Woo Hoo! Look at me go!

I finished my practice quilt. It isn’t pretty but it is functional. Perfect for times a blanket is needed but not a good time for a nice one (picnics, bonfires, children eating Cheesies….)

There were some definite mistakes but I learned a lot. The biggest things I learned are: I can’t cut straight lines with a dull rotary blade and short rulers and my dining room table taught me my Dollar Store glue mat doesn’t work as a cutting mat…

Here it is. Loud and proud! (Those prone to seizures may want to put on sunglasses!)


I did get a good start on the tie pencil cases for my seniors. I just need to put in some button holes and they will be done. I’ve also deconstructed most of my stash of ties but I still haven’t decided if they will be quilt blocks, another longer skirt, a quilted bag, a coat of many colors….

I also got a start on my next quilt. I wish I could say I didn’t buy more fabric…I used my stash but that would be a bold faced lie!

I decided to try the economy block. Very Victorian! The fabric is not!

The skills I wanted to learn this time around is fussy cutting and using triangle pieces. The fussy cutting is selecting certain parts of a fabric print and cutting around to make a piece. And just like in costume sewing, cutting across the bias in a triangle gives that edge a certain amount of give that can mess up a seam if pulled to tight. I also wanted to not chop off the corners of the mermaid square with the blue bubble pieces. I did not bad with all three challenges and I improved with each block since this first one was made.

Creative juices flow some more

In my previous posts, I explained that I had finished a baby sweater and that made me want to start a new project….a pencil holder made from ties for my seniors at work. Good thing I want it for around Father’s Day because the route there has been convoluted!

I finished fixing some broken jewelry and updated some of my chatelaines for my costuming.

That made it so I could clear off my craft table to make room for my sewing machine. While browsing how to videos for the pencil cases and sorting through the ties I picked up I got hooked on the idea of a skirt made from ties. Got that done but still hadn’t made the pencil cases.

While watching those how to videos, I saw one where they made a quilt using the ties. I thought that sounded like fun…especially now that I had a mountain of ties to work with. But I thought I should try quilting with cotton first before I tackle slippery ties. But I had no desire to go through my fabric stash nor the desire to start hacking up fabric I like for a project that may bomb colossally. I also had no desire to head to the fabric store and buy beautiful expensive fabric for the same reasons.

So I went to the store I casually refer to as Wally World and found some butt ugly stuff that did not hurt me to cut up or possibly mangle. I did a nice job cutting and piecing so quilting was next. I wanted to try a technique referred to as quilt as you go. That is a good system if you intend to machine quilt and don’t have a lot of room to be trying to quilt an entire blanket.

Enter fear, OCD and ideas…again. The fear was messing up the quilting part. The OCD part was looking at the scraps left over from the blocks…I hate left overs. And the ideas part was looking at the quilt pieces and seeing another way they could be sewn together. Soooooo….I set aside the nicely done squares and hacked apart the scraps in a haphazard way and pieced them (sloppily) together. Then I took some fleece and and black fabric from my stash and attempted quilt as you go. It was easier than I thought but I did learn a couple things with the trial run. I’m glad I did it. It kept the scraps OUT of my stash. It burned through some of the stuff IN my stash. And I ended up with a kind of spring themed wall hanging or table runner that will work nicely at work

Certainly not a lovely object but that wasn’t the goal. The goal was practicing a new skill to see if I liked it before I made a more sincere attempt. But the pencil cases still aren’t done.

Creative Journey

As you may recall, last week I shared that I had wanted to make a small gift for my seniors at work using old men’s ties. But to do that I had to clear off my craft table and that lead to completing two chatelaines for my costuming (will we ever be able to do that again?)

The desk was cleared off and I headed out to the thrift store and found bags with 10 ties for $2. Steal of a deal. I dragged them home and sorted. Some of them were quite lovely…especially the ones in the purple tones. Hmmmm. There was this video of how to make a skirt using old ties…. I resisted the urge for a bit but I kept finding more and more how-to videos for tie skirts and the purple ones were so pretty…. But there wasn’t enough to make a skirt. Back to the thrift store. I had to buy several of these bags to get enough purple ones to make a skirt. Tada! It is done!

Knee length in purple tones with a purple tie and button for the waist band.
Back view.

So the skirt is done. The gifts still aren’t made and I now have a mountain of old ties! Hahaha! Next week I will tell you what I did with those old ties.

Creative juices flowing again!

Getting that baby sweater done seems to have unblocked my creative juices and I have been creating (and finishing) different things.

It started with a sewing project that I wanted to make for my seniors at work….a pencil/glasses case made from old men’s ties. (I told my mom this and after she heard “made from old men’s thighs” we agreed she needed to turn her phone volume up a tad.)

But first I had to clean off my crafting table which was full of jewelry making supplies that I was using to fix some of my old broken jewelry. I finished fixing the broken stuff and I also wanted to shorten the chatelaine I had made ages ago as it just seemed too long. Done!

I’m not completely happy with the two cameos. I may ditch the top one but that means I need to attach some sort of pin on the second one. The second one is the one with the holes that the chains can hang from.

Done enough for now. This chatelaine is not one I’m likely to use often as it is a sewing one and a lady wouldn’t have worn that one out of the house.

I fixed up the main one I have been using for years. I added some things to it and changed the pin at the top. The pin isn’t ideal…too modern looking but it will do.

From left to right: a locket, match holder, keys and magnifying glass.

Next post will be about the skirt I finished.

A little costume alteration

I don’t sew for others. I have too much anxiety about botching the job in terms of fit or the other person’s vision or the other person’s vision goes against my taste. Example: I want this gown and I want it in hot pink with neon green trim. Eww…

But I did go outside my comfort zone and altered an already existing costume. It was the uniform in this photo…

It no longer fit and so she wanted it enlarged. She had a pair of pants (that also no longer fit) so I was able to use those to enlarge the jacket.

Almost can’t see it!

It turned out well!

Completed project

I made a gift for a friend. I’m hoping to hang onto it till Christmas but I am so pleased with it, I might not be able to wait. Don’t worry, she doesn’t read my blog so no spoilers.

I got the idea and instructions from this YouTube video: scrapbook ideas | how to make 7 different cards for scrapbook | diy scrapbook

I think it is so pretty!

Instead of filling it with photos, I filled it with quotes about friendship.

More Masks

I send activity care packages, weekly, to my seniors in my club. (COVID has shut down the club I work in). This week, I decided to get them ready for the second wave. (Our first wave has been easy breezy…I think our luck will run out soon).

It is a nice place to sew! HUGE table. Lots of natural light. I wish it was my sewing room at home!

I hauled my machine to work and emptied out my stash a bit and got sewing.

Once they were all sewed up I got them ready for mailing.

I think they turned pretty well. There was some fun fabric that I hope will encourage them to use them when they are out on the town.

Stay safe folks.

Sun catchers

I mail little gifts and puzzles and reading materials to the seniors I work with as they isolate at home. These were fun but a bit stinky (toxic?)

I preheated my oven to 350°. Then I lined muffin tins with parchment paper. I assembled plastic faceted beads in each cup and heated for 18 minutes. I settled on 18 minutes because at 20 minutes they were melted to the point I need to drill holes. At 18 minutes there are the odd holes for strings.

I took them out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. They popped out of the pan easily. Then I pealed the parchment paper off.

I gathered the info for this project over several easy to find sites and YouTube videos. Some did the same procedure with pony beads, some used cake pans, some used higher heat.

I’d recommend 350°, lots of ventilation and checking the project in the oven every 5-10 minutes as different ovens, project sizes, bead brands and desired effect will effect the results.