Category Archives: Sewing Projects

An Unexpected Hiatus

It has been so long since I have written a post, I hardly know where to begin! From mid-November to now, I have been sick with one thing after another. This has been incredibly annoying! There are so many respiratory viruses going around and I believe I have sampled all of them. Our area has been hit so hard that my primary care physician’s office is unable to see any respiratory/flu cases in person because the staff has come down with it and now they are very short handed. It is just wild. The kids have it the worst and the children’s Tylenol and Motrin is flying off the shelves. Anyway, in case you’ve wondered, that is what caused me to go missing. I have been reading and watching TV and doing bits and pieces of sewing as I could.

I think I need to do a general post to catch up with what has happened around here. This blog is somewhat a journal and I can’t just ignore a whole six weeks!

In mid-November my amazing sister hosted an early Thanksgiving for our family. There were about 50 people attending and another 15 couldn’t make it. We haven’t had the group together in a very long while and this was great fun. My parents have six children (my sisters and I) who then in total had 21 children and those grandchildren have had 16 children. If you add in all of the spouses and partners, we have one big family! When I think of the numbers that make up our group, I always come back around to my parents. I am so grateful they had a big family and started this whole ball rolling!

When we all got together it seemed like every single one of the kids attending was coughing like crazy. The following week, the adults started to catch the bug. It was nuts – but also worth it to be able to see everyone in one place.

Two weeks later was Thanksgiving. We had dinner at my son’s house. Look at this big girl learning to baste the turkey! We enjoyed a smaller group this time. It was pure luck that most people felt decent for the holiday. (The girls have also been sick constantly for the past 6 or 8 weeks).

Being home so much did allow me to work on a holiday quilt. I saw a free pattern by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs called Candy Circle. I have a very large bin of holiday fabrics. Many of them were already cut into five inch squares which made putting this together quite easy. I chose the gray and white background to give it a modern wintry look.

When I had the quilt top on the floor for basting, I decided I wasn’t happy with the large expanse of gray in the center. Not sure how it popped into mind, but I thought adding a big snowflake would be fun. My husband created the template for the snowflake and I found some white, tone on tone fabric with a very slight shimmer to it. Perfect!

I fused it to the center while the quilt top was on the floor and then stitched the raw edges of the snowflake first, before I started to quilt it.

Quilting this piece was a bit unwieldy but overall, it went really well. On each section, white, gray, and colorful, I did a different motif. This kept me interested – honestly, quilting something this big becomes a bit mind-numbing for me after a bit.

It is now on Julia’s bed and I think she really likes it. (I couldn’t resist the snowflake pillow when I saw it in the store. It looks like it was made for the quilt!) Most impressive to me was the fact that I made the quilt top completely from stash. I had to buy the backing fabric but otherwise, this was all made using fabric and batting I had on hand!

In the early fall, I went to a quilt show and as I wandered the vendors, I saw this advent calendar. I know I could easily make this but it was all finished and so cute. Supporting the vendors is important – I know I was very appreciative when quilters shopped my booth at shows in the past. I picked it up for the girls and later on headed over to the Dollar Store. Each pocket has two items in it, one for each girls. Some candy, some hair ties, stickers, and holiday stamps. This picture is from the first December 1st. I think they have enjoyed their daily treats. (It is hung somewhat high because of their Labrador – A calls him a Wabrador– puppy who would surely sniff out the forbidden chocolate).

Moving on! I have also been sewing gifts for the girls for Christmas. I am excited to be able to spend Christmas with them. We haven’t ever been there to watch them on Christmas morning so this year will be extra special.

This apron is for little sister. It is lined so she can wear it either way. This fabric is an older print that has been in the holiday fabric bin for a while now. I think she will love the cookie print. For big sister I made one with princesses and castles. It is already wrapped and somehow I forgot to take a picture of it.

