Friday, March 15, 2019

NOT ALL SEWING...


For the past few weeks I have been working on this afghan.  It isn't perfect (little balls don't line up) but I love it anyway!  I have been working on this off and on (more off than on) over the past 5-6 years.  It is relaxing to watch TV while my hands are somewhere off in their own little world creating something pretty and useful. When finished, it will be cozy, warm and HEAVY!  Maybe it will even provide a little anxiety relief along with warmth?


The little bit of sewing that I HAVE done is a new topper for my foyer table.  I know I am a bit "late" for this St. Patrick's Day (I will never get it finished in the next two days), but it will be all ready to go for next year!  I have had a lot of fun with this project as I determined that it should be made completely from on-hand supplies.  Limitations force creativity...which means more FUN!  I don't have any more of the fabric used in my St. Paddy's Day 12" mini quilt, but I was able to find fabric that pulled out some of the supporting shades of green in the piece.  I will outline the clover in a brighter green to coincide with the main green of the mini quilt.  I hope to use outline quilting and a dense stippling to make the clover really POP! 

These two projects have led to quite a bit of unprovoked smiling, even when doing laundry...and anything that can link smiling to wash is a good thing!  Have a wonderful SPD, all!

Toodles...

Saturday, February 9, 2019

BACK TO FMQ...It's been a LONG time!



After months of absence from my sewing machine, I was really itching to try out my new FMQ ruler. I also needed a small Valentine's Day table topper for the small table in my foyer.  Why not kill two birds with one stone?  I took some small pieces of Valentine's Day fabric, pieced a small topper and set about learning to move my fabric AND the ruler at the same time.  Oh boy was it "awkward"!  After making gently arcing lines, my jaw, fingers, arms, neck and back began to cramp.  Agh....relax, relax!!  I gave up on ruler work and decided to do "scribble quilting" in the open space to make the triangles really pop.  Cue the music!  For anyone who has not yet heard the tip, listening to music while quilting helps you to maintain a consistent flow of stitches as you unconsciously match your movement to the beat of the music!  If you sing along, an additional benefit is gained as it is really hard to grind your teeth while singing!!!



While certainly not perfect, the finished topper was plenty good enough for display.  First attempt at ruler work complete and I'm sure the more I practice the easier it will become!  I'm hoping for more sewing time in the near future!

Toodles...


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

CHRISTMAS GIFT WRAPPING..


Many years ago I had switched from wrapping Christmas gifts in paper to enclosing them in handmade bags.  With with addition of my wonderful daughter-in-law and grandson to our family, my bag supply was woefully inadequate!


At the end of the holiday season last year (or maybe it was the year before) I bought about 12 yards of assorted Christmas fabrics on deep, DEEP discount.  Over the weekend I "wrapped" our gifts and, as expected, needed a few more bags, LOL.  If I can remember the next time I am in a hardware store I want to pick up some of the rubber dip to coat the end of the ties.  I think that will hold up better than the scotch-tape I am currently using.  

One down, quite a few more to go!

Toodles...

Monday, October 15, 2018

DING DONG, AVON CALLING...

DING DONG, AVON CALLING

Many years ago I sold Avon.  I loved their products, but life became too hectic to handle selling Avon door-to-door and working a full time job.  I was, sadly, forced to turn away from selling my favorite products.  As there was no other saleswoman in my area, I have "done without" Avon for many years. 

We are now in 2018 and you can sell and buy Avon digitally, and have it delivered right to your door!  

My daughter-in-law (gosh that sounds SO RIGHT) has recently become an Avon Representative!  (Aaack, an Avon representative "in-house" could play havoc with my wallet!)

If any of you have wanted Avon's wonderful products but have not had a Representative nearby, you can find a link to Gabby's Avon Page through the Avon tab above!  Enjoy!

Toodles...

Ps.  I should note that they are on their honeymoon until next week !

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

PILLOW CASES...


Recently we purchased the My Pillow that is advertised on TV.  First and foremost, we LOVE these pillows!  If you are on the fence about buying them, I highly recommend them.  Our pillows came with 2 free travel pillows.  They are perfect for Justin and Gabby to take camping on their honeymoon.  Gabby asked me to make pillow cases for them.  Of course I used camo fabric!


Gabby asked me to put a small pink camo heart on one of the pillow cases for her.  By now I am sure you all know how much she LOVES pink camo, LOL.


I used Pellon Wonder Under to attach the camo heart to the pillow case and then sewed around it with the same stitch that I used on my Fall Leaves Table Topper.  I just love the texture that it imparts.


Here is my test swatch before I began sewing.  It is sort of like a blanket stitch that points both ways, or maybe a "baseball" stitch.  Whatever you call it, and no matter what it is really supposed to be used for, I love all of the texture!  You can be sure you will be seeing more of this stitch in my future, LOL. 

Off to tackle more of my "mending/making" pile!

Toodles...

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

BRAIN DUMP NEEDED...


Life is crazy, nuts, hectic...and probably at least another 50 or so synonyms that I'm not including!  When I was young I could multitask better than most.  It was my forte.  I was organized to the hilt and I loved every minute of my life.  The more "balls in the air" the happier I was!

