Category Archives: Sewing Projects

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.

Linking up with a few favorite sites. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

While Julia Was Away, The Roosters Did Play

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

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

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

Fauna and her wee one.

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

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

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

RSC 2021 blocks

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

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

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

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

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

Cal Poly Alums and a new Cal Poly student!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Birthday Celebrations, Part 1

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

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

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

Two happy birthday girls1

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

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

This side is the ‘drive through’.

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

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

A string backpack for H.

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

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

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

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

February Plans

Just sitting here on a chilly, damp morning drinking that first cup of coffee. (Nothing better than that first cup, is there?) I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that my oldest child is celebrating his 36th birthday today and number two celebrated his 34th birthday two days ago. How did that even happen? Time just marches on. I love having adult children – watching them carve their path, raise children, and develop their careers. It is truly satisfying.

OK – moving on from blathering about my boys, let’s look at a fun project I worked on this week. Our local quilt guild is doing some community service work, making placemats for both Meals on Wheels and the local senior center. I thought this would be a fun project to contribute to. The only requirement was to make them finish at 12″ x 18″. My plan was to use some orphan blocks as the starting point. I have three finished and two more that just need binding.

This one used six HST’s that were leftover from making my Pikes’s Peak quilt (which still needs to be finished). Love the blue and gray tones in this placemat. I used a fun stitch to quilt the outer border. All of the placemats have machine stitched bindings.

Placemat number two used up a few odds and ends from the Twisted quilt I made several years ago and donated to Mercyful Quilts. I actually have quite a few of these rectangles left because I had stitched a number of them backwards and didn’t notice it until after trimming the backside (making it too late to rip them apart). This made a cute placemat and, again, I used a decorative stitch for the two borders.

Isn’t this a cute one? I have had that little heart block for at least four or five years. I made it with a pattern from Kitty Wilkin over at Night Quilter. I never used it though and am happy to see it finished up.

Thinking forward and making a plan for what I will work on next, I think I want to finish up a quilt for Mercy Hospital. I had shared my Bloom with Grace flimsy two weeks ago and, at the suggestion of a couple of you, I decided to add top and bottom borders to give it some length. That is completed and it is basted and ready to quilt.

This is the main goal for February and I will link this up to OMG at Elm Street Quilts. Beyond this quilt, I want to make something for my grand daughters. Both girls have birthdays next month. As I said above, time marches on and A will have her first birthday just after H celebrates her fourth! Wow. I am thinking about making a teepee which can be set up in one of the play rooms. I have a feeling they will like playing in it. For this, I need to order some heavy fabric, maybe a canvas, with a non-directional print..

OK – time to get going. The coffee is now lukewarm and there are orders to pack. Looks like it will be a rainy day but hopefully there will be a break enough to take a walk and get a little outside time. Have a great day all!

New Year, New Placemats

First project to share for this year! Continuing on with my supposed clean-up in the sewing room, I found my bag of linen scraps. These are scraps left over from making French Press cozies which I sell in my shop. I cannot bear to throw these scraps away so I have been stashing them in a zip lok bag and stuffing them under the sewing table.

The first mat

Last February, I made one place mat – fully intending to make several more for the table. That didn’t happen because – you know…. I got distracted. But I have used it here and there in the house and love it.

And now there are three.

I made two more placemats but this time, I didn’t quilt them as much. I decided to go with a minimalist approach which I think looks a lot better. The fabrics are so pretty and have a lot of texture – they just don’t warrant heavy quilting.

What do you think? They really need coordinating cloth napkins. I have some off-white cloth napkins but they are getting really grungy. It is definitely time to replace them. I still have more of these linen scraps so hopefully I will get a few more coordinating placemats made. For now though, at least I have three, enough for Ray, Julia and me!

In my last post I mentioned I was going to tackle taking down the Christmas decorations. Well Julia and I did a lot of it and then got bored of doing housework. So we only got about 1/2 way there. Maybe today I will get around to the rest of it. I am also working on a cute baby quilt for my niece who is due to have her first baby in a couple of weeks. Hopefully I will have that finish to share with you soon! Finally, last night I attended a Zoom meeting of our local quilt guild. These have been happening for a while now and this is the first time I joined in. While it wasn’t the same as the in person meetings (obviously), it was really nice to see so many of the people I haven’t seen in such a long while. The coordinators of the meeting really try to keep it warm and interactive. The ‘show and tell’ portion of the meeting was actually kind of a bonus since we could see the detail in the guild member’s work up close (on our screen) rather than from the front of a large room. So that was great. If you haven’t tried joining in on something like this, give it a go. We are all home so much of the time and this provides a much needed bit of community. Take care all of you!

