Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Fondness for January

I love January. I like being cozy, inside our house. Working on projects and dreaming of new ones. 

Plus, my birthday is in January. Tomorrow, in fact. Shhhh! It isn't one of the BIG ONES, but I am certainly no spring chicken.

I'll tell you a secret though. I love being this age. I think my 50s (again, shhhh!) is probably my favorite decade so far, believe it or not. If you are in the same age group, you'll know what I mean. If you are younger, you'll find out soon enough.

After putting away Christmas pretties, it's fun to put out something fresh. If only I had the stitching talents to produce such loveliness as this.

My son's favorite shirt. He would like me to trace it and make one that is similar. Hey, I'm game! I think it will be fun and he's all excited about it! Fortunately, he is not insisting on the chest pocket.

Stay tuned for lots of pictures of the tracing process.

If you live in a cold climate, enjoy your winter hibernation. It has its redeeming qualities. Really, it does.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Than Enough


It's been all over the blog world. It has been on my mind, but I try to keep my blog lighthearted and comfortable, a lot like my life.

I wasn't born rich. I am not rich now. But I have far far more than the citizens of Haiti. And simply because of where I was born. There, but for the grace of God, go I.

When you listen to the evening news, substitute the name of your city or state for the name Haiti. You might get a tiny glimmer of empathy for what is happening over there. But then you can turn around and get a glass of water, give a family member a hug, nudge the thermostat because you might be a little cold. Sleep in your comfy bed at night. We have so much more than we need.

My stomach turned as I watched a news clip in which a gash in a small boy's leg was being stitched up, without anesthetic. He was being comforted by his mother. I remember holding my son and reassuring him when he had a few stitches in his chin. Does not even begin to compare.

Open your heart. Do what you can. Be thankful for what you have.

Never forget that others have so much less.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fisherman's Quilt

These photos feature a quilt that I made for our family cottage in northern Wisconsin. I used a simple pattern that I adapted from a baby quilt pattern in a magazine. This quilt is lap size.

I used an assortment of vintage-looking fishing themed fabric. The outer border and backing is a soft green flannel.

I quilted half of the inner pieces with a simple fish shape. Actually, the Christian fish or Ichthys. I cut a few body shapes out of freezer paper. I pressed the shape on to the quilt and quilted around it. After a few presses with the iron, the pieces lost their "stickiness" so I just pinned them on and stitched around, with good results. Then, in the border, I quilted continuous loops of the body shape. I used a meandering looping design in the rest of the inner pieces. The binding is pieced.

Speaking of fishing, I caught this guy on camera just after he had a successful fishing expedition. An amazing sight!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Large Tote and Matching Lunch Bag

I made this lunch bag from an online tutorial. Google "lunch bags" to find one; there are millions of them out there. Some are lined, some are not. I put a lining in this one. And used a hair elastic for the button loop.

The bag is resting on my elderly Christmas cactus plant. The plant was given to my father about 20 years ago by a man who was in his 90s and the plant had belonged to the man's mother! It has a thick trunk and gets lots of new shoots almost continuously. I have given it a haircut occasionally but not very often. It had about a dozen blooms this Christmas.

I made it to go with this bag.

And gave both to this adorable daughter-in-law for her birthday.

They should get a lot of use since she needs to be quite mobile in her job.

Hope you are having fun with post-Christmas creating!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fleece Hat and Flannel Pants

I had forgotten how fun it is to sew with fleece; it had been a while.

This balaclava hat was made using Green Pepper F893 pattern, purchased at Jo-Ann Fabrics.

It looks kind of creepy on the iron. A little bit sci-fi-ish.

It looks better on Raggedy Ann.

It looks best on its intended owner, the birthday boy himself. We have a group of family members with birthdays in January and February, so this weekend we all converged on our family cottage in Tomahawk, Wisconsin.

I also made him some flannel pants from New Look 6321 pattern. Matched the plaid, of course. Have you ever noticed how ready-to-wear items have unmatched plaids? I guess this puts me in the snobbish group "people obsessed with matching plaid and scorning the cheap stuff that doesn't match."

The pockets were cut from an old shirt of my dad's, to put a little piece of history into the new garment.

We had tiramisu for our birthday cake. Check out this video. Tried a new recipe and it turned out pretty yummy.

Be sure to visit Sew & Tell Fridays. You might get some inspiration for your next project!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Seeking Teapot Advice and More Aprons

Well, I'm not really seeking more aprons so maybe I worded that wrongly.

I bought this teapot at Goodwill for $1.99. I have been scouring the interwebs for a pot that can be put on top of a wood stove to add moisture to the air. They have plenty to choose from but they are quite a bit more money than $1.99. So....

Does anyone know how much heat a teapot will take? I mean, when you use a teapot you pour boiling water into it but that isn't nearly as hot as the top of a wood stove. I'm just afraid it will crack or, worse yet, explode and I would like to avoid bodily injury or property damage.

Also, our SC kidlets received their Christmas box so now I can show you their aprons. They were away from home for the holidays so they just now were able to open their presents. They opened them over Google video chat so we could see each other which was really really really fun.

Fuzzy rickrack, have you seen it or used it? It's cute stuff. I buy odds and ends from Home-Sew, where you can buy bags of assorted trims for super cheap.

How's the New Year treating you? Snow snow snow here, but I still think it's pretty. Ask me again in a month or two and I might feel differently about the snow.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Tote

I had been using this $4.99 Ikea tote bag to go back and forth to work. It says Ikea Food on it and is pretty utilitarian and ugly, but functional. It held my lunch, workout clothes, water bottle, etc. The zipper broke, plus it had a few worn spots.

It was the PERFECT size for my stuff with the PERFECT sized pockets, so I measured and made one just like it. I put water bottles in the pockets to show you the size.

The fabric I used was from the remnant table at Hancock Fabrics. It is some kind of outdoor fabric, very heavy. I lined it with a cotton I had in my stash. I bought a 22" zipper for the top and the webbing for the handles. Of course, I could not find my most recent JoAnn Fabrics coupon for the webbing. Isn't that always the way it is.

Anyway, it was super simple to make and went together a lot quicker than I expected. Maybe the drudgery of having to go back to work Monday (after 11 days off!) will be made lighter by having a new bag. Let's hope so.

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