Category Archives: Quilting Skills

Looking For a Great Black Friday Sale?

The holiday shopping season kicks off today! I am happy to offer all of you a great sale this weekend. Enjoy 15% off all regular priced fabric, quilt patterns, kits and precuts. Take 25% off sale yardage as well as remnants. Tis the season for sewing gifts for those special people on your holiday list! Orders over $35 ship free within the USA. Happy Shopping!

Our Thanksgiving was lovely – the three of us, plus my parents. We will all be eating leftovers for days! But yum, that is fine with me. We also got to talk to lots of family via FaceTime which, while not as fun as in person, was still very special.

Julia has really turned into a great cook over these past months. For our meal, she made the best yeast rolls. She made the dough on Wednesday and popped it in the fridge. Then took the rolls out for the last rise and baked them just before dinner. So convenient to make them ahead. The vegetable casserole, a cheesy broccoli and cauliflower bake, was her assignment as well and it was excellent. We all had a good time cooking together. Who knew this Thanksgiving would end up this way. But you know what, it was fun and cozy and just fine with us!

OK – today my big plans are to take a long walk and hopefully cancel out some of the million calories we ate yesterday. After that, I have a Christmas stocking to finish for my grand daughter. Sounds like a fine day to me. I hope you will have some time to spend at your sewing machine too!

FMQ Refresher

With the onset of the pandemic and especially when everything shut down, my shop went nuts. It took me by surprise, never having owned an on-line business during a pandemic before. (Who knew??). Anyway, I was happy to provide fabric to the many, many people making masks as well as quilters who were not able to physically go into their LQS. As a result of this increase though, I was really busy and had almost no time to sew.

Things have changed and many people are venturing into brick and mortar shops (which is good for the shop owners, as long as people are being careful and masking up.) I think the frenetic mask making has slowed down a tiny bit as well. Thus my shop has gone back to a more realistic level of sales for one person to handle. What does this mean? More time to sew!! Hurray.

This week I had the opportunity to learn to use my friend Sophia’s Baby Lock Tiara sit down quilter. It is a dream. The wide throat is incredible and it sews with a nice even stitch. So much easier than using my Janome (which while it has a bigger throat, is getting old and tired) for FMQ.

When I wanted to first try it, I decided to just bring a piece of cloth over – I wasn’t sure how successful I would be and didn’t want to bring anything I had pieced. I have had a yard of this cute fabric sitting on the shelf for a good 4 or 5 years. I am sure it was a border print made for a panel but I think it is adorable. I used to sing this song to my kids when putting them to bed and now I love hearing my son sing it to his girls.

I decided to use it as a whole cloth baby quilt for donation. To practice with Sophia’s machine, I just stippled this. It was so fun and so incredibly quick. It took (almost) as long to pin baste it as to quilt it.

The bold blue polka dots on the back are really cute. You can see the stippling a bit better on the back side. I used an off-white thread which doesn’t really show on the front.

Now there is a cute baby quilt ready for donation and I have a little practice under my belt with the Tiara machine. It is rather tiny in size (30 x 36″) so I will need to see which organizations can utilize a quilt of this size.

So that is a (small finish for me! Used a little bit of fabric off the shelf, learned to use a cool machine and have a donation ready for someone! My next project with the machine will be the jelly roll quilt I recently pieced. I am looking forward to getting some tops finished up! 🙂

Updating to add:

Linking at the following

TGIFF

Brag About Your Beauties

Whoop Whoop

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.

Farm Quilt Finish

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

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

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

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

Some had red centers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Linking to:

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

Covid Crafting

Quarantine life goes on and the days are somewhat repetitive. Julia and I continue to look for projects and crafts to keep us busy and mix things up a bit. Recently we decorated two clay pots we found in the garage.

Julia has been into house plants this summer and has quite a few in her room. We thought it would be fun to take a plain clay pot and make it pretty. Wanting to use supplies we had at home (always frugal, right?) we browsed Pinterest for ideas.

When we came across a link for using decorative paper napkins and Mod Podge we decided that would be a fun way to go. We took our inspiration from that post but didn’t do all they suggested.

First coat of paint

First step was to paint the outside of the pot with basic, water soluble acrylic paint. Again, we used whatever we had. Julia chose white and I chose yellow.

