Category: Family (Page 3 of 6)

A triangle quilt..

A triangle quilt was in my future.  And now the first triangle quilt is in my past as well.  It was a bit of a learning curve but I enjoyed it and am looking forward to another one. I think the next one will be a black and yellow creation.

I learned that it takes many triangles to create a small quilt.  This one ended up being 40″ square and I used 160 triangles that I cut with my AccuQuilt Go cutter.  The biggest challenge was getting them lined up when I sewed them together so that the top and bottom were even.  If they were not even, when they were joined to the next row, they didn’t always line up and match evenly.  I also wasn’t sure how to press the seams for the first couple of row, and pressed them to the side.  I did learn that it was better if I pressed them open.  There were some mistakes in this quilt but I was proud of my self when I didn’t point out all the errors at the baby shower.  I decided that probably no one else would notice, or care and the fabrics were pretty.  The mother to be was pleased so it everything was good.  I used a Winnie the Pooh print on the back so it felt a bit more babyish.

It’s a hectic month with my mother being ill. I also decided near the shower date that I wanted to finish this quilt for the shower and make another gift when the baby is born. The meant a few long nights, and maybe not as high quality work as I like to think of myself creating.  Once again, we are our own worse critics.  One of the chuckles I did get was the night I finally got the top pieced.  I spread the Winnie the Pooh backing out and anchored it down and went to add the batting when I realized that I had never purchased the batting!  Thank goodness I was able to shake my head and laugh and head to bed.  It was probably just as well because I tend to make mistakes when I’m tired.

Shower done, gifts delivered and now on to the next project.

baby shower cake

triangle quilt

quilt fron and back




Multi-tasking.. it seems like a good idea but I think but for me this is one that has gone gotten out of hand.  I have so many ideas, and have collected so may lovely fabrics and I want to sew all kinds of projects. This time, I have used my  AccuQuilt Go cutter and I have several new dies.  I want to try them all out so the cutter is sitting on my table and I have piles of fabric and piles of cut shapes and now I have a huge mess!  When I picked up the fabric for my nieces quilt and then used the wrong die to cut the fabric I decided I need to change my ways. I’ve taken a picture to remind myself of the disaster and started to pick things up and put them away.  I do have piles ready to cut for quilts but now it’s one at a time and it goes into a clear plastic box with the pattern. The leftover shapes are in another box along with the oops cuts and I’ve decided that I need to sew up what I have and then I can cut more.  Do you have a problem multi-tasking? If you do multi-task, what is your secret to stay organized?  I’m ready to try some new ideas.

messy table

Mixed review

Oldest daughter is going on a trip at the end of the week.  Off to Minnesota where it might be warmer that the Pacific Northwest!  I thought I would make her a new sleeveless top to take with her.  Now this is not always a successful action when you don’t have approval of the pattern or fabric.  It’s also been many years since I have made her any clothing so it was an educated guess on many accounts.  So this is a good news, bad news story.  The good news is that I enjoyed the clothing sewing. The patterns have certainly improved in the 10 plus years that have passed since I intentionally purchased a pattern for a garment other than pj pants. The other good news was that I only spent $5 on fabric so it wasn’t a complete loss.  The bad news was that a) She didn’t like it and b) it was a little snug.  It’s too bad too because I serged the seams so they didn’t ravel, I made my own bias tape for the armholes and everything went together exactly as it should.  Oh well, I knew it was a long shot but thought I had made good guess on the size and style so there was some room for error but I guess not quite enough.  Maybe daughter #2 will like it and it will fit her of I can cut it apart and use it in a quilt or even find another person to give it to.

Sleeveless top

A new hat.

A new hat has arrived at our house!  Middle daughter is a knitter.  She made her dad a new hat for Christmas.   Yes, I know that Christmas is long gone but due to distance and life etc.  this hat has just recently made an appearance.  It’s a good fit, matches the coats just fine and is very comfy. Or so I’ve been told.  It will have a season or two of rest now as spring is finally arriving in our neck of the woods.  All too soon however it will be hat season again the hat will live in an esteemed place!


Just a little thank you.

Just a little thank you seems appropriate when someone does something nice for you.  Recently my sister-in-law referred me some business.  Now I really appreciate that and wanted to thank her.  It didn’t seem right to just give her a gift card.  She probably would like that but she is a little more down to earth and I think would really appreciate something that I made.  I’ve struggled with this for  a while now.  What color, what kind of fabric, what project.  I’ve gone over the list so many times.  Along with my “just do it” theme for the year I finally just pulled some fabrics and decided this would be fine.  I cut and sewed and made a cute little zippered pouch that I think she will like.  I think it turned out very nicely.  She is a gardener and she loves purple so this fabric was a good marriage of both. I’m also including a photo of the inside before I put them together because I knew it would hard to snap a picture when it was finished.  So here it is.  Lovely I think.

Hearts and more hearts.

I have a die that will cut hearts. Valentines day is coming and I love red.  Seems to me this is a perfect combination to try something new.

I have thought about this project for several weeks but had not made a decision about the direction. I finally decided I just needed to cut some hearts and then go ahead. I didn’t have any more product to make iron on appliques so the first step was make a trip to Joann’s.  Now if you shop regularly at Joann’s you should never have to pay full price which is fine with me.  That leaves more money to spend somewhere else. When I came home I had two different kinds of iron on applique product.  I did some from both the Wonder Under and Heat and Bond Lite and have definitely decided I like the Heat and Bond better.  Its easier to use and peels off the back more easily and cleanly.  This however was an indication of how the entire project was going to go.

