Oct 19, 2014

critters and other stuff

Yesterday I did not feel much like sewing or quilting, which is what I really should have been doing.  I DID want to put away the container that I had been working out of for the last month though.  The Zip Zip bags kit was still in there so I went ahead and cut that stuff out.  Looks like I got a little carried away and sliced into the instructions pamphlet, LOL.  I didn't spot that till I headed into the sewing room to take this picture!





I do not get much done in the sewing room with Oscar in the house but he was in the house for the afternoon feeding and waiting patiently me to get my shoes changed so we could go walk. Read that as alternating between jumping against the gate twanging the metal and laying down, giving me the sad brown eyes and whimpering.  Bad Doggie Mama!  So I closed off the bedroom doors and let him roam in the hall and sewing room AKA Skyler's Space.





Mind you, I thought the door was closed!   I don't know which one of them knows how to push the door open. Maybe both of them can.   Look what I spotted when I followed the cat yowling noises.  Under the bed, I might expect as I have caught him under there before!  On top??  How did my leg challenged dogger get up there when my feet don't touch the floor when seated on the bed.  Either crawled up on the night stand or the blanket chest but that is still a bit high up or him.





These were taken on my phone camera the night before and in this sequence.  Both of them were napping and enjoying the afternoon sun.



Oscar was the first to circulate


Then Skyler had to see what/where Oscar was headed but still was enjoying the last of the afternoon light




Then they swapped places.   Oscar can and does get up on the coffee table occasionally but normally it is not covered with a quilted piece!


They can be the entertainment or exasperate me as much as unruly children might.  Skyler is so aggressive towards Oscar that when he and I are playing "fetch" with his Pinkie toy, Skyler jumps down from the love seat to chase Oscar as he runs back to the couch (and me) with his toy.  Oscar just takes it.  He will chase Skyler but only if he is running first.  Just wants to sniff his butt and Skyler's not having any of it.  Anyway, I end up telling Oscar to just leave the cat alone and "Skyler, no"-- a lot.

