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

R U kidding me?

Literally just took this out of the package and decided to start it. take a few stitches and BAM, blood on a brand-new white potential table runner. Ugh. Could not figure out where it came from, but whatever. I am so annoyed with myself.

I bought this table runner from Annie’s. It just has some red and blue embroidery and I thought I could do something quilty around it. I don’t have anything red, white and blue for my table. Hoping I can get the blood out. It is not the first time I have bled on a project, but it is so white and not easily covered up (silently screaming).

I have quite a few table runners laying around…. Last year when I had my Neck surgery, I felt like I could not work on large projects, so I made a bunch of table runners. Now I have to get them quilted. I made a couple that are a bit southwest. If nothing else, they will make become Christmas gifts. I have at least 5 or 6 more. I like to quilt lines on these table runners because lines are easy and quick.

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

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

And Just like that…it’s nearly Christmas

Good thing I finished those placemats.

They came out OK. It does make my dining room look festive. My Santa chair covers also help. The stuffed dogs? Well, Raising Cains chickens sells them every year. I recently got 2 new ones (Charlie Brown and Snoopy). Proceeds go to help dogs. My daughter thought they needed to be in the photo. They are always yellow labs in a costume. Super-Cute.

The placemats came out ok. After I made a couple, I was unhappy with my thread choice. It was a pretty red/green twist. It just looks dark to me. Fortunately, my lines are pretty straight so it does not look that bad. I wish I had used thread that matched the background fabric. Next time.

So, I sent my Plaid Challenge Quilt to my brother-in-law. He had a rough year, so I thought it might make him happy and he does have to live with my sister. LOL. They sent me this picture last night of it over thier love seat.

I do love it when I see one of my quilts in use or displayed.

Everyone at my house is not feeling well. Not horrible illness, just enough to annoy you. Makes it difficult to get things done for the holidays. We have been avoiding everyone because it certainly could be the “Rona”. My daughter and I lost smell and taste. I am about 10 days in so on the back side. It just felt like a crappy head cold.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Merry Christmas

Happy New Year

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner…..

Last night my quilt guild, The Marysville Crazy Quilters had their Holiday party. It was also judging for “The Plaid Challenge”.

Great fun and food was had by all!

I placed third in the plaid challenge.

I won $25.00. WooHoo!

How will I spend my riches? I think that I will buy a Creative Grids Ruler with it. I only have 2 and find them very useful. That way I can look at that ruler and remember why I have it. LOL. I am such a dork.

I really do enjoy a creative challenge. Here is some really ugly fabric that does not go together. Go make something with it.

The rules were that you had to have some of every fabric in your quilt. It could be any size of a quilted item.

So, from left to right in the photo the quilts were numbered. I am number 7 (Carpenter star). Number 5 won 1st (looks like a planet in the middle) and #3 was Second (Tumbling blocks).

I think I do have plans to gift this quilt to someone. I know someone who could use a little happy and might appreciate it!

To me, it looks like a “dude” quilt. Not feminine at all. I need to wash it first. I once had a problem with black fabric that had been stored a long time and this was from my stash. I have no idea how old the black was. Better safe than sorry.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

OMG, it’s December?

Where does time go? While sometimes it seems to be crawling, and then it is December.

I finished something (s)

So, I made this quilt for my Aunt. She is the only relative I have left and I think she will be turning 95. It is scraps, but to me, it felt like all my past projects going into something for her. It went together quickly and looks not too bad. I quilted with my heart ruler and meandering swirls. I hope to get it to her soon. It seems unlikely before Christmas, but hopefully soon after. She lives in Michigan, so only about a 3-hour drive for me.

I put pink and white flowered minky on the back so it would be soft. While I like the softness of minky for some quilts, I don’t find it easy to work with and it is messy. I have done it on my domestic machine and it was super hard to move around. My shoulders hurt for days. So, this one I pout on the long arm. It came out OK, I just had to be super careful with stretching. It is also very difficult to see if your tension is correct with Minky on the back. Now that it is complete, I think the tension could have been better, but it will have to do. I try to keep a notebook of all the things I learn along the way as well as how many bobbins are used and stitched. It helps me plan for the next quilt a little better.

So, I also finished all my Santa Chairs. I have a full set now. Makes me happy every time I look over at them.

Thank you to my daughter who always begrudgingly holds up my quilts for photos.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

What the Heck am I doing?

Good question. I sometimes wonder what I am doing. I quilted, on my domestic, my scrabble dog wall hanging. I needed something to do that would take me a bit of uninterupted time. Sometimes when I have a lot on my mind (or just anxiety in general), I want to work on something that requires my undivided attention. This has been basted and staring at me for quite a few weeks. I figured it would take me 1-1.5 hours after I got set up to complete the quilting. I was not far off the mark.

