Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Christmas Sewing

I have not really had loads of time to sew lately.  
I'm not sure what I have been doing but I am busy, LOL.  
I finished a cute piece for a friend and I will show that now. 
 It is a surprise for her but since she is not expecting anything she won't realize it is for her, LOL .
 I am calling it a wine mat.  
I hand quilted around the dragon using 6 strands of embroidery floss and 
did straight line quilting using the machine. 
 I am really pleased with the result and hope she likes him too. 
If you click on the photo you should be able to see him larger and 
notice the "eye" placement of fabric.


A friend from IG sent me this amazing Unicorn Thread Gloss.  
You guys, you really need to go to Robot Mom Sews shop and buy some.  
You pull your thread through it and the thread doesn't tangle when you sew with it for hand sewing.  
I used it for my binding thread.  
I happened to use Gutterman thread for this binding.  
It is NOT my favorite hand thread but the color matched.  
Using the thread gloss was a total game changer. 
 No more tangles!


I have three Christmas stockings to make and thought I would see if I could make one last weekend.  My hope was to get the pieced front made, which I did.


Then I decided to "go for it" and actually got the whole stocking made (sans the name).  
I had to print the name out on my computer from work as my home computer doesn't have that font.  I have finished this one and put it in the mail.  
I can't show the name just yet, but soon.


Hubby has been continuing the cleaning and has gotten our family room all cleaned up.  
We might even be able to get it painted before Christmas!!!  
Maybe. 
 This means all the junk that was in that room is now in my living room and must be dealt with. 
My plan for the weekend is to get the living room cleaned up so we can decorate for Christmas the next weekend (after Thanksgiving) and 
also get the upstairs guest room tidied up for my friend, Sue's visit in 2 weeks. 
 So I don't anticipate much sewing over the next few weeks.  

I am leaving on a quilt retreat to California on Dec 5th so there are supplies that I need for that also.

So much to do!

Are you all ready to decorate for Christmas?  Shopping done?  Tips you can share??

~XOP~


Monday, November 11, 2019

Weekend Chatter

I had a really great weekend.  
I got a lot of cleaning and meal prep done in the house on Saturday.  
I spent most of the morning cleaning out the canned good pantry.  
I took everything out of the cupboard, cleaned all the shelves, tossed out all expired food and put everything back inside grouped by what they were.  
I also used a marker to put the expiration on all the canned goods.  
That way if there were 2 cans of the same thing I would know to use the oldest one first.  
I know there is Spam in there but hubby loves it, HAHA.


On Sunday I cleaned some in my sewing room and 
made the binding for the purple quilt you see in the background.  
As you can see Finn was hard at work "helping".


Then I set to work on another paper pieced project I need to make for a friend.  
She doesn't read this so I feel confident showing you this sneak peek.  
As you can see, Cole was holding down the dragon so it could not fly away.  


Cats are such big helpers in the sewing room, aren't they?
Most of the weekend was spent either cleaning, running errands, cooking or sewing.  
I LOVE these kind of weekends!  I can't wait to retire and do this full time!  

Hope you all had a great weekend too!

~XOP~


Friday, November 08, 2019

Friday Chat

I have a little bit of this and a little bit of that to catch you up with.  
We are all settling back into a normal routine now that Finn is home. 
 He and Cole and he and Chris are setting in to their old routines.


On top of this, I trimmed up the Shooting Stars quilt, with some help of course.


I don't think I have shared this quilt yet either.  
I need to get the binding on it but it has been quilted and will be gifted at Christmas time.  
The intended person has no idea I have been making a quilt for them but I don't think 
I will share the quilt until it is gifted.  

I volunteered to do some pattern testing (I know, I know, I shouldn't be taking on one more thing!).  
I did it anyway, so there's that.

One "in progress" shot and one of it all finished. 
 I'm trying to decide if I should try to make the whole quilt or just make this into a pillow. 
 I am leaning toward the pillow. 
Thoughts?


I have also been making major dietary changes in my life.  
I have switched over to a Keto way of eating (WOE).  
It has taken a lot of work to change over what is in my pantry. 
 I have had to find recipes to substitute into my menu that will fit this new WOE. 
 It has taken a bit of my time as more meal prep is required. 
I am actually enjoying it now and I feel a lot better with lower carbohydrates on board.  
I have also lost some more weight. 
 I would say I have about 15 pounds left to lose.  
Since the wedding is over there is no particular hurry now though.  

