After Christmas

I’ve made it through Christmas.  Tomorrow is Aaron’s birthday so dinner again but I love to have the kids around and don’t mind cooking if they will come and visit for a while.

Part of the bigger family Christmas celebration this year was a handmade gift exchange.  We each had the name of a family member. The only guideline was something you made.  I enjoyed seeing what everyone created for their giftee.  I had Kim’s name.  The item that I had planned on making didn’t happen.  I ran out of time when my mother became ill and ended up with a 5 day hospital stay from the 15th to the 20th.  I had finished most of the other projects and knew that I would have plenty of time to create this gift.  I’m not going to mention what the gift is. She will probably get this for another occasion because now I have the pattern and all the supplies. My second idea came together quickly.  Kim is a knitter and last fall I traded a friend some market bags for yarn that she had spun into a beautiful skein just right for knitting.  I passed this on to Kim with a bag that I made for her to carry her knitting in.  It’s easy to tuck in a bag or a suitcase.  I had also included a little pair of scissors.  After the gift opening, I told her that I almost put a ribbon on the scissors and attached it to the bag so they would not be so easily misplaced.  She said that she would love that.  I ended up opening the side of the bag and attaching a D ring.  This D ring is now hard at work holding a clip that has the scissors, a tape measure and a needle book attached.  They are all long enough to leave attached to the bag and still be used but the clip can also be unhooked and the tools used.  It’s big enough that it will be noticed if the bundle is set down and yet small and light enough to easily live in the bag until they are needed.

 

 

Pin cushions

As any seamstress knows a pincushion is your friend.  I own many types of pin cushions and have made pin cushions but recently when I was cleaning out a drawer I found a pin cushion that a friend  brought me many years ago.  She had traveled to Switzerland to visit with relatives that were temporarily living there and brought me back this wonderful pin cushion.  As I’ve mentioned before I struggle to use special things and for many years have put them aside for safe keeping.  One of my recent decisions however is to live life with intention.  One of my intentions  is to cherish these special items but also to use them so I can get pleasure out of them every day.  This pin cushion sits on my sewing table and holds threaded hand sewing needles. Although I don’t do a lot of hand sewing there are always finishing touches that require a needle and thread.  So Sarah, every time I use this pin cushion I think of you and am thankful for  your years of friendship.  What a gift!

A successful swap

A while back I made a comment on a friends blog that I liked the yarn she was spinning.   She offered to let it come and live at my house and now it’s arrived! We made a swap and I’m excited.  This is beautiful yarn and I’m still stroking and admiring all of its loveliness.  I have a couple of projects in mind but not entirely certain what the final project will be. I really have zero skills in the yarn fiber department.  Yes, I have done my share of crocheted granny squares and ponchos and have several failed knitting attempts, like the sweater with the monkey arms.. and two different size monkey arms at that!  While I’m thinking long and hard, I just keep moving this skein around and dreaming about all the things it could become.

 

MIA

I’m having trouble with the title of this post.  I finally settled on MIA.. it’s one of those days.  I have two patterns that I want to use in the next couple of weeks.  I apparently moved them to a “better place” because now I can’t find them.  I’m usually careful when I’m done with my patterns and tools because I hate to waste the time looking for them.  It’s so frustrating.  These patterns I suspect I moved when I was cleaning and put them in a better home that was more logical.  Why they aren’t with the rest of the patterns I don’t really know.. onward and upward and searching again!

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

It’s a car Mom!

Well, well, well, finally number 1 son has purchased a car.  He was in school and then started his first adult career job, moved into a new apartment and now has a new car.  Whew.. It’s been a busy year.  He’s been driving old cars with problems for many years.  Last spring when the last one gave up the ghost on a neighborhood street, he called the donation place and had it towed.  For the last 6 months he has been car free and relied only on his bike for transportation.  Now in Seattle, this can be a challenge because of all the hills but he kept with it and rode the bus or his bike wherever he needed to go and paid expenses to his carpool for work which is in Redmond.  Now once again, he is a driving contributing member in his carpool, can get to the grocery store, to the laundromat, go shopping and purchase more than one item and even visit Mom and Dad! Congratulations Aaron!

The foot foot quilt

One of the first quilts I made was from necessity.  We had just moved daughter #2 into a big girl bed and didn’t have a bedspread or anything that would fit.  We bought an imported bed, these were pre Ikea days, and it was a bit narrower and longer than a conventional twin bed.  It was also closer to the floor.  Perfect for a toddler and a fitted bottom sheet but I couldn’t find anything that was toddler friendly for the top.  I can remember putting the sewing machine on the dining room table and spending the day sewing. This was after shopping for a pattern and fabric.  At that time we had a wonderful quilt store here in downtown Edmonds.  I loved to go in there and just look at all the fabrics.  It was housed in cute little older home in the downtown area.  I picked out a sunbonnet Sue pattern and a few fabrics, came home, cut them out and sewed them together.  Those were in the early days of fusible web so I think I cut them all out, layered them and appliqued the pieces by machine and then layered the quilt all with straight pins and tried to stitch it all together. I used a white flat sheet for the back so that dictated the size for the front.  Kim loved it and loved playing with the feet which were not stitched down but were loose, hence the name the foot foot quilt. It was used for many years but actually still looks good even with all the daily use.  I’m thinking about putting it back on the bed and remembering all those fun years of little girls.

 

Quilting in progress!

I’ve made it this far.  It’s in the machine being quilted.  It’s a bit bulky to fit through the machine but so far so good and I think (hope) it will go quickly and without too many problems.  I just have to keep reminding myself that it’s ok if it’s not perfect.  I’m not entering it in a contest to be judged, it’s just going to be used to cuddle on the couch with and that will be fine!

Freezer is getting full

Full of jam that is.  Last night I finally made a batch of raspberry jam.  In my humble opinion this is really the only kind of jam that a person needs.  I recognize however that if we have some variety it only makes the raspberry jam better.  I think this is the third time this season I’ve tried to make raspberry jam.  Mysteriously the berries keep disappearing.  I do have to admit however that my fingers are always the ones stained with raspberries!  No one else here to blame.  I did enjoy every bite however.  This time I was smart.  I bought two half flats and even after I had eaten most of the first I still had berries to make jam.  Success! The lucky jars are now residing in the freezer with the jars of strawberry-blueberry and mango jam.