Monday, October 29, 2012

A Proud Aunt!

I blogged about my niece Jenny Fields, a lieutenant in the US Coast Guard who flies helicopters, shown below with my grandson George.

Jenny took part in the rescue of the crew of the HMS Bounty off the coast of NC and if you'd like to see the ABC News video, click HERE!

Yup, I'm a proud aunt.... and one who is very glad she is safe!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weather Watching

Those of us who live in The Hurricane Magnet of the World (aka:  North Carolina) are accustomed to paying close attention to hurricanes.   I'm safe here in south central NC but the Outer Banks of NC are taking a hit.... and it's only the outer bands that we're getting...

My son and his family live in Wilmington NC...

Sign on North College Road in Wilmington, NC.

Pier at Carolina Beach, NC.

Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, NC.

Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, NC.

 Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, NC.

Prayers for all in Sandy's path!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hurricane Party!

Blog friend Mary contacted me about whether I was safe from Hurricane Sandy this morning and so...  in case of any concerns...  this weather map should be helpful.

I'm in the green "buy a boat" area.

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On a more serious note, I hope that all in the path of Sandy will be safe and damage minimal.  


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Grandmother's Choice #8: Rocky Road to Kansas

Rocky Road to Kansas is a variation of Amethyst, which was the second block.   Hmmm....  it will be a challenge to make these two blocks look differently than the first two.

If you remember I got BlockBase for my birthday (there was a special + free shipping)... so I decided to check this block out in this handy-dandy software.

I selected fabrics for the first block and used the measurements from BlockBase to cut the pieces and...  oh my, the block went together so smoothly.   Seams/corners matched mostly, no pulling of fabrics, lies flat, and is the right size exactly!    Wooo hooo!

Then.... on to the block with the 1930s fabrics.   I decided to piece the arms of the star and ended up using the templates from Amethyst.   What a difference....

I had a time piecing this one.... and I'm sure you can see the lumpy block.   In fact, one side of the block is noticeably smaller than the opposite side.    However, I don't feel like taking it apart to day.  I am recovering but it's time to go hold down the sofa for a bit and watch a movie. 

I am pleased with the results from using measurements from BlockBase.  No more downloading templates... I'll find that block in BB and use those measurements.

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Heath update:  I've turned a corner and am feeling better... and would estimate that I'm about where I was last Saturday afternoon/evening.... when I knew I was coming down with something.  I can't say at this point if I will be up for work on Monday.... I'll just have to wait and see.

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Thought I'd share this with you all... gave me a chuckle!



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Grandmother's Choice #7: Alice's Flag

Since I started feeling not-so-hot on Saturday, I did not even think about what I was going to do with this applique block.   Those of you who followed along with the Civil War BOW with me know how I feel about applique blocks.  So.... do I just omit this block... or sub another?

In honor of the males (most likely married) who were opposed to women's suffrage, I decided to sub Contrary Husband for Alice's Flag.

Pretty amazing, isn't it?

There are a number of ways to make Contrary Husband and most use the HST method.   Me.... for the first time, I went to BlockBase and looked up the block so I could get the measurements without having to do a lot of figuring.   I found another way to make this block and decided it would be a good one to practice some Y-seams!  Yea, me!

I make an error in cutting the blue fabric for the 1930s fabric block... but it was fixable.

The second block went together faster and I have to say I do like this block without the HSTs...

And for all the women who worked for the right for women to vote:   Thank you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Not much of anything is going on here since I got caught by some nasty relatives of these....

I've gotten some good meds and am doing a lot of resting.... and wish I had one of these by the front door...

...and someway to attach the sign to my phone as well!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Purse Organizer

A friend/coworker carries one of those satchel-type handbags and I noticed that she was having difficulty finding anything in it since she has to carry so much with her all day.  Her purse is a combo handbag/brief case/tote...    so I decided to make a purse organizer for her.


I had found a cool purse organizer tutorial that I used, except I made it longer...  since Tina's purse is at least 14-16" long.   I went stash diving and came up with...

I pieced two strips cut from each FQ, and then used the iron-on purse batting/lining stuff to give the "outside" some body.

After pressing on the lining/batting...

I sewed the two pieces of fabric together, leaving a 3-4" opening for turning.

I clipped each corner....

... before turning it right-side out.  I pressed it before top stitching around the edges using a multi-colored thread to go with the multi-colored dots.   (I love variegated thread!)

Next, you fold the organizer-to-be up about 3" and pin.... and then stitch "pockets" in the organizer.