And yet, they can both be a comfort to me too, in their own way.  I was listening to some music yesterday, the lyrics kind of got to me (drawing my own parallels) and I was crying.  One of those missing DJ moments/days/hours again.  Oscar came running from the kitchen, hopped up on the couch, snuggled in and gave me some doggie kisses.  THX for that.  Critter version of a hug, I guess.  Skyler, on the other hand, loves to snuggle up against me when I flop down on the bed with him.  Yeah, I know it is mostly about him-- he wants petted or knows he has my undivided attention-- but I still love those moments together.

~~~~~
 I finally got around to making pizza last night, after being hungry for it for weeks.  I made my own sauce using a super simple no cook sauce from All Recipes  Exquisite Pizza Sauce (left out the hot pepper flakes as I do not like them or have any on hand).  Pretty good sauce actually and would be good on spaghetti too.  My crust recipe is one that I like after trying a bunch of them and practicing on DJ from Prepared Pantry in this Vegetable and Sausage Supreme recipe.  I made a thinner crust this time and did two small individual pizzas and took one down to Miss Kathryn as I know she prefers that from a conversation we had in the past.  I also shared several slices with Glynda and Robert.  They had already eaten, early like me so I guess lunch is covered.  I had not told any of them what I was up to so that should have been expected.   My leftovers went to the freezer.  One of these days I am going to try my hand at cinnamon rolls again.  Always hungry for those and now that it has cooled down a bit I don't mind the oven being on near as much, LOL.

My across the lane neighbor has moved out.  Robert said he thought that Willie was moving but I saw him the other day when I was walking Oscar and he confirmed it.  Moving into a smaller house, with less yard but still in the area. He had lived there about as long as DJ and I have been in Alabama, 17 yrs.  Divorced a year ago so he reached decision time, stay or go.  House will be going on the market.

Other than that:  my Cardinals did not manage to advance past the NLCS and the Giants did.  Bama won big yesterday.  Auburn had a bye week.  Talladega race weekend but I hardly left the house except to walk the dog and run a few errands and Oscar went with me for most of that.  Quick dash in and out.  And sew it goes-----




Oct 17, 2014

checking in (edited)

Almost a week since I posted.  It has been a different kind of week with some rainy mornings and increased critter detail with Oscar indoors more.  There was a threat of severe weather on Monday and Tuesday, to the point that I cancelled Tuesday's Bama Belle meeting ahead of time, based on the available data at the time.  (I did not want to be on the phone cancelling in the middle of a thunderstorm, hail or high winds  Just stay home and hope it doesn't happen.)

Home details have taken the forefront.   My poor neighbor has been over twice to help with those troublesome toilet innards.  It started with a broken chain and then the flapper and maybe the valve needs replaced or it is beyond hope and the whole tank might need replaced.  If you are going to have to replace half of it, should you just do the whole thing??   Now I know first hand what it took for DJ to try to keep the plumbing up and running as first one and then other would be balking.  For right now the water is completely shut off to mine and I am using his.  I can't have it flushing itself every 20 minutes or spraying water all over the place when the water is on.  Glynda and Robert's son is more the plumbing expert, Robert said but he is gone on vacation till late next week.  I'll try to hold off--and hold on to the fill valve I bought, just in case.

I've done a little baking but then opted not to go to the guild retreat after all.  See above--I may need to replace the toilet and the gas/food money/my part of the room rental fee may have to go to better use.  That and it is Talladega race weekend so there is more traffic to get over to Pell City. ( I shoved  all the brownies in the freezer.)  Other than that, the usual parts of homemaking have taken up my time minus a bit of sewing time.  Just a bit.


BEFORE


Nothing wrong with this cover really,  just the wrong colored red.  I can finally have things that match in here which was my goal.  (Pattern from Cotton Ginny).  My friend Pam helped me with putting in the piping but I severely messed up in making this and it has never really fit right either.  The cat part is cute!  I only use it to cover the Singer as the others have hard cases or I've already made them a fitted one.   Looking at this, picture I think I need to move that button back another inch or so to get that thread catcher to hang a bit straighter!!!  Add that to the to-do list.


AFTER


I used a pattern that someone had pinned on pinterest which led me to a wonderful tutorial at Ellyn's Place.  I did not want another one that was fitted to the machine as I do use that cover over some of the others in my sewing arsenal when they are in use.  However, I did measure them just to be sure and basically, they all came out to about 16 1/2 x 27 for measurements.  Occasionally I need this to cover the machine while it is countersunk into the table so I don't care that it is a bit short when the machine is set on the table.

