Friday, June 29, 2012

If You Dislocate a Hip...

My mom is not some decrepit old lady.  Despite that fact, she has had both knees and hips replaced in the last almost ten years.  She's pretty skilled when it comes to using a walker.  After one surgery, I think it was a hip, I made her what I call a walker bag.  Pretty much what it sounds like, a bag to hang from a walker and carry junk.  Walkers take two hands.
Anyway, my mom recently randomly dislocated her hip.  Way randomly, she was just doing her hair, she didn't fall or anything, it just dislocated.  (the funny part, if you can say that, is that it happened while she was visiting my sister, perhaps the least medical person ever)  Seeing as my mom is now back with a walker, I thought a new walker bag was in order.
Thankfully I don't have a walker for the full photo op, but I do have a banister. 
I used what I now know are called parachute buckles.  They are the little buckles on grocery cart seat belts.  It's what I used on her last bag and they are doing the job well, so why mess with it.  I made the straps adjustable in case she wants to cinch it up higher. 
I included two pockets this time.  One on the outside, one on the inside; both facing the same way so they are walker accessible. 
The bag is 13x10x4 and has a cardboard base insert for stability.

And what fun is there sending an empty bag?  We put together a few favorite candies, pictures of the kids, and I made her a new case for her ereader.  
My mom and I were both early adapters to the Barnes and Noble nook.  Seriously, it's love.  But it means our nooks are bigger than current models and, twist my arm, I have to make us cases.  I made my mom's last case like a purse, it was cute but not maybe as protective as it ought to be when in a walker bag.  So I solved that.
 Now, if you happen to be Jessica Tonnies, avert your eyes.  And if you happen to know Jessica, don't you dare tell her what I did.  She will disown me.
 A few years ago my Mom gave me a few of her old books. They were just hanging out in my basement, so Trixie Belden got a makeover. 
 I have this unreasonable fear of things falling so the nook pocket opens to the middle.  The whole thing is lined and backed with batting for extra protection.  I added the black elastic loop thing for closure.  When it's all bundled up, this nook is protected and secure. 
Now that she's all set up, again, my mom will be all set to show off at the orthopedists office, again.

linking up to tgiff and whoop, whoop

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Mom's Cuckoo Clock

Well, it's finished.  I made this as a kinda run through before I make it as a ginormous quilt block.  It was a good chance to try it all out and figure what I would do differently when I do it for real.
 Really the main thing I would do differently is the applique.  I would rather they be turned edge, which is way feasible when its bigger.  I mean really, turn edges on those stinking little deer legs?   No, thank you.   (the whole thing is just under 20" long)

I also plan on appliqueing the deer and whatnot as I quilt it.  I really hate quilting around applique.  It seems really redundant and feels like poor planning.  But if I quilt it as I applique it's like two steps in one and I love that. 
The clock I bought as a kit at Michaels.  The instructions said "assemble clock."  Wow, that was a big help.  I seriously thought I was breaking the hour hand, I really had to shove it into place.  And of course it took me a couple tries to get it all just right and working.  But it really does work.  I made a clock; it's a fun sense of accomplishment.
But it really is going to my mom eventually (it's in a contest at my LQS right now).  I just don't like the look of the zig zag around the applique, but like I said this was really just beta testing.  I figure if my mom can't stand it she can always give it away at a baby shower.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Just For Fun

My rainbow stripes baby quilt is featured over at Fiber & Fire.  Take a look and check them out too.
When you're there you may notice something, so I'll tell you a funny story to go with it.  Well, not so much a story as a fact of my life and a story.
So I'm called Amber all the time.  Like all the time.  Apparently Amanda and Amber are equivalent names.  Both were big in the eighties and just go together in people's minds I guess.  It seems some names are just like that.  My bother Justin used to be called Jason a lot.  My husband Nathan gets called David.  (I theorize that one has to do with the vowel sounds.)  My sister Jenna gets called Gina or Jenny; Jenny by those who don't wish to live much longer.  Anyway, when I saw they called me Amber I totally started laughing.  I had just been telling my MIL that I get called Amber all the time, and then, boom, Amber.  I haven't been called Amber in a while so it was overdue. 
Okay, here's the story:
I have a sister-in-law named Amber.  Before she got married we had the same last name.  When my husband and I had been married a few months we visited his family out of state.  A couple days into our visit someone called to speak to Amanda P____. (sorry, I don't post my last name; at least not until I'm wildly famous.  Although maybe I'll just go first name, like Cher or somebody.) 
So there I am, surprised someone's calling for me, but whatever, they asked for me.  So I start talking.  Turns out it's an orthodontist of all things.  She is asking me about an internship, when I realize what happened.  She was calling for Amber, not Amanda.  Good to know it goes both ways.
So what about you?  Do you have an alternate name?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

So Clean You Can See the Floor

After a day of work, my sewing room is ready for its duty as guest room.  My husband was duly impressed when I showed him how clean it was.  I can even close the closet doors!  And I organized all my batting scraps. 
 My goal, aside from not being embarrassed to let guests in there, was to get my new treadle machine in somehow. It was a big somehow; but I managed.  I even moved it down the hall from our bedroom all by myself. 
I had to shuffle some things to make it a space.  I really don't like having my back to a door, blame three older brothers most likely, so I really wanted to find it a place that wasn't under the window.  I ended up being able to move my fabric storage system to the other side of my desk.
(When I initially covered all those boxes I made a girl side and a boy side for each one. We used this to store baby clothes when baby still shared a room with mom and dad.  When I made it I told my husband that I would use it for fabric storage someday.  He was skeptical as it would have to survive children.  Little did we know it would only have to survive three. Totally made it.  And now it houses fabric.)
 Anyway, I was able to move my treadle machine to the now unoccupied space under my idea board.  (sounds way better than "the magnet board when I stick stuff," huh?)
 I even managed to make myself a design wall.  It was a long time coming and such an improvement.  I've had the dollhouse block laying around forever, getting wrinkled, and miraculously not colored on by my daughter. (the other half of the room has, aside from the sofa bed,  a roll of paper for kiddos to color and the top drawer of the guest nightstand is full of crayons and coloring books.)
 It's really nice to have a place to stash some blocks to keep them safe and not all over the floor.
 My treadle machine is still waiting on the leather belting that connects the wheels.  It should be in my LQS by now, I just haven't gotten over there yet.  The machine cleaned up nicely and according to the serial number is from 1904.  I love the history of it.  It makes me wanna make something way traditional, like a double wedding ring.  I've also fake named it Ruth.  I don't name things in general, but if I did, it would be named Ruth.  It's a New Home which became Janome.  Every other Janome is named Naomi, so my New Home is fake named Ruth.  Ruth and Naomi, get it? 

And what fun is a treadle machine if you can't play with the treadle?  I will probably have to crack down on this once I have the leather in place, but for now my almost six year old is totally the king of getting the wheel spinning.  Seriously, he's got a knack for it.

So there you have it; my clean sewing room.  It kinda makes me wanna paint, but would all my fabric smell like paint forever?  And how do I choose a paint color?  I don't want the walls to clash with my quilts and make them look all weird.  And besides, Audrey and Gregory own the walls in this space.