Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Zipper Pouch Project

I think the only thing worse to me than having to go shopping for a new handbag is when the bra style you've worn for 20 years gets discontinued.  So... when baby sister gave me a new handbag for my birthday, I was excited.  Going from a tote style handbag with six interior pockets and an exterior pocket...  I needed to ponder on how I was going to organize stuff so it wouldn't be in one big jumble at the bottom.

I used batiks left over from other quilty projects but had to purchase a purple zipper to go with it.  Could have used another color but hey!  I like purple!

I weeded through everything in my tote since I won't need as much stuff as I did when I was working.  That will lighten the weight of what I need to carry everyday.

The zipper pouch (made from a tutorial by Noodlehead (link) that I used in past), the hardest part was figuring out how to shape a pocket to hold my inhaler.  The pouch is approximately 4.5" tall, 10" across at the top, and 3" deep at the bottom.

Since every store requires a "store card" to get sale prices these days, I hand-stitched a hook thingie to the seam on one side.  This way, I don't have to do a major search for those all the time.

I'm sure I'll need to shuffle stuff around as I become adjusted to a new handbag.  But ain't it cute???  Just 'cause I'm old, don't mean I am an old fuddy-duddy!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

12 Mini Blocks and Other Progress

Making the mini blocks is just enough to keep me happy as I continue to work on projects around the house.  I may have gotten a bit too interested in making the mini blocks to the detriment of other projects.  And, while sorting fabrics mini-blocks around, ended up with one "lost."  

I had to go back through several piles of sorted fabrics to locate it eventually but not before I made a second one because I thought it was lost forever.  I also goofed up with a broken dishes block where I didn't pay close enough attention to the placement of the half-square triangles and ended up with another pinwheel block.   But that's okay because I am NOT cutting 180 - 1 1/8th" squares and making five 6-patch blocks (link).  Not happening!

I want to end up with 16 mini blocks and, after going thru all the historic/1800s fabrics... I will use what I have on hand rather than shopping for sashing fabric.   I am making progress on emptying the two tables but it's slow... everything has to be sorted and put away in an organized manner so I can find it again.  This table was piled at least a foot high with fabrics, batting, sewing stuff, etc. that needed sorting.... hope to get it finished this weekend.

I also finished the hat for a friend in Texas who has just finished with chemo but still has radiation therapy going on.  I liked how the flower and leaves turned out... that's one pattern I will definitely use again!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Two Mini Blocks

I have been industrious and can now see the tops of both tables that were piled with miscellaneous sewing-related stuff that needed to be organized and put away.  Amazing how much stuff one accumulates...  I won't ever need to buy fabric again...   *lol*

The blocks are 4" square and this mini-piecing requires a lot of squaring up be done.  I supposed the half-square triangles that finish at 1" would really be too small to do without squaring up and cutting down.  It was an adventure to be sure.   

I took two photos... one with flash and one without.  It's gray and the light is poor since has been raining here this afternoon...  while we all keep watch on H. Irma.  (I'm located about where the "m" in "storm" on the 2nd line of the note at the top.)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Mini Block

Blogging friends are the best... especially when they suggest QALs that you may enjoy. Earlier in the summer, Janet O. of Rogue Quilter (link) told me about the Temecula Quilt Company's Marvelous Mini Monday QAL (link).  The QAL ran for 12 weeks for 12 mini quilt blocks and looked irresistibly charming.

I've become somewhat overwhelmed with all the projects that need doing, including organizing all the stuff from my sewing room and getting it back in there so I can find everything.  So today, I decided to use the mini blocks as a reinforcer for clearing the dining room table and a folding table of sewing/quilting stuff and getting it back into the sewing room.

I have 2 small baskets of scrap 1800s fabrics from two other quilts so I don't have to purchase anything.  The blocks will go together to make a small table topper... hopefully, the "sew a mini block" incentive will help keep me on track with the swing room organizing.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Portable Ironing Table

The setup with the ironing pad on top of a shelf (see in background) wasn't working well for pressing rows of blocks so I realized that I would have to get my ironing board out more frequently than I hoped.  So, I decided to make one of the little ironing tables that I've seen on-line, made from a wooden TV table.

I picked up the wood TV tray at Bed, Bath & Beyond using a 20% off coupon so it was reasonable... less than $15 inc tax.   Having read a number of blog posts on this project, I chose the "TV Tray Pressing Table (link)," one of Elizabeth Hartman's projects.  I liked that  the table is holding up well after three years of use.

The hardest part of the project was getting the plastic shrink wrap off the table because the table top was wrapped before the strips were screwed down... so the plastic ran underneath the wood strips.  (I used a very old seam ripper to cut close to the wood strips... and it worked pretty well... however, I couldn't get all the wrapping but... who's going to see it???)

Despite having several pieces of home dec-weight fabrics to chose from, I went with plain duck/canvas to keep it simple in this small, visually-busy room.  There are four layers of Warm & Natural/White batting underneath the canvas.  Ms Hartman did not recommend using Insul-Bright for this project and so I didn't... although others have posted about using it.

The 3/4" thick, solid wood table top required me to lean on the stapler while stapling.  I also had to use a hammer to finish sinking the staples into the wood.

Although some bloggers had their hubbies staple the fabric to the table using those fancy air gun stapler things, I had no problem using the heavy duty Dritz staple gun that I purchased at Michael's (with a  40% off coupon).

After trimming excess fabric on the bottom, I steam-ironed the canvas on top, which got out faint fold marks.  Now I'm ready to go.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In other news, two friends are going through chemo and I am working on crochet cloche hats using cotton yarn for them...  the cotton yarn is so soft and smooth.  One cloche went out in the mail last week and the second is almost finished.

