Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A New Craft Project Started

We had a lovely day yesterday. The high got to 22.3C or 72F. This morning started out at 10C or 49F but it isn’t to get as warm as yesterday. Showers are on the way.

In the midst of meetings, I did get into the sewing room to sew a bit. I wanted something fairly easy to make but to be a bit unusual. This could be the item.


This is a 12” square that I quilted. I used a Frixion pen to draw the lines on which I straight stitched around and around until I got to the center square. When I press the square, the pen marks will disappear.

Next, I folded the square into a triangle and marked for the darts.


A close up of the darts.


The visit to the diabetic dietician and RN was fabulous. I got a lot of help with my eating plan for running. My glucose numbers are perfect. The low numbers mean I am hungry and need to eat. As I am doing so well, I only do readings on run days. I see these ladies again during the summer to see how I am doing.

Today is PlayWork day. I will be 3 min walk, 3 min jog x 7 intervals plus a good walk afterwards. I want to finish up the quilted basket and lay out another project prior to heading out the door for a 3:30 p.m. meeting.

Until tomorrow………………….

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunshine and Quilting Blocks

It was a gorgeous, sunny day in our neck of the woods. We actually sat outside absorbing the warm rays of sun twice. It was so nice to do that. The second time, I actually wandered around the yard looking.


The apricot tree has started to bloom. We are waiting for the bees to arrive to pollinate it.

Elliott even got into the act of enjoying the sun. We left the door open for him to explore the little room and then lay in the doorway. He knows the rule at this moment.


I spent a lot of time sewing squares for the mystery quilt. My tools for this project were these.


I ended up having to rip some of the blocks apart, measure the width of the strips, draw a line, pin them together and sew on the line. I will continue to monitor the strips with an eagle eye to make sure they are correct. The bali pop I used was terribly cut; anywhere from 1/8” under to 1/16” over 2.5” in width.


So far, they are pretty square but I can’t slack off on them.

Today is a busy one. I have a meeting, diabetic clinic and two children for tutoring. I hope to clean off the cutting table so I can start my next project. I am thinking something fairly easy though it could be time consuming with all the quilting that needs to be done on it. I will have to think about it while I get ready to be out.

Until tomorrow…………………………..

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mystery Quilt Sewing

It looks like it is going to be a gloriously sunny day today. The temperature was at –1C at 6 a.m., the sky clear and turning a warm gold colour where the sun will rise.

It was run club yesterday and the coach had us run more walk less through increasing our interval run time. We were able to run 4 minutes twice without too much problem. When we ran 1 minute at the end, it was very easy to do.

I spent a lot of time in the sewing room. I did iron a few shirts and two pieces of fabric. Then I focused on sewing up the background squares. Eighteen squares are now done.


These are the background squares and there are 16 or 17 more to do using the printed fabric. Once done, I can then focus on other sewing – craft items and a garment item for a few days.

Today I am washing floors and sewing on the mystery quilt blocks. If it is lovely and warm outside, I am sitting in the sunshine for a while and absorb some of the rays.

Until tomorrow…………………….

First Quarter Review

(This is one of the posts I lost and it suddenly appeared again. I wrote it on March 31, 2014)

It is hard to believe that over 25% of the year is completed. I decided that I would look at my progress four times this year to keep on track. My goal this year was to Explore and I have done that.

Life Style

I have changed my life style a lot. First it was changing what I ate and loosing weight. I attended the diabetic clinic, got a glucometer and was on the road to feeling healthier. I have lost 33 pounds and have my glucose readings in the normal range though it does go down into the lower range. My blood pressure is under control through medication and exercise, thyroid medication was changed for the better, and the pressure was lowered on the CPAP machine.

Exercising was an indoor thing due to colder than normal weather. I know our winter was mild compared to other places, but we experienced higher humidity than normal and the temperatures cooler driving most people inside. I used Wii Fit  Plus and was exercising 35 minutes per day. On March 1, I decided to go to a run club meeting and from there I have been outside three times a week walking, running, and having a good time.

running in the snow

We finished up decluttering on March 28 and was happy to see the last of it go. Once the basement is finished and cleaned, we will do the next level of decluttering. It won’t be a lot, but there will be some more to go out of the house.


I have done less sewing this quarter than ever. I am okay with that as I have been doing other things and living a more balanced life. Though hard at first, it has become easier to walk out of the sewing room to do other things. It has made me more appreciative of the time I am in the sewing room.

I have a shirt pattern for me that I like from Sure Fit Designs. It took three tries to get what I wanted.


I am ready to make myself a vest from an OOP pattern.

I did buy some fabric at great sales to make muslins. This has worked out well as most of my fabric is too expensive to make into muslins that may or may not fit. I have been to the fabric store a lot less and only for items on my list.

One rodeo queen dress muslin was sewn for a fitting. The dress is cut out, partly sewn and ready for the bling. The lining is partly done. This is the first of 3 dresses I am making and that is all I plan on doing. It is less stressful this way.


I made 5 artfolios that were purchased for an exchange by a group of moms in our community. They were fun to make. I also made 2 kidlets for 2 boys I tutor. A mystery quilt came out and I joined it. It is done over quite a few weeks with clues coming out once a week.



I haven’t done any embroidery as I only have one machine, the embroidery machine which I am sewing on. I have to take the other machine to be repaired. Once I have two machines, I plan on doing more embroidery. I did play with the courses I bought but not a lot of it was new. I have a book to go through and as you make designs, you stitch them out. I also have other projects to stitch out and make up. But, I like having two machines when I embroider. I usually sew when the embroidery machine is stitching out.

Knitting and Crocheting

The Dude’s sweater was a disaster so I ripped it out and started it again. The back and the left front are done again. The right front was started.

Yarn for projects was purchased as I wanted to try out new patterns. I crocheted some hats and cowls plus knit three cowls from new patterns and the yarn I bought. Fun items for the craft tub.

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Next Quarter

Run 5k (well walk run 5k) in a marathon and start the next session of run club. I plan on remaining in the beginners group and won’t be running 5k in a marathon in July.

Eat well and loose 10 pounds. That means no extra sugary foods which means good glucose readings.

Make the vest for myself. Though I have made this vest about 10 years ago, I want to make it again for myself. I have a couple of things to work through with the zipper (interface the garment fabric at the zipper for stability and a bit of extra weight) and sewing up the side seams which includes the lining.

Sew a western shirt for a friend.

Start the second rodeo queen gown and have it ready for bling. 

Complete the mystery quilt and start a Halloween quilt using the disappearing nine patch design. This doesn’t have to be done until mid October.

Finish the Dude’s sweater and start a scarf for myself. The scarf is to go with the vest.

Be outside every day enjoying life.

Until the end of June……………………………………

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Yarn Purchases

It was a damp windy day in the city. It had rained before I arrived and threatened to while I was there. And it rained on the way home in several spots including up the hill from where we live.

The trip to the city was a busy one that took longer than anticipated. The only exciting thing I did buy was yarn.

The grey tweed is for a scarf.


The green and variegated yarn is for slippers for the Dude.


I want to make him these slippers for next winter as they live in a cold climate. I might even make his mom some slippers too.

Crocodile Stitch Boots

While shopping at Walmart, I did find the same fabric as what I had bought for the Organizer to Go I showed yesterday. I picked it up, handled it, thought about it, and put it back. If I do buy it, I will make a shopping bag out of it.

I didn’t get into the sewing room yesterday to sew. When I got home, I had to phone the hospital to confirm I would be at the diabetic clinic on Monday. That took a few minutes and then it was out the door on an errand. 

In the evening I finished knitting the collar for the Dude’s sweater and started on the second sleeve.

This morning is run club. I do hope to sew on the mystery quilt this afternoon. I need to get those blocks done before I start another project.

Until tomorrow………………………………….

Friday, April 11, 2014

Craft Sewing

Spring has finally arrived. The leaves on the trees are starting to show now; light spring green. The apricot buds are showing white and should be out in full bloom next week.

I started my PlayWork chasing the dog that escaped from our back yard. He is such an escape artist though this is the first time he got out of our place. As he ran down the street, he stopped to visit other dogs, look back at me, laugh and take off again. I walked and jogged for a good 7+ minutes before I caught him. The Spousal Unit came and took him home. I then proceeded to do my 42 minutes of playwork and another 13 minutes of walking.


The next clue for the mystery quilt is up and I sewed together 2 blocks. This is one of them. I have a lot left to sew over the next few days and then they need to be trimmed. I usually do 5 at a time and then will trim them and move on to the next 5.


