Her last day this week

We finished up our days with Rae this week and Keith drove her home. I was surprised that I was able to finish hand quilting the pink and purple top and get it bound today even with our schoolwork and activities. She went with me to the post office and for a hike this afternoon and then played some Around the World (basketball) with Keith before they headed back to Marietta.

Since we don’t go inside restaurants to eat, eating on the curb has become a thing with Rae … when we took her back to Tampa with us in May, we stopped at McDonald’s on the drive and I told her messy eaters couldn’t eat in my car so her and Pop had to eat on the curb. Tonight, they stopped at Chick Fil A and had dinner together on the curb! Isn’t it funny what kids latch on to?

Do you hand quilt?

It’s been ages since I’ve done any hand quilting. In fact I hadn’t done any for many years and then decided to try some big stitch quilting about 6 years ago. I finished several quilts but this one has been a UFO for way too long. I brought it with me in June thinking I might get it finished but didn’t even touch it. I’ve got more left to stitch than I thought but I did work on it today rather than start a new quilt. It felt very awkward at first and my stitches certainly aren’t even but that doesn’t matter so much with this more “primitive” style of quilting. I think I’ll work on this for a few days and at least make some progress even though I doubt I’ll get it finished this trip. It’s not getting anything fancy … just some straight line quilting.

Random sightings

Don’t you just love seeing random sightings of the quilts you’ve made and gifted being used? My sister had a post on Facebook about her cats crawling under the quilts because it was chilly and she showed a quilt I’d made for her … of course, as usual Mom helped out with some piecing but I always loved how this Ocean Waves quilt turned out.


The weather has turned cool enough to have a fire for a little bit, just enough to take the chill off the room. Cuddled up with a fire and a quilt, we watched the last day of the Tour de France this morning.

Chris and Becky arrived after lunch with the girls – Rae will be staying for a few days again so I can help out with her online schooling. We played some cornhole. Not something I’d played much but we’ve had some fun since Keith had Chris find the boards for us.

Chris noticed a twig on the car while we were playing … Or is it?!

I’d only recently seen posts about these twig bugs here in Big Canoe! We thought it was pretty neat and Chris had a good eye to see that it was a bug!

We’re subscribing to the NFL game pass this year since we’re not going out to a local pub to watch our “out of market” games. You can watch the whole game almost commercial free but not until the live game is over … I don’t mind waiting and I’m sitting here tonight watching the Vikings lose 😦

A walk in the woods

I’ve been fairly lazy the last few weeks … some biking and an occasional walk but I did manage a 3 and 1/2 mile walk with Keith today. The path is paved but very hilly!!

I’d just been telling Keith to be careful when he was out in the yard or hiking because people were reporting seeing a lot of copperheads … and what did we run across today? A copperhead just in front of me on the path! This wouldn’t have been as easy to see if we’d been on one of the trails!


I love fat quarters and I find Jelly Rolls very convenient when I want to grab something and start sewing although many times I find they need a background fabric or some stash mixed in to work well. I’ve got a few Charm Square patterns that I really like, but Layer Cakes … UGH!! I’m glad I have never collected them because I find them very hard to use.

Our Precut challenge for September is to use a Layer Cake and luckily I have just ONE left (and I won’t be buying any more).

My layer cake has a mix of light and dark squares so I can’t just pull a background fabric to use with it. I decided that this Modern Layer Cake Square in a Square pattern would be my best use of it. On one hand, I like the off center squares. It’s similar to a quilt I made for Keith years ago but I have to pay more attention than I’d like to my cutting because there are a number of directional fabrics in my Jelly Roll.

I have a rotating mat at home which would make the cutting easier but luckily, Amazon had a Friskers rotating mat that was actually very reasonably priced and I was able to have it shipped here quickly. It’s also great for carrying the cut pieces from the cutting table to the sewing machine.

This is a pretty quick and easy pattern to sew and I made a good start today. Blocks will be moved around as I make more blocks and get more variety.

The schoolroom

We set Rae up in the nook outside my sewing room this time. She has several zoom calls during the day so she’s close enough I can hear what’s going on and help when needed but my sewing machine doesn’t interrupt her class!

We also did a little yoga to burn off some energy and to calm down at different points during the day. I don’t do yoga so we had to look up some poses!

A visit from the deer gave her something to write about!


I always get a lot of questions when I post about making masks and I’ve gone through several variations since I started making them this spring. I thought I’d put some details here so I can refer people to this post rather than repeating myself in emails!

I’m using templates that were designed by my sister and a friend of hers and are available for sale. I ordered a set for here and at home. Face Masks templates. You can also search online for free patterns that use a similar design but I like the ease of having the templates and I adapt the size by adding or subtracting a little. For example for the kids masks, I use the smaller of the two templates and cut it 1/4 inch smaller all the way around and for Keith’s masks, I ended up making them a little larger than the template.

I started making these using ties cut from old t-shirts which work really well. Cut off the hem of the shirt and cut 1 inch strips from the bottom of the t-shirt, cut the loop and pull on the two ends and it curls up to just the right size. I feed mine through both casings and have it tie at my neck. T-shirts without side seams work best.

Even though these are very easy to wear and tie, Keith kept wanted something easier like the disposable masks so when elastic became more available again, I decided to try that for him. I buy a “cord” like, 1/8 inch elastic from Amazon which I like better than a flat elastic although it’s probably a little harder to sew the ends together. Click here to see the Elastic from Amazon. I use about 20 inches of elastic for me, 22 inches for Keith, and about 18 inches for the kids but you can make one and adjust it to the size that fits you best. Also, these ties go around your head, not loop around your ears so I find them more comfortable. You have a casing on both sides of the mask so you could always try making ear loops if you prefer that but I like them going around the head.

Using a safety pin, I thread a piece of the elastic up one side and loop it around and down the other side, overlap the edges and pin, making sure not to twist the elastic, and I sew back and forth in 2 or 3 places. .

I then move that join to the side and hide it in one of the casings so it’s not seen.

I wear the masks with both the t-shirt and elastic ties and find they fit well and are comfortable for me.

Helping out

Rae’s going to stay with us a few days and I’ll help with her online schooling to give Becky a bit of break. She’s been working full time from home, caring for a 2 year old, and dealing with Rae’s school – a tough job all the way around so we’ve offered to help out while we’re here. Chris will bring Rae on Sundays and Keith will drive her home Wednesdays after he finishes work but today they all came for the afternoon and dinner. We watched some of the Tour de France, some of the Lightning game … and I did some crafts with the girls.

I taught Rae how to do latch hooking on my last trip and it will be an ongoing project for her to work on here.

Mo was just watching Rae when I took this photo of her but she played with a sticker book. So easy to entertain her … give her some stickers and a piece of paper to put them on and she’s happy!

Big Canoe

We made it to Big Canoe late yesterday afternoon after an uneventful drive. I’m excited about the next few weeks … it’s already about 10 degrees cooler than it is at home and I can’t wait for the leaves to start changing. For now, it’s still mostly green but you can see a few leaves turning in a tree here and there. I’m going to post this photo of Sconti lake I took today and I’ll post another one later this fall.

I had a few errands to run and then I set about unpacking and organizing the projects I brought with me. I have lots more here than I can even begin to work on but the plan is to have plenty to choose from when I’m ready to start projects.

And then I put the first set of Rainbow HeartStrings blocks up on the design wall. This will get black sashing and I might move a couple blocks before I start sewing but I’m all set to work tomorrow!