I added a lime green crochet "ribbon" to go around the hat and under the button after I took this photo to add a little more color...  lime green is one of the swirls on the button.

These days, I have more projects than time even though I'm retired.  Who'd a-thunk it?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Miscellaneous Sewing and Self-discipline

I'm embarrassed to say that I have not finished the sewing room reorganization; however, it is usable...  and I've been tackling small projects for that "quick closure" good feeling.  Elder granddaughter wanted to upgrade her bedroom from "girl" to "teen" mode and I made her a few things, including a memory board...

...a dresser scarf/runner and lavender pillowcases.

Emma was pleased with the new additions to her room and my DD sent these photos...

The girls are so silly!  DD got Emma a throw to go over a blue chair so it would coordinate...  evidently, "furry" is "in" right now...  but my grandpuppy wasn't too sure about it...

In the meantime, a long-time friend attended her 50th high school reunion and stayed with her sister, whose dog... uh...  almost chewed through the lanyard on which she carried her keys.  There was no fixing it so I made her a new one and included a key fob so she can separate work keys from personal keys.

Then...  I had a stern talk with myself about quilt-y projects that were not getting done.  So today...

I got busy.

Enough done, tomorrow is another day!   
In other news, my grandson George moved into his dorm this morning and his parents had to drive off and leave him there.  My DIL was kind enough to send a photo of him in his room so that I can visualize where he is.

Yes, I think the look on his face says, "Okay, mom!  Just one photo... and then you need to go on... "  I'm trying to resist making a seat cushion for his desk chair to match the arrow pillow.... but he's a big boy now and can decorate his own room.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Non-slip Foot Pedal Mat (or Pad)

One of the first sewing-type projects I wanted to do was to make a non-slip mat so that I didn't have to chase the foot pedal around under the machine while sewing.  Slippery little devil likes to walk around while I'm trying to sew...

I found several tutes on Pinterest... the first one was So Easy Sew: Sew a Non-Slip Sewing Machine Foot Pedal Pad (link).  However, I found another one with a video tutorial that gave excellent instructions at Crafty Gemini Creates: Sewing Machine Non-slip Foot Pedal Non-slip Pad (link).  

I made it rectangular because I didn't want to mess with curved binding when I have the non-slip stuff under the presser foot and I'm glad I did.  I used leftover home dec fabric and I like the light color.  Yes, it will be on the floor but who cares?  More... who's going to see it?

The foot pedal doesn't slip on the mat and the mat doesn't slip on the carpet.  Yea!   

For those with questions:  there are two layers of the rubber/plastic shelf/drawer stuff and I only used fabric to bind the edges.  I did put a "stop" at the top of the mat just in case... but I don't think I needed to.  The foot pedal is metal and heavy; however, if your foot pedal isn't heavy, you might need the stop.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Quilt Show Road Trip

This morning, a new knitting/crochet/quilting friend and I hit the road to High Point, NC to attend the High Point Quilt Guild's annual show (link).  Since we left at 7:30 a.m., there was very little traffic and we arrived just before the show opened at 9:00. 

Held in the gym of the local YMCA, the lighting wasn't the best and you all know what a terrible photographer I am, but I did my best...

I took photos of the quilts I liked the best...  this one had the books of the Bible machine embroidered on the "book spines."

There were 20-odd vendors and I picked up a few things...

...nothing exciting.  A white-on-lavender print to make pillowcases for my granddaughter's newly-redecorated-for-a-13yo's-taste bedroom... 

...and several white-on-white fabrics for a future project.

There were a lot of quilts that used purple so I guess that is the "in" color in High Point, at least among the quilt guild.

I didn't see any quilts that were startlingly gorgeous or "new" to me...  

...this one used Downtown Abbey fabrics.

This quilt had to be made by someone with very good eyesight...

...because the background quilting was minuscule!

On the way home, we stopped at a new-to-us yarn shop.  I restrained myself, subvocalizing my mantra:  no yarn unless it's for a specific project!  I did purchase new circular needles (size 4 / 3.5 mm) because I don't have that size.

It was an overall good day and I got to know my new friend a lot better.  Increasing my pool of friends beyond those employed by Moore County Schools is one of my retirement goals!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Grandma Adventure

To celebrate retirement, I rented a cabin in the NC mountains and invited the three younger grandkids to go on a grandma adventure.  (My DD felt "left out" so I invited her as well... and her DH was able to join us for part of the stay.)  

I've missed out on so much of their lives because I was still working and the eldest is going off to college in two weeks.  So, I was determined that at least some of the grandkids would remember a special time with their grandmother after she retired.   

The cabin was lovely and perfect for multi-generations (read:  bedrooms on different levels and plenty of bathrooms).  The deck was wonderful as was the 20 degree cooler temps.

Early mornings on the deck with a cuppa tea or coffee were a joy!  The rockers were so relaxing...

There are lots of things to do in the West Jefferson, NC area...  such as hiking to the top of Mt. Jefferson.

The gem mining was a much bigger success than I imagined... we had to pry the kids away at closing.  After we got back to the cabin, the kids spent time looking up the various gems they found online...  "Can we go again tomorrow?"

I don't have photos from tubing on the river but the grandgirl with the GoPro promised to send me some.   We had dinner out one night in West Jefferson...

...however, there was plenty of time to hang out at the cabin.

And then there were the views...

The grandkids are already talking about another grandma adventure to the mountains next summer...  to include more gem mining and white-water rafting.

...guess I need to start planning?  

PS - When I got up on the last morning, the temp outside was 57 degrees.  At noon, it was 67... but when I got home, it was 91 + very humid.