Fun with kids and a final finish

Had some fun this week with a grandchild. My very youngest granddaughter  (age 4)  and her mom invited me for a bike ride around our favorite trail. The weather was perfect for getting out and getting some fresh air.  The state parks require you to still bring a mask and wear it whenever you are near other park users.  It gets a little tricky to pull the mask up over your mouth and nose when riding, but we managed. Sadly, not another person we saw had masks, around their neck, on their face at all. The park has big signs when you enter, but virtually ignored. We try to do the right thing, and that’s the best we can do.  My daughter and I feel like we don’t want to hear about people complaining about those “bike riders”, so we follow the rules.  Anyway, we had a great mid day ride, and then treated ourselves to a “take out lunch”.

a little exercise

Our take out lunch was from a little restaurant downtown (Cafe on the Circle, Georgetown DE). I phoned ahead and ordered the special for the day. It was a wonderful grilled chicken with avocado, bacon and ranch on a soft kaiser roll. My daughter chose potato salad and I chose coleslaw. The sides were both delicious. The Cafe on the Circle has lovely outdoor seating behind the restaurant.  Highly recommend if you are looking for a take out lunch. I’m planning to pick up lunch again later this week. (We have only done take out twice since March, and I am SO ready to not be cooking every day!) 

After lunch, my granddaughter and I went up to my sewing room to see about repairs to a much loved “unicorn backpack”.  It seems that the poor unicorn had lost a leg, in what her mother referred to as a “shark attack”. (Kid shark, baby shark, doggie shark???) The bag also had a critical “loop” come undone that helped hold the straps in place.  My granddaughter helped me with the sewing while her mommy took pictures. 

Sewing with a 4 year old

  It only took me two tries to get it right….Goofy Moofie!  I forgot the first time thru to loop the plastic bit over the strap, so we did a little unsewing and re-sewing. She loved the pink thread I used to close up the lining.  I did do a little reinforcement stitching on the other straps attachments. (Makes you wonder why they weren’t tacked down better!)

Then, we had to figure out what to do for the poor unicorn who had lost it’s leg in that “shark attack”.  Did we want to make a new leg, remove the remaining leg, or perhaps we could learn about differently abled bodied unicorns…..Mommy and child discussed and we repaired where the leg had come off, and she has a great tale to tell of her one legged unicorn!

A little hand sewing

We learned how to use a needle threader and she and I stitched together, sewing up the wounded parts, just like a doctor would. Four years old and wanting to sew. Those little fingers did a great job holding on to the needle and thread. She got the concept pretty quickly of pushing the needle through. 

All and all a great kind of Stitching Grandma day!  (Don’t judge the messy sewing room….)

Finished the binding on Mama’s Garden and hand stitched the label and hanging sleeve too! I did the “binding with the flange” also known as Susie’s Magic Binding.  

Binding on Mama's Garden

Just love the way that little pop of color looks.  

mama's garden completed

Mama’s Garden is officially complete!

  Just in time to take to the Material Girls Quilt bee on Wednesday morning!  We are having an “outside” / “in the garage in case of rain” quilt bee with appropriate social distancing and wearing our wonderful hand made masks!  It will be fun to have “something finished” to show !  It will be nice to catch up in person with conversations, and see how others are coping. 

It is fun teaching a young person to do something you love!  Last week I babysat and taught two grandchildren how to play backgammon. (They both beat me!).  A year and a half ago I taught my husband to play while we were on a cruise.  I love the game, and it is very fun to play.  Next time I play with the grandkids, I am not going to give them all my “favorite moves”….but while they were learning the ins and outs, they learned all my secrets!

We are keeping our family circles pretty tight for a while, when things are starting to “open back up”.  None of us want to be the guinea pig for the COVID-19 virus, so we are taking steps to ease back into community life very carefully, and not put the rest of the family at unnecessary risk. This way, we can spend time together, which we desperately missed in the months of March, April and May.  We are “bouncing contact situations” off of each other to make certain none of us do anything the others are not comfortable with. It is MUCH more fun to see them in person than over a video chat!  Social distancing from friends is not fun, but as long as we can see “each other” in the family, it is tolerable.  We will “avoid” restaurants and hair salons, and such for just a little longer to see how the area responds to things opening up. My enjoyment of food is getting kicked up a notch with the take out lunch following the bike ride, and family dinner with pizza made by someone else, and NOT out of the freezer!!!  

 How are you doing with the “distancing”??  Have you had any fun with a project lately?  Taught a youngster a thing or two??  

Embroidery machine fun with Space Guy’s

I have really been enjoying the bigger hoop size of the Janome 11000. I have had the machine for over a year and the last 6 months have been seeing lots of hours put on the machine. I am always “window shopping designs” and trying to find appropriate uses for what I find.

Recently, my granddaughter had a birthday party that had some “space guy’s” for a theme.  Pictured below is a decoration that was in the bathroom the day of her 4th birthday party.  Can you guess the character’s name?

