Fun Sewing and our 12 Days of Christmas

Another CC Lucy--and another kitty cat dress for my kitty cat loving granddaughter.

Another CC Lucy–and another kitty cat outfit for my kitty cat loving granddaughter.  The fabric features Disney’s Aristocats.

Happy 2017 to you all!  I hope yours was the merriest Christmas and holiday season ever because the Ferguson family’s surely was.

I can’t help but rant on and on ad nauseum about our holiday activities and good times, so for those who prefer to stay on topic, which would be SEWING, I will save those details for after the sewing news.  But we really had some great fun and you might glean an idea or two for your family gatherings.

At Thanksgiving, almost 4 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose asked me to please make her another “kitty cat” outfit.  Then as she walked in the door for Christmas, she again pleaded with this wrapped-around-her-little-finger Nana for another kitty cat dress. Please!

After the Too Many Cats dress cat-astrophe, I thought maybe I could talk her into trading the  too big, too worn out and too ugly dress for another better one.  Having this fabric on hand and my go-to CC Lucy pattern at the ready, I worked on it for two evenings after she went to sleep.  Voila’!  A new and improved version of kitty cat dress, though I wish I had taken time to lay out the front so the Eiffel Tower was centered.


This puffy pocket is a free pattern at Chidren's Corner website.

This puffy pocket is a free pattern at Children’s Corner website.   It’s a sweet little addition to any number of patterns.


The pocket is not piped.  I’ve taken to substituting spaghetti bias for piping.  It is simply butted up to the attached pocket and secured with a tiny zig zag and monofilament thread.  Cover the raw edges with a button.  Easy peasy.

The good news?  Vivian Rose loved it, though she did say that the pockets were too small.  She knew she couldn’t fit in her little hand and a big fat chocolate donut. Granddad ALWAYS has a box of Dunkin Donuts on the counter for easy access.  And he replaces it daily when he goes for his early morning hot latte.  He figures they can eat healthy at home.

The bad news?  No way would she give up Too Many Cats, now demoted to Second Favorite Dress.  Oh, well.  It has been laundered 2-3 times a week since Sept. 1 so how much longer can it last?  Maybe a while…. the fabric is such good quality.

The boys wanted to sew (read “embroider”) as soon as they arrived.  Alastair, 7, yo, is quite competent at threading and running my Brother Quattro machine.  So he selected the embroidery design, selected his colors and stitched it with no more help than my hooping it for him.  He was so pleased, and so was his proud mother.

Alastair with the dishtowel he embroidered for his mother.

Alastair with the dishtowel he embroidered for his mother.  What a sweet message he embroidered for her!  It’s in the OESD collection Live, Laugh, Love 12298.


At the same time, Robert, 11,  was embroidering a dishtowel for his mother on my Brother Dream Machine.  But I did not get a picture.  In September his family moved from Florida (24 miles from our home) to New Jersey –BOO HOO!!!!  He chose a design which looks similar to their new home, stitched it in brown like the exterior and even added the house number to the front door.


This design is from an old Bernina card, Home and Garden, 770. I've used this design a few times for a casual housewarming gift. No one feels beholden due to a dishtowel gift.

This design is from an old Bernina card, Home and Garden, 770.  I added the grass. I’ve used this design a few times for a casual housewarming gift. I like it because no one feels beholden for a dishtowel gift.


Robert did this and even used the array feature to arc the text in Brother’s PE-Design.  These kids must be born with a chip.  It comes so easily to them.

For a friend’s new baby I embroidered a soft knit hooded towel, wash cloth, and bib set.  Yellow duck from an old Amazing Designs Bath Time 1 collection looked sweet on white with picot edged pastel aqua.  But again, no time for a photo.

I did get a picture of my favorite Christmas gift.  Included in Robert’s 6th grade curriculum is a co-ed Modern Living class.  One project was hand sewing  a small pillow.  Robert selected the fabric and made this pin cushion for me.  I love it, I love every stitch he made and I love him.

Pincushion handstitched by 11 yo grandson, Robert.

Pincushion handstitched by 11 yo grandson, Robert.  It really is perfectly square but was propped up and looks irregularly shaped.


Then with white glass head pins he embellished it with his initials.  That seemed like a good idea to  7 yo cousin Alastair so he did the same using silver Iris pins.  He even helped almost 4yo Vivian Rose with hers.

The rest of this post is family chit chat, so skip this if it doesn’t interest you.  It will probably bore you but it makes me happy to relive those days with pictures and words.  It really was 12 days of fun.

Our 12 Days of Christmas Fun

On the first day after our son’s family arrived at our home,  we decorated gingerbread houses.  That’s a long standing tradition in our family–decorating the house and eating a good bit of the candy decorations.

