Monday, August 31, 2020

Design Wall Monday--8/31/2020

Last Design Wall Monday of August--see more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

On my design surface is a new project, because having 24 or 30 projects just isn't enough, am I right? This is a seasonal pillow designed by Kristina of Center Street Quilts, and she is having a sew along on IG for her Gobble It Up design.  The pillow appeared in the Quilts and More Fall 2019 magazine and is available as a download from her Etsy shop.  I linked to her website above. 

Kristina noted in the magazine that her kids were always concerned when animals she designed did not have eyes, so she added button eyes to her pillow.  There was a lot of stash searching, scrap cutting, and counting and recounting to get all the pieces ready.  My turkey will be very colorful.  The orange scroll fabric will either be the backing or the binding, or both.

Although I was sure I'd cut the right number of pieces, one of the feather flying geese brown pieces turned up missing so I had to cut another.  While searching for missing piece on the cutting table, I came across the first set of leg pieces I had cut that had gone missing. Always a mystery when I'm cutting!

We had a lovely introductory visit with our new grandson and his proud parents at their place last week. We brought up dinner and got to hold the dear boy (while masked up).  

He was crashed out after feeding and very relaxed.  The little family is trying to get into a routine--there have been a few nights of little sleep, especially for Mama.  I got a pic of the cushions they had me make new covers for.

Ashley was very pleased with them and she and Nick are spending a lot of time rocking Dane in the glider.  Glad that job turned out better than I'd hoped!

Over the weekend I spent a lot of time making more masks;  our Guild is still collecting them for donation. Lots of larger scraps and chunks were devoted to this effort. 

These were made from the free downloaded pattern from Laundry Basket Quilts; the medium size is too small for me but good for kids/teens and smaller/thin adults.  I had fun picking out color combos.  I also made a couple more masks for my husband and myself in the larger size LBQ pattern.  My sister Kathy has been using the free pattern from Orange Dot Quilts lately, she likes it because it is one piece of fabric engineered into the mask shape with great nose and mouth coverage, as her pattern notes.  

I had been thinking of doing another self-challenge for September, working on a different project for three days and then switching to another all month, it was very motivating for moving along or finishing up stalled quilts and stitchery last year.  Making a list of prospects is the first step :)

Monday, August 24, 2020

Design Wall Monday-Piecing and Upholstery

 It's Design Wall Monday.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

First, the most recent piecing, a couple of Easy Breezy leader-ender blocks (free pattern on These are so fun to stitch, and triangle free.   They were a welcome break from the ongoing upholstery task.  

I've got a lot of scraps precut for 6" finished blocks, and a few sets matched up for further piecing hours. The next piecing project will be assembling my version of Bonnie's My Blue Heaven quilt, started in her class in 2017. I got the last of the outer border hourglass blocks cut and made.  

I have mostly used green and yellow-green in the quilt so decided to add a little teal and mint for variety in the outer border. Lots of layout and switcheroo for this quilt, another free pattern on Quiltville.

Most of my stitching time the past week--and a lot of my stalling time--was devoted to the glider cushion covers for our daughter-in-law.  Now that grandson Dane has arrived, she'll be spending a lot of hours sitting there--and so will son Nick, I imagine :).  I finally took the last stitch in the seat cushion late Sunday afternoon--it's in the middle of the three below.

They are not the most professionally finished cushion covers, but I used enough stitches to hopefully make them last a long while. The seat back has the ties, the seat bottom is in the middle, and the ottoman cushion closest to the camera. I ended up having to add another lined strip to the seat bottom cover, as my pieces were too short to allow turning under for the Velcro closure.

The gusset on the tall cushion turned out a lot better than the added strip on the seat cushion, but that end of the seat will be against the chair back always so I won't worry too much about it!  We got a free COVID test at a drive up County site over the weekend and will get flu shots this week so we can someday hold our grandson! We got some cute videos of him opening his eyes and he may even have a little dimple like his Mimi.

It was very hot and humid Sunday in our non-airconditioned house.  I stepped outside in the early evening when it began to cool off.  The sky was amazing. I don't know what kind of clouds these are.

The sliver moon was still visible between the clouds.  Can you find it in the top third of the pic?

To the South, smoke appeared to be drifting low, out to the ocean. This was maybe from the Hughes Lake Fire about 50 miles northeast of us. 