We made sure to paint to upper part of the inside of the pot. The instructions said to seal the inside of the pot. My guess is to prevent any water from soaking through and damaging the paint or decoupage. But we skipped that part. Whatever happens is fine with us. 😉

We had two choices of decorative paper napkins in the closet. Either Christmas theme or these yellow, blue and white flowers. Guess what we chose. Julia and I cut out bits and pieces that we liked. Then we carefully peeled away the second ply of paper. These napkins are fairly thick and it looks nicer if you just use one ply of thickness. Then we painted the spot we wanted it to adhere to on the pot. After smoothing the napkin bit over that glue, we carefully painted a layer of Mod Podge over the paper. It looks all thick and white but dries very clear.

Julia chose to paint a layer of Mod Podge over her whole pot. For some reason, this layer did not dry clear. It has a brown-ish tone to it but I think it just looks rustic.

Julia’s finished flower pot
My finished pot.
Aren’t these cute?

These were really fun to make and a good way to fill another afternoon at home. Kind of satisfying to make something with supplies we have on hand. Much like sewing from the stash in my closet!! Honestly, the Covid quarantine has had some upside in that we are much less inclined to run to the store for odds and ends. We eat more out of the pantry and freezer and projects are often made with what is on hand. This has been a nice change for us.

Now, for a little sewing related chit chat. Have you all been wondering and waiting to hear whether I have kept up with the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge BOM? I know, I know – how rude of me to forget to post the June block. My apologies to all of you. Hahaha. I did get the block done and it is a cute one.

Kind of wrinkled but still so cute.

Now that the year is half way done (and that alone is very, very strange) I enjoyed putting the first six blocks together for a quick look. I am really happy with the polka dot theme.

These blocks look so happy together.

This month’s block looks to be a nice one but I haven’t even cut it out yet. I have three weeks to go so there is plenty of time!!

That’s is the news from here. Like everyone else, we are trying to make the best of these strange times. Lots of time to make things, bake things, play cards, and take pretty walks. Here are two pictures from this morning’s hike up in Nevada City.

This buck had only one antler. I am guessing he got into it with another buck and lost the argument?
I love this look-out about 1/2 way up the trail. It is just gorgeous.

OK – time to go get to work. The kitchen is a mess and I have a number of orders to cut and ship. What have you been up to?

I hope all of you are staying healthy and sane. Reach out to each other and keep in touch. I think staying in contact is super important these days. I am one who enjoys time to myself but with all of the current restrictions, too much alone time isn’t good. We need to talk, visit, and stay in touch with friends and family. Hang in there. 🙂

In Honor of Paula

Today is the kick off of a blog hop honoring Paula B. Paula was a kind and generous quilter who blogged at Paula B Quilts for a number of years. She loved thrifting (we certainly had that in common), studying antique quilts and making quilts for charity. One of her favorite organizations was Project Linus. Our quilting community was saddened to hear of Paula’s death on February 8, 2020 after a short and unexpected illness.

Some weeks later, I received an email from Kate of Smiles From Kate and Janice of Color Creating and Quilting, asking if I would like to be involved in a blog hop as a celebration of Paula’s life. Kate and Janice thought it would be nice to have quilters make a quilt to donate to the organization of their choice. The hop is being held this week as Paula would have celebrated her birthday today, on May 6th. I can’t think of a better way to honor the life of this very generous quilter.

Ok – let’s talk about the quilt I made. Some time back, I posted about thrifting some pretty blue and yellow fabric. I knew I wanted to make a quilt with large pieces so I wouldn’t have to chop of the fabric. To this end, I chose to make a large star quilt. The tutorial is available here on In Color Order. I love this pattern and it can be made in an afternoon. It looks great with bold, large scale prints. This is the second time I made one. Years back, I made a smaller one which hangs in the shop downstairs.

Quilting this up was enjoyable. I did straight lines within the star, echoing the shape of each point. I did a large, loose stipple over the background. My goal was a loose pattern to keep the quilt nice and soft after washing it. The bright yellow fabric used to bind it sets it off perfectly.

Love the tiny yellow frame made by the binding.

Finding a backing fabric was easy. I had a piece of sage green gingham in my yardage stash that worked nicely with this quilt top.

Loose, wavy quilting over the background of the quilt.

