Yep, I look like Frankenstein

So, I had the chance last month to donate some dog beds to one of my favorite Dog Charities, Hospets. They make having a pet as a Senior much easier. I think I may have had 11 this time. All are totally washable and have zippered covers. I also sent some bandana collar covers. I hope they can sell them for some additional funds.

Why do I look like Frankenstein? Well, on October 10th I had to have neck (spinal) surgery again. It was sort of a sudden thing. At the end of September, I received date of late October, and then then they decided to do it sooner rather than later. I had some fairly severe spinal compression and it appeared that I may be losing spinal fluid (turns out I wasn’t, phew). Good thing I did not have much time to think about it. I might have chickened out. I spent a few days at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Good times. I am home recovering. So far so good. It seems that a few things (problems) may have been resolved. Fingers crossed. Tomorrow I go to have my staples removed. This has been the longest I have been out of work since the birth f my daughter. It feels weird. So they shaved some of my hair off and I have a line of staples down the back f my neck. Hair grows back. I am itchy now, so looking forward to the removal of those staples.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

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Boo!

I really like Halloween things. However, you can only use them a few weeks of the years. That, however, does not stop me.

I made this table runner almost a year ago at a mini-retreat with my quilting partner in crime, Lynn. I thought it was cute. However, this involved a lot of stitch and flip which I find annoying and wasteful. But I finished it. I had the blocks done last November, but finally sewed them together and put the finishing touches on. I feel like the only thing I make lately are table runners. It is sort of true. Made tons of them after my neck surgery. Smaller projects were easier to focus on.

I decided to quilt this on my long arm. Was initially disastrous. Somehow, not paying attention, I loaded it incorrectly and managed to sew it together. Had to take the pole off to get it off and take out the stitching. Don’t even bother to try and imagine what dumb a$$ thing I did. I am not sure myself. Almost threw it in the trash and then I remembered how much I hated stitch and flip so thought better of it. All that to quilt a lazy meander.

I am adjusting to life with my daughter away at college. It is quite different for me. I call her most nights before I go to bed and she usually calls and texts randomly throughout the day. It helps. Family weekend is at the end of the month, so I will likely go visit then and take her some college necessities.

Now that she is not here, it makes me feel old. I try not to feel that way, but I do. Such is life,

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

What a week!

I completed this table runner last weekend, but not get to photograph it until today. One f the many table runners that I made while recovering from my neck surgery. The Getting them quilted as time allows. Pretty simple design, but the fabrics don’t look too bad together. e prints were all part of

The prints were all part of the same line of fabrics from many moons ago. Simple straight-line quilting and a black cotton back.

Well, this is the week that my daughter left for school. Dropped her off yesterday. My feelings are very odd. I was so sad to see her go, yet happy for her to have this experience. I had a wonderful time in college and want her to have the time of her life.

At the moment she is having a difficult time adjusting. It is new. She is nervous. Doing my best to alleviate her feelings, while still having my own.

Last weekend we went to Niagra Falls for a long weekend. We had a blast. I am so glad we went.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Look… I finished something

It truly is a bittersweet miracle. I started this quilt for my daughter several years ago when she was an actual bookworm. Now I think she reads a lot…on her phone.

There are so many fancy bookcase quilts. Mine is not that fancy. But, I did include the titles of many of the books that she read.

Not all the books have titles on them, but I would guess that about half of them do. Haley wanted to take this quilt to college, so I had to get it quilted. She will be leaving next week. I did not think that I would like it, but when she held it up, I did think it was sort of cute.

I chose not to put a regular label on this quilt and instead quilted messages into the quilt. She noticed a couple, but there is a ton of messages in the quilt. I can’t wait until she finds “Moka smells like chocolate”. Haley has always said “Moka smells” and my response has been “She smells like Chocolate”. She is a chocolate lab.

Haley picked out the fabric for the back of this quilt. She chose Harry Potter themed newsprint. Seemed like a good choice for the back of a library quilt.

I can’t imagine her not being here. It will be the most difficult thing for me. I won’t be there to protect her. But, I raised a strong smart young woman. I need to remember that as I wipe away my tears. My baby has grown up and I don’t like it. She has been my purpose. My reason for being here.

Moka says Hi. She has a habit of sitting on people’s heads when you lay down. Haley was not impressed.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Rescue a furry friend

I am not a bag maker.

Nope, nope, nope. Making bags is not something I do very well.

So, I made a test bag a few weeks back. It had issues, but OK, I tried. I decided that I wanted to make another, so I had 2 and I could make emergency “stuff” bags for my daughter and her future college roommate. I was going to make 2 more after the trial, but Haley loved the purple bag even though it had issues. That was the one she wanted. Ok, I cut out two more anyway.

