Sunday, October 31, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching--Cross-stitch and Halloween costume

Slow Sunday Stitching--see more projects on Kathy's Quilts Blog

Not much slow stitching has been happening around here, but I did spend a bit of time on the cat cross stitch project. 

Nearly finished with one side of the cat's chin and cheek. 

Last progress pic for reference.

Most of my crafting/sewing time this week was spent on costume making.  Daughter Elaine tasked me with making a costume for younger grandson, Hunter.   Big Brother Cove is going to be Harry Potter, and Elaine asked me to make a Hedgwig the Owl costume for Hunter (age 5). She bought the materials to copy a homemade costume she saw on a blog, and started by cutting out a tunic base and a bunch of felt feathers.  I took over from there, sewing all the feathers onto the tunic, and cutting out a half-circle cape from the white felt.

While there are lots of "no sew" costumes, I wanted this to last, so I used my walking foot to sew down the rows of overlapping feathers. I cut a lot more feathers in a larger size to cover the majority of the cape. This was not hard, just time consuming.  I did not do it all at once, but broke it into several sessions when I ran out of cut feathers and needed more. 

I used the smaller feathers on the top few rows.  The tunic back has no feathers, since by design I made the cape long enough to cover the whole thing.  I waited for Hunter to try on the costume before adding some elastic to hold the cape on his arms. 

We did have to trim the cape a bit in width, and I re-secured the ends of the feather rows where we trimmed.  Hunter was very excited. 

He'll wear gray leggings and actual shoes for trick or treating tonight. 

The elastic bands at his wrist and upper arm worked great.  I took a video of him flapping around the backyard. 

Mama cleverly bought a second pair of Harry Potter glasses to use to make Hedwig's beak and face feathers.  Can't wait to see the boys all dressed up tonight!

Monday, October 25, 2021

Design Wall Monday--October 25, 2021

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

I worked on the Square Dance Quilt--which I mistakenly was calling the Livin' Large Quilt, but that is the name of the pattern book.  The narrow border was tedious, as usual, but went on without too much trouble. Fabrics and pattern by Heather Mulder Peterson, Anka's Treasures.  Book is available in her shop. 

The quilt inspector was in her box for the night so she missed a QC opportunity. 

This pic shows the solid brown's warm tone better than some other pics, but revealed a missed point meeting. 

We emptied the sewing room for a carpet cleaning and that gave me the opportunity to use the wide open space to layout the final border the following day.  I had sewn all the rectangles together the night before the cleaning. 

The top is now complete.  I'm very happy with it.   The two lightest blocks in the upper right are washed out in these pics, from the patio window, but look fine in person.  I may use the leftover border pieces on the quilt back, but haven't started that process yet.  For now, Square Dance will go in the closet with the rest of the finished quilt tops.  The To-Be-Quilted list is getting out of hand. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching--October 24

 Slow Sunday Stitching is nearly over, but I did actually do some stitching. See more stitching on Kathy's Quilts Blog. 

A few more stitches were put into this DMC $5 kit project.  I started it on the plane coming back from Sewtopia, but it hasn't come out of the needlework bag since then. 

The kit included the hoop, floss, pattern and needle.  I colored in the pattern sheet myself (not shown) since there were a lot of colors.  I think this will make a cute pillow. 

We got our carpets cleaned and that meant another day I could put off starting grandson Hunter's Hedwig costume.  He wore his brother's Star Wars costume from last year for the school parade.  I have no idea how many trick or treaters we will have this year---last year it was about 4 kids and Grant passed out the candy with long tongs, while wearing his mask.  The neighborhood has lots of houses decorated but I have just gotten out my Halloween box. 

This big dark cloudbank certainly gave a spooky look to the sky the other day!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Square Dance Quilt Progress

Design Wall Monday rolls around again--I didn't get a chance to post before work so here I am late again. See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

There was no sewing to speak of during the week--and there were outside activities--so I caught up with the Square Dance quilt on Sunday while Grant was playing in a golf tournament with his buddies. 

I added the last two block selections, a third green and a third yellow block. This nighttime pic doesn't flatter the blocks much!  The pattern book (Livin Large by Heather Mulder Peterson) called for brown squares to be cut for some of the block intersections.  I did not want to have a lot of leftover triangles so I used my new favorite Folded Corner Clipper tool to cut HSTs from the appropriate width strip of solid brown. 

There will be a 2" cut border of the brown and then rectangles of all the different prints for a final border.  It seemed to take me all day to get these corners lined up correctly and then sewn and trimmed.

Another nighttime pic, but I was pleased with how well the corners matched.  The brown looks very dark in this pic but the color is truer in the prior photo.  The individual rows were sewn but not yet assembled to complete the top.  I'm hoping to work on this tomorrow afternoon if not needed to babysit grandson Dane.  He and his parents came to the older grandson's soccer game on the weekend so we got to see them all.

My next sewing assignment is a Hedwig Halloween costume for grandson Hunter....more on that adventure in another post :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Sewtopia Orlando--Part Four

 Sewtopia has a secret swap for those who wish to participate.  I made a pin and clip cushion for the handmade part, and included some patterns, thread, and a needle book in a Snap Bag. 

