Hi All – Just popping in to tell you the following. If you have a quilt for Mercy Hospital and have not yet mailed it, please hold on to it for now! The person who receives the quilts and brings them to the hospital is located near a horrible fire in California. She has been put on evacuation notice. So she doesn’t want any packages to be sent, in case she does indeed have to evacuate her home. I will send out another post when all is well again and Mercyful quilts can be mailed.
If you have mailed a quilt in the couple of days, it will most likely be held at the post office as they do not deliver mail in the evacuated areas. It is just easier to put off mailing things until this fire is under control.
So far, the “Mosquito” fire has burned 30,000 acres and over 6,000 people have been evacuated. Please keep the fire fighters and those who are suffering the effects of these tragic fires in your thoughts. The west coast, and California in particular, suffers more each year. It is an awful season to endure each summer and fall.
We have reached the middle of July which means it is time to link up your quilt tops for the 2022 Positivity QAL! I can’t quite explain how we are already to this point. It sure doesn’t feel like that much time has passed. This is a fun link up and there will be a drawing for prizes at the end of this week!!
I have to be honest with you. I only have 26 blocks completed. This is not enough for a quilt top so I cannot share one today. I could make up all sorts of reasons for this. Instead I will just blame it on Julia. She was home for a month for summer break and we got to spend lots of time together.
The time passed and a few days ago Julia returned to California and her college life. This means more time for sewing. I will keep working on the blocks for this cute southwestern themed quilt. The pieces are cut so I need to keep plugging away at it. You know, watching how quickly others are getting their blocks and quilt tops done, I have decided I must be a very slow quilter. These are easy blocks but it seems like at each sitting I only get four or five completed. (There were also a couple of times I had to rip out the blocks because I was distracted by an audio book or podcast and got sloppy.) Whatever the reason, I am not one who can whip out a quilt top. Slow and steady wins the race…
Please do link up your progress – I am excited to see what you have made!! By chance if you are participating and do not have a blog post to link, you are welcome to send me a picture of the quilt top and I will add it to this post. You will be included in the drawing for prizes at the end of the week.
Updating this post to add photos of quilt tops sent to me today. 🙂
Also – an update on the previous post which included a giveaway of the My Sewing Workshop book. The winner has been selected and it is Kathy U!! Congrats to Kathy.
We have been in the new house since April 7th! Oh my gosh – we are in love with this Our neighborhood is quiet (other than a few dogs who like to bark a lot), the weather is strange (changes so fast from rain to snow to hail to blue skies and sunshine – all in the course of a couple of hours sometimes), the proximity to lots of beaches makes us so happy, and most of all – we are so close to lots of family members!
We had been here a couple of days when my son and these two silly girls came to spend a day. They had not seen the house yet. It was such fun. We had not unpacked much at all so they found some hiding places in the kitchen.
We didn’t yet have any toys available yet; all I could find for them was a stack of post-it notes and a pen. They were happy for quite some time. Simple pleasures.
While little sister was napping, we had some time to read. Luckily she had brought some books. If this isn’t reason enough to spend months on end packing and selling a house, buying a house, driving up and unpacking for days, then nothing is!
The day after the girls went home, I started feeling crummy and yep – they shared their cold with me. Sigh. This wasn’t great timing since we had loads of boxes arriving. So I got into a routine of unpack a bit, take a nap, unpack more and then nap some more.
By Easter Sunday, I was feeling much better. My son and his wife hosted a wonderful dinner. It was so fun to be able to see so much family for the afternoon. Big sister is now the proud owner of an old digital camera of her mom’s. She takes loads of pictures with it and set up this group shot (instructing us to have the short people in the front and the tall people in the back – hahaha). But then she took this one shot and everyone looks pretty darn good. How many times do we work so hard for a group photo, taking shot after shot and this five year old takes one shot, and it is a good one.
This room has been ignored since we arrived. There have been too many other things to work on. Hopefully this week I can begin to get it put together. The biggest issue is lack of shelving. I had built-in shelves in our last house. This is a bonus room so there isn’t even a bedroom closet. I am going to have to buy shelves, lots of shelves. Then I need to start using some of this fabric!!! I cannot wait – It has been months since I sat at a sewing machine. My sewing machine will sit in the corner by the windows. The view out those windows is of our back yard and it will be so nice to sit there.
Yesterday morning we had sunshine and no indication of rain. We took walk in the morning on a rocky beach about 20 minutes from the house. Ray and I are still in vacation mode when we walk on the beach. Seems like we should be heading home. Beaches have always been vacation places for us, not somewhere we can walk whenever we please!
Now you all have the latest and greatest from the Pacific Northwest where I am starting to feel at home. Yahoo!
This quilt has been in process for quite some time. I finished the quilt top last March. The piecing was quite fun – I used two different charm packs from Benartex that both had a vintage feel to them. After sewing a 2 1/2″ wide strip to the top of each one, I sliced the block in 1/2 and flipped one side upside down. That gave me the rectangular blocks you see here. To add some size to the quilt, I sashed between rows. Finally I added a deep purple border all the way around.
I knew I wanted to try hand quilting and this seemed a good project to learn with. Wanting to think just about the hand stitching and not worry about the durability, I stitched in the ditch along the sashing lines and around the inner border. This was really helpful in keeping everything together.
There are many who would say I might have used a darker color thread but again, this was my first time and it shows! The stitches are inconsistent – honestly, I didn’t want them to be the star of the show here. I quilted around each smaller square and was ready to call it good there. However, what was the rush? I enjoyed quilting this in the evenings so I decided to go around the inner border once.
Then it came to me I might want to do some stitching in the purple border. I used a stencil to trace the curves here. I felt like I was done at this point so I put the binding on. For some reason, it was a challenge to find a binding I liked with this quilt. The neutral fabric used as the background is gone so that wasn’t going to work. There was enough of the purple fabric though and I decided I liked the simplicity of using the same fabric for binding and the outer border.
This quilt is sooooo cozy and soft. The only reason I haven’t yet washed it is there is one more thing nagging at me. I think maybe I should quilt another wavy line on the purple so it intersects and makes a bit of a chain. What do you think? Add more, or leave it as is?
Hand quilting was quite satisfying, especially since I was in no rush to finish this, and I knew I wanted to keep it so there wasn’t the pressure of it being just perfect for the recipient. I have a long ways to go. The back of the quilt doesn’t look so amazing. My stitches on the back look so tiny. I need to learn how to stitch so the front and back are more uniform. A few times, I forgot to pull my knot through and now it seems like it is too late. This doesn’t really bother me but you know…. it is a learning curve.
Spring is surely here! This pond is on the edge of our property and there are geese galore right now. Ray has seen a mama and her goslings swimming but I keep missing them.
Our yard is at its best in spring time, before it gets too hot and the plants become stressed. The iris are pushing loads of blooms so they will be putting on a show soon.
This weekend I am celebrating spring flowers with a sale for you. All fabrics with flowers and blooms are 25% off. Sale begins today and runs through Sunday, April 25th! Enjoy!
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!
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! 🙂
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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!