You guys – we are close, so very close to being done with the house in California. We sign papers for the close next week and have a final walk through with the new owners and then we are heading up to Washington. It is just amazing! This has been the focus of life for so long. We are so excited to be nearing completion and so ready to move into the new house!
Much of the house looks like this! There is still a lot to be loaded into the last Pod and we have some movers coming to help with that next week.
Spring break is here in California. Julia went on a trip to New York to spend time with her brother and sister-in-law who live there. She seems to be having a blast. They have walked many miles and she has seen a lot. I am not exactly sure how she is suddenly an adult and able to travel across the country on her own. It is mind boggling because wasn’t it only last week she was twelve years old???
This sweet girl had her first T-Ball practice yesterday. She loved it. Today she went to a thrift shop and got some cleats which (obviously) make her run much, much faster. This grammy is pretty excited to go watch some fast paced T-Ball action once we get up there!
Last October this beautiful quilt was donated to Mercyful Quilts. It came from Deb in California. You might remember that the families of patients are offered the opportunity to choose a quilt as they say good bye to their loved one.
This quilt was chosen by a woman for her husband. One thing that makes this extra special to me is that the young man who passed away was an organ donor. This quilt was laid upon him as he was taken on the Honor Walk to surgery for organ donation. During this last walk, all available staff, and any family who is able to, line the hallway used to take the patient to the OR to show respect and gratitude for the gift being given by this person. This touches me deeply.
Clearly he and his family felt the great importance of organ donation and what that means to our community, giving to others, and being selfless. In a (much smaller) way, we quilters hold these same values when we make quilts for people we will never know and offer them up, being selfless, showing how much we value community and giving to others. This young guy passed away far too soon and will not be here to raise the baby they are expecting. I hope this quilt will bring comfort to his wife and maybe someday to their child.
As always, thank you for continuing to support Mercyful Quilts. Truly, these quilts you make and donate bring such comfort to people at a time when it is deeply needed. If you are participating in Hands2Help this year, Mercyful Quilts is one of the very fortunate recipients of quilts this year. We want to thank you all in advance for possibly choosing us to receive a quilt. For more information on this year’s event, click here and you’ll be taken over to Academic Quilter.
I am guessing that the next time I post, I will be a Washington resident! Yikes, that is so exciting!!
I am guessing this isn’t news to all quilters who happily participate in Hands 2 Help each year but the event is being coordinated by Mari of Academic Quilter this year. Sarah has a lot going on right now and rather than having to skip a year of making quilts for deserving people and organizations, Mari has stepped in and is hosting the whole event! We are all grateful to Mari for taking this on but most especially grateful are the staff and families at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, California. To read the details about this year’s Hand 2 Help event, hop over to this post by Academic Quilter.
Mercyful Quilts was started back in November of 2018 by me and my friend Patty, a nurse at Mercy Hospital. There are many posts on my blog about Mercyful Quilts and you can look through them by clicking on Mercyful Quilts at the top of this page.
If you haven’t heard about Mercyful Quilts, we make and donate lap size quilts for Mercy Hospital. These quilts are given to families who are saying goodbye to a loved one who is currently in the hospital. Mercy treats adults only so we cannot use juvenile themes for our quilts. The patients are male, female, older adults, young adults, ore sometimes veterans. It is helpful for us to have a wide variety of quilts with a variety of colors and styles. Family members are invited to choose a quilt and use it to cover their loved one. They stay with the person throughout the dying process. The family will keep the quilt as a remembrance of their special person.
Reminder of the requirements for Mercyful Quilts:
Lap Size – this is very flexible. So anything from 50″ x 50″ up to 75″ or so. Square or rectangle – whatever works for your design is great for us.
Look – Please feel free to use your imagination. We have received so many gorgeous quilts and each has a unique look to it. From modern designs with bold color, to sweet soft florals or maybe fishing and western motifs, they are all appreciated. It is great when a family member sees a quilt and says ‘Oh, this is just perfect for my dad, mom, sister, brother.’ That is just what we hope for!
Labels – This is left up to the quilter. If you want to put a label, great. If not, that is fine too.