This quilt is destined for Mercy Hospital in Sacramento. I am still organizing Mercyful Quilts for them and I think this will be well loved by the family who chooses it. If you are not familiar with Mercyful Quilts, please read about it by clicking here and here. It is a wonderful opportunity to provide comfort for a family as they say good bye to a loved one. I have recently received a number of quilts donated on behalf of the 2020 Hands2Help event. I will share some of those in a later post.

Let’s get back to the hop! It will be happening through the end of the week.Below you will find the schedule of the bloggers who are participating in this hop. I plan to visit them and see what each came up with and where they are donating to. I love finding out about organizations supported by other quilters. There are many and it is great to know who needs what!

Also a number of wonderful prizes have been donated. Each time you visit one of the blogs below, be sure to leave a comment. Each comment left on any of these posts is an entry into the prize drawing!! The giveaway is open until May 15th. Prizes will be awarded after that date. Enjoy and good luck! I know Paula would be just thrilled to know of all of these quilts being made and gifted in her honor! To see the prizes donated for this event, scroll to the bottom of this post!

Thank you for stopping by today. Enjoy the hop in Paula’s memory – I know I plan to!

Wednesday, May 6 

Karen @ KaHolly

Kate @ Smiles From Kate

Wendy @ Pieceful Thoughts of my Quilting Life

Bernie @ Needle and Foot – You are here!

Linda @ My Sew-Called Quilts

Cathy @ Crazy By Design

Sue @ From the Magpie’s Nest

Thursday, May 7

Kate @ Smiles From Kate

Diann @ Little Penguin Quilts

Rose @ Something Rose Made

Nann @ With Strings Attached

Mari @ The Academic Quilter

Louise @ My Quilt Odyssey

Susan @ Desert Sky Quilts

Friday, May 8

Janice @ Color, Creating and Quilting

Kate @ Smiles From Kate

Joy @ The Joyful Quilter

Susan @ Quilt Fabrication

Edi @ Edi’s Crafting Life

Carol @ Quilt Schmilt

Preeti @ Sew Preeti Quilts

Emily @ The Darling Dogwood

Prizes!!

Sew Fresh Quilts, $50 gift certificate for her pattern shop.

Quilting Jetgirl, 2 PDF patterns of choice.

Needle and Foot, $25 certificate for her shop.

Figo Fabrics, A fat quarter bundle

A set of quilty gift cards from Initial Thought by DMF  Note cards set 1

Sugar Free Quilts, A pattern of choice

A $30 gift certificate for Doris, Cactus Queen Quilt Co

Canuck Quilter Designs – A PDF pattern of choice

$25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop, donated by Janice Holton

The Enlightened Spaniel (Book 1 & 2) by Gary Heads

Scrappy Dresden and Monthly Color Challenge Block

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

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

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

March Scrappy Blocks

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bushfire Tree Blocks for Australia

Currently many quilters are making tree theme quilt blocks to donate to the Woolongong Modern Quilt Guild in Australia. This chapter of the MQG is making quilts for the families who lost their homes in the currently raging bushfires. As a native of California, I am too familiar with the devastation of wildfires and am happy to contribute a few blocks to the cause.

Here is some of the information as posted by the Woolongong MQG on their Facebook page. If you hop over to their Facebook page, there are some blocks shown for inspiration. You will likely see many on the other quilt blogs right about now. Side note – if you are following RSC2020, this is the perfect month to make the tree blocks since the scrap color for January is green.

How you can help:
We have decided to make tree blocks. The tree is a symbol of growth and nourishment. A tree symbolizes the generations of a family; a tree sprouts from a seed, the roots provide strength and stability, and whilst the new sapling is young and vulnerable they are protected by the other trees until they grow and flourish. In time the branches spread and then create new fruit that gives life to the next generation.

There is no restriction to one type of tree block. We would love our quilts to be beautiful and diverse just like our wonderful communities ….. If you would like to help, please make a tree block of a generous 12.5 inch square using a low volume / white or pale grey background. Once completed please send to:

Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild
PO Box 54
Jamberoo New South Wales 
AUSTRALIA 2533

We are going to distribute the quilts made to the families who have lost everything. We would like to ask that blocks be mailed for arrival by the end of February. We thank you in advance for your support#bushfireblocks

For my blocks, I chose to use the tutorial written by Kirsty Cleverly over at Bonjour Quilts. It is a bit different than some of the other blocks and I like the look of it. Plus, they come together quickly. Aren’t they cute? I like the three tones of green in each one.

