Thursday, February 28, 2013

Alexis’ Tote Bag – One for the -FINISHED!- page!

I got busy on the tote bag as soon as I could this morning.   I had asked Alexis how long to make the straps and she has another tote bag that she says the straps are really good, and they are 23”.  The plastic bag I am copying has 20” straps, so she thought anywhere from 24” to 25” would be good.  I wasn’t really sure from what point Alexis was measuring her other straps, as she is at work and she was using a ruler instead of a measuring tape, so I finally decided to go with 26”, but that includes the amount that is below the top of the bag.

The original bag has straps that are only ½” wide, and I thought closer to an inch would be better.  Wanting them to be secure, I cut fabric 3 ¼” wide by 26 ½” wide – The long ends would be folded ¼” each end, and on the width, I would fold 1” in on each side, with a ¼” fold to finish off the edge. 

Got them all folded and pressed, and as I was top stitching them, had one of those “oh, crap!” moments – I had forgotten to top stitch around the top of the bag!  With the magnetic snaps already in place, I wasn’t sure I would be able to stitch far enough from the edge.  I got the zipper foot out and set it as close to the edge as possible that the fabric would still feed through.  It was a challenge, and I had one spot where I went off the edge, but it really isn’t too noticeable.  If I had done that when I should have, I probably would have measured more accurately to put the blasted snap on!  Okay, well, at least I will get the measurements for the straps better than for the snap. 

(I hope someone is paying attention to all my mistakes and learns from them!)

Oh, and I really should have top stitched those pockets on either side too!  <argh!>

Here are the straps-

Okay, so I measured out where they go and pinned them on –

I started sewing around one, and yet another “oh, crap!” moment.  I forgot that where the purple fabric folds over into the inside needed to be pulled up out of the way so that the sewing of the straps would not show inside – it should have been pinned like this –

All those bits of thread are where I had to take it out.  <sigh>

Okay, so sewing them on – well, I have a hard enough time sewing a straight line, let along sewing over it a couple of times forward and backward to make sure it is secure.  Let’s just pretend they look fabulous, okay?  And then actually, they did look better are the inside where they won’t be showing!  Here they are, and I got the length right for both sides so it doesn’t hang funny-

Finally – up to where the lining gets sewn in- thought I would never get here!  Almost done with this tote bag!  Of course, this also meant I had to play around and remember which piece goes inside which piece to make it work right!

I turned the outside (purple) part inside out to pin.  Putting the lining inside the outside, I found out that they didn’t match up totally right.  I pinned them together and tried to ease the part that was too big, and sewed it together.  It wound up with the part I would call the front lining being puckered.  I left a 4 inch opening thinking that was enough to turn it, but boy, it was not an easy birth!

I pressed along the lining and folded over purple edge, and hand sewed the opening I left for turning, and this puppy is ready for the FINISHED! page. 

There are few things that bug me about this- like the puckered lining seam and the way the straps are sewn on, but I think I actually learned quite a bit in making my own pattern.  I’m kind of anxious to try something else I have had in my mind for quite some time.  And I did find out that even though I loved the lining fabric, I will probably stick to cotton – this stuff was hard to cut straight and stretched slightly!

It’s early – only 130pm - and I think I will go ahead and post this now – maybe Alexis will find out her bag is done by looking on the Internet instead of coming home to find it- kind of like that guy from Stone Temple Pilots finding out he had been fired from the group by reading it in the paper!  LOL

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

And the winner of my 2nd giveaway is.....

Well, from only two entries, Chrystal and Rebecca – the winner is Rebecca!  (Please keep trying, Chrystal!)  Congrats, Rebecca- I will have this package right out to you and hope you enjoy it!

On to Alexis’ Tote Bag- I was trying to measure the top of the outside to see how much I needed to trim off and where the lining would start.  I then figured this would be a good time to add the magnetic snap.  Had a little bit of a hardware malfunction.  I thought I was being so good with the measurements, but I wound up putting one side of the snap too low.  I had to take it out, put in more interfacing, get it in the right place, and find the Fray Check.  What would I do without the stuff?  After a lot of sweat, it came out okay, I just hope the Fray Check is going to do its usual good job and dry clear.

(Taken at an angle – it really does match up pretty good.)

I did some measuring inside to see just how long the front to back lining would be and came up with 22 ¼”.  The sides came in at 8 3/8” exactly on both the front and back, along with the 5 ½” on the bottom.  This gave me the size to cut for the sides at 6 ½” X 9” – I figure I would just trim the sides after the lining was together.  It all came together pretty darn good with very little trimming required- here it is with the zipper side out, stuffed with fabric.  Doesn’t look square, but it’s actually okay.

