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.
So many many moons ago, I bought Holiday chair covers. They were made out of very thin felt-like material. I used them nearly every year. Well, they are finally worn out, so I made a pattern and started making new ones. I chose fleece. I am hoping that will stop fingers from going through them every time a chair was moved. I actually saved/used the pom poms from the old ones. For some odd reason, they make me happy. Only problem I have is tht I did not but enough of the red fleece to make six, so hoping that I can match it fairly closely. I will be able to wash these if needed. The other could not be washed. They would have never made it through the washing machine.
If you can, I suggest trying this….
While I was at my mini-retreat, my Friend Lynn introduced me to these OLFA ENDURANCE blades. I am usually a skeptic, especially about blades. Wow, do these make a difference. She had one in her rotary cutter and when I used it, I was not even aware that I was cutting anything. There was no resistance and it was completely silent. The best thing for me or anyone with arthritis or anything in their hands. They can be pricey, but I have seen them on sale. Lynn had been using hers for a while and it was still as sharp as ever. My package is clearly empty because I bought one and it is wonderful!
Dog Beds for Hospets
There is a local group in my area called Hospets. They support Seniors with Pets. They help them with appointments etc so that they don’t have to choose between their pet and something else. I donated 5 dog beds to them to pass out as they see fit. I will continue to donate dog beds to them. They were very grateful. My daughter and I are also sponsoring a senior for the holidays. They submit wish lists for themselves and their pet and you help them out with items from their list. Our person is local to us and has a pet bird.
I don’t want to be missing, I just can’t find my way back. Recovering from this surgery and spinal cord injury is much harder than I anticipated.
There is name to my pain and it is hardware. This visual of my neck and all it’s lovely hardware puts that into perspective. On a positive note, I am back to my original heights of 5’9″ post surgery.
I think the part that is making this so difficult is the spinal cord injury. While I had some of the same issues before the surgery, my expectation was that these things would get better after surgery. While some things have, many have not. I did get most of the feeling back in my arms and legs, but am having a difficult time gaining any strength. I have very little stamina. So, I don’t sew much or in very small increments. This is very frustrating. It is my therapy and without it, I am not a very nice person.
I did make the gnomes. They did not take much effort. My daughter has claimed the pink one and named her JaGnome. JaGnome oversees her homework.
A Useful Tool
I have several binding tool makers that I never use. They are the metal ones that make binding like the premade binding you can buy at the store.
The one in the picture helps make binding like I make for my quilts. It is helpful because I don’t burn my fingers. It makes the binding that is folded in half. I bought an entire set of these on Amazon for like 6$. My local quilt store sold one (not an entire set) for 10$. They were all manufactured in the same place.
I would love to post more often, but I don’t have much to post, since I don’t sew that much at the moment. I know many of you understand that quilting is therapy (no one at my home gets it). Without it I feel a little lost.
I know many many people hate Wal-Mart Fabric. Not always my favorite, but sometimes, I can’t help myself. This year’s Wal-Mart valentine Fabric was all Dog stuff. Being the crazy Dog lady, when I could by 47 yards of fabric of dog prints for under $20, I was not going to say NO. Even If I used this to make charity pillowcases, it could not be beat. And, it’s Dogs. Along with these 1 yard cuts I got about 50 fat quarters. I have a couple favorite dog rescues and hope to make something for them with all the cute doggie stuff.
Cool Tools – A RocketBook
So, at Christmas, I received a RocketBook. While I intitally got it for work, the first thing I did was use it for quilting…..
So, What is a Rocket Book? It is a reusable Notebook that allows you to save stuff to crazy places.
How it works: The Rocket Book uses erasable pens. You can write, draw and scribble and have them automatically save to wherever you designate. Sounds crazy, but the geeky nerd in me finds this little gem quite useful. The second photo shows where I am sending my pages to. You will notice that there is a QR code in the bottom left of each page. Once you download the rocket book app on your phone or tablet, you tell it where you want things sent. On the bottom of each page there are shapes that are tied to where you want your notes/drawings to go. Once you complete a page, you put an X through the picture (tells Rocket Book where to send) and use the app to snap a photo and it automagically goes there.
