Category Archives: Family

Weekend Fun

How was the weekend??  Mine included almost zero time in the sewing room.  But that is fine – it was a really nice weekend filled with little projects and lots of family time.  We were fortunate to have unseasonably cool weather over the weekend.  As I get older (which in and of itself is a mystery) I have become much less tolerant of the heat.  Anyway, it is going to be up into the low 90’s this week so we chose to spend the weekend outside.

I hung two baskets of flowers (which I purchased – rather than plant myself) in the trees along our front lawn.  They look really pretty and appreciate being in a mostly shaded spot.

As long as I can remember to water them, we will be in good shape!

Our property includes a portion of a large (6 acre) pond.  Technically it is called Pine Lake but it feels more like a pond to me.  😉 Ray and I had coffee out there early Saturday morning and he did a little fishing.  There are a lot of bass in the pond though he tossed them back this time.  It is so peaceful up there in the mornings and we forget to go and use that space.

olive

Now that finals are done and summer is here, Julia spent a lot of time training and working with Olive.  She discovered that walking Olive in the evenings is a frustrating experience because Olive is really ornery.  She does much better in the mornings.  These photos from Friday night are so funny. Olive wasn’t having any of it.

olive

She is a really sweet animal though.  Her personality is just precious.

We were up at my mom and dad’s on Sunday morning and I brought home plants.  They have a gorgeous yard and it is like shopping at a nursery.  There are always starts of something or other and my father digs them up for me to plant.  I came home with Bells of Ireland and a large succulent of some sort.  Julia came home with small succulents to pot for her room.

house

Our lower patio project is really coming along.  The contractor and his team were here all last week working.  It is a big project and will be another couple of weeks before it is done.

shop

In need of more shelf space for my shop downstairs, I gave a desk to a friend which freed up some room.  Then I tore apart the room and rearranged things and added a long shelf.  I will show you a picture when I get it put back together. My husband was really helpful with this and gave up several hours to work on it with me.  It is going to be more spacious and perfect timing since I have quite a bit of fabric arriving this week.

Hannah

Finally, I want to share this picture of my sweet grand baby.  She spent the morning “gardening” with her mama and found a strawberry.  She couldn’t believe her good fortune!!  Julia and I are taking off for Vermont at the end of the month and we are giddy at the prospect.

This week I have lots to do!  All fat quarter bundles were on sale over the weekend so I have orders to pack and ship today.  I have a set of Chemex and French Press cozies in process and want to get those finished up and listed in the shop. I am meeting with a rep for Free Spirit on Tuesday afternoon.  I have been debating adding a new manufacturer to my list of accounts and Free Spirit would be great as it would enable me to carry some Tula Pink, Anna Maria Horner and Denyse Schmidt (to name only a few).  Also I have a twin size quilt from our guild’s Community Service group to bind as well as my Twisted quilt to layer and baste.  What are your plans?  Monday is a great day to set a plan for the week. Hope you had a great weekend and this is even a better week than the last.

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Planning the Week

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope the weekend treated you well.  Last week my husband and I had our 20th wedding anniversary.  It was a crazy day which culminated in a meal of scrambled eggs for dinner.  Not really the best way to honor twenty years of marriage! But we did get to celebrate a few days late.  We took the weekend off and went to our little house in Downieville together.

Hiking along the river in Downieville.

We had a great time on our ‘twenty-moon’ and hated to see the weekend end. Saturday was gorgeous outside, maybe 75 degrees or so?  We hiked along the river and enjoyed some gorgeous scenery.

 

DownievilleWe really love our little bungalow up on the river.  Each time we are there I we wonder why we don’t get up there more frequently but you know how that goes.  So many things competing for our weekend time!  As we drove home Sunday afternoon, Ray was saying he needed to hop on the mower and get the hillside and yard mowed.  This is a weekly chore during the spring and early summer which takes quite a chunk of time (he mows about two acres.). But surprise!  Our youngest son (who came to hang out with Julia while we were gone) had mowed for him.  An anniversary gift of the best kind and a very thoughtful gesture.

fabric shop

These shelves are packed!

This is the main project I am working on this week! My shelves are completely full (with the exception of the one in the top, left corner. I have two orders of fabric delivering this week, one from Windham Fabric and the other from Andover.  (I am so excited!!) Anyway, there is no room for more.

