This is a quick post to bring a little smile to your day. Over the past several months our family has grown by three. It has been wonderful to welcome the three newest members to the family. This brings the great granchild count up to 12 for my parents. Quite the family my parents started; they had six girls and the six of us had a total of 21 children between us. Now there are 12 great grandchildren (so far!)
When I found out about all of the babies to be born in the beginning of 2017 (we had one born in January and two born in March) I got busy making some quilts. Now that the babies are here and the quilts are gifted, I want to share photos of these sweet babies and their quilts.
This little guy was born January 17th. He has the lattice quilt I made for him last fall. (Read about details for this one here.) Isn’t he adorable? Have you seen such a cute smile? His two older sisters dote on him. This lattice quilt was based on this tutorial.
My sweet grand daughter was born next, on March 7th. She is so darn cute. This girl got a quilt of HST’s based on the Simply Snuggly pattern. More details on this project can be found here. Her presence in this world means I will be traveling to Vermont when I can and enjoying the stream of photos her parents share with me in the meanwhile. She just started to smile last week and it melts my heart to see those smiles.
Finally, the third baby, this adorable girl was born at the end of March. She also has two older siblings, a brother and a sister. I made her the rainbow star quilt using the When You Wish pattern by BonJour Quilts. For details on this quilt click here. I really loved making this one and will definitely use this pattern again.
Hope you enjoyed these sweet pictures. I love seeing the babies with the quilts. Makes me smile. 🙂
If you are unsure what ALYOF means, it stands for A Lovely Year of Finishes (a fun link up at Sew Bittersweet Designs where you set goals and see what everyone finishes up during the month). Let’s just says some are lovlier than others! I finished my quilt with the black and gray ten minute blocks which was my February goal for AYOLF. Finishing it feels good because I met my goal, but I am not thrilled with the finish. I didn’t like the blocks a whole lot from the get go. I set them on point, sashed them with black and used black for both the corner and setting triangles. Then I remembered that I hate quilting on black…. Ooops.
I have been really working on improving my FMQ skills. Want to know how to highlight the fact that you are not yet highly skilled at FMQ? Quilt with lighter colored thread on black – that will do it. I used a varigated YLI thread which matched the colors of the quilt very nicely. YLI has some heft and it is nice to sew with. It looked ok on the print fabrics. On the black, not so much. Oh well, live and learn!
The saving grace for this quilt, in my opinion, is the scrappy binding. I love a scrappy binding. I had actually gone to the LQS for fabric to bind it and couldn’t find anything so I decided to just bind it in black. Alas, I didn’t have enough black when I got home so I dug through all the scrap left from the project and made a lovely binding. To me a scrappy binding adds charm to a quilt.
Like I was saying, lessons learned…. if I were to be granted a “do-over” on this one, I would quilt it in charcoal gray (dark but a color I could see against the black). The stitching would look reasonable if it wasn’t so darn light. I am not at a skill level (yet) to highlight the stitching by using light colors on a dark fabric. Hard to post pics of your work when you aren’t really happy with it but this is the real deal. It doesn’t all turn out perfect. I am definitely done with black for a while. Luckily, my daughter loves the colors and she doesn’t give a hoot about the quilting. I had planned to use it as a donation quilt but I think this one will stay with us. 🙂
My daughter was my quilt model yesterday. My favorite pictures were of her running down the hill from our pond, back to our house. Put a cape on a kid, no matter the age, and they will run.
Hope everyone is having a good week. As usual, we are crossing fingers for a bit of rain at the end of this week. California has virtually NO snowpack which should make for a horrendous fire season this summer. I am hearing hints that there might be a tiny bit of snow coming our way this weekend. Please, please, please……
Linking to Sew Cute Tuesday, Freemotion by the River and Let’s Bee Social as well as AYOLF at Sew Bittersweet Designs. Links for most of these are at the top of the page under link-ups.
