Monday, March 17, 2014

Our First Charity Run!

My daughter Keegan asked me to join her doing the 26th Annual Shamrock Run in Kingston.  I've avoided those kinds of things in the past.  I run for exercise rather than pleasure and prefer just giving the money for these kinds of charity functions.  However, we do things for our kid that we'd never do ourselves.  I'm happy to say we both loved it and are looking forward to doing more.

I've always wondered how one runs in crowds.  Now I know that you can work your way around all those strollers, kids, dogs, walkers, miniature floats in kids' wagons, and the occasional pothole quite easily.

The weather was sunny, in the low thirties with a bit of a wind--great for running, but not for standing outside for an hour waiting in running clothes.  While we were shivering, Brian was sitting in front of the fireplace at a Panera's restaurant with hot coffee and his Kindle Fire.    Okay, he's got a bad ankle and can't run.  Did he have to mention the fireplace?  He redeemed himself by being at the finish line screaming encouragement as we passed by.  Now that was unexpected.  I will have to shamefully admit that I would have stayed at Panera's.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The New Brimmed Hat

I got Betz White's cadet hat pattern on a whim while buying another pattern from her shop.  I thought it would be a step up from my usual baseball hat when I want a brim.  I took her up on the "make do" idea and used fabric from old jeans for the outside 

and an old men's shirt for the lining.
One issue I had was, no doubt, due to my crappy sewing skills.  The directions said to sew around the top seam.  As you can see below that was a disaster for me.  After removing that stitching,  I sewed about a quarter inch down on the crown instead.
Bad top stitching

Better side stitching on the crown
I'm pretty happy with the final results overall, but wish I had used a mid-weight interfacing on the crown and top to make it hold its shape better .  The pattern didn't call for interfacing except for heavy Pellon in the brim and some interfacing on the band as long as you used a heavier fabric.   I thought the band would have been solid enough without interfacing and the rest could have used interfacing to hold the shape better.  On the other hand, maybe if I had been able to do that top stitching  better, it would have held the shape better.

I'm going to give this one more try using some old khaki's and the interfacing.  At $12.95 for the pattern, I've got to get more than one hat from this!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Studio Cherie's Departure Satchel---I Did It!

Even though I left out some pockets, this bag is still filled with them.  That front bird fabric creates a large open pocket that's gonna hold all kinds of stuff like my water bottle and glasses, and magazines.  Then there is the zipper pocket on THAT pocket.  I think my phone will go in there.

The back has a sleeve that fits over the extended handle on luggage.  In the pattern, there are instructions for another pocket on top of the sleeve, but I wanted that beautiful fabric to be the focal point.  You can also close off the bottom to make it into a pocket if you don't want the sleeve.
Perfect fit on the luggage

Sits nicely on top of the carry-on
On the inside, I decided to leave out the hidden pocket and the zipper on the top of the laptop pocket.   Just don't have a need for them.  
Laptop pocket

Two large pockets on the other side
The pattern worked out great.  I had a small issue with printing.  A couple of pieces lost a fraction of an inch even though I was printing actual size.  Fortunately the measurements are included on each piece making it easy to fix that issue.

And there it is!  All ready for that upcoming trip.

Did I mention that I only used fabric from the stash?  So unlike me.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lil Blue Boo's Hungry Bunny Pouch Completed!

Oh, the misery when you don't follow directions!  I turned a rather simple project into a PROJECT.  First I only scanned the directions.  The part about cutting the pieces back-to-back being essential because the bunny is asymmetrical?  I missed that.  Hence there was a bit of extra cutting to get all the pieces to match up.

I did, however, zero in on the hand sewing of the lining in my quick scan of the directions.  I'll spend a hour machine sewing to get out of ten minutes of hand sewing so that had to change.  In a consultation with my sewing muse, Sandra, I was advised to sew the zipper pieces together as usual,  then just sandwich the rest and sew around the edges.  Being literal I sewed all the way around the edges. No, you gotta leave an opening for turning. Okay, ripped out a few stitches, turned it right-side out, and sewed up that opening. Done!

My  bunny was supposed to be two different fabrics in the front like some of Sandra's.  Somehow that did not happen.  Still, it's a cute little thing and the lining is lovely as you can see if you look inside there.  Check out this link  and this one for more examples of Sandra's awesome fabric choices.
The pattern (AND the directions) are at  Lil  Blue Boo.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yes I Did Finish the Arrested Development Embroidery

Just a few minor changes from Janalyn's original pattern.  
Love it--both the show and the embroidery.  This has been hanging in my son's room for a couple of months now where I have periodically tried getting decent pics of it.  The valuable lesson learned was to take photos of things framed with reflective glass without the glass in place.  Then you can seal up the whole things with that perfectly cut paper backing.  You are gonna have to take my word for it that it looks great in a black frame with black matting.  This photo gives you an idea--just try to ignore the glare.

I got the design  from Janalyn's Etsy shop here for a mere $5.  I'm not a huge fan of most cross stitch,  but the lettering is quick and easy.

Monday, February 24, 2014

No I've Not Been On An Extended Vacation...

I've been away--from my blog.  Sometimes life gets busy with things that make boring blog posts.  However, I finally made it back into my sewing room yesterday.  My embroidery machine proved to be the clear winner in the productivity department. It managed to create these from some Huck towels I made last year.
The towel is crooked in that last one, not the design.  Designs are from the Embroidery Library (
In the same amount of time that my machine got all that finished, I got this far with the hungry bunny pouch I've been meaning to make.
Honestly, I had two towels finished before I was able to decide which fabrics to use for the damned bunny. No, I am not using the red polka dot zippers for it.  I just dumped all my zippers trying to choose a zipper. Another towel was nearing completion before I was able to decide on the zipper and interfacing.

Don't look for the finished bunny anytime soon.  This morning, as I tried to put the pieces on the zipper, I realized the bunny is not symmetrical.  I should have read the directions more carefully.  Okay, I should have READ the directions. It appears that I've not cut things right, and  I've used up all that polka dot lining fabric.  Good thing I have a few more towels ready to embroider while I try to decide on another fabric.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sometimes It's a Blessing When We Lose Someone

My mother, who my kids called Ama passed away the day before Christmas as I was reading one of her favorite books to her, The Wind in the Willows.  How fitting that the granddaughter who was named after Ama's mother, Cecilia Keegan, was in the room with me at the time.

Keegan   and Ama
This passing was not unexpected in that Ama was 96 years old after all. She had also developed some pressure wounds at the  nursing home that got terribly out of control causing her to be in pain much of the time even with medication.   So, while we will all miss her, it was a blessing to see her freed from her suffering.

Rest in Peace

Anne Cecilia LeBlanc Young Bressette

Born in Long Lake, New York

December 13, 1917

Died in Saratoga Springs, New York

 December 24, 2013