I went outside about 10 minutes later and got this pic looking southeast.  If you look closely, there is a tiny black speck of a plane above the house on the right. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

And Baby Makes Three

The long anticipated arrival of our grandson went off without a hitch  yesterday.  Well, the doctor was running late (they always are, I told our son!), so baby's birth was about an hour later than anticipated. 

And he is healthy and whole, though his legs and toes were a bit purple from being folded up by his head for so long; he has a little flat spot where his head was wedged too.  He weighed just under 7 lbs and was about 20 inches long.  Ashley did great during the C-section and our son was thrilled that baby Dane looks so much like him.  The family has been sending us little video updates on a new app we downloaded called MarcoPolo.  It has been fun to interact within our family group and see Dane become accustomed to being outside the womb :)

Here with Mama...

And Daddy :)  He's feeding well and had perfect hearing.  

Eyes open now and then!  Can't tell what color they will be yet, of course. 

This is our son Nick when he was about a week old.  Pretty similar!  Can't wait to meet baby Dane in person.  We went and got our COVID testing today, and will get flu shots in a couple of days.  Meanwhile I still didn't completely finish the cushion covers for Ashley's glider.  Only the closures left to wrangle into submission, which I will get done tomorrow without too much drama, I hope.  

Sliver of moon was visible at sunset. The smoke from county fires has cleared a bit so we can see regular clouds in the southeast.  Coincidentally, Nick was also born in August during a fire :)

Monday, August 17, 2020

Design Wall Monday--August 17, 2020

For Design Wall Monday, see more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

I finally have a finished cushion cover to share.  This has been a difficult project my son volunteered me for--I am really not an upholsterer!  The glider will be rocking our grandson-soon-to-be-born, so of course I am pushing through.


This is the simplest piece of the glider, the ottoman cushion.  It is far from perfect but will hopefully hold up with the lining and Velcro closure. The chair seat cushion pieces I cut out and had lined did not cooperate and the interfacing began to come loose.  I took it all off and will use fabric instead to line the looser woven print fabric which frays like a nightmare. The hardest cover is for the chair back, due to wonky pieces I cut not matching when placed right sides together to sew.  I have had to trim quite a bit of the already lined pieces and will have to add a gusset to make up for the change.  Luckily there is enough of the shower curtain fabric to do so.  The gusset will also have to be lined.  Sigh. Luckily I still have three days to get them made.

Other sewing for baby on my list is the pee pee teepee project.  Try saying that three times fast!

Two prototypes there in the back, using scraps from the Dreamweaver quilt.  I first cut the template too large and it resulted in a horseshoe crab shape rather than a teepee.  These are lined with a microfiber cloth.  The one on the right was even more wonky but I overlapped the excess section and that made it stand up straighter.  I started with a 6" circle and interfaced the one on the right.  Hopefully third time will be the charm with the Finding Dory fabrics. I prewashed the fabric to prevent shrinkage.  

Isn't this the cutest octopus?  He was outrageously expensive but so so soft and sweet for baby.  Company is Jellycat and I found it at my local fabric store--they also sell a lot of gift items for home.


Other necessary sewing was a curtain for our kitchen's garden window which faces east.  It has been very hot recently and the sun beats in for many hours.  This is a shower curtain redo.  I wish the hooks were shorter, as the rod did not fit through the buttonhole slits for them as I'd hoped, which of course I discovered AFTER cutting the shower curtain and hemming.  I'll try washing it and hoping it shrinks!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Reminiscing and Stitching

I have been looking back on my years of blogging, enjoying old posts and missing some of the early commenters and friends who were so encouraging to a newby blogger, and thankful for the many who still visit and share!  10 years ago I was moving out of the first dedicated sewing room I had, when our older daughter moved out, our younger daughter changed bedrooms, and our son moved back in.  


Back to the downstairs family room, and sharing it with my husband's music equipment--he was deep into playing in a band in those days. Can you believe how much we crammed in?  I had no fabric downstairs at that time, other than the project boxes in the Hoosier.


 At that point I was still using my husband's childhood metal desk for sewing and waiting on a big, very exciting delivery--no, not the baby kind, the furniture kind. 

Here Nick is earning his keep by helping put together my new sewing desk, a Bertha by Arrow Cabinets, which has seen so many creations travel across its top over the last decade.  Recently big cracks developed in two of the plastic drawer door bins.  Replacements are pretty expensive, mostly due to shipping costs, but after 10 years and no problems with this desk I will fork over the $40--after a bit of a balk!  I shared my first sewing days on the new desk HERE.  How time I'm working on cushion covers for a glider for Nick's wife Ashley, as they will hold their son by end of next week after a scheduled C-section. Baby did not turn on his own and an external version was unsuccessful. Dad and Mom get to stay in the hospital together with baby for three days after delivery.  I think that's wonderful.

