Wow, I did something else

Sarcasm is abundant in my life.

I read about everyone working on UPO’s, so I got crazy and finished one that has been sitting around for quite a while. My daughter used to be a bookwork. Now that she is older there are things that are far more important. It will be a reminder though. I put the titles of many of the books that I found in her room on the “spines” of the books. If nothing else, it will be memories for her. It only took me about 5 years to finish. It will now go on list of things that need long armed. Hopefully I can get to that soon.

Pillowcases – This is something I can do, that does not make much time, but does get me in the sewing room. I just had 42 picked up from my house that will go to the shelter. It helps me get rid of some of my rather large stash of fabrics. Sometimes when I get some of them out, I really wonder what I was thinking about when I bought them. They do make fabulous pillow cases though.

So, I am slowly working on getting better. To add to all my other issues, I have a heart rate issue. It suddenly goes up for no good reason and it is constantly draining all my energy. Doc gave me something to slow it down which seems to be helping, and I will see a cardiologist in a couple of weeks. It seems that when one thing goes wrong a bunch of other things follow.

Since I have a three day weekend, I am hoping to get some sewing done. I would really like to get the quilt finished that has been on my long arm since my health went AWOL. It has been on there about 6 months, at least. Fingers crossed that it will happen this weekend.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

God Bless the USA

Some Progress

One of the local quilt shops I frequent, sells scrap bags. I bought one of these $12.00 scrap bags. I like to try and see what I can make out of the bag, by maybe only adding a background fabric. I do like a challenge. For this I added the Royal blue from my stash. I am the crazy dog lady, so I hung this up in my hallway (there was an empty spot).

This has been my helper lately. One of the things that is wearing me out, is getting up to iron. I have had this tool for years and it was still in the package when I recently got it out. It has been helpful in flattening seams so I don’t have to constantly get up to item. I have really only been using it on small seams, but it does a pretty good job. It extends my sewing time a bit and at this point, I will take anything.

What Else?

I save all my scraps that are not big enough to do anything with. Then I make dog beds for Shelters and organizations that help pets. There is no point in putting them in the trash when they can be upcycled to something useful. I use a heavyweight cotton and put a zipper in each one. I put my scraps inside a trash bag, so they are easily removed and the cover can be washed. I have a couple laying around my house for our dogs and I donated these five to “Barely Used Pets”. Interestingly, I also receive monthly medication that needs refrigerated. It comes with ice packs and recycled cotton as an insulator. Of course I save all this cotton, tear it up and use it in the dog beds.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

I am still MIA

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.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Success!

I know nothing spectacular for all you wonderful quilters out there. However, I have had this quilt cut out for well over a year (It is really just cutting strips to length).

I find that one of the hardest things for me to do is accurately cut. I made the center block of this quilt multiple times and it always came out wonky. The entire quilt is based off the center block. You would think it would be pretty simple, but if you are off at all then it gets goofy, looks awful.

Cutting is the bane of my existence. It is my least favorite thing in quilting because I am so bad at it. I do not know why I picked this up last night to give it another whirl. But, for some odd reason (different ruler), I did much better.

I have a lot of rulers and decided to give a different one a try. It was a difference maker for me. I could match up the lines to everything.

So, this magic triangle ruler was the key. It helped me cut those corners of correctly. It is not a perfect block, but compared to the other ones, way better.

I did not save any of the disaster blocks. I was angry and put them in the fabric trash (to stuff dog beds) and they were horribly embarrassing.

I will continue to work on this quilt, but will have to move out to the sewing machine by my bigger cutting area. I have a small cutting area on my sewing machine cabinet, but the pieces from now on require a larger cutting area. At least I feel I can now go on without frustration.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Plaid Challenge Recuperation Top

I finished a top. It took me multiple weeks at a few minutes a day. It is something that would have normally taken me a few hours. It is not complicated in any way.

My quilt guild is doing a “Plaid Challenge“. Everyone brought in a yard of plaid, they were cut up and everyone gets a piece of each to make something quilty.

I found the fabrics pretty ugly, especially all together. I contemplated what I would do with these for some time. I did not want to make something that I would hate. I settled on this carpenter’s star. I thought using black might make it look a little better.

I don’t hate it. I cut this out prior to my surgery. I knew it would be something fairly simple to sew. I started sewing a few minutes a day about a week or so after my surgery. It took me nearly 5 weeks to get this simple top done. I found that very frustrating. I wanted to do more, but just could not.

I tried to use every bit of the fabric. I only had a very little bit left over, so I did not do too bad.