I did find, that since I don’t really quilt much on my domestic machine, except straight line, that I now suck at free motion quilting on it. It is possible that it is because iut requires strenght (shoulders, I think) that I don’t have and may never have. I used my dog boine ruler. Not sure why they are called rulers, they don’t actually measure anything. I did take a photo of one of the better-looking areas (LOL).

Anxiety, who me?

Haha. Crazy anxiety. That’s me. I am a worrier by nature., I think I got that from my mother. She was a worrier. So anxiety is just an added bonus.

What causes me to be insane? Well, last week on Wednesday, I woke up unable to walk. Awesome. The absolute most severe pain I have ever felt, everytime I put my right leg down. Words can not describe this pain. Thinking my post (artificail knee) had finally come loose after 25 years, I had my daughter drive me to the ER. Nope, knee not loose. Not much we can help you with, go to your ortho. Six weeks wait. Try someone local. Eww, not what I usually want to do, living outside the city. The local doctors in the rural world have always scared me. But, they agreed to see me that day. I was pleasantly surprised. Young Doc, who told me that my pain was likely coming from my hip (even though it did not hurt). Told me the answer was to shoot up the aggravated knee with medication and then come back on Friday and have the same thing done to my hip. It worked! However, now, I can add hip arthritits and all the goodies that come with that to my crappy resume. I also now keep crutches by the door of the bedroom in case it happens again. This is one of the many reasons I am half crazy. What lovely thing will I wake up with tomorrow? If this is getting old, I have a strong understanding of why people fight it.

Fun Coming!

Fun is needed. Going on a mini-retreat in Amish country in Ohio, with my quilting partner in crime Lynn and maybe one other person (hopefully Sharon comes because she seems like she would be fun). We are staying at a historic hotel. Not only is it a retreat center, but they have ghost hunts. LOL. It is has Victorian Era Decor and past presidents have stayed there (Grover Cleveland). Hotel Millersburg is in the heart of Ohio Amish Country (AKA lots of quilt shops). Photos to come….

So, I am collecting up my projects that I will work on and looking forward to the great escape.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

A little bit of work….

So, I managed to get the quilt for my Aunt on the long arm. I am about 2/3rds finished. I have to do a bit and walk away and come back to it. Too much standing kills me. I am getting there. Before, I just could not do it. Now I can do some. I’ll take it. I am using my heart ruler and curly q’s. Initially when I started, It would not sew. Screwed around for an hour did some research and figured out I put my new needle in backwards. Duh.

Quilt Police – So, I saw this photo on Facebook and had a good laugh. I am super critical of myself, always. The quilt police would have a hay day with binding like that. Given the true purpose of this quilt, that should never matter. It was made to keep someone warm and I am sure it did a fabulous job at it.

I follow a lot of groups on Facebook and Instagram, mostly for the pictures of quilts. I am sometimes shocked and appalled at things people say to fellow quilters. “Never ever by fabric at JoAnne’s or Wal-Mart. It is horrible quality”. There are quilters out there that can not afford to buy $12-$15 per yard fabric. Our ancestors, including my grandmother, used old coats, clothes, and feed sacks. Quilts were very often made out of repurposed items.

I was once told that the Kona that JoAnn’s was not the same Kona sold at quilt shops. Honestly, not true. I have bought some at both. Each raveled equally as bad. They felt the same. I do not believe the thread count was different. So, yep I used my 60% off Coupon to buy a large piece of Kona at JoAnn’s over the weekend.

I have also purchased Michael Miller fabrics at Wal-Mart. You just have to look.

Someone is wearing a quilt – I did not watch the met gala, but did see photos of this person wearing a quilt. Thought it was amusing. Turns out that this quilt was actually made by someone’s mother. The photo on the right is of it on a bed at their home. It wound up at a thrift shop and was purchased by a designer to make this…..whatever it is called.

The designer did end up contacting the lady who’s mother made the quilt once it came to light. She just wanted everyone to know that her mother made the quilt that this gentleman wore (rapper I think…can’t remember his name).

So, you never know where a quilt that you make might end up! Who would have thought the red carpet……

Senior Moment – Literally. No, not me (although I have plenty). My daughter is a senior this year., Hard to believe. We had Senior Photo’s taken recently. I cried the night before so I would not do it during the photo shoot. Our Photographer took 350 Photos. Crazy. Pretty sure I had one pose when I was a Senior and that was it. I do like the one with the waterfall, but I have not seen them all yet. That looks like my girl the most.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting