A bit more control

Finally I seem to have a bit more control at my house and I want to start sewing more and posting more.  With the challenges the last two years it seems like it’s been a struggle sometimes to just get through day to day.  With cancer and chemo for daughter, broken foot, broken femur and knee cap for husband plus three months of no working and no mobility and my mother deteriorating and passing all at the same time plus many hours of work, it’s been day to day work with a bit of sewing but not much else.  I actually have made a few things and am going to search for pictures and add some other posts. It’s something I look forward to.

Last summer I did make two chemo caps for a friend who was losing her hair.  These are fast, fun and quick to make up and I did making enjoy them.

purple caps - Starfish Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then I made a couple of gifts for my niece’s daughter, an I Spy bag and a small carry all bag that she could put her books and “important things” in and take them with her.

Owl bag - Starfishalley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i spy bag

 

 

 

 

 

And then a fun zip bag for a friend from some Laurel Burch fabric from my stash. I do like making these bags.

Linda zip bag

 

 

 

 

 

Now I have to search for more pictures.  I’m usually quite organized about where I store things but this past year has not been  as good so now I’m on a search and organize mission. so until next time..

Quick graduation gift

I knew a couple of young ladies that were graduating and needed a quick graduation gift.  I’ve made pouches for young ladies this age before and found they have been well received.  They seem to be useful for odds and end and all kinds of other things.  I made these a tad bigger so they could be used for charging cords.  I don’t know about you, but it seems like I am taking more of these with me when I travel places and it’s hard to find a convenient place to store them where you can find them again.  I hate to keep looking for my things and try to keep them all together and be consistent about where I put my belongings so this is important to me.  These young ladies will not have mothers with them to keep track of their things when they leave for college in a few weeks so I’m hopeful that these pouches will be useful.

graduation zip pouches

On the road again

Thanksgiving is over and I’m on the road again.  Brother and I are off on a road trip to Palm Springs.  I’m leaving hubby and daughter number 2 at home to fend for themselves for the week. I really think they are anxious for me to leave and they can eat all the food that I don’t like or fix.  I see a menu of Thai, hot sauce and more being consumed for the week.  Fine with me.  My husband calls my kind of food “North Dakota white”  Now I really think lefse and potatoes are just fine! All told, it will be good for all of us to have a break.  They have said they would put up the tree while I’m gone and do what other decorating they see fit.  It will be surprise.

I’ve been busy making ornaments and have a whole lot of sewing to do when I get home.  It would be nice to have the month off and do what I wanted but alas that’s not to be this year.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and I’ll write more from the road.

IMG_0036

A Big Day at our house!

Tomorrow will be a big day at our house!  It’s daughter’s birthday and also the last two drug chemo day.  Although she will still have two more treatments after tomorrow, the end is in sight and those two are not as nasty as the one tomorrow.  So we will celebrate!  Tomorrow she will still feel ok.  Starting Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday will not be very pleasant but she knows that.  So tomorrow we will celebrate. The birthday seems to be a significant day to have the last double treatment.

This of course requires a celebration.  We will have some family and a couple of friends to have dinner and celebrate.  This also requires a few gifts.  My kids are very “green” oriented and dislike paper waste including cards.  I really can’t just give up the cards because I like them but I can do something about the wrapping so I decided it was time to create re-usable gift bags.

I have to admit that until I found a remnant of birthday fabric at the store the thought had not crossed my mind.  So I created three different kinds of bags.  The first bag that I did is somewhat narrow and tall.  I lined it with orange fabric, put some handles on it and a snap at the top so it could be closed and the contents will stay secret.  I think every good birthday gift should be a surprise and hate it when the packaging fails! The second bag is just a drawstring beg.  Sort of a medium size that will accommodate many sizes and shapes of gifts.  The third bag was an experiment.  I wanted a bag that was easy to close but also a little bit fun and different.  This is the bag from the cupcake fabric.  Although it’s hard to tell from this photo I hemmed the top of the bag, and then sewed colored elastic into the side seam so you can just stretch the band around the top of the bag and it’s securely closed and adds a cute little top to the bag.  All in all the gifts are ready for tomorrow, we’ll get the chemo done, dinner will be started in the crock pot before we leave in the morning (pulled pork) and we’ll all be glad when tomorrow is over and the day has been celebrated to the best of our ability!

birthday celebration bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

drawsting birthday bag

Chemo caps and baby blankets

Chemo caps and baby blankets.  I just never knew that the road would include sewing  both at the same time.  And for the same age group of people.  I haven’t posted for a long time but I have thought about it. At the beginning of April my middle child had what we expected to be surgery for a mass or growth on an ovary.  We were all shocked when they discovered that she had ovarian cancer.  Instead of removing just the mass she had a complete hysterectomy.  She is only 33.  She’s moved from Portland into her old bedroom and is spending her time working, sleeping, reconnecting with old friends and doing chemo for 18 weeks after the 5 weeks recovery from the surgery.  Certainly not how any of us had planned on spending the summer.  She is treating this experience with grace, dignity and a positive attitude.  It’s a pleasure to have her with us again while she deals with this “detour” in her life.  She had been transitioning to a job with her company here in Seattle and they have been great at supporting her and that is a blessing too.

