The “final” two Snow Globes

Machine Embroidery – In the hoop projects — Snow globes …maybe they are an obsession….They certainly have been fun AND easy to make. I got some more water soluble stabilizer on Saturday and got a bit of time tonight to play.  I needed to make the last two snow globes before Thanksgiving.  Because the names are on the back of the snow globes, we are using them as “place cards”‘ for the dinner table. I hope the kids like them.  I do like to make ornaments for them.  Last year I did Gingerbread ornaments.   

Back of the snow globes

The theme seems to be “vintage” for these last two, which suites the two of us perfectly, since we are too! Bill likes trains and I like old sewing machines.

Vintage machines for me

This one is mine!  Hearts because I love old machines.

Locomotive Snow Globe

I picked a steam locomotive for my honey  While I was stitching this, he was around the corner in his work area, repairing one of his favorite locomotives.  It is one that has “smoke” and he had “gingerbread” scent in the smoke. I love the sound of the train whistles and all the noises those model trains make.

My blogging friend Judy asked about how long these take.  I think I spent an hour on both of them, including doing the names on the back. (I do the names first).  It helped that I had all the items ready to go, next to the machine, so I could add the layers as I went.

The machine embroidery pattern is free, and available from Kreative Kiwi

The last couple of days I have had the opportunity to be a “pattern tester”.  Once I get the ok from the pattern designer, I will share what I have been stitching. I’ve made 6 blocks for the test and might make a few more and turn the test into a baby quilt or throw. Pictures coming after her pattern goes “live” for purchase, so I can share a link !

I was gathering table linens , placemats and table runners to take to my daughter tomorrow for her to use on Thanksgiving. She doesn’t have all her things yet at home, so I am filling in the gaps. I realized I need to make 4 more Autumn placemats.  I have 8 and we NEED 10.  I’ve been fiddling around with AUTUMN blocks for 3 or 4 years.  Last month I made a bunch of STARS blocks in fall colors, so maybe by Thursday  I can round out the table a bit. (No pressure …but I can’t believe I only have 8!)  If I don’t get finished I have two nice placemats to work in. This is the year of the placemat I think for me.

Any last minute sewing before the holiday for you??

 

 

Snow Globes “How to’s”

Yesterday I shared a post More fun with Machine Embroidery.  In that post I talked about and shared photos of my “Snow Globes”.  Today I saw that Kreative Kiwi has a new video up to accompany the free Snow Globe Pattern 

COMMENTSKreative Kiwi does GREAT instructions that accompany the patterns; and Kay (Kays Cutz) does great videos.  It helps somebody like me who has to be shown how to do “new things” a few times to learn!  Go check out the  Snow Globe video

There has been a ton of discussion and questions, of course, on the Kreative Kiwi Facebook group about the project, and lots of fun pictures too.  It’s a great group to check out for inspiration and ideas.

Here are some things I gathered while reading posts –

VINYL —

1)Vinyl comes on a roll at big box fabric stores (JoAnn’s; Hobby Lobby or Walmart); usually in an area near the cutting tables at Walmart. Comes in a variety of weights.  For the snow globes, get the thinner vs the thick. I used the thick vinyl for a project bag –  Taking Care of Odds and Ends.

2)Vinyl document sleeve protectors in the stationery section. One sleeve for an 8.5 x 11 paper would give you at least 4 – 5″ squares.

3)Vinyl shower curtain from the dollar store.  (You could get a BUNCH of 5″ squares out of one STRIP off the bottom.

4)Vinyl zip bags sheets and comforters come from the store in. If there are stickers, peel off and use some alcohol to remove any sticker residue.  I got a bunch of squares out of one zipper bag. Some of these were really wrinkled.  I cut the seams and zips off and made a flat piece, then used a warm iron, layed the plastic between two pieces of flannel and “warmed up” the vinyl to flatten it out.  It softened up; flattened, wrinkles went away. Be sure to let it cool completely before moving it to the cutting table. I like the thinner feel of this vinyl for the project.