All things considered, I am doing very well according to the doctors. Spinal cord injuries and nerve damage take a long time to recover and may not be 100%. There is not way to know at this point. I do have feeling back in my arms and legs, however I still have some numbness in my fingertips. I am hoping this gets better over time. I am extremely weak, which annoys the crap out of me. I feel like a lazy slob. Super frustrating. I have no patience for this,, but also have no choice. Physical Therapy stars this week, so I will have something new to complain about.

It will be a while before I get back to using the long arm. That takes a bit of effort. I may try in the near future, but just don’t know.

Binding?? Would you use a plaid or stick to black? Let me know what you think.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Cool tool for Quilting, Wal-Mart, and other goodies

Wal-Mart

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

And… I am back

Successful Neck Fusion.  I am already getting the feeling back in my arms and legs.  I was told it might take a while for my spinal cord to recover, but I already see an improvement.  I did spend one night in the hospital, which was the right thing, despite the fat that I did not want to.  But the first night was a bit rough.  Glad it is over. and I can get back to my life.

So, yes, I have already been sewing.  Not the easiest thing to do with my star wars brace, but it is my happy place.  Not a lot, but every little bit counts. Reusable Paper Towels –   Sounds weird, but at my house, dish towels are used every day multiple per day.  It is hard to have enough and have a place to store them.  Then there is the fact that I am a freak also.  We have 3 dogs so if the towel gets dropped on the floor I am done with it , and in the laundry it goes.  Also, if I don’t know where the towel has been and it is out on the counter, in the laundry it goes.  The five second rule does not apply to dish towels at my house. I am using the JoAnn Fabrics dimensions. I had the flannel and am using some old towels that were in really good shape. I looked at buying yardage of terry cloth, but it was expensive and I did not like the feel of most. Easier to buy Bath towels, or use what I had.

So, I am done with the quilting on the Easter Topper. I tried to get fancy, but am still somewhat limited. I need more practice. So, before my surgery I attempted to make bias binding for this piece. Epic fail. I don’t make bias binding often and had to look up how to do it. Still did it wrong and wasted some fabric. I was not clear of mind right before the surgery, so I should not have attempted. Lesson learned. Hoping I have enough of something that matches to give it another go.

This is my contraption that I must wear. Super Attractive. Basically keeps me from moving my neck. I get to take it off for sleep, which I am quite happy about. It does look like something from Star Wars and I am still trying to come up with a witty name for it. The worst part about this surgery was the wait time before. You are left with your own thoughts, which are far worse than ay surgery could be. I have so many sewing things planned, I am hoping I can get to work on all of them soon.

Happy Sewing!

Happy Quilting!

Moving right along…

The Easter Table topper.

What do I like about this table topper – I like the shape. I always like interesting/different shapes. I love my decorated eggs and my colorful peeps.

What do I not like about this table topper – The thread I chose. I love variegated thread, not on this. When I look at the light teal and dark teal (flower looking pieces), they do not line up correctly. The pattern I used looked perfect, but I futzed with it for quite some time to get it to lay right and I still don’t like it. Since this piece is for my table I will have to tolerate the things I don’t like. I would have to make another and see if it came out better before I would give this to someone. Still sort of cute.

I don’t follow directions well – I am sure I am ot the only one. I was looking for something Easter and did not find a lot of patterns. I found this on the Bernina website. It had a lot of embroidery on it which I clearly had no intention of doing. I have two machines that do it and I never do. My 1st late husband and I had a commercial embroidery business, therefore I no longer want to do it and after having commercial machines, find doing it on a one needle sewing machine annoying. So, I basically used the pattern for the shape and the eggs and then went off and did my own thing.

Bambi – Christmas quilt – Off the design wall and being pin basted. I am using a blanket I got for Christmas on the back. It is super soft and very pretty. I think it will be best used on the back of this quilt. I may quilt this on my domestic since I currently have something on my longarm, that is begging to be done. I am finally doing things quilty.

News from the world of Lori – So Doctors have finally figured out what is wrong with me, hopefully. Apparently, my neck has severe arthritis to the point that I do not have spinal fluid surrounding my spinal cord in a decent sized area. So, on February 5th, I will get it fixed. There really is no option, I could wind up paralyzed if I choose not to do it. So, do it we will. Such is life. Yes, I am totally freaked out by it.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Baby Quilts, my favorite

For as long as I remember, I have loved making baby things. I think it may be because both my older sisters had a baby when I was about 17. I spent every moment I could with the boys and as a teenager, most of my extra money. I wanted them to have everything, especially things their parents did not want them to have. Both of these boys are getting close to 40 years old, but I still love them both dearly today. I also made them many things. My niece and nephew had some awesome Halloween costumes. One year I made my nephew a dinosaur costume. The tale was so long and big they tied a roller skate to it so he would knot drag a hole in it. I did make my own daughter costumes (as long as she let me). She was an adorable witch and a pink poodle at one point.