Laundering – please wash and dry your quilt before sending it. Do not use any scented laundry soaps, fabric softener, or dryer sheets. These are used in a hospital setting so as close to scent free as we can be please. After washing, give the quilt a quick once over to be sure no seams have frayed. Now and then there might be a fray at the binding. When I see this, I hand stitch it. If you could check though, that is so helpful.
There has been a change in our process that I need to let you know about. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I will soon be moving up to Washington state. I hope to continue to work with Mercy Hospital as I think the program is wonderful. If you have donated previously, please do NOT mail the quilts to me. Going forward, they will be mailed to my friend Patty who is a nurse involved in the program. When you have a quilt to send, let me know and I will send her mailing information to you. I have found using the flat rate, large size box to be the least expensive way to mail a quilt.
I think that sums up our program and what we need in the way of quilts. Please feel free to read through the other Mercyful Quilt posts if you’d like to. Thank you all for considering donating a quilt to Mercy Hospital. These quilts bring comfort to families at a time of deep sorrow. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy quilting all!!
Since my shop closed, I have been working hard to take all of my sewing supplies out of the guest room and downstairs to the shop area. I want to have a ‘real’ guest room and since we have family coming for Thanksgiving, now is the time to finish this project. As it goes, I found lots of forgotten projects while cleaning out the guest/sewing room. One was a scrappy rag rug I knit back in 2016. I loved this little project but didn’t know what to do about the knots where I joined the strips when I was knitting it.
It felt strange to leave the knots exposed. I was concerned they would unravel somehow. Thinking about it, I decided to cut some fabric and hand sew a backing on to it. I made sure all knots were pulled to the back and then tightened them. Then I pressed edges of the backing fabric under to make it the same size as the top. Because the top is so loosely knit, it flexes and changes shape easily. This made it really difficult to make it match the backing so I used tons of pins and started to sew.
After stitching back to front, I tied some yarn ties to further attach front to back. It looks pretty sad from the back but I kid you not, the back was the same size as the front – it was like herding cats to sew these together. At any rate, I feel like it is now a bit sturdier. When I made this, I used the tutorial by Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts. (Oh how I miss her blog!!) It seems like she doesn’t worry too much about the knots joining the fabric strips. I just hope this all holds together well.
OK – on to the squirrel that took me down another path. On Instagram I noticed some little hearts that quilters and sewists have been leaving for others to find and enjoy. It was started quite a while back by a woman over at Ifoundaquiltedheart.com. After reading her website, I decided to join in and make a few. The idea is to leave these pretty hearts wherever you please in the hope they will brighten someone’s day. I started to follow the hashtag #IFAQH and #ifoundaquiltedheart and saw how much these mean to some of the recipients. The process of making something and anonymously leaving it for others, with no expectation of any recognition is very satisfying. If you are interested in participating it is simple, nearly free (since we all have scraps, right?) and very easy.
I spent some time yesterday running errands. While I was out, I drove over to our community hospital and left these hearts in various places. I thought about people who might need some cheer and surely there are plenty who are using the hospital who fall into that category. I dropped mine at the bus stop, the cancer care center, the lab/mammogram building and lastly, right at the front entrance. All were left tucked a bit out of the way but I am hoping they catch someone’s eye and make them smile.
I loved placing this heart behind ‘kindness’, displayed on the way to the main entrance. Seems appropriate, yes?
During this month of Thanksgiving, it is often a time to focus on our blessings and to help others or extend our blessings to them where possible. This is one small way to do this. If making these little hearts appeals to you, I encourage you to give it a go. If nothing else, check out the hashtags on either FB or IG – it will warm your heart.
Hello all – I have not had much in the way of free time this week. So much so, I find it hard to believe it is Friday already! Here is a peek at the past week.
Last weekend was a special one because my youngest son, Ian, was here for a quick visit. He had signed up to participate in a run up in the Lake Tahoe area. That is approximately an hour drive from our home so he slept here and took off early in the morning for the run. I love all four of my kids and when I have time with one of them – one on one – it is a special thing. As such, it was a treat to have Ian here. We snacked, visited, watched his silly dog playing, and then ate some more! I made a yummy cinnamon swirl bundt cake and a nice pot of beef stew. Yay for family time!