STATIC – I recommended a spritz of Static Guard spray on a tissue and wipe both sides of the vinyl. Kay recommends in her video one of those clothes dryer static sheets (like bounce/snuggle).  I know the Static Guard works, but I wouldn’t rush out to buy it now if I didn’t have it on hand.

SPARKLES/SNOW –  When you watch the video I linked at the beginning of this post, Kay shows you how she inserted the beads and kept them out of the way during stitching of the final round #10, which is when you attach the vinyl.  I had read a couple of posts from other people who did something similar.  I used another method……

I started my first couple with a tube of glitter for the sparkles/snow.  When it was time for round #10, I had my hoop “on the machine, latched in”.  Then I simply poured some GLITTER in the center of the globe, and carefully laid the vinyl over the top.

adding the glitter

This first couple of globes I was using the thicker vinyl, and had not employed the Static Guard.  Yes, the stuff bounces around a bit, but I would stop and use the edge of my stylus to poke the glitter over near the area that had already stitched.  I did this on every globe, no matter what my “sparkles/snow” material was.  I just started and stopped, poked and moved the stuff away from where the needle was going. (Round #10 is just around the outside of the globe).  The bigger objects were actually easier to prod a little. And LESS is best! (That is the consensus on the Kreative Kiwi group too!)

Glitter Sequins beads sparkles

Glitter in the upper left, glass beads and sequins, and metal spacer beads and foil spoke sparkles.  I seriously just dug this stuff out of the drawers and boxes of paper crafting, and jewelry making stuff.

I dug deep into a bin of “inherited” crafty stuff and dug up some vintage bits (circa 1997) –

Crafty stuff

The tree and balls are a little big, but the snowflake mitten and stockings are good sizes for a single item plus glitter.

In that same inherited stuff I this -The bits at the top were in a bag in the jewelry making stuff; some kind of stone with tiny holes.  The red, green, blue & white was all in a plastic bottle together and were useful. There were even some clear pieces and all different sizes to choose from.

More sparkles

And in another bin I found shiny hearts and crystal looking bits.

Hearts and beads

 

Some of these items were kind of thick, but that didn’t seem to be a problem.  I just made sure to go slow, stop and push the stuff around as the vinyl stitched down.  I even used the edge of the stylus to hold the stuff off to one side during the process.

IF you have to shop, look in the craft aisle at your favorite store. Little bits go a LONG way. I was at Hobby Lobby just yesterday and found all kinds of fun stuff that would make great “snow” in the globes, but since I already have so much at home, I didn’t buy anything.  If you are at the dollar store, look for the “confetti” that goes into greeting cards.  Think about paper crafting stuff you may have around….you could punch out some stars or snowflakes out of glittery paper.   I pretty much made my snow globes with things I had on hand already!

HANGERS – I used a variety of things, from wide ribbon to narrow glittery rickrack. Again; use what you have around. You could also use cording, card crafting bakers twine. One person in the Facebook group was unhappy with the thickness of her cord….so, consider scale. I like the blue ribbon below and the rick rack better than the red plaid ribbon.

Snow Globe FUN

I mentioned yesterday that I had to “stop” making these as I ran out of water soluble VILENE stabilizer. Since I had the opportunity to pop into Hobby Lobby, I was able to pick up two yards of 20″ wide, so I will be back to these and finish up the last two for Thanksgiving.  (I ordered some from Amazon and Walmart.com and am “still waiting”…..glad I had an excuse to go to Hobby Lobby!),

USE what you have on hand. These really only take 2 – 5″squares of fabric, a 5″ square of batting & a 5” square of vinyl.  I used a bit of iron on interfacing on the back of the globe as suggested in the instructions. These were all things I had on hand. I have 2 globes that are not Christmas fabric, and those two were unique to the 2 son-in-laws and their special interests.  Go create and have fun!! 