About the Quilt top – I was visiting my friend Lynn and she was telling/showing me that she joined one of those monthly quilt subscriptions. She showed me everything that she had received. The fabric for the holiday baby quilt was in one her boxes and she said she would not use it, so she gave it to me. Thanks Lynn. I am not sure she knows of my affinity to make baby things, but it was perfect. It was also something simple for me to actually get done. The panel came with a charm pack. I added the green and used every piece in the fat quarter pack.

Monthly Subscriptions – I have looked at many of them over time. I had a difficult time finding one that I thought was a good value and have things I could use. So, when Lynn told me about he Creative Notions one, I decided to investigate. She had been doing it for a few months and showed me what she had gotten. Fabric, patterns, notions and cute quilter stuff (which I kind of like). The cost was $45.00 including shipping. So, I figured I would give it a try. If I don’t like it, I could cancel.

I got my first one. It seems like a good value. The makers planner is awesome. It has plastic sleeves for fabric samples, places to draw, planning pages. There is an entire section on abbreviations measurements. Mostly everything you would want to know. I really like it. I am hoping that I use it. While I make my living planning and implementing large scale IT projects, I find my personal life is not that organized. Maybe this will help. The fat quarter pack is so pretty. I will certainly use it. It came with a pattern and the first directions for a quilt along they are doing. I have not read everything, but will work on that. In case anyone is interested in trying, it is from Creative Notions.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Happy New Year – What’s going on?

I decorated Easter Eggs!

/Sounds a little weird for the beginning of January, but all the same that is what I did last night. Of course, not the traditional ones, but more of the fabric ones that I will put on my Easter table topper(Nanette should recognize some of these fabrics)

I found a shape/style that I liked and of course I am going to put my own spin on it. I could never follow the directions. It was actually a topper of the Bernina site that had a bunch of machine embroidery on it. Not my thing, so, I am going to do my own thing. Along with al my decorated eggs will be some brightly colored peeps (fabric of course).

I had a nice long break from work, where I did very little of anything, other than some cleaning and organizing, which was needed. I did sew one top, which I will get to on a later post.

Christmas was nice. My daughter got me a Baby Yoda. Yes, I am a grown woman who still loves some toys. He sits right next to my build a bear Wookie (yes, I am a sci-fi nerd). I do love The Mandalorian. Baby Yoda coos when you squeeze his hand. I am easily entertained.

What’s Coming?

So many people are working on their plans for next year. I am not good with year long plans, so I will be planning sorter spurts. I also got this cool new tool, called a Rocketbook. I plan to show you all it does, as I am finding it quite a useful tool for planning.

UFO’s – Good God – There are so many, that I don’t know where to begin. There are the tops that are completed and need quilted. Will have to count those. Then, there are the projects that are in the piecing stages. They are all in various stages. I would guess there are at least 15 of these. Can you tell I have Quilting ADD? I get bored and have to move to something else for a while. Likely why I am decorating fabric eggs instead of working on a UFO. We are not even going to discuss the quilt on the long arm that has been on the long arm for months. It glares at me when I walk by.

Then there are the things I want to do. I have finally figured out a plan for memory quilts that will include my sister clothes as well as my parents. I will need to make 5 of these ( or 6 f I do one for myself). These take a lot of prep work. Many of the clothes are not woven so they need some interfacing. I spend an evening here or there cutting the clothes into usable pieces. It is really hard to cut into the clothes knowing who they belonged to. But, I keep thinking about my niece and nephew and carry on.

I even tried to figure out what I will be making for gifts for Christmas next year. I only make a few, so not super critical, but it would be nice to get them done in advance.

In between, I work on my charity items, pillow cases and dog beds. I have about 5 dog beds filled with scraps ready, but I wanted to make Dog food Bags to put each one in (pictures later). They don’t take a lot of time, it is just a matter of doing it.

Need to update my blog in general. Have not done that in quite a while. Slacker, I am.

Hoping that I get better at blogging and reading everyone’s blogs. You would think with covid I would have all the time in the world to do it, but nope. Seem to spend a lot of time aimlessly staring into the abyss. Need to stop that.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting