Friday, August 5, 2022

Three quilts and a baby!

 When I retired from my day job a few months ago, I realized that I need to make 5 baby quilts soon!  Two of our daughters, Emily and Hannah, were expecting babies, another family member was expecting too, and I was overdue on making baby quilts for 2 others toddlers.  Time to sew!

"Starry Starry Night" for Benjamin Prindle, our grandson, born two weeks ago! I had seen this design on Pinterest years ago, sorry I could not determine the designer.  It was fun to make all of these wonky, colorful stars!  I varied the background colors, inspired by the original design and also by the awesome way that Hannah painted the nursery's ceiling!

Doesn't this room look amazing?  Hannah and Danny used 5 different dark blues and swirled them together to create the night sky.  Then they used the handle tip of a narrow paint brush, dipped in white paint, to achieve the stars.  Hannah really has a flair for decorating!

Here is our newest grandchild, Benjamin Robert, born 2 weeks ago today!  He was 7 lbs. 14 oz., 12 inches long.  And oh, those cheeks!  We think he's pretty great.

We are lucky that our kids all live close by, so we can visit often.  I think I held Ben for an hour yesterday, it felt so good! 

"Sweet Dreams" made Hannah's sister-in-law's baby, who was born two weeks ago also!  Baby Natalie Rose was born one day before Benjamin, so Natalie and Ben will be like cousin twins!  Exciting times for all! 
I made these simple stars out of some leftover Moda fabrics I had (another jelly roll, I think), so soft and sweet.  I knew that the parents had painted the nursery a very soft pale pink so I am hoping this will blend with their decor.

"Pastel Hearts" for Emma, who is already 2 years old!  Emma is big sister to new baby Natalie, whose quilt is shown above.  These floral and dot prints were from a jelly roll I purchased a few years ago and have used for a couple of other baby quilts.  I love the pinks, greens, beiges, and grays.  The simple 4-patch heart blocks go together so quickly! It's a great way to use up scraps. 

Three baby quilts done since April, and two to go!  One is in progress, and will be for my other daughter's soon-to-be-born third child!  More on that quilt later, after the quilt is done and the baby is born.  Quilt #5 has not been started yet.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Weekend organizing and fun!

Easily the weekend's highlight was attending a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert!  It was a special treat, attending with daughters Emily and Hannah.   The entire program was fabulous, and the guest artist Lisa Batiashvili and guest conductor, James Gaffigan, were excellent!  My favorites were the Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah by Saint-Saens, and Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky. 

Scott helped me out by installing my new pegboard (from IKEA) in my sewing studio. Work in progress in the background, more on that later.

It looks great!  

Before the CSO concert, we went out for dinner at Gia Mia.  Everything was delicious!  We had zucchini fries, meatballs with polenta, gnocchi, and pizza.  

Girls night!  We decided we definitely need to do this more often, next time with Genevieve too. 

Saturday I got to do a little fabric shopping/therapy and get a few boxes checked on my Shop Hop passport.  Most of the fabrics are Moda, except for the blue and green prints which are Northcott.  The two gray prints are for the backs of baby quilts, the dog prints are for dog bandanas, and the others are just for my stash.

Our lab, Dora, just LOVES being outside in the summertime.  That is her happy place, for sure!

We love being outside too, and have been eating most meals outside this summer.  I just noticed that you can see both dogs in this photo - Buddy is under the table.  This delicious dinner was mostly from IKEA, Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes.  Yum!


Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Pillows, pork chops, and purple pansies

I did lots of quilty sewing in May, but the only finishes were pillows.  I made myself the couch pillow below. 

Pillow made entirely from scraps in my stash.  This pattern is from the book Cultural Fusion Quilts by Sujata Shah.  I love how this pillow turned out.  It really updates my older gold couch.

This is how I usually finish my pillows.  I make the back in two pieces that overlap, and the opening is closed with a piece of velcro.  It's a simple technique, and makes it easy to remove the pillow cover for cleaning.

My husband is an excellent cook.  Our dinners are usually simple, but delicious.  This was pork chops with apples (from Betty Crocker), steamed broccoli, and lovely beverages (I had gin and tonic). I was gifted the awesome glass by my awesome sister-in-law, Jean H. 

We live walking distance to town, so sometimes we get carryout for dinner.  We had Steak Chimichanga and Nachos. 

More pillows made this month for my daughter, Hannah.  She asked me to use solid fabrics with pops of color.  I searched Pinterest for pillow ideas as this is not my usual style.  I made these pillows all from my stash. 

The gardens have been coming on strong this month.  Here, the Siberian iris show many buds, getting ready to bloom.

Great view with purple pansies in one pot; impatiens, geranium, lobelia, and vinca vine in the large planter; and huge hosta and tall alium in the background.  It was a great month for the alium, I saw them all over town. 
Stay safe everyone, and hug your loved ones.  It was a tough week. 