Before I can sew the lining in and add it to the FINISHED! page, I have to sew the straps on to the outside.  It’s getting late and I haven’t slept well the last two nights, so I think I am going to call it an early night.  (isn’t it funny how moving the bed so the head is in a different direction is hard to adjust to? or is it just me?)  Plus, I have to consult with Her Majesty to find out how long she wants the straps to be.

Good night all – again, congratulations, Rebecca!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Alexis’ Tote Bag – Plodding Along

Mom very nicely took Harry this morning – I don’t know, maybe I am getting old or maybe it’s just that I never dealt with a 2 year old boy before, but he was making me crazy this morning.  He took a half full bottle of drinking water and poured it over his head and down the side of Layla’s bed today.  Everything was wet.  You really can’t just explain to a 2 year old why that is wrong, can you?  As I sit here and write, I can hear both Mom and Casey saying, “No, Harry, no” like they are talking to a puppy.  They are both fairly calm, but I’m sure they will be happy when it is nap time.

I attempted to make Alexis’ original tote bag stand up straight so I could compare it to what I have done so far.  I measured up 10” from each corner of my version and folded it over to see how it was going-

Not looking too bad so far – may have to fold it down just a teeny bit more, but not too much.  I will add the straps and magnetic snap closure after I get the lining all figured out, and before it is sewn in.

For the lining, I decided I don’t need to make that mock seam at the front and back bottoms, so I cut one piece, 11” wide by 27” long.  The purple will overlap into the inside, so that will give me plenty to work with to make an inside zippered pocket.

I got out the pattern I had used to make the Rooster Bag so I could refresh my memory on making that inside pocket.  Looking at the directions, I remembered it was really pretty easy.  You can see how it was done here.

As I was measuring out the pocket, I thought, oh, I should check the giant zipper bag and find a zipper.  Can you believe out of 100 zippers I had nothing remotely close to the color I needed?  I put everything aside as I needed to go pick Layla and her friend up from school anyway.  I was very glad that the friend lives where she does, because there is a Hancock’s within about 2 miles of her house.

Layla and I went into Hancock’s and searched for a green zipper to match the lining material.  There were 7” and 22”.  I wanted a 9”.  I had to buy the 22” and cut it down.  When I finally got to sewing, I was sad that I didn’t have any of that cool thread I talked about yesterday in the right color- had to find some junk thread that was the closest match.

Here is the zipper inserted – I got it a bit crooked and a little pucker on one side, but I’m moving forward with it.

I told Alexis she would only be able to flash the lining to show the color to anyone and not let them really examine the inside!

And that was as far as I got today.  I had to go help a friend with her computer and I got home late.  I’m really beat and hope to get more done tomorrow.

Still only one entry for the giveaway – looks like Chrystal may win it.  Cut off is tomorrow – Wednesday Feb 27 – at noon.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Alexis’ Tote Bag – Sorry, Not Today

I really wanted to work on the lining for Alexis’ tote bag today, but I messed up.  When Harry was napping and I could have been sewing, I was busy moving furniture and had totally forgotten I had to write a paper for my English class that was due tonight.  I spent the last 5 hours writing the paper and now I am too tired to work on the bag.    

Of course, the first thing Alexis said when she came through the door was, “Where’s my bag?” 

Bad Momma.

Well, fiddle-dee-dee, tomorrow is another day, right?

Only one entry for the giveaway so far – go leave a comment!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Alexis’ Tote Bag – The Outside Body

Well, so far, it’s looking pretty good to win my giveaway – no entries yet.  Please, let there be someone out there that wants it!  All you have to do is visit this post and leave a comment.  Make sure you leave it on that post or I may not see it.  You have until Wednesday, Feb 27, at 12 noon Pacific time to leave your comment.

For her tote, this is the piece of cotton Alexis chose-

It really is pretty – I have the same thing in a gorgeous turquoise blue I thought she may like, but like I always do, she went purple.  The fabric has no designer markings, but I got it at Hancock Fabrics and it comes in a couple of different colors.

For the lining, she had first found a piece of a mottled gray in my stash, but I didn’t have enough of it.  When I asked her to find something else, she asked if she couldn’t have something silky like the original purse has in it.  I took her to my two full IKEA bags of non-quilting fabrics, and she finally decided she liked this for the contrast it is going to provide-

It does feel a lot like the original bag lining.  Personally, I love it and think the colors go great together.