The next step of course is dealing with hair loss.  This has been harder than we expected but I keep telling her it’s a good thing she has a great looking head!  Some friends have sent her knitted caps which she loves.  I’m not a knitter and those knitted caps are really her preference.  I have tried making her some sewn caps but also know this has been mostly for me and not for her.  It’s hard to know as a mom and a parent how best to support these kids when they are adults but have such huge challenges in their lives.  We do the best we can.  The other side of this is so many of her friends are having babies. New babies, expecting babies and all of that.  Still fun but makes one stop and be grateful for the children that we do have and heartache for the things we can’t control.

All that being said, I have had fun sewing chemo caps and baby quilts and tag blankets. I’ll have several more things to share here soon.  I’m in the process of baby quilts and tag blankets.  I’ve made several of those for my niece because her daughter has loved them and she would like to buy some from me for her friends. So for now, here is the cap that really turned out the best.. if I can get a picture of the others I’ll do that.  One of the other ones turned out well but I’m not sure it will ever get worn.  And also a cap that came from a dear friend that is turning out to be a favorite.  Chemo caps and baby blankets will continue here for a while.  A nice diversion for our next few months.

do rag chemo cap

 

 

 

 

 
Kim hat

 

Dish towels for Larry

Dish towels for Larry.  That’s really all he wanted for his 60th birthday was some hand embroidered dish towels.  Well I can certainly pull that one off!  So for a month every night well most nights when I watched TV I worked on dish towels.  Larry had watched me work on dish towels before Christmas when I was making them for friends and that’s when he decided they were really cool and he wanted some of his own.  I did some different patterns on his than I did on the Christmas ones.  He really loved the coffee pot and coffee cup one that I had done for a friend so I did that one and the rest were different.  I used a hot iron transfer like this one Stitcher’s Revolution and ironed them onto Aunt Martha’s Vintage Dish Towels.   Hurray, the dish towels for Larry were done in time for his birthday. They were fun to do and Larry was pleased!

Dishtowels for Larry

 

Figure 8 Scarves

Figure 8 scarves have been all over print and media blogs and advertising for the past year.  They can be expensive to buy but inexpensive to make.  Before Christmas I was in the fabric store fondling browsing the fabric remnants and found some fabric that I knew would make lovely scarves.  This type of fabric can be fussy to work with. It stretches, frays and distorts easily but it will also produce a satisfying project. Figure 8 scarves are just that.  A long strip of fabric with a twist in the middle so it forms a continuous loop.  Kind of like a Möbius strip. I found several coordinating remnants and also a couple of wider one color pieces and made scarves.  It was fun and I do think the girls were pleased. These scarves are stylish and add some warmth to these cool winter days.

Figure 8 scarves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 8 scaves

A Christmas Stocking for Raegan

A Christmas stocking for Raegan was a necessary addition for holiday sewing.  This sweet little girl ventured into the world on December 5th.  The grandparents and Mom and Dad were excited.  Of course all the family and friends were pleased to have such a sweet addition to this family.  I didn’t want Santa to overlook this new babe however so a stocking was created. I used a combination of a McCall’s  stocking pattern and some AccuQuilt dies.  The name was cut with a Slice Fabrique die.  If I do this again I will make a few changes but overall, it was a successful completion. Merry Christmas Raegan.

Raegan stocking2

 

Apron and Shoe Bags

Apron and shoe bags were on the christmas list this year.  I decided my husband needed an apron and then maybe I wouldn’t need so much stain stick.  That pesky silverware seems to develop holes at meal time and it’s hard to keep the food on the utensils!  It so often ends up on the front of the shirt.  I have started to wear an apron every night when I eat.  It’s in the drawer next to the table and it’s gotten to be a habit to reach into the drawer, pull out the apron and save the clothes.  Now hubby can do the same.  The apron has sat by his plate for several days now and hasn’t been tested but soon I know that will happen.

Jim apron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other project that happened for Christmas was shoe bags.  I have made them for middle daughter but never had made them for the other two kids.  Oldest daughter and son both have plans to travel in January and February and they both commented that shoe bags would be something they might use.  I know that I hate to put my dirty shoes in the suitcase with the clean clothes.  Sometimes I’ve also used these bags for dirty laundry when I’m traveling.  It’s a bit more private than a plastic bag and it’s nice to have those dirty clothes contained.  I made the bags about 19″ tall and 26″-30″  wide.  That way they will work for either athletic type shoes or sandals.  The animal print that I used for my son was a little short so I added a casing to the top of the bag.  It works just fine and added a nice designer touch to a simple bag.  More  successes and Mom is happy!.

shoe bags Amy shoe bags Aaron

 

I Won!

I won some new patterns and I’m so excited.  Although I read many blogs I don’t often leave comments or enter giveaways.  There are many reasons.. sometimes I don’t have anything to say or there are so many people commenting that one more just doesn’t seem to add anything.  Some days I just don’t feel like it.  At the beginning of the month however I did make a comment on the  Ever Kelly blog and I won a set of her patterns.  They are so cute!  There is a playmat, a fabric house, some play figures and a quilt.  Her Storybook Lane fabric line is so cute!  I’m hoping that someday I will have a granddaughter to make these for but until that time, I may have to make them for my new niece.  So thanks Kelly I know I’m going to have fun with these and it was so much fun to have them arrive in my mailbox!

Ever Kelly patterns