Friday, October 29, 2010


Cutie pie Olivia on her quilt today!!

Oh, Gramma! Sure do love my quilt says little girlie girl!

This is Olivia's quilt and it's my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival going on at Amy's Creative Side blog: (I know someone told me how to do that correctly, but can't for the life of me remember!!) It's a very vibrant quilt, but doesn't show up as well in this picture that was taken on a rather dreary day.

Olivia is my newest girlie girl (it was Seahawks game day) and was the inspiration for the quilt. Wendy at Ivory Spring ( had her Marabella quilt in the spring festival and I just loved it, so was ecstatic when Olivia was born and I had a super excuse to get the pattern. I fell in love with several quilts that featured owls during the spring festival also, and got a couple pink owlie fabrics to use in it.
About had a heart attack when hubby sent the picture of Starsky (grandpuppy) and his claws on the quilt! Like the picture of Olivia and Gavin enjoying the quilt together a lot better! Randy was visiting my son and family when the quilt arrived at their home in New York a couple months ago.

This is my first effort to really do free motion quilting and am happy with how it turned out. There are different kinds of things in each section...sort of meandering wiggles in the owlie triangles, outlining in the square owlie blocks and a different design around each of those--stars in one, words in another, etc. It's so far from perfect, but it was a lot of fun. The pattern was great to work on and came together quite easily. Last picture is my oldest girlie girl showing off the back of the quilt with lots of different fabrics in the "coins" that are from quilts made over the last year or so. I've posted about the quilt before and showed some of the process pictures that I could without showing too much before it got to Olivia. (just added the three photos on the top after ddil sent a bunch to me today)

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Four pyramid bags (also called teepee bags) sewn today. Aren't they just darling? My friend Shirley, gave me the pattern quite awhile ago. She'd sewn one but for the life of me, I can't figure out how she did it from just the directions! I found a tutorial on flickr . Was hoping for a video, but this worked ok...still found it a bit difficult. The sewing is all straight lines, it's just the directions that confused me, so I decided if four were needed to get them done at one time! This isn't a tutorial, just hoping if you want to make one, these pictures help some!

Left above shows topstitching. It's not entirely necessary and doesn't go the length of the zipper as I couldn't figure how to do it, but it keeps the material from getting into the zipper. Right is a finished bag...isn't that material just darling? Came from Attic Window Quilt Shop. Below left are straps for two of the bags--one pressed, the other finished. Right is inside of the flowery bag.

The left above is the first side of the zipper to be sewn, the right one is after both sides of the zipper are sewn, the sides are ready to be sewn on the bottom (right in the picture). I found it was easiest to sew the zipper with it open. It has to be closed to do the bottom stitching and then you cut off the extra.

Below left is the strap sewn to the outside material...I always super sew straps and tops and bottoms of zippers as those are where all the stress is. Right is inside and outside with zipper closed after sewing them together.
This is with zipper opened. Pull the two materials out so they're touching themselves. You then sew it with the zipper tops touching each other, and from the owlie side here, across the zipper tops (sew back and forth) and then over to swirly material side but leave about three inches open. See the pinky one which really doesn't have a big enough opening showing there on the left so I had to unpick some stitches (one set of directions said to leave one inch open--all I can say is, HA!). Just makes it a lot easier to pull everything through if it's bigger.
Blue swirly is fuzzy picture, but shows the top stitching to close up the lining of the owlie bag. Have fun making these if you want to. I think they're just so cute!! Here's four bags made for my boyly boys on Oct. 30th. Thinking of fun things to put inside these marvelous little bags for my dear grandchildren.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


This is part of a Christmas project I'm working on. Made continuous bias tape for the first time awhile ago...LOVE making it! Used some of it on the potholders posted about earlier. The first image is the back side of the bias and is the miter that I got after much playing with it all and hand stitching the corner parts together. The machine sewing directions are from Sew4Home's site.
This is inside the corner when it's been sewn and before turning over to other side.

This shows the miter that's formed sort of naturally after sewing. There are six corners on this project, so got plenty of practice!