I also made each child a teddy bear. I have never made a stuffed animal and have to say, this was really easy. For me, the most challenging part was stitching the mouth. I had to take it out a couple of times to get a decent result. The teddy bear pattern is from TieDye Diva. Here is a link for you. The pattern comes with some clothes and I did use them for the pants. For the hoody, I went over to Best Dressed Bears. She has lots of simple and super cute teddy bear clothing patterns. Here is the link to the hoody. The patterns over at Best Dressed Bears are made for a slightly bigger stuffed bear so I just made the pieces a smidge shorter in length which did the trick.

OK – I think that sums up the last six weeks. After soooo many boxes of tissues, cups of tea and honey, inhalers, antibiotics, humidifiers, and more naps than I can even count, I think life is back on track. I hope you are healthy and happy. Julia is home and has been patiently waiting around for me to feel better. We love going to some of the cute towns around here for window shopping and just enjoying the Christmasy vibe. Hopefully we will do that tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Linking up with lots of fun blogs. Check it out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

New Toy in the Toy Room

If you are around my age, you might remember Betsy McCall. This cute paper doll was printed in McCall’s Magazine beginning in the early 1950’s. I am unsure how long the doll was included in the magazine but I did read that Barbie took over in popularity pushing poor Betsy aside. I remember cutting out the dolls and her clothes though. As kids, my sisters and I also enjoyed these booklets made of heavier paper with dolls and their clothing printed in them. I think the printings were perforated so it was easier to ‘cut’ them out.

Betsy McCall in McCall’s Magazine

Fast forward to 2022 and a new way of playing with dolls!

Dream and a Wish, by Riley Blake Fabric

I have had three of these panels in my stash for a short while. I saw them on a destash sale and snapped them up ($3.00 each including shipping)! I thought it would be fun for my grand daughters to play with plus having another panel for a future gift wouldn’t hurt.

The carrying case for the doll.

This week I put this together. It didn’t exactly go together according to the instructions by Riley Blake. Creating the outer pouch and handles was very simple. It is filled with a stiff, fusible fleece to give it some body.

The inside of the pouch

When the pouch is opened, you see a bed for the princess and on the other side is her closet – much needed for her beautiful dresses.

There are quite a few dresses for this girl to choose from!

Such a fancy wardrobe.

This is where Riley Blake’s instructions failed me (and other makers according to a quick internet search). The company then tells us to cut out the doll and her dresses. We are told to fuse flannel to the back of the dresses so they will stick to the doll. Ummm, nope – that was a fail. The dresses didn’t stick even a tiny bit. Just kept sliding off the princess in the most embarrassing way. I felt so sorry for the girl. Also, for some reason the flannel doesn’t adhere terribly well to the doll and clothes so I did a quick stitch around the perimeter to make sure they didn’t come apart. I think the flannel is helpful in adding substance to the clothes so stitching it is better than just skipping that step.

To fix this, our princess had to undergo a bit of surgery where I stitched a small bit of velcro to her chest and head. It didn’t seem terribly painful and she recovered quickly. Then I stitched matching bits of velcro to the backside of each dress and hat. Now she won’t endure the shame of running around in her nightgown and my grand daughters won’t be upset when they cannot keep her clothes on.

My younger grand daughter is coming tomorrow for a sleepover. Her big sister has a field trip to the pumpkin patch and her dad is volunteering with that. I am curious to see how A likes this new toy. I could see this being great for a distraction on a car ride or maybe in a restaurant while waiting for dinner. But mostly I plan to play with her and see where her imagination takes this princess.

Aren’t these curls amazing?

So excited to see the kids this weekend! I hope life is treating you well – What are you up to? Home enjoying the beginning of fall weather? Doing something creative in the sewing room? Tell me!

Linking to my favorites – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Giftbags, Sweatshirts, Chocolate Cake and Shortbread Cookies

Lots of fun happening around here these days! Making, baking, getting outside and spending time with family have taken the bulk of my time lately. I couldn’t remember what I had shared lately but after taking a look at my photos on my phone, I found several projects to write about.