I have a Rocket Book Fusion – There are tons of different sizes with all different kind of pages. Project List, gridded paper, lined paper, calendar. Once you save your page, you wet your cloth (comes with it) and wipe off. It uses Frixion pens (comes with one), which many of us already have. I of course bought a pack of many colors (Wal-Mart has them, you can see my crazy quilt doodles)
Creative Notions Strikes again
This is my second subscription bag from Creative Notions. I really like this. It is $45.00 and I feel I really get my money’s worth. I love the panel and fat quarter pack that came in this month’s bag. I plan on making it for my front door. I better get moving, spring is right around the corner, hopefully. There is a pattern included (which I plan on using for the wall hanging). There is also a pattern to make a bag and all the straps/hardware are included. At my guild there are a couple of ladies that make the most beautiful bags, so I am anxious to try this. There are also two more patterns and a 45mm rotary blade and candy (always has some candy in there, which my daughter immediately claims). Just sharing something I think is cool. Looking forward to the next one. Happy Sewing, Happy Quilting
Lesson #1 – I hated these fabrics when thy were given to me to make a donation quilt. I hate them a little lesson now that it is together. It looked better on the design wall than it did in the picture. I think this would look better with some different fabric. I may try it with some of my own at some point. Lesson is,don’t always judge fabrics so harshly, sometimes they will surprise you.
Lesson #2 – If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, get one. We all could have lost our lives. Our ancient (20+ years) carbon monoxide detector, went off and would not stop. Initilly we thought it was nothing, but something said call the fire department and have it checked. It goes off when the kids unplug it or bump it and it beeps to let you know that it is on battery power. Well, when the firre department came, they opened the door and shut it immediatly. They said that they could not go in without oxygen. They suited up and returned to tell us that they had never seen carbon monoxide this high in any house. They set up some fans and got us some things we needed out of the houser and we were off to spend the night at the neighbors. The next day it turned out that the exhaust pipe from our water heater became disconnected and all the Carbon monoxide was going directly into the house. We had it repaired and the fire department came back did a recheck and we could return home. Please, if you have propane or natural gas anywhere in yur home, pleaase get one. If yours is old, please replace it. It saved us. We would have all been dead in less than 30 minutes. Lucky for us it was a nice day and we had been outside, so we had only been in the house for about 10 minutes. Phew. I was bit freaked out about the whole thing. Yikes.
So I bought myslef a new thread rack that I love. Except, it is not really a thread rack, it is for nail polish. However, i love it for threads and it even fits serger thread. Plus it looks so pretty. It is from Amazon If you are interested. Finally I can see all my thread and not rifle through boxes and drawers. I actually have more thread and my serger thread, so I may get another one.
So, an update on my basting spray issue. THank you to Sharon for reminding me to email the manufacturing company. This is what they told me:
Good afternoon Lori,
Thank you for reaching out to us at June Tailor. We did have to make some changes to the basting spray due to a new law change in California. You will be happy to hear though that we have since revised and it is now like the original basting spray yet staying within the guidelines of the new law. It is due in here to us sometime in August. If you would like to send me your address I would like to send you a can on us, to try. Below is the changes we made and why.
Thank you for reaching out. I have included an overview of some of the changes made to the formula and why. To summarize, we needed to make changes to our formula to comply with regulations in the state of California. We also moved our production to the United States and already have our chemists working on improvements for our second production run. In addition to a more robust nozzle with a more restrictive flow rate, we have worked on the scent.
Our Quilt Basting Spray is made up of an adhesive and a propellant. A propellant is a compressed gas that acts as a vehicle for discharging the contents of an aerosol containers; in this case, the adhesive component. The state of California now restricts us on using certain types of chemicals in this propellant, so we have had to modify our formula slightly. The adhesive should work basically the same as previous cans.
We added the ball in the can to further assist with mixing of the adhesive and the propellant. Please be sure to shake the can well before using.
If your can has a small white spray nozzle with a black dot, you may need less of a heavy hand when spraying your batting. We have already made modifications to the design and flow-rate of the can nozzles on the cans to provide a more restrictive flow as the product is sprayed. This should help with stickiness and dry-time. It is, of course, still always best to test a small piece of fabric and batting.
Additional modifications are already being implemented in regards to the odor and we are looking for additional input from you, our long-term customers. We have received excellent customer feedback and questions about the changes to the product and are working very diligently with our chemists to make product improvements and adjustments to give you the very best experience with our basting spray while keeping within regulatory guidelines.
