Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Yesterday was Memorial Day in the US. Many people on social media get this day mixed up with Veteran's Day. Memorial Day is the day we remember and honor those who lost their life defending our country; those who died in battle or while serving in the armed services. It is not a day we thank a veteran. Actually, that should be everyday, and I try to do that whenever I see a man or woman in uniform. My dad, father-in-law, 6 uncles and several cousins and friends are all veterans, but today I only think of one person, Richard Yanchuk.

Richard is the only person I have known who died while serving in the armed services. He was my childhood friend's brother. I think of him every year on Memorial Day. I was sixteen when he died and I remember my parents and our church's ladies guild wrapping their loving arms around Richard's family. It was Vietnam, 1969, I was 16. A very sad time.

Memorail Day draws families together for barbeques, picnics, family gatherings and ours in no different. Some might say it's not a holiday that should be celebrated with hot dogs and fun, but I say the opposite. It's through the struggles, sacrifices and dedication of those who lost their lives while defending our country and also to the veterans who served our country that we are allowed to celebrate our freedoms any way we choose.

The Stanleys are no different. We celebrated with a family BBQ at our son and daughter-in-law's beautiful mid-century modern home.
There were hot dogs, s'mores, outdoor games and lots of love and laughs.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Me Made May

I was feeling kind of blue this week and needed a little pick me up. I have been wanting to get back into sewing garments for myself, but I have so many figure flaws, all the alterations had me not wanting to put out the effort. But this week I was feeling grateful that our son is on the road to recovery after a few very scary days of post surgical events, and I was bored with bee block sewing and other projects I have going so I decided to treat myself and make an easy t-shirt pattern.

I bought this Art Gallery Knit from the Maker line of fabrics last month, without a project in mind. I must say, this fabric is fantastic. It is so soft, but still holds its shape.I found the Deer and Doe pattern for the Plantain T-Shirt on Pinterest and knew I could make this without many problems. And...this pattern is free!

I originally made the pattern 5" longer than it suggested and then played with the hemline.

I decided on the shorter length, but now wish I would have made it just a inch longer.
plantain t-shirt
I am extremely short waisted, so the next time I will make an adjustment in the pattern for the waist. I didn't think it would matter that much on a t-shirt, but the shirt might fit a bit better on the back if I allowed for the fullness of my hips a little higher. The shirt would hang better.
plantain t-shirt

The neckline is my favorite part of this pattern. It was so easy to achieve this smooth finish.

Here are my thoughts on the pattern and the sizing. I am a pear shape, US size 12, with a very short waist and narrow shoulders. This pattern runs small. I made the European size 42 for the bust and shoulders but gradually cut to a 46 for the hips. The bust and shoulders fit so perfectly, and that is where you really want to focus when making a garment. The waist and hips are an easier adjustment, if needed. The next time I will shorten the back waist length by two inches and add that length to the bottom of the pattern, to accommodate my short waist. The pattern offers three sleeve lengths. I opted for the 3/4 sleeve length; it's my favorite.

So now I am wanting to make another garment. I know what fabric I want to use  (some Robert Kaufman double cloth, in Indigo) and need to find the perfect pattern. I'm thinking a really cute tunic.

I have been seeing the hashtag #memademay on Instagram, so that is why I titled this post Me Made May.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Jacob's Ladder

We are coming to the end of the third year of Stitch Tease Bee. It is a great group of friends, most of whom I have met in real life. It's nice to be able to talk about life as well as sewing with this wonderful group and friends.
This month, Valerie asked for Jacob's Ladder blocks in pink, yellow, teal and black with the very popular low-volume background (I wonder what the next trend in fabric choices will be).

It first sight, these blocks look labor intensive, but in reality they are easily strip pieced and come together easily and quickly.

Val, these will be in the mail to you as soon as I get them packed up. You are going to have a beautiful quilt.

It's going to be time to re-up again for another year's commitment in the bee. I sure hope everyone says "yes".

Saturday, May 16, 2015

My Small World Quilt-Along

My Small World QAL

Hurry up Mr. Postman! I am patiently waiting for my copy of Quiltmania to arrive. I ended up ordering my copy because after checking a few local Barnes & Noble stores I could not find the Special Spring Edition with Jen Kingwell's pattern in it.

I have been hoarding a lot of fabrics from a membership to the Amitie block of the month. I am hoping to use them in this quilt. The Quilt Along starts May 18. I sure hope my magazine arrives before then.

I think this will be really fun because so many of my IG and blog friends are joining in. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015


It's been two weeks since I posted anything in this space. My mind has been pre-occupied with worry about our son, who had surgery last week. All is well now and he is on the road to recovery, but it was scary for a while. He had surgery on his elbow to repair a serious injury he had last September, as a firefighter/paramedic. Helping care for the grandkids kept me occupied for a few days.
I did manage to get these socks finished while waiting in the carpool lines at their schools and watching their soccer games. 

