Friday, March 23, 2018

It's Spring!

It is finally spring here in North Carolina although the temperatures are staying on the cool side.  Trees are budding and allergy season is in full swing.  We have had a lot of rain lately which has really helped to wash away the pollen but I see pools of yellow on the sidewalk when I walk Mason (our Springer Spaniel).

So it has been awhile since I have posted, and honestly, I have questioned as to whether or not I want to continue blogging.  I have to decided to try and become more organized and more intentional with my posting on my blog, Facebook and Pinterest.  I wrote a weekly schedule for myself on when to post and ideas on what to post so we will see how it goes and if I can keep up with it.

Here is what I have been working on this past week...

I have been able to resume my sewing for charity.  I had taken some time off due to life just getting in the way and some of the medical issues that popped up last year for our family. I missed sewing these sweet little items. Here are some pillowcases that I made for  The group provides the flannel and I just saw them together. They provide sunshine boxes to those starting chemo treatments in Charlotte.

I was also able to make it to the most recent Charlotte Threads of Love meeting in Concord and drop off some finished items and pick up some to work on.  They make and deliver to local hospitals for NICU babies.  My girls were NICU babies for 5 and 6 weeks so this one is near and dear to my heart.  I have little blankets and snugglies (positioning aids) to work on.  

I also had the opportunity to make a Minnie catheter bag cover for a special little girl on the west coast.  I don't normally carry licensed fabrics in my Etsy shop but when a mom makes a special request, I do purchase the fabric as a custom order only.  She also ordered a cat catheter bag cover as well.  I hope she loves them!

I was able to get closer to my goal this week of having 30 items listed in my Etsy shop.  I added some  catheter tubing covers as single listings.  I sometimes have fabric left over and can't make a bag cover  but I can make tubing cover so I will be listing them.  Here are a couple of tubing covers that are in the shop now.  They are 42" long and have Velcro strips all along the edge for easy on and off.  I can also make them in different lengths as well.

I also added some some wheelchair/walker bags to the shop as well.  I had sold out of the larger ones during the holidays and had trouble re-stocking the shop and keeping it stocked.  I just love making these bags and seeing how the color combinations work out.  They also work for use on a stroller as well to keep things like a pacifier or sippy cup handy.

Off to start another weekend!  We are into watching the NCAA Men's Basketball March Madness and this is a great weekend for that.  Other than that, hopefully a relaxing and low key weekend!  What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

End of Year Thoughts and the Holidays

Well, as usual, the holidays went by fast and furious!  We have teenaged girls now so we tried to simply our gift giving and instead do more special outings with them.  We usually spend a week in upstate NY visiting both sets of our parents and decided to also throw in a couple of days in NYC so that our girls could get their first taste of the city.

Both of them LOVED it despite it being very cold.  The weather limited our sight seeing a bit but we were able to get in some of the sights near Times Square where we stayed.

Of course we went to Rockefeller Plaza.....

St. Patricks Cathedral........

And stopped at West Point on our way out of town.

We also went to NYU and the Strand Bookstore (for our daughter Lauren) along with countless stores and shops.  It was truly a beautiful sight to see NYC all decorated for Christmas.  We plan on going back when the weather is a little warmer to see even more.  The girls realized that we saw very little of the city compared to how big it really is.  Next week, we go on another special trip but more on that later. =)

As for sewing, I closed the Etsy shop on December 15th to take a break for Christmas and I re-opened it this week.  Last year was a great year for the shop with better photos thanks to my friend Cathy who was able to provide me with some needed props to show the true size of the catheter bag covers and the wheelchair bags.  I really believe those new photos were a game changer in the shop and helped to increase sales of the bags to folks who truly can use them.

Currently, I am working on restocking the shop and also doing year end inventory.  I dread doing inventory but am trying to do it in little blocks so it doesn't completely get me down. Inventory is done for tax purposes when you have items on hand that you make items from.  So yes, I have to count all of my fabric (which is a lot), my velcro, and metal hardware that goes into my bags and then record it.  Oh well.  It will get done.  Eventually.  Before I have to hand in my taxes.

Off to keep counting and working!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Chain Piecing

Do know what it means to "chain piece"?

This is a term most often used by quilters when they have lots of sets of squares or other shapes to sew together. I actually am making fabric snowballs today and I chain pieced my fabric as I was sewing.  Here is how it works so you can see if it might work for you in an upcoming project.

I have several sets of white fleece snowball sections to sew together using 1/4" seam allowance.  I put my 1/4" foot on my sewing machine to make this process even easier.

First, I sew the first two fleece sections together. When I am done sewing, I pull out the pieces a little ways from the machine but I DON'T CUT THE THREAD.  I then feed the next set of fleece pieces through the machine, pull them out maybe an inch and then start sewing the next set.

Do you see where I am going with this?

So by the end, I have a chain of fleece pieces and all I have to do and snip the threads in between the fabric pieces.  

