Friday, December 31, 2021

Scrappy Play All Day

Happy last day of 2021!  This year was about as patchwork as it comes, with all the horrid national events, lockdowns, weather extremes, COVID virus and deaths, and extreme upheaval of normal life.  It was balanced with the joys of family, friends, and crafts.  I can always count on sewing to take my mind off things, sharing/reading through blogging is also very restorative.

Not having any particular ambition for cutting a new project, and not planning to take down the Christmas decorations until New Year's Day, yesterday I pulled out my orphan blocks drawer for vacation day play, as I had taken the 1/2 day off. 

Notice an oops in that yellow green block?  I passed by that set of blocks initially and worked on a leftover cross block from a quilt I made my son a few years ago. 

A few leftover setting triangles and a partial fat eighth joined the QUAG party. 

Very simple borders and the sandwich was called done.  Next I pulled some HSTs I had made in the wrong color combo or size for a quilt.  The green is a hand-dyed Ricky Tims fabric I'd hoarded since 2006!

I turned some of them into hourglass blocks, but thought the mini was too mini.  Luckily I found scraps of both fabrics in the scrap dresser!  Benefit of being a hoarder, I guess :)  2" strips were added to round out a design.  Some smaller HSTs got the same treatment and I quilted it up with batting scrap and a chunk of backing from the scrap basket. 

I fixed the wrong side up piece on the little cross blocks and the sandwich is ready to quilt.  Some leftover large blocks from a Guild project will make a lovely table runner. Someone else made those blocks.

Fat quarter scraps, and rummage through the bin on the cutting table produced all the backings.  It was so fun to play with no deadline.  I'll hunt through the leftover binding drawer for some options to finish these up.

We have had a LOT of rain in SoCal, but it has been light and steady over multiple days.  I took this pic of my Poinsettia on a rare clear day last week.  Happy New Year to everyone! 

Monday, December 27, 2021

Design Wall Monday--last of 2021

On this final Design Wall Monday of the year, a quilt top has been chosen to be finished.  See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

My younger daughter Erica has a long time friend who has been diagnosed with brain cancer, shocking for someone only in her early 30s.  Erica asked me for pics of any unclaimed quilt tops that could be finished for Stephanie.  There were a lot to choose from--one of my New Year goals is to get several sent out for quilting! 

Erica chose this bright '30s print top I finished last year.  The pattern was called Summer Breeze, from Kim Brackett's Scrap Basket Surprises book.

Lots of sweet prints in this quilt.  The medium blue print closest to the bottom is an actual vintage fabric from the 30s. The rest are repros.

There was fabric set aside for binding as well.  I ordered a 1930s print from Fat Quarter Shop, it is from the Aunt Ella's line, a sweet floral with butterflies.  Erica chose the print in orange, it is also offered in pink. 

Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to a better 2022...

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching--post Xmas

Linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching--see more stitching on Kathy's Quilts blog.

Progress on the cross-stitch of the moment, the DMC kit of the Cat. I put a lot of stitches in Christmas Day before starting the cooking for our expected guests. 

Actual cat inspection by Mini :)

The only other slow stitching  this week was the binding on this tablemat I gave to our daughter-in-law. I love the gray minidot.  The triangle squares were all cut offs from other projects and the mini-dot binding was cut from a fat quarter. 

I made it two sided--I've hoarded this pretty floral long enough!  Ashley was excited to use it on their new dining table, which took at least 10 weeks to get  here from Canada. 

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching--More Christmas stitching

 Slow Sunday Stitching--see more beauties on Kathy's Quilts blog. 

My main DMC kit cross-stitch project is perking along slowly this week due to a certain holiday coming up :)  I was able to get started on a new color, the light green of the cat's body.

I am looking forward to getting some more slow stitching time during the holidays. We have 12/24 and 12/31 off as our paid holidays due to the weekend dates, and are closing at noon on the Thursdays before.  So nice!

Other slow stitching did involve cross-stitch.  Many years ago when I worked as a medical historian and transcriptionist for an orthopedic group, I made stocking ornaments for most of the employees, that hung on the reception room Christmas Tree. 

This one was for one of the doctors, who passed away many years ago.  I loved the vintage Santa fabric and didn't have a stocking for Grant, so I made him one by unstitching the top of the stocking and embroidering his name on a new piece of Aida.  

I reused the satin cord as well.  The Dear Santa ornament I made years ago always makes me smile. 