Monday we had our deck refinished. A few weeks ago, Ray and I painted the railings (a tedious task for sure) and then a painter came and stained the deck. Check out the difference!
We are so happy with the look of the tinted stain. It took two coats which the painter meticulously applied with a small roller and a paintbrush. He is a great guy and has painted for us several times in the past. Ray and I just keep looking at the deck, admiring it. We haven’t even put any furniture or plants back on it – It is so pretty!!
The roof on our gazebo has been falling apart for several years. Finally we hired a roofer to come replace the roofing. There is a sky light at the peak which they broke (purposefully) when taking apart the old roof. Ray replaced it when they finished.
He got this all finished and, because he isn’t a fan of heights, was happy to come down from the roof.
Colors are starting to change here and I love the reflection of these maple trees on the pond. With the drought here, this is really the lowest we have seen the pond in years. As always, we are crossing our fingers for any amount of rain.
When the sky light was finished, I helped Ray carry the tools back to the shop. When he went inside, he found water on the floor. We have a pump which pulls water from the pond above and it used to water plants and the lawn. It had a leak and was making a mess of things. Isn’t it frustrating to find things like that! So the rest of that day and the following two days were spent cleaning up a mess in the shop. Thanks goodness for the wet/dry Shop Vac. It cleaned up the water quickly. This was one of those events that really just spurred a clean out that has been needing to happen for a long while. The shop is 1200 square feet and there was a lot of debris stacked up. So we have been working on it. I help where I can but it is akin to cleaning out my sewing room. Ray would have no idea which fabrics I want or don’t want, right? Similarly, I don’t know which stacks of wood are to be organized and saved and which are to be tossed out.
Moving on…. It was time to pick the pumpkins from a pumpkin patch Ray planted this year. We had our neighbor kids (two little girls) come and choose pumpkins and kept a few for ourself. The rest are ready to be delivered to a memory care unit in town. They seem excited to have them for the residents. We are more than happy to donate them.
Three more blocks are completed for my RSC 2021 quilt. The colors look terrible but that is what happens when you try to take a photo inside the house when it is dark out. Just two colors, orange and bright/lime green remain for the year. Then I can start to assemble the blocks. Feels good to be catching up on this project!
Even though I am supposedly working through my WIPs now, I pulled some fabric for a baby quilt. You know how it goes… I had the best intentions of not starting anything new but then Sew Preeti Quilts asked me to give a pattern of hers a try and I can’t say no to Preeti, can I? It is a cute pattern and uses strip piecing for efficiency. I have my strips cut and sewn and then cut again. Next up is to sew the blocks together. This weekend is not very busy so I am hoping to get the blocks together over the next day or so. I should be able to share this one soon!
Finally, I want to show you these pretty hydrangeas. I love when they start to turn from white to a faint pink blush. I cut a handful and have them drying here. I also cut some of the lilac bits that were turning color to. It makes such a nice arrangement and should last quite a while. I do this each fall with these particular hydrangeas.
OK – that is it for now. Not a lot of sewing this week but such is life. The weather has cooled off considerably which makes me so happy. It gives me more energy to get things done outside which means less time in the sewing room. If you could all do a rain dance in the hopes the west coast can get some relief from this drought, it would be much appreciated. Enjoy your weekend – do something creative!
I write a post something along these lines annually. That is because out here in dry, dry California we have fire season every year now. This year it started terribly early, back in June. A few weeks ago, for the first time, we had a fire happen very close to our property and it was scary. Fortunately the River Fire was contained in time but my husband did have the car packed and ready to evacuate as we were in the group that would be called next, if the fire spread. That was far too close for comfort.
Right now the Dixie fire burning in the north eastern part of the state. It is the worst fire in California history and is currently consuming well over 700,000 acres. For perspective, this is more than 1,000 square miles which is basically the size of Rhode Island or 1/2 the size of Delaware. This fire is only 33% contained and has been burning for over one month. Allocated to this fire are 5,696 personnel (divided into 88 crews), 183 water trucks, 205 bull dozers, 463 fire engines, and 19 helicopters. It is a huge process to fight something like this.
The loss is devastating. Greenville, a small town of 1,000 residents, was wiped out. The whole town is gone. Because there is a lot of mountain terrain involved in this fire, the loss of homes isn’t as bad as with some fires. So far, 652 homes and 130 commercial structures have burned. This count will increase after the fire is contained and it becomes safe for the fire fighters to actually assess the true damages.