So, I found the instructions rather difficult to understand. I even read them this time because I had no idea what I was doing. Shocker.

For the first bag, I used regular quilt batting. For the next one (yellow) I used the fusible foam. I thought it would give the bag a better shape, which it did. It was just a bit harder to manage. It quilted nicely though.

I have put a million zippers in things. I put zippers in all the charity dog beds I make so they can be washed. I found the zipper instructions over complicated and the foamy stuff did make the zipper more difficult.

What was frustrating…..It had instructions to make bias binding and cover all the seems inside the bag with this bias binding. Umm OK. I did it on the purple one and found it difficult and did not really improve the inside look of the bag (mostly because I sucked at it). It was even more difficult with the foamy stuff. I gave up.

The pattern also called for you to zig-zag all the edges prior to sewing them, which I did, so it did not look completely unfinished. If I ever want to try again I will likley have to figure out how to rethread my serger UGH (a monumental and frustrating task.) and use that to finish the inside seams.

I will pack them both full of “emergency” college supplies, whatever that may be. Haley and Hailey. Yep my daughter, Haley has a roommate named Hailey. Both are studying the same thing. Odd coincidences. I have already apologized in advance for my daughter’s sarcastic sense of humor. I believe they will both get along well.

I, on the other hand, will be struggling with my new normal. I have been unsuccessfully preparing myself for her departure.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

I don’t want to jinx myself

Two posts in the same week? Does that mean Normal is approaching? One can only hope.

I have spent some time getting a few things organized and that helped. I now have things in baskets ready to sew, should the mood take me. Honestly, I am preparing for the fact that my daughter is going off to college. Not much time left (Sad). She has been spending a lot of time working this summer, so it has been different for me. My life is changing. I know this happens and I remember thinking about the day she would go off to college. Now that it is nearly here, I find I don’t like thinking about it. It has been her and I against the world and now she needs to learn to navigate the world on her own ( as Mom wipes the tears from her eyes).

I am also trying to get things out of the sewing area so maybe someday I can actually be organized. Unlikely, but sounded good.

CUTTING – The bane of my existence. I think I despise it because…well, I suck at it.

I really try to be super careful, got my Creative grids ruler, and still, I stink.

As I sewed my strips together, I attempted to be careful and make sure they are accurate. Yet, cutting them apart? I was constantly evening up, which just wastes fabric. They still do not look square, but wonky. The cutting is so important and I am just awful at it. Maybe I need to watch some Youtube videos or something.

This is what the quilt is actually supposed to look like. I am using what I call “weird” batiks. They were in my stash and I am pretty sure that I have had them for years. They are colorful though.

The book is called “Jelly Roll Quilts” by Pam & Nicky Lintott. Nanette gave me this book. It has some great Jelly Roll ideas.

So I am in the process of sewing the blocks together. Have not even tried to see how square they are. Ugh. I am not looking forward to that.

I welcome all advice, on cutting, sewing, squaring, well everything.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Dog Beds from Scraps!

Yep, I got something done! I needed to use up the many many scraps that I had. Sorry for the dog butt in the photo. They feel inspecting the new beds is one of their jobs.

We have a local charity called Hospets that works with Seniors to keep thier pets as long as possible. They help them with appointments, funding, etc… Each year during the holidays they host adopt a senior. They have a “store” (donations) where people can go to choose pet-related items to give to their adopted senior.

Since I am a crazy dog lady and can’t imagine being without a dog, I like to help those that want to keep a dog. Aging can make it difficult to keep a pet, with appointments and costs, yet a pet can offer so much to a senior (or anyone).

My beds include batting, fabric scraps, single socks (when the dryer only returns one). I also receive medication that needs refrigerated. It comes with cotton recycled packing! Each month I tear it up and add it to my dog bed stuffing container.

I make the covers out of cotton canvas and each has a zipper. I put all my scraps for each bed into a plastic bag and squeeze most of the air out. Then I zip it in. So, the cover can be removed and washed whenever needed and the plastic bag of scraps just wiped off. I have a couple that my dogs used that have been washed at least 10 times. They come out as good as new.

This is my Snibble. Yes, she is sleeping in a box of batting scraps (Snibble actually means scrap). This box and these scraps are now hers. It is one of her favorite places to be when she is helping Mommy sew (lol).

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Hug your fur babies!

So much time has passed…

So much time has passed since I last wrote a blog post. I really have no good excuse. Sometimes life just gets in the way. My daughter graduated with her Associate’s Degree and then graduated from High school, then the party. There has been a lot going on.