Let’s start with these cute matching sweatshirts. I wanted to play with the serger machine my sister gave me a while back. It is really useful for finishing a seam when making clothing. A couple of years back, I picked up about two yards of extra wide pink fleece at a thrift shop. I am not one for this color so I didn’t make anything with it. With cooler weather coming, I decided to make my grand daughters matching pullover tops. When they were here a couple of weeks ago, I tried them on the girls. I had made the necklines with the fleece fabric and there wasn’t nearly enough stretch. I could hardly get them over the girls’ heads. Back up to the sewing room to unpick the stitches and replace the necklines with a ribbed knit (also thrifted!). I haven’t tried them on yet but the neck is quite stretchy so I think they will fit well now.

A fresh new apron for me!

This next project is long overdue. I don’t wear an apron too often but if I am doing something messy in the kitchen I like to have one on. This (thrifted) fabric is so cool. It is a very lightweight denim with a print that looks embroidered on it.

To give it some body, I lined it with a piece of yardage off my shelf. The pattern called for hemming the edges but really, lining the full apron is better. It gives the apron some heft and takes much less time than rolling the hem all the way around the entire apron. I think it provides a nicer finish overall plus it is reversible.

I wasn’t in need of another sewing machine but when I saw this at an estate sale, I couldn’t pass it up. It works so well and has the basics – different speeds for sewing, needle up/down, and a nice selection of stitches. It will be great if I have someone over to sew with, for teaching my girls to sew (this machine is less complicated than the Bernina), and for a back up if the Bernina is getting serviced. It is also much lighter in weight which is nice when taking a machine to a class. Totally worth the $28 I paid for it!!

Holiday Gift bags.

I make these on a regular basis. Wrapping gifts at holiday time uses lots of paper which isn’t terribly ecological. Since I have quite a collection of Christmas fabric, I made four more gift bags. These are lined and have ribbon drawstrings. I tend to make them in a variety of sizes and fabrics so they fit different size gifts. I tried for a better photo but honestly, I got lazy and didn’t want to stuff them. Hahaha.

What do think? This is just a peek at a project I am working on now. It will be a wall quilt for our bedroom. More on this as it progresses. I am really thrilled with it thus far.

These cookies were so yummy. I wanted to make some non-dairy cookies for last weekend. My son and his wife came for a weekend of visiting, beach walks and some fishing. Anyway, I chose to try these Tahini Cookies from The Mediterranean Dish. Wow! Soooo good. Tahini is a sesame seed paste and has a different flavor. My DIL didn’t really like them but the rest of us sure did. I made a few substitutions with the recipe – mainly using vegetable shortening instead of butter and rolling them in confectioners sugar after they cooled a bit. I will surely make these again.

Birthday Cake for Ian

My son turns 32 years next week. Since we won’t see him on his birthday, I made a cake for him last weekend. Again, dairy free. This bundt cake is based on a cake mix but I added chocolate chips (dairy free), dairy free yogurt, an extra egg, and a splash of Kahlua. For the frosting, I heated one cup of oat milk and poured it over one cup of dairy free chocolate chips. When they melted completely, I whipped the mixture with powdered sugar until I got the consistency I wanted. It was sort of mousse like? I had to keep it in the refrigerator because it doesn’t really set up. Really yummy though. Ian took a chunk home with him and we finished the rest this week.

Shar and Isla

I had the pleasure of hanging out on the beach with my DIL, Shar, and their dog Isla while the guys fished. Shar actually likes fishing as well but didn’t have a license so we were on puppy care duty. It was a beautiful day out.

I saved the best for last in this post! Shar loves to embroider and made this for me for my birthday. I love it so much. The quilt is adorable and each square has a different stitch. Look at the clothes pins holding it to the line – the detail work in this piece is just awesome. It is so special to me and I am really touched that she made this for me.

OK – I think I have caught you up for now. This weekend is a local quilt show. The featured quilter is actually someone from Grass Valley (where I used to live). She was in the guild there and is now President of the guild up here. I am looking forward to seeing her work.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!! Is fall weather starting where you live? The days are getting shorter and the leaves are just beginning to change here.

