Smaller oilcloth bag

I’m making a smaller oilcloth bag for a friend.  I’m trying out a couple of different sizes of bags because I keep having requests for a smaller size.  This first one I reduced the height by 5 inches and the width by 2.5 inches.  I like the width and think that will be fine but I think I’m going to make another bag and shorten the height a bit more.  This one is actually a good size and would be handy at the drugstore or at the bookstore where you want a bag but don’t want or need such a big one.  I’m looking forward to making a few more of these and then ask what size my friend would like what her opinion is.

Orange you glad you did?

When my kids were little they really loved knock knock jokes.  This was the punchline of one of them..  In this care,orange you glad you told me how to adjust the sock measurements because these will probably fit a bit better.  I talked to my victim friend with the cold feet and decided what adjustments we would like to make to the socks.  I ended up making them a bit narrower at the front as he has narrow feet.  I also lengthen the hight of the sock a bit so he could wear them inside boots without them rubbing.  This is more vintage fleece.  It seems like it might have been from an old Halloween costume although I can’t remember for sure.  It really is a bit more cantaloupe colored than the picture shows.  I found a remnant of some black swimsuit fabric when I was at Joann’s last week and it made perfect ribbing.  It has a higher lycra content than ribbing so the stretch recovery and is better and it should not overstretch as easily.  It also has a high cotton content so it should feel good on the legs.  I normally wouldn’t use black thread either but it was on the machine and it’s close to Halloween so I decided you could wear them as part of a costume if you wanted to be a pumpkin.  Also, I wanted to try the pattern adjustments and decided that once they’re inside shoes or worn around the house it didn’t really matter what the color looked like.  The contrast is fine with me also and adds a bit of interest to plain old socks.

Halloween towel

I’ve been having fun with some Huck toweling.  I bought a few yards to play with and keep experimenting with options.  I’ve done some applique and also added a border to some of the toweling.  This time instead of a shape applique I added a strip of printed fabric that I attached to the toweling.  It was such a cute and colorful print that I thought this might be fun to try.  I used wonder under on a large piece of fabric and then used my scissors to cut out what I wanted.  I knew that I didn’t want it to be in a straight line so just wiggled around the pumpkins and the scene.  I then ironed it on and I used a narrow zig zag stitch to applique it to the towel.  It turned out cute.  Tomorrow this will go a new home.  This friend likes to cook and has young grandchildren so I’m sure they will all find a use for this new dishtowel.  On to another project. More Huck toweling ideas to come.

 

 

Lunch with Mom

Yesterday was shopping day with Mom.  Every few months the Macy’s coupons have piled up and it’s time to go shopping.  You know how clothes get “closet worn” don’t you?  That was my Grandma’s term and Mom has adopted the philosophy. In any case, Macy’s always has some good buys and they have great coupons so off we went.  We bought several sweaters, a couple of sweatshirts and a tee-shirt.  Oh yes, we also bought a birthday gift for Mom’s sister who lives in a nursing home in North Dakota.  She doesn’t have any daughters to take her shopping so Mom often sends her new clothes. It was a successful morning and then we went to lunch.  The food at the retirement community starts to taste the same after a while so she likes the opportunity to have something different.  Yesterday we went to Applebees.  Mom had some pork sliders which are the perfect size for her.  I took a picture with my new phone and posted it to Facebook.  New technology makes this much easier than with the old phone!.  I put the picture there thinking it would be nice for all the out of town relatives to see a picture.  What surprised me were all the comments on the picture.  These included comments about how good she looked to how fortunate I was to be able to have lunch with my Mother.  It made me appreciate the opportunity and was a good reminder that yes, I’m lucky that my mother lives close by and is well enough to go out and shop and have lunch.  It was a good day.

lunch with Mom

 

New phone

My phone was more than two years old and like most tech related things two plus years is a long time.  I bit the bullet and upgraded to a fancy new smartphone.  This is an Android phone and not an iPhone. Now I’m really hoping this smartphone is not smarter than me.  It’s bigger and can do a multitude of things.  One of the first projects that I did was for work.  I created a real estate flyer for an agent that needed a QR code.  If you’re not familiar with QR (quick response) codes they are the little boxes you see on items that are filled with other little boxes.

QR Code

This is a QR code for this blog.  If you use the bar code reader or QR code reader on your smartphone, it will take you directly to this website.  On the agent flyers the QR code will take you directly to a video tour of the home she has listed.  What a great marketing tool This is an easy way to add information to a piece of paper that makes it easy to get to a web address.  You could even use it to go to a poem, a song or anything else that has online information.

My kids and husband have been full of suggestions as to other apps that I need to put on this phone. My music son was impressed that I had Slacker already loaded.  I was lucky, that came pre-loaded. He also suggested Evernote.  This is a notepad tool and I can see this being handy also.  My husband has many apps on his phone so I guess I’ll have to see what else he thinks I should have.  He’s already added a couple more bar code readers.  I haven’t checked with my daughters yet.  I know that they both use bus tracker apps. This will give real time bus arrival information.  Do you have a phone with apps?  Which ones do you use most often and can’t live without?  A new adventure is just beginning.