Linking to Stitch, Sew & Show over at Life in the Scrapatch (this is a new link up that just started this week. Go take a look.) Also at Finished or Not Friday and a few other link parties – they are listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Holiday Project, A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Just popping in with a quick update. I have something new in the shop and I am really loving it. Recently I opened an account and started carrying Northcott Fabrics. In case you were not aware, they make tons of fun panels. I don’t use a whole lot of panels but my customers have shown me the light. Some of them are really cute and make for a fun, quick finish.

Thinking of holiday gifts, I thought this would be a great one to have in the shop. With the panel, a bit of lining and some Insul Bright, you get to make an apron, two oven mitts and four coasters. Instructions for most of it are on the panel. The coasters were my creation. They have the four squares at the top of the panel which are a bit of a bonus. I thought they were really cute so I made them into holiday coasters.

The apron is adorable. I lined it with a bias check fabric ( available in the shop) which gives a nice weight to the apron and also makes it reversible for use during the rest of the year.

The lined side for you to take a peek at.

The oven mitts are a little tricky. I did a double layer of Insul Bright in them because I think they are more insulated this way. But it makes for a thick batch of fabric to sew. That part wasn’t a huge deal but binding the edge at the top was. My machine doesn’t have a free arm to sew a smaller, circular seam with. I was able to do it but it just took a bit of fiddling as I went around the circle.

Once the binding was stitched on, I folded it to the inside and pressed with steam. Then I hand stitched it down.

The coasters are a breeze. I used batting scraps and scraps from the lining of the apron to make these. I think I might give them a little top stitching around the perimeter now that I have looked at them for a bit. It will give a more finished look to them.

What do you think? I really like the resulting set. It makes a wonderful gift for someone or to give to yourself! Considering how long it has been since I have done a giveaway, I think it is time! I made a kit with everything you need – the Insul Bright for the mitts, the panel and the lining. You only need to supply the batting scraps for the coasters. I am certain each of us has plenty of scraps to use!

To enter the giveaway, you must follow Needle & Foot in some way. Please let me know how you follow. If you want links, follow me here on the blog or at any, or all, of these: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or my newsletter (which is sent out all too infrequently but I do try!) Leave a comment and tell me if you are a fan of panels like these or if you usually do not choose to use them. I want to hear what your thoughts are. Giveaway open to US residents only (sorry – the cost of postage is prohibitive). Winner will be drawn on Sunday, November 1st at the end of the day. Good luck!!

Linking to: Brag About Your Beauties, Whoop Whoop, and TGIFF

Another Project, Squirrel!

After finishing my last quilt, I made a plan to make a bunting with the name of my second grand daughter on it. Her father made mention (not so subtly) that I made one right away for the first grand daughter but have not made one for the second who is now six months old. (I am fairly certain the baby hasn’t yet noticed this injustice but still.) Well, it still hasn’t happened.

I had ordered some fall fabrics from Clothworks and they arrived last week. One of the bolts has a panel for making placemats and I really like the colors of the fabric. The line is called Autumn Air and was designed by Jim Ishikawa. They are just perfect for my dining room.

The panel includes four placemats as well as some extra floral print. I cut off the floral print and set it aside for a future project. After looking at the solids I had on hand, I decided to go with green. Adding some borders was quick and then I cut a tone on tone cream color fabric for the backing.

For quilting, I did diagonal lines, 1.5 inches apart on the floral section. I left the borders unquilted. With the borders, the mat finishes at 13″ x 17″. I think these are super and will be perfect to use each fall.

This quick make was quite satisfying. I am so over summertime and hot weather (it is 86 degrees and still smokey outside as I type this.) Using fall fabrics allowed me to pretend it was cool and crisp outside (as long as I didn’t look out the window anyway.)

My sweet girl and her new toys.