To put the outside together, I pretty much followed the same plan as I did with the muslin test.  I did cut the outside material longer, since I had to account for that fold over to the inside down to the lining.  Also, since I have to put interfacing on the pieces, when I sewed the mock seam for the bottom front and back, I cut along the fold so I could press the seam open – I didn’t want to put the interfacing on first and then sew that tiny seam through it.  I figured by pressing it open, I could put the interfacing over it.

So with interfacing applied, I sewed the bottom seam.  And even though straight lines are not something I do well, I top stitched all three seams for the bottom, hoping they would offer some further stability.  I used a zipper foot to try to keep the stitch lines straight.  

Here is a close up of two of the bottom seams top stitched from the right side-

I want to mention the thread I am using.  I have tried so many threads, including that fancy Italian stuff that is so expensive. I never really liked anything I used until I discovered Essential™Threads from the Connecting Threads website

(Not the same color used on project.)

It is awesome – it goes through my machine beautifully.  The color I used was a little more red than I would have liked, but it was the closest I had on hand.  1200 yards and only $2.19 each when bought in a set of 10 or $2.49 when purchased separately.  Well worth it - I highly recommend it – and this is not a paid endorsement!  As soon as I get a job and have money, I want it in all the colors!  I am going to use all the leftover junk thread I have, including the Italian stuff, just for overcasting fabric before I wash it from now on!

So I held off cutting the side pieces until I knew for sure how the front and back pieces would come out  and I was pleasantly surprised to find the bottom came out exactly at 5 ½” like the original!  (Sometimes, miracles do happen!)  The sides of the front and back came out at 13 ½” which I think is good – should leave me just enough for the inside fold over.  I cut two sides at 6 ½” x 14” – and figured I would just trim them at the top to match the front and back when it was together.

After I put the interfacing on the sides and was getting ready to sew the sides on, I remembered I wanted to put a pocket on one side – big enough for a cell phone.  So I had to stop and figure the measurements for that.  The sides are cut at 6 ½“ but I didn’t want the pocket to be that exactly – I didn’t want it to fit completely flat against the side and be hard to use.  So I cut it at 7” wide, and 12” long, so I could fold it in half.  I put interfacing on only half of it and folded it over.  Then I went to pin it on, and realized that I would have a half inch hang over on the bottom, so I had to taper cut it on each side, a ¼” at the bottom up to the corner at the top.  Thankfully, it looked like it was going to work.

I was so relieved when the pocket did work out!  Here is how Side 1 looks-

Since that pocket worked, I went to Alexis to ask if she wanted a pocket on the other side as well.  She said yes, if I didn’t mind doing it, so a second pocket it is.
So here is the finished body-

I put something in the pockets so you can see how they will actually hold something.  It is taller than it will be when completed- I left plenty of fabric around the top for folding over.

And I think that is it for today.  I’m beat and have schoolwork needing some attention- hope I can think straight.  Tomorrow will be the lining!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Alexis’ Tote Bag & Giveaway!

As promised, today is the info for my 2nd giveaway.  So, I will go ahead and just get this out of the way.  To enter, leave a comment on THIS post – if you leave it on any other, I may not see it.  And here is what you can win-

I found this really cute St Patrick’s Day themed material at Jo-Ann’s – this is a half yard.  The greens are so bright and vibrant on the black background, and it has gold sparkles all over it- would be really cute for a St Patrick’s Day project!  Also included is a brand new & unused copy of McCall’s pattern number 6045-a Kay Whitt handbag design.  This is the pattern I used to create my Hippie Bag – and I love it- I can’t wait to make another one off of it.  It is really easy to put together.  And just like last time, I will send the winner a copy of my late brother’s book

I have cats, but I want to reassure you that this has been packed in a ziplock bag since I brought it home.  Shouldn’t be a problem for allergy sufferers!  Everyone is eligible to enter, with the exception of the people who live in my house.  Just leave a comment below – before Wednesday (Feb 27) at 12 noon (PST).  I will put all the names into a jar and announce the winner that evening.  Good luck to everyone!

