Thursday, September 10, 2020

Mid September

 It's hard to believe that we are now into the middle of September.  I might add that this last month seemed to go at breakneck speed.  Fall is in the air in spite of our record breaking heat over the weekend.  The skies are quite smoky here and there is a pinkish orange tinge to everything.  The sun has been just a pale pink spot in the sky with no sunlight peeking through.  It is quite eerie, but the fires are not near us this time.  My heart goes out to all those in the line of the fires.  

September means new blocks were made for our Gridster Bee queen this month.  This is a free block from  I'm looking forward to seeing Bette's (IG @beachyquilter) finished quilt.

As well, I am in a small group of fellow stitchers who have been sewing together for years now.  This year our project is call "Sow's Ears".  We were to send an unloved piece of fabric to each member and they were to create a "silk purse" from the sow's ear.  Ida sent me this incredible project.  

The detail from start to finish is amazing.  My sow's ear fabric is the pouch on the inside and the handles.  It will be such fun to grab and go for portable stitching.  Thanks so much, Ida.  

As summer winds down, it is time for the tortoises to head into hibernation.  This is our tortoise that thinks she should be a house tortoise.  Every time the door is left open, she makes her way into the house.  Need I add that the dogs find no humor in seeing this.  

I've had this little guy for several days lately and I love how he lines up his trucks and tractors.  

Lastly....the final bloom of the plumerias for the summer.  I LOVE this color so it is always worth the wait.

Friday, August 21, 2020

August 2020

Before August slips away, I should get a blog post in the record book.  The month has really gone quickly, although I don't have a lot to show for it.

The granddaughters and I enjoyed an extended summer of sewing and sharing our baking skills with each other.  They all left last weekend for their respective colleges.  I told them that I would need the next six months to sort out my sewing studio again.  lol

Our Gridster Bee block for this month was Room for Squares from Zen Chic.  It was a free paper pieced download. I just love Linda's color choices and you can check out what all the blocks look like together by visiting her on Instagram @quiltlady63.  These were my four blocks.  She requested that we not sew them together so she could mixt them up. 

Our tortoise eggs were busily hatching this month too.  These never cease to amaze me.  They have all gone to their adoptive homes.  

Although I haven't managed to do a lot of sewing this month, I did start putting some blocks together from a kit that has been sitting in my sewing room.  I really like these Moda fabrics and I am enjoying the blocks.  

The days are definitely getting shorter and I've noticed leaves changing colors and dropping.  It must be the colder temps we had a few weeks ago.  However, this week our summer finally arrived with higher temps and fires.  I do not know how the firefighters can battle the fires in such scorching temperatures.  They do a heroic job!

There is always a way to stay cool..... 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

July Happenings and Singer 201-2

In my search to occupy my many at home hours during this endless year, I decided to do some rearranging in my studio.  In one corner I had a vintage sewing machine in a cabinet that I was using as a table.  The grandchildren have had so much fun sewing on the vintage machines lately so I decided to move it out to an area where it will see more use. This was a machine that was from my husband's family home in Stillwater, Minnesota.

I had used it in the past, but it had been a number of years.  I read the manual, cleaned, lubricated and oiled it completely before running it.  What a great machine it is!  It's a Singer 201-2 which is called the Rolls Royce of sewing machines and thought by many to be the best vintage sewing machine ever.   It is said that it was used by Rolls Royce to sew the leather seats in their cars.  In researching it, I discovered it has a "potted" motor and Singer was so proud of its machine that it was gifted to Queen Elizabeth.  It's a heavy, solid machine, but a real beauty.  Just look at that detailed cover plate.

 The machine runs beautifully and is known for how quietly it runs.  There is even a way to drop the feed dogs by a simple adjustment underneath the bed of the machine - quite a novel idea for back then.  It also has a drop in bobbin rather than a side loaded one.  I like the drop in bobbins much better.  The stitching is perfection, small and large, top and bobbin, through single or multiple layers.

A locking stitch length plate.

It sits in an art deco style cabinet with a stool that has storage space under the leather seat.  Inside the drawers are many different feet and attachments as well as lots of bobbins, threads, thimbles and other sewing notions.  I especially loved this package of white "best quality" thread.  Four spools for 88 cents vs. the full price of 25 cents each.  If only........