I found a great coconut flour zucchini fritter recipe and adapted to make it in my mini waffle maker.  It was so good!


I made some Maple French Toast bagels too and they were SO good!  
I mistaked and made 6 when I should have made 12 but they are delicious anyway.


Are keto recipes anything you would be interested in reading about? 
I will probably be posting some of my newfound recipes.

So this is what seems to be taking up most of my time lately. 
 I have a few "have to" things to make between now and Christmas.  
Next up will be my swap gift for the Sew Beachy retreat in the beginning of December and binding the quilt I showed a sneak peek of above.  
Then 3 Christmas stockings.  

Life is good and I am happy to have my Finn home.  
Cole is my cat though and is never far from me.  
The other day he brought me his ball (into the sewing room) 
for me to throw so he could fetch it back to me.  


Have a great weekend and wish me luck with my upcoming projects!

~XOP~

Monday, November 04, 2019

Finn Update. HE IS HOME!!!



On Saturday, 5 days after he went missing, our Finn is finally home.  
I got up on Saturday am feeling very depressed. 
 I went to the crazy cat house at the end of our street hoping maybe Finn had found his way to that house since she leaves out food and water and shelters for our local stray cat population. 
 No luck. 
 Later in the morning, a man called.  
He was walking his dog and thought he had seen Finn. 
 I RAN to where he was but no cat.  
Then he told me it might have been a gray long hair cat. 
 There is a long hair gray cat in the area that we see from time to time too.  
A previous young man had told me he had seen Finn and his mom messaged me the address,
 so I walked over to where that was.  
I skulked about back yards calling but again, no luck.  
I did stop and hand out a flyer and the neighbor told me that it was probably the long hair gray cat that lives across the street.  
Whelp, now I know where that cat lives!  
I walked home. 
I stopped at the cat lady's house again and then went tromping through the woods, 
calling Finn the whole time.  
Nope.  

Chris had been at our church working and called to say he would be home soon.  
He got home and wanted to go out and do something. 
 I didn't feel like doing anything but thought I should probably get out of the house. 
 Every time I did anything that gave me joy I felt guilty, like I should be out looking for the cat. 
 I checked the cat lady's house one more time, then we went to the apple orchard. 
 It was so cold and rainy!  
All I could think about was how miserable Finn would be in that weather.

We got home and I puttered around, and we turned on the Hallmark channel. 
 We both love the Christmas shows.  
A new show was on at 8pm, so we settled in to watch.  
After just a little while, Chris shouts out my name, "PAM,  FINNY IS ON THE DECK!"  
I jumped up ran to put my boots and coat on and headed out the door.  
It spooked him when we got up as he could see in our door. 
So the hunt with flashlights was on.  
I went back inside to get a food container and some wet food and his dishes.  
By the time I got back outside Chris was (angrily) shouting my name again.  
I think he had been trying to draw my attention but I had gone back inside for the food.  
He shouted, "He's on the front porch!"

I went around the house in the opposite direction from Chris and there he was.  
Sitting on the bricks meowing VERY loudly at me but not moving.  
I slowly approached him, talking softly the whole time, with tears running down my cheeks.  GRAB!!!  I had him in my arms!!  
His eyes were as big as saucers and he was hissing at me, but he was home!


I took him inside and Chris got some wet food in a dish for him, which he greedily wolfed down.
He was no worse for the wear though.  
PHEW!  
He was very jumpy and walked around checking everything out. 
Meowing the whole time.  He eventually settled down and could not stop purring.  

I want to say that on Friday, I said a rosary asking our blessed Mother to guide Finn home. 
 I promised to say a rosary every day forever if she brought him home. 
 Totally worth it!  
I am so grateful for her divine assistance.

Chris and I want to thank EVERYONE that said a prayer, sent good thoughts, handed out flyers, went looking or offered to come over and help us look and just provided positive moral support. 
Our blessed Mother sent Finn home to us and for that we are eternally grateful! 
I have no words to express our gratitude to each and every one of you! 
THANK YOU!! 



Cole is still not sure it's his brother and alternates bathing him and hissing at him.  
Hopefully that rift mends quickly.  I alternated between crying and cuddling for the rest of the night.  


Our Finny is HOME and once again all is right with the world!  