Here's mine.  The kids all have one as well and I've made many more over the years as gifts :)

The final slow stitching this week was tacking down the binding on the secret Santa mat. 

There was quite a struggle to attach these leftover bias binding strips to this little mat, but I am always happy to get those used up. It looks a bit wonky in this pic!

Okay, off to wrap gifts and make a list for the Christmas Eve dishes I've volunteered to bring to our family dinner with the kids. So nice of Elaine and Chris to take it over!

Monday, December 13, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Christmas Sewing

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

I hadn't sewn much in the past several weeks, but wanted to make some Christmas items.  The Scandinavian folded stars have caught my eye.  I rummaged through a big tub of Christmas fabrics for some fun prints. 

These are not hard to make but do require cutting and prepping.  I used this tutorial for the cutting sizes and directions.  

Some came out better than others but I like them all.  I'll use some embroidery floss to make a hanging loop.  The red fabric in the lower left star is nearing vintage status...

..well at least legal drinking age!!🤣  I used to really like the sweet Cranston prints back in the day. 

I cut my strips 4x16" and the trimmings during the star point folding were often more than 2" tall.  I cut them all to 2"x4" pieces and made a mini mat and perhaps a future placemat. 

The mat is pretty small--I used a 7" strip for the backing and cut my binding 2" wide.  I think I'll give this to my friend and manicurist when I see her this week.

I'm way behind in my Christmas shopping but did get a few things off the list! 

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching--12/12/21

 Slow Sunday Stitching--see more great handwork on Kathy's Quilts blog.  

I'm still being faithful to one project, the DMC Cat kit stitch.  There's been good progress this week. 

The tail is complete except for a few details and I've made it down to the bottom of the design where the cat's toes are.  Still enjoying this very much.  Otherwise I have a couple of names to embroider for tree ornaments, one of which is my husband's, and that will get done this week.

I went more minimalist for our smaller tree this year, limiting the Christmas balls to red and gold and paring down by at least half on the other ornaments.  As you can see, the tree needs to be small to tuck into everything that is already packing the living room/dining room, including two toyboxes for the grandsons :)

We dropped by my parents' house to check on the new HVAC install.  Mom and I were accidental sweater twins, lol! Otherwise we hardly look alike at all 😉

Mom had this old photo pinned up in her kitchen.  That's my brothers, sister and me mimicking the stairs behind us.  My Dad still stands exactly like that--and so does my oldest brother.  We were at our paternal Great-Grandparents' 50th Wedding Anniversary party.  I posted this pic on Facebook and my paternal cousin confirmed that this was Logan and Lizzie's apartment in San Pedro.  I must have been about 6 years old; I'm the middle child. I remember running around a lot with cousins at the party!  Great memory.  

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching--Cat/Chat Progress

 Slow Sunday Stitching--see more great needle and thread projects on Kathy's Quilts blog. 

I'm getting stitches into the Cat/Chat DMC kit here and there.  I like to prop up in bed and stitch at night--it is certainly warmer upstairs and I have a Ott light I can see well with. 

One thing I really liked about this kit was the embroidery details stitched on top of the cross-stitch, once completed.  I'm looking forward to that part. 

We got the grandsons together the other day after Grant picked up Hunter from school, and I was watching Dane while our DIL was working.  His mama had bought a huge bin of wooden train tracks and all the trains for $20 at a garage sale.  Hunter had a grand time making a big track.  Dane mostly pulled pieces out of the build, but I watched him and put them back. 

He was riding the foam roller earlier :)

Christmas decorating has begun.  We are getting our tree today after I get my COVID booster at the pharmacy. Lots and lots of boxes were opened and rummaged through yesterday.  

I saved room for the tree :)  

This year's Mischievious Kitten is pretty cute.  Santa gets one less cookie!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Design Wall Monday--November's End

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

Playing with scraps again, I made a mini or doll quilt.  Initially it was only 4 rows tall, but seemed far too small so I rummaged about in the 2.5" scrap drawer for more pieces.  The HSTs finish at 2 inches.  I haven't decided if borders will be added.  I have just enough of the silver and white dot for borders on two sides, probably.  

I've not worked on the bookshelf quilt for my niece in over a week, but did reread directions and cut some of the strips narrower, due to the recommendation of cutting most of them about 2 inches wide.  I assume this is to get more books on the shelf :)  Since I did a big clean up after my scrap play, the sewing room is ready to go. 

