Sewing for Crutches

Last week my coworker broke her leg. She broke both her fibula and tibia. OUCH! She is unable to use the fun little scooter like what Jay used when he broke his foot.

Penny Riding in the Basket 6-6-19

She is stuck with crutches for the next 6-8 weeks. I feel bad for her because I know what it’s like to be on crutches. My ankles weren’t the best so there were a few incidents when I was younger.

Last Friday my coworker mentioned that she would like a bag for her crutches so that she could attempt to get things for herself. She had found one on Amazon so I had her send me the link. I told her that I could make something similar, so I gave it a shot.

Crutch Carrying Bag 10-12-19

I found a guideline tutorial online, looked at the bag on Amazon, and then made my own judgement calls. After the week I’d had, I really needed some “Me” time. Jay had to work on Saturday so I hermited. Every time I hermit I realize just how much I love it! Anyway, back to the bag.

Crutch Bag 10-12-19

I wanted it to hang low enough that it wouldn’t get in the way of her fingers curling around the grip. It also needed to be big enough to hold her water bottle that she uses. I added a front pocket so that she wouldn’t have to dig for her phone.

Crutch Bag Front 10-12-19

I wanted to use fabric with a bit of structure to it. I had some canvas that I hauled out, but then I spotted this left-over upholstery vinyl that I had used to cover our bar stools. I figured not only would it be sturdy and hold up to some wear, but it also looks nice.

Crutch Bag Back 10-12-19

The straps stumped me a bit, but I think that I got them figured out. I did end up having to fold up the bottom straps a bit and hand stitch them at work after trying it on her crutch. They were just a bit too long. Overall it turned out okay. I wasn’t overly happy with how it turned out, but I can see every flaw so that doesn’t help.

Considering the level of supervision that I had while working on this you would have thought that it would have turned out better!

Bob Supervising 10-12-19

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Pew Wood Box Finished!

This definitely wasn’t our biggest project, but it sure did make us stop and think.

Unhinged signed

Once we figured out how we wanted the top to fit onto the box it was smooth sailing. In fact, once I got my act together and made time to work on it the finishing flew by quickly. We went from the box you see above, to this…

Pew Wood Box Finished 10-12-19

It’s amazing what a little stain and poly can do to wood. You can see the edge of the lid where I left the original finish alone. I did poly over it, but only to protect it.

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to line the entire inside, but I knew that I couldn’t do it precisely so I opted to leave the sides alone. I was going to line the bottom with felt, but then I remembered that I had some velvet.

Pew Wood Box Lining 10-12-19

But what color? I really like the dark sapphire, but the garnet red was divine. I went with the red.

Pew Wood Box Lined 10-12-19

It’s difficult to see the velvet in the picture. However, you can see my horrible job of not quite getting the velvet to size. It fit perfectly when I did the dry fit. As soon as I sprayed the adhesive on the back of the velvet and tried to carefully drop it into place… it went wonky. *sigh* Oh well. Nobody’s perfect, right?

Since this is a gift for our sister parish in Mexico I also added a few more gifts for the inside.

Pew Wood Box Gifts 10-12-19

Three crosses that we made for Ash Wednesday, to represent the Holy Trinity. And four Jesus Nuts to round out the number of items to seven. Seven is a very significant number in the Bible so I wanted to have seven items in the box.

Now that this project is complete Jay has started working on other things. Here’s a preview of what is to come:

Wolf Carving

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Real Life – 10-11-19

Have you been feeling like life is a real drag? Do you think that everybody else on social media has a wonderful life? Do you think that you’re the only one who is trying to get into her sewing room, but it just isn’t happening? Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. Do you need a Friday Pick-Me-Up? Here I am, at your service. Let me tell you about my week…

Last Saturday I spent 2.5 hours taping a pattern together so that I could try making another shirt.

Printed Pattern 9-1-19

I left it on the floor because I was planning to get back to it. However, I’d been giving Bob and Chester some different treat foods and it didn’t agree with Chester’s system.

Cat Dishes 10-10-19

She loved it, but it didn’t love her. So there was an accident across my pattern and the pattern board. So now I have a new pattern board.

Sewing Pattern Board 10-9-19

(And the food has been tossed to the curb)

Sunday morning I started making coffee.

Yarn Coffee Mug

But our coffee maker (an espresso machine) suddenly started spurting water and steam out of the back. Jay tore it apart later that day and said that the pump was shot. So now we’re using the back-up travel coffee maker until the new one arrives.

Travel Coffee Maker 10-9-19

I miss my espresso machine with the water reservoir. *sigh*

I had a Small Faith Group meeting Tuesday night so I needed treats.

No Bake Cookies 10-9-19

I cleaned the kitchen and then made No Bake Cookies. I sent most of them to work with Jay on Thursday.

Wednesday night I had to clean the kitchen after making the cookies Monday night. Then I had to use the bananas that were going bad on the counter.

Banana Muffins 10-9-19

So I made Banana Muffins. And cleaned the kitchen again. Then I realized that Jay was going to need something for dinner and his lunches. So I threw stuff in a pot.

Veggie Beef Soup 10-9-19

My version of Vegetable Beef Soup. Kind of. It was gut fill. I did not clean the kitchen after making dinner.

I spend the majority of my time during the week sitting in this little area:

Desk 10-10-19

This is the first office I’ve worked in where I’ve sat next to a window. A blue jay visited me on Monday. Yesterday a woodpecker clung to the building by my window and chatted for a bit. Then I go home and see this when I enter the house:

Messy Table 10-10-19

I am reminded that my coffee machine is still broken, that my sewing room is still upstairs, and I have to get the nerve up to try upholstering the cat couch.

Then I go downstairs to work on finishing the box for church.

Finishing Area 10-10-19

Another mess. When I look over at Jay’s work bench I see this:

Broken Laptop 10-10-19

The screen went wonky on this laptop for no reason. He has hooked it up to a monitor until the new screen that he ordered arrives.

At the end of the day I’m exhausted. I just want to plug my phone in and go to bed.

iPhone 3G Case 10-10-19

That’s when I notice that another piece of my phone case has fallen off. They just don’t make things to last any more. I can’t buy a new case for it because I don’t think anybody even makes cases for the iPhone 3G any more. Yes, this is a 3G.

iPhone 3G 10-10-19

And it still works… mostly. I can make calls, send/receive texts, take pictures, and stream podcasts. I can also listen to my iTunes. I just can’t actually go to anything that requires me to access the internet. I’m unable to update the operating system because my phone isn’t technologically advanced enough to run it. Sure, this phone is almost 10 years old, but it was expensive! I want to make sure we get our money’s worth out of it. When I finally give in and decide to upgrade I’ll upgrade to a much newer model. I have my sister’s old iPhone 6S that I will use. Hopefully I will be able to learn all the new advanced settings!

Even with all of my griping I have to say that I am tremendously blessed. My wish is that for anybody who has read this far that you are as blessed as I am. When I’ve had a rough day and I just want to hide my head I get to end my day with this:

Jay and Bob Napping

Flannel sheets, a heated mattress pad, and her two favorite guys to snuggle… Life is good!

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Project Linus – Blanket #26

Project Linus Blanket #26

Project Linus Blanket #26 9-16-19


I didn’t think much about naming this blanket until after I’d done my first section of blue and was working on the first section of maroon/burgundy. The colors reminded me of high school. When I was a junior my school merged with a neighboring school (and one of our biggest rivals). Our colors had been blue and gold. Their colors were maroon and white. When we merged the students voted for our new school colors to be blue and maroon with accents of white and gold. We were also allowed to vote on the new school name. Our new school district would encompass almost the entire top half of the lake, so I voted for Lake Side District. Why? Because then we would have been “LSD – We’re Flying High!” Unfortunately, that did not win. Here is a picture of me with some of my then-friends on graduation night:

HS Graduation 6-25-98

That is my best friend, Pauline, on the right. She’s the only one I still care to talk to from high school. Fun Fact: Just three weeks ago I cleaned out my closet and gave the dress that I’m wearing in this picture to Goodwill.

Anyway, back to the blanket…

Project Linus Blanket #26 Detail

The sun really washed out the colors. They are much deeper in real life. But you can see why I couldn’t stop thinking of my high school. Our new mascot was the Thunderbirds so that’s what I decided to call the blanket. I just hope that this blanket brings a lot more warmth and security to a little boy than what my high school brought to me.

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More Woodworking Updates

I guess this first one isn’t so much a woodworking update as it is an update on a Jay project. Do you remember the Lean-To that he’s building?

Lean-To Framed 9-14-19

After Jay put the plywood on for the roof we had quite a few discussions. We knew it was going to take up a lot of the area (which is what we wanted), but for some reason it had escaped us that the roof would hang over the fence. Our current neighbors don’t care. However, if they ever want to sell their house before we sell ours there might be an issue with the water pouring off the Lean-To and into their yard. Also, I think the city might have it in their code somewhere that you have to have structures so far off of the property line. We didn’t want to get dinged for that and have to tear it all apart after it was full of airplanes. So we deconstructed it, took off a foot, and put it back together.

Lean-To Revised 9-28-19

It doesn’t look like a whole lot is gone, but it was definitely noticeable when we were standing in it. The missing 13.5 square feet will be sorely missed! However, I think this gives us a better footing with both the code officer and possible new future neighbors. Now we just have to finish it before the snow flies…

Inside the house we’re still working away at projects. Jay is trying to design a Jesus Shed for church (a new creche for Christmas), and he has also been working on a box.

Pew Wood Box 9-15-19

We were asked if we could make something to send to our Sister Parish in Mexico. There’s a group of church members heading down there towards the end of this month so we needed to make something that could be tucked away in a suit case.

Our problem was how to hinge the lid.

Unhinged signed

The lid is way too thin for even small hinges. After looking at it we figured out that we could do more of a friction fit to the top. So Jay did some re-designing and used his machining skills to turn a piece of square oak into a knob.

Here is the lid after coating it with pre-stain:

Pew Wood Box Lid 10-2-19

Jay asked me not to mess up the original finish that still remained on the edge, so I covered it with some painter’s tape. I used the same golden oak stain that we used on the advent wreath stand.

Pew Wood Box Lid Stained 10-2-19

It’s just enough to bring out the beauty of the oak.

The bottom of the box with just the pre-stain:

Pew Wood Box 10-2-19

And with the golden oak stain:

Pew Wood Box Stained 10-2-19

I think I will try to line the inside with felt, or at least the bottom. Then we’re going to include a few of the left-over Ash Wednesday crosses and some Jesus Nuts (all made from the same pew).

While I was at my finishing table I did the finishing sanding on my Tailors Press Clapper thing that Jay made me.

Tailors Point Press Clapper 10-2-19

He had been worried about the point that was on it as it was quite sharp.

(before sanding):

Tailor's Point Press Clapper Top 9-15-19

I did some rounding, some coaxing and some finessing, but I made the point a little friendlier:

Rounded Clapper Point 10-2-19

(It’s a little blurry… I couldn’t get the camera to understand that I didn’t want the table in focus, I wanted the point.)

So that’s how things are going in the workshop so far!

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2019 Quilt Show – Part 2

One thing that I noticed at the quilt show was that a lot of quilters were using embroidery in their designs. Most of it was machine embroidery, but I took a picture of a sweet little barn because it looked like it could have been hand embroidered.

2019 Quilt Show Embroidered Barn

It may be machine embroidered, but I liked it. It actually reminded me of our friend Stan’s barn before he moved and built a newer barn.

One way that the quilts were displayed were in little “rooms” set up along one wall. My mom and I saw a quilted curio cabinet that was darling.

2019 Quilt Show Curio Cabinet

There were buttons for the drawer pulls and they had sewn crocheted doilies on it, too.

2019 Quilt Show Curio Shelf

Isn’t that adorable?

I also enjoyed this ‘parking sign’:

2019 Quilt Show Parking Sign

I have one more quilt that I want to show you because I don’t know how to categorize it, but it was interesting to look at.

2019 Quilt Show #7

It’s too contemporary for my tastes, but I felt the quilter did an excellent job with the ombre effect. Here’s a slightly closer look at the little squares:

2019 Quilt Show #7 Detail

You can also see how the quilting works to pull your eye around those curved ribbons.

Now, the first technique/pattern that I want to show you is one that I’ve shared in a previous quilt show post. Kaleidoscope quilts weren’t as represented as they have been in the past, but there were a couple at this show that I liked.

