Saturday, April 30, 2011

April's Accomplishments

I got a pretty good amount of things completed this month!

I deep cleaned my house. What a task!

I survived another 3 weeks of homeschooling and a week of Spring Break. I'm barely hanging on.

I also got a ton done in the sewing room!

I completed a wetbag wholesale order for Dominopads I made 24 bags in different sizes and different batiks.

I also made a several wetbags for my Etsy shop, Hen and Chick Cloth.

And I made a few more wetbags. This fabric is special though. My sister, Tonya, from Hillbilly Handiworks, hand dyed this fabric. She was very generous and gave me this fabric to make something with. The fabric is a work of art in itself and my pictures don't do it justice. I'm still working on listing these at the time of this post but you can always keep an eye out for them in the wetbag section of the shop.

I also made several items from this Alexander Henry "Rockin' Broncos" fabric. This stuff is super cute and already listed in my shop.

Wetbag (already sold!)

On top of all that, I inventoried fabric that I got from my step-mother-in-law. The bottom box is done and already listed, the middle box is the one I inventoried this month, and the top box hasn't been touched yet. You can find all the fabric I currently have for sale in The Sewing Stash.

I also took a swing at attempting to stitch together one of my step-mother-in-laws quilts and totally failed. That is still available, by the way! And I shortened a pair of my husband's jeans. We tend to buy him work jeans at the thrift stores but can never find any short enough for him. I guess that's what you get when you marry a man who's 5'7".

I also worked on several May for Me projects which I will save to share with you in May!


I decided to change the format of this post. In the future I'll be posting weekly what I've gotten done, instead of monthly. This style post is just too long and has too many pictures. The shorter posts will give me the chance to write something nicer and reach more readers because some people just don't like reading such long posts!

I'll also be adding a tab up top for my monthly and yearly business and personal goals. I'll cross them off as I accomplish them and add links to any posts I write about them.

Sorry this was so long but I hope you enjoyed it!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fitness Friday Goal

I didn't meet the goal I set out for myself 2 weeks ago. I'm still stuck at 145 lbs. I'm having a really hard time fitting in exercising. I just don't have enough hours in the day! The only thing I can think of to do right now is to dig out the jogging stroller from the back of the garage. I can then stick Jameson in it and Ian can ride his bike. We could then get out of the house before we start our school day while it's still in the cool morning hours. I have managed to continue eating healthy and will keep that up.

I'm not sure if I should set myself any weight loss goals for the month of May because I know I wouldn't meet it. I will, however, set a goal to jog with the boys every weekday morning. And get myself new running shoes. I need better shoes.

Whatever happens, I'll keep trying!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I started another May for Me project... I know, I know, it's still not May (yet)!

I took out the pattern and got it all ready and then went to pick out the fabric. Sometimes I feel like I'm shopping in my own basement. lol

Here's the fabric I picked out. Can you guess what I'm making with it?

Soon, I will show you what I'm made so far. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Simple Things in Life: Scraps

So what's the big deal with scraps of fabric?

Well, if you're a quilt they are simply awesome.

But these particular scraps of fabric are from 3 of my May for Me projects... which is even more awesome!

I know, I know... it's not May YET! But I finished all of my April goals and projects and my list of projects for May is about a mile long. I didn't think it'd hurt to get started. Plus, we are on spring break this week and I plan to get tons of sewing done.

I will keep the finished product from these scraps of fabric a secret... mean, aren't I? :)

If you don't know what May for Me is then you can read about it on my Sis's blog... Hillbilly Handiworks.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pattern Drafting 101: Sewing Machines

I'm frequently asked to recommend sewing machines to the beginner sewing enthusiast. I thought I would add this to my Pattern Drafting series also.

A basic machine that has a straight stitch and a zig-zag stitch will take you a long way! There is no need to drop a pretty penny on all the bells and whistles. I own a brother CS-6000i. I spent around $150 on it about 2 years ago. I have used it a lot, probably non-stop, and it has held up very well. Keep up on the care and maintenance and a machine could last a life time. This is my 3rd machine. My 1st is still going strong and I gifted it to a friend. My 2nd is an embroidery/sewing machine combo which hardly gets used but still works great. So all you really need to know is get a basic sewing machine and read the manual.

The other machine I recommend getting after you've gained some experience and plan to create a lot of clothing is a serger. Sergers are very handy! Not only do they make your seams look more professional and help your clothing to last longer but you can use it for all kind of decorative edgings. I own a brother Lock 1034D.

If you own a basic sewing machine and a serger you are well on your way to becoming an excellent seamstress. Don't forget to practice!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Simple Things in Life: Trampoline Fun

This past Christmas my parents gave us a trampoline!

It was finally warm and dry enough last week to set it up!