I will leave you with this to make you smile. My grand daughter’s little friend has a really cool older brother. You know how cool a six year old can be! He wanted some new Matchbox cars and his mother said he could sell some of his current toys at a garage sale to make money for what he wanted. My grand daughter went ‘shopping’ there and snagged these new toys. She was thrilled. Most of her things are still in storage until they move into their new house and I am sure she was bored of the same toys she has been playing with in the rental.

We are going to head up there soon to help watch the kids while they move to the new house. My husband is going to help out with a few electrical projects before they move in. Hurray for another visit with my favorite girls! (I know, I know…. I had better go work on that bunting. I don’t want the baby to learn to spell before her name is up on the wall.)

Keeping Busy

June is winding down. Not sure how that is possible but really, it is best not to question things these days. Time passes, some days fly by and others feel so incredibly repetitive. Such is life during a pandemic.

I haven’t shared much lately so I need to get caught up! First off – a little crafting. Julia and I have been trying to spend some time together making projects. A few weeks ago, my son and his wife were here for a weekend (the first time we had seen them since Christmas!!). We spent some time painting small rocks Julia had collected outside. The goal was to place them here and there along a local trail so others could spot them as they walked. We pulled out some (really old) acrylic paints and started painting. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon and we made quite an assortment.

Flowers, an avocado, a monster and some sweet daisies

A few days ago we lucked into a nice cool morning so Julia and I walked the local trail and tucked the rocks here and there as we went. Love the monster with the googly eyes and the avocado (my DIL painted). Pretty creative!

Clouds, Gnome, Ladybug, Flag and the scariest Shark EVER!

More fun! They look really cute out there. The shark is probably my favorite of this bunch. Plus he is sitting on the branch of a Manzanita tree and that curly bark is always fun to see. Julia and I will head back to the trail later this week. We want to see whether people leave the rocks there for others to see or if they pick them up.

A play fort

About half way through the loop, there is this huge old oak tree. I have pictures of Julia sitting in it from years back. This time, there was this play fort built around the base of the tree. So many branches were collected and assembled teepee-style around the base. We went and peeked in. So cute!! There were a few bits and pieces of construction paper with flowers drawn on them hanging on the inside with string. At the opening to the fort there was a bit of red glitter sprinkled on the ground. I just love thinking of the kids who made this. I hope it stays in place as it must have taken quite a while to gather the branches and assemble this. There is nothing like pretending in a fort like this. I know my kids would have loved this when they were young.

Vintage Simplicity Pattern

About a week or so back, I posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook. I decided to make a summer dress. I have had this vintage Simplicity pattern for a long time now. It was printed in 1966. I thought this would be perfect for lounging around. The fabric is a voile by Art Gallery Fabric. I love their voiles because they hang nicely and don’t wrinkle after washing. Super soft and comfortable too. The voiles have been quite popular in the shop lately so I am running low. I just placed an order for more and cannot wait until they arrive (maybe another ten days or so?)

The dress took no time to put together. Four pieces to cut out and since it ties at the shoulder, no zipper to fuss with.

French seams to prevent fraying

I used French seams on the two side seams to prevent any fraying. These are super simple when dealing with simple, straight seams.

While it is certainly nothing fancy, it is just what I wanted. Cool and loose and comfy which is just my style. Whether it be 1966 or 2020, the pattern works just fine. Be warned though – sewing with vintage patterns is a little bit tricky. The sizing is very different. Don’t assume you are the same size with older patterns as with current. Rely on the measurements listed on the pattern – that will tell you what size you need to use. It was a fun dress to make.

The kick off for this year’s Mystery Quilt Along happens this week! I am really excited. Probably due to the lack of local quilt guild activity and community quilting (with everyone staying home during the pandemic), the sign ups for this years QAL increased greatly. If you have not participated before, I encourage you to give it a try. I love working with Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs, the host of this event and her patterns are always a hit. Without divulging anything I will tell you Cheryl described this year’s pattern as beginner friendly and it does not require any paper piecing or difficult techniques (eg the dreaded Y seams or curved blocks.)

Here are a few of the kits available. Pop over if you want to see the rest of them!

There are kits available in the shop if you prefer working from a kit rather than picking fabric yourself. Take a peek. They are selling like crazy and I have been cutting yard after yard of fabric this week!

Covid numbers continue to climb. Life is filled with this strange feeling of uncertainty even as we live in quarantine, doing the same things over and over with one day melting into the next. Hang in there, support each other and above all, sew something!