Many wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and weekend to my US friends
With Christmas coming, and all the shopping, baking, decorating, gift-wrapping to do, how do we find time to sew – Christmas gifts, guild or group projects, making and mending for the household, those quilts on the wish list?
Well, today I came across this list of tips to ‘fit’ sewing into our busy schedules. They were posted on sewcanshe.com. Of course the truly dedicated sewer/quilter will need to turn some of these the other way around to get the shopping, baking, decorating, gift-wrapping…….all done:
9. If house chores are keeping you from sewing, play a little game with yourself. Set a timer and alternate Speed cleaning for 20 minutes then sewing for 20 minutes. It's amazing how much cleaning you can accomplish with the proper motivation and you'll be surprised at how much sewing you can get done in 20 minutes.
8. Block or hide the distracting housework. Close the door to the laundry room. Shove the junk inside and close your children's bedroom doors. Put on your blinders and quickly walk past it all to your sewing room After all, no matter how many times you clean it, that mess is gonna re-appear. Your fabric is calling you! (note: I may or may not shove the dishes into the dishwasher just so they stop distracting me... and then it only takes a second to start it.)
7. Silence interrupters. Turn off or don't answer your phone. Don't answer the door unless it's the UPS man bringing more fabric. I'm sorry to my friends if this seems rude. But when people are busy at work, they routinely let calls go to voicemail. I claim the same luxury. And I will get back to you. :)
6. Keep a to-do list. I find that other tasks stop distracting me if I write them down. Then I know I won't forget them and I can put them out of my mind to sew for a while.
5. Schedule it in. Plan time to sew first thing in the morning, right after lunch, after the kids get are in bed, etc. It doesn't really matter when... just make sure it's on your schedule. This could be once or twice a week or every day.
4. Set an alarm for when you have to stop - to go get the kids, get ready for work, etc. Knowing that the alarm will stop you, you can stop looking at the clock and focus on your project.
3. Have a grown-up play date. Invite a friend over for a morning or evening of sewing. She might help you finish a big project, or you can each work on your own.
2. Pack a 'sewing on the go basket' (or bag). I must admit that I enjoy the slower pace of hand sewing just as much as I love sewing with my machine. So I keep a large-ish zipper pouch packed with my latest hand sewing project that I can grab when I know that I'll be waiting. Like on a long car ride, during my daughter's dance class, or in a doctor's waiting room. Paper pieced hexis are excellent an excellent start if you don't already have a hand sewing project.
1. Don't put away your sewing machine... keep it out and ready to go. This will be hard if you don't have a dedicated sewing area. But you know as well as I do that if you put the machine away it will be a while before she's out again.
I say, if your only sewing space is the dining room table, then sew-be-it, but if you can find even the smallest corner of a room, you’ll be happier with your machine always ready-to-go when you find those minutes in between all the other busy stuff
Happy sewing! Blessings, Peg
Playing with babies!!!
That’s just about it.
We headed back to Alberta to give our DS-J and DDIL-K a hand with their new baby. K had a c-section and that combined with the lack of sleep that comes with a new baby, made things rather difficult for her.
This was, of course, not a hardship for us! We gladly look for excuses to head to Alberta to help out any time, but especially now with the babies both out there…..
LW, born in October, is an absolute sweetheart, and just so very cuddly. And during the two weeks we were there, he began to get the hang of going back to sleep in the middle of the night, and spending more of his day-time hours awake and delighting his parents’ and grand-parents’ hearts.
And then there were the times we were able to play with LV. She was born in May and is performing just exactly as a six-month-old should. Rolling and sitting and jumping in her jolly-jumper and starting to eat solids and laughing and chatting and squealing and for sure making her parents and grand-parents laugh with the pure joy of it all. She even started swimming lessons!
It was a totally wonderful two weeks, and it was with great reluctance that we headed home. But, home is where we need to be now. With only 5 weeks until Christmas, and all that baking and shopping and decorating and gift-wrapping to do we really need to be here. Besides, our kids really don’t need their parents hovering over them for weeks on end, right? Tell me I’m right, and should listen to my head not my heart all the time.
Anyway, now that we’re home, we’re going to get started on some long-awaited renos in the house. Nothing too major for the most part, and picking away at it one room at a time. First up – painting and new floors in the spare bedroom. That might be all we get done before Christmas, but it’s at least a start.