Mine looks so "blah" compared to Ellyn's!!  Honestly, I wish I had been able to use the gingham fabric for this but there was not enough yardage left after skirting the computer desk.  We all know that Riley Blake is only going to be making the medium sized check now.  The Save the Riley Blake Gingham/See you in September Hop did accomplish that much!  Since it is from an older 2010 line,  I doubt I will find what I am looking for online unless it would be in a the secondary market.

SO I varied my version by making, as Ellyn said in her tute, a small quilt.  Since my lining is the same as the front of the piece I just quilted the whole thing rather than sew and flip strips of fabric.   I almost started to mark it for cross hatching when I noticed how much of a directional piece the floral pattern was.  You could almost see the lines across the fabric when viewed from that angle.  Woohoo!  No marking necessary, just follow the flower stems.

A few other minor variances or design choices:
  • I rounded the edges just a bit to echo the shape in the machine mat corners and used bias binding.  Gingham, plaid, stripes all look great on the bias so that was partly a design decision and partly because of the rounded corners.  
  • I did have some red buttons I could have used but again, I chose covered buttons as that is what I used to suspend the little thread catcher on the sewing mat.   
  •  I don't know that this pictures shows you how cute the little side scrunchies are.  Take a better look at Ellyn's as hers had a good picture and far more contrast!  
  •  I used cording as I seemed to have cut my self made fabric loops a little too wide and I was using 3/4 inch elastic, not the one inch Ellyn recommended.  I cut my scrunchie strip just a hair less in width because of that.  
  • She had a great tip for hanging the scissors off her cover--using a small button behind the larger one to create a bit of separation.  I did not need to do that as I put my scissors in the sewing mat I just made.  Still, a clever idea!!
This would be laying down a bit better if I had taken the thread spool OFF the machine for the glamour shot but I am pleased with how it came out.  Simple and effective.

Am I really done??  Well, I still have a bit more of that floral yardage. Not enough gingham or brown dot to do much with.  I have a feeling those will be turning up in scrap quilts, bowties, etc for some time to come.  My friend Kitty will get some of the really scrappy pieces in the basket at some point, probably.

I was thinking of replacing the pre-quilted fabric on my portable sewing cutting/pressing mat to freshen it up. It is a good thing to have along on "sewing away from home outings" especially if they involve foundation piecing.  Years ago Fons and Porter sold kits for these with small "sheet of paper" sized mats along with the "boards", not sure what this stuff is really called but I think it is the same stuff that my dad used to cut me a table insert for the Singer.   The back was padded so you could open up the "book" and press on that side of the thing.  Inside it had a small cutting mat and I had added a piece of sandpaper on the other side of mine for hand piecing, marking lines for flippy triangles and the like.  I've got the directions around here somewhere but I don't know that they still sell the kits. I checked and either don't know the the proper name to enter for a search or they just don't do it anymore.  The  magazine it came in probably dates back to 1999 so long ago sold out.  They sent reprints for the directions if I remember correctly.  Anyway,  I know that the sandpaper side board can be saved as it tore that off already.  The mat side is really gooey underneath from whatever fixative stuff I had used.  I know that I still have double stick carpet tape around here and that was one of the products used.  Sound like a today project to me.

The room is set up to quilt as I figured I would start on that soon but you know me---like a dog with a bone until the job is done once I get an idea in my head.  Keeps my mind off tires loosing air and toilets acting up when I sew. (Can you say "ka-ching"? or OUCH!)

Once that is done or I decide not to do it,  I think I can finally say, I am done with that fabric unless there is enough left to make an apron or something, LOL, I'm thinking not though as I want a twill like chef's apron. ( I left my fav apron in Colorado when I was helping with the wedding food and my busy sister has not mailed it back! It may have been stained beyond all reason and missing half of one tie but it had seen us through a lot of meals.)

Off to find the directions for that sewing mat, I guess and move that button!!  Oh, and I need to put up the Halloween quilts and wall hangings or I will not get to enjoy them this year.  Thought of that a few days ago and still have not done it.  THX for stopping by and reading through the rambling.  That is how my mind works---------