Friday, May 20, 2022

Barn quilt and dining al fresco

Scott has been keeping himself busy recently by painting an awesome barn quilt for our porch!  I love it!  I actually found the design on the interest (sorry I do not know the creator) and I think that Scott's rendition turned out great.  Thanks, Scott!
Scott had extra time at home due to a positive Covid test earlier this month.  This was a first for either of us, as we have been so careful the past two years.  So far, I have not tested positive. 

I love those colors!

It looks great up close and from a distance too. 

We have had nice weather this month, so we've been eating outside a lot. We have the choice of eating on the back yard patio (above, with grilled brats)...  

...or eating out on our front porch.  We enjoy the front porch because we can greet our neighbors as they walk by.   You can see our garden in the background - it looks so great right now with the alium bulbs blooming and some fresh mulch showing off our hostas. 

This was another patio dinner - Pesto chicken, rice, and broccoli, and a nice cool Tom Collins.  Cheers! 


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Big Change!

Our big news is that both Scott and I retired as of the end of March!  It was a big decision, we both worked past age 65, but we decided that "it's time".  Making the decision to retire was a whole lot easier, though, that doing all of the requisite paperwork (Medicare, Social Security, investments, etc.).  I'm glad that is all done! 

My (former) employer, Neuco, Inc., hosted a really nice retirement lunch for me and and all of  the employees at Neuco.  They catered a delicious Mexican lunch from a nearby favorite, Yerbabuena, and I got to stay in the lunch room and greet all of my friends and colleagues.  My boss, Gretchen, invited my family and also other recently retired colleagues.  Sadly, Gretchen could not be there because she was home sick with Covid.  She sent the gorgeous flowers in the first photo.  Shown above is daughter Hannah, myself, DH Scott, and daughter Genevieve. 

Later that same week, we attended granddaughter, Ella's, 4th birthday celebration!  This was about the first time that our whole family was able to gather since before the pandemic forced all of us to shelter separately.  It was a joy-filled day with lots of kids and laughter and cake!
Above is Ella (left) and another granddaughter, Lily (right).  In the background is daughter Hannah and her son, our grandson, Henry.  I don't think the kids slowed down once all day!

My daughters, all three beautiful inside and out:  Emily, Genevieve, and Hannah. 

The whole crew:  Matthew, Emily, myself, Ella, Scott, Kate, Hannah, Henry, Danny, Lily, Genevieve, and Joe.  I love them all so much!

Happy birthday, Ella!


Saturday, January 29, 2022

Finishes - 2021!

 Wow, I had NO IDEA how many projects I finished in 2021 until I gathered them together and counted them!  I guess those little short sewing sessions added up to many completed quilts and other items! Note, some of these have not been blogged about yet, their stories will follow.  Here we go:

Oh Christmas Trees - table runner made for my niece, Collin. I drew Collin's name in our Secret Santa drawing this year.

I didn't make this awesome album quilt, but I re-bound it for my niece Collin, and her husband, Austin.  It is a well-loved quilt, made maybe in the 70s, it felt like silk working with it! I ripped off the original binding and added a fresh, new bias binding of muslin.  Ready for lots more snuggling!

I made a couple of Christmas pillow covers to add a little more Christmas fun to my holiday decor! 

One more little star pillow!

Sweet Baby Rose - made super quick for my coworker's new baby.  Rose made an early arrival so I quickly made this of saved extra equilateral triangles from another project. I love how the quilt gets so soft and crinkly after washing.

Hugs for Deb - finished quilt top, I never got a photo of the finished quilt! I tied the quilt to keep it super soft and fluffy.  This was a gift for a special friend who need a big hug. 

Rocky Mountain Love - baby quilt for little Owen (son of Cara K.) who lives in Colorado.  

Sweet Little Hearts - dolly quilt for my granddaughter, Kate, to celebrate her first birthday.  I have started a tradition of gifting each grandchild with a baby quilt when they are born, and a matching dolly quilt when they turn 1.

Sweet Little Hearts - dolly quilt for little Henry's first birthday. 

Siddhi Quilt - started in Sujata Shaw's online class from 2020, finished early in 2021.

Another project worked on this past year was going back and adding labels to all of my quilts.  I'm almost done with that.

So that's my year 2021 in review!  I know we all have busy schedules.  I work full time and also teach piano lessons to about 15 students each week.  It's important to me to fit quilting into my schedule.  I just love it, it feeds something inside me and makes me so happy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Playing with Solids - #mfaQAL

 Hello and happy new year! I am optimistic for the coming year, as I have a new grandbaby on the way (in August), plus some new and exciting things for me personally in the wings.  More on that later.

I am starting with the Museum of Fine Arts Boston Quilt along! #mfaQAL.  Check out the many Insta posts and also their website!  Their website has this fantastic Digital Coloring Page where you get to try LOTS of different colors and combinations for the quilt! 

The quilt is fairly simple, just 9 blocks, each designed by a different designer, and all with a modern edge. I have always loved quilts made with solids, but haven't sewn with them for years!

My fabrics - all Kona solids.

First block - Water Lily

Web page showing full quilt with 9 blocks.

Three quilts and a baby!

 When I retired from my day job a few months ago, I realized that I need to make 5 baby quilts soon!  Two of our daughters, Emily and Hannah...