There are certainly other tree blocks you might choose to make. This pine tree block is really cute and simple. The tree portion (it was drafted for a pillow) creates a 12 1/2″ block which is great for this. The Tree of Life block is traditional and lovely but oh my, so many HST’s. If you are interested though, here is a tutorial over at Fat Quarter Shop.

Created by Linda, FlourishingPalms.com

Post Update: I just learned of an incredible tutorial for another tree block! Designed by Linda at Flourishing Palms, she created the tree to emulate the shape of Australia. I love it! Click here for a well written tutorial for this cool block.

I know there are plans to set up a station at QuiltCon in February to collect blocks. If you know someone going to the show, or if you are going, it might be nice to gather blocks from quilters local to you and contribute them there. This will certainly will save on mailing expenses. Our local guild is making blocks and I am hopeful there will be quite a few to mail in. (If you happen to be a local member, please bring your blocks to the Tuesday night meeting in February!). Hoping you’ll be moved to make a block or two for this worthy cause – Happy Weekend everyone!!

Linking to my usual places including Brag About Your Beauties over at From Bolt to Beauty and Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts and Oh Scrap! at Quilting is Better Than Housework.

One Adorable Pumpkin

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

Grandpa was her favorite during our visit!

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

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


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


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

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

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

So darn cute!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introducing Georgie Ghost

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

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

Checking to see if Georgie Ghost can fly.

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

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

Grammy Time

Guess what? I am in Vermont hanging out with the cutest two year old ever! We arrived on Sunday last weekend. We are staying for two weeks which is just a treat. My husband came along on this trip which pleased H no end. She does love her Grandpa.

We have been on grand parent duty a bit and have also had a couple of days to do some touring around. As you can imagine, the beautiful fall leaves are at their peak right now. Tuesday and Wednesday Ray and I spent time driving east and south to the bottom of Vermont and then up the western side. Of course, this state is small so it doesn’t take long to do this. We stopped along the way though to enjoy the sites.

I will share my two favorite places we visited! First of all we found a place called Vermont Salvage in White River Junction. It is a huge building with three floors of all sorts of things that were kept during various home renovations. Ray and I spent a long time looking through pile and piles of fun things that would be great to have if we were fixing up a house

The selection was incredible. Everything from tubs and toilets to mantles and stained glass windows. There were bins filled with hardware, hinges, door handles, cabinet pulls and more.

If only we could have thought of a way to use these old jail cell doors!

Here we found a wooden phone booth. Where did this come from? I just loved it.

This wooden slide was so fun. It was quite rickety and I found myself wondering if it was made by some devoted father (or grandfather?) for their children.

I allows was thinking that my bum would in no way fit this slide! It was clearly made for little kids. Also, it was so steep. Think of how many kids flew down that slide and scrambled up the ladder for another turn!

The other place we really enjoyed was a trip to King Arthur Flour. I love their website and use their recipes quite often. Our local grocery sells quite a variety of their flours too. When Julia was out here last summer she had lunch here with her brother and sister-in-law. She told me about it and said the shop was something I would love. Know what? She was so right!

The store is enormous and is filled with baking tools, kitchen decor, linens, cookbooks and baking mixes of all kinds. The only thing that restrained us was the fact that we would have to tote things home to California and the fact that lots of the items are available online.

Being there made me want to go home and bake. I really love cooking and baking as does my husband.

They make wonderful breads and baked goods onsite. Samples were everywhere which was a great selling technique! I liked the huge windows which allowed us to watch the baking in process.

Even more, they have a beautiful classroom set up. The day we were there the class was on making hot water pastry as well as short pastry crusts. I wish I could have snuck in the room just to listen for a while!

The restaurant is great too. We had a fantastic lunch after shopping and wandering. So yummy.

We did purchase a number of the mixes and plan to make some over the weekend. My middle son and his wife are driving over from Brooklyn where they live. So family time means lots of food (at least in our family!)

I will close now with this fun announcement! Guess who is going to be a big sister?? We are so excited for grand daughter number two! She is due to arrive in mid-March. Big sister seems to have some understanding of what is to come. She has told me the new baby will cry a lot, want a pacifier and lots of bottles. However she clearly doesn’t get the difference in boy names or girl names. She has asked that this child be called Ferdinand. I am really hoping her parents can talk her out of this!

That is my news for now. Hope all is well with you!