Friday, November 30, 2007

New Project, Old Fabric

I am trying to think of ways to use up my fabric stash. And, I am always on the lookout for easy and quick projects, especially at this time of year. I have a beautiful oriental fabric that I apparently was saving for something. The "something" escapes me. So, I am now in the process of making padfolios for gifts using that fabric. You fuse the fabric to Peltex (both sides), make two pockets (one for a pad of paper, hence the name padfolio and one to hold a pen and maybe some notes). Then, to hold all of this together (three sections), you zigzag the components together. That's where I hit a snag. My Pfaff either doesn't like the thread, doesn't like the thickness or needs a good cleaning (and maybe a little talking to). I am having problems with the bobbin thread getting tangled and breaking. I have given up for tonight. Sometimes things look better in the light of day. If all else fails, I will try using my Bernina to see if it can do a better job. But, I am definitely NOT done with this yet!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cookie Crazy

You know it's "that time of year" when I am busy baking cookies. And, that is just what I have been doing lately. Yesterday I baked 13 dozen peanut butter with chocolate kisses cookies. I need 9 dozen for a cookie exchange on Sunday. I already have chocolate chip and oatmeal cranberry cookies in the freezer. Today I baked and decorated sugar cookies. Tomorrow I plan on baking raspberry almond shortbread thumbprint cookies. There are still a couple of more kinds that I would like to bake, but my oven has been making funny noises. It would just be my luck that the darn thing would go on the blink right in the middle of cookie baking season! I did make a trip last night to the quilt store. True to my word, I didn't purchase anything that I didn't need to complete a project. Although, I must admit, I was soooo tempted. I am hoping to get some sewing time in this weekend, although the closer we get to Christmas, the harder it is going to be to find free time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How blessed am I?

Tonight Jack and I went to a potluck dinner at Gilda's Club. Not only was the food good, but the company was great. I met someone new. Another ovarian cancer survivor. She is presently receiving chemotherapy. Apparently when she stops chemo, her CA125 count rises, so she keeps getting chemo. And she tells me that she has "floating" tumors. That scared me. She also told me that she has never been married and she has no children. I can't even imagine what she must be going through. At least when I had chemo, I had my husband and kids to care for me and about me. This woman has no one. How lonely that must be. How scared she must feel. I hope to see her again soon. She was such a joy to talk to. How blessed am I?

Monday, November 26, 2007

In the Kitchen

Today was "in the kitchen" day for me. Mike's fiancee, Ashley, was having a party tonight. So, I decided to make a cake that I have had a taste for. It is called a banana split torte. Graham cracker crust, confectioners sugar base, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, cool whip and for the grand finish, topped with nuts, cherries and shaved chocolate. Like it wouldn't be good with all that stuff in it! I don't even want to guess what the caloric count was. I also made a taco platter for the guys, since they were going to be there, but in another room watching football. Apparently both were a big hit because there wasn't a lot of either one left. I did get my ribbons (hangers) sewn on the mittens today, but that was about all that got done in my studio. I am toying with the idea of taking a class to learn how to make a "wonder wallet". They look easy enough, and it would be a great way to use up some more of my smaller pieces of fabric. Anything to get rid of some of my stash.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thank Goodness for Plan B

Today was a good, but trying day. I did finish Matthew's pillowcase. Then I started making paper pieced Christmas way. Big mistake. My first color strata looked good before I sewed it together, but after, something about it just didn't look right. Onto strata number two...different colors. This time the strata color order looked great, but I looked at the clock and I knew there was NO WAY that I was going to finish any stockings in one evening. I needed something quick. This project is supposed to be ready for donation on Tuesday. Here is where Plan B comes into play. I decided to make mittens. The kind you hang on a tree or put gift cards into. I had 1/2 yard of a red print flannel and it was 8:30 p.m. I started cutting, sewing and trimming like crazy. I got 10 mittens out of that 1/2 yard piece...and used up some fleece that was left over from a table runner. Time done: 10:30...two hours, whew!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Finally, Some Progress