The yellowed cotton fabric definitely needed replacing.  Ashley chose this nice patterned one--I had had her buy a shower curtain to use as they come in lots of patterns, the fabric is wide, and many are pretty inexpensive. This one is a looser weave due to some polyester content so I am lining the pieces.

I'll also be sewing up some PeePee Teepees this week.  Baby boys, you know!  Wish I'd had some way back when...:)

Monday, August 10, 2020

Design Wall Monday--Finishes for Family

 It's Design Wall Monday--see more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

Happy events like finishing quilts and getting to see family were big mood boosters this week--I even got a haircut on a vacation day and went on a Friday night date with hubby. 

Our son and daughter-in-law came to pick up the Dreamweaver quilt and I got to surprise them with the quilt for their soon-to-be-born son. Sorry it is a little dark, the contrast was hard to adjust due to the sunny background.

Nick calls this "Ashley's Quilt" since she is the one who gets fact, she covered up with it while we socially distance visited in our backyard :).  Baby was not able to be turned by the doctor in an external version procedure earlier this week, so she is now scheduled for a C-section, which of course she doesn't prefer.  Fingers crossed that he will turn himself around and have a regular birth!  We are eager to meet our #3 grandson though are not sure when that will be possible, due to COVID-19.  No visitors allowed at the hospital but we will get photos, at least. 

The baby quilt went over well, both liked the colors and lightness of the design.

I named the quilt Shades of Water and Sky and bound it in Kona Oasis blue.  So happy these swapped Churn Dash blocks found a good home in this baby quilt.

The tree print for the back was a happy find in stash, though a recent purchase.  Quilting was all by walking foot, stitching in the ditch across and down the rows, and then making an X in the center of the churn dashes. I even got it labeled, yay me!

Sewing Room work this week will be concentrated on making cushion slipcovers for a glider/rocker Ashley was given by a friend.  The fabric she chose is pretty soft and frays easily, so I'll be lining/ interfacing and/or reinforcing some of the pieces, then adding velcro to close the covers.  That will occupy a number of hours for sure.  I'd also like to prep another handwork project to pick up between telemedicine visits. 

Monday, August 3, 2020

Design Wall Monday--8/3/2020

Design Wall Monday is here.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.

I've been shopping the stash to finish up all the lingering projects and squirrel projects. I finished off the binding for Dreamweaver and attached a label, the quilt also had its first bath;  I did not get to deliver the quilt or get pics of it yet with our son and daughter-in-law, perhaps next weekend.  There was leftover binding so I used it for a Guild baby quilt in progress. 

Looking back, I started this Houndstooth quilt THREE years ago.  Sheesh.  I could have cropped this photo better, but at least my pedicure still looks good--can't say the same about my manicure :)

Walking foot quilting with random spaced lines and then 3 step zig zag in an aqua thread.

Binding with a lighter print is a fun change.  I was annoyed at missing some of the binding while ditch stitching from the front, so added another line of machine stitching IN the binding.  I think it looks good, even if non-traditional. 

Backing with leftover flannel and scraps.   It finishes at about 40" square or so. Glad to have it off the list at last!

In the Squirrel category, I had a finished top that seemed too small to be very useful.  I bought the kit for the gingham plaid quilt at Sewtopia Boston nearly two years ago.  Shopping stash again for a border, I found a print that coordinated well with the teal green of the patchwork fabrics.

Pretty sure that was a quilting cotton I bought at Joann's several years ago.

Won't this make a cute picnic or beach quilt?  I've cobbled together a backing from leftovers and stash so that part is sorted. 

A Squirrel tablerunner also needed backing and binding.  I must have pulled 10 different choices for a pieced backing before cutting to the chase with a single fat quarter. 

I love the way channel quilting looks and chose to group together three lines across the piece.

I used a Hera tool to score the groups 1" apart, and the edge of the walking foot to space the quilting lines themselves.  Binding also got attached but I decided to hand stitch that down, a task for another day. 

Usually this time of year I would be showing how my entries did at our County Fair, but of course that was cancelled due to COVID-19.  Our County is still on a watch list, with more deaths and illnesses.  Scary times to be in crowded conditions.  There is always next year to hope for!

Design Wall Monday--Catching Up

 Design Wall Monday --See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  I disappeared for awhile, due to computer issu...