A new shawl

My dear friend Gretchen knit me a pair of slippers last fall.  She knew that my office floor can be cold in the winter and the cozy felted slippers would keep my feet warm.

Now this wonderful friend has knit me a lovely warm sea-foam colored shawl.  It’s very lacy and warm.  I’ve never had a shawl before so I’m looking forward to using it.  It’s soft and lightweight and very pretty.  I’m sure that I’ll get a lot of use from it.  I did show my bridge friends the other night and they were impressed.  Thanks Gretchen, I’m pleased!

Fleece Socks

Many moons ago…or at least fifteen years I think, I was in a fleece sock making mode.  I made big socks, little socks, lightweight socks, heavy socks, patterned sock and plain socks.  Yes I had a great time.  They were fast and easy with my new serger.  When my family was no longer interested in fleece socks, I mean how many pair of fleece socks can a person wear, I gave socks to friends and finally had to give up the fleece sock adventure and move to something else.  Now I’ve had one of those friends ask for new fleece socks.  It’s getting to be fall and the feet are getting cold and the old socks have finally worn out.

This was such a fun project.  I went into the storage room where all the “vintage” fabrics and patterns are located and shopped.  I located fleece and my favorite sock pattern. This is a Rain Shed pattern.  The Rain Shed company is located in Corvallis Oregon so they really understand the local climate and needs.  This pattern is very high quality, it fits well and is fast to sew.  It also produces a professional end product which makes it very satisfying to sew.

The first pair is done.  Now the victim or I mean friend can come and test the fit and I’ll be inclined to sew a few more pair.

fleece socks

Fall table runner is finished.

The fall table runner is finished and I think it looks ok.  When I added the oatmeal colored border it really helped pull it all together.  It gives your eye a place to rest among all the busyness of the patterned fabric. The dark brown binding really finished off the runner by framing the entire mini quilt.  It think it was a good choice.  I also decided to try my hand at free motion quilting. I traced a stencil on the middle portion and then just did a rounded zig zag down the sides.  It’s far from perfect but for the first time I felt it was acceptable and not so bad I had to rip it out and start again.  I figure it’s on the table for only a month or two and no one really looks at the stitching but only the overall effect.  I know this is how people get better at a skill but I was lamenting to a friend that it’s hard to admit that at my age I’m really just a beginner.  When people get older I think there is a tendency to think you should be able to master a skill the first time and not have to start at the bottom of the skill level.  Sort of a humbling reminder I guess.  I did have great fun doing the free motion quilting however and really look forward to finishing more projects so I can do it again.  I think it’s time to finish up the x’s and o’s quilt and see how I do on that one.

Fall table runner

Birthdays and more birthdays

It seems like I have lots of friend with birthdays in the next few weeks.  I’m having fun sewing up some new things and each friend will receive something different.  It’s a great way for me to try new things and fun to think of something each friend might use.  I really hate the idea of giving a gift that is not useful in some way.  Then it’s just clutter and something to pass along as a white elephant gift.  Well, I guess the holidays are coming if they want to get rid of these things…  Today I’ve created a dishtowel with some decoration at the bottom.  I had some Huck towelling yardage and that works great for towels.  It’s soft and absorbent and you can bleach it when it becomes dingy.  I also made a rice bag that can either be frozen or heated.  This friend is having a knee replacement the day before her birthday so I was trying to think of something she might find useful in the next few weeks.  This surgery event also made it difficult to choose a birthday card.  Was kind of hard to pick on that said to have a great day or some such thought.  It will soon be a good day but I suspect that may not be her happiest birthday in recent years.  She will be happy with the end result however and that is good.

 

A couple of birthday gifts

Middle daughter was home this weekend to celebrate her birthday.  The actual date was almost a month ago but with her work travel schedule she wasn’t able to come home until this weekend.  It’s always good to have her home and the other kids came and joined us for dinner.  We had great conversations about jobs, activities and QR codes.  If you don’t know what a QR code is, it’s the little box with squares that you find on advertising that can be read with a smart phone.  This link will give you more information about a product or take you to a web site with more information.  After a yummy dinner she opened her gifts.  I had to do some sewing of course so she got this little snap pouch and a covered pillow for her bed.  After looking at the pictures I wish I had thought about design placement on the fabric before I cut it but I only had a small piece and not much flexibility as to where the pattern was on the fabric. It is cute however and because she is a transportation planner it seemed appropriate.  She also lives in a studio apartment so her bed is a focal point and she has started a pillow collection on her bed.  This one I used some really soft cuddle fabric and made a slip cover for it so she could use it as a decorative element or it could be used for guests and still look not so bed like when it’s not being used for sleeping.  All in all,  another successful weekend.