Okay, so Alexis’ Tote Bag.  After measuring out the plastic, I figured out what sizes I need to cut from muslin to include the seam allowances.  I thought I would make the outside and the lining, so as to figure out how much extra I would need on the outside for the part that folds over the top.  I hope that makes sense.  Here is a picture of what I mean on the original bag-

For the lining, I figured I would cut two pieces 6 ½” x 11” for the sides, and two pieces 14 1/4” x 11” for the front and back pieces.  How did I come by those numbers?  The finished size of the sides is 5 ½” x 10”, so I added an inch on each side for the seam.  The finished size of the front and back is 10” x 10”, with the pieces extending under the bag for a 5 ½” finished bottom, which is 2 ¾” extra for the front and back pieces.  There are no seams along the bottom of the front and back on the original bag, but I want the appearance of a seam to make the bottom sit flatter. For the 10” x 10” front and back, I added ½” at the top and bottom for the seams, plus 2 ¾” for the bottom, plus an extra ½” to sew a seam to represent the seam along the bottom of the front and back.  This sounds really confusing, so I will draw a picture-

Once the pieces were cut, I measured up 3 ¾” from the bottom of the front and back pieces and drew a line.  I measured back down ½” from that line and drew another.  I folded between these lines, matching them up, to get my mock bottom seam.  Drawing the line on gave me a nice straight place to sew.  I ironed the seam toward the bottom.

Next was sewing the front and back pieces together at the bottom.  Here my measurements didn’t add up – I guess I needed another ¼” or something.  The first time I sewed the seam with a ½” seam allowance, the bottom finished out to only 5” instead of 5 ½”.  I took the seam out and re-did it at ¼” and the bottom was fine.  I pressed that seam open – don’t know why, it just seamed like a good idea.  <sorry>

While I was doing this, I heard the toilet in my bathroom flush, and then someone running away.  My toilet is one of those that you have to jiggle the handle, so I figured it was Layla.  I called out to remember to jiggle the handle, and who comes walking in, but Harry, drying his hands on the hand towel that was on the rack.  “I just washed my hands,” he announced to me.  I know he can’t reach the sink and said to him, “In the toilet?”  “yeah,” he replies as he hands me the towel.  I’m so glad I cleaned it yesterday...

So, back to the tote.  I knew I would have to do some partial seaming, so first I measured and marked where I would be sewing and pinned it- stopping ½” from both sides of the fabric- 

Then I folded the sides up to sew them up-

And after sewing on the other side, turning it, and stuffing it with other fabric so it would stand up, voila!

It turned out pretty good and I have a much better idea of the cutting measurements.  I found a really pretty purple fabric that Alexis likes, so tomorrow, I will get into it!

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to enter the giveaway!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Random Notions – A Little Box of Joy

So this evening, my brother Casey yells up the stairs to me, saying I got a little package that looked like a little old grandmother wrapped had it - twine wrapped – who uses twine these days?  It's the cutest thing!

Even before I looked at it, I knew who it was from – my dear friend and college buddy, Chrystal in Oregon!  Chrystal has a great blog called The Hobby Horse - recipes, knitting stuff, book reviews, and more.  She just posted a recipe for Irish Lemon Pie the other day, which sounds AWESOME!!  I have to try it!   Plus, she loves cats and has a few, so that makes her A-OK in my book!

I didn’t want to cut the twine, so I spent a few minutes untying it. I know why Chrystal knits and crochets – she’s really good with stringy stuff!  I got the paper off, to find a Celestial Seasonings Green Tea box, and then, lots of goodies inside that!

First off, a lovely purple headband for me!  I love it!  Years ago, I would never wear stuff in my hair, not even wear a pony tail.  But as my hair has been getting longer, I am pulling it back and this is perfect!

(My hair may look blonde in this picture, but it is actually gray - kinda funny how it has a yellowish cast.)

Second – for my Layla, Chrystal made her a lovely piece that can be worn as a bracelet or a headband – I LOVE the button!

Layla loves it – and I haven’t even told her yet that she can wear it in her hair too!  She is such a girly girl, she loves hair stuff!

And lastly, for my other girls – Lhasa and Sheme - Chrystal made these-

Little crocheted mice stuffed with catnip that Chrystal grows herself!  The cats went berserk for them!  Lhasa attacked one immediately-

Whereas Sheme just sat very still and seemed to be sniffing it like she was enjoying getting high.  But when I set it away from her a ways, she attacked-

One of the four has already been pushed under a table I will have to move out so as to retrieve it.  I think both girls went in for a few munchies right after they were playing.   And now, they look totally exhausted and seem to be ready to go to bed.

So thank you, dear Chrystal – I don’t get many little boxes of joy in the mail, so you definitely made the day for all of us!  I hope anyone reading this will visit The Hobby Horse and see what a fun person you are!

