Tuesday, September 02, 2014

From Quiet to Busy

I didn’t post yesterday as Sunday was a day away from home. We did some shopping and went to visit with friends that we haven’t seen all summer. It was a fun and relaxing day.

Yesterday was exactly the opposite. It was a full day and I was tired at the end of the day.

I finished up the vest and it is ready for the bling. This vest is a half meter easy to make vest that I can sew together in no time flat.


Then it was dress trying on time and everything fits fine. I will now cut out another dress, finish up a lining, and be busy for the next 8 weeks.

So, to add to the pot, I cut out a leather vest using the above pattern.


I have an edging to put on it and then it will be blinged up. I won’t be doing much more on it until Thursday.

Between all the sewing flurry, I had to help the Spousal Unit move the zucchini race track outside so he could finish it up ready to paint. When it was ready to paint, I had to help him move it inside his shop. Thank goodness we did as it is raining this morning.

I finished up the last dishcloth of the series I am knitting. The seed stitch is very nice. Next up is two tea towels that hang on the stove handle.  The colour is horrid, it is a nice leaf green.


I hit the road this morning in the drizzle and ran 2.5 km in 33 minutes. I started again at the beginner’s pace as I haven’t run for 10 weeks due to the heat. It felt so good to be walking and running again and I arrived home happy with my accomplishment.

Today is a mixed bag of activities. I need to get a document of ideas up for parents to help their children learn while school is not in session. I have a meeting after lunch. I have an I should do list and may start on it. And if life goes well, I will start cutting the edging off some lace.

Until tomorrow……………………..

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Vest In The Making

Yesterday was a cool day. We actually had a thunderstorm and rain in the afternoon. We sat outside in the covered patio and listen to the rain. It was cool though which made us think of fall being around the corner.


The morning was spent making spaghetti sauce. Six quarts and 1 pint was canned. I have 12 more empty quarts to fill and I will be done making sauce. Still have stewed tomatoes, plums, pears, and peaches to can before I call it quits for the year. I haven’t done as much as in previous years due to the fact we had a lot of inventory on hand.

As the sauce cooks, I sew as I do both in the basement. I run between the kitchen and the sewing room and multi task. I got the first of three reusable grocery bags made while the sauce simmered to the correct thickness.

The fabric is fun; peacock feathers and it has a sheen to it.


I put craft interfacing into this one so it will stand up. All of mine have this in them and they have worn well even after washing them.


I started a vest as I have to make one out of leather. I decided to make the muslin out of a lovely faux suede and decorate it with silver leather maple leaves that I had on hand.


All the leaves have to be sewn down and then the vest can be sewn together and lined. I want it done by Monday noon.

The back has the maple leaf sewn down and I played with crystals. These won’t be used. I think it will have a bunch of left over crystals and pearls put on it.


I do love to put something on the back of vests. It makes the garment have a focal point when the girl has to turn their back to people.

I tallied up my sewing for August. I got 4.6 meters sewn. Not a lot but I did a lot more than that. I cut 20 sq. ft. of leather into fringe and altered the lining for a dress. I didn’t sew for 10 days as we had family visiting us. In all, I feel I did okay in the sewing room in August.

I finished the second dishcloth. These patterns are simple enough I can watch TV and knit in the evenings.


The third and last one of this series is cast on and almost half done. The pattern is a seed stitch.

Today we have to head into the city to shop. Three stores and then we will head out to visit with friends and give them some fresh produce from our yard. I will have to sew the maple leaves down on the vest when we get home.

Until tomorrow………………………………………

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Good Feeling

Yesterday we had a good rain after lunch. It didn’t last long but water was running down the streets. We opened the windows and enjoyed a cooler day. Our mornings are cooler also which is nice as I start running again right after Labour Day.

I spent most of the morning tidying up the sewing room. I sorted, put items away, dusted, and swept the floor. The Spousal Unit helped me dismantle the clothes rack and we put it back into its box, taped it shut and stored it under the stairs. I used it extensively for 3 years but don’t need it now.

After that was done, I started in the closet area and tidied up working around the room. It felt good putting things away into their right places.


When I looked in this area, there wasn’t just the clothes rack stashed in it, but an exercise ball, cowboy boots, patterns, knitting machine, and the list goes on. I had to move items around, find storage spots, and get many things put into their right places.


The pressing center wasn’t as bad as other parts of the room. Dusting, moving items, and sweeping the floor was the major cleaning up in this area. I put most items back onto the peg boards immediately after use which helps keep this area clean.


The corner between the fabric storage and pressing area is usually tidy. My plan is to get rid of the two dress forms and buy one good one for myself.


