Comfort Cases

I recently came across a Facebook post about a charitable organization out of Maryland called Comfort Cases.  Comfort Cases was started by a couple of foster parents who were dismayed to see children toting their worldly possessions in trash bags.  Seeing a need, they stepped up and Comfort Cases was born.

What is a Comfort Case?  

It’s a backpack filled with a pair of pjs, toiletries, a small stuffed toy and a blanket.  No longer do these kids have to tote their belongings in a garbage sack.  

I gazed at my fabric stash and thought well, heck, I can sew a straight seam!  Full disclosure: I started out with just no-sew fleece blankets that I clipped around the edges, but I do so love the softness of flannel.  And so I spent an afternoon cutting out flannel (45×60 is the finished size that fits well in the backpack).  Y’all I haven’t even made a dent in the stash, but this is fun.  And for a good cause!




I thought about doing small quilts, but worried with batting, they’d be too bulky for the backpacks.  Even the fleece ones are a little iffy, but the flannel is perfect.

Today’s my day off and after lunch with The Diva (I was INVITED, y’all!) I’m back at my machine.


I finished this sweet one this morning between running errands and letting the dachshund in and out, and in and out.



Next up under the needle is some Curious George…love that little monkey!


We all have a talent.  Please consider finding something, be it local or national, where you can use your gift to brighten someone else’s day.

#nomoretrashbags

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Simple stitches

I can say with pride that I am waaay behind on En Provence and a Garden Party quilt along.  I have tops in need of quilting stacking up and I care not one whit.  My mantra has become ‘Nope, not today’.  

Three cheers for slackers!  Perhaps this means I’m finally beating my perfectionist side into submission.

That said, this week has been one of simple projects.

I’ll start with these fleece stadium blankets.


After freezing portions of my substantial badonkadonk off at The Diva’s interminable track meets (if they run THAT fast, why does the meet take so dang long?!) I decided Gramma and I needed a little cover.  These were easy.  I got three blankets out of seven yards of leopard print fleece.  Yes, they are generous.  That and the badonkadonk is big.  Ahem.  I broke out the Ginghers and ragged the edges.  Voila!

Never mind that there are only two meets left and the temperatures have now reached the 80s.  At least I’ll be prepared for next season, right?!

Next up was a quilt-as-you-go baby quilt.


Flannel top, flannel back.  It’s so snuggly!


I planned to bind the edges and then thought ‘Nope, not today’ and opted for the ragged edge instead.



Some people, i.e. the Quilt Police, will tell you the  Canons of Quilting state that the batting shouldn’t be visible.  To that I say pshaw!  Or something more colorful.  I’ll get back to you on that one.  A quilt should be however the heck you like it.  Tell the QP to take a flying leap.

Here, enjoy one more pic of fluffy-edged rag quilt porn.  You’re welcome.  Oh.  Em.  Gee!


And last, I made several burp cloths.  I haven’t wiped upchuck from my shoulder in an age, but I remember those tissue thin, useless store bought jobbies with contempt.  I used a micro-fiber towel for the back and flannel for the front.


The dachshund was completely unimpressed.


Easy peasy!  

What’re you working on today?

Blogging, Quilting and Griping (and possibly cursing)

Do you know what happens when you go almost an entire month without blogging?  I do.  But you knew that right, that I already had the answer because, naturally, if I’m going to pooch screw something I’ll immediately get on here and tell y’all all about it.  Because why writhe about in angst and shame alone, amiright?!

For the love of Pete, all I wanted was to update about my progress on the mystery quiltalong.  Hey, I’m ahead this time!  And then, boom, there’s the payback for my chutzpah. 💥. The entire post was written and all I had to do was hit publish, but no, I had to go back and correct that grammatical error and poof, the entire thing swirled the bowl and was gone with a resounding flush. 🚽

So, here I am trying for Blog Post: The Redo.  Wish me luck.

Tomorrow is the day for another clue reveal in the Chasing the Sun mystery quiltalong of which I am taking part.  You can find the page on Facebook and join in…it isn’t too late!


This past clue is the only one I’ve managed to finish ahead of time, never mind that they’ve all been bite-sized and really manageable.  With me, there’s just no telling what’s going to happen.  Kind of like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, only without Gump.  Or the chocolates.  Sigh.

At any rate, I’ve stitched up a heap and wound up with some bits, pieces, strips and even some blocks.  Some of the bits I can’t explain, like four strips of one inch blocks…🤔

And four of these purple thangs…🤔🤔

And one itty bitty square in a square…🤔🤔🤔


Best not to think on these things too long.  I need all the brain cells I can muster.