I live just far north enough that we get to enjoy a colorful autumn. Right now it is spectacular. I have lived in Pennsylvania and I know that what we enjoy here is not on par with the colors that splash the countryside this time of year in the East. However, we do have some really lovely leaves on display these days! This was taken in my neighborhood yesterday when I was walking the dog.
Ok – moving over to the sewing room….. I was really productive this week. For starters, I had a few sales in my Etsy shop which is always exciting. Now that fall has arrived, I have been selling the cozies that I make for Chemex coffee pots. If you aren’t familar with Chemex pots, they make the best drip coffee. However, because the pots don’t sit on a hot burner or stove, the coffee cools quickly. I have been making these insulated covers for a while now. With this mad rush – 😉 – on Chemex cozies, I figured I had better make a few more for my shop. These came together quickly. I have been cutting them in batches when I have the time and then sewing them sort of assembly line style. I love the fabric on this one.
Here is another one. I had purchased this home dec fabric to use as a tablecloth but the piece I bought was too small so I am using it here. Lovely!
As an aside, I was taking some packages (Etsy orders) to the post office to mail. When I was there I saw that I had estimated the shipping fairly closely for one and had overpriced one package for a couple of dollars (not quite $2.00) I sighed and was telling the postal clerk that I can’t always come close when I quote the shipping charges and I wasn’t sure if I should refund the overage. She knows me since I have been there regularly lately (benefits of small town life) and said I shouldn’t only consider the post office charge. She asked why am I not considering the time it takes to prepare the package, go to the post office, stand in line. “That’s the ‘handling’ part in shipping and handling.” Honestly, I never really thought about it and was always only charging for the postage. It made me feel better. This little Etsy shop has taught me a lot in the past few months. Very nice!
My main finish for this week is my Christmas Lattice Quilt. I finally finished quilting it and even got the binding sewn on. Yay!!
Overall, I am pleased with this project. I quilted it by free motion quilting a little Christmas tree on each block. As always, some turned out great and others, not so much! They were just free-hand, though I did use chalk and draw two guidelines forming a basic triangle to follow. They don’t show up all that well since some of the fabrics are busy prints. I also straight-line quilted the sashing.
On the setting and corner triangles I FMQ’d snowflakes. These were really fun – again just free hand. I’m very happy with how these turned out.
The front of the quilt is pretty. The back….. Yikes! With each project there are lessons learned, right? Let’s just say that this quilt should only be viewed from the front. I had a remnant of a red and green chevron print that I used as the backing. The trees look absolutely awful against the chevron. They don’t line up with the geometry of the print and the bright green thread that I (for whatever reason?!?) used in the bobbin looks, ummm…. horrid. I should have used white and maybe the trees would have been less noticeable on the back. At any rate, by the time I saw how poorly this looked, it was too late to change. So, when I am a world-famous quilter and all of my work hangs in a museum 200 years from now, they will look at this one and just wonder what on earth possessed me. Shudder.
I am really trying to finish all of my WIP. Much as I am dying to make a new quilt top I need to finish up what I have already started. I hate having things stacked up. Tomorrow I will make the backing for the 1600 jelly roll quilt top that I made at the beginning of October. Hope to at least start the quilting on that one over the weekend.
In closing, does anyone need a good book recommendation? I have read a few of the best books lately. Here you go:
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Excellent story with the best characters. Total tear jerker so have a box of tissues nearby. Basically the story is about a young woman who desperately needs work and finds a job as a companion to a very unhappy, cynical quadriplegic. There are some really funny parts as well as some very sad. No more details though as I don’t want to spoil the story. Great book though.
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri is wonderful. Again, great character development. This is a story of a couple in India that marries as arranged by their families. They come to live in the US in the mid 1960’s and raise two children. The story follows their assimilation into America and that of their kids. The insights into their culture are so interesting. Loved this book – a really, really good read.
The Birthhouse by Ami McKay is a story about midwifery during the World War I era. The details are fascinating and the story is excellent.
