A Halloween Mat

A Halloween mat is now on my desk at work.  I have this wonderful wooden desk and I hate to put water glasses and coffee cups on the desk.  I also don’t like to put food directly on the desk top because let’s face it, it’s really not very clean!  This is a desk that has been used by many people over the years and is cleaned by a cleaning team at night and I really don’t know what has been on it . My solution has been a little mat, coaster etc. that will serve several purposes.  Protecting the lovely wood and also protecting my lunch.  I’ve wanted a new little mat for some time.  I’ve used the last one every day for about a year and a half and although I still like it, it was time for a change.  I made this little Halloween one in a hurry.  I had an idea in mind when I started that didn’t turn out at all like I planned so this was the second choice.  It’s fine with me.  I like the way it turned out.  Kind of sloppy binding job but I’m really the only one that sees it so that’s fine with me.  This is about it for my Halloween decorations this year.  How about you.  Any decorating at your house?

Halloween mat

 

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

One For Me

One for me.  I actually decided that I was going to sew something for myself today.  The nice thing was that I decided I wanted to do it and actually finished!  Now I have to admit it’s not a very complicated sewing job or even very time-consuming but it is something I’ve wanted for several months.  A little bag to carry my iPad and maybe a snack in when we go to chemo.  We have been going to chemo every week since the beginning of May and only have one month left so I decided I better not puzzle over this any longer but just get ‘er done.  I had a piece of fabric that I’ve bought tn both the blue and orange colorways but decided to use the blue. For  the lining I used a chrysanthemum print that is not a favorite but looked good with the fabric and actually looks nice in the bag interior.  I made simple fabric handles, used iron on batting to give it a little shape, used an elastic band and a spare button and now it’s done. I made a shallow boxed bottom to create a little depth and I think it will be perfect.  Just a little bag but a satisfying finish.  Yes, one for me.
padded bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

bag interior

 

New ironing table

I have a new ironing table.  Make that I’ve created a new ironing table.  It works very well and I’m pleased.  My sewing space is very small and compact and my big ironing board will not also fit in the space where I sew. I usually have it set up in my office in the room down the hall. For many things that’s just fine but when I’m in a hurry I just don’t like to get up and walk down the hall. I have used a small ironing board that sits between my sewing machine and my serger. This is ok for small pieces but hard even for longer or larger pieces.

As I’ve read blogs I’ve seen many folks using old wooden tv tables and transforming them into portable ironing tables.  They have just purchased these at the local Goodwill store.  We have a new Goodwill in my neighborhood and that was my plan.  Soon however the lightbulb went off!  I had several small plastic folding tables that I had used in my office to hold scanning equipment.  These are adjustable height and have been very useful.  My office needs have changed however and I had a table I wasn’t using so I decided that I could transform this table to an ironing table.

I started with the table and covered it with quilted ironing board fabric I taped it down on the sides with duct tape.

ironing table in progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next layer was a piece of colorful fabric.  I’m very pleased.  It works well and is the perfect size.

new ironing table

 

 

 

Zig Zag quilt.

A new zig zag quilt has been finished!  This has been on my design wall for a while as I contemplated what I was going to do.  The new parents are Florida Gator fans and wanted this to be a nod to their Gator loyalty.  When I looked at the Florida Gator colors however I just couldn’t see making a baby quilt with just blue and orange which are the main colors.  Now I actually am fond of both blue and orange with a touch of green but for a baby this seems a bit intense  especially when the gender has not been disclosed.  Mom and Dad have chosen not to find out ahead of time.

I knew I wanted to use half square triangles but was undecided about the zig zags or make them using arrows. I also wasn’t sure about the colors.  This is version number 1.

half square triangle arrows

 

 

 

I ended up using a royal blue, a green an orange and a fabric that was mixed but included those three colors.  I had all of these in my stash.  I did end up buying a different orange because I wanted one that was brighter with all the white. Once I got the zig zags done I had the dilemma of the border.  I cut the half square triangles with my Go cutter and the finished pattern made a 12″ square so I knew that I wanted the border to be about 4″ total but I really didn’t want to use another fabric or re-use one of the fabrics.  I stared to play with some quilting software that I had received for Christmas.. EQ7 or Electric  Quilt and ended up with alternating squares and rectangle of the white and colored fabrics.  One day when I was walking through JoAnn’s in search of something else, I  found this stripped fabric that had all the same colors in it as well and knew this would be the perfect fabric binding.  The back I also ended up purchasing and that was a piece of yellow flannel with green alligators  Finally the baby quilt was ready.  Mom and Dad were pleased, I was satisfied and the baby is due in a couple of weeks.  Nice to have this one finished and nice to be pleased with the result.

Zig Zag quilt front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gatorflannel back

 

 

 

 

 

 

adrienne quilt1

Red, white and blue.

Red white and blue is the theme for today.  Yes, even here in Edmonds it’s a holiday.  Our little town has a children’s parade, a regular parade, a holiday run, activities in the park and even fireworks.  It’s been fun to drive around town the day before these activities and see the people preparing for this big day. This photo was taken yesterday morning.By 10 pm last night the chairs were elbow to elbow.  Too bad it was too dark to take a picture because it certainly made me chuckle.

chairs on the street_e

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been a quiet day here at our house. I finished the binding on the red, white and blue table runner.  It was cut from a remnant that I found at JoAnn’s last summer.  It was nice to have it in my stash so when the motivation struck, I was able to pull the fabric, use the AccuQuilt Go cutter and get to work.

We did have some folks stop in the afternoon. Soon we’ll have some barbecued hamburgers and beans. A traditional kind of 4th meal.  The sun is out and I may go and finish the baby quilt that is sitting waiting for some batting and quilting.  That needs to be finished by next Friday so I’ll have to get in gear. Second choice is to sit in the sun and read.  Hope you are having a wonderful day too.

red white and blue table runner

 

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

 

Big zip pouch

A big zip pouch has been created.  I’ve done many embroidered dish towels and this bag has been created specifically for that purpose.  It’s about 16″ across the top and with the boxed bottom stands about 10″ high.  It’s about 5″ across on the sides and will be perfect for holding embroidery floss, dish towels and assorted tools to create the embroidery.  These tools of course include a needle book, a pair of scissors, an embroidery hoop, a tape measure and the embroidery floss.  I do have some ribbons attached to the inside of the pouch and will attach the needle book and scissors but today isn’t the day.  I’m planning on taking this big zip pouch with me tomorrow when I leave for Portland and I just don’t have time to find the extra tools and attach them. That will be a later project. For now, I have these items in another smaller pouch that I have in a separate bag but I’m looking forward to having these items in one place so I can just pick it up and go.

zippered pouch

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

 

Three Blind Mice!

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.

Three Blind Mice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Blind Mice