Next, I finished the kidlet. These are so easy to make and I will be making a couple more for CareFair next month. A colouring book and crayons inside will be perfect for a child.


Next I dug out all the pieces for an Organizer on the Go. In actual fact, I was playing with left over pieces I had cut out and then couldn’t get more of the fabric. I used what I had and love it. Reminds me of spring. I just need to get a pad of paper to put in to it.


The first official item for the CareFair. When this project was done, I called it a day.

I spent some time looking at the instructions for drawing the pattern onto the fabric of the little girl’s dress. What was muddy in my mind is starting to become clearer. Doing it on paper or cheap broadcloth first will help me understand what I am doing.

Today I am heading into the city to shop. If I get home early enough, I hope to spray starch and iron two lengths of fabric. Other than that, I have nothing else on the list to start today.

Until tomorrow…………………………..

Thursday, April 10, 2014

15 Minutes of Thinking

Yesterday was a typical spring day. Warm when sunny, cool when cloudy. The forsythia bushes are in bloom and their yellow blooms are welcomed. You can see the trees having hints of green now.

As yesterday was my busy day I had only about 2 hours in the sewing room. I wanted to make my list of things that needs to be sewn in the next month. I did make a list and put most of the fabric in this tub.


I started off the list with making two more of those fabric baskets. Then the list went on to include an organizer, a couple of kidlets, a toy holder, and a couple of artist folios. Not bad for 15 minutes of thinking. I have more hunting in the stash to do also. I was pumped and started my new tutoring student’s kidlet. Officially ready to start the lining.


Yes, the lining is cherries. How fun is that.

I have been watching The Great British Sewing Bee Series Two for the past 8 weeks. I love the series in which sewing is the focus and these fabulous contestants help each other out. The final three were amazingly talented people. I read this morning that one lady, Chinelo, has a blog and shows how she makes some of her clothing by drawing the pattern onto the fabric. She is truly well trained in doing this.

That got me excited and I decided that the garments I am making this time is a shirt for a friend (using an existing pattern) and a dress for a young girl in our community using Chinelo’s instructions on her blog. My fabric choice is fabric I bought towards the end of January.


I am seriously thinking of tracing it out on paper first so I completely understand the instructions. Then I will do it on the fabric. I am really looking forward to doing this and will keep you posted.

After I finished tutoring, I had to head up to a baby’s birthday celebration. The literacy group I work for donated a lovely gift for some lucky parent/child.

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I finished off the evening at knitting and knit on the collar of the brown sweater. I have to finish it and knit the other sleeve. I needed a break from all the drama from the first sleeve.

Today I have WorkPlay3. I have changed a few things up so will let you know how they work out. I want to finish the kidlet and start working on the Organizer to Go. If it is warm enough in the afternoon, I hope to clean the patio furniture.  If not, I will sew.

Until tomorrow……………………………….

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

A New Sewing List

Is Spring here yet? We sure hope so as the temperatures went up to 21C yesterday afternoon. That is almost 70F. The trees are starting to show colour as they leaf out and the forsythia bushes are starting to bloom. Though we have had the meadowlarks back for nearly a month, they weren’t singing much until the past couple of days.


I headed out for WorkPlay2 yesterday morning. I did the 7 intervals and walked another 15 minutes on top of that. The GPS said I did a total of 5.33k in 57 minutes. My biggest accomplishment was jogging up the cursed hill for 2.5 minutes. That was a slow job; I could have walked faster but I did it.

My blood sugar dived after I got home. I thought I had fixed it with a snack but it kept dropping while I bathed the dog. I had to eat again and rest until lunch time. Now I am going to fill the bladder for my backpack with water and pack it with me. I will be sipping water with an electrolyte solution in it. I will be eating more carbs for breakfast and eating earlier. I want to keep going with this and need to experiment until I see a dietician.


The vest is finished and it fits quite nicely. I will be making it into the jacket a bit later on. I need to plan out my next batch of sewing.

The Spousal Unit has been digging in the garden and sifting the gravel out of the soil. The fine soil will be wonderful for the plants.


The gravel will go out into the lower driveway.


Elliott decided to sleep in our winter quilt yesterday. He was so happy to be there that he totally ignored us walking around him all afternoon.


Today is my busy day with adult literacy. I have to be at Baby’s First Birthday celebration over dinner, and then knitting. This morning, I am going to make a list of what needs to be sewn over the next several weeks.

Until tomorrow…………………….