This corner is on what is actually the front of this particular project, but I've figured out I should have paid attention to the directions and sewn it on the back so the natural miter would be on the front!! Lots of pins to hold everything in place. The pink pin in the corner is where the hand stitching started. After handsewing the corner miters into place, I'll do the rest on the machine with a decorative serpentine stitch as I did on the potholders.
Isn't this the cutest fabric!! I just love this Pure fabric by Sweetwater from Moda. I got three charm packs and then ordered a yard or two of several of the fabrics in the line...would just love to have some of a lot more of the variety. Some came from, but I found the blue with the little brown flowers at a relatively local quilt shop and she was so nice to send it to me...called Woven Threads in Chelan, Washington. One day hope to actually get there as I'm very impressed by her quickness and customer service.
Look at that adorable ampersand fabric!! I just love it, but there are very few of the fabrics in the line that aren't just wonderful. This is a bit fuzzy as it was taken by my cell phone while the others were taken by sweet hubby with his nice camer!! It shows the handsewn corners. This particular bias is not as wide as the other I made, but it's on a child-sized project. It's about 1 1/2 inches wide while the bias for the adult is 2 inches wide. The pattern called for extra wide double fold. This was a pdf file that I printed and in order to make the child sized ones, I just set my printer to print two of the pattern pieces per page instead of one and it worked really well. I tried to make a teeny sized one for my littlest grandchild, but couldn't figure out how to do that through the printer, so tried to copy it by using thin paper and sizing the pdf to 25%...not sure if that's worked or not as the pieces haven't been glued together yet. Hopefully, it will work! I love experimenting with things like this.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This is the latest part of making up my Christmas quilt. I made about 30 different blocks with directions from the book I mentioned, things seen online and other ideas I found. Can you tell that wonky stars are a favorite? A few of the squares turned out a lot larger than can really be used in this project so will probably be pillows or tiny quilts unto themselves.

Am doing a lot of experimentation with placement and thinking there might have to be more squares, but there just might be some open areas that have embroidered Christmas sayings on them!! Will see. I had a lot of fun making all these squares up--like doing that to figure out if it's something a whole quilt would be to my liking. The material is mostly from a layer cake by Kate Spain for Moda. The colors are wonderful and look pretty good on here (taken with phone outside on deck bench). Don't have any idea about the other fabrics.
I know this isn't anything to do with quilting, but wanted to share this cool picture dh took today for's stacked rocks someone did right off the highway on the way to our home. I hope they last for a long time. Usually, I zip past this area because BIG rocks occasionally come down there and deer are often seen/hit here. Mostly, I drive in the left lane near here but yesterday coming back from lunch I was in the right lane and happened to glance over to see this fun sight! A friend said someone has made similar stacks in the city park a few miles up the road. Whatever induced someone to do it, I'm thankful...a little piece of whimsy to enjoy. So, thanks to them!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Have been having fun making potholders this last week. Below right are four of the little darlings. Other pictures show the backs and details. I used Sew4Home's Retro Fun pattern.

The lighthouse ones are longer because someone said their hand didn't fit down inside well enough...that person shall remain anonymous because I'm hoping they don't read this post, but of course, if they do read this, they will hopefully act all surprised when they open the present at Christmas!!!!!!!!

I just cut the pattern pieces in half across, added a piece of paper about 2" long to each one and voila! These are very easy to make. I do usually try to take process pictures but didn't this time. The Pure is Moda fabric and mostly from 3 charm packs that just got sewn together. I'm making other projects from those, too. Not usually my colors, but love it. I got yardage of a few fabrics in this line I really liked, including the heart one that's for the bias binding. First time ever making continuous binding and love making it...need to find more projects that use bias!! I am a bit intimidated by one of the other projects using this cute material as it has corners and the bias needs to be mitered--something never attempted by me before, so should be interesting. I used decorative stitches to secure the bias as they cover a multitude of sins that a straight stitch just isn't going to. Besides, I have fun using different ones all the time.
I quilted the fabrics using Insul-brite for the side that is toward the heat, and cotton batting for the pocket part. The Insul-brite says to put the shiny side facing where the heat is coming from but both sides seem shiny to me!! It seemed one side was a bit more shiny so tried to remember to put that part out. I did figure out it pays to read the directions (duh!!) . The first three mitts I cut out the material, then quilted and those are a bit smaller than the ones where I quilted first.

The lighthouse and wave fabrics are from a darling quilt shop in Westport, Washington...can't think of the name but it's the only one in that little town and right on the way to the docks. Hubby and I spent a lovely week there for our 40th anniversary and he thought I needed three yards of both so, who am I to argue with that? He also surprised me by buying some really cool 5 inch batiks of lighthouses that I found when opening the sack...isn't that just sweet, sweet, sweet?
He drove up from CA when we were dating and arrived a day early to find me in the midst of a major crayon batik experiment, so I've always told him that was a super hint of the future and present day projects strewn around the house shouldn't surprise him at all!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Girlie Girls and Boyly Boys

