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

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

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!

I need no more hobbies…OK maybe one…

As if I have nothing else to do….Prime Day strikes and I feel the need to try Diamond painting. Why? It was prime Day. I only spent $3 (on this). My little sister Kellie always liked to do diamond painting. So, why not. In my mind, I could complete this, put some quilting around it and hang on the door for Valentine’s Day. Makes sense, right?

I know nothing about how this works. Looks pretty simple, but trying to figure out how these tiny things stick to the canvas….. I will figure it out or watch a youtube video.

I really did control myself on Prime Day. There were sewing items and Fabric.com deals. I had things in my cart a zillion times, but managed to come to my senses. Good thing because Connecting threads had a 20 fat quarter pack for $14 yesterday. I could not, in good conscience, let that go. I did not. Awaiting its arrival. Funny, I actually bought that same fat quarter pack for a project a while back for $45.

Hope all your projects are moving forward. I’ll let you know how the diamond painting goes…..

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Happy Diamond Painting?

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

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