Category Archives: Family

While Julia Was Away, The Roosters Did Play

Remember the chicks Julia raised last fall in the laundry room? Well two of the four turned out to be roosters, Pete and Jack. This was somewhat disappointing as that obviously reduced the number of eggs we thought we would be getting. However they were very handsome birds and we got over our disappointment. Then we went up to Washington to celebrate the girl’s birthdays and those naughty roosters had a party of sorts.

When we left, the roosters were about five months old. We thought this was still young that they wouldn’t be fertilizing eggs yet. Oh what sneaky birds.

By the time we got home, Fauna was sitting on a clutch of thirteen eggs. Several days after that, this little one hatched. Since then, no more eggs have hatched. This is a lousy yield for sitting on thirteen eggs. We haven’t ever hatched eggs but our suspicion is that she added eggs, and allowed the other hen, Flora, to add eggs to the clutch for too long so the hatch dates are really strung out. Chicks take 21 days to hatch from the eggs. Poor Fauna has been sitting on these eggs for 28 days now.

Fauna and her wee one.

She has decided she is really over this whole broody, sit-on-the-eggs, thing and keeps kicking eggs out of the clutch (which means she doesn’t think they are viable so she pushes them out and lets them get cold). Julia tosses those eggs when she finds them. At this point, Julia doubts any of the other eggs will actually hatch. In order to prevent any more hanky panky, Julia put an ad up on Craigslist and quickly gave Pete and Jack to a good home in need of a couple of fine roosters.

Now that Pete and Jack are gone, Julia was really hoping for more eggs to hatch so we would have more than four laying hens. We don’t know what Fauna’s little one is, rooster or hen, so she decided to buy two more chicks. They are a week old. She placed one with Fauna and her baby but Fauna just gave her the side eye, “Just exactly what are you doing here? You are not my chick.” She wasn’t mean to her and let her scratch around and eat, but as a mama hen, she needs to take the babies and keep them warm by sitting over them along with the eggs until they mature. This is sooo cute – when we go out there, we can see the baby peeking out from under Fauna. It didn’t look like she was going to take the new chicks in with her own. Understandable as Fauna has had a lot going on lately and it was just too much to ask of this mama. So once again, we have chicks living in the laundry room.

Now that we have covered what is happening with the animals, lets check on the sewing projects!

RSC 2021 blocks

Crowded on my very tiny design wall are the completed blocks for my RSC 2021 project. I am really liking the blocks so far. I have played with the sized of the center diamond so they are not going to all be the same. The outer diamonds will be the same though. I have done three of each color but may need to add more. I don’t think 33 blocks (3 x 11 months) will be enough. Not sure yet though. I have plenty of time to figure that out.

Here is the stretch knit I put under the hole in the jeans.

The next project I want to share is my first attempt at visible mending. All the rage these days, sewists are hand stitching various mending projects so they are decorative. (As opposed to the idea of trying to carefully mend something so no one knows it was stitched back together.) Months ago, I bought a pair of jeans at Ross. They fit well and were a bargain but they have holes in them which is trendy these days. I tried to wear them with the holes but I didn’t like it. It always felt like there was a pudgy pop of flesh in that hole when I was sitting down. I am not a fan of that look. 😉

Don’t you love my Doll Like Me shirt???

I am much happier with the jeans now that I stitched the hole up. I know I will wear them a lot more now. If you love my shirt, you too can sport one! Click here to check them out. Portions of the proceeds go directly to A Doll Like Me to support Amy’s ever important doll-making process.

Cal Poly Alums and a new Cal Poly student!

In other news, as you likely know, Julia has been home since March, 2020 taking classes on-line. She withdrew from UC Davis because it didn’t seem appropriate to pay such expensive tuition while she was taking classes from home. When it came time to apply to go back to school (in fall of 2021) she decided she wanted to switch universities and go to Cal Poly. While visiting Andrew up in Washington, she found out she was accepted! We are all so excited. I graduated from Cal Poly in 1982. Andrew and Ian (two of my sons) also graduated from there. Julia will be joining the ranks soon!

Do you want the backstory on the matching t-shirts? I thought so!

Mark and I at our apartment in San Luis Obispo, circa 1982

Back when I was a newly married student at Cal Poly, had this t-shirt. I wore it all the time – until it was deemed unwearable. On the horns of the bull, it said “Cow Poly”. Cal Poly stands for California Polytechnic and it has a huge agriculture component in its academic offerings. Hence the “Cow Poly” joke.

Well a while back, I was scanning old photos and sending them to my kids; one of them was the picture above. I told the kids how much I loved this shirt. I have looked for it on vintage college t-shirt websites to no avail. Well, may I just say, I have some pretty amazing kids. My middle son, Kyle, decided to recreate it. He first called the Cal Poly Alumni Association to try and get design files or to see if the t-shirts were available in any fashion. He couldn’t find anything so he drew the design himself and had the shirt made. Since the siblings knew he was making them, the Cal Poly alumni ( current and future) decided they wanted the shirts too. (Julia was superstitious and decided not to wear hers until she was accepted.) The only difference between our shirts and the original is Kyle added ‘class of 1982′ to the bottom of the design, honoring my graduation date. The kids’ t-shirts also have that on the front which I think is kinda cute. Another example of an awesome handmade gift!

OK – this has gotten to be quite a long post. I will catch you up on other sewing projects soon. If you have read all the way to the end, thank you for hanging in there!!

Linking up with So Scrappy and Oh Scrap, among others. Check out my Linky parties at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Birthday Celebrations, Part 2

Hello all! We are back home in California after a couple of long driving days. Much as I love visiting the kids, the drive is long. It will be nice when we get our vaccines and can feel safer about flying. Soon, I hope. I have seen lots of posts on Instagram about many of you receiving the vaccine. California hasn’t gotten to me quite yet. Waiting and checking and waiting some more!

