Galaxie 3, #3

After sewing up a large Supernova Tote for Taylor this Christmas, I decided that this size would be perfect for traveling when we visited family over the holidays (I found the small one was great, but could stand a bit more room because I tend to shove everything into a bag). I wound up finishing this bag on Christmas day – the day before our trip… and it was worth all the effort too because this bag is a lifesaver!

Originally, I was going to skip a few of the features (like the interior pockets and key leash) to save time, but I am so glad that I didn’t – they were some of my favorite elements of this bag! The lining pockets were perfect for putting my cords and wallet into (and it was large enough that my wallet didn’t fall out), the zipped pockets were used to house small (or valuable items) so they didn’t get lost inside the bag, and the key leash held a plethora of keys that I wound up having to hold (which made finding them so much easier). And that luggage sleeve – it’s so useful when you need to run between gates.

I’ve now used this on a total of 3 round trips (12 planes) and I can honestly say, this is my favorite pattern of the year. It’s so useful and holds so much (not to mention the fact you can shove it under the seat in front of you on the plane) – I’m so glad I took the time to finish this one up before we left.

Linky Thursday

Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away, so it’s time to get those holiday projects started. WeAllSew has a great roundup of ideas, but don’t forget my Valentine’s Day Treat Bag, too. Looking for more home decor ideas? How about this adorable pillow?

Fluffmonger makes some of my favorite stuffies and their latest is this adorable Koala. While this pattern isn’t free, all proceeds go to support Australian Wildlife.

Fabric storage bins are always a great scrapbuster and perfect for matching your decor. This version has fun appliques just for kids, too!

If you got an e-reader this Christmas, you’ll definitely want to check out this free pattern for a fabric stand – they come in handy, especially in the kitchen!

Love the look of bargello, but don’t want to commit to making an entire quilt? Why not make these fun place mats instead?

Like it or not, fanny packs\hip bags are “in”. Learn how to make one for yourself.

Tiny things are always cute… especially this small backpack. It makes the perfect purse or wear it just for looks.

Winter isn’t showing any signs of letting up, so stay warm this season with a cozy sherpa and flannel blanket.

If you have a Cricut Maker, you’ll definitely want to check out this Valentine’s Day tree. It’s the perfect project to whip up for last minute classroom party decorations. Looking for a great gift for the teacher? Check out this easy door decoration!

Enter to win a Kaffe Fasset fat quarter bundle and a video sewing course.

Keep warm and still look stylish with this turtleneck top.

Lakeside PJs

I love making pajamas almost as much as I love wearing them… and now I can finally show you a pair that I’ve been hiding from you. These are Grainline Studio’s Lakeside Pajamas made in satin and featured in the spring 2020 issue (now on newsstands) of Creative Machine Embroidery magazine.

I fell in love with this pansy print (found in the “spring” collection of Joann’s) and couldn’t resist picking it up for this project. I found coordinating pansy designs from an etsy dealer, Royal Present (I found her designs stitched out nicely, but I had to change the colors pretty substantially to match the material). I really wanted a pair of pajamas that featured the floral fabric for the top so I wound up making a second set with a more simple design on the corner of the shorts. I can’t wait to wear these when it finally warms up!

One thing I do want to suggest is considering purchasing your bias binding for this project… why? Because making 1/4″ double fold, bias binding in satin sucks. In the photo on the right, I decided to make my own – something that took almost an entire day to do (or at least it felt like, although it could have taken a whole day, I didn’t time myself), not to mention the fact that it didn’t crease well, was difficult to sew, etc. The end result is beautiful, but I’m not sure that I would ever do that again!

I’m Finally Back

It’s been a hectic (sleepless, exhausting, emotional) couple of weeks, but I’m happy to say, “I’m back!” I’m sure at this point you’re probably wondering what has transpired. So, if you’re interested, here’s a condensed version:

When I got back to Kansas, they were already looking to release my mom from the hospital – there was nothing medically wrong with her other than her dementia. Since her time there, they had identified her as an elopement risk with tendencies to wander around (especially at night) so they recommended someplace with 24 hour supervision. We briefly moved her to a skilled nursing facility, but after a few days, they too were ready to release her to a more permanent residence. After a meeting with case managers and a few phone calls later, I met up with a facility that I had not only thought about (previously) placing her in, but had a recommendation from a friend (and Taylor had worked there when she was doing her med aid certification). I took a tour, talked lots of staff and determined this was the perfect place for her. The folks there were so gracious and kind, that I eventually broke down and hugged about everyone – I was so thankful, relieved, and overwhelmed with how helpful they were with placement that I couldn’t contain myself any longer. She was moved to a memory care unit the next morning.

