Passion Fruit and yum!! The usual goat cheese I buy here at home has a fairly strong, distinct flavor. But the Surfing Goat Dairy cheeses don’t have that harsh taste at all. We learned this is because they use vegetable rennet and not animal based rennet. This made such a nice difference in the flavors.

Overall, we had a lovely trip. Once home, it was back to business. My friend Sophia shipped orders for me while I was away and I am so grateful to her for the help. I had four custom orders for Chemex and French Press cozies to make and those are all finished now. There were also three boxes of fabric to deal with – I have listed some of it but still have a ways to go with that. Vacations are wonderful and it is a good for everyone to get away and enjoy a change of pace and scenery. But for me, I do love coming back home! I am such a homebody.

Looking forward to the first bit of piecing for the Mosaic Mystery QAL. Also I am just about done with the hand sewing on my friend Susie’s memory quilt. I also want to do a bit of big stitch hand quilting on it so that will be my project for evening time. Julia moves into her dorm on Saturday so she is busy packing and I am busy realizing she is growing up and leaving the nest! How about you? What does your week look like? Tell me in the comments. Happy Monday all. 🙂

County Fair Re-Cap

What a nice day we had today – long but lots of fun.

Julia started the day with a great smile, all ready to go.

She competed early in the morning in “Market Class” which is where the judge (in the ball cap) ranks the animals by the quality of their physical structure. Julia and Leo did well, placing 3rd out of eight animals.

Competition was followed by the “Breakfast of Champions” which is an annual event at fair. Yum – corn dogs!!

We watched some 4-H kids practicing showing their steers and I just loved the phrase on this guy’s shirt. His 4-H group all wore these shirts and it made me happy to see – they must have a great leader.

The breeder that Julia works with had a new litter of piglets just a few weeks ago. He brought the mama and her eight piggies to the fair to people could see these little guys. The mama looked exhausted and why wouldn’t she be with constantly nursing eight hungry babies. Mama pig weighed 500 pounds – she was huge.

My dad joined us for lunch and to watch Julia compete in the afternoon. We loved having him hang out with us – Thanks for coming, Papa! Isn’t this a cute picture of the both of them?

The day ended on a somewhat sour note. During the showmanship competition, Leo decided he wasn’t in the mood to cooperate and literally went to the corner of the ring and refused to leave. Try as she might, Julia couldn’t get him to perform, walk, or get out of the corner. It was crazy ridiculous since Leo has been such a great animal and they have been walking our property every morning for weeks and weeks. But if the animal has never been in a ring with eight other pigs, you can’t truly be sure how it will respond. Leo wasn’t in the mood I suppose. Julia tried and tried and finally realized she wasn’t going to be successful. Oh well, life lessons, right? I was proud of her in that she kept her cool and did her absolute best.

They are still buddies even if Leo really doesn’t dig the show ring too much. Raising an animal is a great experience that instills patience and responsibility in a person. But as with humans, animals have their own personalities, likes and dislikes. This guy is not a performer which was disappointing and surprising to Julia. She handled it well though and that is what counts.

Sewing, Baking, Napping and More

Lots going on around here lately. My husband has finally decided he is ‘done’ renovating our little house in Downieville and it is listed for sale. We bought it some years ago after I saw it for sale during a quilting retreat up in the mountains. We have enjoyed many weekends up there and Ray has really outdone himself with updating it. I suspect it will sell easily and make someone very happy.

A “Before” photo

This is a shot of the living room when we were first looking at the house.

The same angle with Ray’s updates!

Want to see more? Here is the kitchen when we toured it the first time.

The “Before” shot of the kitchen.
And the kitchen as it looks now. I love it!

In some ways we are sad to give this little house up but we are also ready to be responsible for just one house again. Life is always changing!

I did bits of sewing here and there over the past week but mostly I was napping and dealing with a long migraine cycle. Ugh, that is so frustrating. Started Sunday night and here it is Friday and I am not so sure it is over yet. Such a waste of time – dragging around and not accomplishing a whole lot. I am so fortunate that reading does not bother me when I am sick – many migraineur’s cannot read because of strong sensitivity with their eyes. I have a hard time looking at the computer, I think it is because of that little bit of movement that one’s eyes track while looking at a screen. But the T V and books are ok. Anyway, lots of napping and I am crossing my fingers it is over with soon. I did my second monthly injection of Ajovy yesterday. My neurologist said some people experience a benefit right away and it can take others 3 or 4 months to notice a difference. Maybe this month will be better!

The sewing I did do was mainly working on my friend Susie’s memory quilt. I got it basted (Julia helped me crawl around on the floor for that!) I quilted straight lines through the sashing and have been thread sketching an echo of sorts around the two plaid hearts. I think it lends a rustic simple look which is perfect for the mood of this quilt. Next, I plan to work on the short sashing strips between the four patch blocks. Then I need to decide what I want to do with the four patch blocks. I am just taking it easy and enjoying the process.

Julia has asked me to make her a new purse. The last one was made in fall of 2017 and it is looking a bit worn. I love her fabric choices! The blue and gray fabric just arrived last week and I am happy to cut into it and give it a try. It is called Harmony with Nature and was designed by Norman Wyatt. She chose the Mystic Gray (an Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solid) for the lining.

Sam’s Jersey Quilt; November 2017

My sister asked me (a LONG time ago) to make a hanging sleeve for a quilt I made for my nephew. Remember his baseball and football jersey quilt? She wants to hang it on a wall in his room. I finally cut a few strips of this gray dot and will get that off to her in the mail.

Today is my husband’s birthday. I just finished making him a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. To keep it dairy free, I used coconut cream instead of butter for the icing – it is yummy and I was licking my fingers the whole time I frosted the cake! I used coffee for the liquid instead of milk or cream because the coconut is fairly sweet and I thought the coffee might cut that a bit. He requested enchiladas from our local Mexican restaurant which is a treat for me. No cooking!! Then we eat cake. Probably way too many calories after a week of napping but such is life.

Hoping all of you are enjoying summer. Have a wonderful weekend and if it is hot outside (it is in the high 90’s here!) now is the time to enjoy the cool of your sewing room and make something!!