Saturday, March 29, 2008

The World's Greatest Needle Threader

Why in the hospital, not for me but for the my DD Jennifer. She has cancer and is coping with it very well. Medicine has advanced so much lately that the "Big C" is not a death sentence as much any more. But, believe me, it's a misery sentence. We are all coping and this too shall pass.

But, quilting goes on as usual, when I can and where I can get light, even if its by flashlight in the hospital so she can sleep. I feel and like to pretend to make it seem better, that I'm camping, like we did a lot when we were younger and we had a tent trailer. I'm on a mission now though, this lack of light has driven me to find the world's best needle threader, cause you know there's nothing more difficult than threading a needle with little light. When you have chiseled your thread so sharp to enhance needle insertion into the eye that you don't realize you've cut it down to 2 inches long with no success. Or if you run out of saliva wetting the thread and the needle so much and it's still only a 10% success rate, frustration is the motivating forece.

So when I get a break, I'm driving to the 2 nearest quilt shops to Kosair Children's Hospital, Happy Heart Quilt shop and Forget Me Knot Quilt Shop. These are two of the one stop large quilt shops that should have ample choices for me.

I'll let you know

Friday, March 28, 2008

Green is the thing for the environment and quilters

Yes, quilters were one of the leaders in recycling. I know we love our new fabrics and I'm not one to complain about spending money on beautiful fabrics that make our quilts look so special. We are mostly threads per square inch kinda gals and understand Oprah's obsession with sheets. Well, guess what, it's pretty similar today with our quilting fabrics...I digress, it's just to easy talking fabric.

Quilters were one of the first recyclers and today we can still carry on this tradition and help the environment in so many ways. One such way that I'm helping my daughter out with is the Reusable shopping bags-now, we've got to come up with a new word(s) to describe our green, environmentally friendly bags...any suggestions?

So, here's the instructions for the ????? that people, should use to buy their groceries with. Also, it will help to save money, cause if you think ahead of time that you only have this much room to carry things home in, you can't buy more than a bags worth of food, or whatever. I plan to take mine to Paducah, if I get to go this year. First, open a Walmart shopping bag and cut the seams.
Lay out about a half yard of material fold in half lengthwise. Cut with the pattern bottom on the fold. Basically all you are cutting is the handles.

Clean Finish around the handles and "mouth" of the bag.
Iron the clean finishing and bag-ironing is the secrect to not having the happy hands at home look on anything.

With right sides together sew both sides of the bag and
handles I made knots often and made double seams-remember this is a reusable bag, so you can't add too many stitches to hold it together. Make a triangle pleat at the bottom of the bag about 1 1/2 inches from the corner-this gives you the fullness of the bag. Double seam here as well.

For the handles, make a pleat by bring the side in on itself and
sew to secure. Voila! you are finito! A job well done and you just saved the planet. I used up mainly old drapery material that had been hanging around for quite a while, but, I think this is the perfect project for the sturdy material. I still have my holy fabric, you know, the kind you like to fondle and dream of a quilt that it will be in.

Rest well, my friend and go work on any other project you already have started, you earned it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

40 bags in a day - Huzah!

Miss Green Topper has asked for some reusable grocery bags for their first project/hopeful fundraiser. I say hopeful, because you know these are poor college kids we are talking about, and I don't really care what she gets for them, I was glad to use up the 25 yards of material that had been sitting around since, oh maybe the early 80's-at least some of it.

Here is one of the them I made especially for Chelsea and my other daughter, Jennifer. Like I said in an earlier post, the pattern is a Walmart shopping bag you get to throw away and ruin the land with or entangle something in. Now I don't know, maybe they are biodegradable, but, what the heck. Our whole family loves turtles and I bought this fabric several years ago and now it is in use. My daughter that lives at home, Jennifer, took one look, loved it and is using it as a purse! That's okay, when she's tired of it as a purse, she can keep it in her glove box in the car and use it when she shops.

A do it yourself instruction will follow later.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My daughter is a Green Topper

My second daughter, Chelsea, 20 years old is a Sr at Western Kentucky University. She is a geology major setting the world on fire. Or, should I say, wanting to turn the world green. You know, that catch word for all things environmental, green. Yep, there's green houses and now there's Green Toppers. Western Kentucky University, in Bowling Green, is set atop a huge hill, thus, the name for the school teams is the Hill Toppers. Their mascot is just that a bright red hill, I think. I'd say maybe it resembles more of a lovable blob than anything else.

Anyway, Miss Green Topper wants to have something to hand out for Earth Day, April 22nd. And who does our wonderful DD turn to for cheap and readily available labor, but moi. Ma, any ideas, she asks...hmmmm what does all knowing about sewing (or maybe she just thinks she knows) mother have to contribute? You guessed it an electric car for a raffle....haha...just kidding. Better than that-
yah right-free fabric! And what does that free fabric and cheap labor turn into? You guessed it-A vacation to Tahiti? You ask? Nope, reusable bags for groceries-much better and way more green than a vacation to Tahiti.

And so with that I give you my design, or should I say Walmart's design for the reusable grocery bag. Now, I don't know about you, but, I find Walmart's plastic grocery bags to be the just right size. Like Goldie Locks, it's not too big, it's not too small, it's just right. It also acts as a liner for small garbage cans around the house after it'
s grocery bringing life, but, these reusable bags Won't be in the can any time soon.

All sewers know if you want to copy something that's already made, you take it apart and that is your pattern. Here is the before, notice how it bulges out in just the right places? I think that's the perfect design, maybe not the easiest to sew, but, by and large we quilters/sewers are something of perfectionists and I want it to be a good bag for the DD and I want to help make her recruitment/Earth Day go well.

So, I've cut the "seams" of the plastic bag and here's what it looks li
ke taken apart. I'll let you know, in the next installment of the Green Bag experience how to cut and sew the bag.

My own bit of green wisdom-these light bulbs are supposed to save energy. I'm no expert, but, thought I'd give them a try.

Happy Quilting!


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