Thursday, November 21, 2019

Bits and Pieces

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week?  The year has flown by in break neck speed.  The college kids will be home this week in time for our Thanksgiving feast.  It's such a great time of the year.  The temps have finally cooled off and we actually had a measurable (1/4") rain today.  it's certainly not enough to end our fire season, but every drop helps.  The dogs were quite amused to see moisture dropping from the sky.


My sewing has me jumping from one project to another lately.  While searching for another project, I discovered a tube that had a snowman kit inside of it.  I bought it years ago when a LQS was going out of business....maybe 12 years ago????  I've been very negligent in participating in Minis and More lately.  This month is a "choose your own project" so I thought it would be fun to sew up Frosty.  Be sure to check out the Minis and More Parade on December 1st on Michele's and Sherri's blogs.

It involved a lot of 1" finished squares and a fusible grid, but I think he turned out pretty cute.

Recently, Carole from My Carolina Home blog had her annual Autumn Jubilee with lots of fabulous autumn projects.  There were also many giveaways.  I was lucky enough to win The Ultimate Presser Foot Set.  I had been interested in this set for some time, but wasn't sure how it would work with my machine. You can imagine how excited I was to hear that I had won it.  Each foot is so well made and heavy duty.  I've tried several of them already and have been very pleased with them.  Included is a universal adaptor for the snap on feet.  It does not work for my Bernina, but I have a Bernina adaptor and the feet snap onto it easily.  Also included is an instructional DVD.  My goal is to try each foot in some creative sewing.

Another sweet gift came from my sister.  She recently took a trip to Japan and managed to find a charming little sewing shop.  Just look at the TINY little treasures she found.  The detail on these pins is nothing short of incredible - a ruler, measuring tape, pin cushion, thread and scissors.  I am holding up a red glass head pin so you can get some perspective of the size of these little gems.

Check out this amazing wooden needle case with pincushion, thread, needles and snips inside the beautiful wooden box.

Lastly, she brought back some beautiful fabrics.

The annual Bonnie Hunter QAL is quickly approaching.  I've sorted through my fabric bins and have pulled out fabrics that may work for it.  The first clue comes out in a little over a week.  Are you joining this year?

A small wall hanging was finished as well.  This was a pattern from Urban Elementz,  It was fun to pull out all my wild prints.

Motivated by so many working on Jen Kingwell's,  My Small World, I have jumped aboard and started one myself.  Section 1 and 2 are completed.

Continuing on with my "hopping around", I attempted rope bowls.  I've seen so many pretty ones and decided to give them a try.  This was such a fun project and I am so pleased with the way they turned out.

We had little ones over the weekend.  This one kept me jumping.  

Friday, November 8, 2019

Bi-Monthly Check In

I seriously did not mean to take such a long break from my blog.  However, it has been an exciting last few months.  We made several out of town trips, including one overseas.

One thing we try to do is visit the freshman grandchildren once they are settled into their dorms.  For this trip we headed up to Boise, Idaho.  The college is right in the center of town and it is a beautiful setting.

Driving home, we hit an early snowstorm in the Sierras.  Maybe it will be a water filled year for us.  

I had taken some hand sewing for the car trip and found it humorous to see the carpet in the hotel matched my project.

Once we returned from that trip, there were Halloween costumes (no pictures yet), a fall table runner, my October Gridster Bee blocks for Lisa (IG nymblefyngers), and a bow tie for a grandson to make.

My sister from Alaska came to visit and we got two of her quilts quilted on the longarm.  I'll have to get pictures from her for those, but they were as beautiful as her other ones have been.

Then it was off to Prague for a river cruise on the Danube with my sister, brother and their spouses.  The trip was amazing with incredible sights and so much history.  We enjoyed stops in Pilsen, Vilshofen, Passau, Regensburg, Melk, Vienna and finally Budapest.  There was so much to see and do along the way, but we loved the quaint little town of Passau and the much bigger town of Budapest.  I'll share just a few of my favorite highlights.  If you want to see more, I posted some on my IG account (needledmom).

The town of Pilsen was so pretty and colorful.  It had been under Communist rule until 30 years ago and all buildings were painted gray.  Imagine how busy the painters must have been!

See the Lipizzaner Stallion poking his head out?  These were elegant stables.

The first two days at home were busy trying to get the house up and running after several days of power outages from the fires.  We live just a few miles from the Reagan Library and were grateful to the firefighters who were able to stop the progress before it reached us.  It was a bit unnerving to get an emergency alert on our cell phones in the middle of the night while we were in Prague.  Those calls were followed by texts from our children asking us what they should pack at our house for evacuation!

I finally got back to some sewing yesterday.  I'd missed it.  I quilted and finished up a heart quilt for our great grandbaby who turned one today.  It is backed in such a soft pink minky fabric.  The pattern is a freebie from Connie at Freemotion By the River.  As well, I made and mailed off my November Gridster Bee blocks to Allison (IG quiltstudio62).

Hopefully, I won't be gone as long next time.

Thursday, September 12, 2019


At the rate that I am getting posts created these days, I might as well just title them with the month.  Here we are into the middle of September already.  The grandchildren are all back in school and fall is quickly approaching.

The last few weeks we have had our dear friends from the U.K. visiting us.  The days were packed with activities which included lots of shopping, golf and quilting.

While the guys golf, Irene and I set lofty goals as far as how much quilting we can get done.  We tried for six quilts, but only managed to finish five.  If we hadn't got carried away with the grand opening of the new Home Goods store, I'm sure we would have made our goal.  lol

The first quilt we made was for their daughter and we did the Scrappy Majestic Mountains in gray.  Irene loved it so much that she was afraid that she would not be able to part with it.  So...we did another in blues.

Then we did a couple of twin quilts for the grandsons which I realized too late that we did not  photograph before they were packed away.

We finished the last one yesterday, just in time to pack in the bag for today's departure.  This last one was a beauty - a chain pattern using Kaffe fabric.  All three of these were queen sized quilts so you can imagine how the machines were humming.

I have been out of the loop on what is happening in blogland, IG land and all else so am looking forward to catching up with everyone.

Monday, August 19, 2019

End of Summer

It seems way too soon for the kids to be heading back to school.  It also doesn't sound right to hear about Labor Day sales on the television and radio.  How can the summer be coming to an end so soon? 

The college grandchildren have started to leave for their schools.  They rest will depart throughout the week.  Some of the younger grandchildren have started back to school this week and the remainder will go back next week.  I'll miss having them around and stopping in all the time.  However, it was a great summer. 

I had some fun fall sewing to do before school started.  A friend of mine is a teacher.  To encourage creative writing with her students, she uses a book titled Letters From Felix.  She has used a pathetic looking "Felix" stuffed rabbit that gets to go home with the children.  I promised her that I would make a new one for her before classes started. 

Felix may have overeaten this summer so he may need to go on a diet this fall, but he is definitely an improvement over the one that was being used.  lol

He even has his own backpack for the start of school (and for carrying his notepad and pencil).

One of the granddaughters stopped over this past week because she wanted to "make a dress".  This was her first dressmaking attempt and I think she did a great job on it.  She loved it and can't wait to come home for Thanksgiving so she can sew some more.

I managed to get my Scrappy Radiant Star quilted.  I'm looking forward to getting the binding on it and having it finished.

It was my block choice for my month of the Gridster Bee.  Each of my beemates included an extra block so the construction of the quilt went quickly.  They were all stars in my book and I included their signature blocks in stars on the back.

Lastly, this week has seen excitement with several of our tortoise eggs hatching.  It's always a fun time to watch the progress.