Saturday, November 24, 2012


Lately I just haven't been able to get into a sewing mood.  Maybe it's because I do most of my sewing after my kids are asleep, and lately I've been feeling so sick and tired that I just fall asleep as soon as the kids do.  I don't know.  But I've lost my sewing mojo lately.

At least the Christmas preparations have been going in my favor. My mom found a Christmas gift that she absolutely loved, so she already bought it and informed my brother, sister, and I that we could pay my dad and that would be our Christmas gift to her.  She also found a gift for my dad that my siblings and I could chip in on, so those are two gifts down.

Unfortunately I've had two setbacks.  My nephew's crib quilt tore apart in the wash (I'm still puzzling out how that happened - it's not like I washed it with razors) and will be in need of repair.  I'm going to ask the good people of Threadbias about the best way to approach that one. Also, today I went to find more gray fabric, which was the background fabric for my mom's quilt top (I'm still going to give it to her, maybe for Mother's Day) and found that the fabric I used is gone!  It's so hard to find gray solid fabric.  I'm going to bring back a piece of what I bought and see if I can buy a couple more yards...maybe the fabric was just on order or behind the cutting counter while I was there.  But I'm reluctant to make more HSTs unless I know I have enough gray to complete the whole thing.  Ugh.

In the meantime I'm going to start something new.  I bought some fat quarters and I'm going to make a hexagon quilt.  I found a website where you can print out hexagons of any size, and another site that teaches you how to draw your own perfect hexagons with a compass.  I just did the print site.  Hopefully I can make a rainbow of hexagons and that will get me back in the mood to sew.  Part of me feels like I should work on my son's teacher's mug rug, but really, that will take no time at all.  Why force it?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Getting back to sewing

I haven't been sewing much lately - I just haven't felt up to it.  I actually stayed home from my local Modern Quilt Guild sew day today, but even though I felt too sick to do anything drastic - like getting out of my pajamas - I did feel up to doing a couple brief errands and then going downstairs and sewing.

Christmas is coming up fast and I'm not close to finishing my list of handmade Christmas gifts for my family.  Today I started sewing HSTs for my mom's big Carpenter's Wheel quilt, and I finished binding my nephew's crib quilt.  I didn't have much to go, I just hate binding SO MUCH...but at least now it's done.

I am pretty bummed out because I finally got an idea for my dad's Christmas gift...a while ago I bought the pattern for these drawstring bags.  I think there are seven sizes in the pattern.  I was going to make him a set of all of the sizes, and I was going to use ripstop nylon for the bags.  I figured they'd be handy for his camping trips, especially his big trips to the Boundary Waters between Minnesota and Canada.  My mom thought that was a great idea...until he bought a few commercially-made drawstring bags recently.

Come on, Dad!  Give me a break here!  I think I may have to buy him something, but he's impossible to buy for too.  Ugh.

Gift list:

Brother & his girlfriend: mug rugs
Sister & her fiance: mug rugs
Son's teacher: mug rug
Nephew: crib-sized quilt
Mom: quilt top
Dad: Who knows.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nothing to do with sewing

Yes, this is a blog about sewing.  But we all have lives outside of sewing, and mine includes my career as a speech pathologist and my family, which includes two little kids. 

If you're an educator (like me) or a parent (also like me) you'll want to check out Smart Apps for Kids.  I think I've linked to them before...every single day they post an app that's usually educational, always free, and always good.  And right now they're giving away some iPad Minis and a code for an app I've been looking forward to.

Go check it out!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Can I get a do-over?

So even though I have a lot of sewing to do for holiday gifts, I had to re-do a project.  My Mod in Milwaukee challenge project.  You know, when I finished it and immediately had the urge to take a photo of it for the competition and then tear it apart and turn it into pot holders, that should have been a red flag that I really wasn't happy with it.  But at the time I felt like it was such a headache that I didn't want to revisit it.

Well, after some time with it on my wall in my bedroom I realized I couldn't let it stay the way it was.  So I did the project over again.

I like it better this time.  Even the stitching in the middle of the squares turned out nicer.

Overall, I'm glad I did it over.  It's still not going to win anything, but I'm happier with it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Addictive little hexagons

I had pretty much vowed not to start any more projects until my holiday sewing was done.  However, my grandfather passed away about a week ago, and last Tuesday I spent a significant amount of time at my mom's house, watching her newborn puppies while she and my dad wrapped things up at my grandfather's funeral.  I didn't want to bring my hand crank machine along because my back has been acting up (its weight is the only thing that makes me occasionally consider getting an electric sewing machine), and I was afraid to use my mom's sewing machine for fear that it would bother the puppies (however, their ears are closed, so they wouldn't have been able to hear anyway).  So I decided to try English paper piecing by sewing some hexagons.

I hate hand sewing so I figured I'd hate making hexagons.  However, I love the look of hexagons and wanted to see how much of a pain they were to make.  I printed off this template and looked at a few tutorials.  This video was the most helpful for me.  Then I tried it.


Those little things are like potato chips - you can't have just one.  I made a whole bunch that day, and have made more since.  There's something so satisfying about ending up with that perfect little hexagon.

I think I'm going to make a bunch and applique them to a quilt...just a long line of hexagons down one side of the quilt.  I don't have the patience to make a whole quilt that way, and I don't really care for the hexagon flowers.  I love these little things, though.

I'm definitely motivated to get moving on my holiday sewing so I can spend my winter break making a whole pile of little hexagons.