Thursday, April 18, 2013

Life on Hold

My last post was last week for the "April Showers" blog hop and about the time my day was over with, I came down with something! At first I just thought I was having a major allergy attack (never have before) but then whatever it was morphed into a REALLY bad cold--the kind where you can hardly keep your eyes open, they're tearing up so badly. And the unfortunate thing is that my loyal sidekick, Laura, came down with it too. She just seems to be bouncing back quicker than I am! I actually was able to do some sewing earlier in the week, but you know you're sick if you don't even want to visit your quilt studio!

I have high hopes that tomorrow will be a better day and regardless, I intend to "act as if"--I've found that when I'm not feeling good, but when I'm not REALLY sick--I can "act as if" I'm feeling okay and eventually, I'm not feeling too bad. So let's hope it works!

Nowadays it seems as if my quilting activity has been simply planning and working on projects for one blog hop after another. Next week will be the "Shake Your Pom Poms" blog hop and then two weeks after that will be the "For the Birds" blog hop. Like some crazy person, I signed up for both! I've decide that for the next while, I'm not going to actively participate in any of the blog hops, but instead, I'll be working on other projects that I've hoped to accomplish. And there are PLENTY of those to keep me busy!

Last Saturday I decided that I would help Laura put together the "Sonoma Swing Bag" that we had bought the pattern for. It looked relatively simple and I thought it might be something she could do. The first part of it was sewing together 2.5-inch strips and Laura's done plenty of that, so no problems there. I cut the pieces, she sewed them and pressed them and I cut some more.

The first challenge came when it was time to quilt the front and back piece. I had ironed the fleece to that section and then found a walking foot for Laura's sewing machine. In the past she's only sewn 1/4-inch seams, but this seemed to be a good opportunity to learn something different. I used those Frixion markers and drew lines for the quilting and showed Laura how to sew on the lines.

She seemed to do okay until she wanted to adjust something--for some reason she doesn't stop, she just keeps sewing as she moves her hands to a different position or makes other adjustments and then she veers WAY off the drawn line. We're going to have to work a bit more on stopping frequently while you sew! Laura had to do a bit of ripping, but she seemed to be okay with that when she saw how far off the line she was--at least she understands that the stitching is SUPPOSED to be on the line!

The other challenge was that she wanted to make the whole thing by herself! Uh, no! In the picture above she's holding the strap after she'd topstitched it. Again, I drew lines and she sewed on them. I hovered quite a bit while she sewed the strap, since a little veering could take her right off the fabric! But she actually did much better.

There's a pocket on the inside and one on the outside and she topstitched those in place too--again with lots of hovering and guidance from Mom! Fortunately, at that point, my husband was ready to go to the airport to pick up our youngest daughter, on break between semesters at BYU-Idaho. Laura was going with him and happy to leave to be able to see her sister again. And I was happy to be able to finish the bag by myself--especially when it came time to install the zipper! I'm not quite ready for Laura to be tackling THAT kind of a task!

Here's the finished bag--the pocket on the front was supposed to coordinate with the center fabrics, but I didn't catch that when I gave it to Laura to sew together. It turned out really cute and it's just the right size to hold her Kindle. And she's so proud of herself for having made it!

While Laura was quilting her bag, I was quilting the cover for my mixer. I discovered that the background fabric (the yellow) wasn't the same as my coordinating wall-hanging, but it's close enough that it doesn't really matter. I paper pieced another apple and centered it on the front of the fabric before I cut it. Overall, I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

I've been doing some other paper-pieced projects and I plan to blog about those in a few days--I've been learning a LOT about paper-piecing as I've done these projects and I intend to share some of what I've discovered. Hopefully my ideas may be of benefit to someone else.

Meanwhile, I've also been busy working on some projects for the Pompom blog hop, so check back here next Thursday when it will be my day for the Hop.

It's late tonight and I'm heading for bed, but there should be plenty of time to "Get More Done...Tomorrow!"


  1. I'm sorry you've been poorly, and hope that both you and Laura are well on the road to a full recovery. I really admire your patience teaching Laura to sew. she always looks so happy in your photos.

  2. Sorry to hear you and Laura came down with the crud but am glad you are both getting better. Love Laura's bag and I think it turned out really cute. Guess I need to make a cover for my mixer as now I feel guilty about not having one. Have a great weekend and look forward to seeing your creation in the hop next week.

  3. Getting sick is terrible...I try to avoid it but it finds us doesn't it....Glad to hear Laura is just loving the quilting world and all it has to lovely she looks in her new headband too....listen I hope you don't stay away from all of our blog are a lovely asset with your beautiful projects ...