More tomorrow on the Alexis Tote Bag and the Giveaway!  Please come back and see me!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Project – Alexis’ Tote Bag

Last night, I went to Alexis with an armload of patterns so she could find something like what she wanted in a tote bag.  She jumps up and says “Let me show you something,” and goes to her closet.  Out comes a pewter-y plastic tote bag covered in dust.  “This is the perfect size,” she tells me, “I don’t want it bigger or smaller, this is perfect.”  So why isn’t she using it?  One of the straps was about to break off.  (One of many reasons I am not crazy about plastic purses.) 

This morning, after dusting it off, I stuffed it with fabric scraps so I could see exactly how big it was – it was all squashed and folded, apparently from being wedged into the closet –

(This came out much darker than the purse actually is – I didn’t use the flash because I didn’t want a big glare on it.  I will NOT be making those big hearts on the front.)

It measures 10” high and 10” wide, and the sides are 5 ½”.  It has a silky type lining, with a zippered pocket with pull inside and a magnetic snap closure.  I thought this was weird – here the purse is silver, but the metal zipper, zipper pull and magnetic snap are all gold.  I guess that is high fashion or something.  I think it is just ugly, but then, I am not into that metallic look.

So I am thinking this is not going to be too hard to recreate on my own without a pattern.  I think I can add an open pocket inside, in addition to a zippered one, and maybe a pocket on the outside, for her cell phone.  It would have been helpful had she given me some ideas about options, and if she had chosen a fabric from one of the piles or shelves.  Until she does all that, I believe I will just start drafting out how the pieces need to be cut, and maybe try a sample out of muslin.  I know from some of the blogs I read that many people, especially those making clothes, make muslin samples first and I can see where that is a really good idea before you cut into some really nice fabric.  Maybe that has been my problem all these years!

Please don’t forget to visit on Saturday (Feb 23) to enter my next giveaway!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Random Notions – Checking In & Another Giveaway Announcement

I’m still alive – kind of – and wanted to check in.  This has just been crazy.  I have never been sick like this in my life.  My bronchitis, or cold, or flu, or whatever it is, has settled into my throat – painfully.  At first, it was just at the top of my throat and when I took a look, it was really red.  I could barely swallow, and sleeping was next to impossible.  Well, now it is moving down my throat – it is more like in the area where the indent is at the base of my throat on my chest.  It is not quite as painful, but it does still hurt and is causing a wheezing cough that does not produce anything.  My voice is gone most of the time.  I have been really tired- walking up the stairs wears me out so I try to make fewer trips.   It has been suggested to me that these are sometimes symptoms of walking pneumonia.  Great.  That’s just what I need.  Hopefully I will get my tax refund by next week and I can go back to the doctor.

I came into the computer/sewing room this morning to try to clean up a few things – I hate leaving stuff out for the girls to sleep on.  Example:

A few weeks ago I had gotten a couple of remnants at Jo-Ann’s, so I needed to overcast the cut edges so they could be washed and put away.  (Ha ha – put away – more like folded nicely and put on top of the pile!)  I was switching out the thread before I started, and realized, the machine was really linty and dusty, so I took the plate off to clean it.  I started using the little brush that came with the machine, and thought, wow, I need to take the bobbin case out – it’s terrible in there.  As soon as it was off, I tried to brush down inside and I could not believe the stuff that came out!  I had cleaned it out as far as the bobbin case before, but I had never gone that deep- it was awful.  I really want to take this machine to the same place I got the serger cleaned up at, I just need to get ahead $$$-wise.  It did sew beautifully after I put it all back together, though!

The other day, my darling daughter, Alexis, told me I have to make another bag for her.  If you go back to my posts on The Alexis Bag, you will see that when I made the first bag for her, she kept telling me it was too big.  Now – she wants something bigger.  I just stared at her.  She wants something like a tote bag, so she can carry her tablet in it.  That is what I thought she wanted to do with the first one, but no, she kept saying it was too big.  Kids.  I guess another bag for her is the next project.

My friend Rebecca just got back from a two week cruise from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back- I am so envious!  She got some terrific pictures – even a video of a whale breeching.  Cruising is my favorite way to travel and I am constantly looking at what is coming up out there.  One I would love to take is a repositioning from LA up to Vancouver, BC, Canada in May.  I have done one like that before, but this one stops at Astoria, Oregon, which is someplace I really want to go- I love Oregon and have never been to Astoria.  I need to win the lottery or something so I can just live on a cruise ship.