The first block to be completed was the Children’s Delight.  I’m still questioning the wisdom of the deep purple, but the instructions called for black, so…dark purple, black…same difference.


Golly, I love the orange Grunge…so much, in fact, that I went back and bought the rest of the bolt.  Hey, it was lonely in that shop!

Each of the clues has involved what the designer called ‘Unit A’.  After dealing with sixty of them over the course of virtually every single clue, I have renamed the little turds.  No, that’s not it.  I could tell you, but the sound of my mother’s voice enunciating not only my first name, but my middle name as well in That Tone that all mothers use, is the only thing stopping me.  Little bastards.  No, that’s not it either.

Don’t ask me what my problem with them is because I can’t tell you.  It’s like the adage about trying to define porn: ‘I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it’.  I hate Unit A almost as much as Brussels sprouts and every sport except hockey (go Red Wings!)

In the end, what I’ve got (so far) are 4 Children’s Delight blocks, 16 Courthouse Steps and 60 eff…, I mean Log Cabin blocks.


There’s still a truckload of fabric left to be cut. Better hope no one comes to visit because there’s no where to hang a coat.


While I bide my time until tomorrow’s reveal, I’ve pulled out Double Delight by Bonnie Hunter again and am in the process of piecing 130 3 1/2″ nine patches.  Yes, that’s 1-3-0.

At least they aren’t Unit As.

Tea Towels

I’ve been on a kick lately to breathe a little spunkiness into my kitchen; something more in keeping with my real personality as opposed to the June Cleaver I’d envisioned when Himself and I got married.  Like painting my laundry room aqua and bright yellow was theoretically supposed to make the whole laundry cycle somehow more palatable, I’m operating under the assumption that funky plates and bright pretty Pyrex will turn me into Betty Freakin’ Crocker.  Haha.

Anyhoo, I’ve jettisoned the fruit/veggie medley Pyrex (casseroles, dishes, coffee cups…the whole nine yards, much to the dismay of Himself) in favor of primary colors and retro dinner dishes.  My heart is still doing its happy chacha.  I’ve been hot on the trail of vintage linens, but no dice, and so decided to make my own version of what I think of as kitsch.

I started out with plain white flour sack towels, the kind my Nana bought one summer and used to teach me embroidery.  A pack of five cost me less than $5.  Already the wallet was singing.  It quit when I got to the trims section.  Geesh, but trims are expensive!  I’ll sure miss that kidney I hocked to pay for them.


Because the sides were by no means even, I folded them in half and then half again, trying my best to make them as even as possible.  Apparently wherever these things came from, the staff only sewed them after consuming a bathtubful of margaritas.

I whacked off the offending seams with my handy dandy rotary cutter…


and resewed an actual straight seam.


Then I took my pretty trims and sewed a different one to each of the towels.



According to The Diva, my love of these little babies, combined with the Pyrex, is turning me into a total girly girl.  It may also be the squeals of delight I emitted with each finish.  Whatever.  Mama’s happy.  And we know that makes everyone else happy, too.



Not sure if this is happy or delirious.  You be the judge.

The Beach Towel Sleeping Bag

Next month, The Diva and her horde of classmates will set off for a two night extravaganza to south Texas, staying aboard the USS Lexington and visiting various sites all in the name of education.  Because why else do young people flock to the Texas Gulf coast?

Let us now pause and have a moment of silent prayer for the bus driver and chaperones accompanying them.

Hahahahahahahaha, suckers!!!!

I mean, Father watch over them.  And their sanity.  May their patience and Xanax supply be plentiful.  Amen.

Anyhoo, I’m told the accommodations onboard are a bit austere.  It is, after all, a ship so the little darlings are to bring a sleeping bag with them.  Now, my daughter’s idea of roughing it falls into one simple category: keep the packing light.  Mine involves staying anywhere with indoor plumbing, electricity, and plush bedding.  Roughing it, in any shape or form, isn’t for me.  Back to The Diva.

She nicely informed me that carrying a full-sized sleeping bag wasn’t in the cards.  Who wants to climb up all those stairs, toting a bunch of crap only to schlep it back down again?  Ah, a girl after my own heart!

Now, I consider myself to be fairly frugal.  (Cheap sounds too miserly, but it might be a bit closer to the truth). I’m not so far gone that I’ll compost my own poop to nourish the family garden, but there’s that whole  money doesn’t grow on trees thing, amiright?  Besides, money is best spent on fabric and reading material.  But I digress.

With my frugality in mind, I settled on the idea of fashioning a sleeping bag from beach towels.  Here’s the lowdown.

Buy two beach towels of equal size.  I know those last two words seem a bit silly, however, not all beach towels are created equal.  Trust me on this one.  

