Monthly Archives: November 2020

Mom

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you may have seen various posts talking about my mom. Much like everyone, 2020 has been a difficult journey for our family. In early January, I had to place my mom in memory care. During her months there, we saw her memories quickly fading, but she kept up her spunky personality. In July, my mom fell and broke her hip. She never really recovered from this – as much as everyone tried to get her back to her usual self, she started a rapid decline both mentally and physically. Three weeks ago, I placed my mom on hospice. I received a call on Friday that she was “transitioning” and was making arrangements to see her this weekend, but she and God had other plans – my mom passed away in the early morning hours on Saturday. I think this was probably a “good” thing as the last time I was physically able to see her (because of the Coronavirus, her facility prohibited visitors – I had lots of video chats, though), she was very lively, energetic, and full of laughs. This is a nice way to remember her.

While this is an extraordinarily sad time, I’m comforted by the fact that she’s not only in a better place with her parents and my dad, but knowing this past year is not how she would have wanted to continue to live. My mom always bragged at how she could remember everything and dementia robbed her of all of that.

In light of all of this, I’m taking some time away from postings so I can get her affairs in order, celebrate her life, and process it all. In the mean time, give your loved ones an extra hug (or just let them know you love them if you have to be virtual), have a safe and happy holiday, and I’ll see you all in December.

Linky Thursday

I love giving gift baskets for special occasions and holidays. If you want to dress up your basket, here’s a great tutorial on creating a liner for it.

If you’re not tired of the Christmas gnome trend (and honestly, who could be, they’re so cute!), then here’s another tutorial to add to your list.

Looking to decorate your table this Christmas? Be sure to check out this fun table runner.

Sloths are definitely a favorite animal around here (next to the red panda). If you love them as much as us, you’ll want to check out this tutorial for making your own (stuffed) from cozy socks.

Not a knitter, but still want to wear handmade knits? No problem. Here’s an easy sweater tutorial using sweater knit fabrics.

If you’re looking to change up your mantle this year, this stocking tutorial is an easy place to start.

These keepsake ornaments are a great project for kids to work on while remote learning or just over the break – everyone will love the end result.

This advent pillow is a fun way to countdown to Christmas without taking up a lot of space.

This sherpa scarf may keep you cozy, but these pompoms make it fun!

Enter to win a Hatch Embroidery Personalizer and a Hatch Academy Silver Pass.

Have fun and be festive in the kitchen with these elf aprons for kids and adults.

One of our holiday traditions is to open pajamas on Christmas Eve. If you’re looking to do something similar, here’s a free pattern for pajama bottoms to get your started.

Little Debbie

My family probably hates the fact that I’ve discovered screen print transfers because they’ve been getting an abundance of (themed and\or funny) t-shirts lately. My latest? Little Debbie holiday t(r)ees.

My husband is a huge fan of their Christmas Trees so I couldn’t pass this print up. While I was at it, I decided to make a matching shirt for Easton because who doesn’t like Little Debbies? (in hindsight, I probably should have made one for Taylor too since we used to call her Little Debbie when she was in high school because she had snack cakes every day at lunch, LOL)

I used this “Tis the Season” screen print from Krafty Korner Supplies and Comfort Colors tees as the base.

The Child

Not only am I a “Baby Yoda” fan, but I’m on an ornament kick as well (I made some last year as well). So, it only stands to reason that this is one of my latest makes:

I picked this little guy up as a freebie with purchase from Off With Their Threads and was determined to stitch it up before I put up our decorations. Overall, these embroidered well (I did have issues with one of the ears), but I wish I had a slightly different shade of green to work with – I’m not sure if the color I wanted even exists, though.

I still have a few more ornaments that I want to tackle and then I have told myself that I AM DONE (for awhile) and need to work on something different…. I still have half sewn projects sitting on my table!

More Christmas

This weekend, I decided to tackle some of the stocking stuffer type projects that I had in mind. One of them was completing the Ouija board mini notebook.

When I originally made the planchette (Right) I hand cut the circle – clearly that was a disaster. Not only was it choppy, but I didn’t cut enough away so there is vinyl showing through past the stitching. To make it worse, the clear vinyl I used for the window shifted and you can see an edge through the hole. In order to try to fix this, I ordered a set of punches. They are still too small to completely take out the circle in one punch, but I was able to get a lot smoother line this way (Left). My only real mistake with this is the red stitching, I was working on something else that used this color, left it in the machine and didn’t pay attention to what I was doing. I decided to call this a “design choice”, added a red grommet and called it good. I learned a lot with this project – it was definitely a lot of work and I’d do somethings differently the next time (if there is) I make one.

I also made a set of coasters! This is Periodically Drunk – a funny science\alcohol themed set that I made for my daughter’s boyfriend. I used a variety of different colored vinyl for the top and cork on the underside to stitch these up and I just love the end result…. plus it’s a great gift for guys (which is always hard to find projects for them)!