What have you been reading lately? I would love to hear what is good and what’s not so great. Let me know! Have a great weekend all. 🙂
Linking to Let’s Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, TGIFF, & Crazy Mom Quilts. As usual, links to all of these wonderful sites are listed at the top of my page, under Link Ups.
I don’t know how much this makes the news across the country but Northern California is basically on fire. It is horrendous. We had a local fire about a mile from my house two weeks ago. It burned 350 acres and caused a lot of local damage. Before this we had a fire up at Yosemite. It burned 4,700 acres and is just about contained. Along with this fire is the Happy Camp fire (the name is sort of ironic.) Burning still, it has consumed 132,000 acres. It is in a wilderness area so it hasn’t burned many structures. Closer to my home, we are dealing with the King Fire. It is burning near the town of Placerville which is about an hour from my house. But as the crow flies, it is much closer. This fire is now burning just over 92,000 acres. There are over 7,000 firefighters working it and it is only 35% contained as I write this. The fire started over a week ago and has consumed 65 structures so far. It is a horrific fire. The worst part? It was started by an arsonist. The suspect has been arrested. Just unimaginable. Crazy, smokey, frustrating times.
Here is a picture of the smoke we are dealing with. This was taken this morning by my hub.
Luckily this afternoon a breeze came through and cleared the smoke for a while. I am sure it will settle back in by morning. They closed a number of schools on Monday. For today and tomorrow they decided to keep the kids indoors and cancel after school activities. It is completely unhealthy to be outside. The good news is that we have a 60% chance for rain on Thursday. We are so excited! Doing a rain dance for sure. Keep your fingers crossed for us. We need to get the fires contained and we desperately need some (a lot, a lot, a lot!) of rain.
Since I was inside all weekend with the exception of one trip to the grocery store, I spent a great deal of time at the sewing machine. It was a good opportunity to work off my stash because there was no going to the fabric store. Here are a few things I worked on.
I used more of the upcycled burlap that I love creating with. This pennant is hanging up above my (very fancy!!) design wall, inspiring me. On the design wall is a strip that I created with some holiday fabric scraps. I will add some lengthwise strips to the long edges to create a Christmas table runner but I need to find something at the LQS because none of my fabric worked. Love the banner though.
After making the “CREATE” banner I decided to make one for the holidays. First I made this one:
I put up a few odds and ends on the mantle to give it a holiday feel. I like the pennant with the exception of the E on the end. It needs to be a darker color so I will replace that flag.
This is the other one that I made.
I like this one but it needs some embellishment. I think I will add some buttons to the ends of the twine for weight and maybe that will dress it up a bit.
Finally, I made progress on a holiday lattice quilt that I am making. It will be set on point and needs sashing. I am thinking of using a fabric that is a deep cream color, tone on tone, for the sashing. Again, I didn’t have anything for this. I need to get the sashing as well as a fabric to use for the corner and setting triangles. But this is coming along nicely and will sew together quickly.
Not bad for a few days stuck inside! Hoping for clear skies tomorrow and a trip to the fabric store. Simple pleasures, right?
Linking to Stitch by Stitch, Freemotion by the River, Fabric Tuesday, WIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social as well as Needle and Thread Thursday. Links to these wonderful sites are found at the top of my page under Link Ups.
The past week was a busy one and I didn’t spend lots of time at the sewing machine. I spent several days visiting with my son who lives in the Central Valley. Soooo hot there. I lived there years ago and acclimated to the heat back then. Now? Not so much. While I was there I made a trip to the local quilt shop in Turlock, CA — called “Cloth and Quilts”. It was really well stocked and the people were so friendly. (But then, isn’t that always the case? They are quilters, after all.) I was fairly disciplined and only picked up two pieces of yardage and three fat quarters. Not too bad at all.
