Sunday, November 29, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching --Greenpiece

Slow Sunday Stitching today.  See more great stitching projects on Kathy's Quilts blog.  

I had set myself a month-end deadline to complete the last four wool applique blocks on the Greenpiece BOM that has remained a UFO for 11 years.  A lot of post-Thanksgiving stitching took place the last couple of days.


The upper left and lower right blocks only need the overlapped leaf and stems to finish--with a bit of detail lines within to stitch.  The lower left flower needs the green leaves of the larger flower center stitched down, and a final set of small leaves will be added to the bud below it.

Naturally the last block has the most work!  Detail lines within the leaves, stitched stems between the leaves and stitching round those tiny berries yet to complete.  I'm going to use perle cotton for the red berries; hmm, I'll have to check if I have a dark brown perle cotton for those two berries.  Currently my embroidery thread is in three different places in the house, aside from the skeins placed with pattern and fabric in several bags.  One day I may find a better spot to keep it all handy--but not today!  These blocks will be trimmed to 8.5" once the wool applique is all done.  It feels great to be closer to assembling the long-finished pieced blocks with the wool applique blocks after all these years.


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Thanksgiving in the Time of COVID-19

Our much scaled down Thanksgiving included only our offspring and their families, and we were happy to be able to host once more.  We discussed with the new parents especially the recommendations for setting up.  DIL Ashley had read that having each family use their own set of serving utensils was suggested.  Luckily, since we live in SoCalif, weather did not prevent our outdoor Thanksgiving.  We were able to easily space out tables on our patio, and spent little time inside, mainly just getting food.

The tables were bare at this point but soon filled up with diners. 

Grandson Dane (3 months) looked quite adorable in his button down onesie and khakis, shoes and hat!  He did very well through most of the ruckus; Mama even got to eat before nursing him.

Auntie Erica got in some snuggles with the little guy.  He's growing well and staying healthy.
 

Grandson Cove (6) had a great time rummaging through the toybox and coming up with different disguises.  He looks like a big bug here :)

Erica's boyfriend Ryan, son-in-law Chris, and DIL Ashley...pre dinner.

 

Grandson Hunter (4) provided music after spending most of the time running in the backyard--hence the pink cheeks :).  It was good to have them all here in a safe way.  Next year we hope hosting more family will be possible.  My brother and sister who live in town fixed dinner for our folks at their house, to good reviews, lol.

Hope everyone's abbreviated celebrations included plenty of yummy food and, of course, pie! Our Thankful Things this year included the safe birth of twin grand-nieces the day before Thanksgiving.  One is undersized and staying in the NICU for a few days, but otherwise both girls are healthy.  We haven't had a girl born in the family for about 14 years and to have two at once...that is special indeed.  

I have spent time with wool applique and will post about that next time.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching 11/22

Slow Sunday Stitching comes around again on Kathy's Quilts blog.  I just finished hand-stitching the binding on Twilight Hopscotch and am so happy to have a finished quilt to share. I completed the top in April 2019 and sent it off for quilting in September 2020, far too long a gap!

Pattern is from Kim Diehl's Simple Comforts book--I enlarged the lap quilt by one additional row--I'm a tall girl so need length for my lap :)


Quilting by David was the quilter.  I chose Paisley Feather to complement the piecing.  The print fabrics are from the Oh My Darling line by Connecting Threads, with Kitchen Twine as the neutral.  The quilt is getting its first bath--I haven't got a label made but that will need to be handstitched on later.  Kathy mentioned her favorite hand stitching tools--I love the Clover Protect and Grip Thimbles that are soft silicone with a metal top.  They do seem to disappear in the sewing room, I am down to one left!   Another just-back-from-the-quilter quilt awaits binding, but it is a large one and I'll machine bind that one.

Friday, November 20, 2020

November News

There has been just a little bit of stitching this 47th week of the year--mostly on a binding for the Twilight Hopscotch quilt in between telemedicine patients, with a few wool applique pieces as the whim strikes. I have been completely ignoring the messy piles in the sewing room.  How do they accumulate so fast?  Umm, can't be shopping related, right?

I hit Superbuzzy recently for some birthday discount shopping, picking up some red prints and solids, a baby print for some peepee teepees, and flannel for grandson Hunter's "square pants"--his term for plaid pajama pants  he wants me to make.  I took a trip to JoAnn's fabric for Minecraft print fabric for grandson Cove's pajama pants.  It was sold out  both in the store and online.  I struck out at the other fabric shop in town as well. Finally I checked on Etsy and found out the reason for the shortage: it appears crafters/makers are buying up yardage to resell for mask material and charging up the wazoo for 1/4 yard cuts of licensed prints!  It was pretty spendy to order a whole yard of fabric, but grandmas do what they must.

On my actual birthday, after a delicious homemade breakfast by hubby Grant, I went to donate blood, and got a special wrapping when finished:


Isn't that bow cute?  Today I got a text saying my donated whole blood had been sent to the hospital for a patient who needed a transfusion--love that they let me know.  

Later  on my birthday Grant and I  went down to the harbor for some ice cream sundaes and wandered along the docks--it was a beautiful sunny day with only a bit of a cool breeze.

There were lots of masked folks socially-distancing while strolling the sidewalk.  Our shadow selves are gazing East here towards the Topa Topa peaks in the background. 

In the far left of this photo, you can see the ice cream cone on the shop front; there was a wishing well with a continuous bubble machine entertaining the little kids, and every other person on the sidewalk had a dog or two. Most all the restaurants had outdoor areas for dining set up. It was great to get out of the house and enjoy a walk and then a drive around town.  As a special birthday week event, I finally got in to see daughter Elaine at the salon and get my wide gray stripe colored. Glad to feel I was looking younger while getting older :)

This weekend I hope to complete the last side and a half of the binding job on Twilight Hopscotch. 