Okay, so there isn’t much else to share, except – Saturday (Feb 23) I will put up a post for another giveaway – another great piece of fabric, this time St. Patrick’s Day themed, and a pattern – and winner announced the following Wednesday (Feb 27).  Here is a sneak peak at the fabric:

I hope you will come back then and post a comment to get in the running!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Random Notions – Made some blocks

Okay, so I sewed today, but it was like my heart just wasn’t in it.  I just kept thinking how much I wanted to take a nap.  I’ve started taking some extra vitamin C in the hope that maybe it would make me better sooner. Fingers crossed. 

The February block instructions were posted for the group I joined.  The block is called Spring Blossoms, so of course, to choose the fabrics, I had to think about what spring blossoms mean to me.  This is what I came up with-

(That’s not as crooked as it looks in the picture – I was shooting at an angle.)

I was thinking of seeds growing up from the ground (dark green), turning into the bright green stems of flowers (bright green), then the buds begin (light pink), going into full blooms (dark pink), all reaching for the sky (blue), and of course, the sun (yellow).  The dark pink is the only fabric I also used in the first block for January.  I want to make the entire quilt of batik and hand dyed cottons, which I have a big pile of and never could figure out what to do with before.  The instructions for this block call for cutting out 1 ½” strips of the 5 outside colors the entire width of the fabric, then sewing them together, and finally cutting them into 3 ½” X 5 1/2” units, to make it easy.  Because I only had a 10” square of the light pink, I had to actually piece the units together – I had to cut that light pink so careful to get enough 1 ½” X 3 ½” pieces for 3 blocks.  And of course, the blocks did not end up 8 ½” square like they were supposed to – they are a little over 8 ¼” square, because I don’t sew straight!  I will just make up for it with sashing or borders!

So the block of the month is done for another month.  I’m trying to decide what I can work on that won’t take too much brain power.  I may pullout that little Card Tricks quilt again and see what I can do with it.  Then again, I’ve started watching Downton Abbey on Netflix, so I hope I can drag myself away from it since I have the first two seasons to catch up.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Random Notions - Trying to get back into the swing of things

Well, I have been gone over two weeks because I have been sick.  I went to the doctor after 10 days and found I had bronchitis and pink eye – did you know you can get pink eye from an allergic reaction?  I had taken some over the counter medicine to try to clear up my cough, and it gave me a rash – my chest was covered with ugly itchy blisters, and then my eyes started itching.  I scratched at them so much I gave myself conjunctivitis.  My eyes were swollen for days.  Not fun.  The doctor gave me eye drops which cleared them up, and amoxicillin for the bronchitis, but the cough is still not going away.  It keeps me awake a lot, so I’m just exhausted.  My throat is really raspy – it doesn’t hurt, but I’m tired of sounding like Harvey Fierstein.

Being sick has really put me down in the dumps.  I didn’t want to do anything but try to sleep most of the time.  I rarely came into the computer/sewing room, usually only enough to try to keep up with my school work.  I hate this class and being sick has not helped a bit.  I am so glad there is only one more week of it left.  I have a paper due this evening, which I haven’t started and I’m tempted to not write it at all.  In my mood, I will do very poorly, as I did when I first got sick, getting a 13 out of 20 possible points on the last paper.  I suppose a 13 is better than nothing, I’m just feeling very impatient with this instructor.

The way I am feeling, I have decided to scrap the top project I was going to do for Layla for the time being – she couldn’t wear it until summer anyway.  I need to just get into some simple sewing again to get myself out of my funk and quilting is always a good, easy thing to do.  Also, since I hadn’t covered up the materials I was going to use before I got sick, when I came in to look things over, I found that my cats had been sleeping on them, so now I have to clean everything again, which is not going to be easy since it is cut.  I love those girls dearly, but sometimes they really bug me!

The online block of the month group I joined has the February block instructions up – it is called Spring Blooms and sounds just like the thing to lift my spirits.  They have a center square, surrounded by strip sets out of 5 fabrics.  Looking over all the batiks and hand dyed fabrics I have, I found a combination I really like, but one of the pieces is just a small 10” square, so I am hoping I will have enough for three 8 ½” blocks.  I only need 12 pieces of that fabric 1 ½” by 3 ½”, so I think it will be okay.

As I have been sitting here being mad at the girls, Lhasa crawled into my lap and is purring as loud as a freight train and being so sweet – she knows I can’t be mad at her when she does that.  I guess that’s why I love cats – they are so smart they know how to be manipulative.

Okay, I am going to try to put these three blocks together, even though Harry is going down for a nap and I just want to sleep.  We’ll see what wins out – maybe I will have pictures to show tomorrow.  I hope so – I hate feeling like this.