I found this pattern on  I liked the applied fabric strips for clip portion, but felt it might be too flimsy with just folded fabric. 

I stuffed mine with scraps of batting--this was the sturdy kind you can use for potholders. My sister wants one for clips only--she hates pins.  I received a beautiful handmade bag--it was so professional, I was looking for a label!

Jennifer included lots of great little sewing items, chocolate, and stickers.  Very happy to have received such a fine swap gift.  We learned on the last day of Sewtopia that next year's event will move back to November--and it will be in Palm Springs, California.  That will be a great money saver for my sister and me, with only a 3.5 hour or so drive from home!  

Sewtopia ended at noon, so there was a lot of cleanup and packing of all the projects.  Many folks had left mid morning to catch flights home.  My sister and I were staying over another night.  We were hanging out in our top floor room when suddenly the power went out and the fire alarms started blaring.  Kathy began throwing her stuff into suitcases. I had already packed up most of my belongings.   The fire alarm soon went off, but there was still no power.  Kathy became concerned about the power outage and our morning flight and we decided to change to a hotel closer to the airport about 30 minutes away. It was not much fun dragging two suitcases each down 5 flights of stairs, but we did it.  We later learned the power came back on within a couple of hours at the original hotel.  Upon reaching the airport the next morning, there was a major glitch.  My sister's plane ticket I had somehow booked in her maiden name, which did not match her ID.  Security in Los Angeles had missed this, and neither Kathy nor I had noticed my error!  Orlando  ticketing agents finally let us through, though later in Security it was pointed out to me that I needed to sign my passport...sheesh. 

We flew Delta back and once again the flight was completely full, but people were better behaved.  I worked on a cross-stitch and played a few games on the airplane video screens. We caught the shuttle back to pick our car at the hotel parking, and luckily got out of LA before rush hour traffic picked up.  

I laid out all the loot on the cutting table for a picture.  Lots of fabric to find a place to store!  We will look forward to next year's event and hope lots more folks will be able to come. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Livin' Large

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

*Edit: I was not able to link up this morning due to computer problems on my end--my apologies for those of you who are seeing this post twice today!

While at Sewtopia Orlando, I was able to complete a few blocks of the second project I had partially precut, before we had to pack up on the last day of sewing.  I have been hoarding a fat quarter bundle for many years that I won in a giveaway on Heather Mulder Peterson's blog, Trends and Traditions. I just searched on my blog and hers, and OMG that was in JULY 2010.  It  has probably been 5 years since I picked a pattern from her Livin Large pattern booklet--the Square Dance quilt :).   

Precutting all the outer border cream fabric with my GO cutter before Sewtopia saved a lot of time when it came to constructing the blocks. I had fun mixing and matching the prints.  Love these colors. 

There were odd size lengths for the border neutrals and I had to keep a close eye on which set I was constructing.  Thumbs up again for the Omnigrid rotating mat and the Creative Grids Folded Corner Clipper for all the trimming.  

Closeup of the border fabric.  I like the ribbon white on white complementing the straight lines of the block. 

Also appreciated in Heather's book are all the different sizes offered, and very clear pressing directions.  I'm making the throw size, which is 20 blocks. 

I have now completed a second set of 9 blocks. Mini provided inspection services as always. 

Two more blocks to make!  They will be duplicates from the fat quarter bundle.  I just have to decide which two.  There is a lot more sewing to do to finish the top, but I am so happy to free these pretty prints from their bundle after all these years!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Sewtopia Orlando--Part Three

Sewtopia Orlando featured a much smaller number of attendees, due to COVID-19 social distancing rules, but the camaraderie, creativity, and fun level remained high as always.  My sister Kathy, the speed sewer, had two main projects and quickly whipped out the first, for her daughter's fiance. 

He's a big and tall guy so she used big squares.  

Kathy also made this pretty table runner from part of a panel.  I think this one is destined for Mom. She made at least three projects while I worked on my first!

A fellow attendee that I passed by multiple times while going back and forth to a design wall,  was carefully keeping track of placement of small squares with one hand on the pattern as she laid them out in a grid with the other.  I had no idea what she was making but enjoyed the big reveal. 

RBG!  That was a great deal of work for two days!  Precutting is sure the way to go.  I definitely benefitted from my efforts to do so on my two projects, though my progress was way slower than my sister's and others in the room.  I had thought I would finish all the blocks in one day, but with outings and the trunk show and meals--and mistakes-- it took way longer than I imagined.

This will be a baby quilt for some future gift/grandchild.  In looking on Instagram recently, I noticed most people had each pair of points in the same fabric.  That would have made it easier to avoid the placement problems of trying to make each block different, but overall I like it. 

Carolyn Friedlander is a talented modern quilter and provided a large trunk show, since she apparently doesn't live far from Orlando.  She does a great deal of needle turn applique in her quilts. 

These shapes were all cut by hand, I believe, and appliqued on.  I have seen a number of her quilts in person at quilt shows and her stitching is invisible. 