edit.

Just finished this up after a run to the hardware store for the sandpaper, 2 sheets, thank you very much.  I was supposed to glue it down but with what?  Wood glue, Elmer's, hot glue sticks, more double stick carpet tape??  I remembered that I had gotten some spray adhesive stuff so used that but the wind gusted and I got it all over my left hand in particular and even some on my right arm.  We'll see how this works out.


I WAS calling it the wrong thing in my search on site.  It is called a "Take-Along Work Surface"  and first appeared in "Sew Many Quilts" back in July/August 98.   Then they reprinted it in "Fons and Porter Love of Quilting" in Sept/October 2005.  THX Google.  They DO sell it on their shopping site as a digital pattern.  I re-used the hardwood boards anyway.   Everything on hand except the sandpaper and it is possible there is some out in the shed but I can't find anything in there.  One of these days I am going to down size that space too but there is no electric source or lights out there and it is still too warm to want to be out in it long.


Oct 11, 2014

Finished or not??

This morning I took the last few stitches in what could possibly be my last sewing re-do item.  There is just some binding left, about 16 inches worth.  I told myself  I would only work on it till 9 p.m. last night regardless of how much or how little was let to go.

So Thursday I went the no sew route and skirted the table as I am mightily tired of this old mess of wires.  Actually it was WORSE at one point but I was able to sort it all out a bit better but it still annoys me.


BEFORE



AFTER


I had a set of gold cafe rings and a white tension rod to match the desk but NOT with that brushed nickel look of the hardware.  I already had a brushed nickel cafe rod on hand so just got another back of rings.  About 3 buck of happiness there.  Not perfect but better!  Wanna guess which critter goes exploring under there first?

Friday was sewing mat day.  I already have the two accessories in the mug organizer and big chicken pin cushion in place.  The Singer is really getting a workout lately!


BEFORE



 AFTER


The pattern is from Sunday Girl Designs on etsy Sewing Mat Organizer Thread Catcher  but I took some liberties.  LOL  can't help myself sometimes!  My palette was a bit limited and I had to use more floral than anything else.  Though the pattern did not call or it, I quilted the base of the mat with a wide cross hatch and cut the whole thing about 2 inches wider and longer to suit my needs. I lost a hair of that in trimming it up after quilting but like the looks of it better. ( I am not convinced I like fusible batting.)  I did not bind it as she suggested, preferring to miter the corners.  Nor did I use store bought binding---not when I have fabric and can make my own bias binding that coordinates better and is better quality fabric.

I was not quite understanding what I was supposed to do with what would be the top pocket so I just left the top one bigger and all across rather than two divisions.  I also made a scissors loop and attached it to the pocket so they will always be handy.  I may have to shorten the the ribbon a bit more but will see how it works out.

I changed out the thread catcher bag in the pattern for one that matches the other one in the room in the same colors.  Dreamy Dresden Thread Catcher like I made for the September hop, I like that square shaped bag.  It is still detachable but no velcro.  The change up was that I suspended it from a covered button and tab.  I had to pull out one of my Button Up patterns to refresh my memory on just how wide a strip to cut as that has worked out well with a fairly large button.  Answer:  1 3/4 and I used a 1 1/8 inch button.  That idea was from another pattern I keep coming back to on sew mama sew Elizabeth Hartman from Oh, Fransson in a guest tutorial but she attached the loop to the pincushion and put the button on the bag. I did it the other way around, LOL.

Basically I worked with three fabrics for all my sewing room items.  The brown dot is almost gone and after using the red gingham for the desk skirting, I'm down to small bits there too.  I have maybe three yards of the floral left and small pieces.  I won't be able to find any more of any of this line it being a Riley Blake from 2010 Farm Fresh October Afternoon.  I've done my best to use it all up!  Am I done??

Well, now the red dot of my cat multi machine cover does not go!  Too bright, not the same shade of red though the sides of do blend well with the gingham, oddly.  Since I have the floral print left, I may just make one o those simple tie on covers.  I have enough gingham binding cut to take care of the edges off it.  Wouldn't take too long to do it either.   This one on Ellyn's Place is pretty cute though I have a couple others marked on Pinterest.    Wouldn't have to be pieced and I like the side scrunchies.  You know I am probably going to head into the sewing room and whip one up, don't you?  You may be right--if not today, then tomorrow.  Pacie clips yet too.  That was the last item on the list.

