Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Quiet Time Sewing

 I haven’t been at the sewing machine much the last few weeks due to acquiring a bit of new hardware in this creaky body, but I have had fun catching up on some hand sewing projects.  

First in the queue were a couple quilts that needed the binding stitched down.  I had done the machine sewing in anticipation of my sewing vacation so the hand stitching was left.  Years ago I participated in a New York Beauty sew along.  I can’t remember who sponsored it, but the earliest note I made in my blog was in 2012.  Well…..ten years later it is now in the finished pile and I love it.  I am not a professional quilter, but Karrie at @karrie_ann_longarm_quilting on IG is, and she did an incredible job on it for me.

 After that it was time to tackle the points on my Kaffe Escher Cubed quilt.  The pattern had called for cutting them off, but I thought it would be fun to leave the points if I could figure out the binding of the angles.  I really like the way it turned out too. 

And lastly  I finished the Christmas stocking for the newest granddaughter.  I have made the felt stockings for each of the children in my daughter's family and love seeing them all hung at Christmas.  Ramona also makes them for her grandchildren and has a nice way of finishing hers off.  She was kind enough to give me her hints in completing this one.  I have always lined mine, but she makes a lovely quilted backing stocking for hers.  The stockings are Bucilla kits with all of the needed parts to complete the stocking - beads, sequins, threads and felt.  They are really quite fun to sew and they have such great detail.

These are the stockings for the rest of the children. 

Next week I will be participating in the Cookie Exchange Blog Hop so please be sure to pop back then.  It's always a fun event with some great recipes over the years.  

Monday, October 24, 2022

October Happenings

 October has arrived and fall is definitely in the air for us.  We've had cooler days and a few chilly nights.  The colors that we do get are making grand appearances with the changing season.  We've managed to escape - so far - the terrible Santa Ana winds that are so common in October.  I won't complain about that.  We've even had a few rain showers, one including a thunderstorm this month.  I hope this is a sign of more moisture for us this year.

I've managed to get some sewing in this month.  Connie from Freemotion by the River  had a cute tutorial for pumpkin mug rugs on her blog.  I had to dig into my oranges and make a few for friends with October birthdays.  The orange ones were so cute so I made a blue one too.  They went up so quickly and look so festive.  

One of the younger granddaughters has been over for a bit of sewing.  She's doing such a great job as she works on some Log Cabin blocks.  Her 1/4" seams are great.  We are working hard at sorting lights and darks, but I think she will be pleased with her finish. 

I resurrected my Small World quilt last week while searching for something else and managed to complete section 3.  I'm looking forward to section 4 next. 

I also decided to join in on Sewcialites 2 this time around.  It just started last Friday so it's not too late to join in if you are interested.  This is my first block.  

We have lots of October birthdays in our family, but our daughter celebrated a special one this month.  Her husband arranged a surprise party for the family at our home with two private chefs.  The food was absolutely amazing, all five courses.  Their two oldest children assisted and served us.  It was indeed a special event. 

In the garden, the pomegranates are bigger and better than ever.  Our tree has been loaded and we can't give them away fast enough.  One can only use so many!

Now that the weather is cooler, I've encouraged my daughter and granddaughters to start on a sourdough journey.  We've had so much fun sharing photos of our loaves among the group each month.  They are all making amazing loaves with nice rises and great crumb. 

It's hard to believe that we are nearing the busy holiday season.  I'm sure everyone is ready by now....right?  How many days do we have left?


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Farewell Summer

 Just like that, the seasons are changing and we bid farewell to summer.  We enjoyed a mild summer until we had about two weeks of incredible, record breaking heat. was toasty!  We even hit 112* one of the days.  Other than the heat burst, it was a delightful month.  I always love going back through the photos to do a post.  It's incredible what can happen in a month.  

We had a granddaughter that got married so we had lots of fun wedding events and family visiting from Iowa.   I did manage to get a bit of sewing done too. 

For a number of years I have been in a group of friends who sew and swap together.  Each year we choose a new project.  This year is a round or row robin.  The most recent round that I have finished is the mountains and pine trees that went on this spectacularly paper pieced buck.  I love the way this one is coming along.  There will be one last round added to it.  This one may get "lost in the mail" at my house.  ;-)

Another one was this panel piece in such pretty colors.  I added the geese round to it.  

There was a bit of wedding sewing as well.  The bride and I stitched the flower girl dresses and made the wedding veil.  It's a poor photo, but this will have to do for the time being. 

I know that I should be thinking of sewing fall projects, but this heart has been calling my name for sometime now.  It is my version of Kyra's Heart Quilt.  I loved pulling out all of my Kaffe, etc. fabrics for it.

We managed to slip in a few short day outings.  We always enjoy seeing the September flag display at Pepperdine University for their 9/11 tribute.  There is one flag for each person killed on 9/11.  It is a lovely sight on the hill overlooking the ocean.  It's hard to get the full scope of the sight in a single photo, but it is very sobering.  

Another day trip that we always enjoy is a drive to the local wine country.  The grapes were quickly harvested in the heat and the leaves will soon start to change.  I always enjoy seeing the rose bushes planted at the beginning of the rows of vines.  It is said that they are planted for disease control.  Apparently the roses will display any disease first and the vines can be treated before they become infected.  

Not sure this guy is much help to the vintner.  

Now for a chuckle.....we celebrated our September birthdays during our little heat wave.  I had made spice cupcakes with a buttercream penuche icing, a family favorite.  They were beautiful, but when it came time to serve dessert, the icing had melted right off of all 3 dozen cupcakes.  What a disaster!  They looked awful, but still tasted good.

Happy fall to all those in the Northern Hemisphere and happy spring to those down South.  

Monday, August 15, 2022

August Happenings

 I guess it has been a quiet summer since, according to my blog, nothing has happened these last two months!  In actuality, it has been anything but quiet.  If I go to my photos, I am reminded of how busy it has actually been.  

With a garden and orchard, summers are always busy with harvesting and putting food up for the winter.  Over the years, the granddaughters have shared the duties with me.  As they have gotten older, I find they are handling the job on their own.  It is more of a social event these days and I love it.  They are thrilled to be taking jars back to their colleges and their own homes with them.  I can't help but recall when they needed stools to reach the sink.  It seems like only yesterday.  But....there are still young ones joining in with us.  

July was a busy month as well.  We took a long awaited trip to England and Scotland.  We visited with friends in England before boarding the Royal Scotsman train for an eight day trip through the Scottish Highlands.  It was an amazing trip with spectacular scenery.  

Edinburgh Castle

I'd love this greenhouse as part of my bedroom too.  

Our train host and bagpiper.

Of course, coming home means catching up and just like that the kids are heading back to school.  How can summer be over already?  

Sewing took a back seat over the summer, but I was able to complete a quilt for the newest great grandbaby.  The pattern is called Puzzle and is a current SAL hosted by Wendy Sheppard.  It's not too late to join in on the SAL.  The blocks were quick and fun.  Once I started making them, I couldn't stop.  Of course, once the blocks were made, I HAD to assemble them.  Before I knew it, I had the quilt finished.

More sewing that I accomplished was the New York Beauty SAL that Elizabeth Eastmond was hosting.  I have not finished my last block, but I did manage to finish three of the blocks before our trip.  Her designs were easy to follow and designed well.  

Our summer has been so mild, but I know the hot windy season arrives soon.  Everything is so dry around us so we do worry about our fire season ahead.  

.......and with that, summer continues to march to its close.