Practicing with a new machine

I have been using my Brother PE500 Embroidery machine since I won it in 2013. I’ve learned a lot about machine embroidery and decided if I had the opportunity I would “move on up” to a hoop size bigger than 4″ x 4″.

20170302_170820

All of my friends who embroider know I have been suffering from “hoop envy”.  You see…that sweet FREE Brother could only do 4×4″ projects, and I was seeing all my friends upgrade to 5×7 hoop machines. I just haven’t used my machine enough to warrant an expensive investment.  Attending the Embroidery Club once a month has gotten me motivated to do more machine embroidery projects.

This past January a friend of mine was selling a Janome 11000 quilting sewing embroidery machine. I thought it was a great value and the increase in “hoop size” was exciting. This meant a new maximum embroidery size: 8″ x 11″  with the Macro Hoop, and other hoop sizes -5″x 4″ and 8″x 8″.

Well, when I looked at the machine being sold, and saw the capability and did research with one of my Embroidery Club friends…I knew I had to buy the used machine. Even though it was considered by some to be an “older” machine, it had all the bells (really) and whistles. It had a USB port; and a card slot. That means new technology and old technology. There were so many hoops included which made the purchase price a real value.  The original price on the machine new was over $6000, and I valued it on E-bay before buying. Today on E-Bay there is a new machine selling for $5495, and used prices run the range of $1100 to $3400.  I didn’t nearly  that  much,  just  a  bit  more  than  a  new  Brother  770. 

Fast forward to this fall, and I have finally had time to sit down and learn how to operate this machine.  From the “sewing” side of things, it has as almost as large a throat and capability as my Janome 8900 which I purchased in 2013. Certainly as many stitches.  The screen that is on the machine is fantastic- color-and huge, with lots of “help” videos.

First time I tried to use the automatic needle threader, I just watched the helpful video on the screen and was able to follow along with success.  Then, I discovered, even with a huge bag full of hoops and gadgets, that there were some “missing parts”.

I wasn’t worried about not having some of the sewing feet, but I was missing the embroidery foot; and my friend at Embroidery club gave me an extra she happened to have.  What was worrisome is there was a part missing that was critical to the operation of the embroidery hoops.  It was just a little “filler piece” but without it in place the hoops were not supported and all kinds of jamming up was happening.  I was distressed and finally gave up and took the machine in locally for service. The technician was able to locate the part and clean and test run the machine. I was happy to learn that the replacement part was under $5.

When I got the machine back home, I decided I needed to keep my eyes open for a table that would work well for the machine, and not be in the way of all the other stuff I have in my sewing room.  I picked up this cute little table on Facebook Marketplace for just $35. It has a thick top (with a little worm wood showing) and is set on this fabulous treadle base…and guess what….The treadle moves!   I used a layer of “rubberized shelf lining” under the machine to help reduce vibration.  There is plenty of room behind the machine for the hoops to move on the mounting arm.  I got out the command trips and starting hanging more hooks on the wall to get those various hoops out of the boxes and hanging up in a convenient spot.  Boxes are now safely stored, and all the parts like foot pedal and fabric guide are stored away nearby in a basket.

New table for Janome 11000

I got it all set up, and put it to work!  I set up and stitched out in the big hoop a label for my Spiral Out Quilt I just finished.

First project on Janome 1100

What I liked about this stitch out is I could stitch a temporary “frame” and know my alignment was here I wanted it.  If you zoom in on the above photo you can see that “frame”.  It was easy to remove after the final stitching was completed.

Spiral Out label

I had one “flub” on the date “2019”, but otherwise, I learned to set out and space the lines and to even bring in patterns as part of the process.  I worked my way through the the screens and options and was pleased with the results. My flub was a lack of “awareness” and a good learning time. A lesson learnt, and mostly a satisfying stitch out.

handstitching a label

A little hand stitching and the label was secured.  Note about labels — When I make a label, I take a piece of a fusible product, lightweight pellon etc, and stitch it to the label.  I stitch completely around, with the fusible side facing the pretty side of the label.  Then, I cut a slit in the fusible product and “turn” the label so it has a nice smooth edge.  I use my fingers and roll that seam flat, then IRON my label onto my project.  This does two things….ensures my label is “hard” to remove, and gives the edge of the label a nice finish.  I do hand stitch around the edges as well, and don’t need to battle with pins or shifting while I stitch.

