Saturday, July 21, 2018

I was good...

As a friend commented yesterday, I bought the half-yard cuts of fabric with a purpose so...  I turned said fabric into grocery bags!

The newly purchased fabric never made it into my stash!

Friday, July 20, 2018

I was bad...

Yesterday, I was taking a friend to pick up her car at the dealership where it was getting serviced.  We had lunch first and decided to stop at Tuesday Morning (link) to browse.  Had no intention of buying anything but the store is fun to wander through and see what they have... never know what you'll find.

Now, I've sworn off buying fabric and am determined to shop my stash for projects; however, when I came across these, I stopped to look.  At first, I thought they were fat quarters but they "felt different" when I picked them up... upon further examination, I realized they were half-yard cuts.  And for $1.49, too!   

Love the prints, love the colors... and I've already cut them out to make four grocery bags for my daughter.

I love how strong these fabric bags are... last week during a grocery run, I got a gallon of water, a half-gallon of milk, a jar of spaghetti sauce and a box of saran wrap in one bag.  If bagged with plastic... you'd need two bags at least.... and I'd be worried that the corners of the saran wrap box would cut the plastic and I'd end up with a broken jar of spaghetti sauce on the concrete driveway.

Monday, July 9, 2018


Even though I had placed a moratorium on fabric purchases a while ago, I realized that my stash was at SABLE stage:  Stash Amassed Beyond Life Expectancy.  So, I found a pattern/tutorial for grocery bags online and did a bit of sewing.

This morning, I made a grocery run and these shopping bags definitely have a lot of positives:

1.  Using these will reduce my consumption of plastic bags.  I don't want to see any more photos of animals killed or deformed by plastics dumped in their environments.

2.  These bags are sturdier than plastic bags so I won't, for example, have any more burpless cukes poking a hole in a plastic bag and ending up on the driveway or on the floor in the kitchen.

3.  This sturdiness also allows more items to be placed in the bags so there are fewer bags to manage out to the car and into the house.

4.  The handles do not slide on and do not cut into my arm when lugging them into the house. 

5.  The cheerful, fun bags help make a chore a bit more pleasant.

The tutorial and pattern is by Stitched by Crystal (link) and it is easy to follow.  The bags go together quickly, even though all the seams in the bag are French-seams.  The most difficult part was selecting fabrics.  The pattern calls for fat quarters and most FQs I have are singles....  so the backs and front of the bags are different, though coordinated.  The lining, which takes one FQ, is also coordinated rather than matching.   It was nice to put a small dent in the stash... and good to have these fabrics out where I can enjoy them!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Report from the sewing machine

Granddaughter #2 was thrilled with her new romper and, after studying herself in the mirror behind  my bedroom door, sashayed around the house  in it.  *lol*  I insisted on a photo before she left...   

The fabric I chose for granddaughter #1's dress was a pretty, silky knit... but it was the devil to sew on.  Thank goodness it was a simple pattern.  The chiffon I used for the shrug was much easier to sew thankfully.

Hard to believe this one will be in high school come fall.

It's been hotter than blue blazes lately and I've been staying inside, enjoying both the air conditioning and the ceiling fan.  However, I did venture out for the appointment with the oncologist this afternoon.  After discussion, we agreed that no further treatment at this time is needed... and I will have mammograms twice a year for a while.    *whew*

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Quilty goodness

One of the younger members of a knit/crochet group I belong to is expecting in early August and we're all making things for her.  Since this isn't her first child, she doesn't need much and the rest of the group is knitting or crocheting things for her... so I decided to make a quilt to put on the floor for tummy time.

I challenged myself to use only stash... and I did!  The flannel squares, cut from yardage to make crib sheets, needed to be trimmed to 8" and went together quickly, although random-looking placement was a bit of a challenge.  I was worried about doing meander quilting since it's been a while... but it came back quickly.  Not perfect but looks good to me!  

Another project I just had to try was water balloons (link)!  I've become concerned about the amount of plastics being dumped around the world and am doing small things to reduce my plastic consumption such as not using plastic straws at restaurants.  

The "balloons," soaked in a bucket of water, will be fun for the grandkids to chase each other with and, I think, will make for something to toss to them to catch as they jump into the pool.  The balloons can be washed and dried... or hung up to dry.  Quick and simple to make, it's a good project to keep my hands busy in the evening.

I've not been getting email notices of comments and need to get better about checking here more frequently.  Hope Blogger gets that bug fixed quickly.

