Homeward Bound


and Los Angeles

look pretty good from the air, 

especially at night.

But I prefer the view from my own front door.

 Christmas shopping has begun!


Addy’s First Quilt

Rachel and I took Addy quilt shopping with us on Small Business Saturday and she fell hard for the cute little charm packs at Stitches Quilting. And of course her grandma was overjoyed happy to buy her everything she wanted one pack, with promises of more once she sewed these up. 

 Design #3 was the winner!

I thought Addy’s interest might wane - we’re doing weaving and sewing also this week - but first thing Sunday morning she pulled out the charms and we started developing a plan.

I also thought she would get tired - or we would run out of time - before we finished but Addy powered through.

I showed her how to do each step but she did all the actual sewing

of squares and rows,

the inevitable seam ripping (happily and without complaint),

and by late afternoon we had a finished mini-quilt top.

I gave Addy the option of stopping at this point but she was having none of it. So while she did her chores, I squared up the top and pinned the quilt sandwich.

Then Addy took over and did all the diagonal cross-hatch quilting.

We worked through lunch and dinner (along with a movie and 2 football games)

but by 8 o’clock, the quilt was bound,


and hanging in a favored spot on Addy’s bedroom wall. 

I’m so proud of this sweet girl and more than a little sad that it’s time for Pop and me to head home. But Addy is already planning more sewing/weaving/quilting projects for our April visit and I am one very happy grandma. 


Sew Success (Finally)

A few weeks ago, I took a pajama pants sewing class at my favorite local studio. I’ve wanted to learn for a long time, and this seemed like a logical first step into little-girl garment sewing, which I’d like to do in addition to quilting.

My plan was: 1) make a pair for me (which I finished the first night of the 2-session class); and 2) make matching pairs for Leia, Leanne and Jaclyn. Part 1 was a success - I love my pants. Part 2, however, was an almost complete bust. Leia hated her pants - they are pink (which she now hates); they are not blue (her current favorite color); and they aren’t skin-tight like her beloved leggings. 

Leanne was slightly better; she liked the color but she wasn’t going to actually wear them. 

I finally talked her into trying them on so I could get pictures, but she proclaimed them “itchy” and immediately took them off*.

So I didn’t have high hopes when I asked Addy if she would like some pj pants. “Yes!!”, says she.

Would she like to go fabric shopping?  “Yes!”  Help pin and cut the pattern? “Yes!” 

 Addy’s “Stop asking silly questions and let’s get started, Grandma!” face.

How about sewing . . . “Yes, yes, yes!!”

So we shopped and pinned 

and cut and sewed

and they fit and she loves them

and we are planning how many more we can make before Pop and I go home on Monday. I’m sew happy.

* Leanne’s mom said the pants were super soft and told Leanne she was being silly. And the next day Leanne brought me a thank-you card, complete with 3 popsicle-stick people wearing matching pj pants, and we are planning a big popcorn, movie, wear our matching pants sleep-over for next week. I’m sew happy x 2. 


Vacation Catch-Up

Addison passed along her birthday germs, bless her heart, so she and I were both sick for Thanksgiving. Fortunately, it was a short-lived bug and we were both up and feeling good(-ish) the next day.

Friday afternoon we dressed in our Colorado finery - which Rachel describes as “jeans, boots and fancy sweaters” - 

and headed into Denver for dinner (at Sam’s Diner #3, a downtown institution) and a show.

Rachel scored tickets to Movie At The Symphony’s performance of Home Alone - Addy’s favorite movie - with the Colorado Symphony and Choir providing the musical score.

So much fun.

I’d forgotten how funny that movie is. Doesn’t seem possible it was made 21 years ago. 

Today, at Addy’s request, we went painting. 

This was a first for me, although Rachel and Addy have done it before.

The instructor took us step-by-step through the featured painting,

with varying degrees of success on our part.

I’m definitely not going to win any art prizes,

but it was ridiculously fun, we all had a great time and I can’t wait to get home and do it again. 


Happy Happy

Happy 12th birthday to Addison!

We celebrated her last pre-teen year with presents,

a bit of crafting, (that’s her joking “stop taking pictures and help me” face.)

and dinner at her favorite restaurant. Unfortunately, she came home and promptly threw up. We’re hoping it’s just too much excitement and not the start of something germy. Cross your fingers for us, please! Happy birthday, sweet Addy!



We left Sunday for our annual visit to Colorado for Addy’s birthday and that other November holiday. Something involving a turkey??

We haven’t traveled much this year, so the Travel Fund was flush - and I found a deal - so  we got to enjoy the comforts of first class on a very crowded flight. It almost made up for the parking disaster LAX has created; you need a reservation for parking due to ongoing construction in the public lots and overcrowding in the private lots. We, of course, did not know this. We were lucky to find a spot - after 45 minutes of driving in circles and lots of swearing - on the top floor of an 8-story parking garage. Good thing we always give ourselves lots of extra time when we fly.

English paper piecing is my travel project of choice these days. I have a small 3-tier plastic container that holds my EPP supplies and current project, but even that’s too bulky for airline travel. 

So I made this cute little travel kit. (Pattern is here*.) 

The front pocket holds 2 tins for hexies, needles and scissors; the second has flowers in-progress; and the third holds my thread and glasses. 

It also gave me an excuse to use some of my favorite Laurel Birch fabric. Love her designs! (And yes, I’m annoyed that part of the fabric is upside-down, even after some careful planning. However. “Finished is better than perfect” definitely applies here.) 

I didn’t use my new travel kit on the plane - playing with sharp needles didn’t sound like a good idea after my de-stress Mimosa  - but it’s proven itself very handy since we arrived at Addy’s. 

* A friend and I both made this travel kit and we both struggled with the pattern directions. Even with photos, we found it very confusing. Am I glad I made this? Yes, definitely. Would I make another one? Nope!