Who is this space guy

Not to long after her birthday, while video chatting, this now 4 year old  got out a “Little Golden Book” that featured these characters and told me all about the good guys, and the bad guys, and named each one as she “told me” the story.  She and her daddy are big fans of the characters!

So, one day, while taking a break from making masks, I tripped over some cute little “space guy’s” on an embroidery website.  I just KNEW that those designs were destined for my collection.

The whole family

They came in full thread stitch outs and applique stitch outs, and I purchased both sets.  There was a large variety of sizes, so I got out my 8×8 hoop and got busy stitching.  I decided to use the “applique” designs because the stitch count on the full thread was VERY dense.

8 inch stitch out

I stitched on white vinyl, and didn’t really have a plan for what I was going to do with the end result.  My daughter suggested it would be great on “next years” school bag.  I decided to go MUCH smaller with the next design, and turn the stitch out into dolls for playing.

Smaller size stitch out

That fuzzy guy turned out so cute!

That fuzzy guy

The next two I stitched represent lightness and darkness.  Again, these are stitched out on vinyl.

darkness and light

And of course, you have to have a princess in the crowd.

The "good guys"

The first group of 4 finished – mounted to peltex and bosal innerform foam for substance.  Kind of like “paper dolls”.  My granddaughter came by one day with her mom to deliver groceries, and we were able to play together at the car window with our little Space Guys characters.

First round of space characters

Last week I worked on another batch and created  4 more.  My favorite is the green guy.  Hubby liked the glittery green vinyl.

Having fun with vinyl

I got the group layered up and they are now “ready to gift” .   More “good guys” than bad guys in the collection!!

Space dudes

These were fun to make with things that were already in my stash.  I was gifted a big container of vinyl from a friend, and used several of her pieces as the colors were just perfect.  Thanks Nancy B.

Hubby thinks that a “smaller sized” one of these characters on a neck tie will suit the son-in-law on his next birthday!  🙂  I might just have to do that! He would wear it I am sure!  So much for the “big hoop” when going small seemed like the perfect solution!!

Have you had any fun with machine embroidery lately?

Planning ahead

My husband belongs to a model railroad club.  I belong to a quilt guild.  We often get calls  from the grieving family members who have lost a beloved train hobbyist, or a quilter.  The family left behind is trying to figure out what to do with all that hobby “STUFF”. Most are so overwhelmed with grief they are at a loss for ideas of how to handle the train room or the craft room.  Some are convinced the stuff is worth millions, while others think the hobby stuff is just JUNK.  

In that light, perhaps you might want to “think ahead” and make things easier on YOUR family, for that eventual time when we all take our last “ride” on the caboose.

While you have some time at home, I want to encourage you to take “stock” of your  hobby gear. Take an inventory,  match up the equipment to the box, put together a listing of the age, date of purchase and price for what you own. List your tools, and what they are and where they are located.  Think about what the family is interested in and if you want a special piece of equipment to be given to a particular son, daughter, grandchild. Talk to them now, video chat and be clear about what they do and don’t want.

If you have equipment or tools at a club, think about what you have, where it is located, and what your plan is for it as well. Make certain your equipment is marked with your name, and  the club turns the property over to the appropriate family member, or helps get the donation to the club sorted out.

Over the years, this has been a challenge at the model railroad club, with members abandoning equipment, passing without written direction, etc.  A few years ago the club modified their “rules” and have a provision now to handle the situation. Something similar might work in your club.

From the “Club Rules” X. Personal Property: A. Responsibility: Members are responsible for their own personal property they bring into the Clubrooms. If any member departs from the club, or is no longer a member, they must take any and all of their personal property with them. The Club will appropriate property that is left behind by former members after a period of no less than 180 days.

Make a plan so your loved ones KNOW your intentions. Tell them how to sell the gear, or how to donate and where you want it donated. Check NOW with that place you want to donate to and make certain they are able to accept your donation in the future. Do some checking on your own on Ebay or Marketplace, craft stores etc.,  to determine recent value in the “second hand” marketplace. Let the family know which pieces you have that are very valuable so they don’t end up on a picnic table at a yard sale years from now.

Take that list, and put it in your “important papers” file, for the time “down the line” when it is needed. Let your loved ones know what you want “done” with your fabric, sewing machines, crafting items, or other hobby tools when you are no longer able to enjoy them.

To the quilters, I especially want to encourage you to label your project bins(Include the pattern, and who it was supposed to be given to, etc) finish up your UFO’s, use up your stash, donate what you know you will never use NOW.  Take this extended time at home to survey and sort and SEW!  Most often, we find peace and tranquility in our sewing rooms, so I encourage you to settle in to the space.

If your space is not tranquil, work on changing it a little. Consider organizing, adding some colors that inspire, hanging pictures that calm, you.  This is an especially challenging thing for me, because my space is full of “other people’s stuff”.  Bins, totes, shelves, cupboards make things more orderly.  The next time someone offers to help you organize, don’t say no. Maybe you can help in exchange someone else.

