Christmas lights, colors, and festivities put many people in a happy mood . But now those decorations and festivities are gone for another year and depression is setting in. I’d like to take the time here to discuss this topic.
Depression is often caused from looking inward and most of us aren’t thrilled with what we see. When I look inside, I see someone with lots of flaws -overweight, inattentive to detail, poor housekeeper, etc. – who continually makes mistakes and if I kept looking inside the depression cycle would start. But I am choosing to make those mistakes stepping stones in my learning.
Instead I am choosing to lift my head and look out. And when I do, I see so many local needs and while most are not of my calling, a few are. I have skills in the sewing world that can lighten another’s load. We do a decent garden in the summer to share. And I can always share a smile, lend an ear, and be friendly. Some people only need a cheery word while others need more. In the past I have made items for hospitals, street people, military vets to name some. This year, in addition, I’ll be looking for chances to be of help in a more personal way.
I recently learned of some mothers I know who are in a lot of pain because of their children’s actions. Been there, done that, so maybe I can help share their pain and ease their burdens. No one should have to feel alone going through hard times. Yet because we don’t share, we do suffer alone.
Even in our churches we have a lot of lonely people. Maybe once a month I could invite half a dozen people over for lunch after church. Do you think they would care if my house was not spotless, or the meal was a simple plant based one? Would it matter to them that I don’t do “House Beautiful” or maybe that I have more earthly goods than they do? In the past, I have not invited people because of these reasons. I have been to conscious of what people might think of me. This year I am choosing to think of their needs. I am choosing to think they would rather have a friendly visit than critique my housekeeping skills or simple meal. If that’s not the case, they can turn me down. I expect nothing in return, but if they accept, both of us will be blessed.
What about the lonely older people, especially those in nursing homes. I remember when Dad was in the nursing home, his roommate had no company. I took Dad a simple fleece blanket and almost as an afterthought decided to bring his roommate one as well. Simple, but he liked being cared about. I wonder – would have to ask first – but would nursing homes like a simple decorations for the tables or trays for the holidays – something that could be disposable – that says, someone cares. And if I brought a few inexpensive fleece blankets in happy colors, would they have patients without someone to love them who would be thrilled to be thought of And I wonder if they have someone there that just needs to be read to. Another personal touch which people enjoy. Life is fast and if you don’t keep up, sometimes you are forgotten.
I remember the Christmas I was in the hospital over the holidays. When I returned to my room Christmas day, there on my bed was a bright red hat and mittens. OK they were the dollar type – nothing fancy. But the donor will never know how they cheered me and though I didn’t need them and have much nicer items, it mattered that someone cared to include me. I wore them until they wore out. They reminded me someone cared. It may seem silly because I have a large family who cares and gave me nice Christmas gifts. There were two other gifts that stand out that year and both were because someone said “I care” with their time.
I’d like to continue another time and would like your thoughts as well
I bound the quilt this morning. I used fleece on the back and omitted a batting. It is wonderfully cuddly for a new baby.
Then it was off to Costco to which I only go about 3-4 times a year because it always does me in financially. But I was told they had these “Miracle Mats” for sale and since I purchased some at the state fair two years ago and they really DO trap the dirt at doors, I was wanting some more. These mats not only trap the dirt, but are very easy to care for as well. They also have a non slip surface on the back and can be used inside and outside. Our Great Pyrenees have tested them for us. Who can resist when they are 30% cheaper at Costco. So 2 runners and 3 squares came home with me.
In addition to the party food for the Superbowl – we are in Seahawks territory, I bought the dogs treats for the next 3-4 months. And look at the beautiful flowers – new to me. These Helleborus, “CinnamonSnow” are winter blooming and shade loving. What more could I ask for? We have lots of shade on the north side of the house which is often a plant problem area.
After it was rung up, all I could say was how did that get so high so fast. His answer: The rugs! which I knew, but didn’t want to acknowledge. So that is the story of why I make few trips to Costco.
Here is the blue “GO” quilt. I used a free pattern from the Accuquilt company since I needed a baby charity quilt. I will finish the binding tomorrow which will all be done by machine. The charity quilts I don’t sign.
I updated the “End of Month” report and tomorrow, I will put together the February list along with a menu we will use for the month. As you can see I did finish 3 quilts from the ufo pile, plus I tested the patterns that weren’t on the list.
I do get more things done with a list, but not everything. That’s okay. I usually overbook to give myself a choice when I come to a project that I’m just not ready to handle or that I have to put aside for awhile. What didn’t get done this month will go on next month’s list along with some new items. It any of you would like to play along, just let me know. Feb will have sweatshirt jackets and socks as the primary focus because of need.
1 .Finish getting the blog up done but needs tweeking
finish Celtic solstice in ufo stack
bind pink baby quilt, done
bind BQ quilt, done
sew piecemeal baskets top baskets only done
sew blue accuquilt quilt top done plus quilted and will be bound tomorrow
tested pattern for company by making a throw, baby quilt top and wall hanging. will quilt in Feb
3. AG: Sew 2 dresses not done
4. sewing: Make 2 sweatshirts partially done
5. knit: one pair of striped socks 1/2 done
6. embroidery: none done
Zundt bowl in green
3 Jump stick holders
Large hoop butterfly for bag
start the Anita Goodesign footstep panel
7. Make menu and find recipes for each week done
8. Using pedometer, walk 8000 steps per day. Averaged 11,000/day
Remember those triangles I cut off the flying geese yesterday? Since they were sewn before cutting, the bias has not been stretched and they are secure. Here’s what can happen to them in the future.
