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.
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!
Three blind mice! In this case I have four blind mice but the result was the same. I had this pattern from Fig Tree & Co. The Three blind mice pattern. Oh, they were fun to make. Fast and easy. They are filled with some batting and craft pellets. These particular mice were thanks yous for some special ladies who cooked and planned meals for an adult Girl Scout volunteer event. We all go out to one of the camps owned by our council and have a wonderful time visiting, crafting, singing and what ever else we want to do. The three ladies who help organize menus and meals are all sewing, hand craft types of ladies and they all use pin cushions. Mice are always a part of any camping experience and a perfect match was made. The fourth mouse was a thank you to a woman who helps us with craft ideas and wasn’t able to make it this time due to illness. I also have another mouse cut out and half sewn for myself.
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.
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.
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.
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!.
Embroidered dish towels and pot holders were on my list this year. That is my list of gifts to create. I have a dear group of lady friends that I play bridge with a couple of times a month. We’ve played together for 27 or 28 years. We play bridge only with one another and although playing bridge is the reason we tell others we are getting together there are really several goals in mind. One of these is to catch up on news, share our concerns and happy tales and the other is the table snacks and desert! Good reasons for good friends to get together. After we had played together for a few years we started to exchange Christmas gifts. Some years I have a good idea that I will work on for months ahead of time and other years I don’t have a good idea until shortly before Christmas bridge. This fall has been challenging as far as time goes so I didn’t really have any good ideas until after Thanksgiving when my brother invited me to go on a road trip with him to Palm Springs. I knew there would be time in the evenings for handwork and decided that I wanted to embroider some dish towels. In the week that I was gone I managed to finish three towels and when I got home I added some hot pads and the gifts were good to go. The embroidered dish towels and pot holders were fun to make.
Pot holders are another project that I always love. They can be fast or take some time. I have simple ones and more complicated ones that I use in my own kitchen. Along with the dish towels I added a mitt type pot holder and a simple square pot holder. I have both kinds in my kitchen and use them all. I found this great fabric with grapes and apples that was a darker fabric I knew would be perfect for simple pot holders. They were multicolored with no white. Pot holders get dirty so quickly I like ones that don’t show the food stains so quickly. Merry Christmas dear friends.
Another zip finish. I’ve made so many of these this year the process has certainly gotten faster. It’s a project that I still enjoy however. My dear friend Gretchen has recently had another birthday. Yes, for all of us they keep coming around. I don’t always give gifts but this time I wanted to bring something to let her know I was thinking of her. This little zip pouch fit the bill. It’s made from linen and cotton. I don’t sew often with linen but I do like the way it looks. It is a bit fussier to sew with however as the fabric stretches and frays easily.
Thanksgiving is done and now it’s holiday sewing. I have made several items in the last couple of weeks but not had the time to blog about any of it. I’m going to start with a really fast and easy project that I had fun with. That would be pot holders. We were invited to Aaron’s for Thanksgiving dinner this year. That was a treat for me. I usually cook all holiday meals. He had help from his sisters and they cooked a delicious meal of salmon, stuffing, mashed potatoes and salad.. We had vegetables and dip while we were visiting before the meal. It was great fun and I’m ready to do it again. Today they will all be here for dinner.
I did decide I should take a hostess gift so I bought a few new dish towels, a new paring knife and made some pot holders. I know that he doesn’t cook very much and I wasn’t sure what he really had. Although it all got left in the gift bag, I imagine that he will use all the items. I know they are having a holiday party at their apartment soon so I suspect they will all have future use.
The pot holders were fun to make. I cut them 8″ square and put in a layer of warm and bright and a layer of insulbrite. I quilted a square pattern on the top and used rayon thread on one side and cotton on the other. They are bright and cheerful and I think I’ll be doing more of these soon.
Holidays are approaching! Hard to believe it’s coming so quickly. I have had so little time to sew in the last couple of months that now my head is swimming with ideas. It’s so full of things that some days it’s hard to sort out what to do or even where to start. I think the first thing to do will be to make a list. I’ve had some random projects on my mind, pot holders, zip pouches, pj pants, ear bud cases, dish towels, Christmas stockings and pillows all rumbling around in my head. I do have one more baby quilt to finish. That should be completed by the weekend. The top is pieced so it’s just a matter now of layering it and quilting and binding. Probably just a few hours but not too complicated and I can start and stop. I also have a couple of birthday presents to make. I might even have to do some shopping. The biggest outside time commitment now however is work and my mother. She is back at her home in the senior community after 3 weeks in the hospital and 3 weeks in rehab. Sure seems like longer and I guess between all the doctor visits for the 6 weeks before surgery it has been longer. We’re hoping for a stable winter but when you’re 85 it’s hard to tell what each day will bring.
I did have fun doing one quick project in all of this madness. I made another burp rag from a diaper. I was going to make this before the shower for my niece but ran out of time. I do love applique however and I had fun with this applique cute and hot pink flower fabric.