I’ve had fun making a little “teddy” yesterday with my granddaughter.   It is available as a free pattern from Kreative Kiwi

Fun Bear

Of course, when you hop over to look at the free pattern you will see him in a cute little sleeping bag.  I couldn’t resist so I purchased the pattern for the bag and stitched it out last night!

sleeping bag

The bear went home with the granddaughter after we made it, but the sleeping bag is going to be a surprise. Poor bear spent a cold night, but he will snuggle into this bag as soon as I can deliver!

I’ve got other projects in mind for Christmas and am heading out to play in the sewing room !

By the way – we got a dusting of snow yesterday in Delaware…the first for the season!

First snow Nov 12, 2019

Just a little frosting on the roof and cold temperatures!

Hope you are staying warm where ever you are and having fun in your sewing room!

 

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!

Embroidery Machine Projects

I figured out last week after attending the embroidery club gathering that I could hoop stabilizer, and so this week I have been working on long sleeve tee shirts for my youngest granddaughter.  I order 2 packages of shirts from WalMart.com and washed them to “pre-shrink” when they arrived.  She is just growing into a 4T and these might last her through the winter. I’ve enjoyed going through my various notebooks of designs and picking things that would suit her.

The first one I decided to make was called Trick or Treat Kitty —

Trick or Treat Kity

I used variegated thread for the cat and the bat on the hat. (Say that fast!)  Pleased with how we got a great striped cat, but not so much for the bat on top of the hat.  I didn’t want to make a black bat on a black shirt, so I thought it would stand out with the variegated thread….a little disappointing. (Hindsight I should have used silver!)

The second shirt was called Garden Sketch Kitty –

Garden Sketch kitty

This “sketch” design seemed a little light on the pumpkins and squash, and I ran the stitching a second time.  I should have run it again on the yellow flower or chosen a bolder brighter yellow.

Next up were pink pumpkins on a blue shirt….

Pumpkin sketch design

This “sketch” design put down a LOT of thread…and that’s good…because this thread by Superior Threads, GLOWS in the dark!  (Not that a 2 year old will be “in the dark” very often…but it is fun.  )

The next package of t-shirts were pastels, and I searched for “non-seasonal” designs in my notebooks.

Stitching out the cat face

This was the most challenging design of all with 3 pieces of applique and MANY thread changes.  Can you tell what it is?

(This was the FAVORITE of this group of 4 shirts)  She was very excited when her mother was showing her the shirts.  I think it turned out well, in spite of me letting get a sleeve under the hoop and having to spend an HOUR unstitching 1  flower to release the sleeve…sigh…

Cat Face

Hooping those little t-shirts is a challenge, trying to keep all the stuff “out of the way” while it stitches.

The next two shirts I finished up this afternoon.

Carousal Unicorn

Who doesn’t want to ride on a pegasus unicorn on the carousel??

And the final one…I couldn’t resist!

I love Cats Tshirt

All of these designs were for a 4×4 hoop, stitched out on my Brother PE500 machine. The designs were from Oh My Crafty Supplies.

I used Floriani Sticky back stabilizer in the hoop, and Floriani no show fusible mesh on the back of the shirt, and Floriani water soluble stabilizer  on top. I also backed the shirt after removing from the hoop and clearing jump stitches with a soft product called Cloud Cover (brand unknown) that would keep the thread and stabilizers from scratching a small child.  I used primarily Embroidex thread. (That variegated thread I was sent for free one year at Christmas from Embroidex).

These fun projects kept me busy this week!

What are YOU working on?

 

 

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!   

.