This area takes a beating at times. It can be a catch all table and chair. I am working on it and it should be much better when I finish up the marathon sewing spree. I have a lot of embroidery thread and need to buy two more containers for them. I will continue to embroider and my goal is to use up this thread before I buy more (LOL as I do buy embroidery thread on occasion when it is on sale at 50% off and replace colours as I use them up). I also need a place to store the Sure Fit material I own. Leaving it on a chair doesn’t cut it.


In the afternoon, I sewed the handles on the first bag and left to visit with Daughter. We talked about a lot of things and I will let her have first pick at my rodeo fabric. I will also give her several other items and supplies in the sewing room that I will no longer need.

Today I have to make spaghetti sauce. As it takes a long time to cook, I will be sewing the reusable grocery bags. With the sewing room tidied up, I feel like sewing again.

Until tomorrow………………………………

Friday, August 29, 2014

Reusable Grocery Bags

It was a cooler day yesterday with some rain. We turned off the air conditioning until late afternoon. It was wonderful to be able to sit outside and enjoy the coolness of the day.

We got started early canning peaches and by 10:30 a.m. the last canner load was boiling. We did 21 jars of peaches in 2.5 hours. We both love the basement kitchen as it allows us to work smoothly together in a small space.

After a small break, I swept and mopped most of the basement floors. The house is cleaned up for this week. I plan on doing some each day starting on Monday so the house will remain clean on a continuous basis. A goal has been met and I am happy.

I am starting to do a basic clean up of the sewing room with a group of other women. Mine is messy and dusty. It needs my attention now though it will get the big scrub in January. At this point, I am not feeling productive due to the mess.

I started out looking at the different areas of my sewing room. The first is where my sewing machine and one set of drawers on wheels is.



You can’t see it all, but things have been dumped around it causing me to hunt for items. My first race shadow box is now in the room across the hall to be hung in there. I have moved the hair products which will be donated to a young rodeo queen. Items got cleaned up, surfaces dusted, and the floor swept. The drawer got moved and the floor swept and the top is tidier.


Much better for me from this side.



The sewing machine on the floor will be given to a child who wants to learn how to sew through 4-H. There are two containers holding embroidery thread and I need to order 2 more of them for the rest of my thread. That thread is in small baskets on the table where the serger resides.

After that, I cut out three reusable grocery bags. I used up 3.6 meters of fabric. The first fabric I used has honey bees on it. I bought the fabric to make cushions for a bench but never got them made and have moved on from that since then.

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One of the linings is black, the other a dark green.

The second piece of fabric is a piece I love and bought at 50% off.


It was to be a reusable grocery bag so I hit the mark with this one.

Today, I will be cleaning up this part of the sewing room but will be only doing it in 15-20 minute spurts.


This is the dump spot when I was cleaning the basement. I do hope to get most of it cleaned up, dusted, and the floor swept. In between, I will sew a reusable grocery bag, enjoy the cooler weather, prepare to can tomatoes.

Until tomorrow…………………………………

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Bag Completed

It was hot yesterday; the sun was burning hot. We were under a severe thunderstorm watch for quite a while yesterday. We didn’t get the storm though it rained early this morning. We did get to 34C or 93F.

I finished cleaning the upstairs yesterday. I worked at it off and on all day and am pleased at how it looks. The most amount of time was spent cleaning up the guest room; bed made, air bed put away, dusting, sweeping, and mopping. The rest of the house was easy as I only had to dust, put away a few things, and mop the floors.

I allowed myself to sew during the day. It was timed sewing and I followed the schedule I set. The bag was completed.


Inside is pockets. I used a 10” deep piece of fabric for it. After turning under 1/4” hem at the top, I laid it on top of the lining. I measured 3” up from the bottom edge and sewed it down. That way nothing can fall into the bottom of the bag. Then I did vertical seams so there are pockets. The front pocket is quite long and is closed with velcro.


The bag was finished in my usual way and I am pleased with the results. I have paired the pillow case with it.


I have knit a dishcloth for a present. It is a new pattern for me and I do like it. It is the Welcome Home Kitchen Set that is free on Raverly. The author is Mindy Vasil.


This pattern is the basket weave and I have started on the Inset Garter Stitch cloth. There is a third cloth (seed stitch) and two hand towels in the set. I will work through them all for the fun of it.

Today I have the upstairs windows to clean, peaches to can, and the basement floors to start sweeping and damp mopping. I am also going to cut out the next pieces of fabric to make reusable grocery bags.

Until tomorrow……………………………….

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cueing up the Fabric

It has been warmer than normal the past few days and we have enjoyed it. Yesterday the temperature got to 32.3C or 90F and this is suppose to be the last warm day for the next day. We keep saying fall is on its way and the weather is always cooler. True, but I have seen it hit 100F the middle of September and the kids swimming every day after school. I have seen it where you can eat Thanksgiving dinner outside in early October and that we wore short sleeved shirts and shorts in mid December. The region we live in gives us some warm weather late into the year. On the other hand, I have seen it snow up to 10 inches at Halloween and be –20C at Christmas which is cold for here.