We've had so much fun playing on it and there's nothing like simply having fun.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cutting Back and Staying Organized

With the new season upon us I'll be cutting back on how often I post. My spring and summer will be full of gardening and playing and my autumn will be full of canning and stocking up for the colder months.

I have also purged most of the blogs that I follow. It's nothing personal. I just don't have enough time in my day to keep up. Besides, I'd like to spend some more time with my nose in a good book. Plus I have a mountain of sewing waiting for me!

I also wanted to show you how I stay organized for blogging.

A simple notebook. Pretty fancy, huh? I have a section to jot down ideas, write to-do's, draft a post, and a calendar to schedule posts.

I can take the notebook places the laptop can't go, like Ian's baseball practices. The notebook has made it so much easier to write when the mood strikes or when I find a pocket of time.

I'll still be around but with much more limited time. I hope you all have a wonderful spring and summer!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fitness Friday Confessional

I have a confession to make. I've not been very good at eating right or exercising the past 2 months. Things were kind of crazy as we were getting used to homeschooling. My sister told me I was nuts to start homeschooling and a fitness routine at the same time. You know, she was right! So, I pulled back on the fitness routine until we got the homeschooling routine figured out.

The past 2 weeks I've been able to add getting healthy back in to my daily routine.

I try to be mindful of what I eat now and write down everything that goes in to my mouth. At night, before bed, I record what I've eaten on which tracks my calories in and calories out. I'm not mindlessly stuffing food in my mouth but am conscious of what I eat and why I eat it.

I'm still trying to figure out a good exercise routine. I don't have a gym or reliable childcare available to me. I also try not to rely on my husband too much because we are never sure what hours he is working that day or if he'll even be home or out of town. However, I'm trying to take my boys out for walks as much as possible, jump on our new trampoline, or walk on the treadmill in the basement. I am working on adding the exercising habit to my daily routine.

The only good thing about pulling back and taking a break from my fitness routine is that I didn't put the weight back on that I had originally taken off. I somehow managed to maintain 144.5 pounds, down from 150 pounds at the beginning of this year. (If I was 5'8" then 150 pounds would probably look perfect on me but on my 5'3" frame it's too much.)

I still have a ways to go though before I get back to my pre-pregnancy days of 120 pounds. I know I can do it!

I've set myself a new mini-goal for the end of this month- I want to weight 142 on 4/30/11. It's recommended to lose only about a pound per week. If I can manage to lose 2.5 pounds in the next 2 weeks then I will be so proud of myself!

Is anyone else on a Fitness Journey with me? What are your goals?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quilt Top Troubles

I received this partially pieced quilt top awhile ago. It's another UFO (unfinished object) I got from my father-in-law. My step-mother-in-law never got to finish it before her illness.

I took everything out, took a few pics, and took stock of what I had and what needed done. Four blocks were completed and 52 were in progress for a total of 56 blocks. The blocks would be 11 inches finished and the quilt would by an 8 X 7 block quilt.

I thought this would be an easy project to finish! I have experience sewing curves so I thought 'easy-peasy'. Boy, was I wrong!

I started by sewing one of the finished rays into the corner curve and ran into a huge problem. The pieces don't fit!

I tried re-piecing them.

I even tried sewing together my own ray from the pre-cut pieces that were already there.

Finally, I put my drafting knowledge to good use (thanks dad!) and drew up the design to scale on paper to see where things went wrong. Ah Ha! Problem solved… I learned that the rays were not cut to the correct measurements. I made up some rays that were cut to the correct size and sewed everything together. And I realized to make this work, I would have to create all new rays.

I made one just to see how it would turn out. Much better.

I've tried all kinds of ways to figure out how to make the existing pieces work and I give up! This thing has stressed me out enough! I like the design and if I ever have the time to make a quilt like this then I have the correct pattern.

But this quilt top and I are just not getting along. I have the freedom to do what ever I want with it. So my little helper and I have decided to give it away!

If there is anyone who wants it, just leave me a comment with your email. I only ask for you to pay shipping ($4.95). You will get all the rays, corner pieces, and the extras already cut. Maybe you can get some use out of the fabric, use the rays for appliqué, or design something new from it. I get to keep my little helper though!

The first person who leaves a comment requesting it will receive it. I hope you have better luck then me!

*Sigh- of relief!*

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shipping Changes

Due to my busy schedule as a homeschooling mom and military wife I've needed to change my shipping schedule.

I now Ship on Mondays and Fridays only. If you purchase something from my shops Friday through Sunday- I will spend a portion of Monday packaging and delivering to the post office. If you order something Monday through Thursday- I will spend a portion of Friday packaging and delivering to the post office.

I feel that this will work best for me and you will still receive your products in a timely manner.

You can find links to my shops under the 'Shop Here' tab up top!

Have a great day!

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