Until the next time, STITCH ON, stay safe, and make something that makes you happy.

 

Saddles, Dances, Donuts and more

Ok; so my last post (Back in the Saddle Again) alluded to me being “cleared to ride” my bike and get back to normal life.  Well… I had a lovely 7 mile ride that same day,  with my daughter and granddaughter, until  this happpened….

Road Rash Bruised Ego ride

….my big EGO crashed and fell and bloodied my knee.  Nothing like being 63 years old sitting on the ground, under the bike and embarrassing yourself.  My faith in humanity is restored when 2 drivers parked their car and came running over to the trail edge where I sat on the ground, trying to collect my dignity, and breath. My daughter is so wise to carry a first aid kit.  We cleaned my leg up; slapped an available band-aid on part of it; and picked up the bike.

I was able to walk and so I got back up on the bike and road the last 3 miles back to the trail head parking.  Then, when I tried to get off the bike, I realized I could not put any weight on my left leg and my daughter insisted I go get an x-ray.

Since the local hospital was 2 blocks away, I drove over to the ER; used the valet to park the car; and got “wheeled” into the hospital by the valet.  Good grief….a skinned knee…Well, after several hours, and x-rays; and clean up; I drove myself home. (The best part of the journey was the valet who brought the SUV right up to the door and helped me hoist my EGO back into the driver’s seat!  (That man got a tip!!!)

The good news is nothing was broken; although I could not put any weight on the leg until the following day. The abrasion went from just below the knee cap down about 8″.  The black & blue; a week later; extends around the entire knee; front and back; up the thigh a few inches and down to my ankle.  The darn abrasion doesn’t want to heal; and I have to keep “dressing it” and wrapping with an ace bandage.  So…..I have been on hold for the last week from riding.  BIG SAD FACE.   Maybe tomorrow I can ride……in the driveway and around our property…..we shall see.

The incident kept me “out of the sewing room” for a few days too; because it was just TOO much to hike to the garage and climb the stairs.  Now; by Friday, I was more able; and I got out to “play”!  The Scrap Dance Minuet clue came out on Friday; so I managed the stairs.  Over the course of a couple of days I got all my sewing done for Step # 4.

Step 4 Scrap Dance Minuet

I have a few “extra geese” because I might have made a dozen “spares”.  I also made a few more 9 patches in prettier spring floral prints. I have some that are a little too “fall like” to suit me at this point.  I am doing a king size…..I do this to myself….I started with the throw size but have SO many scraps I just kept making 4 patches and flying geese. I started this while my finger was recovering from surgery and rotary cutting was a challenge.  I just worked on the cutting a “little at a time”.   I could probably make a few more king size; but I would have to switch to off white for the background.

Now I wait for the 2nd Friday in June for Step # 5.  Are you sewing along on the Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery?  It is not too late to start, especially if you have lots of scraps hanging around needing to be used!  Try the table topper size or a throw size if you want to sew along. Click on the link about to get the directions.  I’m going to guess that the pattern directions will come off of the blog post after the final reveal, and be available later for purchase; so if you like what you see; get it now.

Sunday our Senior quilt was presented to the graduate at church.

Senior quilt on the rail

The piping on the edge of the binding really shows !  I love doing Susie’s Magic Binding Technique!  If you don’t want to hand finish binding, I highly recommend this method.  I use it on everything!

On Tuesday I went with 2 friends to the Embroidery Club and we made an “in the hoop” pin cushion.  The pattern came from Embroidery Garden   and was fairly easy to follow.  It always helps that our Embroidery Club leader, ANNA, has great tips for keeping the project moving. This pattern suggests either felt or fleece.  I made the blue one at the club; and came home and made the white one at home. I used stabilized quilters cotton for the top of the white one; and think it would have been better with felt. I used the colors I had at home in my “box of felt”.  I might need to replenish my supplies !

Donut pin cushion

This “in the hoop” pattern did require the use of a regular sewing machine after the embroidery was finished; the donut turned right side out. You had to stitch “around the center” to make the donut hole.  You then cut out the hole and ended up with a nice “ring shape”.  We stuffed with poly-fill and whip stitched by hand the small opening along the edge.  I found that the eraser end of a pencil helped get the filling in around that center.  The white cotton top donut has a little fussing on the edges and the fabric tended to wrinkle while I was stuffing and pushing the filling around. I don’t think I would try it with cotton again. Felt doesn’t fray and just looks a bit nicer. The finished donut is about 3.5″ across and 1″ high approx.

These would be fun if you had a child with a “play kitchen” and they needed some more “play food”.  My box of felt squares hearkens back to Felt Food for a 2 year old when I made a lot of play food for the grands in 2013.  Some of those felt food items are still floating around.  At least one carrot made it’s way back to me during a grandchild visit; and the cats are enjoying batting it around!  I can see; revisiting that blog post that my early efforts in making play food could be greatly improved with the use of the embroidery machine!  The ones in that post were all done with a regular sewing machine and visiting lots of other blogs to get patterns and ideas.