Linking to my favorites – see the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Pretty and Pink

When I started to collect my thoughts for this post, I realized that pink is a common theme with the projects I intend to share. This is strange because it isn’t one of my favorite colors. Hence the title to the post. Let’s see what I have been working on.

Another Mercyful Quilt!

Remember I shared about a quilt show and lavender festival I attended earlier this summer? While at the show, I picked up an almost finished quilt top because I knew it would be sweet as a Mercyful quilt. Then center was complete but smaller than I wanted so I added two borders.

Two borders made this just big enough.

Quilting this was a quick effort using a serpentine style straight stitch following the lines of the blocks.

Sweet pastel colors.
Super soft voile backing.

What makes this quilt for me is the backing. I have a few pieces of 60″ wide voile made by Frou Frou. It is so silky soft. It was a trick to make this work because the quilt is nearly 60″ wide. Using an excessive of pins when basting (to make sure it didn’t shift while quilting it) worked though. I used a sweet pink floral for the binding. It is ready to be sent off to Patty for Mercy Hospital.

Totally different feel with this project!

Before Julia went back to California in July, she asked me to make her another bag. She wanted the same pattern as the previous two I made for her. (When this girl finds something she likes, she sticks with it!) I have used this reversible bag tutorial at Very Purple Person. I believe this is the fourth bag I have made with this pattern. Julia shopped my fabrics and found this piece; a fantastic print designed by Ocllo Mason for QT Fabrics. I received it as a sample when I had my shop (I do miss those occasional freebies!). It looks like a galaxy and the colors are so rich.

The other side of the bag.

Julia helped me to center the pieces for the bag so she would have two distinct patterns, one for each side. She chose a pale white tone on tone fabric for the lining.

This girl loves simplicity so there is one medium size pocket inside with a velcro closure as well as a velcro closure for the main bag. Easy peasy. I just mailed off a few things to Julia the other day and this bag is included in the box.

Final project for this post! At the same quilt show I mentioned earlier, I also picked up a few books. This little pamphlet by Moda Fabrics was one of those. It contains super simple ideas for using up 2 1/2″ squares. I often cut my scraps this size and knew it would come in handy.

Bonus HST’s

I have several sets of those bonus HST’s from making flying geese blocks. If I can remember to just stitch them before trimming the corners, they are almost ready to go for use in a new project.

Set on point with a deep background.

OK – this project is only sort of pink. But the background (while it doesn’t photograph as such) is fuchsia and there is pink in some of the HST’s so I decided it still fits.

Hand quilting hearts on the solid squares.

The quilting is a lot of fun and nearly complete. The trick will be binding it and not catching any of the hearts in that process. I kind of wish I had added a small border to help with this but I didn’t have enough of the background fabric. I’ll just have to go slowly (not my forte!)

OK – those are the projects I have been working on – and two are even finished! Woot! Here is my closing picture of my girls. Little sister sure misses H during the day. Kindergarten is a full day program in their district and A is so excited when her big sister gets home!

In the ‘live’ version of this picture, A is running toward her big sister. It is adorable!

Hope everyone is looking toward a fun weekend. I know so many parts of the country are dealing with this horrible heat wave. Because it is super difficult to cool off in many parts of the US; I think staying inside and sewing is the only sensible solution. 🙂

Quilt Show, Shopping and Lavender of All Kinds

Last Saturday was a busy day and so very much fun! Being new to the area, I wanted to go to a quilt show up in Sequim which is about 1 1/4 hours from my house. Luckily I met a woman who lives nearby and also wanted to go so we took a road trip together. The quilt show was outdoors in a park which made the whole Covid thing feel less of an issue. It could be tough to manage an outdoor show in this area due to all of the rain we have but everyone got lucky and we just had cool cloudy weather.

I especially loved the ruffly feathers on this rooster.