First I squared them up. Size doesn’t matter for this. Whatever size you cut off, press open and lay a ruler on it, with the diagonal line on the diagonal line of the square. Trim around it to make a perfect square. So let’s say yours measures 3.14″, just cut them to be 3″ Whatever the size, down the road, there will be a use.
Then I played with arrangements. For my next projects, the pinwheels will be useful, so mine are becoming pinwheels.
When quilting, very little needs to be thrown away. If it was just strips, they could also be used in another project.
I started my work day by cutting out the fabric for the Superbowl Sunday Mystery put on by Homespun Hearth. There are only 3 colors and good-sized pieces. She says this is for beginning quilters so it should go pretty fast. If you have not done a mystery before, clues are given throughout the day and often there is a site where you can post your progress and see what others are doing. There are usually virtual foods and most quilters have lots of fun.
After that it was time to cut my pieces for the pattern I’m testing for the July issue of “The Quilt Pattern Magazine” Sorry I can’t show you the pattern, but I can show you how one of the parts was created. Here are the fabrics I’m using for the throw and crib size pattern. Don’t they look fun?
For beginning quilters or even someone who wants to get their feet just a little wet, this is a flying goose. Rarely will you see one alone. They are used in numerous ways, such as 4 of them used to make the points around a star. Sometimes they are used one after the other to make a row of geese flying. If you look for this shape, you’ll start seeing them all over quilts.
There are several ways to make these geese, however, since I am testing the pattern, I did it the way she instructed. I started with a square and a rectangle. The pattern will specify the size of the two pieces of fabric to cut. I started with drawing a diagonal line corner to corner and then because these are generous sized geese, and I am going to have to cut off the corner, I drew a second line 1/2″ away from the first one.
To get a scant 1/4″ seam, sew just to the outside of the line you drew. This allows room for the fabric to fold over the thread and still be 1/4″.
I chain sew as it is faster and I don’t have problems with the machine trying to eat the corners.
After sewing the first line on the pieces, I cut the pieces apart and then go back and sew the second line I drew. When done with this step, I take the pieces to the cutting mat and cut between the two lines I have just sewn. This gives me the little half square triangle (above) to use in another quilt instead of tossing it in the trash.
After sewing the first side of the goose, repeat for the second side. The two sides will overlap in the center about 1/4″ in from the edge. This is perfect.
You will be amazed how many times in the quilting world, you will need this information.
After all the Christmas decorations have been packed, January has seemed a bit colorless, so a trip to the dollar store was needed. Just the bit of red Valentine decorations give the table a bit of sparkle and I’m ready for March as well. There is even a big tulip for the next month. But I think it will need company, so mid March I’ll go see what other spring “pretties” they have. It really doesn’t take much to brighten a room.
The sun was shining and the weather in the 40s so time to get some outside chores taken care of. How do you like my farm wagon? DH doesn’t want a truck, so this is my “truck”. This is the second garbage load (no home pickup) which was not as full as the first. Then there was the recycling trip. The car DID get a workout today. It’s great to have that task done for a few months.
The rabbits all got their worming and trimmings. They are good to go for another month except for one who needs a full cut.
After a lovely afternoon walk in the park today with our youngest daughter and her husband, we came back home to reality this evening.
Do you have piles like this of mail that must be addressed?
Or a magazine pile like this including seed catalogs that you want to look at?
In January, I thought I would just make a list of what I wanted to accomplish this month. It didn’t work for me. I wasted time because it seemed like there was still plenty of month left. Here I am now on the last week and know that I could have done more if I had scheduled it.
For me what works best is taking a calendar page like this and detail which days I plan to do which items, which is what I’ve done in years past. No, I don’t get it all done everyday, because I always think that I can do more than I can. However, I do get the important things done as well as a lot more that I want to do and I do not stress if something doesn’t get done, I just add it to another month. So tomorrow, I will sit down and make out a menu for the following month as well as fill out this February page of projects I’d like to get done. Both the menu and the items to do can be altered, but at least I have a guide that keeps me on track.
The sun was attempting to come through the fog as I sit down to write this. The shadows are rather interesting.
REMODEL: supplies needed: a sweatshirt and 1″ matching grograin ribbon twice the length of the front of the shirt
This is a very basic sweatshirt remodel. I often wear an open sweatshirt as a jacket and when I find them a pullover like this for $3.oo, I am sure to buy some.
The first thing to do is find the center front. Pin the shoulders together and then the bottom side seam. Make sure the underarm seams match as well. Take and fold it so the center front is nearest you and pin up the front.
Open the shirt and draw a chalk line using a ruler between the pins, after the pins are removed, connect the line.
At the sewing machine, sew about 1/8th inch down each side of the line. This is your cutting line and the stitching reinforces the shirt so it doesn’t ravel. Put something between the front and back of the shirt so it doesn’t accidentally get cut all the way through. Cut through the chalk line.Measure the grograin ribbon leaving a half an inch both top and bottom to turn under. Sew the grograin ribbon to the front side of the shirt with a 1/4″ seam. Turn the top 1/2″ and the bottom 1/2″ up toward you so it will be inside when you turn the ribbon Do this to both sides. You may need stiletto or orange stick to get it started as it is rather thick.
Turn this to the inside of the shirt. Roll the shirt under so the shirt fabric is on the roll. From the back side, sew 1/4″ from the open side of the ribbon, top to bottom.
Now you have a very plain jacket and another time we will go into how you might want to decorate it with embroidery, applique, lace, ribbons, different necklines, etc. There are Just so many ways to have fun with this shirt. You can many and they will all look different.