Monday, October 12, 2020

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

GOOD TO THE LAST SCRAP...



You have already seen how I used scraps to make the thin border on my It's A Girl quilt.  What did I do with the remaining pieces?


I LOVE THESE COLORS and I did not want to let them go to waste.  So, I sewed the individual pieces onto a square of fabric.  Then I sewed vertical and horizontal lines to try to "catch" as many of the raw edges as I could.  Next came a coating of Mod Podge for Fabric to keep all of the raw edges from fraying.



I desperately needed a new "med bag" to hold all of my pills, insulin, glucose tabs, epipen, etc.  This bag is absolutely PERFECT!  It is plenty big enough to hold everything and the pretty fabric makes dealing with all of my medical issues at least a little less painful.  All in all....A WIN!!!








 

IT'S A GIRL...



Recently I completed a quilt for a dear friend who became a grandma for the first time.  I fell in love with the colors of a line called Paradisio (I think).  I had purchased three charm packs many moons ago.  The charm packs were perfect for cutting tumblers, but when the center of the quilt was done it needed something "more".  When desperate, you think outside of the box!



Grabbing all of the tiny leftovers from cutting, I measured out scraps that were 1" wide.  I didn't worry about how long the scraps were.  Alternating my scraps with 1" pieces of white I made a thin, scrappy border.  Okay, it was LOVE at first sight!

I did very minimal quilting on the interior so it would be super soft for the baby to lie on, but I wanted denser quilting around the outside so it would lie flat.  But again, I wanted more!  So before I began a dense stipple I made a stencil of the above flower, marked my quilt with the stencil, and began quilting...flowers first and eventually the stipple.  



But the top and bottom of the quilted needed... You guessed it...MORE.  So I made another stencil and added feathers to my flowers on the top and bottom.  Ah...happy.  Time to stipple!   Then it was just a matter of brushing off the pink chalk used with the stencils.  WHAT?!?!  It. Would. NOT. Come. Off!!! Time to think outside of the box again!  After about two days of thinking I decided to outline the flowers/feathers with pink pencil.  After all, I DID want them to be visible!  I outlined them with pink pencil, added a thin layer of textile extender and heat set.  The color is supposed to last through any washings.



Doesn't the back look pretty with the dense quilting along the outer border and light quilting inside?



The label was the final touch!  I used colors that matched the front of the quilt.  

I couldn't be happier with how it came out.  In fact, it is among my favorite quilts!!!  I brushed up on a lot of my skills...piecing, stenciling, FMQ and machine embroidery.  Speaking of stenciling, my son and daughter-in-law bought me a Cricut Maker for my 60th birthday in August.  OMG, it makes wonderful stencils for marking quilting!!!  I've made two so far and see MANY more in my future, LOL.  I did also make a vinyl label for my Cricut Info binder.  Next I want to learn to cut out my fabric on the Cricut.  So much to learn, so much fun to be had!!!!

 

Monday, May 11, 2020

THE SEARCH IS OVER...


...I have finally found my very FIRST sewing machine!!!  I can vividly remember at around age 7-8 having a toy sewing machine that really worked!  I can remember my mom giving me pieces of sheets that she had cut up into rags and I would sew little pouches to hold my jacks, bottle caps, marbles and baseball cards (I was a bit of a tomboy).  I remembered it was a Singer and had red on it.  I also had some conflicting memories...sewing at the kitchen table with it plugged in AND sewing on the driveway without a cord.  One of my memories had to be wrong!

Then yesterday I opened Facebook Marketplace and there it was!!  I had absolutely NO DOUBT that it was the machine of my childhood.  I bought it, wiped the case thoroughly with Clorox wipes and brought her home.  Only when I got home and went to clean the machine with Clorox wipes did I discover that my memories were not wrong!  She can be plugged in OR run with batteries! 