The NJ kids washed the golf cart just to soak up the warm Florida sunshine.  Also, to please their beloved granddad for whom they would do anything.



Christmas Eve we wrapped gifts and went to a beautiful candlelight service.  Sitting together in the beautiful sanctuary, listening to the glorious choir and singing age old carols kept the reason for the season fresh in our minds.




Of course, Christmas Day we had a traditional celebrations–gifts, a huge turkey dinner, and fun.   Our son and son-in-law (and their children) had a big time with the remote controlled air sharks.  When I saw these advertised on line I couldn’t resist them.  But the fins kept falling off and one shark was determined to go his own way,  regardless of the remote’s direction. Still, they generated a lot of laughter.



Granddad feigns fear to delight little Vivian.


The children were eager to spend time with their Florida friends,  several of whom visited at our house.  Robert and Laurel, especially, spent time at their friend’s homes, catching up and reconnecting.


There is Vivi in the Too Many Cats dress, though she has decided to wear it backwards. Who cares?


As we planned for the holidays, we thought we needed to spice things up with more to do than hanging out with the grandparents and their friends.  So we made up a few entertaining activities.

When I saw  these lighted beanies on-line, I ordered one for everyone.  Aside from being useful for the older grands who wait mornings for the school bus in the dark, I thought we could have fun with these.  So 10 beanies were ordered, one for each member of  the family.

So the hats were distributed and the game Gotcha became a new tradition.  Basically, it’s just hide-and-seek in the dark.  While “IT” stands in the middle of the yard with eyes closed, each person finds a hiding spot in the front yard, with their beanies lighted so as not to run into a tree.  At the count of 25 IT calls “lights out!” then counts to five before seeking with his light on.  When someone is spotted, IT yells “Gotcha!” and the game starts over again.  And again. And again.  The children never tired of it, but the adults surely did.


Gotcha crew all suited up.

Rastus inspecting the Gotcha crew,  all suited up.


Other evenings we made s’mores over a huge bonfire. Our left over yard debris  from Hurricane Matthew made impressive bonfires.


Some nights we played Gotcha AND had a bonfire.

Some nights we played Gotcha AND had a s’mores bonfire.  Big time!  But Vivi was fading.


The children loved The Quest, a modified daytime scavenger hunt, though  the only thing they hunted for was the next clue.

“It’s got a new roof and a ladder to climb.  That’s where the next clue you will find.”  Off they went to the tree house and poked around looking for the next clue.



“Towels and goggles and maybe some trunks.  Your clue’s in a big box along with some junk.”  To the pool!



“A tree was planted for each grandchild. Your clue is by one kitty cat wild.”  No question about this one.  They ran to Vivian’s tree.



“You love to ride it especially at night. The next clue is near there but not in bright light.”  Off to Bob’s utility shed where the golf cart is kept.  I took a while to find that well hidden clue.



“There are two naked children wearing no clothes.   Why are they like that?  Nobody knows.”   They ran off to the back garden.



There were 14 clues and the children ran and ran, criss-crossing our 3 acres again and again.  We wore them out.  Yeah!




“Go to the place where we all love to eat. Have a root beer float.  You’ve completed this feat!”


Ice cream, root beer and whipped cream are stock items at Nana’s house.  And, of course, there is milk for a chaser.


What a happy 12 days we had.  We managed to spend time alone with each of our fabulous adult children.  Laurel and I had a Starbucks date.  We went to see the new Moana movie.  There were night rides on the golf cart, football games watched in front of the fireplace, bedtime stories and prayers and lots and lots of kisses and hugs.  But still, we wanted more.  So until the next time we are all  together I pray this prayer.



38 responses to “Fun Sewing and our 12 Days of Christmas

  1. from Martha Pullen forum: Love the dress but love your 12 day holiday fun.

  2. Thanks for plowing through my replay of the 12 days. I’m glad you like the dress. It was made quickly but suited Vivi just fine.

  3. from Martha Pullen forum: Cutest dress, I love the fabric and I’ll bet Vivian Rose does too!

  4. Thanks! Vivi did love the dress and wore it to her first day back to preschool.

  5. Shirley Boyken

    Our minds must have been on the same wave length…..I, too, ordered the lighted beanies for 2 of my grown Grandsons. I wasn’t clever enough to think up a game using them…..I just thought they would be handy for walking the dog after dark! They work for that too!!!

  6. Shirley, again and again we are on the same wave length–lucky for me to be in tune with your sharp, creative mind. I thought those hats were awesome and so did the children, even our adult kids.