The purse organizer tutorial states adding 1" to the width of the various items you need to organize in your purse.  Since I don't know what all Tina carries in her purse.... I used suggested measurements plus a couple of sections to hold pens/pencils.... and another to hold her Splenda packets!

Once filled with your stuff, your purse is organized.... and it's easy to transfer stuff from one purse to another!  A good thing about this type purse organizer is that you can fold it to fit whatever size your handbag is.

I like that you can tuck your billfold/wallet and other larger items between the folded purse organizer.   If you don't need one yourself...  I think this quick project would make a very nice gift!

The original tutorial for the purse organizer can be found here

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Shipping Update:

Someone wasn't too excited..... 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

More online fun....

I got up this morning and just had to see where Henry's package was now...  and guess what?    It's back in Fayetteville!

That is one crazy journey...

At this rate, it's going to take almost a WEEK to get a package to a location only a 2 hour drive away!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Online Fun... and a little geography!

As you know, I shipped Henry's robot suit off to him on Tuesday, October 9th.  It was mailed from the post office in Carthage, NC.   I like to do the Click-n-Ship thing via the USPS website.  Not only do you save a bit by printing out your own label, you don't have to wait in line at the post office..... AND you get free tracking!

Neither my hometown or Carthage is indicated on this map... but Southern Pines is.  I'm a 5-minute drive from Southern Pines... so I underlined it in purple for your viewing convenience!

Henry lives with his parents and older brothers in Wilmington, NC.... on the coast.   I've underlined that in green.

Wednesday morning, I checked online and found that the package had arrived in Fayetteville at the sorting facility at 6:34pm Tuesday.   Not bad...  Henry should have the robot suit Wednesday evening!

I checked tracking again Wednesday night... and there was no update.... like "out on delivery" or "delivered"....  puzzling.

Well, Thursday morning, I checked.... and guess where the package was???   

Yes!  The package was in Asheville, NC.... four hours west of here and five hours west of Fayetteville!    *lol*

By Thursday evening, the package had left the facility in Asheville....  en route to Wilmington!

Are we having fun yet?    *lol*   Henry's robot suit is certainly going to be well traveled!

I also like the "snipping tool" on my computer so I can show you the actual info obtained from the USPS site.  Please note that "expected delivery" was October 10, 2012.

It's not a big deal.... the robot suit will be there in plenty of time for Halloween.    I just love me some online fun!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Robot Shirt

The gold fabric has been interesting to sew with... and certainly not the most difficult fabric with which I've worked.   The best description of it I can find is:

"Two way stretch fabrics are fabrics with Spandex/spandex and have approximately 75% stretch. Swimwear fabrics of Nylon/spandex usually have the most stretch on lengthwise grain, Cotton/spandex has most stretch on crosswise grain and is suitable for swimwear, activewear, dancewear, leotards and leggings."

Photo taken without flash.

The "gold" whatever is rubbery and, when right sides are together, almost sticky.   There wasn't much sliding around but I did use straight pins to align the edges since the 75% stretch was a concern.

 Photo taken with flash, closer to the color the gold fabric is.

If I had to make a lot of these, I would have tracked down and purchased the type thread used for swimsuits.... and used a serger.

Here is a photo of me in my gold bathing suit...

...and if you believe that, I have some swamp land in Florida I'd like to talk to you about!    *snicker*

The robot outfit is in the mail to Henry of the Big Imagination....

I'm glad the helmet/head/hat/what ever is his and his mother's responsibility!



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Robot Pants

Thanks for all the suggestions about sewing on this unusual fabric, which has a multi-directional stretch similar to t-shirt fabric.  It's heavy weight and not as slippery to work with as some fabrics I've used....  and it's probably used for dancer's outfits and such.

I used a ball-point needle; however, the walking foot caused a lot of skipped stitches.  I used the "0" foot that came with my machine and is the basic foot, good for both straight and zigzag stitches. I used a zigzag stitch and poly-cotton thread.

Need sunglasses?

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Hardest Part....

...about sewing/dressmaking/costume making for me is cutting out the pattern.   I am NOT very patient but the laying out, pinning, and cutting out of a pattern makes all the difference in the finished product.   So...  I decided to cut out the robot costume-to-be yesterday between laundry and housework.

The fabric is slippery-slidey so extra care needed to be taken when smoothing out both the fabric and the pattern pieces.

The body of the top needed to be placed on the fold and... to save fabric.... I refolded the fabric so the selvedges met in the center.

I had to take breaks because bending over the table to pin down the pattern pieces was not appreciated by my lower back.   However, the costume is cut out....  I'll tackle the sewing after work this week.

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Another photo from Saturday's birthday party....