You’ll also need coordinating ribbon, about a yard should do just in case there’s a pooch screw and you have to redo the ties.  Don’t ask.  I chose grosgrain, but any type will do.

The Diva’s is black because pink is gah-rosssss!  What evs. 🙄 

After 45 minutes spent clipping all those stupid plastic ties off and removing them without pulling any threads, lay one towel right side up on a flat surface.  You can choose a bumpy surface if you’d like.  It’s your headache.

I folded two separate lengths of the ribbon in half and pinned them to the top right hand side half of the towel.  Or the left.  You get the picture.  How far apart?  About that far.  

Place the other towel right side down on top of the first, doing your best to match them up for evenness.  

Next, sew up the three sides.  I used the existing seams on the towels as my sewing guide.  

The Diva’s still short enough that the beach towel sleeping bag is long enough to be useful.  Any taller and it’s a no go.  

Fold it in half lengthwise, roll it up, and tie it and, presto!, you have a sleeping bag that’s roughly a third the bulk of a standard sleeping bag.    

Cheap and easy.  What’re you waiting for, a hooker comment?  You people know me so well.

Now get out there and sew something! 

Of Quilts, Kids, and Questionable Odors

Mine is a world filled with the wondrous wonderfulness that is beautiful fabric: its softness, its supple textures, its exorbitant price tag.  Pretty fabric, lovely fabric, jump into my stash.  

I always say this weekend I will sew, which roughly translates to after tending to everything else.  

This weekend, ‘everything else’ has amounted to a plethora of experiences, some of which I’d just as soon avoid.

First up, letting His Awesomeness get behind the wheel. 😱  

This child, like his father before him, is a curb hugger.  I cannot tell you the times I’ve shrunk toward the driver’s side in an effort to, please, sweet baby Jesus!, don’t let us hit that mailbox!!  He doesn’t seem to appreciate that there’s plenty of asphalt for all to enjoy.  Never mind the fact that there is no oncoming traffic.  Meanwhile, my posterior is doing something my Mama nicely refers to as ‘working buttonholes in the seat’.  As much clenching as my butt cheeks have done, you should be able to bounce a quarter off ’em. Not that you’d want to since we’ve never formally met, but, you know.  Frankly, driving lessons should fall to the father, I mean biological here, not God, but boy have God and I had some pretty intense conversations during those drives.

In an effort to relax, I turn to Lennie the Featherweight.  Sewing for me is like a wonderful night on the town with a good looking man without all those pesky expectations of what happens when you get dropped at the door.  Lennie doesn’t care if I drink or swear, wear undergarments reminiscent of grannies and he certainly doesn’t expect to be invited in for a nightcap.  

On that note, I finished one flimsy and have moved on to another.  Clearly, quilting it isn’t high on my list of priorities, like shaving my legs in the dead of winter.

I don’t name my quilts, but this one reminds me of water flowing over rocks.  I love it.   

 
I’ve started another one that’s all flannel, because obviously, when the temperatures start to climb, you want to work with fabric that’ll  make you sweat like a hooker at a Saturday night tent revival.  Idiot. 

   

This past Friday, I said goodbye to my favorite volunteer who is moving to be closer to family.  I’ll miss you, Mr. Todd.  

And to round out my week, our newest furbaby decided it would be epically delightful to roll in something that smells of a wonderful dichotomy of sewage and death.  My Lulu never did this.  I can only guess that it’s a hound thing.  Bad Ziva!  

I’m hoping this next week leaves out the surprises and just leaves me with a tighter tush.

Sewing Lite

It bears repeating that I don’t do any sewing other than piecing quilts…and sometimes even  that’s a struggle.  I envy people who can whip up a skirt, those itsy-bitsy Barbie doll clothes I can still hear my Mom cussing over, or even, yes, a decent pair of pajama pants.  

I am not that gal.

   
That said, even I can whip up a smattering of envelope covers for our sofa pillows with the help of YouTube. 

I found this Waverly home-dec fabric on clearance at WalMart…$3.97 a yard!  I can just see my Nana doing a happy dance over that bargain!

  
I paid (what I like to think) a princely sum for the original pillows.  What do they make these things from…platinum…unicorn horns…Sam Heughan’s sweat?  You’d think so considering what you pay for them.  And they don’t last worth a flip.  Of course, there’s the fact my family likes to think of them as bed pillows as opposed to decorative.

Anyhoo, this is what I started with.  They were so pretty when I bought them. 🙁

  
And this is what i stitched up.

   
 I’m pretty pleased with them and when they wear out, they can be easily replaced.  It shouldn’t take long. 🙄