I took lots of pictures for ideas and inspiration. The show wasn’t juried but there was a vote for each category so Susan and I went off and chose our favorites. The people seemed so friendly, probably because everyone was thrilled to be back at an in-person show! It has been a long time.

This VW quilt was so cute.

The best part of this quilt was the little pictures of people (and a cat!) driving the cars. I was really tickled by this. The license plates showed names, I suppose of the person driving the cars. It was so creative.

Two laser cut quilt kits.

My friend and I browsed the guild’s boutique area so we could be sure to show out support. 😉 We both bought these two kits. The pieces for the Native Rays kit and the Hollow Hexi kit both are cut with an older Alison Glass line of fabric. I think the arrow quilt will be fun to do and hang in my sewing room. The hexi kit will be made a bit larger with borders and then (eventually) donated as a Mercyful quilt. I haven’t made anything like this before but I am up for something different. Plus they were a steal. I found the Hollow Hexi kit on-line for $120. Both were sold for one dollar each. I don’t know why they were priced so low?

Super pretty postcards!

When I saw this book of postcards, I was first drawn to the label because it is from the Shelburne Museum. This museum was very close to my son’s house when they lived in Vermont and I have been there a couple of times. I thumbed through the postcards and they are lovely so I am going to have fun mailing them out. Again, one dollar well spent! Finally, there was a rack of quilt tops that were for sale. I chose a pink one and planning to enlarge it with a couple of borders and then donate it. I actually also worked on this already and it is ready to be quilted! I’ll share photos later on.

A Stitch In Time

Across the way from the park was the local quilt shop, A Stitch in Time. I restrained myself from buying but did do some wandering through the shop, perusing their fabrics. It is a great shop with a big selection. Will I ever tire of just looking at fabric? No, no I won’t! Fabric shops exude potential, inspiration, and creativity. I am always itching to go home and sew when I am in a nice shop.

A lavender farm in Sequim.

I had no idea this area was well know for its lavender production. We happened to be there during their annual Lavender Festival. People drive from farm to farm enjoying the gorgeous fields of lavender. We stopped at this farm and walked a bit. It was exquisite. The fragrance was incredible with all of the different varieties in bloom.

Bees everywhere doing their work.

The house we just bought has quite a few lavender plants and I am enjoying cutting bunches of it for the house.

In sewing related projects, I have been continuing the effort to sew with what is on the fabric shelves. Check out the picture above – I have unpacked everything!! Each piece of fabric I have is now on a shelf. I am thrilled. It feels good to have it out and available. I have quite a number of unfinished projects to work on. They are all organized and I am enjoying working through them.

A sweet cloth book for my girls

Both grand daughters are old enough for regular books. But I have several of these panels left over and the story is such a sweet one. So I made up a copy for them and gave it to them last time they were over. I made up two more for gifting in the future. It would be a nice book to read with little ones during the Thanksgiving holiday season. (If you are interested in buying one, I have five panels left. Leave me a comment and we can work it out.)

Reading the new book together.

Today is the last day to link up your quilt top for the 2022 Positivity QAL. If you want to link up, click here. Prizes will be distributed over the weekend at some point. Otherwise, we will be back in a month with a parade of finished quilts to share!

Summer Squirrels are Happening

Happy 4th everyone! It sure doesn’t feel like July here. We are having a bout of unseasonably cool weather and the high for today is only supposed to be 69 degrees (about 20 degrees C). We are heading to my sister’s house for a BBQ but it won’t be very warm out!

Whenever I am ‘supposed’ to be working on something it seems like everything but that project appeals to me. Why does this happen? I should be working on piecing the blocks for the 2022 Positivity QAL. I have the pieces cut and I did get some of them pieced. I think about 20 blocks are made. But all sorts of other ideas keep popping into my head. So you know what I did? I set those QAL blocks aside and played with other fabrics.

Part of the reason is I wanted to make things that take no thought. The last couple of days I have had a cold dragging me down. Summer colds are unfair in my opinion and this one opened the way for a couple of summer squirrel projects.

