Friday, December 21, 2012

Pillow Cases for Sandy Hook



The country has been devastated by the scene we witnessed at Sandy Hook Elementary just one week ago today.
The blood.  The horor.  The thought of what everyone went through.  
Those that died were not the only victims.
We cannot imagine how the experience has changed their lives forever.
All we can do is watch and hope and pray for them.

A quilt shop in the Connecticut area put out a call for pillow cases for the surviving victims - to let them know that we know they are there and we are praying for them.



This was my small contribution.  Very small.  I sewed 25 pillow cases.  Such a tiny gesture.  But I hope they know that we are thinking of them.
Collectively, the group of ladies in my town sewed over 900 pillowcases and sent them to Sandy Hook.


My heart goes out to all of their little community.......to our nation as a whole......to anyone who was touched by the horrible events.

May we strive to be better people, a more loving people, than we were before.






Saturday, December 1, 2012

Thanksgiving Day in a Homeless Shelter....






We didn't have a traditional Thanksgiving Day this year.  Our youngest son, who has been gone for two years, was scheduled to come home a week after Thanksgiving.  So, rather than having two big celebrations so close together, we decided to forego our regular Thanksgiving Day and have it a week later to celebrate his return.  What a great way to be thankful, right?

That gave us THE Thanksgiving Day to do what we have been wanting to do for a long time.  We volunteered to work in a homeless shelter.  It was an all day operation for them and they only wanted a couple of hours from us.

And it was an eye-opener.  We don't live high on the hog but we certainly have more than the average person on the street.

The area we were assigned to was the baggage check.  Baggage check, you say?  Yes, they have a lot of baggage and they take it everywhere with them.  To eliminate the concern of drugs or weapons being taken into the massive eating hall, the individuals are asked to leave their things in a safe area where we would tag each bag.  They could retrieve them as they left.

Some gladly left their things, almost in a relief not to have to carry them any longer.  Others clutched them closely,  concerned they would never see them again.


Some would share their stories with us, telling us of their travels and their dreams and where they wanted to visit next.  Others were just looking for a hot meal and somewhere to be on this cold morning.

Some were all alone.  Others came in families, complete with strollers and babies and grandmas to hold them.


I am not sure how much we helped.  But I was happy to share my day with them.  And I thought about all the people I had met that night as I snuggled in my nice warm bed........knowing that most of us, with a bad turn of events, could be in those same circumstances..........


Yes, it was a great Thanksgiving in so many ways.









Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bouncing on Halloween

So....this son 



(So, ya, that make up is not his regular look.  It was Halloween.....the beast must come out.)




And his wife......



decided it would be more fun if he rented this bounce and slide house and jousting arena for our family party.


He thought these cute little kids needed more excitement in their lives.


He invited a gorgeous hag or two.


He insisted that everyone play with him.  Silly boy.




And play they did.....



And did......




Yes, their hands really are that big.  It is Halloween, remember.




Oh, Halloween....what would we do without you?????



What a GREAT party it was!  The great princess said so......




Baking day with the kids

 It's cookie time!



I made these great little aprons for Stella and Ethan.  



You can't bake with grandma without an apron.


Ethan looks like he liking the batter way too much.


Stella is only 2 but looks like she knows her way around the kitchen.

And, as you can see, I didn't take near enough pictures.....but the cookies were yummy!



Friday, September 28, 2012

Halloween.......

Halloween........
Like it or not,
It's coming.

Are you ready?????



DIY Double Sided Door Draft Stopper

Boy, try saying that again really fast - 
DIY Double Sided Door Draft Stopper.

That is a mouthful.

But it is such a cool thing....you will see.

It is not only a draft stopper.  It is a noise muffler and a light stopper.  So, when you have kids sleeping and you don't want light and noise going under the door.......

But the best thing about it is that it opens and shuts with the door.  There is no stumbling over it when the door is open.  It doesn't make noise.  You never lose it.  It is lightweight.  It is cute.

It's a winner.



Start with some cute fabric.




Cut 2 strips 9 inches wide and 2 inches longer than the door you want to muffle.



Sew a quarter inch seam around the 2 long sides and one short side, to make it one long tube.

Turn it right side out and press.

There are different sizes of pipe covers.  You can buy them in Walmart for just a few dollars.  Cut them a little shorter than the width of the door.  You still want to be able to open and close the door.

You want to be able to slide the tubes inside the cute sleeve you just made.  You can slide them in now to see where to put the seams to hold them in there.



Measure and sew the pockets along the length.  You will have a pocket on each side for the tubes and a flat part in the middle.  That is where you will slide it under the door.