An adjustable buttonhole maker.

According to the serial number, this old boy will be 79 years old on July 23rd.  I've named him Sven to reflect my husband's Swedish roots and I'm sure he would have many stories to tell if he could talk.   He is a keeper and I hope we enjoy many more happy sewing years.

So what was Sven's task this week????  More masks, of course.  It looks like they will be with us for quite some time.  They might as well be stylish.

We were able to attend the First Communion of one of the grandchildren this week, followed by a nice picnic in the wine country.  There was a field of marigolds that we passed on the way that made a perfect setting for a photo.

Another bit of sewing was a tooth fairy pillow for a special five year old who just lost her first tooth.

Babs was having a fabric giveaway recently and I was chosen as the winner.  Look at these pretty fabrics.  Included was a cute panel for a little stuffed Christmas angel doll that I will have to get sewn for one of the granddaughters.  Thanks, Babs.

In closing, I'll leave you a photo of an orchid that just bloomed.  The colors are so pretty and I love the dark pink on the tips.  There are three blossoms on this plant.

With the new Blogger I was getting some pretty disgusting comments left.  I have reverted back to old Blogger, but I have also applied comment moderation so you will not need to be offended by such comments.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

June Gloom

This is the time of year that our area is deep into our June Gloom - overcast, cool and foggy mornings that linger into mid afternoon.  By the time the gloom disappears and the sun is shining, it is time for the fog to settle back in for the evening.  It is not my favorite time of the year!  I'd gladly take the summer heat, but it is what it is!

I have managed to catch up on a few projects in this down time that I keep putting off until "tomorrow."  Tomorrow seems to have arrived.  I have done so many Quilts of Valor to donate and always had the intention of doing one for my husband who served in the U.S. Navy as a pilot during the Vietnam War.  One quilt that I always liked and have done before is a QOV designed by Diane Tomlinson.  I'm sure it is still online for free somewhere.

This has been my month of being queen bee in our Gridster Bee.  I chose the Moda Village block for my beemates to make for me and I love the little houses that I have received from them throughout the month.  I will be sad when the month is over, but we get to make flag blocks for our queen next month.  These are some of the blocks that I have received this month.

 Several of the younger grandchildren have been learning to sew this summer.  It's a great thrill for me to be able to teach them and I believe they also enjoy the time we have spent together.  I always start them off on my vintage machines as it seems a bit easier for them to learn with simple straight line stitching, easy reverse levers and pedals that can also be accessed with a knee lever for those who cannot reach to the floor yet.  It also gets the machines used more often.  The boys are as eager to learn as the girls.

One of our granddaughters had a birthday yesterday.  She LOVES sunflowers and she is a master baker so I had to add this happy apron to her gift.

With the extended use of masks, the sewing of them has not ceased.  I have been making more and more for family and friends.  They are really an enjoyable and quick project.  Unfortunately, masks have become such a polarizing subject.  I regret seeing so much judgement over the issue.  I, for one, have a tracheal stricture which makes breathing everyday without a mask more difficult.  With one, my airflow is even more restrictive.  I do have a medical dispensation from wearing one, but do I?  No,  I still wear my mask when out on short trips for the simple reason of "offending" others.  I can't wear a sign around my neck that asks that you do not condemn me for not wearing one.  So.....before we criticize, consider that those people may, in fact, have a legitimate excuse.  We all need to be more compassionate and tolerant in these difficult days. Okay....I'll jump off of my pedestal now.  My current "mask du jour" is a combination of different masks.  It gives good coverage, is comfortable, has a nose wire and a curvature for those of us who wear glasses and is not so restrictive as far as breathing. They also work up quickly.  I don't know about you, but I love checking out the different masks when I am out and about. 

And just for kicks..........

Trust me, you will never see a nose exposed without remembering this cartoon!!!

The fragrant plumerias  have started blooming in the yard.  They make the months of looking at leafless sticks worth every moment.  Floating a few in a small bowl can fill the house with a scent of the islands and dreams of traveling again.

I wish everyone a safe and happy birthday of our nation this week.