~XOP~


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Finn Is Missing

On Monday night my husband had our cat Finn outside with him, 
but not on a leash and now he is gone.  
We are heartbroken.  
He thought the cat would come to him when he called but he did not.  
We have looked all over our neighborhood and the next door neighborhoods, handed out flyers, gone searching in the woods, put up posts of FB, For Love of Louie, Humane society, Nextdoor and several FB buy and sell local groups. 
 I have reported him as lost to our microchip company and the Humane Society 
(they have a board where you can post lost pets, this way they also know if someone turns them in).  We were out calling for several hours last night.  
I put out his litter box, his pillow, food and clothes of ours. 
It is getting cold here and I am so worried about my poor baby.  

I realize there is nothing you all can do as most of you live far from me but maybe you can offer up a prayer for a safe return of Finn to our home.  
I know my husband feels awful about it. 
 He and Finn are best friends. 
 This is the first cat that has totally bonded with him. 
 I don't think he understood that cats don't act like dogs as
 all our other cats would come back when called.  
Please keep Finn and us in your prayers. 
 I miss that little fuzzball SO much and am hoping he is in a home somewhere and that they will take him somewhere where they can read his chip and get him home.








Finny, please come home.  Your family misses you so much!

~XOP~


Monday, October 21, 2019

Another Chenille Blanket

Good morning friends!  I hope you all had a good weekend.  
I went to the new owner classes for my new Bernina this weekend.  
It was all a little overwhelming to be honest. 
 I learned so much and realize I have so much more to work on, LOL.  
I asked my husband to attend the embroidery class too so he would know how to use it.  
He seems really interested in that part of the machine.  
He did come and I think he has a new appreciation for my sewing and for these machines too.  
My knee lifter is not lowering the foot like it should so I left her there for Jay to look at for me.  
I hope it is nothing too serious 
(being brand new I think it should all work, am I right??)

So moving on, I did sew a chenille blanket for a friend that is having a baby. 
Let me tell you what, sewing this on the new machine was AMAZING!!  
I already told you all that though, didn't I?

Supplies:

one yard of a cute printed cotton woven fabric
2 yards each of 2 different colored flannels 
(you will cut into 4 one yard cuts, 2 of one color and 2 of the other color)

Here are some of the steps:
It all begins with sewing the lines.  
I use masking tape to make a diagonal line corner to corner, then stitch down one side as a guide. 
 I then use my walking foot with the guide to continue to sew lines 5/8" apart 
until the whole blanket is covered in lines.  


This next step is quite tedious, 
but you cut down the channel of each line until all the channels are cut apart.  


As you can see, I only cut the top 3 layers of flannel.  
I do NOT cut through the layer of flannel that is next to the back side (the colorful print).  
Leaving this layer intact, makes the blanket more stable.  
Also, I have started using spray baste to baste the layers together.  
I spray all the layers EXCEPT one.  
I do NOT spray between the first and second layer of the flannel as this is where you have to cut.  
I did spray all the layers one time. 
 Yeah, and it made it MUCH more difficult to cut.  
Just learn from my mistake and don't do that!  

So like this:
Print-->baste-->1st flannel-->NO BASTE-->2nd flannel-->baste-->3rd flannel-->baste-->4th flannel.
I hope this makes it clear how to baste and layer. 
 Ask me if you have any questions.  Also, there is a tutorial link in my header.  


The next step is to square up your blanket.  
I fold once width wise and trim, then refold length wise and trim.  
Once it is squared up you need to put the binding on.  
I put it on by machine.  
I don't usually do this for my quilts, but these will see a lot of washing (potentially).  
Additionally, it makes this step go more quickly. 
 I have found using Elmer's washable school glue to put the binding in place
makes the machine stitching so fast!


Now you are ready for the magic!
Toss the blanket into the washer then the dryer and voila!
You now have an amazing fuzzy chenille blanket.


Isn't this so cute??  
It is also so easy!  
These are great shower gifts or easy baby gifts.  
I use the cheap flannel from Joann Fabrics and they work great.  
I have been trying to use up some of the novelty prints I have in my stash and 
make these with what I have.  
I usually end up purchasing some flannel though so watch for that to go on sale.  
I bring the print fabric with me so I can match the flannel colors.  
I like to get 2 yards of 2 colors and alternate.  
I have done lots of different color ways and found I like this one the best.  
I like the way the "chenille" looks, and when I go to cut the 3 layers I can tell 
(because the bottom layer is a different color) 
where to cut and where NOT to cut.  

This little Nemo blanket is ready for me to gift.  
I need to go and buy a gift bag tonight so I can gift it tomorrow.  
I would love to hear from you if you have tried one of these blankets or
 if you are interested in trying the technique.

Have a great Monday!

~XOP~