What are you working on this week??  Have you made play food for kids?  What are your favorite embroidery machine design sources?

 

Cat bites the hand that fed it… and Secret projects

I have been very quiet on my blog lately, because it is time for SECRET PROJECTS!!   I am writing this on Thanksgiving morning (Nov 22, 2018) in the USA, but will schedule it to post for “after dinner”.  Thanksgiving Day feasting will take place at my daughter’s home and we have a bit of a drive to get there today.  My SECRET PROJECTS are being delivered there today, which is why the delay in the post going live.  I like to gift before I show them on the blog!

I’ve been playing with my embroidery machine a lot lately.  It seems that I can manage the embroidery machine and changing threads pretty well, 6 weeks post-op. My fingers are still pretty stiff, but moveable, and the surgery site is now healed nicely.

I have done some sewing, webbing together the quilt top for the My Carolina Home Hurricane Quilt Drive. Now I need to clean up the embroidery supplies, pack away the box of stabilizers and make room at my sewing machine to get the rows on that webbed top stitched.  My motivation will be delivering it with the backing fabric and the batting at my Queen Bees gathering on Tuesday!

Before I show you my SECRET PROJECTS, I want to share another story.

 We have 3 cats, one outside and 2 inside.  If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know about my cat Mittens….of the pet mosaic quilt.

20160820_224628

                           Sweet face Mittens

That sweet innocent face inspired the quilt below –

 (If you do a search on my blog you will find many posts about that project.  Here is just one –  Pet Mosaic piecing complete  )  

Mittens wins Viewer's Choice at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show

Mittens has chosen my husband to be “his person”, while Smokey has chosen me to be “his person”.  Our outdoor cat is their mother, and she has chosen us both.  She really like my husband “better” than me.  

 Anyway, here is the story.  Hubby does floor exercises daily for his back, and Mittens likes to help him.  While he is on the floor stretching, Mittens loves to chase his shadow, get petted etc.  

Well, one day a little over 2 weeks ago, hubby stopped petting Mittens while he stretched, and had his head turned away. Mittens decided he wanted more attention and pounced, as cats will do.  Along with the pounce came a “love bite”…only this time, it was a BITE that broke the skin and punctured into his hand,  4 canines! Got the hubby’s attention, got Mittens some negative attention as a result! Hubby washed it off, and didn’t think much about it until 72 hours later when his hand got swollen, and red marks appeared.

 A trip to the doctor was already on the calendar, so he showed it to the doc at the appointment and was immediately put on antibiotics, and scheduled to return the following day.  By the next day, the swelling was worse, a red streak up the arm and the doctor took one look at it and sent him to the Emergency room for IV antibiotics.  Long story short, he spent 3 nights in the hospital, with IV antibiotics, the surgeon checking periodically to see if he might have to do his bit to clean out the hand etc. The hospital stay was followed by another 15 days of antibiotics.  Fortunately, he did not need the surgeon, and is on the mend!

 Moral of the story according to our family doctor – a cat bite is the WORST bite you can get.  He told us that we must come in to see him if it ever happens again, and get on antibiotics immediately!  Turns out, cats have bacteria on their teeth that gets “sealed in under the skin” when the teeth retract from the bite. The wound is considered a puncture wound, and no amount of washing & application of antibacterial cream will reach the bacteria.  Web MD has some really good information.  I read that before the visit to the doctor the first time, so I knew what was coming. 

So between recovery from my own surgery and dealing with hospitals for hubby, I have been able to spend time in my sewing room.  I do feel like I have given the embroidery machine a good workout.  Some secret projects will wait for after Christmas for the reveal, but others, you can see now.

I am enjoying what they call “in the hoop” projects.  With my little Brother PE500 and it’s maximum 4″x 4″ design space, I have found countless designs to stitch!  I love these little Gingerbread boys and girls –

Ginger boy and girl

I stitched them out on vinyl that I picked up on Sunday.  I also stitched out some on craft felt and I like them too! They were so much fun to stitch, and I thought they would be fun Christmas ornaments for this year for each of the grandkids.

A collection

I also had some fun stitching out other ornaments on white vinyl –

Ornaments on White

This is a first working with vinyl on the embroidery machine, and each time I played a bit with the stabilizers, toppers etc.  Overall, I had fun and I am pleased with the outcome.

I also thought I would take the Thanksgiving host a few dishtowels.

Enjoy life one slice at a time

Save room for Dessert

Bake the world a better place

These terry towels I picked up last winter, and have been “waiting” for the right time.  I have now run through about half of my supply, but have a few left waiting to be used for other projects.

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and for taking the time to comment.

I hope you have a lovely holiday weekend!

The little things

I do believe it’s the little things that make life fun.  Hubby and I took a ride to Philadelphia last week.  On our drive, once we broke free from the rain, we had a chance to see a fantastic double rainbow.  I was not driving so chanced a few shots thru the wet glass.

Double rainbow

And just when I thought we wouldn’t see it any longer, we went around a bend and I got this –

RAINBOW

The rest of the drive was without rain, for which I was thankful. I called this shot God’s Promise!  It did help me to find a bit of calm to get through the next few days. (Boring medical stuff ….insert sigh here). (No you can’t see those pictures!)

Once back home, we got ready for the arrival of the grandkids along with their parents for the weekend. Coming home from an outing on Saturday, we had a visitor in the driveway. My observant daughter saw the visitor, and I was able to encourage him into the lawn to avoid being run over.

Yard art

Since the kids were visiting on the first day of fall, I decided to put my Autumn Jubilee placemats out on the table. Early one morning the 6 year old was playing with legos at the table, and making a little vignette. I reached into the china closet and pulled out some extra “goodies” to help decorate her lego village.

Autumn has arrived

These little pumpkin candles and cornucopias were favorites of my husband while he was growing up, and he cherishes them. Vintage bordering on antique! His mother carefully packed them away every season into a “cheese box” and into the china cabinet they went. My 6 year old granddaughter loved the little girl witches and the pumpkin salt and pepper shakers. They are fun to take out and have on the table for a little while!

Vintage candles

I wouldn’t be surprised to find a 29 cent price sticker on the bottom of one from the  5&10 store! (Circa 1950).

My 6 year old granddaughter needed a little extra grandma time on Sunday morning, and asked to go to my quilt room.  Once there, she decided she just LOVED a block on my design wall.  Well, she loved 2 blocks, but narrowed her choices to one. In no time at all, we had a little 15″ envelope style pillow case made and stuffed with a pillow form.  She did all my pinning, while I chatted with her about what I was doing. She wanted to make a gift for her big sister, and in under an hour, we were finished!

quick Pillow project with granddaughter

We got the pillow form stuffed in and into a gift bag just in time for departure!  (No the pillow didn’t get quilted, but I think the recipient didn’t mind or notice!)  The funny thing is, she was drawn to the colors of the blocks that my friend had “handed off” to me as UFO’s.  Thanks for the blocks Pam!! The block went to good use!  The little things…

Before you knew it, the weekend was over and the house settled into quiet again. I miss the little voices when they leave. It was wonderful to have both daughters and all 4 grandkids and 2 son-in-laws around the dinner table on Friday night and to listen to the laughter and the chatter and the stories.

I have continued to play with my embroidery machine as time permits.  I had fun working on dish towels – 

Start with Coffee

Espresso design

These 2 designs are from Oh My Crafty Supplies website.  I have a special person in mind for these.  I did two other designs, but won’t show them quite yet…because I forgot to photograph them!

I did a little more quilting on the never ending placemats —

Batik placemats

This is the end of the line with 18 placemats. These need trimmed and they all need squaring up and binding.  I did all the quilting with ONE of my favorite Superior Threads –

Superior Batik Blue #5021

Batik Blue #5021

Superior Batik Blue Fantastico

It’s the little things…..I finished my machine quilting with thread left on the spool and 1/2 a bobbin full. I usually shop for thread at quilt shows, and will have to keep my eyes open for someone vending Superior Thread in the next month or 2! Otherwise, an order will have to go out.  This is the 2nd spool of this thread that I have used and I just love how it blends!

I brought home a quilt to bind, from the assisted living facility where I have volunteered for the last 9 months. I made the binding 2 weeks ago, and this afternoon got it trimmed and bound. I think the “first time” quilter, Trish, did a fine job.  I will deliver it on Thursday to her when I go to volunteer.  I used “Susie’s Magic Binding” and love the little pop of color the flange gives the edge of the quilt. This method is done all by machine, no handwork, which is why I love it.  It’s the little things…

Trish's baby quilt

I’m feeling grateful for the new members of Ocean Waves Quilt Guild who have come the last 2 Monday’s  to help me with 2nd Time Around prep for the Quilt Show. And for my co-chair who keeps taking home large quantities of fabric to prep!  I love that people are so willing to volunteer.  And I love that people in the guild are willing to donate their “scraps” and unwanted fabrics. We had the most BEAUTIFUL batiks come through the donations!!  (No – my placemat batiks did not come through the guild…they came from a friend at my church!)

The rest of this week is busy busy busy, with the Queen Bees gathering on Tuesday, and hopefully a bike ride on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning!  I missed riding in the last 3 weeks!  Another fabric donation pick up on Wednesday morning, a few appointments scattered in, and more 2nd Time Around prep for the guild meeting next Monday.

In the coming weeks, I am not going to be going at my normal pace.  I need to have 2 surgeries on my right hand; so my involvement will be limited to doing what I can with the “other” hand.  For a 2 handed typist, my blog posts will be scarce, projects limited etc. For 2nd time around, I will be restricted to folding and pressing with “the other hand”.  I guess I can sort and price buttons!!   And boy, do we have some awesome buttons!   Like I said, it’s the little things.

As you go through your day, look for the little things to find joy!   

.

 

Project updates

I continue to work on my “Autumn Jubilee” placemats.   The only time I work on them is when I go to a quilt bee once a month.   Last week I had a “Material Girls” bee on Wednesday.  My “Autumn Jubilee” tote of fabric is what I have been hauling to bees for months.  I get a little more done each time.  I’ve made a total of 4 since January of this year.  I managed to get the binding on 2 out of 4 in the last week.

2 Autumn jubilee placemats

And the back of them –

Backs for the 2018 placemats.

It is going to be a rainy afternoon, and I think I will make some more binding for the last 2.  That will give me 8, and I think that is where I will stop.

Set of 6 Autumn Jubilee placemats

Since we are not going to be at “home” for Thanksgiving dinner this year, I can move along to other projects, and bore my friends to death with the final 4 placemats next year.  Hey, 4 a year isn’t a bad track record!  This pattern was part of https://frommycarolinahome.com/2016/10/07/autumn-jubilee-quilt-along/  From My Carolina Home’s blog in 2016.  I did 3 table runners in the fall of 2016 and then got going with these placemats.  You might look back at the post I did when I got the first 4 placemats finished in 2017 — https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/autumn-jubilee-circa-2016/

I am linking up to OH SCRAP – OH SCRAP! to share my scrappy Autumn Jubilee placemats.

Quick update on projects completed last week.  Sewing for the grands – 2 dresses completed.

The first one below required a zipper, which I managed (thanks to YOU TUBE!). Pattern is BURDA 6309.

Size 5 with zipper

I might have mentioned before that zippers scared me in 7th grade Home Ec. This one went in successfully, and I attribute the success to my friends who offered advice and You Tube. This pattern was made in a size 5.

Since we were going to visit on Saturday, I decided once I had the zipper in the dress above to make another dress from the same fabrics.  I made this one in a size 4.  I used the same fabrics, but a very simple pattern.

Size 4 sundress

Back of the size 4

It was fairly easy, except for those darn string ties, which took me a lot of time to turn.  I started it after dinner, and worked on it until midnight.  No zippers , no buttons.

That’s it for sewing for kids for a while. Back to quilting.

What are you working on?  Anything scrappy??  Be sure and go check out the link above for OH SCRAP!  It is inspiring to see what others are making using scraps.

Summer Fun and Sewing for the Grands continues

I took a mini-vacation from sewing for a week while 3 of my grandkids were visiting. They are so active and busy during their visits that sewing is not an option. (My sewing space is not “kid safe” currently with all the excess stuff I have from 2nd Time Around and my friend June’s sewing room stuff).

 I am usually up around 6 am, and shortly after getting up, the youngest is  awake and we get 15 or 20 minutes of time together before the household is up and moving.  She wanted to pick out fabric for 2 dresses and we did get a few minutes of time to do that.  She likes to touch the fabric and make combinations that please her 6 year old eye! I also got out my bin of kids patterns and she selected a pattern for her second dress.  We were “too busy” to sew while they were here.

Our week was full of adventures.  We rode bikes at a nearby state park one morning and had a picnic. Another day we got together with their cousin & aunt for a some beach fun. Their aunt brought pizza for dinner one night.  We went to her house to play and swim one day. Lots of great time with play time with cousins.  I hope they were building memories!!   Of course, playtime with remote control cars and Grandpa, and bike riding at home. We went to an evening concert at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center and enjoyed another picnic.  Every afternoon there was time spent in the pool to cool off and relax. My daughter and Grandpa and I enjoyed floating around watching the kids splash and play.   All that time at the YMCA over the winter has made them into great swimmers.  Swim lessons for kids really built their confidence. The 2 oldest kids figured out how to use snorkels and had fun staying “underwater”.  

Hopefully they had a good week of fun, and my daughter enjoyed a little break from her normal household responsibilities etc. She, of course, still had to “mother”, but not worry about meals and chores and the boxes that still need unpacked for a few days.  We enjoyed lots of time to visit too.

Once they headed home, I went to my sewing room to work on the 2 dresses.  The patterns were chosen for each dress already, and I very easily constructed the sundress .  This was the 4th time I have made this pattern, by BURDA,# 9994, this summer and it went together in a few hours.  I spent as much time tracing the pattern to a size 5 on butcher paper as I did cutting out the dress! I know have the pattern traced in a size 3 & 5, and the original goes from 18 months to size 8.  Too bad summer is nearly done, as I have this pattern down!!!!  

Sundress front

I was ready to put the buttonholes and buttons on at the end of the first round of sewing late Friday afternoon.  On Saturday afternoon I did buttons and buttonholes and the dress was finished.