I don't know if she works or not, and it really doesn't matter as I don't intend to use her except for decoration...but seeing her on my hutch brings a HUGE smile to my face!!!  As I get older I find that treasured memories from my childhood mean so much and I really regret having tossed them all as I outgrew them.  There is only one more item left to find, a Shirley Temple doll given to me by a special great aunt shortly after my birth.  I had intended on keeping her but she, and an entire case of 45s, were stolen from the truck when we moved.  Some day I will find her (most likely when I least expect it), just like I found my FIRST sewing machine.

Toodles...

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

STAYING BUSY HERE AT HOME...



Corona virus has shut down most of our lives.  Period.  But that doesn't mean we have to stop living.  At first I was totally absorbed with adjusting to the loss of my dad (not from Corona)...dealing with my grief, my family's grief and all of the paperwork and phone calls that go along with a death.  But then my focus shifted to becoming "productive" while we shelter in place. 



My first concern was the safety of my family.  I made two masks each for myself, my husband and my grandson.  My son and daughter-in-law had purchased really good reusable masks back in October when they were helping to clean out her grandmother's house.  Since both of them have asthma they needed protection from dust.


Then I mixed up a new supply of hand soap.  We use this soap when using the bathroom and save the harsher, store bought "antibacterial" soap for washing our hands whenever we come back into the house.  After all, the store bought stuff is getting harder and harder to find; and while I know it is full of chemicals (and not necessarily best for my family) I fear Covid 19 more than chemicals!


The myriad changes in our lives have caused a flare of insomnia for my dear daughter-in-law.  I searched my essential oil books and found a "roll on" combination for her to try on the bottoms of her feet at bedtime. I am happy to say that it has helped ease her way to sleep.



Recently, a pillow on my grandson's bed has begun to shred.  Actually, the manufacturer should be ashamed of the poor quality fabric.  So, I did a quick and dirty stitch up and made him an envelope style pillow case.  I let him pick out the fabric and, naturally, it was trucks, LOL!


Almost 2 years ago my son and daughter-in-law were given this beautiful pillow cover.  However, it is not what I would call a "standard" size and they have been unable to find a pillow form to fit.  So...


After replenishing my supply of polyfil (this pillow used up a LOT of fill) I used muslin to make a custom form.  I think it came out great!  I like my pillows to be fairly full but still retain that "squishy" factor.   G is happy with the results!


Right before Easter I made a cute little table mat (for my foyer table) in happy spring colors.  We need some "happy" wherever we can find it these days!



And I have gotten back to an "oldie but goodie", my grandson's quilt.  I am loving every minute of making this quilt, though my body is loudly reminding me that I am old and sick, LOL.  I need to learn moderation.  It is so hard when you are doing something that you love!!!


To keep myself occupied when I am too weak to quilt, I have decided to learn to weave.  Oh My Goodness, the price of rigid heddle looms is WAY more than I would be willing to spend at this point.  What if I really hated it?  My search led to this weaving loom by Martha Stewart.  It was cheap enough that I wouldn't kick myself if I decided it just wasn't for me and the loss taken on reselling it I could live with.  Right now I am making myself a bookmark.  I seem to be having the same problem as a lot of beginners...my sides are curving in.  Oh well, practice makes perfect.  I see a lot of bookmarks being made for family and friends until I overcome this issue, LOL. 





I have also continued to purge through the house and list on Ebay anything that we no longer want or need.  I am happy to say that in spite of this pandemic my sales (especially of thread that my machine no longer likes) have been brisk.  Maybe it is because of the pandemic and the number of "makers" forced to stay indoors?  In any case I am thrilled to pad my bank account and send some of the stuff in this house packing!

In spite of the stay safe at home order I am continuing to be productive and LIVE each day to its fullest.  Now to clean up my sewing room!

Toodles...


Friday, April 3, 2020

A SIGN OF THE TIMES...