Small flags for my girls

Here is one project but I actually made this one about a month ago and never shared it. We have one very tattered USA flag that was left at the house by the previous owners. When the girls were here they marched around with it. It looks awful and there was only one flag to march with. Not a great situation. I found some patriotic fabric on the shelf and made two little flags for them.

Backing for the flags

I think they are super cute. The girls weren’t overwhelmed with them. Maybe the timing wasn’t right. Or maybe they prefer marching around with just one worn out flag? Who knows? But these are sweet and I am sure they will use them at some point. I did glue the fabric to the dowel so the flag stays on the pole. A few drops of superglue on the dowel and that fabric is well attached.

Back to this week’s squirrel. While I was dragging around with this annoying cold I decided I wanted to make something really simple. I had just read through the Quilting Daily email newsletter where they quoted McCalls Quilting editor, Lori Baker, “If you feel like a challenge, do something new, learn something. And if you are feeling a little fragile, do something simple so your success is assured.” Mistakes happen all the time but I am more prone to them if tired or not feeling well. So an easy project was called for.

New summer placemats

This floral fabric was left over from making a table runner for my DIL several years ago. It is a home dec fabric from Jo-Ann’s. I washed the fabric and some matching solid fabric and dried it on high heat to make sure it was pre-shrunk. After pressing it, I cut three rectangles measuring 13″ x 19″ and did the same with the lining.

I assembled all three, right sides together, and stitched the perimeter. Flipped them right side out, poked out the corners and pressed them again. Finally I top-stitched around the edge at the 1/8″ mark. I think they are really cute.

Clearly I should work as a photography stylist. This table looks absolutely incredible. Hahaha. The placemats look cute and since we have white dishes everything works together. Simple and successful – just what I needed. Plus I used up fabric off my shelf.

Last weekend two of my sons and their wives took Julia out to celebrate her 21st birthday. Her birthday was in May but since she wasn’t home to celebrate, the kids wanted to take her out. It seemed like they had a great time. However three days later, one of my boys and one of my daughters-in-law tested positive for Covid. Yuk. Because it was Andrew from one family and Shar from the other, it was clear the contact was made while they were all out together. They both first showed symptoms on the same day. Even worse, this whole group was excited because they were supposed to go on a camping trip up at Mt. Ranier which they had been planning for weeks and weeks. The trip was cancelled. My older grand daughter was so distraught when told they couldn’t go on the trip. Her mama set up a tent in the backyard so they could pretend camp while Daddy was in bed feeling miserable.

Playing in their PJs in a tent in the backyard.

This fun didn’t last for too long. From here it only got worse. My other DIL and both grand daughters got sick and tested positive.

Doesn’t she look miserable? Poor girl.

Such a rotten time for all of them. Julia escaped it as did one of the guys. But the rest of them have been fairly sick. Julia had to isolate for quite a while and wear a mask when she wasn’t in her room. But it has been long enough now we feel confident she won’t get it.

Playing with Dad’s video game is a special treat

It seems like the girls are over the worst of it. It is amazing how quickly children can bounce back but not so much with the adults. One of my DIL’s still feels awful. What a rotten virus this is. This picture shows the detritus of a house with two sick adults and two sick kids. Blankets everywhere, water bottles and snacks. Playing with dad’s video game is a special treat though and the girls enjoyed this diversion. I wish I could have them helped out. It has been a tough week for them.

I will be back in a couple of days to share a finish. I got my 2021 Positivity quilt finished and just need to take some pictures and wash it. Can’t wait to share it with you. Enjoy the holiday everyone!

Shorts Part 2 – The Spoonflower Version

Hoping you read yesterday’s post as it will help make sense of this one. If you haven’t seen it yet, click here and take a minute to read it.

The tale continues….. It was sometime just after the cute cow fabric debacle I decided I wanted to try printing a special fabric on Spoonflower.

I need to back up just a bit. In March I wrote a post about a very special t-shirt my son made for me for my 60th birthday. He replicated a t-shirt I had back in my college days that I dearly loved.