The Paisley Feather quilting (done by Quilting by David) looks terrific and I can't wait to get the quilt washed and softened up, ready to use on the couch.  This pattern is from Kim Diehl's Simple Comforts book of lap quilts.  After that, I have another binding to make for the just returned Christmas quilt shown last post.  On the to do list is to finish another baby quilt and start on the square pants for Hunter while I wait for the Etsy delivery.  I enjoy variety in my sewing life breaking up the monotony of COVID lockdown.  Glad I have a productive hobby to keep sane!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Slow Stitching Sunday

It has been some time since I joined Slow Stitching Sunday, though I generally do have some handwork going most of the time.  I have continued embroidery on the wool applique blocks from the well-aged Fat Quarter Quilt Shop Greenpiece BOM kit my husband bought me so many years ago.  This week I finished prepping the last four applique blocks, which made me very happy.  I used freezer paper for tracing and cutting the patterns, which worked very well.

 

I got the stem and small bud stitched down this week, and am working on the large flower center.  This one was finished today, the tiny berries and stems: 

 


Binding on this pillow cover also got finished.

This is a block from the Fall Dash Quilt by Sherri McConnell.  I made two pillow covers from the pattern in American Patchwork and Quilting magazine October 2019.  I love churn dash blocks of any kind!  All fabrics were from stash. 

See more Slow Stitchers' work on Kathy's Quilts' blog. Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

November Downs and Ups

Well, I didn't mean to take so many days off blogging--things were just getting me down.  This year has just had so many stressful events and changes both at home and the nation--on top of COVID-19 rising--that it has been hard to keep up with positive thinking.  The time change isn't helping at all either.  Combine that with another twist in my work schedule and my mood just crashed.  I haven't touched my sewing machine in a week, can't get motivated to get out of bed until the last minute before work, and have been staying up much too late staring at the TV.

There have been some light moments, though, seeing our grandsons, having much needed rain, and yesterday I was decorating for Fall, including the new Gobble turkey pillow. I did finish the pumpkin pillow cover shown in my last post for daughter Erica, and delivered it to her at work. 


The red chair in her office made a great backdrop.  The pillow cover is about 13-14" and has a split back with a bound edge--Erica picked the caramel print scrap for binding. 

It looked good on the gold couch in the office space too!  I looked back on my blog and this block was designed by Sherri McConnell, for the Fall Dash Quilt featured in APQ magazine's October 2019 issue--it was on the cover. I haven't finished off the other pumpkin pillow cover I quilted as yet. 

A guild member had an open spot on her her longarm quilting calendar, and I spent far too much time constructing a Frankenback for a Christmas quilt top. 

It took me two days to remeasure and recut and remeasure and add more stash fabric, but finally it was large enough for the 75x90+ top and I handed it off with batting.  Although I told her to just do an allover pattern, she emailed me that she "couldn't resist" doing some Poinsettias in the open white squares and the four patches.  She brought it back today and it looks gorgeous. 


The pattern is Barefoot in the Park, though I left off the appliqued circles in the white patches from Stephanie's (Loft Quilting) pattern, and changed the borders to use up all the 5" charm squares.

Georganna quilted with red thread in the colored four patches and borders, and white thread in the white background squares. I love it! I am going to bind the quilt in red, possibly the same stripe as the border, if there is enough leftover fabric.  My poinsettia plant is just turning red at the tips of the branches.  My mom called me yesterday to say that the gardeners who "mow and blow" at their house had CUT DOWN her poinsettia plant without checking with them--just when it is about to change color with the colder weather!  

I'll finish off with a little baby spam of Dane...now 11 weeks old.  He was honed in on Papa's shirt pattern but did look up once in a while!  Proud Mama looks on.

He's very active, pushing up on his elbows during tummy time and even rolling to his back.  Dada is very pleased.

He looks pretty cute in the beanie he wore during our walk in the neighborhood before it started to rain again.  Ashley and Nick are doing a wonderful job as new parents--so happy for them, and glad we are able to visit with our masks on.  Looking forward to the day kisses are allowed again!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Halloween Week

 Halloween decorating was late, but I still got some up--if only to enjoy it myself!

Grant wore a mask and used long barbecue tongs to distribute candy to the very tiny number of trick-or-treaters that came to the door--none were really expected due to COVID restrictions.  There was one group of about 4-5 younger kids, and an hour later one teenager.  Good thing Grant bought the 100+ piece bag of candy---not!  

Grandson Cove was a red Sith Stormtrooper and Hunter a mummy.  They had a little socially distanced Halloween get together with their cousins and other grandparents in their backyard and did no trick-or-treating, but had fun anyway.  Baby grandson Dane had a Halloween onesie that Mama sent video of him wearing.   

Pretty Halloween sunset and later we watched the Blue Moon peek out from behind the clouds. 

On Friday afternoon I had gone down to the beach while Grant was still working, seeking some Vitamin Sea.  While it was sunny and warm at our house 5 miles inland, the fog was hanging off the coast and there were no surfers as the tide was way out. 


I caught this quick composition from the bluff before the gentleman passed by on the shore.  

I surprised this squirrel a ways down the path, it stood stock still until the first instant I looked away, and then it disappeared under the boulders.  There were many tons of rocks piled up below the bluff, trying to keep the shoreline from erasing the pavement and sidewalk above.  There was no easy way down to the beach, so I kept walking.  

These California Brown Pelicans are huge birds, fishing the shallows.  I was standing easily 100 yards away and zoomed in as far as I could.  I wish my picture of them flying had come out better.  I'll visit again when the walls of the house seem to close in too much and I need another dose of Vitamin Sea.