Saturday, October 31, 2009


As I've been out walking around in San Francisco today, and even yesterday, I saw many, many strangely-dressed people. Some far out costumes. And I think it begs the question:

Which is more insulting? To be complimented on your costume when you're not really wearing a costume?
Or to be wearing a costume and have no one notice?

Because I've seen a lot of strange clothes these last two days, but it makes me wonder if some of the outfits I've seen are really Halloween costumes, or are they just normal clothing for people? On some of the other 364 days of the year, I could swear it's Halloween, by the looks of some of the clothing I see!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Start of a New Quilt

Isn't this pretty fabric!?!
I found it at The Grannery quilt shop in Sunnyvale.
(A very nice shop, I might add.)
They are from the 'Panache' by Sanae line from Moda. I don't usually make much mention of fabric lines or designers (except for Harmony, of course!) But I decided to not use any from my stash, and bought all these together.

I'm going to try a quilt that I found done by one of my
"blogger friends," Red Pepper Quilts. (Awesome blog, btw.)
I've started cutting out today, and seeing what a few of the different combinations of colors look like laid out together.

Man, I love starting a new quilt!
Now, if only I were as enthusiastic about finishing a quilt...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

It was off to the pumpkin patch last weekend with BabyStitches. It had been raining quite a bit during the weekend (a LOT!), but then the weather cleared up later in the afternoon, after nap, so we made the best of the break in the weather. Of course, this meant the field was muddier than, well, than I don't know what! Of course, BabyStitches didn't mind at all.
She checked out many, many pumpkins, as we walked through the muddy fields.
Here she is at the end of our journey, rather muddy, but well-pleased with herself. No, we did not buy this whole wagon-load of pumpkins!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fairy Costume, Completed!

Hooray! I'm finished with the fairy costume for BabyStitches! Doesn't she look cute?!?
Now I'll show you some detail photos of this project.

There are eight petals that each have a pleat in the center, and are stitched around the waistband of the skirt.

The pattern said to use grommets for lacing up the sash in the back. But I didn't have any, so I just sewed some really small buttonholes, and that worked just fine!

The wings were really something to sew! Between the two layers of sheer fabric are two layers of stiff crinoline. In retrospect, I would have used a different method to achieve this, but the pattern said to sew the fabric right sides together, with the crinoline sewn in there as a lining. Now, I want you to look at that shape above and think about having to turn that sucker inside out when most of it is stiff crinoline!
Yes, if I were doing it again, I'd turn under the raw edges of the sheer fabric, and then sew them wrong sides together, with the crinoline inside. That way I wouldn't have to turn it inside out.

After the wings were together, I had to mark the fabric (with removable pen) on the lines they had given me,
then arrange chenille stems on those lines (overlapping when needed),
and then zig-zag them down with invisible mono-filament thread.
Except that the invisible thread is kind of a pain to sew with,
and broke way too often,
I think the wings turned out pretty well.
They attach to the back of the dress with eight-inch-long velcro strips.

When BabyStitches tried on the costume, she kept turning in circles, trying to get to her wings! What a sweetheart she is!

Even though I complained about the fabrics and the pattern a lot, I really loved sewing this for her. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween Costume (cont)

Here is BabyStitches, trying on her Halloween costume, part way through the sewing.
(She still has her little blue jeans on underneath the costume!) Looks like it might fit. I still have a ways to go, though, and these fabrics are a pain to work with! (See earlier post.)

I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fairy Costume

I'm a very lucky grandmother right now, because I am in Seattle helping to take care of my granddaughter, BabyStitches, for three weeks. It is really a treat for me. She is 18 months old now, and running everywhere. She's really a lot of fun. We dance and play silly games and play with toys, and play with the dog, Nala. We go to story time at the library on Thursday mornings, which takes me back to when I used to take my own kids to story time, and what a treat it was for us all. When it's not raining we go outside and scribble with chalk on the sidewalk, or throw a ball for Nala, or pick up small rocks and move them all over the yard. Everything is fascinating to BabyStitches.

The other side to the story is that--it is really exhausting!!! Taking care of a child is really hard work, so I guess it's another good reason for not having babies when we're in our 50's. Besides the fact that we would put them down and forget where we put them...

DaughterStitches asked me if I would mind sewing a Halloween costume for BabyStitches while I am here, and of course I said I'd be glad to. The pattern we're using is Simplicity 0544, shown below. BabyStitches is going to be a fairy for Halloween! A pink fairy!
Sewing this costume is rather a departure for me. I used to sew clothing, and use all kinds of different fabrics, but now I do mainly quilting. With good, solid cotton fabric!
For this I'm using tulle, and sheer fabric, and satiny stuff--fairly messy fabrics.
They are flimsy,
they shift around,
they ravel,
and they melt even when the iron is set on the coolest setting!
For the bodice I had to re-sew it three times because I melted the first two attempts.

But here is BabyStitches, trying on the bodice to her fairy costume. (That's Nala, my grand-dog, behind her. You'll see more of Nala soon.) I hope BabyStitches doesn't grow too much in the next two weeks or the costume won't fit her!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hand Made Cards

I made a few cards last week. These aren't my absolute best, most creative ones, but still... You can click on any of the photos for a bigger view. For the top one I used some cool ribbon that I got at Papyrus in San Francisco.
I love how colorful it is--it goes with everything!

The above two are kind of ordinary--pretty paper, though.

Now, this photo should have been turned on its side (rookie mistake!)

DaughterStitches especially likes this type of card, with a tag/label that comes out of the card's pocket. You write the message on the tag/label. (I used some more of that cool ribbon!)

The card on the left I like a lot, but it was more work than it looks like. Cutting the squares and rectangles was ok, but then I had to carefully cut out the inside of each square and rectangle. But I like how it looks. I very precisely cut out each inside with a ruler and X-acto knife. I suppose I could have been a little less careful and just use a scissors. That would have made it easier. Maybe I'll try that next time.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's Snowing!

Br-r-r-r-r! It snowed while we were at Lake Tahoe for NieceStitches' wedding.

A light dusting which looked pretty coming down, and looked strange on the plants and ivy.

Now, I have to tell you that snow is not my best friend. I grew up in Iowa, but have lived the last 28 years in northern California. I am most pleased with the climate where I live. As I said in a previous post, I am not a skier. I consider winter sports to be sitting by a fireplace, reading a book, and drinking hot chocolate.

This shows dear DaughterStitches and MrStitches (also accompanied by SILStitches--out of the frame) clearing the snow from my car in the morning. It was so nice of them all to do this for me. And I didn't mind this snow too much; it wasn't much of an inconvenience. But that's enough snow to do me for a while!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wedding at Tahoe

I know it's been way too long since I've posted. A lot has been going on!

KittyStitches had a spell in the vet hospital, using up yet again another one of her nine lives!

But the big news is that my NieceStitches got married! The wedding was at Lake Tahoe (Squaw Valley, to be precise), and it was so beautiful. Bride and Groom are perfect for each other. The wedding was so beautiful, and there was even a nice, gentle snowfall during the reception! You can see some photos of the wedding at my SisterStitches' blog, Frayed Edge, which can be found on the sidebar of my blog or here.
This is DaughterStitches and myself at Squaw Valley, sitting in this funky big chair!

Not being a skier myself, I found certain things about Squaw Valley interesting, like chairs made of skis!

And what appeared to be parking meters for skis!

I guess this is where you "park" your skis if they aren't so expensive?