I started these socks in April, before going to Chicago for Sewtopia. They are drying on my cute sock blockers and will soon be sent off to a friend in New Jersey. Another first when making these socks was using SOAK  for the first time to wash them before blocking. I am so pleased with this product. The colors did not bleed and there is no rinsing needed after washing the socks. I will be using this product again and again.

With each pair of socks I learn a little more and get a little better at certain parts of the process. This time I feel confident that I did well joining the heel and achieved a good transition as I started knitting the ankle of the sock. I love seeing my own personal growth as I learn to make improvements in the process of knitting.

The yarn was a little thicker than most that I have used previously, so I adjusted the size by only increasing to 28 stitches instead of my normal 32. 

In case you are wondering why I titled this post 14...that's how many pairs of socks I have knit since I discovered this passion 18 months ago. 

For my next knitting project I am going to try the Alluvial Plains Shawl by Karen MaCall. The Knit Along starts May 15, but I am waiting on my yarn to arrive so will have to join a little late.

Sock Stats:

Pattern: My own formula for the foot and cuff of the sock with a  Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Yarn: Socks That Rock Blue Moon Fiber Arts100% Superwash Merino-Lightweight
Needles: Addi Turbo Sock Rockets US size 1 (2.5mm)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Eat, Sleep, Snuggle

I wanted to make a baby quilt for one of my favorite people. Lindsay is the daughter of one of my best friends and I have watched her grow from a baby to a beautiful woman. She has always been one of my "pretend daughters" and we have a special friendship that is very dear to me. I was one of the first people she told she was expecting, after her family was told. That made me feel pretty important.
She and her husband chose not to find out the gender of the baby before it's born, and are planning a black, white and grey color scheme for the nursery. With that in mind, I needed to come up with a sophisticated, gender nuetral baby quilt. 
I knew I wanted to include some of the new Cotton&Steel prints from the Black and White collection. I also have the Lotta Jansdotter Black and White collection and added several other text prints from my stash. But, I still did not have a design in mind until I saw the mini wall hanging Stina made for her brother.
This was the photo that sparked my idea. With permission from Stina, I got started thinking about the words I might like to use in this black and white baby quilt. You can read about Stina's inspiration here

Trying to think of words for baby, I came up with Eat...Sleep...Snuggle... and my quilt had a plan. I pieced the words first, using my own design for the words by first drawing them on graph paper and then started adding to the words to make bigger blocks until I had a few wide, pieced blocks. I cut 2-1/2" strips from all my fabrics and just started making some improv blocks, trimming as I needed them to fit with the word blocks. I added some solids of Kona white and medium grey and Steel Essex linen to make it not too busy.

word quilt

I ended up with a fun, improv, baby quilt, in black and white. The "whites" in these fabrics are all different, from pure white to almost cream, so I tried to mix them up to get a nice blend. It's funny, but these photos look like I changed them from color to black and white, but I didn't.

word quilt
The tiger from the black and white C&S collection had to make an appearance in the quilt.

I quilted it with straight lines approximately spaced 1/2" apart. It has a nice, crinkley texture without being too stiff to snuggle that little baby.

word quilt

"Twenty fifteen", cut and pieced together, from IKEA's Nummer print, to forever remember the year the baby was born.

I backed it with the Robert Kaufman widescreen crosshatch in Black. I love this fabric for a backing. It comes in a few colors and I have used it a lot. I wish the manufacturers would make more widescreen prints. This time I attached the label before quilting. I don't know why I have not done this before. But now it is forever on the quilt instead of being hand-sewn after the quilt is completed.
Robert Kaufman widescreen crosshatch black

The white binding seemed the perfect compliment to finish this quilt. It frames it nicely and does not add anymore distraction to this, already, very busy quilt. I attached the binding by machine and I am so happy that I have finally gotten better at this technique. Glue basting really helps make it pretty faultless.
machine quilt binding

I can't wait to take a picture of the little Wandzilak baby, lying on this quilt.

word quilt
The mommy-to-be is looking as beautiful as can be. She loved the quilt and I couldn't be happier.
Quilt Stats:
Name: Eat, Sleep, Snuggle
Fabrics used: lots of Black and white fabrics including cuts from Cotton & Steel Black and White collection, Lotta Jansdotter Black and White collection, Summerville, Madrona Road, Kona white, Kona medium grey and Steel Essex Yarn Dyed Linen.
Thread: Pieced and quilted with White Aurifil 50 wt. 
Batting: Warm and White
Backing: Robert Kaufman Widescreen Crosshatch Black
Binding: White Kona Cotton.
Size: 44" x 43.5"