This is the space opposite the fabric shelves.  I need to clean it out and get the desk out of the room.  (It is a beast – solid oak which makes it huge and quite heavy). I don’t use it other than to stack junk on.  So, the junk is going, the desk is being listed on Craigslist and I am putting shelving on this wall.  I have the shelving so that part will be easy.  But getting rid of all of this might take a little time!  I am excited to have the area available though.  Decluttering the space is actually very motivating and I should be able to get most of this done today.  I am not exactly sure how we will get the desk out of there though.  It really is monstrous.  I think Ray will have to take it apart to move it. (I am lucky to have him!)

Scrap Pack of Art Gallery Fabrics

As I clean up the shop, I am putting together some scrap packs.  Here is one filled with eight ounces of Art Gallery pieces, some of which are designed by Sharon Holland, Pat Bravo and Maureen Cracknell.  There is only one of them but if it appeals to you, hop over to the shop!

Julia and olive

Olive loves her belly rubs!

Here is a picture of Julia and Olive.  This piglet loves a good belly rub.  She is so sweet-natured which becomes apparent when she sees Julia.  She flips to her back and waits for the petting.   She has a little smile on her face when they are together.  Julia is actually a bit concerned because she doesn’t want Olive to flip to her back for a scratch when Julia is competing with her in the ring for showmanship!  Clearly it may take a bit of training and practice to keep Olive up and moving when she is supposed to be.

Finally, on Wednesday this week I will be sharing the April Blogger Bundle.  It was curated by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs.  Don’t miss it, this is a lovely collection! See you Wednesday.

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

It is the first of the month and my sister Tina was the first person to start the texting this morning. I don’t remember when we started, but it was years and years ago.  As kids, on the first of the month, “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” had to be the first words each of us uttered in order to have good luck all month long. It was a disappointment to forget and then hear a sister utter the words.  I would think, dang it – it is the first of the month.  We are not a superstitious bunch but we did this regularly.  Now that we are grown and living far from each other, it has become tradition to text it first thing in the morning.  I love family traditions.  This morning I looked up the whole “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” superstition and while I didn’t find a solid explanation, I did learn it dates back as far as a 1909 edition of the quarterly scholarly journal Notes and Queries and was also mentioned in A Dictionary of English Folklore.  Next I found an article on NPR stating Franklin Delano Roosevelt not only carried a rabbit’s foot for good luck but also uttered “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” on the first of the month.  So, my family is in good company.  Do any of you keep this tradition at your house?  Or, did you when you were growing up?

We are home from our Vermont trip. It was such a wonderful week.  We enjoyed nice weather and did a few days of exploring in both Vermont and Montreal. It turns out my grand daughter is the cutest little girl.  Truly, the cutest.  I am sorry to disappoint you if you thought it was your grand child that was the cutest because, nope, mine is.  Haha.

Napping with Grammy

I loved spending time with her and could easily pack my bags and move to Vermont tomorrow. Problem is my daughter in law is doing her residency as a radiologist there and who knows where she will land once she is done.  They hope to stay in Vermont but one never knows what the situation will be when she is ready to apply for positions.  For the time being we will have to keep flying out there to have our Grammy and Grandpa time.

All washed and crinkled!

Before we left, I made a doll quilt to bring to my grand baby.  I was still in doll quilt mode from the Spread the Love event in February. This time I thought I would do something with lots of color. It is an around the world type of block that I made with two inch squares (which finished at 1.5 inches.) I love the colorful look of it and I can imagine playing with her, asking her to show Grammy a blue square or a pink square, etc.  Sort of an I-Spy color game.

The backing is a cute unicorn print whose history is unknown to me.  I kind of think I got it in a box of one yard cuts I bought on sale at Craftsy a while back. The binding is a polka dot from my stash and the batting was scraps stitched together – a quilt made completely from stash and scraps!  Win for me.  🙂

Open the gift? Why? Much more fun to climb on it.

The bigger win was watching her open it up.  She is hardly old enough to understand opening a gift and preferred sitting on the package instead.

Once we got the paper off, she immediately went into her peek-a-boo mode.

We also brought a baby doll to get her started on the inevitable collection of a billion dolls that most little girls acquire. The doll came with a tiny bottle and she clearly knew what to do with it. (I know! She is brilliant.)

A little for you and some for me?

Yes, it was an awesome week.  We are going on vacation with the family in July so that took the sting out of leaving.  I am happy to know I will get to see her in a few months. But now I am back home and it was unseasonably warm last week which means the weeds are fierce.  I am off to pull enough weeds to earn me some time at the sewing machine this afternoon.  I know March is over but I haven’t quite finished my green RSC18 projects.  I need to catch up!!   So, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit to all of you. I hope April brings you spring time, green leaves, much joy, and as much time at your sewing machine as possible.

Linking up all over the place.  Check out the tab at the top of the page, Link Ups.

Weekend Recap

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen the pictures I posted over the weekend.  Julia and I took a road trip and visited Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.  This college is a favorite in our family – I graduated (class of ’82) and two of my sons plus one daughter-in-law also graduated from there.  Julia is planning to apply there next fall.  We thought it would be fun to do the college tours and see the campus as it has been several years since we have been there.  Plus she was pretty young when we last visited and I thought she needed to see it with a more mature viewpoint.

It was a beautiful day of tours and walking… oh, so much walking.  Julia is deciding between Biology or Animal Science as her major.  It is so hard to know what you want to do at this age but Cal Poly is a university that requires the applicants to declare their major right away.

She was thrilled to be able to visit the Swine Unit.  The manager of that unit, a senior at the university, was incredibly friendly and let Julia hang out for quite a while. It was helpful to find out Julia can volunteer at the animal units even if she chooses Biology over Animal Science as a major. Either way, she can work with the animals..

It was a quick trip but well worth the drive (which is a bit of a pain because we live 350 miles from campus).

When I got home I had a package waiting for me!   A couple of weeks ago I entered a giveaway on Instagram.  Kim over at Leland Ave Studios was celebrating the launch of her 52 Week Creativity Project where she will be posting discussions with various artists each week in 2018.  I read the first one which was really good.  I am looking forward to this series.

Kim generously gave a fat eighth bundle of Alison Glass’ new line, Diving Board- to me! What a treat.

Oh my gosh!  I was so tickled to win this bundle.  The colors fall in line with the shades of blue, pink, greens, yellows and oranges that Alison often uses.  This is nice because her older lines work so well with the newer pieces.  Oh the colors are gorgeous !!

This bundle is a big one at 24 pieces.  I will surely let it sit for a while – until I think of the perfect use for it. I have several projects on-going at the moment so I am in no hurry to start another one.  Thank you Kim for this gorgeous addition to my stash.

Linking to Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash link up. I haven’t written a Stash post in such a long time. Receiving this bundle was such a fun surprise! Now I am going to go pack orders. The shop was busy over the weekend and I need to get caught up,

Handmade Christmas Gifts

Now that Christmas is done and gifts have been given and received, I thought I would share what I made with you. Usually I try to find a fun project to make and give during the Christmas season.  In recent years I have made purses, zip pouches, table runners and hot pads. This year I decided to make an apron for my Vermont daughter-in-law.  Also, I made hot pads for my California son and his girlfriend as well as my Toronto son and his wife.  These projects were quick and satisfying.

For the apron, I upcycled a duvet cover that I had bought a while back. I was thrilled to find this cover in a tan and cream stripe.  The neutral colors and the feel of the fabric assured me I would easily find many uses for the fabric.  I had a vintage pattern from 1975 that I have been holding on to, thinking it would make a really cute apron.

Originally the pattern was designed for a wrap around dress and let me just say, I would have totally loved wearing this dress at age 15 (not that I was necessarily 15 in 1975… oh wait, I was.)  Anyway, I had a really similar dress that I made out of a green striped seersucker fabric.  I was so cool.

Ok, back to the apron.  I had seen these Japanese work aprons and really liked them – this pattern is a bit of a compromise between a standard apron and the Japanese wrap style. This one is more fitted with darts in the bodice.

It wraps around the back with the tie coming through an opening left in the side seam.

I finished the interior seams by folding the raw edges in and top stitching them for a clean look.  This fabric would likely fray in the wash so this will prevent any issues.

I even remembered to put a little label on the inside.

Overall, this was a fun project and hopefully my daughter-in-law will get lots of use out of it.  She is a great cook so I suspect she will use it.

On to the hot pads!  I wanted to make something with the Maker Maker fabric I have in the shop.  I cannot even express how much I love this fabric!!  I made Chemex Cozies out of the Grid fabric and the gray and black Lines fabric.  They were far and above, my top sellers for the Christmas shopping season.Anyway, I thought I would make some hot pads using the Grid fabric and the cats.  The linen has such a nice texture and weight, making it perfect for kitchen accessories.  These finished at at eight inches square and are filled with two layers of Insul Bright, making them nice and thick.

The next gift I want to share was not made in the sewing room!  My husband decided he wanted to make a gift for each of the kids. The boys and their spouses received gorgeous rolling pins made with pieces of walnut and oak that he laminated together.  He turned them on his lathe to make a one piece rolling pin.  I just love them!  The kids were taken with the wonderful finish and really appreciated the work that went into these.

Each piece is different from the next with the stripes and color variations making them unique.

Since Julia isn’t really in need of a rolling pin just yet, he made her a piggy bank.  She had such a great time with Daisy and Ella last year, he thought this would be a fun way to remember that summer.

This was a challenging project but it turned out so cute!I love the shape of this little pig’s body and her curly tail.  It was so much fun to watch Ray making these projects during the months before the holidays.  I love having a few handmade gifts under the tree.  I also made some placemats for my parents but didn’t think to take pictures.  I will take some the next time I am up at their house so I can share them.  Were you able to make any of your holiday gifts this year?  If so, share in the comments.  I would love to hear about them!

Linking to my favorite parties, including Finished or Not Friday hosted by Busy Hands Quilts.  Check the Link Up tab at the top of the page for more info!  Have a great weekend all.  🙂

Heartwarming Holiday Project

Ok – this post has nothing to do with quilting or sewing and everything to do with service to one’s community, helping those who need it, and bragging about one of my kids. Sorry, I can’t help it – but I am so dang proud of her so I decided to write about this. Plus, it may inspire another family to do a similar project once they see how easy this came together.

Our family has always felt the importance of volunteer work. My parents instilled it in me and my sisters from a long ways back. I have tried to instill it into my children as they grew up. Because of this, Julia is already an active volunteer in our community. She has been helping at the local food ministry since she was about five years old. For the past four years she has volunteered at the thrift store benefiting the animal shelter off and on as her school schedule allows.

Julia and I were recently talking about other ways she could actively volunteer in the community. She wanted a project that was ‘all hers’. She wanted to think of it, organize it and carry it out on her own. After some discussion, she decided to hold a Toiletries Drive for the shelter. To do this she first got permission from her principal to hold the event at school. Then she approached the shelter and asked for a ‘wish list’ of what they needed in this regard. They were thrilled to give her a list of items such as toothpaste, tooth brushes, hand sanitizer, antibiotic creams, antacids, deodorant, lip balm, band aids, and many other items along these lines.

 

Julia’s next step was to create a little brochure which she posted at school and gave to the principal and school secretary. They both posted it on various avenues of communication with the students and parents. I posted her project on my personal Facebook account so my local friends and neighbors would know what she was trying to do. Oh. My. Gosh. The response to Julia’s project was just awesome.

 

 

 

She specifically suggested people donate all of those free little shampoos and lotions that one collects from hotel visits which often seem to linger on in the bathroom cabinet. She also proposed cash donations and promised to use them wisely to purchase what was needed. People from everywhere donated. Kids, moms and teachers at her school brought items in. Neighbors, friends and family members donated money. She ended up with bags and bags of items plus $245 in cash donations.

Yesterday she and I went to the local dollar store. She carefully counted and selected items from the list. It took quite a while to fill the cart but she heaped it with all sorts of supplies.

Calculating what she had spent, keeping notes on how many of each item she had selected, and figuring out what the tax would be was quite the process. She wanted to spend all of the money but not exceed the $245.00. She did great and has about $10 left over which we will take to the dollar store once more to buy a few more things. We didn’t dare go get more items on that trip. It took the cashier forever to ring up more than 200 items as I boxed them up and Julia tracked the costs. The other customers in line were so patient and kind. They could see she was doing a project and if they asked, she would explain it. One older gentleman chuckled and said ‘oh phew, I thought that was all for you.’ It was so nice to see everyone being supportive and sort of cheering her on rather than grumbling about having to wait behind her for a bit.

This picture makes me smile – she has a receipt that is about three feet long!

In addition to collecting from friends and kids at school, Julia also asked two of our family dentists for donations. One dentist donated a carton of toothpaste tubes and the other dentist gave her a box of toothbrushes. This is one generous community we live in!