All in all, this makes me sad. Think of the wildlife that has perished. These mountains are home to deer, bear, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, bob cats and more. It will be years before the forests are re-established. We all watch the weather hoping for calm skies. The wind is the biggest factor other than the very dry land causing the fire to continue to spread. Smoke is all over California. This morning there was quite a bit of ash on my car and I am more than one hundred miles from the fire. I cannot even imagine the horrible air quality for the people living closer in.
OK – knowing all of you, those quilting minds are wondering how to help. If you are wanting to send quilt(s) for the victims, I have information for you. There is an organization called We Care which is headed up by Kathy Biggi, a quilter in my local guild (Pine Tree Quilt Guild). Kathy is devoted to providing quilts for those who have lost their homes to fire. There are numerous other fires burning where homes have been lost and Kathy is working with various groups to understand what the need is. If you would like to send a quilt to her, please let me know in the comments or by email, and I will send you her mailing information.
At the moment, she is collecting quilts. They should be lap size at smallest (so about 45 x 55″). If you can, a matching pillowcase in a great idea. All sorts of quilts are needed, juvenile themes, gender neutral, or quilts a man or woman might enjoy.
Kathy won’t distribute right away as it takes some time for a person who has lost their home to get settled again. But your quilt will definitely be given to a family who is rebuilding and it will being comfort.
Thanks for reading all of this. Not exactly a fun, upbeat post but this is what is happening here. I appreciate all of you and if anyone has a way to send some rain our way, it would be hugely appreciated.
On Sunday we will have the final link up for The Positivity QAL. Please come on back and take a look at the gorgeous quilts made for Mercy Hospital!!
Just sitting here on a chilly, damp morning drinking that first cup of coffee. (Nothing better than that first cup, is there?) I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that my oldest child is celebrating his 36th birthday today and number two celebrated his 34th birthday two days ago. How did that even happen? Time just marches on. I love having adult children – watching them carve their path, raise children, and develop their careers. It is truly satisfying.
OK – moving on from blathering about my boys, let’s look at a fun project I worked on this week. Our local quilt guild is doing some community service work, making placemats for both Meals on Wheels and the local senior center. I thought this would be a fun project to contribute to. The only requirement was to make them finish at 12″ x 18″. My plan was to use some orphan blocks as the starting point. I have three finished and two more that just need binding.
This one used six HST’s that were leftover from making my Pikes’s Peak quilt (which still needs to be finished). Love the blue and gray tones in this placemat. I used a fun stitch to quilt the outer border. All of the placemats have machine stitched bindings.
Placemat number two used up a few odds and ends from the Twisted quilt I made several years ago and donated to Mercyful Quilts. I actually have quite a few of these rectangles left because I had stitched a number of them backwards and didn’t notice it until after trimming the backside (making it too late to rip them apart). This made a cute placemat and, again, I used a decorative stitch for the two borders.
Isn’t this a cute one? I have had that little heart block for at least four or five years. I made it with a pattern from Kitty Wilkin over at Night Quilter. I never used it though and am happy to see it finished up.
Thinking forward and making a plan for what I will work on next, I think I want to finish up a quilt for Mercy Hospital. I had shared my Bloom with Grace flimsy two weeks ago and, at the suggestion of a couple of you, I decided to add top and bottom borders to give it some length. That is completed and it is basted and ready to quilt.
This is the main goal for February and I will link this up to OMG at Elm Street Quilts. Beyond this quilt, I want to make something for my grand daughters. Both girls have birthdays next month. As I said above, time marches on and A will have her first birthday just after H celebrates her fourth! Wow. I am thinking about making a teepee which can be set up in one of the play rooms. I have a feeling they will like playing in it. For this, I need to order some heavy fabric, maybe a canvas, with a non-directional print..
OK – time to get going. The coffee is now lukewarm and there are orders to pack. Looks like it will be a rainy day but hopefully there will be a break enough to take a walk and get a little outside time. Have a great day all!