I ventured down to the Harbor to watch the sunset last week.  The sun sets behind our Channel Islands this time of year.  In the left  middle of the photo, you can see two figures--some teenaged girls were bearing the cold Pacific.  On the right middle of the photo is the harbor entrance, a man-made rock jetty, like the one I was standing on  jutting out from the beach.  Some buoys also mark the entrance and I watched a number of fishing boats make their way home.

From the Harbor entrance side of the jetty, lots of pelicans favor the calmer waters.  This pic is looking toward the northwest edge of town.  There is a lot of flying back and forth between the jetty and some nesting grounds south of the harbor.

I love going down there any time of day, but sunset is my favorite. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching--last of November

 Slow Sunday Stitching--see more lovely projects on Kathy's Quilts blog. 

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving.  We had a small gathering and clean up went pretty quickly. There were a lot of leftovers that my sister and our son helpfully took portions of home!

I have continued adding to the Cat stitchery and introduced a few more colors. 

A little pink in the flower, some more red, and the dark blue.  There will be a lot of white added later but for now I'm focusing on the colored sections.  

The flower shape to the right of the cat's head is actually the end of its tail.  Plenty more color changes and stitches to add. 

Got to see this little grandson a couple of times this week.  Today he helped sweep up as his Dada was assisting his grandfather move furniture around our living room :)  I'll spend more time with Dane on Tuesday afternoon.  

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching--Cat stitch progress and Birthday

 Slow Sunday Stitching--see more stitchers' projects on Kathy's Quilts blog.  

I've continued working on the kit I bought at my local quilt store--I previously said that it cost $5 for this DMC kit, but I was wrong.  It was $5.99 :)

Lots of stitches were added when we were vacationing recently at my brother and sister-in-law's in Arizona for a few days.  The cover photo isn't quite true to the floss shades, but I don't mind the warmer blue for the kitty. 

Our son and daughter-in-law and third grandson Dane were also spending time with their Uncle and Aunt. DIL and I went to a local park one day with Dane.  There was a huge reclaimed water basin and we were surprised and delighted when a huge geyser went off. It must have been over 100 feet high--can you see the rainbow?

Our timing was lucky as it goes off every 90 minutes or so.  Dane (bottom left of photo) liked the play equipment and the ducks and geese in the water too....but his favorite thing was giving hugs to this little girl.

They had a mutual admiration party going :)  Her brother/cousin/relative was counting the hugs.  "That's five hugs!"

I got a lot of love from family too...

I had a birthday recently and got some lovely handwritten cards from the older two grandsons.  This is Hunter's (age 5).  We are having fun in a garden, I believe. Look at all the hearts and love.

Cove, age 7, did all his own spelling.  I am happy to know he thinks I am OSOM !!!!

Monday, November 8, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Winding Ways and Winding Up

 Design Wall Monday--see more great quilts on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

I've again reached maximum density in the sewing room and need to thin out the overload.  Soo many baggies with leftovers from quilt tops and HSTs/leftovers I hate to waste!  

Purple block left over from My Lupine Heaven quilt top  got some borders and quilting  to become a tablemat (Bonnie Hunter's My Blue Heaven pattern).  My sister/sales rep marketed this to Dad for $25, lol.  I'll need to deliver it soon and collect the fee. 

This should be the last batch of Easy Breezy blocks for the layout I chose for another Bonnie Hunter design--this was her 2020 leader-ender project. 

This container holding leftover Accuquilt die cut Winding Ways block pieces has been sitting here for years. In 2015 I finished a commissioned quilt for a family friend's relatives as an anniversary quilt. I got out the die cutter and, amazingly, found a leftover strip of the turquoise print in the fat quarter dresser big enough to cut more shapes.

They are fiddly blocks but the notches and precise die cuts really help.  The hardest seams are the last ones joining the two sections. 

Well hi, Skinny Mini!

--here's a cat-free version :)  That copper color was--and is-- difficult to find.  

I made a clip cushion by request for my sister for her birthday, from some other solid scraps, but couldn't help throwing just a little pattern in the mix.  I cut the cushion pieces 6 x 7.5" and the clip holders 2" wide, as per the pattern instructions I found on  I again used scraps of fusible batting to give them body, and for cushion stuffing thriftily sliced up and pulled apart more leftover wool batting cutoffs that have been hanging around for ages.

Kathy put it right to use :)  It holds a lot of clips and hopefully is large enough to keep from getting buried on her cutting table too often!

Some Sewing and Scenery

I've been spending little time in the sewing room lately, sewing a few blocks and rows together here and there, but not making much prog...