I can hope there is improvement. It was my favorite basting spray. I actually have a couple of quilts finished. Need to get those posted.
What do I mean by Side Sewing? Sewing something not quilty. I don’t do it often, but it does happen. I like my little key chains. Quick gift if you need one. I used the Lazy Girl Tutorial. I love her name, I am totally in synch with her name. I am a lazy girl. When I say that I don’t really mean lazy, but looking for a better faster way of doing things. She made hers out of candy wrappers, which I will have to try. I love reusing stuff.
So, For my One Monthly Goal, I am going to quilt and bind my “Starry Starry Night quilt. I am going to attempt to use one of my new rulers. We will see how that goes and if the plan changes. Time will tell.
On a positive note, some things are looking up. All the crapiness shall pass… and new crapiness shall take it’s place. But different is sometimes good. Sewing/Quilting is my drug of choice. Pretty sure it keeps me from being going to jail.
So, on a happy note, I found these beautiful Robin Eggs in my landscaping. Can’t wait to see them hatch. Pretty sure we skipped spring and went right to Summer though. Very Confusing weather here in Ohio.
OK, so I tried out the freezer paper method for quilting. The results are good, but there are a few things I would do differently. So, I ironed on all my circle drawings to the whole piece. I found this not the best approach. So, with the all of the freezer paper over the entire quilt, I found it difficult to move the quilt around without crinkling and loosening the designs. Plus, since I was making a complete circle for each one, I had to totally turn the quilt around on each piece. That is a lot of turning and manipulating. So, I took them all off and only put on those for the area I was directly working. Once I did this, I did not have any more issues here. So, I think that circles are hard. I found that I had to go very slow, which is OK. I also found that I could not quilt a circle with feed dogs down, but rather did a lot of pressure foot lifting.
So, you can see from my photo, that my quilted circle is not too bad. It is not perfect, but I’ll take it. The first one I attempted, I took out, but once I figured everything out, I was good to go.
So, I finally successfully used my knee pressure foot lifter (for the most part). I find it very hard to remember to lift my foot before lifting the pressure foot with my knee. I did eventually manage to coordinate this, but it took me getting everything in the right spot. Then, I found it easier to quilt the circles. I will continue this freezer paper method for this quilt and will likely use it again.
So, a while back I had a blog post about more money for quilting. It was using a couple of grocery store apps called Ibotta and Checkout51. They let you earn money back on everyday things you buy at the grocery store. It really is stuff you already buy. Bread, bacon, potatoes etc…
I am not usually a big proponent of apps or shopping apps. However, when I saw this on the nightly news I had to look. I decided I would give it a try. Just my nature to try something at least once.
This brings me to my point. I needed some fusible web, and a couple of pieces of Kona, and a couple of other miscellaneous items. I spent about 90$, then with my coupons got it down to $61.00. I used 3-$20.00 gift cards I got instantly form the Ibotta shopping app (because I had been using it at the grocery store) when I cashed in and paid $1.01 for my bag of goodies. Then scanned my Joann’s receipt into the same Ibotta app and earned an additional $6.00 back for next time. I love a great deal, especially when it involves my favorite stuff.
I try not to take money out of the regular budget to feed my quilting addiction, so it makes me really happy when I can get a bag of goodies and pay nothing for it (or at least very little) and no one is the wiser. Just thought I would mention it for those who have to eat and quilt and sometimes hide their quilting purchases. Sort of free money. I would love to send you a link as I can earn points, but that is not why I am telling you. It is just so us quilters/crafters can feed our habit without feeling too guilty. If you are interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a link.
Even if you don’t like to buy fabrics @ Joanns, they sell plenty of other supplies we all need. In the words of my daughter, “just sayin”. Have a great Day.
So, once again, I borrowed this idea from my friend Lynn. She keeps all her quilt blocks in pizza boxes. What a truly awesome idea. My nicely ironed blocks stay that way, and everything stays together. It took me a while, but the other day I stopped by my local pizza shop and asked if I could buy some boxes. They gave me a bunch of ones that were misprinted or printed crooked (didn’t bother me). They work just as well as the perfect ones and I did not have to pay for them. I am still in the process of getting all my projects ironed and put in my pizza boxes, but I am almost there. Just wanted to pass along a pretty good idea!