There is so much value in a project like this! For one, she learned to define the steps needed to get this going. She approached adults – at school, at the homeless shelter and the local dentists – on her own – to ask for permission and support of her project. She lugged supplies home, posted signs at school, promoted the project on her social media account and will finish up by bringing the donations to the shelter next week. She also plans to write thank you notes for many of the donations. If I think about how projects are done in the professional realm, many of these steps are the same. I feel like this was a hugely valuable experience for Julia.

This is such a cute shot so I am including it, even though it is a bit blurry.

Honestly, it wasn’t all that difficult. I would strongly recommend something like this if your family is looking for a way to give back to the community. If your kiddos are younger, you might want to be more hands-on and supportive. As a teenager, Julia required only a little coaching here and there but truly she did 90% of the work herself.

 

I am really proud of this girl and she is (rightfully) proud of herself. She likes the fact that she started this, kept to a timeline that she developed, and was very successful. If you have any questions about implementing a project like this, feel free to ask. These are the times when parenting is so gratifying; when we see one of our kids giving time and energy in a selfless manner.

And now just a quick Thanksgiving recap:  We had a great holiday!  Very quiet with only three of us celebrating together but so much fun.  I also held my first big sale in the shop.  Orders kept me busy and I truly appreciate each of the orders I received, some from blog friends and others from new customers – thank you so much for supporting my business!

Christmas Project Finish

Last weekend I made the cutest leggings for my Vermont grand baby.  This morning I took a few pictures to share with you. They will go off in the mail this afternoon so she can wear them for the holiday season.

I was in Jo-Ann’s about a month ago and picked up this adorable reindeer fabric.  I love the expressions on the face of these deer.  At the time, I was hoping to make one-piece pajamas or a little dress with the fabric but I didn’t buy enough.  Drat .  I had enough for leggings though.

As usual, I perused Pinterest and found this free pattern. It was just perfect, very simple and it went up to size 2T. My sweet grand daughter is a chunk and I didn’t want the pants to be too tight. The pattern is from Toddah.net and prints out on four pieces of 8 1/2 x 11 paper. The instructions are simple and if you are just learning to sew, I recommend this project. It is beginner friendly.

It took all of 45 minutes to cut and sew the legging.  I used a tiny zig zag stich while sewing so there is some give with the knit fabric.

Each seam was finished with an extra zig zag stitch. I wasn’t exactly sure about the length. I had an inseam measurement of ten inches from her mama but it seemed long. I put elastic at the ankles. That way if they are long, they can bunch up at the ankles.

Last finishing touch was to stitch an X at the back of the waist so it is easier to tell front from back. I can’t wait to see how these fit.

While I was working on these, I kept thinking about the kids’ Christmas stockings. I felt like they needed an embellishment at the top. I took a run to Ben Franklin and found this red twill tape with a white stripe. It has a rustic look that I thought worked great with the Winter Friends fabric. When I got home, I asked my husband to make some rustic buttons for me.  He found a maple branch and sliced some rounds from it.  Then he drilled two needle-size holes for stitching, sanded and put some finish on them.  They are SOOOOO cool.  I was thrilled with the finish of the buttons. (You can bet I will ask him for more of these in the future. He whipped them out in no time. What a talented guy!)

The twill tape would surely fray over the years so I stitched a teensy hem at each end and painted a bit of white glue over the ends.  I think that will help the tape remain intact.

What do you think?  I feel like this is the icing on the cake. The stockings feel finished now.

Do you want to see a button up close?  Yes, I thought so.

OK – This is it. No more blogging until after Thanksgiving Day.  This afternoon Julia and I have a date to make pumpkin pie, fudge and the dough for tomorrow’s rolls.  Happy holidays to you and your family!

Linking up with my favorites.  You’ll find the URL’s at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Finally, if you haven’t yet signed up for my newsletter, now is a good time.  I have a fun Black Friday event planned.  Sign up here.

Winter Friends Christmas Stockings

While visiting my son, daughter in law, and grand baby in Vermont last month we talked about the holidays.  This is the first Christmas we will be apart.  My daughter in law is working her second year of her residency as a radiologist.  Apparently the second year residents don’t have the best work schedule.  She is working over Thanksgiving and Christmas both.  So the three of them will be celebrating holidays in between her shifts at the hospital.  Such is the life of a new doctor.

Always ones to look at the bright side, my son and DIL are kind of excited about Christmas though.  Because they have always traveled to California for Christmas since they married in 2010, they have never had their own Christmas tree or stockings.  They have an 8 month old daughter and it is time to begin their own family Christmas traditions.  When my DIL asked me to make them stockings I was so pleased.  What a fun project to tackle.  I showed her pictures of the fabrics I have in my shop and she chose the Winter Friends line by PB Textiles.  This is so perfect since they are a very outdoorsy family living in Vermont. What better theme than woodland creatures, Christmas trees and snowmen?