Have sewing projects perking in the never-ending task of putting lots of fabric to good use.  It's good to be back to quilting tho...  I missed it more than I realized!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Dusted off the sewing machine...

Youngest grandgirl wanted a romper to wear this summer so, after a road trip to find fabric, I spent the day cutting out and sewing together one for her.

I do need her to try it on so I can check to see if the elastic lengths are okay....

...then she'll be ready to go!    It was nice to be at the sewing machine again... must do that again soon!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Keeping busy

I'm sure a lot of folks are like me and need to have a project or task to keep the mind engaged to prevent worrying about other life issues.  One fun project was to crochet a dinosaur (link) for my first great nephew who was born less than a week after my lumpectomy.

Connor lives in Florida so it won't be until early July before I get to hold him... but looking at his photo makes me smile while I wait.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Still researching online and otherwise keeping busy

Well, it seems that nothing about breast cancer is cut and dried so the roller coaster continues even though the downhill parts aren't as frightening.

My doctor presented my case to a group of physicians who deal with breast cancer on a full-time basis and there is no clear consensus about where to go next.  I'm signed up for mammograms every six months for the next 3 yrs.  The discussion concerning additional treatment is still on the table and I will consult with an oncologist the latter part of June.  Online research continues and I've contacted a cousin on my father's side about hers and her mother's history of breast cancer.

I'm sharing information with my sisters and daughter so they won't be as in the dark as they make decisions regarding mammograms.  Hopefully, they won't ever need to use the information in any other way...

In the meantime, I'm staying busy with crafty-type projects and just blocked my Wonder Woman Wrap (crochet).  There is also a knitted version (link).


I've been crocheting for a while now but methinks the sewing bug has awoken from hibernation...  so I expect to be quilting shortly.  One must stay busy, yes?

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Still learning stuff on the internet

Since retirement last June, there have been a number of health issues that required taking care of and were generally a pain in the kazoo.  Nothing that was going to kill me or anything, just issues that needed resolving.  I did do my usual Google-thing and read up on everything and was glad retirement hadn't interfered with my search skills.   Then came March 2018...

After going in for my annual mammogram, I got the phone call saying I needed to come back in for another mammogram.  Fun times.   The second mammogram was followed by a sonogram and I got to sit in a stuffy room while the radiologist read the results.  Seems there were a "cluster of microcalcifications"...  not as bad as a "line of microcalcifications" but still worrisome.   Went home and Googled "microcalcifications" and then... "breast cancer."

Now, no lumps were felt during the manual exam and no tumors showed up on any scans, just the microcalcifications.  Then, since it was late Friday afternoon, I got to wait over the weekend to hear from my primary care provider.  Don't you just love waiting?

My PCP called (not her nurse) and she had set me up with an appointment with a surgeon, (more waiting) who set me up with an appointment for an outpatient biopsy.   Wait for that appointment.  Then came the wait for the results, then wait for the next appointment with the surgeon. 

The diagnosis was ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which means abnormal cells in the milk ducts that have not yet spread out of the ducts.... and is considered Stage 0 breast cancer.  There was a lot of Googling for additional information...   did you know that 1 in 8 women get breast cancer?

More waiting around for a lumpectomy followed by waiting for the pathology report on the excised tissue.  That came through an electronic portal that the hospital has.... giving me a detailed report written in medical-ese that required more Googling.   Now I am waiting on the post-procedure appointment where I'll find out if my interpretation of the report matches the surgeon's.

I am recovering well with no pain and recovery is supposed to take 2 weeks.  I'm able to do more each day but still need to rest some in the afternoon.  In addition to resting, I'm doing things that make me happy / lifts my spirits.  Today, I had a cute hair appointment and ran several errands before heading home, including a stop at a local yarn shop.

I don't know why I wasn't afraid during all this.  I was irritated by all the waiting around and being messed with.... just wanted folks to leave me alone.  I do know that prior to surgery... radiation was not being discussed.... so that's good.  I marvel at the miracle of the new machine that detected the microcalcifications (seems that my immune system was going after the abnormal cells, laying down calcium during their efforts).  I'm in awe that the surgery was so targeted and precise.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that 5 days post-surgery, I was sleeping on my tummy again.

I will be doing a bit more waiting until the Thursday afternoon appt.... but I'm grateful to know that my 5-year survival rate is close to 100%.   Final comment for today:   Don't skip your annual mammogram!