Fast forward 30+ years and too many balls in the air is leading to stress and anxiety for me.  I have too much "stuff" in my head at all times...and I'm mucking it up badly!!!  I knew my limit had been reached when I sent my poor father to the wrong office for his doctor's appointment!  Never before in my life had I made that type of mistake...not in my work life nor my home life!

I've become adept at using my phone and computer to keep track of my schedule, but using technology to keep track of all of the things I have to do, all of the telephone calls I have to make and emails I have to send was cumbersome.  I had so many things written on one day that my digital calendar was showing "+4", "+5" etc on the date.  Sure, I could go to the daily view and see what those extra 4 or 5 things were, but it was annoying bouncing back and forth between the monthly and daily views.  Obviously NOT writing them down somewhere was taxing the hard drive in my head, resulting in my dad showing up at the wrong office.  I needed a brain dump!



Enter my planner above.  Last year I spent good money on a pre-made planner and it only fulfilled about 30% of my needs.  My life was not the same as someone else's life.  So this year I pulled out a Dollar Store composition book and began writing things down.  Now that I know my system is working well it's time to "pretty it up" a bit!


Using a cheap fat quarter I made a cover reminiscent of the paper bag ones we used in school.  Next, I wanted to be able to carry my pen and red pencil with me.  I fashioned a two sectioned pocket from another piece of fabric and folded it over the edge of the cover.  Easy, peasy!

As a quilter, I have AT LEAST 500 or so projects floating around in my head for future completion.  I decided to glue ideas, color ways, sketches and even quilt kits from my favorite catalogs etc. onto the pages.  They would be pretty and inspirational and would provide a "visual" of what I found appealing instead of a simple written description...which could be interpreted in so many ways two months from now!  I would store all of my inspiration in the white envelope and glue one per page.  My pages were beautiful...until my lists became cramped, squeezed and illegible around the pictures.  For now I will forgo the pictures.  My planner needs to be functional first!  Maybe what I need is another composition book to craft as an Idea Book.


As the household secretary, I make ALL of the necessary phone calls.  ;o(  While some call results can be documented simply in the "Calls" section, there are times where I need to make more copious notations on the things discussed.  In this case I jot my notes onto a separate sheet and place it in the manilla enveloped affixed to the inside back of the composition book.  I can then use my red pencil to check off the call as completed and write (DOC) next to it to signify that there is written information stored in the envelope.  SOoooo much easier than trying to remember who said what!!!

With retirement looming large for my husband I need a reminder to exploit every money making and money saving technique I can in order to build up our coffers before the big day hits!  While we are BOTH looking forward to the day he leaves the stress of the working world behind...we need black belt frugality to get there.  I review my separate To Do list daily to see if there is anything I can accomplish on the financial side of our household.


I also want to work on ME during all of this organizing.  I have developed a color key to represent habits I want to work on every day.  I track these habits in my planner as well.


Is it all running smoothly?  Mostly.  With my son's wedding coming in less than two weeks there are days when I don't get into my sewing room/office to do ANY of the items in my planner!  However, the closer we get to the event the less there is "to do" and the more time there is "To Be"...and "being present" is what life is really about!

Toodles...

Sunday, September 30, 2018

USING EVERY LAST PIECE...



Do you remember the Fall mini quilt that I made for my foyer?



Here she is in all of her glory!  This is probably my favorite "mini" quilt so far!



When the mini quilt was finished I tossed all of the fusible "scraps" into a drawer.  Some day I would find a use for them!

The past two months have been really stressful with family illness, my Dad's second TIA, wedding preps and un-called-for drama invading our home!  I needed my sewing room therapy!!!!!


Since I usually try to make a table topper to match my mini quilt decor, I searched around for a picture of a maple leaf.  I used my copier to adjust the size and then traced the leaf onto heavy vinyl.  I cut out the vinyl leaf and used it to trace leaves onto the fusible backing of the scraps.


Using a completed table topper as my guide, I traced roughly around it to come up with the general size and then played with the leaves until I found a placement that I liked.


From that point forward it was smooth sailing!  I used my iron to attach the leaves to the background fabric.  I then stitched them down using a version of the blanket stitch.  This particular stitch sews a stitch on either side of center...exactly what I wanted!  One of my favorite things about Fall is the TEXTURE.  Texture is everywhere...in the crinkled leaves, the rough cap of acorns, rows of texture in decorative corn.  It is impossible to NOT see texture in the season!  The little stitches jutting out in two directions definitely added to the texture of the piece! 

I did two rows of outline stitching on one line of leaves.  I was called away from my sewing machine and accidentally began squiggly FMQ before doing the same on the other line of leaves.  Oh well, not a disaster.  After I completed all of the completely random FMQ I went back and added tight random FMQ around both lines of leaves to make them really pop!  More texture!!!  A small amount of plaid fabric found in my stash for binding and the table topper was complete.


I changed out the photo in my leaf frame for something decidedly more Fall-ish.  A friend asked if the P was for Pumpkin or for our last name.  Both!!  With our son's wedding in less than two weeks, our last name is playing a pretty prominent role around here!!  Lastly, I picked up a small copper dish at Tuesday Morning to hold the keys that are dropped here as we go in and out of the door.  Even the little dish fits right in with Fall, orange-y copper outside and gold-ish brass handles! 

I love my new table topper and the season it depicts!

Toodles...