Three Cow Poly T-Shirts!

When Kyle recreated the graphic, he also ordered shirts for two Cal Poly alums in the family as well as Julia, our newest Cal Poly student. I love these shirts so much. Talking to Kyle when he was visiting here in May, I asked him for the file for the graphic. He deleted the text saying “class of 1982” to make it more generic. I knew it would be fun to get some fabric printed with the graphic as some point.

In July I decided to work on getting fabric made. Spoonflower came to mind and I was just hoping it would be a user friendly website. They did not disappoint. I was able to upload the file in its original size which is approximately 9″ x 11″. Then there was a tool to reduce the size of the graphic and another tool to show how the picture should lay on the fabric and to help decide if the picture should be off set or in columns and rows.

Easy peasy, right? Well, yes, for the most part. I wanted to try making a knit fabric and a woven fabric. I didn’t really have a plan for how I was going to use them at this point. Spoonflower is not a bargain but I think it is great application for something special. The two yards of fabric (one woven cotton and one jersey knit) came to just over $40.00, including the shipping. I placed the order and then waited.

An original design!

When the order arrived, just a few weeks later, I opened the knit fabric first. It was perfect. I wanted the graphic to be large; it is just about 3″ tall and 4″ wide. Take a look at the bottom where it says “Designed by Needle and Foot”. I love that. No one in the world has this bit of fabric. That gives me a tiny thrill. The quality of the knit is very nice. It is thick and soft. I pre-washed it and it laundered beautifully.

OK – then I opened the woven cotton version. I had intended for the graphic to be smaller than the knit version. I (thought I) sized it to be 2″ tall by 3″ wide. Ooops..

This picture shows my son (one of my Cal Poly Alumni) and I holding the fabric I received. These graphics are enormous with only four pictures fitting on a one yard piece. I went back to my order, thinking surely it was a mistake of the part of Spoonflower, but no, this is the size I actually ordered. It is so big that two of the graphics are cut off so the oval frame is not intact. I had no idea what to do with it.

At first I thought I would make a pillow case for Julia. But the size of the graphic doesn’t work for that. Then I thought of making her a banner for her dorm room. She really liked this idea. I used a fusible woven interfacing on the back of the print to stiffen it and then sewed a backing to it. After turning it right side out, I slip-stitched the opening, give it a good press and put a hanging sleeve on on the back.

Here it is on the wall of her dorm room. It looks great!

Moving on to the knit fabric. I really wanted to make shorts for her. I also wanted the shorts to fit!! Once I was finally successful with the last pair of shorts I made her (see previous post) I felt confident enough to cut into my $22.00 per yard knit fabric.

I think these are so cute – certainly no one on campus will have these pajama shorts. Well I assume so – I doubt she will see many kids wandering around campus in their pajamas. I just put them in the mail to her yesterday. She hasn’t tried them on but I think they will be fine. Once she has them, I will ask for a picture so I can update the post.

Thus ends the tale of the many pair of shorts I made over the last 5 weeks or so. I ended up with three pair and Julia has two. It all worked out, even if I am still a bit bruised from banging my head against the same wall for several days. Will this whole experience teach me not to be quite so stubborn? I hope so, oh how I hope so.

Shorts, Shorts, and More Shorts-Part 1

This is a tale of personal stubbornness, my own to be exact. It is a long story because I am quite the stubborn person. Some months ago, I found a cute piece of fabric while shopping at Ben Franklin. It was green with tiny black and white cows all over. I thought it would be fun to use it for a pair of sleep shorts for Julia. Then it sat on the shelf, patiently waiting to be cut up and used.

When I finally got around to making the shorts it all came together quickly. The shorts were so cute.

I was even feeling smug that I thought to add on a little pocket on one side for the ever present cell phone.