I was looking around on Pinterest for inspiration when I asked the kids what they had in mind.  They said to make them coordinate with the set of fabrics but to make each stocking with a different design.  So this is exactly what I set out to do!

First I wanted a template for the size of the stocking.  I remembered I had an old pattern from Simplicity that was designed by Eleanor Burns (of Quilt In a Day fame.) The size of the stocking wasn’t exactly right but it was enough to get me going.  I cut stocking shapes from batting and that is what I quilted my piece work to. From there I looked for ideas on line.  I found this tutorial by Amy Smart (Diary of a Quilter) and liked the idea of doing a ‘quilt as you go’ strip pieced design for one of the stockings.  Beyond that, I thought I would do a basic patchwork design and just go from there.

The strip pieced QAYG stocking was a breeze.  It came together easily.  This was the first stocking and I did use a few strips from other Christmas fabric scraps.  I kind of wish I had not done that because for the next two stockings I stuck with just the five Winter Friends prints.  Not a huge deal though. For the QAYG process, I cut random width strips and sewed one on top of the other beginning in the middle and working out to both the top and bottom.  Once the strips were sewn to the batting I trimmed to the stocking shape.

What originally got me wanting to add other pieces was this bit of text saying “the stockings were hung” which I thought cute to include. It looks cute and the colors match well enough so I left it as is.

For the next two stockings I made rows of patchwork which I then used for the stocking front in the same QAYG fashion.  I fussy cut the blocks featuring the larger snowmen, deer, woodland animals, and Christmas trees. These were alternated with 2 1/2″ squares of the other prints. I love the way the patchwork looks when set on point. This is my favorite of the stockings.

The second patchwork stocking is also really sweet.  I made little four patch blocks, fussy cutting the squirrels and hedge hogs to be used with the green snowflake print and the plaid print.  The four-patch squares are a little wonky but I am calling that a charming design feature.  😉

I sewed a curved piece of a cross hatch neutral fabric over the toe of each stocking to make it look sock-like.  I also embroidered a line of stitching to decorate it a bit more.  The toe pieces were hand cut so each one is different from the next.

The back side of each stocking is made with the larger print.  This decision was made purely out of laziness.  I had enough of this fabric in the sewing room at the time and would have had to walk all the way downstairs to grab more fabric if I chose a different one. How lazy can a quilter get???

I don’t know what the kids plan as far as family size but for now they have three stockings made.  I set aside enough fabric to be able to make two more stockings should the family grow!  I might not have exactly enough but they will still match the original stockings well enough. I am really happy with the stockings and hope the kids use them for many years to come.

In celebration of the upcoming holiday season, I have put all of the holiday fabric in my shop on sale for the weekend.  Use code HOLIDAYFABRIC25 to receive 25% off any of the Christmas fabrics listed.  I hope you will take advantage of this great sale which will run through end of day on Sunday, November 19th. Orders will ship out first thing Monday morning so you will have your fabric in plenty of time to do some holiday sewing!

I am linking up with my favorite linky parties. For more information, click on Link Ups at the top of the page.

Sam’s Quilt

The sports jersey quilt is finished!  This is the second t-shirt quilt I have made, the first one being for my niece, Lil (Sam’s cousin.) The jersey quilt was a good learning experience, but what quilt isn’t? There is always something new to try or a skill to further practice.


The biggest challenge was definitely piecing those slick, polyester pieces of the jerseys.  Second to that would be working with the rubbery decals used for his number and the logos.  They were much thicker than one would think.  Other than those two issues, this was a breeze to make. You can read progress posts about putting it together here and here.

To quilt this rather heavy project, I rented time at the long arm shop.  It would have been difficult to feed it through the throat of my home machine because the decals are thick and stiff, making the quilt unwieldy. Once I had it loaded on the machine I quilted it with lots of interlocking squares.  It looks like a nice, masculine motif and works great with the blocky pattern of the quilt.

Sam’s football number was 50, just like his father’s was when he played.