Links for the Weekend

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you may be planning your holiday table. Stitch up some pretty mitered napkins, then pick your favorite way to fold them.

If baking is on your list of holiday gift giving, here’s a great tutorial for linen bread bags – what a pretty way to present your goods!

Have you (or your kids) been playing Among Us lately? If so, you’ll definitely want to stitch up one of these crewmate plush!

If you’ve been working or online learning this year, chances are you’re in need of more organization in your work area. These baskets aren’t just pretty, they hang, giving you plenty of tablespace to work.

Have a favorite dress pattern, but wish they had pockets? Learn how to draft and add your own.

These tree trivets are a festive way to serve your dishes this holiday.

Every winter I say I’m making a bowl cozy and never do. This weekend, I’m planning a chili night – I may just have to make some so we can sit on the couch and watch football.

Last week I linked to some “Ugly Christmas Sweater” tutorials. I’m pretty sure this may be as close to an ugly Christmas apron that I’ve seen (it’s fun because it lights up)!

These curly toed elf stockings may not be very practical for filling, but they sure will look cute on a mantel.

Enter to win 3 sewing patterns from DIY Fluffies.

Christmas in the States

Last year I didn’t have much time to make Christmas gifts (so it was store bought for everyone!), so this year I wanted to make up for it – even if they’re small. So, I decided that instead of using “traditional” gift tags, that I would attach ornaments to presents instead.

For this round, I made a lot of Kansas ornaments (and one Ohio, that’s for me!). I used a maple cork for the base of these and tied it off with a buffalo check bow for a rustic/farmhouse look. I used different threads for these to give some variety – some have variegated thread, others have light or dark colored wreaths, and some have tiny bells…. I’m not sure you could go wrong with these designs!

I still have a few more ornaments that I want to try (I may have over bought designs this year), but I think these should be a fun addition for everyone’s tree!

Gearing Up For The Holidays

Between the virus, homeschooling, and dealing with issues that have arisen with my mom and her dementia diagnosis, I’m finding that 2020 has been less than productive. Some days I find myself in a flurry of productivity while others are spent doing what seems like nothing. I have been great at fabric shopping though!

With that said, I’m gearing up to start some holiday projects. A few you’ll see later on next month, some you’ll see next year, and some will be immediate as I have lots of ideas brewing in my head (let’s hope I can find the time to do them all). In the mean time, I’m hoping to stitch up a new shirt in the next few days and have plans on some lounge wear (as that is a bulk of what we’re wearing these days anyway. Send some good sewing mojo my way if you can!

Links for the Weekend

I am fairly confident that Easton will be asking for an “Ugly Sweater” this year. In doing a bit of research there’s lots of tutorials out there, some for using a Cricut while some are made with paint. But no matter which one you decide on, you’ll want to check out this tutorial for upcycling your sweater once you’re done wearing it.

If you think that the best part of Thanksgiving is the pumpkin pie, then you’ll definitely want to check out his cute pillow tutorial.

https://www.sewcanshe.com/blog/2019/1/25/perfect-diy-wallet-free-sewing-patternIf you love sewing bags and need a little inspiration for holiday gifts, be sure to check out this DIY Wallet and mini card case tutorial.

Christmas gnomes are back again! If you’re looking to make a few for family this year be sure to check out this tutorial (he has arms and feet) or this one that upcycles sweaters for hats. But if you’re in a time crunch, this ornament can be made in 15 minutes!

Enter to win 3 sewing patterns from DIY Fluffies!

If you’ve been making Bernina’s WeAllSew busy book, part 7 is now live on the site. It’s also great for kids learning how to tie.

If your advent fillers are bigger than candy, then you’ll want to check out this hanging version – those pockets are HUGE.

Learn how to convert this free dolman dress pattern into a cute embroidered top (this uses a contrasting fabric, no machine embroidery is needed for this one).

The holidays are coming and if you’re needing comfy pants for a day of eating, these Mountain Pose Pants may fit the bill.

Zombie Survival Guide

I’m on a mini-composition kick. This time around I used Off With Their Threads’ Zombie Survival Guide and glow-in-the-dark threads. The results were pretty cool:

Some things I learned about this project:

  • Even though the threads look very different on the spools, there is little difference between the yellow, green, and white glow-in-the-dark threads when lightly stitched. Unfortunately, that means there’s not as much contrast in the sunlight, but they look great when I shut off the lights!
  • The elastic strap measurements listed in the instructions is WAY too large. It’s too late to change it now, but in future versions (because there will be!) I’ll definitely use a much shorter length
  • Once again I had a bit of issues with the stitching on the underside (the threads came out “bubbly” in spots). I believe that the vinyl that I’m using is “sticky” and causing the thread issues. I’m going to have to play around with some different techniques to see if I can’t fix this for future reference.

I plan on making a few more of these as stocking stuffers… they’re too much fun not to. Plus, I stocked up on mini-composition notebooks so I feel like I need to use them up!