Even with being gone for a few days, I did manage to finish a baby quilt that I have been working on. I posted about it earlier here. I am so pleased with the final result! The colors are adorable and overall it is a sweet little quilt that will, hopefully, make some new mama out there very happy. I did five inch squares on point with white sashing. I also appliqued a heart to one of the squares on the front and then did a pieced backing with three more appliqued hearts. Love these accents!
The print that I used for the backing was leftover from another project. I can’t remember the name of it but I love the floral print. They look like hydrangea blossoms to me but who knows??
I quilted it on my machine with a large, loose stipple. It was a breeze to quilt up. Then bound it with a dark purple piece.
Just had some labels made and tucked one at the bottom edge.
A finish for this Friday – Yay! The quilt is listed in my shop on Etsy waiting for the right person to come along and snap it up.
Eventually, after just few more words, this post becomes quilt related. Honest.
I consider myself to be incredibly fortunate. Life is good and I have all that I need or want. Not everyone can say this and I know I am so lucky. Part of my good fortune involves my five sisters. I am one of six girls and it is the best. My parents, like so many couples in the 1950’s, married really young (at the ripe old age of 20). They produced their first daughter three days after their first wedding anniversary. Within another nine years they created five more daughters! So, we six girls were all within ten years of one another.
You can only imagine the craziness that it is to grow up with six girls in the house and no boys (other than Dad). It was a sort of love/hate relationship. We fought incessantly – about who the sweater belonged to, whose night it was to do the dishes, who was supposed to vacuum this week, who left the dried up ice cream bowl out and should really be blamed for it – it went on and on. However we were also each other’s best friend. There was always someone to hang out with, lay in the sun with, our bottles of baby oil and tubs of cocoa butter at our side. (sunblock? I don’t think so….) My mom actually told us, on more than one occasion, that we should make some friends (what? like with someone from another family? but why?)
Now that we are adults we are still so close, probably more so since we don’t have to share a room or fight over the dishes. There are daily text strings, sometimes numbering upward of 50 exchanges, between us. These involve the really important (earth shattering actually) details of daily life. How do you make cucumber/tomato salad? How much should I be paying for apricots? Look at the latest picture of this grandbaby, or that one.
As I started this blog, they were my first supporters and definitely my first followers (since no one else knew I was out here writing away). And here comes the quilty part of the post….
Wednesday, during a morning text marathon, we were celebrating my very first sale on Etsy!! A momentous occasion. See?
One of my sisters asked what else I was going to put up on Etsy. (They are like my advisory board.) We tossed some ideas around and a baby quilt was suggested. I decided this would be a fun thing to do. I hunted through my fabrics and found a great assortment to use for a baby quilt for a sweet little girl.
Love having this all on hand and ready to go! I wanted to make something sweet and simple. I chose to do a quick lattice work pattern using five inch squares on point, sashed with white. The tutorial is from none other than Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter. She posted it at the Moda Bakeshop site a long while back. Couldn’t get much easier than this. Well, actually, it could. If I would have had the right charm squares on hand it would have gone together much quicker. As it was, I had to cut fifty (5) inch squares myself. That took a bit of time but I need to be using the fabric I have, right?? The result is adorable. Got the quilt top finished yesterday. Yay!
I added an appliqued heart to one of the squares for an extra touch.
My sisters were right. (They always are.) This was a really fun project. I have the pieces for the back all cut and ready to assemble. I haven’t found anything that I like in my stash to be used as binding. (Oh well, a quick stop at my LQS will fix that–everything else was on hand, right??) Unfortunately I don’t have any batting just now. Living 45 minutes from the nearest shop that carries batting for a decent price means I use Amazon a lot! (Go Amazon Prime.) The batting will be here on Saturday and then I can get this finished up.
A quick question. How should I quilt this. Such a contrast between the white sashing and the dark purple squares. I don’t know what color thread to use if I want to do a meandering, all over FMQ or a straight line pattern? Or, do I just quilt each square, avoiding the white sashing? I would love some input on this.
Great finish for Friday though. A lovely quilt top in two quick afternoons!