Post Update: Two things I wanted to update here. First of all, the winner of the giveaway on this post is Darci. Congrats Darci and I hope you enjoy the fabric. Second update: I talked about the Christmas Through the Decades later in this post and mistakenly said it was on Netflix. However it is really available on Amazon Prime’s streaming service. Sorry for the misinformation.
Hello everyone. If you are new to my blog, coming here from the Holiday Tales and Traditions Blog Hop, welcome. I have been blogging since 2014 (which seems crazy but it has been over six years now)! I would love to connect with you and invite you to take a look around to see what Needle & Foot is all about.
This week I am hosting a blog hop to share some traditions celebrated over the holidays. I asked a number of bloggers to write a post telling a tale they remember from their holidays or a tradition they celebrate during the holidays. Last year I wrote about family traditions from this time of year and I really enjoyed reading comments about the traditions all of you remember. I thought I would carry this forward to this season as well. We certainly need to come together and lift each other’s spirits during this time of year, especially in 2020 when so much feels heavy and abnormal. I hope you will enjoy the hop. Be sure to click through to the other blogs and enjoy some holiday stories.
I have a few tales to share with you. One from my childhood Christmas memories and the others from Christmases spent with my children. Because I think blog posts are more fun with photos, I am randomly including holiday pictures here and there.
When my three boys were young, Christmas was naturally an exciting time. As it is for most kids, right? After we put up the tree, I would wrap the gifts from Mom and Dad and put them under the tree. This happened about ten days or so before Christmas. My boys would spend a lot of time checking out the presents, shaking them, trying to guess what they were. It drove me crazy if they guessed correctly – I wanted it to be a surprise on Christmas morning and I don’t have the best poker face! So, one year I decided to try to outsmart them. I bought three rolls of wrapping paper. Using one roll for each boy, I wrapped their gifts. Then I didn’t put any tags on the gift. They were just blank. Under the tree they went. The boys were totally befuddled. “Mom, how do we know whose is whose?” they would ask. I would casually reply, ‘oh, I’ll figure it out.’ or ‘don’t worry about it, we can figure it out on Christmas.’ They went nuts and I thought it was hilarious. On Christmas morning, I played Santa (usually it was one of the boys) and passed gifts out to them. When each boy had gifts wrapped all in one type of paper, they figured out what I had done.
The following year, I knew I couldn’t pull the same stunt. It would not be as fun because they would know what I was doing. Instead, I switched name tags between two of the boys. When wrapping Ian’s gifts, I put a tag on them saying “For Andrew”. On Andrew’s gifts, I did the same, putting a tag on them saying “For Ian”. Kyle’s gifts had his name on them (I couldn’t figure out a way to mix it up any further without making some sort of mistake.) Christmas morning I played Santa again and placed all of the ‘Andrew’ gifts in front of Ian and the ‘Ian’ gifts in front of Andrew. Fooled them again!
Let’s go back in time now to Christmas in the 1960’s when I was a child. I have a fond memory of one year when my father was scheduled to work at church on Christmas morning. I am sure it was the only year this ever happened but there we were, waking up and Dad was going to be gone for the majority of the morning. Mom insisted we would all just wait until he got back and then we would open gifts. Not so easy for a child, let along six of them! To distract us, Mom thought she would light a fire in the fireplace. Well the damper wasn’t opened and she totally smoked out the living room. She sent us all outside while the smoke cleared. I remember being on the front lawn with my five sisters in our pj’s on Christmas morning. I wonder what the neighbors thought of that. 🙂
Since I grew up in the 1960’s, I had a lot of fun watching a show on Amazon Prime recently, called Christmas Through the Decades. The episode on the 1960’s was especially fun. I enjoyed hearing what the top selling toys were for that decade. The list is slightly different depending on what you are reading but this was the list from the documentary.
1960 – Chatty Cathy 1961 – Ken Doll 1962 – Slinky 1963 – Mouse Trap Board Game 1964 – GI Joe (“Pull his ‘dog tag’ and he will issue commands”) 1965 – Rock’em Sock’em Robots 1966 – Spirograph 1967 – Battleship 1968 – Hot Wheels Cars 1969 – Big Wheel
I think it is interesting that, other than GI Joe and Chatty Cathy, all of these classic toys remain popular today. I read that GI Joe is going to be re-introduced but I am not sure if that is already happening.