There were continuous challenges with this project. First not all the hearts peeled well.  I decided I was just going to applique them onto a white square and satin stitch them.  Sort of a make it up as you go kind of project.  It’s been a long time since I have done much satin stitch applique so the hearts are not very consistent.  After the third one I had already decided this was a project that was likely to end up in the trash.  I did continue however because I decided it was already cut and it was good practice. After two squares of applique, several borders and a quilt sandwich I decided that it still didn’t look very good so I might as well practice some quilting. I started and it was really ugly!  At this point I was about ready to put it in the trash. I ended up doing all sorts of free motion quilting patterns on the entire piece.  There are many inconsistencies in the stitch length and smoothness but by the end it actually improved the looks of the entire piece.  I think that the red fabric is so busy that by quilting the white it helped tie it all together.  An instance of more really was better.

I put a binding on and it is on my dining room table.  It I just go by and glance it actually looks ok.  I sure wouldn’t want anyone to look closely at it and I certainly wouldn’t gift it to anyone but for a home product that I thought I was going to trash, it turned out very valentinish.

A Kindle Envelope

We’ve had several Kindle devices floating around this house in the past week.  I have a Kindle with the keyboard, a daughter has a Kindle Touch and Hubby has a Kindle Fire.  Two of the three also have traveling “jackets”.  Nice if you have to tuck it in a purse or a bag.  It just feels a bit more protected.  The daughter with the Kindle Touch lives out-of-state and hers is “jacketless”  I really wanted to remedy that but due to circumstances like being sick as well as birthdays and holidays it didn’t happen when she was here.  I have thought about it however and contemplated what I should do.

Alas.. holidays to the rescue!  One thing I did receive was a new die for my AccuQuilt cutting system.  I have had the AccuQuilt for several weeks but not really had a change to use it due to the aforementioned sickness, holidays etc.  I pulled several fabrics from my stash, cut a few shapes and sat at the sewing machine.  What I decided to do with the pieced blocks was run a strip down the center of a rectangular piece, sandwich a piece of batting in the middle and then a lining piece.  I made the entire piece and then just folded it like an envelope and stitched the sides.  My thinking was that is will protect the Kindle but still be easy to remove the device and slide it back inside when it travels in a bag or pocket. The envelope does not have velcro or any closure but is stitched down at the corners so it creates a bit of a pocket in the top.  If it’s easy to use, it probably will get used.  I’m never sure when I make things for other people if they will find the item useful but I get great pleasure from it and that is satisfying in itself.

Old fashioned

When I was growing up I was fortunate to have my Great Grandmother move from Minnesota to live nearby with my Grandmother.  She immigrated from Norway when she was young and learned all sorts of handcrafting skills.  I have several things that she made me and I cherish them all.  One of my favorites are these crocheted Christmas snowflakes.  I have 18 of them and every year we put them on the family tree.  I didn’t realize how much my mother enjoyed them until I got married and they came to live at my house and adorn my Christmas tree.  Oh, she really wanted to keep them but did send them to me when I asked.  Part of the ritual of the snowflakes did have my husband befuddled however the year that he decided to store different objects in the snowflake box.  I went to get them out the following year to put them on the tree and they were missing.  Oh, I was upset!  He didn’t know what he had done with them.  I’m not sure why he put them away that year and not me.  Trust me, now the snowflakes always go in the little red box and I eagerly anticipate putting them on the tree.

New Years Day

The time has come to start the holiday clean up.  At my house it seems to take a long time.  We’ve been married for many years and have accumulated too much stuff.  Hubby especially enjoys large quantities of Christmas display.  We have acquired a large assortment of Department 56 houses/buildings and then we have the tree.  Oh my!  This year Jim decided he was going to see how many ornaments he could put on the tree.  After many days and maybe getting tired of carrying boxes up and down the stairs he had enough.  Oh dear.. now we have to put them all away!


After Christmas

I’ve made it through Christmas.  Tomorrow is Aaron’s birthday so dinner again but I love to have the kids around and don’t mind cooking if they will come and visit for a while.

Part of the bigger family Christmas celebration this year was a handmade gift exchange.  We each had the name of a family member. The only guideline was something you made.  I enjoyed seeing what everyone created for their giftee.  I had Kim’s name.  The item that I had planned on making didn’t happen.  I ran out of time when my mother became ill and ended up with a 5 day hospital stay from the 15th to the 20th.  I had finished most of the other projects and knew that I would have plenty of time to create this gift.  I’m not going to mention what the gift is. She will probably get this for another occasion because now I have the pattern and all the supplies. My second idea came together quickly.  Kim is a knitter and last fall I traded a friend some market bags for yarn that she had spun into a beautiful skein just right for knitting.  I passed this on to Kim with a bag that I made for her to carry her knitting in.  It’s easy to tuck in a bag or a suitcase.  I had also included a little pair of scissors.  After the gift opening, I told her that I almost put a ribbon on the scissors and attached it to the bag so they would not be so easily misplaced.  She said that she would love that.  I ended up opening the side of the bag and attaching a D ring.  This D ring is now hard at work holding a clip that has the scissors, a tape measure and a needle book attached.  They are all long enough to leave attached to the bag and still be used but the clip can also be unhooked and the tools used.  It’s big enough that it will be noticed if the bundle is set down and yet small and light enough to easily live in the bag until they are needed.



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