Now time to move on to the next step!  I will keep you posted on how these turn out.  I have to embroider their faces on before sewing the snowballs together.

Note: Snowball pattern and design is from Embroidery Garden

Saturday, July 1, 2017

A New Month

I apologize for not posting in quite some time.  Obviously, time has gotten away from me!

These past couple of weeks have been unusual ones.  On Monday morning 6/19, things started off pretty normal with me taking our older twin daughter to the orthodontist.  But by the time we got back home, my younger twin daughter was complaining of not feeling well.  I made a sick visit appt. with her pediatrician for later that day but she kept feeling worse as the day went on, with severe abdominal pain.  She was in tears and in pain and her symptoms sounded eerily similar to when my husband had appendicitis after we were married.

So my husband and I decided a trip to the ER was needed.  I drove her to the ER in our town of Matthews but as soon as she got into the car and moving, she began to vomit.  My husband met us at the ER which was very helpful.  Little did I know that the ER was completely FULL that day with many sitting in the waiting room still.  She was still vomiting and in tears sitting there when an ER employee came out and said that the ER is full and that they were doing their best to try and get folks into rooms.  We decided to sign her out of that ER, put her back in the car, and drive her to uptown Charlotte to the Novant Health Hemby Children's ER.  Best decision that we could have made for her.

Upon arriving at Hemby, there was no wait so the staff got her right into a room. She had stopped vomiting by this point but they immediately gave her meds to help with the nausea.  They then started an IV and gave her pain meds.  Their plan was to do an ultrasound and check her appendix and ovaries to see if either were causing the pain.  The ER doctor was so good with her and explained everything thoroughly.  They had done bloodwork at the first ER we went to and he was able to get those results to help with his diagnosis.

Because she had not had anything to eat or drink since the day before, they gave her most of the IV bag of fluids to fill her bladder to help with the ultrasound.  When she was ready, we were off to ultrasound.  They were looking at both her ovaries and her appendix to try and locate the cause of all of her pain.  She was in better spirits then as the pain meds and anti-nausea drug had set in.  By the time we got back to her room in the ER, the doctor was in explaining that radiology had already determined that it was in fact appendicitis and that he had called the pediatric surgeon to come in.

This surgery was going to happen in a couple of hours and our other twin daughter was still at home waiting to hear on her sister.  Our sweet neighbor offered to bring her up to us and buy her dinner at Chick-Fil-A which made her feel better about the situation.  She was able to talk to her sister on the phone beforehand and I think it made both girls feel better.  Lauren was not able to join us at the hospital until Emma was already in surgery. Preparations for the surgery moved quickly there.

Our daughter ended up coming home from the hospital the next day.  They kept her overnight which I was thankful for since her surgery wasn't until late evening. My husband spent the night with her there.  She has recovered well but it has taken her a few days to feel like herself again and do normal things.

Hopefully July will not be as dramatic but we are thankful for what Novant Hemby Children's Hospital did for Emma in making a scary situation for a 14 yr old, a smooth and seamless process.  They were all in the right place for us when we needed them.  Next week, we go back to see the pediatric surgeon and get the final okay for her to resume all activities.  I definitely think she is ready!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bridal Gift Set

Last Sunday evening, my twin girls and I attended a bridal shower for a sweet girl who is getting married in May.  She is a young lady who was in our College and Career Class at church when my husband and I helped with leading/teaching the class.  We are so sad to have to miss the wedding as our niece is getting married the same day but we really enjoyed spending time with her at her shower!

I decided to put together a gift set for the "bride to be" with all sewn items.  My one daughter and I picked out the fabric together and she even made the card to give with the gift.

The first item is a half apron with a pocket.  I have used this TUTORIAL from Fort Worth Fabric Studio before and really enjoyed sewing it so I used it again.  I loved how it turned out!

It is a lined apron and it is also reversible.  

The next item that I made was microwavable bowl holders.  These are all cotton fabric, thread and a special batting on the inside call Wrap and Zap made especially for use in the microwave so it won't catch on fire.  You can put your bowl of leftovers, oatmeal, etc. in the holder and then put it in the microwave so that when you take it out, it won't burn your hands to do so!  I used this TUTORIAL by Happy Hours Stitches to make mine.  I made one using 12" squares and the smaller one with 10" fabric squares. This is also my favorite hostess gift to give.  These are also reversible.

Lastly, I made a set of pot pinchers/potholders.  For these I used a layer of cotton batting on the inside AND a layer of Insulbright which helps to protect against the heat.  I used this TUTORIAL from Sew Can She but made a couple of minor changes.  I didn't make mine from patchwork pieces...I used solid pieces of fabric and I made mine a little smaller.  I used my copier to reduce the size down to 78% of the original pattern pieces and it was perfect.  If you like bigger potholders, then it will be perfect as is.

What the other side looks like.....

I hope she enjoys making meals with them for herself and her new husband!

Do you have something that you always like to give for bridal showers? I would love to hear what your favorite things are!