Yesterday I got the ensuite cleaned from top to bottom and the master bedroom dusted and floors mopped. I also did 4 loads of laundry. I do love having everything in its own place. Cleaning up is so easy.

The afternoon was spent sewing and thinking. The pillow case was made and I love how it turned out.


As I am using up what is on hand, the piping is paler than I hoped for but it does match the pink hearts on the fabric.


The pattern I used is burrito style (roll it up so seams don’t show on the inside) and is for a regular sized pillow. I did buy a pattern that has three different sizes of pillow cases in it when I want to make larger sized cases.

I also cut out a baby bag and got the pieces interfaced. It is ready to sew in this picture.


I have since taken the pink broadcloth and opened it up. There is a 10” piece of the print left and I will layer it on top of the broadcloth to make inside pockets on this bag. I will put it into the craft container to sell later on.

Today my goal is to clean up the guest room, dust, mop floors and try to get the hallway done. If there is enough time, I will give the kitchen an extra wipe and do the floors in there. Sewing will be the bag and I will start on the next piece of fabric from the container. The honeybee fabric is calling me.


There is 1.5 meters of it. There is another fabric also calling me as I can use black and dark green for the linings of these bags. I will cut them out together with the possibility of getting 3 bags total.


As the fabric cues up, I will X them to keep me on track.

Until tomorrow………………………

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hoarding Fabric = Anxiety and Stress

Yesterday was considerably cooler than usual and we spent it being busy but feeling tired. The Spousal Unit did a bunch of trimming of bushes and plants in the garden and yard. I cleaned the main bathroom and washed the towels. It gave me time to think about a lot of things.

The considerable amount of time I spent cleaning up the house and purging paid off. I am working my way through cleaning up after company and I noticed that less is better. The bathroom was a breeze to clean and having a shelf in the guest room closet for the towels is perfect. It is a great feeling to have.

As I cleaned the house this summer, I thought about my sewing stash and how I am trying to bust it. It needs to be reduced without me feeling guilty about what I have bought in the past. Yes, I bought fabric thinking that I would need a good stash after I retired. I was wrong about that. I do feel guilty about a lot of the purchases I made though they seemed right at the time. I am not going to quilt until the cows come home. I don’t have the support system here like I did in the north.


I just read this article about three ways to find willpower when you shop. In some ways I have been doing it unconsciously this year. I called it a fabric diet and could only buy what was needed to complete a project. I wrote a list when I shopped and couldn’t buy what wasn’t on it. It worked for quite awhile. I didn’t buy a lot at the fabric sales, mostly notions.

Then my second self stepped in and I bought fabric. Some has been sewn as I did a challenge of making little girls’ dresses using only measurements and not a pattern. The amount of fabric I bought ended up becoming 2 dresses, 2 boleros, and a western shirt for 2 little girls. I tossed the scraps knowing I had done a good job of using up that fabric.


Other pieces of the fabric are still sitting waiting their turn so I have had to tell the other self I can’t shop for fabric for another length of time. I need to go back and bust the stash again. I am back to buying only what I need to finish up a project. This fabric diet is until the end of the year.

With that in mind, I hauled out a piece of cotton fabric and a piece of broadcloth. It will be sewn up I said. A quilt at first but then I decided to make a pillow case. It is cut out ready to sew.


The left over cotton and broadcloth will be used up into a Baby Loves Books bag. It isn’t going back into the stash.


The small tub the above fabric was in, holds more fabric.


I am going to use it up; pillow cases and grocery bags are on the agenda for these pieces of fabric. Quick and easy is the motto for that tub. Projects I can do in an afternoon.


As I pick up a piece, I will measure and then decide ~ pillow case or shopping bag.  It felt good to have made that decision and I am ready to tackle this lot of fabric.

You may ask yourself why am I doing this. I have been thinking about this for several months now. It has been a long process of thinking, tossing ideas around, being angry and frustrated, and finally at peace with the decision. The guilty feeling I had about the fabric was causing me to hoard it and not let it go into projects. It also stressed me to the point I couldn’t deal with it without having a lot of anxiety. It was affecting me daily in a sub conscious way. Add to the fact that I won’t be moving this fabric another time, I had to make a decision on using it up or giving it away. I will be doing both.

Next on the list is my garment stash. It isn’t as big as the quilting/craft stash but it needs to be tamed also. I will work through it also. Little plans are niggling at me. That is good. More on that later.

Until tomorrow………………………….