A kaleidoscope quilt takes a piece of fabric:


Then it is cut up in such a way that each part of the fabric undergoes a kaleidoscope effect:

2019 Quilt Show Star Wars Square

When you take the different parts of the fabric that you’ve done this to and put it together, you have a quilt that looks like it uses more than one fabric.

2019 Quilt Show Star Wars Quilt

When I first saw the Star Wars quilt across the room I almost dismissed it. Then something caught my eye and I realized what was on the fabric.

There was one more kaleidoscope quilt that I stopped and just looked at for a few minutes. First I’ll show you the fabric panel that was used.

Beach Fabric Panel

Here’s the full quilted panel:

2019 Quilt Show #11

It makes the panel look a bit abstract, doesn’t it? Almost like it’s a fantasy-type of scene. I would never have thought of using this technique to make this kind of a panel. Now, this is art! It’s definitely not candy that has been dropped on the floor.

Here is a picture of some of the blocks:

2019 Quilt Show #11 Detail

The day before we went to the quilt show I had been at my chiropractor’s office for my monthly cracking. He always asks me what my plans are so I was telling him about the show. I mentioned that it’s interesting to me how different a pattern can look just by changing the color scheme. He doesn’t spend a lot of his extra time perusing quilting magazines, so he was impressed by that thought.

The following four quilts are all made from the same pattern.

2019 Quilt Show #8

2019 Quilt Show #9

2019 Quilt Show #10

Isn’t it amazing how the different uses of color can draw your eyes in different directions? As a right-brained person it really intrigues me when I see examples like these four quilts all together. Isn’t it fascinating?

Well, I think that’s it for this year’s quilt show. I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

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2019 Quilt Show – Part 1

My mom and I attended the local quilt show again this year. We were a bit disappointed, though. I had hoped for some vendors that were selling regular sewing notions. She was hoping to see one of the local sewing machine dealers so that she could discuss a new machine. We were both disappointed. There were fewer vendors this year than in years past and it kind of felt like we were seeing the same quilts over and over.

With all of that being said, I did manage to take enough pictures that I’m going to split this into two different posts.

The first quilts were hung by windows so some of these pictures are a bit washed out.

2019 Quilt Show #1

I didn’t note the names of these patterns, but if you’re a quilter I’m sure you will recognize some of them. In fact, there were quite a few Bonnie Hunter patterns (which my mom LOVES and can spot from five miles away).

2019 Quilt Show #2

I took pictures of some of these because either I liked the theme/colors, or else I thought it was different enough to warrant another look.

2019 Quilt Show #3

I liked the colors of this scrappy quilt.

2019 Quilt Show #4

I’m not much into the whole shades of gray trend, but I really liked the ombre affect on this traditional quilt. It gives the classic quilt a bit of a contemporary kick.

Now, I took a picture of the following quilt as an example of fabric that’s so busy it’s difficult for me to make out the pattern.

2019 Quilt Show #5

I can kind of see it, but my eye just gets pulled into the autumnal mess.

This one is a nod to my Swedish blood:

2019 Quilt Show Swedish Stars

The quilter called it “Swedish Stars” for obvious reasons. In fact, I hadn’t even read the tag to see what it was called and I commented to my mom, “Wow, this is quite Swedish.”

I saw this one and liked how it looked:

2019 Quilt Show #6

Again, blue and traditional.

Speaking of blue, I saw this one and loved it as well:

2019 Quilt Show Blue Jay Quilt

Blue Jays!

2019 Quilt Show Blue Jay Square

The fabric sparkled a bit, too. I know that Blue Jays can be nasty birds, but I think that they are so pretty. I also love cardinals. All of the bird seed that I feed is geared towards these two types of birds. Anyway, back to the quilts.

The last quilt that I will show today is called “Wonky Star” and my mom identified it right away. I looked at it and said, “That’s how my quilt would look if I was trying to make an actual star quilt block. I would just tell people that I had created a new pattern and called it ‘Wonky Star’ so that they didn’t think I was completely horrible.”

2019 Quilt Show Wonky Stars

Oh, and before I go I wanted to share that I had a celebrity sighting! Can you believe it??

Jamie from Mythbusters!

Jamie from Mythbusters

… or maybe not… 😉

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