Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Darrin and I looked through amazon's costume section to see what sort of costume he might want.  He decided (after I nixed horror stuff, Halloween already isn't a favorite holiday, the boys know I have my limit and that is it) that he wanted to be a soldier.

I found a few military costumes, but they seemed sort of cheesey... and then I found a company that makes smaller BDU's for kids!  Perfect!  It also came with some patches that could be sewn on, very cool!

Halloween Soldier

It arrived, and Kevin decided to pull out his old Army jacket and offered up his patches for Darrin.  So cool!  Darrin loves his BDU's and I think he looks adorable.  He also wants a helmet that Kevin has, but it's a bit big for his head so that won't be happening :)

Halloween Soldier
Two shoulder patches which came with the uniform.

Halloween Soldier
Hell on Wheels: 2nd Armor Division, dates back to WWII.  From Kevin's jacket.

Halloween Soldier

Happy Halloween, enjoy some Snickers :)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Slow Stitching and SBOW 12 Finished

It's been a while since I have worked on my Sunflower Gatherings Summer Block of the Week, but today I can say that I am done with #12.  I've had it waiting to be worked on for a long time, but once I got to working on the blue round flowers and leaves, I hit a brick wall.  I couldn't do anymore!  Last night I decided to do some stitching while watching Netflix and the World Series... I was able to get everything but two leaves finished because our power went out.  I was happy that even though the power was out, there was still some buffered video left from Netflix so I happily stitched away by the glow of the laptop until I no longer had any video left.
SBOW: 12
Looking at the stitches today on the leaf I stopped on... well, I can sure tell the power went out (or it was an intense moment on Walking Dead)!  Yikes.  At least power outages don't happen very often here so we are very fortunate.

I just have one more block left to do, and I currently have most of the pieces cut for it.  Maybe this week I'll be done with that.

We finally got power back today at noon.  We spent most of the outage time cracking walnuts while listening to the Seahawks on the radio.  Kevin received two grocery bags full of walnuts from someone at work who has some trees in eastern Washington.  What a great gift.  We managed to shell 4lbs of walnut meat to save for baking and eating.  Kevin did say that we could crunch up the shells so I could use it for pin cushion filler, but I decided not to do that :)  It was nice he thought about me :)
After finishing up SBOW 12, I pulled out my hexagons that I haven't looked at in over a year.  I only have 23 more to go, with 51 finished.  74 was a number I came up with when I found a layout I liked, but right now I am seconding guessing and considering something different (but I will finish up the 74 for sure and decide from there).  I have enough pieces prepped for 10 more in my box, and fabrics for the final 12 cut and separated in baggies.  Maybe I need to get back to my one a day until I finished?  I did finish one flower (like the one partially made in the photo), and tonight I plan to finish up that partial.

It's hard not to want the hexie quilt to be finished faster, but most of all if I just keep at it I will have a finished hexie quilt.  For all the quilters that make multiples of hexagon quilts, I am amazed at your perseverance.  I get distracted so easily--or I get to the point that I just can't even look at one more.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

That Crazy Fabric

I unearthed the fabric I was looking for yesterday that I was considering first for the tee....

Crazy 60/70's fabric
Am I right?  It's crazy 70's! Maybe even late 60's.  I am pretty positive it's polyester, not rayon but silky-ish.  It's by Hi-Fashion Fabrics, about 2.5yds, likely a Joann's purchase I had to wait over during her many trips (I HATED going to the fabric store as a kid... funny now).  I'm sure Mom was going to make a blouse with this.... perhaps I can make a shirt and a cape to go with it and go as a magician for Halloween?

So, if you had a fabric like this, what would you do with it?

A Little Sewing

Ok... I hate taking my picture.  Especially since all the loss I had in the the weight department found its way back.  I'm a work in progress, no doubt about it.  But I am not posting about that (you are all saying thank you, I know!!).

I went to a retreat in September and one of the quilters was working on a shirt pattern called Simple Elegant Tee.  I love how it looked, and her choice of fabric was a rayon batik which hung really nicely.  I ordered the pattern a few weeks ago but last night I finally decided to dive in.

It has a kimono, cap, and dolman sleeve.  For the pattern I cut for a dolman because I like longer sleeves.  I may play around a bit with this in the future.  For the fabric, I really considered using this funky fabric (very 70's) that I saved from my mom's stash.  It is a psychedelic print that reminds me of the Johnny Depp version of Alice in Wonderland.  It's bizarre to say the least.  The fabric is somewhere in my closet, but I couldn't find it.  Instead I found a jersey print that I bought years ago with the intention to use as a maxi skirt.  Since I'm not in love with the fabric, I felt this would be a good first attempt at the pattern.

The pattern was very easy to follow and I finished it up fairly quickly this morning after cutting for it last night.  The only problem I had was that I attempted a rolled hem for the bottom of the shirt and it ended up too ruffled.  I cut it off and followed the directions from the pattern :)

Simple Elegant Tee

Simple Elegant Tee Simple Elegant Tee

That could be my before (once again) picture. sigh.  Anyway!  I did french seams, but I found it to be bulky at the ends so next time I would probably pull out my other machine and run a zig zag stitch.  I would have liked it a little longer--if only followed the directions to begin with, it would have been.  And I see I pushed the sleeves up a bit.  I would never make it as a model.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

One more attempt at a yellowed stain...

and I don't notice a big difference.  At this point I think I've done all that I can and am willing to try to remove the stain.  I don't want to destroy the quilt by experimenting beyond the soaking and using a Shout Color Catcher.

The first picture is from after I finished the applique and before the binding, the second picture is after the second attempt at soaking.  I tried to keep the lighting the same, and no photo alterations other than cropping.  It might be a little brighter, but for the most part I don't notice a difference in stain removal.

Last of Pansy Kit Quilt Repair Last of Pansy Kit Quilt Repair

Two Finishes

I finished up the repair quilt tonight, including a soak in Quilt Wash.  I don't really think it helped get a stain out though.  I am going to leave the rest up to the owner, I am really not sure what else you'd attempt to get out a yellowed stain.

Repair Finished, stain before soaking

Repair Finished, stain after soaking

Repair Finished
In the end I decided to cut away the old binding and attach the new in a French fold binding.  I am happy with how it came out, and the corners came out very nice.  I attempted to practice the other method on a small practice square and it turned out pretty terrible.

And finally part three is finished with my stitch along.  The reds made my camera go crazy!  I had to redo two sides and when I reattached it, I realized that the flying geese weren't going around in the same direction. Sigh.  I'm not ripping and redoing again.  I have part four ready to go, maybe I will get to it next week.
SAL: Part 3

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Autumn! The season for...

Dewy spiderwebs.
Spiderweb Season

As much as I dislike spiders (mainly in the house), I think they are fascinating to watch.  The webs are huge in the bushes next to our driveway, and one of them even had a web that extended over the middle of our garage!  That is one industrious spider who did some traveling to build its web!

Spiderweb Season
It was windy by the time I shot this web.  The strength of the web is part of the fascination.  As much as the spider blew back and forth, everything stayed intact.

Spiderweb Season

And of course the best time to take pictures of spider webs is in the morning when the dew is attached.  This guy can stay here until I finally get around to doing a fall cleanup in my garden.

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Repair Project

This past summer I was approached by a family member about repairing a family quilt.  I was happy to oblige, though it does make me nervous to work on other people's vintage quilts.  Through my research I found out that this is a Lee Wards quilt, #08-90541 Pansy applique kit.  I have been able to find one online person that has this particular kit for sale (unmade top, fabrics and pattern).  If it didn't have a price of $425, I may have considered it for replacing the black pieces in the pansy blocks.... but I didn't purchase it.  This quilt is about 81x100".

Anyway, here are the images that were sent to me:
Lee Ward's Pansy kit quilt #08-90541

Lee Ward's Pansy kit quilt #08-90541

Lee Ward's Pansy kit quilt #08-90541

In working on this quilt, I have found that everything, EVERYTHING was hand pieced together, including some of the leaves that use two different greens (sewn in the centers).  The quilting and binding (both sides) are also hand pieced.  That is a lot of work, and I am guessing that this great aunt (of hubby's) must have really enjoyed hand work :)

Here is the quilt with all the black fabrics appliqued over (I did not remove any fabrics):
Lee Ward's Pansy kit quilt #08-90541

Lee Ward's Pansy kit quilt #08-90541

Lee Ward's Pansy kit quilt #08-90541

I am not really sure how to tackle the binding.  It is about an inch wide, single and bias.  I don't plan to do bias, but I will attempt single and not French fold.  Typically I cut my bindings at 2-2.25" and French fold, so they are very narrow... I have never finished a quilt with a binding this wide before.

My plan is to practice on a small square, after doing a little research on how to do this.  I am also thinking I will use my machine to do one side and hand sew the other... would this give me bad quilting karma?  I think I need a lesson on this technique, anyone know of a good tutorial online?

This quilt has been washed often and I think that was probably why the blacks deteriorated as they did.  It's interesting to see the other fabrics being as bright as they are though.  When I finish the binding I am planning to soak it in All American Quilt Wash to see if I can get some of the stains out.  I'm hoping to be finished with this by the end of the month.  Goal set! :)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

SBOW: Block 11

Finally, a new update.
SBOW: Block 11

I finished up block 11 tonight.  I really should have finished this days ago, but I have been in a bit of a funk and sewing just hasn't been calling to me.  This block has (I think) four more flower pieces to add on after the top is sewn together.  They remind me of Christmas lights, and I can't say that they are my favorite of this quilt.  I should have changed them up a bit.

I have two more blocks left and the top will be finished (minus the applique border--still thinking on that).  The center applique block of this quilt has initials appliqued of the maker, but I am thinking about putting in a cat instead in tribute to my Gracie.  I am pretty sure losing her is a big part of the reason for my moods recently too, she has really left a huge hole in my heart.  I have a facebook friend who recently wrote something about our pets aren't kids, basically to stop referring them in this way (and he does have a dog).  I didn't respond to that, nor did I ever reference Gracie in that way--I know he wasn't talking about anything I said, but the fact is that some pets just leave huge holes in our hearts.  Seeing that he posted it so soon after I wrote about her being put down was not great timing however.

They become a big part of our families (if we are lucky) for  a large number of years.  I think sometimes people say things without thinking--or in an effort to just be a curmudgeon or sarcastic, but quite honestly I have loved our family pets more than some people I have to be in contact with.  Pets have a way of bringing out joy and calmness in people who are otherwise stuck (be it depression or mentally incapable for whatever reason).  If animals didn't bring out these human emotions, service animals would be ineffective and non-existent.

So no, our pets aren't human kids, but you cannot dismiss or diminish their part in the lives of people who love them entirely.  Anyway... I guess I had to get that all off my chest.  I can't say I feel better, but eventually it will be as with any loss.  And for anyone who doesn't know my story, I have buried two parents when I was 32 and 33, along with grandparents, mother in law, uncles, and a nephew.  I do know close loss of the human kind.  Maybe they are different to some, but that loss is still there and the pain can last for a long time.

Maybe now I can get back to sewing again.