Sewing/quilting has always been part of my relaxation effort and it totally went by the wayside. It wasn’t that I did nothing…. I still collected patterns and fabric (LOL). But completed ver little.

I am hoping that life will slow down a bit for me now and I can get back to the things I love to do. I find that a little time in the sewing room does do a lot for me.

I attempted to make my first bag!. You know one with a zipper and everything. It is far from perfect, but I think I will try it again.

It has lots of issues, but I still don’t hate it. Pretty fabric. I did learn a lot, which is good. The instructions were not easy to follow, but I did watch a couple of videos that cleared a lot up for me. It takes three fat quarters, which is nice. For whatever reason, I also decided to do a lot of quilting. Not sure I would do that much quilting on the next one. Pretty sure all that quilting took me 5 times longer than assembling the bag.

My daughter will head off to Bowling Green in August. I will be left behind to figure out what to do with my life. She has been and is my life. For so long it has been her and I against the world. I knew this day would come, yet I still find myself totally unprepared. We do everything together and that will change. While I am her parent first, she truly is the most wonderful person in my life. After all, “I made her in my lady oven”.

I hope to find myself expressing myself more often in blog posts, so you may hear from me more as I navigate my way through the next phase of my life.

Happy Sewing

Happy quilting

A Quilting Reset

So, I had a conversation with “Special K” (significant other, life partner, manfriend, whatever you call him) about my general attitude. I just don’t feel myself. “I don’t even go in my sewing room anymore”, I said. His response, “Maybe that is the problem”. GENIUS!. Honestly have not found my balance since Kevin was in the hospital. I find myself spending more time with him, instead of going off by myself and doing my thing. Likely a mistake.

So, how does one reset? They go to a quilting retreat. Yep, our local guild is going on a retreat, organized by my partner in crime (Lynn) and I. Leaving this afternoon and coming back on Sunday. Hoping this put me back in the habit. I think it will.

So what have I done? Not much. I did make a few dog bandanas (picture). It was something quick and easy.

Snibble modeling on the left. Ruger modeling on the right. Two of my favorite Puppers!

So, we had an ice storm. The trees were beautiful. It actually stayed for a couple days. I am hoping the retreat helps me fix things. I threw a bunch of projects in a bag and off I go. Fingers crossed.

Maybe some crazy retreat photos to come!

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

The “Rona” got us

Disclaimer: I am in no way trying to minimize the severity of the Corona Virus.

Those of you that have been with me for a while know I usually choose sarcasm and humor to deal with issues. About Dec 10th or so, I came down with a cold of sorts, followed, by Haley and then Kevin.

Just seemed like a head cold. Haley followed a couple days after me and then Kevin. Haley and I took the usual “cold remedies” while Kevin did just did some cough medicine. I was tired, but I always am, so did not give it much thought. Drank a lot of water, Then one day Haley said, “I can’t taste or smell”. So I grabbed something other than water and realized it was the same for me. Kevin says it was not a problem for him. I did not miss a day of work, because I did not feel bad. Just felt like a head cold. Kevin continued to get worse. Sleeping all day, coughing. After a couple more days I was getting concerned. Grabbed an oxygen monitor and he was in the low 70’s.. Called an ambulance. They came and he refused. The next day, he asked me to take him. Needless to say, I got no sleep because I was constantly making sure he was breathing (I am the black widow). That was December 23rd.

Christmas morning, Haley and I woke up staring at each other. It was just us. It was so weird. Kevin’s sister and nephew came over later that afternoon to hang out with us. Thank God. It was a relief to almost have a 3-year-old running around eating cookies and being crazy.

I got to visit Kevin that day. Went to the hospital, put on all the gear which was silly to me considering I gave it to him. He was feeling slightly better. They had started him on remdesivir the day he came in. Still on a lot of oxygen though.

All this time, I could not figure out why it was him. He was healthy, active. Then we found out he was severely diabetic. A1C is more than double what it should be and sugar levels are in the 400-600 range. OK, now I could make sense of why “The Rona” got him. The underlying, unknown condition.

He came home on December 27th with Oxygen and tons of insulin. His oxygen is better, but he will likely have it for a while. Long-term they (Docs) would like to be able to get him off all the injectable insulin, but that may take a good while. His becoming diabetic did not happen overnight.

So for the foreseeable future, we have a new normal. I am OK with it. We are all still here and I am not officially getting my Black Widow tatoo. Phew.

Needless to say, there has been no sewing or quilting for quite a while. I hope to get back to it soon. I had big plans on doing a bunch of stuff while I was on vacation over the holidays, but that did just not work out.

You never know what is going to happen in your life

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting