Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Welcome October

Welcome October!  The leaves are changing, the temps are dropping.  That extra blanket on the bed is feeling quite good these nights.  It must be October.

It's been a techy week for me.  My old phone was dying off and on so it was time to upgrade.  I have spent too many hours transferring all the date and figuring the new one out.  Isn't that the worst part of getting something new?

I've continued to work on my Valor Quilt and managed to get it quilted this week.  I quilted with a stars and swirls pantograph.  Binding will come soon.  It measures 72" square.  You can find the tutorial HERE.

Love that navy Grunge fabric.

As well, I have started another one and have my 20 scrappy stars finished.

My sister brought me an early birthday gift over the weekend.  She has had the cutest metal sculptured goat in her yard and I have threatened that I was going to steal it.  Well.....she brought me not one, but two goats for our yard.  Aren't they cute?

The massacre in as Las Vegas this week was terrible.  My prayers go out to all involved in the terrible incident.  I just cannot imagine getting that phone call.  Our son and DIL were in Las Vegas, but we felt reassured knowing that they were staying in northern Las Vegas.  That being said, it was nice to get a text from them.  Of course we were all unaware of it until we woke up Monday morning on the West coast.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Officially Fall

There used to be a saying that went something like "the faster I go, the behinder I get".  With the official arrival of fall and the coming holidays, I am beginning to feel that way.  Where has the year gone?

The weather has changed here.  I've had to add an extra blanket to the bed as our temps have dropped into the 40s at night.  The daylight hours are shorter as well.  I wish I lived in an endless summer world.

Our Sewing With Friends group just finished our last mug rug swap.  I made one for Ida and I received one from Sara,  This is the one I sent to Ida who lives in El Paso.

The pattern was from Quiet Play.

This is the cute mug rug I received from Sara.

I also neglected to post the beautiful hexie mug rug that I received from Irene.

Our next round of swaps with this group is going to be fabric postcards.  We've had so much fun over the last few years doing a Round Robin quilt, a Row by Row quilt and our mug rugs.

With Halloween coming up, our daughter asked me if I would do Ghostbuster jumpsuits for the children.  It's so nice to get asked with plenty of time to work on the costumes.

Yesterday was spent mending - very boring sewing in my opinion, but I have been working on a Valor Quilt.   This was from a block that I liked from our Gridster Bee.  It starts off with little flag blocks and grows as you add the stars around it.

Blue stars....

Red stars.....

The sashing comes next.  The pattern can be found HERE.

We watched the five little ones for a few days and I managed to have some fun sewing time with the girls while the boys were busy building dominoes.

My Temperature Quilt is quite colorful this month with our highs and lows.  I'll share it in my next post.

Farewell to September.  I welcome a new decade of my life in October.  I'll ring it in properly!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mid September

Gosh...here it is - almost mid September.  Fall d├ęcor is everywhere.  It won't be long before Christmas decorations start appearing.

I had a dear friend come up for a much too short visit, but she brought some treasured quilts along with her to share.  One that particularly grabbed my attention was a stunning yo yo quilt.  It was made by her Aunt Tillie.  I think that the yellow background drew me to it instantly.  It was BIG and so heavy.  It was also in fabulous condition.

Look at the great fabrics that were used .... if they could only talk..... and the wonderful arrangement of the yo yos.  Oh...those tiny stitches.  I wonder how long it took her to make it.

That scalloped border.....SWOON!

Leisa (no blog), our Gridster Bee recipient for October, sent us some African fabrics that her parents had collected for her.   We were to make the African Queen blocks by Anne Batiste using the fabrics.  The fabrics really called to be used with fussy cutting and these are my blocks for her.

Our September started off super hot, but has mellowed out a bit as seen in my Temperature Quilt.  We had two days about 105* so I actually had to find a new color for it.

I'm also continuing to finish off the Confetti Star blocks from my Gridster Bee choice.  I needed a few more blocks to bring it to the size that I want it.   I am looking forward to having this quilt finished as I love the blocks that I received.

These cooler days will slow down the wonderful summer garden that we have enjoyed.  Our son is growing some of the giant pumpkins this year in his garden and they are HUGE.  I have no idea how he is going to move them from the location where they are growing, but it should be interesting.

The late laid eggs of the tortoises are now hatching.  I forget how quickly they grow, but seeing the new one next to August's hatchlings really makes me realize how fast they grow.

We had an exciting weekend as a guest of Stanislaus Foods in California's Central Valley and were able to tour their tomato processing plant and their Corto Olive Oil Co.  It was fun to follow the tomatoes from field to canned in under five hours.  The olive oil production will start in October.  The tours were just fascinating.  I would have loved to share some photos, but no photographing was allowed.  I am always amazed at the machinery that is created for each job along the line.  Machines play such a huge role in our lives and I am in awe of the people who develop machines to do the various tasks.

We have another busy weekend coming up as we are keeping five grandchildren and one dog while their parents are away. There won't be much computer time.  ;-)

Thursday, September 7, 2017


It's that time of the year again for Ida's Perfectly Pleasing Pincushion Parade or PPPP.  There are lots of great prizes to be won and lots of pincushion inspiration to be had.  Be sure to check it out HERE.

I really haven't added many pincushions to my collection this year.  One thing that I do is make pincushions for the granddaughters as they learn to sew with me.  This was one that I made this year.

Another pincushion that I added was an elongated one to rest along the front of my sewing machine.  I have seen so many of them and they are the perfect shape for placing right where they are needed.  This one was made out of scraps and made up so quickly.  I stuff all of my pincushions with walnut shells and fiberfill to give them the needed weight to keep them in place.

Ida asked that we also add our "ugly" pincushions to the parade.  Although these are pretty worn and ugly, there is no way I could part with them.

The first is from my beginning sewing days.  It has definitely seen better days.  It is now used very gently as I do not want to completely wear it out.

This last one is a true treasure as it was made by one of my granddaughters when she first learned to sew.  She is now in college!

So.....pop over to Ida's and show us your pincushions.  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

End of Summer

It's hard to believe summer is over.  The last of the grandchildren return to school tomorrow.  Where did it go?

We've had grandchildren for the last few weeks so there has not been a lot of sewing going on here.  We have had lots of fun water time in spite of an exceptionally cool August.  My August month in my Temperature Quilt looks pretty boring.  The month started out warm and then the coastal fog rolled in ..... for weeks.  We are in for a few days of warmer temps this week.

September is often our warmest month as the Santa Ana winds descend upon us so look forward to seeing some reds next month.

In spite of the cooler temps, the little ones enjoyed some lots of water time.

They had to share the water slide with the tortoise (bottom left) who insisted on climbing right in the middle of their fun.

We had a lot of fun with art supplies - including decorating ourselves in some cases......ahhh...two year olds!

I had the urge to stitch once everyone was back home.  I should have been cleaning the house, but I quietly slipped into my quiet sewing space and added a few blocks to my selvage project.  These are so quick and perfect for satisfying that sewing itch.

Somehow, my selvage stash seems to be getting bigger!  They were all nicely packed down and now they are all fluffed up and twice as big.  Hmmmm.....that wasn't the plan.

I've seen so many fun pincushions on IG this month and really NEED to make a few more.  Of course, I have the perfect excuse with the annual Perfectly Pleasing Pincushion Parade starting next week.  There are lots of great prizes so be sure to check it out HERE.

The garden has done so well this summer - finally.  Right now we are enjoying the tomatoes, beans and zucchini.  Tomato canning went on over the weekend by my husband - his first canning experience.  He did a great job too.  Do you think I can pass it on to him now????  lol

Monday, August 21, 2017

My Little Sunshine Blog Hop

*The winner for Cherry's fabric giveaway is Val's Quilting Studio.  Congratulations!  A reminder to all who leave comments.....PLEASE make sure you are not a "no reply" blogger.  The first two names that Mr. Random drew were both no reply.

Benartex introduced Cherry Guidry's new fabric line, My Little Sunshine, yesterday and they are positively adorable.  I have enjoyed following Cherry's journey in the quilting world for many years - as a quilter and now as a designer.  Some of my favorite quilts in my home are from Cherry's designs.  I love that she is also designing fabrics. 

As my regular followers know, I sew a lot for our 29 grandchildren and there is nothing more fun that sewing for babies - especially when you have great fabrics.  This new line of fabrics has such soft colors and darling designs so I jumped at the chance of sewing up something with them.

One thing that new moms always appreciate are sweet little burp cloths.  They are easy to make and I will show you how I do mine.  You will need a main fabric and a coordinating flannel.  One fat quarter will give you two burp cloths.

The first obvious thing that you need to do is to make a pattern.  This size works great with fat quarters.

Draw a large rectangle measuring 18"x9".

I like to round my corners to make sewing and turning easier.  I simply use a spool of thread and round off my corners.

The next marking you will need to make is a curve so the burp cloth will fit snuggly at the neck.  To do this I mark the center of my rectangle on the long side.

From that edge I will mark in at 1 1/4" and taper down about 3" - curving back to the edge like this.

Now cut out all of your new markings.  I like to fold my pattern in half at the center mark and make that neck cut from the fold which will give you the same cut on both sides of the fold.

Ta da.....  pattern finished.

Using that pattern you will cut two pieces - one of the main fabric and one of a coordinating flannel.

Place the two pieces right sides together and sew with 1/2" seam allowance all the way around,
leaving a 3" opening along the long side.

Clip all the curves and then turn inside out through the 3" opening.  Slip stitch the opening closed. Press well.

Top stich 1/4" all the way around and your burp cloth is finished.

Of course, I had to do a little machine embroidery on the flannel (before assembly) so the backside would be as cute as the front.

A bonus.......look at these darling selvages.  They quickly went into my selvage project pile.

I thought a matching quick quilt would make a sweet addition to the burp cloths as a new baby gift.

Lots of texture with a soft minky type fabric backing

Finished size 36 x 45"

Detail of the quilting - giraffes, elephants and lions. Can you read the delightful text print of the gray and the alphabet print on the yellow...... LOVE both!!

If you have enjoyed seeing these cute fabrics and have some sewing to do for little ones, Benartex is generously giving away a fat quarter bundle to one of my readers.  Please check out their blog site and let me know which one of Cherry's fabrics you like the best from her collection.  Contest is open to U.S.A. mailing addresses.  I will draw a winner at the end of the hop.  Be sure to check out the Benartex blog each day for other chances to win.

Here's the blog hop schedule:

Friday: free patterns @ Sew in Love with Fabric
Monday: Elaine @ Summer Crafter
Tuesday: Annie @ Annie Smith