  7. I absolutely loved reading this post! Your life is so rich in family and love. I’ve seen up close in real life too! You are the real deal~~~ Wishing you the best for 2017! I will be thinking of you this week at SATB and wishing you were my roommate again!

  8. Awwww, Terri, I think of you soooo often and hoping you and yours are well and happy. Every year I miss being at SATB, you are one of the reasons I miss it most. Why did Vivian Rose have to be born at SATB time? I’d love to see you anytime.

  9. from Sew Classic for Children fb: I love that fabric !!

  10. It’s a Disney Aristocats fabric entitled Merci Paris. There are many companion prints. Now that Vivi loves it so much I wish I had bought more. Because I need more fabric. Right.

  11. from SewClassic for Children fb: Perfect in every way!

  12. Loved your blog and the projects. I googled fabric with olives on it and found some on etsy. Check it out! Get some for later that is way we build our stash and clutter our sewing rooms. :<). Linda

  13. Thanks for plowing through my blog, Linda, and I’m glad you liked it. Great tip about the olive fabric. And I do need to increase my stash–one bay of our 3 car garage is empty, making room for more bins!!!!!

  14. Sew Classic for Children fb: Perfect in every way!

  15. from SewClassic for Children fb: oohhh, Love this version, Janice Stark Ferguson. I think this might have to be reproduced for KatieBug.

  16. I’d be flattered!

  17. from Sew Classic for Children fb: That is so cute. I used to make kitty cat clothes for my granddaughter when she was little.

  18. from facebook: You had a fun time lots of memories.

  19. from Peggy: Janice, I loved reading your blog. I know 4 grands that will cherish all of these memories that y’all have made together. Love you and wish y’all a happy and blessed 2017.

  20. Thanks, Peggy. You know, you set the bar for grandparenting when you told me about the Mickey Mouse pancakes you routinely made for your grandchildren. You are one incredible grandma example.

  21. from Willie: Great blog great fun. We had hunts for presents with clues they were always fun.

  22. Willie, I LOVE that idea. Maybe next year we’ll save somes mall gifts for The Quest game.

  23. from Lisa on fb: You have such a terrific family- so glad you got to spend a long vacation together!!

  24. Thanks, Lisa . It was truly a Norman Rockwell holiday. I know you have fun X 5 with yours. I hope you finger has healed up.

  25. from Judy on fb: So happy all your babies were there! I kow it was a glorious time! We need to catch up!

  26. from Kay on fb: Sounds like such a great time of memories made. They will remember.

  27. Kay, I think they will remember some of the things we did. But Bob and I will remember every minute of every day with them.

  28. from Marjean on fb: Loved reading your blog, Janice! Such a beautiful family and they are very blessed to have you!

  29. Marjean, thank you! With all you do with your family, I know they are just as blessed to have you!

  30. from Carole on fb: I agree with Marjean. Your family and the things you do together are wonderful. I would tell you to enjoy every minute, but I know you already are.

  31. Thanks, Carole. We are so blessed that we all genuinely love one another and get along so well. That makes it easy to have wonderful times.

  32. from SewClassic for Children fb: Love this cute dress. Love me some Lucy!

  33. It was awesome, Judy Day. We really MUST catch up. There is just too much busyness in my life–time for a lonnnnnng chat and a visit if we can be in the same state at the same time.

  34. Janice, I love your sewing stories and I also love your family stories. It sounds like an awesome time with your family; I can’t believe how big your grands are getting! I love the kitty cat dress with the Paris fabric background; having 5 cats of my own I’m always on the look out for cat fabrics to make projects with.

  35. Betty, I’m glad you don’t mind my stories. I can’t stop myself from talking about the family and sewing. The Aristocat fabric caught my eye immediately when I saw it at my favorite brick and mortar store, The Sewing Studio. Since then, I’ve seen several companion cat prints on Lucky you to have 5 cats! One of our 3 FF cats (formerly feral) has decided to be our house cat. Because both of our adult children and one grandchild are allergic to cats, we’ve kept them outside, nicely housed in the wash house. With a heater, their food and water, polar fleece lined basket beds and a kitty door for easy in and out, they are quite comfortable. But Mo just lets himself in the house through the huge doggie door and parks himself on the couch. During this cold weather he has taken to sleeping on our bed with us! We’ll have to keep him outside most of the time, but it’s so nice to hear him purring when he’s nearby.

  36. What a thoughtful and simple gift the pincushion is ! Forever a priceless treasure.

  37. Rheeta, that is just so true! When Robert called me almost every night, he detailed his school day, class by class. When he talked about the pillow he was making, he never even hinted that it was for me. What a sweetheart he is!

  38. from SewForum: Another cute one!…with kitties! lol!

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