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,
Yep, you’ve seen these before. LOL. Apparently, I had some sort of pack with these fabrics. These 2 make three and I am pretty sure there is still an unquilted one in my sewing room. Not sure what I was thinking or what I will do with these.
I am on a mission to finish things up. There are several more table runners. Yikes. So many and a couple of quilts that need quilting. Who am I kidding? There are a lot of quilts that need quilted, but there is an order in my head. I need to get on that.
My daughter was home last weekend from school for Labor Day. Makes my heart happy to see her. She seems to be adjusting well to college away from MOM.
And here is the other one…..
Looks familiar doesn’t it?
I am working on some Non-SouthwesternI fabric things. LOL
I am working on my Halloween Table Runner. I actually plan on using it!. How about that.
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.
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).
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.
It seems that I can manage small pieces fairly well. Of course, still not good enough for me. I just want things to go back the way there were about a year ago.
So, this is the second able runner that I made from a scrap pack from my local quilt shop. I bought it for $12.99 and I think I have 2 more table runners from the same pack. I think it was actually a manufacturers sample. Some of them had pinked edges and they were all a pretty standard odd size. Regardless, I like it. It is a little busy looking, but tolerable, I think.
I do like this pattern it is called Jumping Jack. Very simple and easy. I will have to wait to quilt this until I open my black batting. Hopefully soon. I have a quilt I need to get ready for the long arm that requires black batting. Currently, I find using my long arm, very stressful. Since I can’t quite do things the way I want to I become frustrated and don’t want to do it at all. I know, wrong attitude.
I also made this one. I have hung on to a yard of this blue fabric for forever. For some reason I found it beautiful and did not want to use it. Finally did. It was super easy to do and great for using only two colors.
I am learning things every day. At some point I became sensitive to gluten (or so I thought). If I ate it, My heart rate increased to about 130+ for an hour or longer. This made me totally feel like crap. I was not overly thrilled with gluten free bread. It had a weird feel (gritty or something) in my mouth. So, I was unhappy. I constantly wondered why food would be taken from a fat girl. First you take my ability to do a whole lot of anything and then take food away form a fat girl? Come on. If things were not crappy enough. At first we thought it was sugar that was causing the problem. It would be much easier for me to avoid sugar. But no, it was everything I loved.
What I found out after some research was that it may not be gluten, but modern day wheat. So, I researched and found that many people with gluten sensitivity can eat heritage wheat. Heritage wheat? Wheat that was grown a long time ago. Not hybrid to yield more or sprayed with chemicals. I found a company that grows and mills this type of wheat. Sunrise Flour Mill makes just this wheat. I bought a bag. Super expensive $20 plus shipping for 5lbs. I made a loaf of bread and just like magic, I could eat it without the increased heart rate. It was like magic to me. I sat at the table eating bread, dipping it in olive oil in true fat girl style (I can laugh at myself). I have since ordered more and it gets less expensive if you buy bigger bags. his past Friday, we made pizza crust and our own homemade pizzas. It was delicious.
My mother was from Germany. These are one of our favorite things. We called them pretzel blobs, mostly because I think it annoyed my mother. They were (past tense) delicious.
So, I finished something else. Can’t remember the name of this table runner. I swear it is something with the word “Windows”. As you can see, I am still sticking with small things. So far so good. I am practicing some different quilting techniques.
Interestingly, I have several Bernina sewing machines. I have many attachments that were purchased for me that I have never used. Well, I learned to use two more things. Hurray for me. Only had them about 20 years… I had all kind of ruler attachments for my walking foot. They were very helpful in sewing even lines. I thought the quilting came out very well in this one. Then, I found a box of magnifying glasses that just hook on to the front of my machine. Holy cow. I wonder why I had not investigated this before. It let me see things sooo much better, I kind of feel stupid for not investigating these toys til about 20 years after I got them. Pretty sure my 1st late husband had bought them and he has been gone for 13 years and I know I had all these things before my daughter was born and she is 17. Funny but not funny,
What else have I done?
Shockingly, a project that was many years in the making. Well, not in the making, just thinking about it. My dining room table and chairs is well over 20 years old. The upholstered bottoms have seen better days and have needed to be recovered for years. They truly look like someone has peed on every chair. Well, I have been recovering the seats. I have completed 5 of 6 and my hands are killing me, so the sixth one is going to have to wait a bit. Maybe sometime next week. The hardest part is that each chair had at least 100 staples that has to be removed. My fabric choice is a bit wild, but they look much better, so that will do for now. Ruger is my little photo bomber.
and then there is my situation…
Not much change there. I am still only at 6 mailboxes and have been unable to go on my walks most of the week. I just seem to have an over whelming sense of weakness. Hoping it will get better. Trying to take the long way on anything that I do though. Fingers crossed.
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.
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.
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.
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.