Exercise · Projects · sewing

Quarantine and Me: Week 2

As of 5:00 p.m. Tuesday the Governor of Washington declared a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order that requires every Washingtonian to stay home unless they have essential activities. So here we are, week two of staying home and staying safe from the COVID-19. We are truly living in unprecedented times – well, not counting the Spanish Flu of 1918.

I am a home body to begin with so staying home hasn’t really disrupted my daily life too much. However that doesn’t mean I’m not worried… I am. If I think about how bad this virus will get/can get I will head down a rabbit hole of anxiety really quick. Instead of doing that I’m doing my best to educate myself, yoga, running, and a whole LOT of sewing. Sewing has always been a form of therapy for me. – it relaxes me, it’s something I can control, and provides me with a huge sense of accomplishment when I finish something. win/win/win.

Virtual ParkRun
#virtualParkRun #RentonParkRun

This week I’ve been working on a Blooming 9-patch quilt, I’m not quite done, so I won’t talk about it too much. But suffice it to say that I love this pattern so much that this is the 3rd quilt that I’ve made using the pattern.

I’ve also been working on my Spring/Summer wardrobe. It’s coming along nicely. I don’t have too many pictures as I’m waiting on some photography equipment that should step up my game in that department – including a tri-pod! So stay tuned, and above all – stay safe.

Projects · sewing

Quarantine and Me: Week 1

I hope everyone is surviving the quarantine … I know I am loving the excuse to stay in and sew! Though, I did walk to the post office to drop off a letter and found these reminders to vote along the way. Love that there are people in the world who do this.

Back to sewing: I’m trying something new – instead of sewing the next shiny thing that catches my attention, I’m trying to plan my wardrobe!

I started out on Pinterest and pinned outfits that I thought would be nice to have for the summer. I pinned a ton of maxi skirts, t-shirts, and loose fitting pants. I then went through my patterns and pulled ones that matched (or were close enough) to the items I pinned.

All this was done prior to the Sewing Expo a couple of weeks ago, so I had a good idea of the types of fabric I was looking for which was really nice going in with a plan! I’ve been using Trello to keep all my outfits (patterns/fabrics) organized as I go along.

First item up:

This pattern is the Clarke from Seamworks, and the fabric is from JoAnns. I lengthened the top a couple of inches and cut it on the bias to get more drape. It’s still a little shorter than I’d like, and looks this side of a maternity top – but I don’t completely hate it. I may make another one before the summer is out.

In the meantime, stay safe my friends!

Projects · sewing

High-Lo Sheath Dress

It’s been a weird weekend here in the Seattle area- otherwise known as the U.S.’s Ground Zero for the Corvid-19.  People raided the Costco, Target and Fred Meyer’s last week, stocking up on toilet paper, bread, and water..??  Now everyone is holed up in their homes and events with 10+ people are canceled. The streets here are pretty empty – which means I bought gas, washed my car, and met a friend without waiting in line or getting stuck in traffic!

I also spent a LOT of time sewing, starting with this sheath dress from Butterick.

I used this knit fabric that I purchased last weekend, I believe it’s a poly-blend and a little on the heavy side.  I thought that if the dress was too heavy I could shorten the length to take off some of the weight.

Turns out – it’s not too heavy.  I made the view with the tie …

But the tie felt like it was too large/thick, and I knew it would bug me, so I took it off.

I can’t decide if I like it better or not… I’m not much of a tie person to begin with, AND, I can reach the pockets better without the tie….

I might see how I like it for now.   I’ll most likely wear this with a jean jacket or cardigan which will break-up the lines and give it some shape.

When the weather gets really warm I can always buy a belt or make another tie using lighter fabric. That’s the joy of sewing, I can always change my mind.

Adventures · sewing

Please Excuse Me While I Geek Out!

The Sewing Expo was in town this weekend and for the first time ever I decided to go!  I’ve been sewing most of my life so you would think that I would have gone to a sewing Expo at least once in 30+ years… but nope!  …. but I’ll be going again as often as I can for now on!

Vogue Fabrics – so many choices!

I took Friday off from work and drove down to Puyallup to attend my first class – which was a lesson on how to Brioche knit.  I’m glad I took a class because I would have never been able to figure it out on my own.

After class I visited the vendors and gave myself permission to stock up on fabric – AND DID I EVER!!!!  I’m working on some summer outfits and bought enough fabric to make all my outfits – and then some!

Polyester/Lycra for a pair of leggings

Cotton/Spandex border fabric for a t-shirt dress.

 

This is a poly blend, I think I will make a dress with it, at $5.99 a yard it was hard to pass up.

The next day I had an afternoon class (wax canvas tote bag), so I planned to get there in plenty of time to do more shopping.  I bought the new Oliso iron –  both the full-size and the mini since they were on sale (Expo special)  My old iron was on it’s last leg so I feel like it was past time to get a new one!



I looked at sewing machines – this Tula Pink Special Edition Bernina is high on my wish list.

I would love to host another retreat, so I picked up retreat brochures to review for when that time comes.

Finally, I fell in love with this quilt and could not leave the Expo without purchasing the kit!  It was the only quilting related item I bought and I can’t wait to get started on it!

I throughly enjoyed myself this weekend!  I was completely in my element, being around and talking with people who love knitting, sewing and quilting as much as I do. It seemed everyone was happy to be there, and I met some very nice ladies in both of my classes … I’m SO glad I decided to go and am looking forward to going again next year.

 

Projects · sewing

A Scrap Quilt with Memories

Last year I was determined to finish up some UFO (UnFinished Objects) in my sewing room – including this scrap quilt made with scraps from quilts I’ve made in the past!

IMG_3002Quality quilting fabric is expensive so when I have any scraps left over from make a quilt I tuck them away.  I save extra blocks, fabric strips and scraps that are at least 2.5″ x 2.5″.

When I was ready to sew this quilt, I had enough scraps to make 64, 10″ x 10″ blocks.  After sewing all the blocks together I had a full sized quilt that holds a LOT of memories.

There are blocks from the (Storm at Sea) quilt I made my dad, one block from the tea cup quilt I started and quickly decided I didn’t have the patience for, blocks from my Tula Pink Butterfly quilt, and plenty of Sewtropolis shop samples!

I don’t know what I’ll do with this quilt yet.  I believe quilts are made to be used, but I love all the memories this one holds, so for now it’s sitting safely on a shelf in my sewing room.  

 

Projects · sewing

T-shirt Quilt: Part 2

I made another t-shirt quilt this week for a friend of mine’s daughter!

I love how this one turned out!  Once I had the t-shirts we scheduled a call to go over what her daughter wanted.  She pretty much left the design up to me, but knew that she wanted the borders to be a gray… and that she wanted the backing and binding to match.

Some of the shirts were smaller (child size) so I had to ‘build up’ some blocks to make them large enough.

When laying it out I thought it would be cute to have Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse looking out across the quilt to each other.

I quilting it using a longarm, and super fine thread that blends in so nicely with all the blocks.

Like I said, I’m really happy with the way this turned out.  this quilt is about 55″ x 55″ and I used about 15 t-shirts (a few front and back) to make it.  I have my listing up on Etsy if you’d like to your own t-shirt quilt.

Projects · sewing

Sample Seahawk T-Shirt Quilt

I posted earlier that I am taking custom orders for t-shirt quilts.  I’ve done a few in the past, but unfortunately didn’t have pictures of them to post on my Etsy site to ‘advertise’ my work.  Unfortunately, I don’t own a lot of graphic t-shirts … so I took a trip to Goodwill and picked up a few Seahawk t-shirts to make this Seahawk themed lap quilt.

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I think it turned out okay considering some of the t-shirts were “V” neck and I didn’t think of how hard it would be to ‘center’ in a block.  I also included some kid-sized t-shirts that needed some ‘building up’ to make the block larger.  The quilt measures 45″w x 50.5″ L … so not quite square, but plenty big for a lap quilt.

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I had the green fabric used in the sashing and the binding in my stash, and the Seattle/Seahawk themed blue fabric was purchased from JoAnns.

I’ve taken pictures and listed it on my Etsy store as an example of my work AND listed it for sale here.  As much as I like it, I have a house full of quilts and like I said – I’m determined to get out of debt.

Happy Sewing

 

Projects · sewing

Darning Socks, and a Saved Sweater

Even though I really like to knit socks – I don’t wear my handmade socks when I workout.  Instead, I buy store-bought socks which seem to last about a season, and as soon as they get a hole in them I toss them out.  A few months back I decided instead of wasting money (and creating waste) I was going to try darning (mending) my socks.

Darning a sock is not that hard… all you need is yarn (I used sock weight), a needle and a darning egg – or something to stretch the sock over while you mend it.

Before I bought a darning egg I used a tennis ball or one of the dogs Kong.  Both did the job, but they were not ideal.  I thought I would have a hard time finding a darning egg, but I found this one on Amazon for about $10. 

