Sunday, October 28, 2012


Sunday is laundry day at my house.  My laundry room  (actually only a closet) is located on the second floor, outside of my sewing room, making Sunday the perfect day to dedicate to sewing and crafting while my washer and dryer churn away.

What better way to start the week than with a day spent in calm creativity?

While I would LOVE to spend today working on my dad's quilt (Christmas is getting mighty close, you know!), our area is under warning for Hurricane Sandy and the room where I usually set up the folding tables to sandwich and baste my quilts has been taken over by outdoor furniture hiding from the storm.  So, instead, I am trying desperately to finish up my "Memories of Myrtle" quilt...a project I began back in March.  WIPs are taking over WAY too much space in my small sewing room!  I only have a few more feet of binding to sew on and then I can begin work on the button embellishments I have planned for the center of each hourglass.

In an effort to conserve my blood supply and my first aid supplies, I hope to use my sewing machine to sew on the buttons, a feat I have never attempted before!  I anticipate a bit of instruction manual reading and testing before I get down to attaching buttons to quilt, lol.

While sewing on the binding I have also found a few "oops" areas where I somehow failed to catch and lock lines of stitching (who knew that was what the dot next to the stitch display meant on my machine?).  It is way too late at this point to make any adequate corrections, so I will fix the problem as best I can...I am thinking a tiny bit of Liquid Stitch will do the trick.  Thank goodness this quilt is only for our "snuggling" use at home!  I look at this quilt and I am amazed to see just how much I have learned since I began a mere 7 months ago!  In addition to learning how to operate my new machine (somewhat), I have learned any number of tips and tricks to make piecing and quilting easier (i.e. locking the beginning and end of a line of stitches!).  I have learned the rules to be kept and the rules that can be broken...all of which will hopefully improve the quality and creativity of my future quilts.  And, speaking of future quilts, my "To Be Made" list continues to grow by leaps and bounds.  I will be dead a good 50 years before I can finish every quilt I have set my sights on!  I can only hope that my version of Heaven includes a sewing room!

So, what's on your sewing table on this spectacular (or in my case, soggy) Sunday morning?


Friday, October 19, 2012

SLEEP...or lack thereof...


Ugh...  It's 3:24 AM on a Thursday and I am in my sewing room - awake!  Like many women of my age, I seem to be having more and more difficulty getting my nightly eight hours of sleep.  Whether it is all from hormonal changes, or partially related to my pain syndrome, is up for grabs.  Not that it really matters.  The end result is a lot less sleeping going on!  Gone are the days when my bed was a haven and sleep a destination at the end of a long blink. 

Unfortunately my dear husband is suffering from my insomnia also.  If I am not waking him up moaning in my sleep from pain that even invades that place of peace, I am bouncing him around as I toss and turn in bed trying to find a comfortable position.  As I said, neither one of us is getting much sleep these days...and the poor man has to get up at 5:00 AM for work!

So tonight, (or this morning...whichever way you want to look at it), when I woke up at 12:50 AM (after just 2.5 hours of sleep...grrrrrrr) I decided to move to the futon in the guest room and give my poor. sweet, suffering husband a chance for a good night's rest.  While moving to the futon may seem a sacrifice, I find the futon (still in the upright position) infinitely more comfortable than many beds I have encountered while traveling.  So all should be right with my world and I should be sailing off to dreamland with ease.  Right?  Wrong.  You see, I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine to keep me breathing regularly while I sleep.  Although the CPAP machine computer proves I am the "poster child for CPAP use with 100% compliance" (my doctor's words, lol), I figured one night of not using the machine wouldn't do me too much harm.  But, after six years of nightly CPAP usage I have discovered it is totally impossible for me to doze off without the constant flow of air!  I could go back into my bedroom and disconnect my machine and bring it into the guest room...but that is absolutely certain to wake hubby and then there is a strong possibility he would be unable to get back to sleep for the remainder of his night!  No sense both of us being awake.  I could try to go back into our bed and fall asleep...but that would likely cause him the same problem. I sit.  Cold.  Exhausted. And BORED OUT OF MY MIND!  I have checked my emails numerous times, visited all of my favorite blogs, spent hours on Pinterest and have finally decided to spend a few minutes grouching and griping here on my blog.  Remember, I did warn you this was going to be an honest account of the ups AND downs of my life, lol.

I guess there is only one thing to do...head back to the guest room futon, snuggle back down under my warm denim quilt and mentally plan my "To Do" list...until my hubby is awake and I can crawl back into bed and collapse.  First thing on my mental ToDo a backup CPAP machine for the guest room! Or better yet, see if I can have my extra, very old machine reprogrammed to my current flow setting.  Yes, definitely a more frugal way to go.  Here's hoping there is a "free" fix to my problem and future sleepless nights are cut down to a minimum. 

Sleep well my friends!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Between time spent at my computer, time spent at my sewing machine and time spent in my rocking chair resting, I spend a LOT of time sitting down!  Whether the results of genetics, posture, my neurologic issues or alignment of the stars, lol, I have a bit more "swayback" to my lower spine than most people.  As a result I find it uncomfortable to lie on my back, or sometimes even sit, without a little something to fill in the gap.  When I finished the cover for my sewing machine (you can see a bit of it in the photo below) I had quite a few scraps left over.  The scraps of each charm square could easily be cut to yield two additional 2" squares, finally leaving me with only a very small sliver of material to discard.  I believe in getting the absolute MOST I can out of any piece of material!  Fabric is too expensive to waste!  Because the back of my chair is really curved (see picture) I needed something to fill in the space right at the bottom of my back... my lumbar spine area.

Using the scrap 2" squares, some FREE batting and stash muslin I pieced and quilted the front of small lumbar cushion.  Frugal, right?  It gets even  better!

 I used some more of the FREE blue "linen-like" material I had gotten from a fellow Freecycler to make an envelope style back to the cushion. This blue material also lines my sewing machine cover. 

I made a pillow insert from some muslin I had lying around for eons.  But now it was time to "stuff" my insert and I wasn't quite sure what I would use.  I needed the pillow to be very pliable so that it would curve to fit the contours of the chair and my back.  No firm overly stuffed pillow would work.  Then I remembered a "frugal tip" regarding using "old stockings" to stuff pillows...and I thought I knew just where I could find some "very old", but never worn knee high stockings!

About 26 years ago I was working in a medical office and wore knee high stockings to work every day under my white uniform pants (this was before the days of "scrubs, socks and sneakers".  For anyone who wears stockings on a daily basis you know how expensive replacing torn hose can become!  A local store was going out of business and was offering a 4 pack of generic knee high stockings for $1.00.  I bought 20 packages of stockings, figuring 80 pairs of knee highs would last me for years!

I had only used 6 packages of hose when our son was born and I stopped working outside of the house.  My new "mommy" uniform was shorts, t-shirts, sweats, SOCKS and sneakers! My "dirt cheap" stocking supply sat untouched.  Just a year and a half later I found myself boxing the stockings for a move to our new house.  And there they sat...forgotten in a sealed box....until a little "memory" nudged at the corner of my brain.  Could it be?  Maybe I had plenty of knee high stockings that I could use to stuff my pillow (if I hadn't already sold them at a garage sale, lol)!  After 25+ years it was probably all they were really good for anyway, as I'm sure they would have ripped from dry rot within a few hours of slipping into my shoes!

Sure enough...the box containing 14 packages of knee highs was still there.  I quickly emptied out all of the stockings, mixed them with a bit of FREE cut up batting I had gotten from a Freecycler and stuffed my muslin pillow form.  When I thought I had reached the right ratio of firmness and pliability I folded over the open end and used masking tape to seal the muslin.  I can add more torn up batting or polyfill as needed.   Smiling to myself at my thrifty accomplishment I stuffed the form into my new pillow cover, placed it on my chair and sat down.  Perfect!  Just one more instance when ingenuity and frugality solved a problem AND added to the decor of my "Scrappy Happy Place".