This was a combination of piecing and applique.  Love the colors and shapes. 

Great graphic shape and color play.  One of my favorites. 

Another great graphic pieced quilt.  She is a very small woman, I towered over her when chatting with her at her booth about applique.  I have a couple of her patterns, and bought some thread gloss.  It is always great to meet quilt designers in person. 

One more post to wrap up--including our adventures getting home...

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Sewtopia Orlando--Part 2

 Sewtopia Shop Hop in Orlando was a lot of fun.  We had a great bus driver, Ron, who had never had a bunch of quilters before, so he asked a lot of questions, which was very entertaining.  Our first stop was The Sewing Studio in Maitland, Florida, near Tampa.  

It was a very large shop with plenty of fabric selections and also notions and sewing machines.  I bought a bunch of fat quarters---after telling my sister I didn't need any more fat quarters!  But they are a scrappy quilt lover's staple.  I concentrated on rebuilding my neutrals stash, which always gets depleted fast.  After shopping I wandered out to the parking lot with a few other folks.  Florida, of course, is very green due to plenty of rain, and the flora quite different from California, except for the many oak trees. 

This scene of vines overtaking a large tree and palms popping up everywhere was repeated many other places.  

I was attracted to this leaf shape, so unusual.  No idea of the plant species. We soon boarded the bus and made our way to Winter Haven.  This is a popular tourist destination, which has a charming shopping district and was our lunch stop--a last minute addition was the flagship Rifle Paper Company store.  I love Rifle Paper products and the shop had a large room of bargains.  There were even some fabric selections to pick up. I was impressed by the hand painted mural by the company founder, Anna Bond.

Lunch options were plentiful--my sister and I chose Pepe's Cantino and had a terrific meal and service.  I had carnitas tacos and Kathy had stuffed avocados.  We took a short walk afterwards until it was time to board the bus again. 

It was a surprise to see these gargoyles! 

Lots of folks were enjoying the shopping and ambiance. 

I also liked this unusual octagon building....

..and this covered stair entrance to a basement hair studio under another Oak. Before our time ran out, I scooted over to a park square where I had spotted an unusual dog I wanted a photo of. 

I though this was a balloon animal but it was more complex than I imagined... was a Molecular Dog :)

Our final stop was The Quilt Place, in Orlando.  Another shop with great selection and service.  I liked their large precut yardage and sale bolts, large notions area and cookies!  Our group returned to the hotel happily loaded with purchases.  The sewing room opened later and we all got started on our projects--with a pajama party until midnight after a welcome reception!  I'll make another post of our sewing efforts, our trunk show by Carolyn Friedlander, and all the loot I hauled home. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Sewtopia Orlando--Part 1

I'm back from Orlando, Florida, where Sewtopia retreat again was a great event and getaway.  Attendance was cut in half due to social distancing requirements, but the fun and camaraderie was full as always. My sister Kathy and I spent the night at an airport hotel the night before our flight, which included free parking and a shuttle to the LAX airport.  We got to the airport way early and breezed through security, but nearly missed our boarding as we were hanging out in the wrong terminal!  We were running through the airport and were the last on, I think. The flight was very bumpy and this delayed drink/snack service.  There were a lot of folks getting up and moving around even after being told not to by the staff/Captain due to the turbulence.  Our window seatmate slept almost the entire time, unbothered!  

On the plane, I worked on stitching down binding on the Copy Cat pillow I made with the Windham Challenge fabric--also not easy due to turbulence! At the hotel, I finished closing and attaching the stuffed toy balls to the pillow before bedtime, as we had to turn them in first thing. 

Sewing on the ball toys was the hardest part of this pillow cover!  It turned out really cute with the plaid binding.  I did not win the challenge, as there were many other fantastic entries, but did get to pick out a lovely prize for participating. 

There were shoppers before the sewing room was fully powered--man on the left was part of the crew taping down outlets and cords!  Having an in-event shop is a good thing.  Amy and her team are always so responsive to issues or questions. 

My first task was laying out my precut rectangles for the Cosmic Crush pattern (Modernly Morgan) I had cut all these months ago from stash when there was a stitchalong that I ended up not doing.  I tried to balance out all the colors/prints in the blocks. The background pieces were mostly cut with my Accuquilt die.  


Thank goodness for cell phone cameras to provide reference for placement, as I shuffled the pieces while sewing on the corner triangles. 

First block came out pretty well.  I wished the provided Juki sewing machines had a 1/4" stitch setting, as I struggled at first with scoring with a Hera tool after laying on the corner square.  Eventually I trimmed off the corner triangles prior to sewing with the 1/4" foot, as it had a guide piece. I was SO glad I had included my small round Omnigrid cutting mat for this job!


I am absolutely a fan of the Folded Corner Clipper tool by Creative Grids, as well. Very clever tool that is easy to use.  I got a bit ahead of myself in the order of events, though!  We had a small shop hop trip and lunch out before the sewing room opened.  I'll make a separate post for that--and our continuing adventures and the loot I brought home :)

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...