To mend the hole in my socks I stitched an outline around the hole in my sock, then created vertical/parallel stitches across the hole, and then ‘wove’ in the horizontal stitches.

This sock had a small hole – but I decided to darn a larger area because I felt that the smaller patch might bug me.  I’m glad I did because these are my most comfortable pair of socks now – there’s so much cushion in the foot bed!

I love that I extended the life of my socks (and made them even better).  Having one success, I decided to use the same technique to save a sweatshirt that I accidentally marked with a red ink pen.

I used two different colors of embroidery floss and created a hatched circle over the mark.  The sweater looked a little odd with just one circle so I added a few more.  Again, I think I made my sweater better (more fun) by ‘fixing’ it.  What do you think?

Happy Darning!

Adventures

Choosing To Go Gray

I’m choosing to let my hair go gray!  I have been dying it for as long as I can remember.  Initially it was to have some fun with it, a blond streak here, blond underneath and dark on top.  It was all in the name of having fun at first, but then somewhere along the line I started dying my hair to hide the grays – and that’s when the fun stopped.

I’ve realized there are SO many reasons to stop dying my hair:

  1. There are over 5,000 chemicals in hair dye, (according to the National Cancer Institute), and more than a few have been linked to cancer.
  2. Dying your hair dries it out!  I can vouch for that!!!  I hate having dry, brittle hair worse than having grays!
  3. It’s a colossal hit to the wallet!  Every time I get my hair done (cut and dyed) it costs me  $200-$300!  My last postwas about being debt free by the end of 2020, and spending $200-$300 every 6-8 weeks to dye my hair seems so insane given that goal!

Its been about 8 weeks since I last dyed my hair.  Normally I’d be itching to do a root touch-up, but I’m done!  I’m joining all those brave women of a certain age who have paved the road before me.  People like Alexandra Grant (Keanu Reeves girlfriend).  People either loved or hated her hair…  personally I love it! (and her boyfriend too)

OIP.DaruMwfvbRHzTZOXxlUNHAHaGx

Truth be told, I don’t have THAT many grays given my age, but I’m done trying to hide them.  I think it helps that silver hair is the IN shade for 2020.  I’ve seriously considered taking the plunge and dying it all silver …. but I’ve been dissuaded by more than one hair dresser from doing that.  In all honesty I like the thought of going cold turkey from the dye box – it seems like a more natural way to go.

So with that said, this is what my hair looks like today:

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See my glitter???

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I’m feeling pretty good about this decision, and I’m looking forward to how my hair will look by the end of 2020.

Happy Sewing

 

sewing

Looking at 2020 Goals

Last week I told you about one of my goals for 2020: obtaining my Greek citizenship.  Another one of my goals is to get out of debt!  I will admit that I am one of the 169 millions of American’s who holds debt – and I hate it!  I was a pretty good money manager, up until about the time I opened my business.  I said it before and I’ll say it again:  I loved owning my own business, but man did it take a toll on me… physically, mentally and especially financially.

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I have no regrets – and I take full ownership of my debt.  I’ve been pretty steady with clawing my way out, but I am at a point where I want to claw my way out faster!  I think it was Suze Orman who said “Debt is Bondage” and man is that TRUE!!!  It’s been hanging onto me for too long now and it’s time to break free!

Dave Ramsey suggests that to help pay off debt one should get a side-gig.  So I make quilts… and sometimes I sell quilts.  I watch dogs via Rover.com – and that is fun, but during the winter months there just isn’t a lot of people traveling.  (no cash flow).

I am currently working on a t-shirt quilt for my brother and he is SO happy with it that he suggested I make custom quilts for people as a side-gig.  I typically don’t like to do custom work for people – after all I have enough projects of my own… but then I think “Debt is bondage – get your priorities straight!”

So I’ve added “Custom made T-shirts” to my Etsy store.  I’ve made each of my kids their own t-shirt quilt.. but I added lots of other stuff to ‘fill in the gaps”, so they are more of a memory quilt than a t-shirt quilt.

Drew's quiltDion's quilt

I also made my brother his quilt – he just wanted all his shirts sewn together – no sashing or extra stuff.  (my brother has ‘unique’ tastes in t-shirts).

Sam's quiltAnd, I can also do a t-shirt quilt that has sashing… I just don’t have a good photo of that style (but you can bet I’ll be working on one).

My debt is pretty large, but my determination to get out of it is even larger.  I’m curious to know what your side-gig is if you are also digging yourself out of debt.  In the meantime, feel free to contact me if you want a t-shirt quilt done… or know anyone who may.

Happy Sewing