I tried to avoid quilting through the rubbery decals and numbers.  Instead I went around and inbetween them wherever I could. It was really difficult to keep the quilt flat while quilting it. I cannot tell you why, the heft of it or maybe the slick jerseys? If I were quilting it at home, I would have guessed I didn’t baste it well enough. But when we loaded it on the long arm (the gal at the shop kindly helped me) it seemed very straight and flat.  At any rate, it is not tightly quilted. The quilt has a puffiness to it.  It doesn’t bother me though.  I plan to wash it today before I mail it off and it is likely to crinkle up a bit when the batting and cotton fabrics shrink up a little.

 

Remember I pieced the backing so I could use up a few more jerseys?  This is the first time I loaded a backing that really had to be straight on the long arm to line up well with the front.  It was mostly a success – the logos are straight but they aren’t centered across the back.  Side note, it has been quite rainy this week which is wonderful. I kept waiting for a clearing in the weather so I could take some photos.  Finally, Julia said we better just to take pictures Mom.  So off we went in the rain.  I put a beach towel under the quilt and she held it over the railing.  Such a dedicated quilt holder!!  You can see the towel shows under that edge on the left. 😉  Ok, back on topic – I love the way the back looks and it shows the quilting pattern off a bit.  I keep looking at the larger spaces near the decals and wonder if I should add some quilting there?  Do you have any input?  Are those unquilted spaces too large?

The binding is an older stripe with 1 1/2″ widths red and gray.  At first I was hesitant to use it because the red wasn’t exactly the shade I wanted but there are so many different reds in this quilt between jersey colors and the sashing I used that it worked well in the end. The bold, chunky look of the stripe fits with the blocky pattern of the quilt just fine.


So this one is finished and will be sent off to Sam early next week.  The long arm practice continues.  It is tons of fun but has a definite learning curve to it.  My skills are improving but I need so much more practice.  It motivates me to finish up some of my projects so I can go back and practice some more!

Now sewing time for me over the next couple of days. This weekend my sister and I are working the Pioneer Quilt Guild’s show in Roseville.  If you are local and planning to attend, please come say hello!  I am excited to see the quilts hanging and meet members of the Pioneer guild!

Mickey Mouse – A Simple Halloween Costume

Julia has always come up with fun ideas for what she wants to be for Halloween.  Over the years, she has dressed up as Wednesday Addams, a devil, a ladybug, and a bat to name a few. This year she decided to dress up as Mickey Mouse.  She is long past the age of trick-or-treating but her high school has an annual Halloween Dance and they all dress up for that.

Did you know that Mickey Mouse was developed by Walt Disney and the very talented Ub Iwerks in 1928? He is the official mascot of the Walt Disney Company and has been making people smile for years.

“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

— Walt Disney, Disneyland; October 27, 1954

Simple Mickey Mouse shorts!

Let me tell you, Mickey Mouse was such an easy costume to put together.  Julia had black leggings and a black t-shirt to use so the main task was to make the red shorts and the Mickey ears.  For the shorts, we dashed out to Ben Franklin and bought a 1/2 yard of red fleece.  I used a pattern I had for pajama pants and did a few alterations to the pattern pieces before cutting them out.  I had to make the waist sit a bit lower, shorten the inseam quite a bit and add a pocket to the right side. (Pockets are a must-have on all clothing so she can keep her phone nearby!) Between cutting, fitting, adjusting, and sewing them — the shorts took about an hour or so to make.  Julia cut two white ovals out of felt and I lightly tacked them to the shorts. She plans to use them as pj shorts so it will be easy to take the buttons off when she is through being Mickey.

The only challenge (and it wasn’t a huge deal) was making the Mickey Mouse ears.  I had a remnant of black vinyl on hand and we cut circles out of that.  But the vinyl proved to heavy and the ears constantly flopped over.  Browsing ideas on Pinterest, we found a great alternative using black poster board and a head band. This called for another trip to Ben Franklin!  I was extremely proud of my self control when I was able to go into the shop, grab the head band and poster board and not even wander through the fabric department.  Didn’t even go near it!  This is probably the first time I have achieved this feat and may well be the last! While I did go get the supplies, I didn’t actually make the ears.  Julia and Ray took care of that.  Here is a link to the site they used if you need inspiration.

It would appear Mickey is tiring of this photo shoot!

We couldn’t think of an easy way to achieve yellow shoes so she skipped it.  But really, she looked so cute – Seemed like they all had fun at the dance too.  Living out in the country, we don’t really get trick-or-treaters so Halloween night is usually quiet for us.  I hope you all have more treats than tricks tonight!