Thanks for taking this little trip down memory lane with me! Since this post mostly centered on childhood gifts, I would love to hear your memories of toys that were popular when you were a child. Did you receive something you really wanted or give your child a toy he or she was drooling over? Leave a comment – it is so much fun for me to read your experiences and I know other readers will enjoy going through the comments as well. I would love to give one of you a gift this year as well! I will draw a random name from the comments and send along a fun holiday package of fabric (see above) to the winner. Winner will be selected on Friday evening, giveaway is open to US residents due to the cost of postage.
The Holiday Tales and Traditions Blog Hop is being celebrated on the following blogs:
Today you are all invited to play a little game. In recent months the news has been filled with problems, politics and pandemics. Enough with such seriousness. We need to lighten things up a bit. So I thought I would host a game called Guess Who!
I invited a number of quilt bloggers to send me a picture of themself as a child. There is quite the mix of bloggers participating. You are likely to be familiar with many of them, but some might be new to you. Here are the rules to this very challenging game. (Haha – really, this is quite simple.) In this post is a list of all of the bloggers who are playing along. Each of them has a childhood photo showing below. Each photo is labeled with a number – Blogger Number 1, Blogger Number 2, and so on.
Your job is to leave a comment including a list of the bloggers’ names and then next to each name, put the number of the picture you believe is theirs.
The order of the pictures and the blogger’s names are totally random. If you already know what the blogger looks like, great – then try to match the person up with the photo. If you are unfamiliar with the blogger, click their name and you will be taken to their website. Take a look around, get to know the person and see what she looks like. Come back and leave your best guesses in the comments.
To sweeten the deal, there will be prizes! First prize goes to the person who gets them all correct. If this doesn’t happen, it will be awarded to the person who guesses the most correctly. Should there be a tie, I will pick a name between the winners.
OK – first let’s look at the names of all the bloggers who are included in today’s Guess Who game. Again, no particular order was used in this listing.
Now let’s take a look at the most adorable pictures ever!
Now that you are all on cuteness overload, it is time to match them up. You might want to copy the blogger list into your comment and then add the number of the picture you believe is theirs. I hope you all have a lot of fun looking through these and trying to guess who is who.
Remember the prizes? Here they are:
In addition to the prizes shown above each of the three winners will also receive their choice of one PDF pattern generously donated by Cynthia Brunz of Quilting is More Fun than Housework.
OK – time for you to match up the fourteen bloggers with the correct picture! The winners of the game will be drawn on Saturday, December, 12th. Good luck everyone. I will also put up a post with the correct bloggers matched to their pictures on Saturday as well! I hope you all enjoy this.
Below is a letter I received from the Palliative Care team at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, California. They are so grateful for all of the quilts you have made and donated to their program.
We are writing to thank you…words cannot explain how important these lovely Comfort Quilts are to the family of our dying patients. When we deliver them, a look of relief and gratitude immediately takes the place of sadness and loss. For our families to be able to take home something that their loved one has worn is amazing and unforgettable.
Thank you for all of your skill, hard work, and obvious love that is sewn into each and every quilt; our gratitude for this kindness will never end. Please know that you are making a difference in someone’s life. Thank you, again.
Sincerely and warmly,
The Palliative Care Team at Mercy General
Lisa Seo, Palliative Care MD Sameera Sandhu, Palliative Care MD Lori Marsh, RN Emma Cook, LCSW Elizabeth K. Mohrherr, MSW Lucy Zang, SSC
Just popping in to tell you how much I enjoy my blogging and quilting community. I am really thankful to know you all and to enjoy this fun on-line relationship with you. Hoping you are able to celebrate Thanksgiving in some fashion if you live in the US. Ray, Julia and I will have my parents over for dinner. The five of us are pretty much in the same bubble and are all very careful to stay healthy. Thus we feel it is safe to have our Thanksgiving meal together.
I know many people are feeling very lonely without their kids or parents or other family/friends that they normally would spend the holiday with. My hope is that we are nearing the light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccines hold promise and look like they will soon be released. Slowly, slowly, we will get back on track. Try to stay positive and continue to be careful, safe and healthy. Take care and thank you for your friendship!