Back of sundress

I had to give it a good wash (to get my chalk marks off the back where the button holes are), and it is ready to pop in the mail.  I will do that this morning!  This granddaughter turned 6 while she was here, and I know she will enjoy getting her dress “in the mail”.

The second dress has taken me quite a bit more time.  It has a collar and sleeves, and calls for a zipper.

Dress with collar

Granddaughter chose dress B in the lower left corner.  I traced that pattern into a size 5 on butcher paper on Saturday, and got everything cut out.  On Sunday I started to work through the directions, making the collar, the sleeves and the bodice.  I learned about “easing” stitches for the sleeves.  I love how full the skirt is with all the gathering.

I still have to shop for the right zipper to go into the dress, and dig in the trim bin for the trim around the waist. I have lots of zippers, but nothing appropriate.  I have it nearly finished with the exception of the hem and zipper and the trim.  I am TERRIBLE about reading patterns, and had to “redo” the sleeves.  Thankfully I had plenty of fabric.  I think she made a fun combination of fabrics. She wanted contrast, and she got it!  Hey, when you are 6, you can mix plaids and stripes, right?   🙂  I think the 2 prints are cute.  I would not have chosen them to coordinate, but she liked it!

Size 5 dress

I didn’t get a chance to work on the dress on Monday.  I spent my morning with my youngest daughter and granddaughter, taking a 6 mile bike ride at the beach, followed up by a ride north to pick up some fabric for 2nd Time Around and a long nap!

Before dinner I did a little “tidying up” in my sewing room so I could get near my embroidery machine. My sewing desk was buried under dress patterns, and batik strips and sundress fabrics.  I can now “see the top” of the desk.  An hour well spent putting patterns away, labeling folders and pattern boxes, and putting batik strips in a basket.  (Yes, the placemats are still a work in progress…of course…another UFO).

I needed to stitch out a couple of “die-line” files for Embroidery Club today, and get my “gear” packed for going today. I have “minimized” how much I am taking, but did throw in a couple of extra pieces of fabric, and 5 extra spools embroidery thread.  We are doing an Embroidery Library  “in the hoop” key chain project and I will write about it once I get it done.

The rest of the week is pretty busy with Material Girls Bee on Wednesday, and an afternoon of sewing at the Assisted Living Center on Thursday, and 2nd Time Around on Friday morning, along with lunch and swimming with the ladies on Friday afternoon.  I am hoping to finish this dress before Saturday morning when we head over to the DC metro area for that 6 year old’s big birthday bash!  (Debating a bike ride on Wednesday evening or sewing……hmmmm) Deadline is looming on this one!

Hope you are staying cool during the hot days of August and finding time to sew or enjoy other summer time activities with family and friends.   Do tell what you are working on, and if you have any good tips for installing zippers in garments!!  (I think I failed zippers in home-ec in 1969…)

Small projects and small bits

Gosh, since the last post I have been washing & ironing that fabric I talked about.  The vinegar was a great success in ridding the fabric of the smell of smoke.  The big pieces washed up nicely.  I can’t say that about the small pieces.  Even putting the pieces in lingerie bags the strings created a balled up mess of fabric.  I have spent countless rainy days untangling the mess and ironing those bits of fabric.  Has it paid off?  I hope so.  There were LOTS of 2.5″ strips that I will trim to 2″; and many blocks that were sewn in preparation for joining into a quilt that need now to be squared up.  I have over 100 pieces that were parts of a quilt that I pressed and will end up subcutting to rid the ragged edges and turn the fabric  into something that is usable.  There were yards and yards and yards of fabric that just needs a slight trim, and measured & folded to be sold at the guild.   So, I will let you know when we sell it at the guild and see what kind of money it brings.  The small stuff may not be worth selling and end up in the scrap boxes. And, if you read my blog, you know I love scraps.  Our guild had a class in March that got people excited about scraps, and I had someone stop over this week to go into the scrap boxes, looking for bits for her “wonky houses” she wanted to build.  At our quilt show next spring, we will fill a playpen with scraps and let shoppers fill their bags for a nominal fee.  While sorting to wash, I found small quilt tops that hadn’t been finished, and now they will end up as charity quilts later on.

In between the rain storms that have kept the entire East Coast of the USA wet and soggy for nearly 2 weeks, I have ducked out to my sewing room and made another sundress. This one is also a size 3, for my youngest granddaughter.  The one I made previously I had to shorten.  I shortened the pattern before I made this sundress.

Front Size 3 cotton dress

FRONT – size 3

Size 3 cotton dress back

BACK – size 3

This is a BURDA pattern, and goes together quickly. The dress is 100% cotton, and her mother is not going to like that it might need to be ironed.  Grandma will have to stick to “Tutti Fruitti” fabric for future sundresses. (Or bring it home to be ironed….)  I dropped it off on Sunday after church, and hoping she will “fit” into it for a time!!  Kids grow so fast!