Yesterday was an extremely productive much so, that I got too tired to blog. I made 18 tissue holders to donate to Gilda's Club. I also worked on my Goddaughter's quilt. Today was just as productive, but more fun. My Goddaughter, Ashley, was here to visit. We worked on a craft that I have had sitting around here for a few years. It is a fishbowl candy holder. You get one of those cheap round fishbowls from Michaels. Then you apply "dots" with glass paint and a spouncer. Pour on the glitter...voila, snowflakes. Then you get a styrofoam ball to fit the top of the container (so that it doesn't fall in). You cover it with stretchy white fabric, pull it up to the top and tightly bind with a rubberband. You use 2 black snaps for the eyes, 5 smaller black snaps for the mouth and an orange chenille stem bent in half for the nose. Lastly, from fleece you sew a hat and cut a scarf. This turned out really cute...and best of all, I got to spend time with someone I love and send some more ufo's out the door! Tonight I worked on a pillowcase for my son, Matthew. It is one of those patterns where you overlap the back of the case so that the pillow can't fall out. It has dogs as the main fabric and pawprints as the coordinating fabric. Tomorrow I will sew the final seams and another ufo will be done.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving one and all. This certainly is a Thanksgiving that I am especially thankful for. Last year at this time, I was diagnosed as having two tumors, one on each of my ovaries. Eventually it led to a complete hysterectomy and stage 3 cancer. I underwent chemotherapy and am in remission. I am thankful that it wasn't worse. I am thankful that I could undergo treatment without too much interruption to my normal life. I am especially grateful to all the people who took care of me, prayed for me, made meals for my family, and did all the "little" things that we take for granted until we can no longer do them. I am thankful for all the cards, emails and letters encouraging me to stay strong. I am thankful that nobody gave up on me, but made me feel like I was important enough to fight the fight and WIN. For this and so much more, I am truly thankful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Let it Snow

Yes, it's true. Our first official snowfall of the season. However, the temperature isn't low enough for the snow to stick around, so I assume it will be gone by morning. I did take a drive tonight (the snow doesn't scare me). I went to the quilt shop. That's a no-no. Let me explain. I am on this moratorium of not buying anything unless I absolutely have to have it to finish a project. In my defense, I did buy a few items that I do need to finish a project. But then I got sidetracked, which isn't hard for me to do when I am in the quilt shop. I bought two 1/4 yard pieces and two 1/2 yard pieces for tissue holders. I am making them to donate to Gilda's Club, a cancer support group that is having a Christmas craft sale to raise funds. I promise that I will use this fabric and it will NOT end up being part of my stash. And yes, I probably could have pulled fabric from my stash, but honestly, what fun would that be?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Let There be Light

A few weeks ago I had the lighting in my sewing studio changed. I went from florescent lights to halogen. Oh my, what a difference! I can see the eye of the needle on my sewing machine again. The only drawback to these halogen lights is the fact that they throw off some heat. Now, I am NOT complaining at this time because the weather has turned cool, however, I don't know how I am going to feel about this when the weather is 80 degrees and sunny. Stay tuned. The bigger question is, why can't the sewing machine manufacturers come up with a bulb that throws enough light onto the throat plate for sewers to see easier? They try to give us every other convenience, why not this important one? For now, I will stick with my halogens and possibly roast a few marshmallows if I get bored!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Opening Credits

OMG, I'm blogging! Which just goes to show, miracles still do happen. I am starting this blog in hopes of staying on task with some of my quilting/sewing adventures. I figure if I have a place to post the things I get done, then I will have to get things done to post! Today I worked on a ufo that I started almost 6 years ago. Wow, how times flies! It is a quilt that is destined to live with my only Goddaughter, Ashley. She was 5 when I started the quilt. She will be 11 in just a few weeks. The pattern is from the P.S. I Love You book. Don't look for pictures, because Lord knows if I just figured out how to get a blog, it will be a while before I figure out how to download pictures! But, I am having fun, and isn't that what it is all about?