Then slide those babies in.



Fold the open end in a quarter inch or so and sew it with your machine to give it a nice finished look.  You may have a few inches to fold in depending on the door you want to use it on.  Just cut off what you don't need.




You are done!


So perfect.  

Now open and close your door a few times and listen to the quiet.

Shirt to Apron Tutorial


You can take this great shirt and make an even greater looking apron.
Follow along and see what we can do.



Lay it out flat.




Cut the arms and back out right along the seams.




Cut again, sloping down from the neck to the arm pit.  Yep, leave the collar in place.  That is the charming part about this apron.  I love this two tone shirt I found.  Levi shirts also look great.
I leave a little bit around the neck so I can turn it under for a finished seam.
I also angled the sides down to the bottom.   I leave as much of the bottom seam as I can.  Sometimes I have left it square from the sides to the bottom.  You just have to cut off the side seams.


Cut two 4 inch strips from the very back of the back.  These will be your waist ties.  The length turns out to be perfect.  

I fold the 4 inch strips in halve lengthwise and iron.  I finished both long sides with a rolled hem on my serger.  If you don't have a serger, you can turn in the unfinished edge and top stitch both sides.  The bottom seam of the shirt will become the finished end of the tie.  It a little uneven at the end but being that it was the bottom of the shirt makes it fun.
Put a little pleat in the tie and pin it about a half inch down at the waist.  Sew it in place.  This is where I serge all my raw edges.  But you can also zig-zag the edges.  Turn them under 1/4 and topstitch.
We are almost done.

On the front of the apron, to keep it from flying open.  I sew down both sides of the panel from about the third button down.  I leave the top open so it can be opened and closed as needed.

I made a cute flower with the fabric from the arm and I added the cuff as the base.
I just love this flower.

From a Cool shirt...........






.........to a Funky Apron!



Didn't take very long, did it?

Here is the same thing in Denim. 



So, what are you waiting for?

Bon App├ętit!








Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mamma's got a brand new bag.....I'm taking offers.....

It's a NEW BAG! 
Like I need another one.  And it is Red, White and Blue!
What could make it better?

It is a great little bag.  It is padded so I can carry my Ipad and phone.  There are no magnets to hamper my sensitive electronics.

But I need to find it a new home.

I just have toooooo many.
(Shoes for some but bags for me!)




Let me know if this one is speaking to you and we can make a deal.

Pieces of a Puzzle


These were made with a Twister Pattern.  I love it!



It was kind of hard at first.  I sewed all the pieces together, then cut them, then I had to piece them back together.  It just wasn't working.  I couldn't figure it out.  I thought I would have to throw all my hard work away.  And then "click" I saw it.
It was like the clouds parted and I could see how to put them together.  It was like getting to the end of a 1000 piece puzzle.  It felt so good.

You can find more information on "Twisted Patterns" here - http://country-schoolhouse.com/
It is really cool how they fit together to make this windmill.


She is done and I am happy.


I was thinking..........
fall is in the air and most people think of chili or hot chocolate or warm cinnamon rolls.
But for me - this is my comfort......

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ruffles Tutorial - Fast and Easy !!

I love to ruffle but it was always such a pain.  There are so many ways to ruffle but I really didn't like any of them.  There are ruffling attachments you can get for your machine but I didn't want the expense.

So....when I stumbled across this way of ruffling......let me just say, "It was a life changer for me!"
This is high on my list of "Things I could not do without!" or "Why didn't someone tell me this before?"

So, here you are - and now you can't say that no one ever told you..........

Start with a length of fabric that you want to ruffle.





Set your machine tension to the highest number.



Set your stitch length to the longest stitch.



Put it in your machine and sew down the edge, or the middle or wherever you want that ruffle.

Your fabric will curl up and send chills up your spine.



If it doesn't ruffle enough for you, then hold the tension a little tighter with your fingers where the thread feeds in.  Don't hold too tight or the thread will break.



This piece was ruffled while I was holding the tension with my fingers.  See how tight it is.  It almost curls up around the needle.  I had to keep moving it out of the way.

And that is ok, if that is what you are looking for.



This piece was ruffled with no added finger tension.  I like it just fine.  It makes it a pretty good 2 to 1 ratio.  I can pin it to my piece and not have to pull one gathering thread!

This technique works great for light to medium weight fabrics.  You can even fold it over and sew it double and it still works.  It does not work with heavy duty fabrics like denim.  You will have to go back to the old methods for that.  Darn!

Now, grab some fabric and give it a whirl.  

You're gonna thank me for this one........It's a life changer..........