~~~~~~~~~
It has been sort of a strange day.  Pouring down rain this morning messing up Oscar's schedule a bit and consequently he has been in the house a good bit today.  Let him out untended in the backyard then deal with red muddy paw prints repeatedly.  I passed in going to Friendship Quilters as I was just not feeling well and wondering if I had an intestinal bug even.  So no walking in the park, just the lane.  Oscar was conked out napping in his crate and Skyler, on "his" chair in the kitchen, me writing this post.  Oscar was not running away from Skyler, Skyler was not chasing and hissing, I was not hollering at one or both of them.  Peaceful.  Haven't done much but maybe that part does not matter.

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends.  Enjoy your holiday weekend with family and friends!  I may just call this my day off and read, knit or embroider a bit.  And sew it goes------

Oct 8, 2014

a bit more

Yesterday and today's little finishes

First up the Longaberger sewing basket liner.  Just a little dated in the fabric department thought I have a bit more of this same yardage somewhere, LOL.   I'm going for "matchy-matchy"  on the sewing room re-do and still have fabric to use that matches my new curtain, etc..  I took the old one apart to make a pattern from it.



I drew it up on freezer paper though I should have found the compass and drew up a new center.  The radius of the circle is 5 inches.   That meant the circumference was 31.5 almost (I had to google it as I obviously would not remember the mathematical formula  c=2pi(r) )  but this piece measures 34.5 when the long piece is sewn together at the short end.  It would have to be eased in.


So I busied myself attaching the leftover jumbo red rick rack from a previous project ("Rise and Shine" chicken Button Up wall hanging actually around the chickens wings and the sun rays)  and a bit of edge stitching.  None of the red ribbon I had on hand "went" with the rick rack so I got a small roll of ivory 3/8 grosgrain ribbon to tie the little sections together.   TADA!  Gingham goodness.




Then this was today:  mug organizer

Mind you there is absolutely nothing wrong with this liner.  It was a birthday gift to me a few years back from my friend Norma in my beloved 30's prints.  I will still use it but it is going with my "sewing away from home bag" that I'm packing up and with a few less goodies in it.



And here we go with the completed new one.   I had planned to use a pattern I own from Buckets Gone Wild but changed my mind after reading through both patterns.  Norma mailed me the original pattern along with the mug organizer that came from A Great Notion Quiltworks near her in BC.  Maybe a shop hop giveaway even??   I could see how the original went together so any head scratching I had could be figured out by looking at it.

So there we go!  Two more strikeouts



That leaves skirting the computer desk (tension rod and cafe curtain rings) and a sewing mat for my sewing table.  A tomorrow job probably though.

~~~~~~~~~~~
Skyler woke me up early today and it was a little after 5.  I knew that the lunar eclipse was supposed to be happening about that time in the central time zone so I pulled on my clothes from yesterday and headed out to watch.  I was a bit hampered by the nearby trees and houses in the subdivision and of course, the closer it got to sunrise, the lower the moon got.  I had to give it up about 6:20.  I figured I would be waving at the paper carrier if I sat out in my yard with my little foldable arm chair much longer.  Kit Kit was the only thing stirring other than Skyler meowing at me from the house.  He had, after all, gotten me up to feed him and had not counted on my taking a detour for outside let alone, entertaining another cat!  Oscar did not appear to care what I was doing.

I've been feeling a little punky today and did go back to bed once the critters were fed and watered for about two hours.  Headache and a little woozy headed.  I was hoping it was just from lack of sleep as I get that way when I am overly tired.  Mainly, I am hoping it is NOT the starts of one of those transient vertigo episodes I sometimes get.  I took some Meclizine and then didn't think I should be driving or trucking up and down the lane with the dog.  Poor Oscar is getting the short end of the stick though I have let him come back in for awhile a couple times instead.  Toss his toys around and let him run and play in the house.   I don't know that I feel much different now than I did this morning.  That is why I will just ponder my next sewing steps rather than proceed this evening though I might get some measurements for cafe curtains before I call it quits in the sewing room.  I see some kindle reading or washcloth knitting on tap for this evening.

My St. Louis Cardinals are going on to the NCLS.  I'm afraid without DJ here that I have not been following the team near as closely this year.  Between not sharing that interest with him and ditching the sports package on the satellite programming we have, I have not watched that many games or turned into MLB gameday all that much.   I checked the score at the 6th innning, once I even remembered that the game started at 4, and  the Cards were 2 runs down.  Then they scored 3 on a homer by Matt Adams and the relievers held it up!  Woohoo there then!  Good to see that the American League is being represented by someone other Boston, Detroit and the Yankees for a change.   Got to wonder if 1985 when KC played the Cards (and won the series, dang it!) was the last time they were in it?  How long has it been for Baltimore?   Of course, the Cards and Giants have met up several times recently in divisional play.  We'll see what happens, I guess.

And sew it goes---or doesn't go in some cases, LOL.