The past few weeks have seemed totally unreal to me.  Back on March 18th I lost my dad, the first man I ever loved.  He was a gentleman, fiercely loyal, kind, and funny and I miss him terribly.  Over the past month he had begun preparing me for his departure.  "I think I'm going to die soon".  Of course, this statement sent me in protective overdrive...what's wrong, what are you feeling, what hurts?"  Nothing.  He felt as fine as one could after a stroke 7 months earlier.  "When I die I don't want you to be upset."   Surprisingly, I laughed.  "Okay dad, where is the switch so I can turn it off?"  He laughed too.  "I know you are going to be upset, but remember I will be with your mom...where I want to be.  It's been long enough".  My mom passed away almost 3 years ago.  They had met in 4th grade and were true soulmates.  In 62 years there were only 5 days they were not together...and 4 of them were when my dad had pneumonia and could not visit mom in the nursing home.  He was talking about death, but he was basically "healthy" except for the residual effects of his stroke.

In late February/early March our son approached me, "Mom, I told you I would let you know when to panic.  It's time.  Fill all of the medications for you and dad, and check your food supplies.  This virus is bad!"  Within a short period of time there was talk of a "pandemic".  Then on March 11th the Skilled Nursing Facility where my dad lived shut down to outsiders.  I called my dad to tell him that we would not be able to visit (my aunt or I visited daily).  "How long?!"  I told him we had no idea.  Nobody did.

The very next day, March 12th, I got a phone call that my dad was running a low grade fever.  They were giving him Tylenol and testing for a cause.  I called him that evening and he couldn't hold the phone.  He was obviously not doing well, but there was no "illness" to be found.

On March 14th he took a turn for the worse.  I called his physician to discuss hospice.  He had gone down hill so quickly that the doctor questioned if dad would even be with us at the completion of the admission process.  We decided to move forward anyway.  The next day he was placed on hospice.

On March 18th my aunt and I were called to come to the home to say goodbye.  Only the two of us could go because of the Corona virus.  It seemed so "wrong" for his entire immediate family not to be there.  By lunch time dad was gone.

Call me crazy, but I believe the separation from his family (the only reason he had held on for 3 years without my mom) because of the Corona virus shutdown was the reason for his rapid decline and passing.  No "reason/illness" was found for him going down hill.  On the 11th he was beating my aunt at cards and on the 18th he was gone.

Limited funeral plans were made (again because of Corona) for March 24th.

On March 23rd, the day before dad's funeral, one of my aunts on my mom's side of the family passed away.  We offered our condolences, but her funeral, too, was limited to just the immediate family.

The on April 1st one of my dad's sister's passed away.  Again, condolences were sent. 

In 14 days I lost three members of my family, unexpectedly, and none directly related to the virus.  How many more could any of us lose because of the pandemic?  Today the governor of my state issued a recommendation/order? for everyone in my state to wear a mask if leaving the house.  My son and daughter-in-law have high quality masks bought when they were cleaning out her grandmother's house.  They both have asthma and needed protection.  For my husband, aunt and I there will be handmade masks.  N95 masks cannot be found, and even if they could...our first responders need them more.

So tomorrow I will be making a minimum of two more masks.  I may also make one for my grandson, although there is no way in Hades he is stepping foot out of this house!  I may make one for him anyway...just in case.

Last month my life changed completely and I wonder if there will ever be a time that we, or anyone else, will return to some semblance of normal.  Losing people I love has been hard, but grieving impacted by fear and restriction has left me in a state of limbo.  Each morning I wake up to this changed and restricted life and I wonder, "How could this all happen so fast and when will it all end?"  I can only hope and pray that this "new normal" ends as quickly as it began!

Stay safe my friends.

Toodles...


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

I THINK I'M BACK...

Last night my son worked to block a few vulnerabilities on my computer that allowed hackers in.  I THINK I am back and my blog is safe.  However, if you see anything illegal, lewd, or just plain horrible, PLEASE send me a comment so that I may take action.  I in NO WAY support any of these sites or activities and it is definitely not ME posting if you see that type of post.  Thank you.

Also, as an aside, for anyone who follows people on Bloglovin.  This is most likely the route used by the hackers to hack my accout.  My son did a search and Bloglovin has been associated with all kinds of filth from porn to trafficking.  I'm not saying that "Bloglovin" is responsible, per se, but they may have vulnerabilities that allow the hackers in.  In any case, my son has deleted my Bloglovin account and you will no longer be able to follow me through Bloglovin.  Be safe out there folks!