I had an opportunity early in the week to go fabric shopping with my Queen Bee friends and I picked up more Tutti Fruitti at JoAnn’s for my stash.  Since I have been in the “fabric washing mood”, I washed it, along with all the other that I had on hand.  I’ve mastered this pattern for sundresses, and have dug in my drawer of patterns and began thinking about other sundresses I might want to make.   I made a lot of sundresses for the older girls when they were “this size” and may now repeat some of those patterns for the youngest.  The big girls are coming to visit next week, so there will be at least one size 5 started while they are here.

Sunday afternoon.  I just didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do.  I picked up a stack of 4 3/4, and 5″ batik squares my friend from church gave me. I played around with them, making half square triangles.

Batik HST

I ended up trimming them to 4.5″ when they were finished. And then I decided to build some blocks.

Playing with batik HST

This was kind of “no pattern/mindless” sewing.  And FUN sewing.  My hubby wondered what I was up to .  He & I played with some of those fuzzy stringy strips that I washed….and wove sashing in between and up and down.  Nothing really hit me, so I left the strips and the blocks hanging on the design wall for a few days.

Today, I came up with a plan!  Table runners…….so I have got one started!

batik fun

The blocks are 7.5 and the strips are 2″.  As is, I think, finished, it will be about 18.5″ wide by 35.5.  I like my table runners a bit longer, as I have the leaves in my table all the time, so I might go one more ‘row’, if I have enough fabric for those cornerstones.  Otherwise, I will leave it “as is” and start putting the other blocks together with different sashing and cornerstones, and make another runner or maybe placemats.  Fun to just play around with fabric that my friend from church didn’t have a use for anymore.

Thinking of ironing….I was counting irons…..in my sewing room I have 4.  Two Oliso’s, which are always in use.  One ironing station, and 1 ironing board.  I have an iron “in reserve” in case I have a need.  I also have a travel iron in my little ironing bag for trips to class and other locations.  In the house, I have an ironing board and an iron.  So, if the granddaughter’s dress needs pressed, I do have the technology to handle it.  (I actually ironed the hubby’s shirts 2 weeks ago……and showed him where the iron is stored in case he wants them done in the future!) (Just kidding !)  Quilters don’t iron, we PRESS!  🙂

Hope you are not roasting in the heat and humidity of July…but able to find a cool spot to keep stitching.

Little girls Sun Dress

In a previous post this month I mentioned making a sundress (https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/summer-sewing/ ) with fabric my 8 year old granddaughter chose.  That dress went off in the mail yesterday after I put a size tag in it.

When I finished her dress,  I pulled fabrics that I considered “suitable for sundresses” for young girls.  Look at these fun fabrics!  I’d forgotten I had an entire tote full of “tutti fruiti” fabrics.

Tutti Fruitti fabrics

This batch is that puckery Tutti Fruiti fabric. I have a couple of yards of each print. I think I used the green plaid (c) in a sundress a few years back.

Tutti fruiti choices

This group is my favorite of all the prints. Again, it is the puckery Tutti Fruiti fabric and I have at least a yard or more of each.

coordinating prints

These two are also Tutti Fruiti, and are coordinating prints. They would make a nice outfit together.

I also dug into my stash of “pink cottons” and came up with this –

fun cotton fabrics

They of course don’t play well together but each is fun on it’s own.  I must look for some lime green to go with that fabric I marked with a J.  These are quilters cotton.

Digging deep into the box of red & orange & pink fabric in my stash I pulled out these more “grown up” fabrics –

from the pink stash

They are soft, lovely cotton pieces that don’t scream “kid fabric”.  That box was overflowing, so I pulled out ALL the pinks and refolded them (ruler fold), and created a container of “just pink”.  Now both lids will close.

All of these fabrics were the choices I sent off to the  5 year old granddaughter to ponder!  You might remember she decided she wants to “feel the fabric” before she decides!  (Makes my heart sing with joy, because I am like that when I am in a quilt shop!!)

Meanwhile…..I decided to  start on a size 3 for the littlest granddaughter. She didn’t get a choice in fabric selection, I chose for her.  I chose a yard of fabric E, and after the pattern tracing got started with the sewing. I finished up today, attaching the bodice to the skirt, making the button holes and sewing the buttons on by machine.  The dress is in the wash and ready to deliver tomorrow.

front of size 3 dress

Size 3 sundress – front

Size 3 dress

Size 3 sundress – back – 11 buttons!

I can’t wait to try it on my youngest granddaughter and see if I guess right on the size.

I always find commercial garment patterns to run rather large, or maybe I just have small grands.  I’ve never recorded her measurements, but this grandma is taking the tape measure along tomorrow when I deliver !!

Middle granddaughter will make her fabric choices when she is visiting in August.  Her mommy said she is SO excited about all the fabrics and getting to chose!

That’s all for this StitchingGrandma this week!  What have you been up to lately?