This past week, I got her “settled in” (she still packs herself up every night, though), her room decorated, her apartment cleaned out, her car sold, and took care of some loose ends in Kansas. I couldn’t have done it without the help of friends and family who chipped in to clear things out, take Easton on adventures while we worked, and do some heavy lifting. This week, I feel so thankful and blessed that my mom is in a safe place and that we were able to accomplish so much in such a short time. Now, it’s time to decompress.

If you’ve made it this far, I want to thank you all too for checking in on me, sharing your stories, and all the kind words you sent – they were not unnoticed and were greatly appreciated.

And now, it’s time to get back to sewing.

Be Right Back…

I’m not normally one to post a lot of personal things on social media, my blog, etc., but it’s time I take a brief break from blogging and sewing and figure everyone deserves a reason why (plus it’s just natural curiosity to know what’s happening and I’m going to guess that venting my be cathartic). The short of it: it’s time to find my mother placement somewhere she will be safe. For the longer story, read on.

About 2.5 years ago, my mother had an MRI which showed “normal age related white matter disease” (we all get white matter, more as you age, but hers was not out of the norm). Almost 1 year later to the day, she has an MRI, but this time the results read “extensive white mater disease” which explained the mild confusion she was occasionally displaying. Basically, they believe she was having such small strokes that it was not showing any symptoms, but enough that it was cutting off blood supply to the tiny vessels in her brain, thus killing them. At this point in time she was only showing mild dementia (confusion about the day, occasionally forgetting things), but nothing that would keep her from living independently.

When it came to moving, my mom was very adamant she did not want to go – largely because she did not want to move to an independent living community (even though she would have her own apartment, she didn’t want to be “old’) nor give up driving (by this point she had has a few accidents, she doesn’t use GPS and Columbus has the 4th worst drivers in the US…. I can’t argue with that fact). Unfortunately, there was no way to make her move, so we left her behind. At that point she was also refusing assistance from a home health agency.

While lots of things have happened in the 7 months that we’ve been gone, it was in the past 3 months, that I noticed a decline in her mental status – so much so that I wound up contacting a lawyer to start guardianship proceedings. Yesterday she found herself locked out of her apartment. An ambulance was called and I had her taken to the hospital for evaluation. Since she has a decline in mental status, they have declared it’s no longer safe for her to live alone (this also speeds up guardianship and placement for her). While this is exactly what was needed, it also happened a lot faster than what we all anticipated. So, it’s time for me to get my mom settled in a new place, clean out her apartment, and take care of matters for her for awhile.

For those that are wondering: No. Living with us can’t be an option. Our current house has lots of steps with no bedroom or shower on the main floor. She has started sleeping odd hours (napping during the day, up most of the night) which would be a concern, not just for Easton’s sleep habits, but also because she could wander up and down the steps and fall. And to be honest, I know that her condition will worsen over time (it’s already done so in the past few months, pretty drastically) to the point she may needed continual care for bathing, dressing, and feeding and I would feel better knowing she’s in a facility that could provide that.

So, if you hung on this long to read all that, keep my mom in your thoughts and prayers and I find someplace that is suitable for her and I’ll see you all in a few weeks.

New Year

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow kicks off a new year, not to mention decade! Normally today’s post would be a recap of my projects throughout the year, but with the move, I gave up trying to keep track somewhere about May of this year. Needless to say, my productivity was relatively low for awhile, but I still managed to sew some fun items. Here’s some of my favorites:

This locker organizer (which also works as a hanging organizer in any room) was one of my favorites at WeAllSew this year. It gave me the opportunity to use some different techniques (fabric frames, expandable pockets, and bindings) and fabrics, plus Easton really loves using it.

This mummy pillow was also a lot of fun to create as well, but any time I can use glow in the dark thread, it’s a plus!

I’m not normally one for home decor sewing, but I actually had fun making these covers for IKEA’s Henriksdal chairs. I spent several weeks making test patterns, chair covers, and eventually bar stools for our new kitchen. It was quite an undertaking, but I love the end results. Plus, we’ve had to wash 3 chair covers already because of TERRIBLE spills – consequently, these may be the best things I’ve made all year. In fact, I may always have chairs with covers on them so long as I have kids. The best thing about this project is that I can always change the look of my dining area, although I’m not motivated enough to make all those chair covers right away!