These are my twinnies. When dear daughter DL, was expecting them I called them the twinkle toes and they truly are such bright lights in my life. They'll be 5 pretty soon and have just been so fun to see grow. Sabrina's the youngest and littlest. She was so teensy at birth but a real fighter. She has some trials in life, but that smile is just a little hint of her determination. She was born with a condition called achromatopsia and does not have the ability to see colors, plus has a real problem with light. Those are new special glasses with lenses that cut the light for her. She's blinded by sunlight so has outside glasses to help with that. It saddens me that the wonderful colors of the world are not available to her, but technology may help her to accomplish things unavailable to someone with that condition years ago. She's a princess and a trooper!! Sydney is so full of life...never a dull moment with her around and she's almost always moving. You can't see her smile, but I hope you get a bit of her fantastic personality. She and Adam love my leggos! She's a good big sister to her twin and to Spencer. She is a happy, happy child! Gives great hugs, too. You would have a hard time guessing they're twins when they're standing side by side, even though often dressed alike!

Below is Adam, almost 8 and one of the most confident people I know. He's so full of enthusiasm and energy. Is that a great smile or what? He loves playing with gramma's leggos--the best investment in toys ever made! Adam is the namesake of my son. He wants to be a doctor like his uncle Adam, and is very smart. Soccer is a great love of his, too. He was so excited to finally be a big brother and has been a great one to the twinnies and Spencer. Spencer is over a year old now and is just a total bundle of energy!! This child is so fun and never still. He gives great slobbery kisses and hugs, but grab them when you can as he's almost always on the go whenever he's awake. He's a smart little child and can sit still to play with leggos, or climb into gramma's toy cabinet and play peek-a-boo in there. Those are his momma's cute legs that he's riding on. He doesn't talk much, but DL has taught all her babies some sign language, so he's able to communicate some...although it's usually pretty obvious what Spencer wants when he wants something.
For some reason we got to talking about my walker that I used a couple years ago; that it might be a good substitute for a treadmill for me and give me some stability.Trey wanted to get it out of the storage shed and wow...instant fun for the boyly's and girlies!! Spencer and Sabrina are shown enjoying a ride with Trey volunteering to push them around. It got lots of use in the house and on the deck. The older kiddos figured out how to sit on it and make it go by running their feet over the wheels. Not the cheapest of gramma's toys but provided hours of fun for all. Trey is 10 and a wonderful big brother. He's always got a cazillion ideas going on in his head for inventions, things to do, etc. We have the most fun time when he comes to visit as we both love to make things out of paper or whatever. He's a cub scout and has fun hiking or other boyish things--even likes spiders!! He's a collector of bits and pieces--his mom found over 20 things in his little pockets when he was about 4! If there's a gadget lying around, Trey is trying to figure it out or how to make something similar or better or whatever. Definitely an engineer in the making.
Sage, having green eggs and ham that Boppa fixed for her when she visited us for a week in January. She's now 12. Sucha terrific girl...beautiful, fun, super talented, a great help to her mom and just an all around wonderful young woman. I usually call her Sagie, but she's also called Sageriffic which is an apt nickname for someone who draws beautifully, writes music for and plays the piano marvelously, reads voraciously, knits wonderfully, get the idea!!

Olivia and Gavin live in NY for now. Hopefully, in a couple years they'll be back in Washington. Olivia's a few months old now and Gavin is three. He had beautiful hair but my son decided he needed a buzz for the summer I guess. It made him look a lot more like his dad I think, but I'll be glad to see his hair again at Christmas. He's an inquisitive and fun little boy. Loves to have dad read to him and loves hiking and snowshoeing with his family. Jenny, my daughter in law, has been so good to send pictures and videos of the kiddos. It is much appreciated by grandpa and I.
My grandchildren are so precious. It's such a joy to have them as part of my family. To know these sweet people is one of the very best things in my life!! My daughter came recently for about a week to "babysit" me while Randy was away in D.C. and then up to NY. We had a great time...chaos most of the time, noise all the time but just fun, fun, fun.
I was inspired to make up a song for Sagie when she was a little baby and we were alone for a couple hours. Since then I've made one up for all of my grandchildren. Haven't been able to spend time with Olivia yet, so her song will have to wait until Christmas. Each one is just super simple, but different and it's been a special little thing to share with them each night I'm with them and then just before we part. Sometimes they sing along with me as I sing to another child and if gramma gets a brain drain, they're happy to remind me what song I'm needing to sing.
I have always loved family...parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Now, it's so fun to have these children be in my life. It is so quiet most of the time around here and I'm so grateful for modern technology that allows me glimpses into their lives and some times even get to see each other over the internet. Wonderful, wonderful!!