Let’s talk about A’s first birthday. It was really fun and I greatly enjoyed being there for it. Of course she didn’t have a clue what the fuss was all about.

Her parents kept it simple with a picnic of peanut butter sandwiches at the neighborhood park. It was just perfect. She really enjoyed being out on the grass, trying to eat a few rocks here and there.

Her first time down the slide (from the 1/2 way point and with mom right there) was lots of fun. Wearing shoes, not as fun! She doesn’t understand why she has to have these annoying, clunky things on her feet.

Julia, H and I made cupcakes for the party. We made mini cupcakes for the birthday girl and regular size for big sister and the grown ups. To make it extra fun, we put a surprise in the center. After cutting a small hole in the top, we put a few M&M’s in the center of the larger cupcakes and then replaced the top (we had to slice a bit off the cut out pieces to make them fit again.)

Then we iced the cupcakes, hiding the surprise. H just LOVED hiding these candies and telling her parents she had a surprise for them. It was so cute and I think made her feel like a big kid.

Her first cupcake ever!

The birthday girl thoroughly enjoyed her cupcake and ate every bit of it!

A’s first doll quilt

As I did for H’s first birthday, I made a small doll quilt for A. For this quilt, I dug into my vintage fabrics and cut little hearts out. These were fused to squares of an off-white solid I had in the stash and then appliquéd with a straight stitch. I used a piece of white flannel inside the quilt rather than batting. It made it really soft and easy to wrap around a baby doll. For quilting, I just stitched around each heart and then used a decorative stitch around the edge of the border. It is very sweet.

She doesn’t have a clue as to how to use her vintage dolly quilt but I am sure she will figure it out when she starts playing with baby dolls. We also got her a doll but I guess I didn’t take pictures of that.

My husband wanted to make something for A as well. He thought a wooden pull toy would be fun. She is almost walking (takes two steps and then drops to crawl). Once she is walking, I think she will enjoy pulling this little guy down the hallways.

The helicopter was a collaborative effort between Ray and Julia. She sketched the shape of the body for him and he did all of the woodwork. Before putting the wheels and propeller on, she painted little flowers all over it. It really is adorable. He had small rounds of laminated walnut and oak leftover from making rolling pins so the wheels are really fun.

I just love this girl’s sweet personality. She is very cuddly and gives great hugs, patting my back when she is hugging me. The next time we go up to visit she will surely be walking and talking more. So far, she says Hi, waves bye bye, and signs when she is hungry or ‘all done’.

We had two great weeks with family and now it is great to be home. Last night I played in the shop a bit, getting ready for this weekend’s sale. It is a bit one, 30% off everything! The perfect way to celebrate National Quilting Day!! The sale runs today and tomorrow. Enjoy!!

Linking to Monday Making this week!

Birthday Celebrations, Part 1

Last week was filled with presents, excitement, cupcakes and lots of happy squeals. H celebrated her 4th birthday and five days later, A celebrated her first birthday.

Let’s start with H’s birthday. Turning four was a big deal for her and the night before her birthday she started to cry and told her mom and dad she didn’t want to be four. She had suddenly decided maybe it would be better to just stick with three. Fortunately these fears subsided quickly. She loved being the princess for the day, choosing the meals and the games we would all play. Her mom had balloons and cute decorations. This girl was in heaven.

I made this teepee for the girls to play in together. It was fun and quite simple to make using the tutorial at DIYMommy.com. The canvas is a denim polka dot purchased at Jo-Ann’s and the butterfly print is from Jessica Swift’s Lugu line by Art Gallery Fabric. (It is available here in my shop). I decorated the top triangle above the door with matching butterflies by fusing them with fusible web and trimming some butterflies. They seem like they are adhered well enough but probably won’t last forever.

Two happy birthday girls1

The main issue with this project is the fabric slips down the poles. This makes the seams stretch. We ordered some velcro strapping and I am going to try to tighten it around the poles to stop this. Otherwise, it works well. I used some velcro and two straps to keep the ‘doors’ open. H got the idea easily and can open and shut the doors with the velcro tabs.

As he often does, my husband also wanted to make some birthday gifts. For H, he made a bird feeder. She loves birds and knows many varieties on site. He thought it would be fun if he made it look like a drive-through restaurant. There are feeders on three sides of the ‘restaurant’ and even a table with an umbrella for dining al fresco.

This side is the ‘drive through’.

I knew my grand daughter would like it but was pleasantly surprised by how much. It doesn’t have the pizzazz of the My Little Ponies or the Lego sets she unwrapped and I wondered if she would not be too impressed by it. But she really enjoys it.

Yesterday she joyously announced there was a chickadee at her feeder. We decided he was having birdseed burgers and birdseed fries!

A string backpack for H.

Another fun gift I made for her was this string backpack. She is really into unicorns and rainbows right now so this fabric from Shine Bright by Clothworks was just the ticket. This gift did not excite her upon opening but that was fine. She enjoys it now and has it filled with snacks to take with her when we are in the car or running an errand.

Looking at the waterfall at the nursery with a backpack full of snacks.

A few days ago we went and wandered at the most gorgeous nursery! We had given my daughter in law a gift certificate to this garden center for her birthday in February. She wanted to get some roses to plant in the yard. It really was incredible. I love a good wander through the nursery and this was a fun morning. H really enjoys looking at the plants and colors. She picked out a purple pansy which she and mommy planted in a little pot for the outdoor table.

Handmade gifts are so much fun – I hope we can keep this tradition going even as the girls are older. I will be back soon to share the gifts we made for our one year old. Hope all is well with you. We are only here with the kids for another couple of days and then will be heading for home and regular life.

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.