But smugness is not a quality that bodes well for a person. The shorts didn’t fit Julia at all. They were very tight across the bum and the rise was too short. I had already finished and trimmed the seams and couldn’t let anything out to make them bigger. Why I didn’t have her try them on earlier in the process is unknown to this sewist. Another mystery is I have made her flannel pajama pants from this same pattern a couple of times and they fit just fine.

Luckily, they fit me so I decided to just keep them for myself – who doesn’t want a pair of shorts with tiny cows all over? Determined to make my daughter a pair of shorts, I decided to take the pattern, cut it a bit larger and have another go at it.

This time I used a batik fabric I had on hand. I knew she wouldn’t really like them but I wanted to figure out how to cut them to fit her and then I could make a pair that fit her. (Note – I knew I liked the fabric and would keep them for myself anyway so no loss of effort here!)

This pair fit better across her backside but was still too short in the rise. Of course they were too short in the rise, I had not adjusted that at all. I only adjusted the width of the hip area. Oh well, another pair of shorts is put in my drawer and I returned to the proverbial drawing board.

These look wrinkled because I have worn and washed them a number of times already.

Talking to Julia, I decided I would try making jersey knit shorts. Maybe a stretchier fabric was what I needed. I have some knits left from my shop and cut out a pair of gray shorts – after prewashing the fabric to avoid any shrinkage problems. But guess what? They didn’t fit – not at all. OK – what is that saying? Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. (Rita Mae Brown) I was absolutely stuck with this whole project – totally stuck. Julia very patiently asked why I continued to use the same pattern (well because I am stubborn, that’s why). She pointed out the rise in the front and back was the same. She needed the back side to have a higher rise than the front. A lightbulb burst into flames right above my noggin. Of course! Without sharing too much info, I have a very flat bum and Julia’s is not. She is much curvier than I (lucky girl)! Jeez, why didn’t I see this? Because I am s-t-u-b-b-o-r-n, that’s why.

I went on line and looked at tutorials and patterns. I landed on the Life Sew Savory page and found what looked to be a great (free!) pattern. Lounge shorts that could be made with either a woven or knit fabric. I printed it out and got it all taped together.

I made a pair right away with an old piece of knit I had bought at a thrift store some years ago. They fit!!! Julia loved them! Success! OK – the story doesn’t end here. Come back tomorrow for Shorts, Part 2 – the Spoonflower Version. See you then!!

Wednesday Work in Process

Hello!! Just a quick note to check in with you this fine morning. We had a sudden thunderstorm last night which was fun. However when we have a quick change in barometric pressure, that triggers a migraine which was the not-so-fun part. This morning I am moving a bit slow and thought I would post a bit about what I am working on.

This week I made a few more placemats for our local Meals on Wheels chapter. Our guild is collecting them but hasn’t yet hit the number they are hoping for. I made five of them in February and am always happy to make more!I happened to have a stack of strips (2 1/2″ x 5″) leftover from the coin quilt top I just shared. This made it super easy and fun to whip up a small stack of mats.

For each mat, I used a different stitch on my Janome to quilt them. It was nice to try out some of the stitches and see what I preferred.j

Yesterday I shared this on Instagram. I am making a simple whole cloth quilt for our guild’s community service group. They have an abundance of fabric and when I was last there, I picked up this cute print to make something for them. It is an older fabric from Blank Quilting Co. It seemed better to just leave it whole and quilt it as is. I will finish this up today so I can bring it over tomorrow to the work-day. These dinosaurs are so dang cute and will make a child happy some day!

I will close with this cute picture my husband took the other day. He has been working on getting our irrigation water going for the spring and summer. When this sprinkler was running, the geese came right over for a drink. We have not seen them use this as a drinking fountain and found it so funny. Even more so when the geese gave us a stern look after he turned off the sprinkler. Hahaha. Silly goose!

Hope you are all well and happy!! What are you up to this week? Leave me a quick note so I know how you are doing.

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While Julia Was Away, The Roosters Did Play

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

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

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

Fauna and her wee one.

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

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

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

RSC 2021 blocks

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

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

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

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

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

Cal Poly Alums and a new Cal Poly student!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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