It probably comes as no surprise when I say, Jalie is one of my favorite pattern companies. Their men’s shirt pattern has been one that has gotten a lot of use, but this Cruise It version has to be one of my all time favorites.

After getting a panel that was too small to use whole, I opted to color block it to make this version…. no all future shirts may be color blocked!

I did a fair amount if writing last year for Creative Machine Embroidery magazine so it’s hard to pin down a favorite. While the velvet Amalfi is definitely one that I love, these embellished Converse may win for the year because I got the most use out of them once they were returned. Plus, you can’t beat teal Chucks with tiny pineapples all over them.

Also making the list of favorite projects is Seamwork magazine’s Oslo. I whipped this cardigan up as a last minute travel\girl’s night out project and I’ve found myself wearing it a ton since.

Between the fact that it’s black (which is apparently a favorite color, plus it goes with everything) and that it feels a lot warmer than what you’d expect, I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it since I made it last month. I’m also a fan of how this particular version drapes, but still find myself fiddling with the collar constantly because the fabric likes to slide around on itself. As for the dino shirt, I haven’t had a chance to wear it again, but it may get a lot more use this spring when the weather is warmer.

Lastly, there are the hoodies (and a few sweatshirts tossed in for good measure). I found myself making quite a few this year (and have plans for several more next year too). My favorite patterns by far had to be Jalie’s sweatshirt\hoodie and New Horizon’s TAMI Revolution Double Hoodie as both of them started becoming standby’s for french terry.

It’s a Mystery

I wound up buying another So Sew English mystery bundle… this time it was a “Total Mystery” package, full of 5-8 yards of any kind of fabric (for $15, how could I resist?). On the right is what I got:

The black is a cotton knit. It is a nice fabric, but only has 2 way stretch.

The teal strip is a brushed rayon or a single brushed poly. It has a great drape and will probably be destined for a top when I find the “right” pattern.

The bottom is the coveted elephant print! While I probably wouldn’t normally purchase this for myself, I’m still glad I got it because it really is fun. I think this would make an excellent romper this summer.

Overall, this was a great bundle – especially for the price! I would definitely do this again!

Linky Thursday

Scarves not quite your look? This cowl is a great alternative, but this one has slightly different take on the style.

I remember making rag quilts years ago (oh the hand cramps from all that cutting). This tutorial is a great project to do with the kids.

This potholder may be labeled as Christmas, but with the right fabrics, could be used for any occasion or holiday.

Ready to redecorate? Learn how to transform placemats into pillows.

Ditch the dingy ironing board cover and make yourself a new one.

Enter to win one of 5 LED sewing machine lights.

This gnome mug rug is too cute and doesn’t scream Christmas, so it can be used all winter long!

A kimono is a great way to dress up or down an outfit depending on how you wear it. Best of all it’s easy to make!

If you’re like me, you have a ton of plastic bags under your kitchen sink. Now you have reason to dig them out – transform them into a fused tote and bucket hat.

Still need a last minute gift? These fingerless mittens are a quick sew and perfect for just about anyone!

Gnome For The Holidays

When SoSewEnglish released this Gnomies fabric, I knew I needed it (for something), but I waited too long to snag some (a day) and never got any. So, when they released it again (in French Terry), I waited by the computer at the release time and put it in my cart. I was determined to sew it up before Christmas, and here it is, as Jalie 3355 (and paired up with an Ohio State scarf that I decided to make for myself too).

Since this is a French terry, I had really hoped to make it more sweatshirt like and less like a tunic, but the material is so thin, that it drapes more like a top. I even had plans on adding the kangaroo pocket, but it just didn’t quite look right. None the less, this top is ultra soft and snuggly and perfect for Christmas Eve! Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah everyone!

More Hidden Pockets

It’s safe to say, I’m on a roll. I made more hidden pocket infinity scarves!

I used more of the Snuggle Flannel from Joann’s to make each of these – although the red\black\white plaid is noticeably softer. As for the pockets, well, each one is made with Alexander Henry’s Wrangler’s print – fussy cut so everyone gets a little beefcake when they open their pocket (I made these for friends, Taylor, and myself so I know no one will be mortified when they open it).

Once I was finished, I made labels (I also did this for the teacher’s as well) so everyone knew it was more than just a scarf.