This, of course, means that quilting will be mostly set aside for the time being (also have a baby’s x-stitch Christmas stocking to get done, hopefully, in time). Right now I’m so thankful that most Christmas shopping is done as I try to keep eyes open throughout the year and pick things up as I see them.
Anyway, that’s our recent activity in a nut-shell. Will try to catch up with you all as I work through my blog reading list with some level of concentration.
At least as far as quilting goes.
About 40 years ago, my mother made us a quilt. We used it for a number of years, and it was getting thin and some of the hand stitching was pulling out, so I put it away to save for the memories. This was before I started quilting.
After I started quilting, I pulled it out to admire the work that had gone into it, and was reminded how it had worn out. And started to think about how it maybe could be restored.
Well, sometime last year I really started thinking about it, and earlier this year took the plunge to take it apart and see what I could see. There was no binding – it had been sewn right sides together and turned inside out. The fabric on the top is getting very thin, but no holes, no seams pulled apart but not 100% cotton either – possibly polyester or a poly-cotton blend. The backing fabric appeared to be made from a sheet, a good quality one, that wasn’t near as thin as the top. The batting was poly-fil, and bunching in some areas. Size – about 85x95.
Okay, so now I knew for sure what I was dealing with.
A few weeks ago, our LQS had a sale on backing fabric, so I went out to see what I could get, and brought home a dark blue/black print, a little darker than the dark blue in the quilt top.
Then I got it all sandwiched, and loaded it on Big Bertha – then we went to Alberta to celebrate Thanksgiving and await the birth of our second grandchild.
On coming home, this is what I was facing:
(Well actually not quite like this, but I forgot to take a picture when it was fully loaded)
I was really not sure that I could handle this. Oh, man, this is huge! It took up almost all the space I had on Big Bertha, and I was sure that I couldn’t roll up the whole quilt and still make a pass with my machine.
Finally, finally, I took the plunge. The first few rows, the top thread kept breaking. I tried everything I could think to do, but nothing seemed to work. Then I just simply swapped out the spool of thread – and that was the answer. No more breakage for the rest of the quilt.
Got about 2/3 of the way through, and just knew that I had to take the whole thing off, and turn it around. I’d never done that before, but had been told by others it was do-able. Yes, do-able, but not easy. And then when it’s reloaded, you have to quilt from the front toward the back so as to prevent the fabric shifting and having a fold where the quilting lines meet.
But it got done! Whew! Actually once I was actually quilting, the sewing went fairly easy. I chose to keep the actual quilting design very simple – both to make sure that my quilting lines would work when this was a large roll on the machine, and for my own sanity!
Here it is just after pulling it off the machine, thrown across our bed:
A little more work – trim the excess batting and backing, make and apply binding (which will be made from the backing fabric), press it all, and finally put it back in service.
But first a trip to Alberta to play with those grandchildren some more.
See you all in a couple of weeks! Blessings, Peg
Yes, Halloween, not my favorite day of the year, not sure why, don’t want to analyze it right now. But basically I resent jumping out of my easy chair every few minutes for 2-3 hours to hand out candy.
But let’s not dwell on that. It’s the end of the month, and I have to admit that I have no starts or finishes to report this month. We were away for half the month (playing with grandchildren so a wonderful time), then spent several days dealing with head colds. Back to normal now, but heading away in a few days to play with those grandchildren again.
There is a rescue quilt on Big Bertha right now, will pick away at that for the next while.
It’s amazing how quickly Christmas comes after Halloween – somebody has been reporting the number of Fridays for a few weeks now, and after today there are only 7 left. Yikes!
Now Christmas, that’s probably my favorite day of the year, celebrating our Lord’s birth, family, friends, loving and giving. And this year, we’ll have one grandchild in the house on the day, the second one arriving a few days later, so we’ll have both of them here at the same time. Now that’s worth celebrating!
Speaking of celebrations, we’re going to celebrate a few birthdays this weekend, a bit of catch-up as well as celebrating ahead because we just haven’t been able to plan for anything near the actual dates. It’ll be good times with family and friends – and aren’t those just the best of times!
Happy celebrations! And if you’re a Halloween celebrator, Happy Halloween to you! Blessings, Peg