Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 238 of 365

This isn't working anymore.

I've been trying to use up some of my fabric scraps. I've been making block after block after block. As I was sewing a block the other night it occurred to me that it's not working anymore.

It's not that the scraps aren't going together properly, it's not that I can't keep a quarter inch seam, and it's not that I don't like what I'm creating.

It's that sewing isn't taking my mind off the pain like it used to. On Day 107 I had said, The only way I know to make it through each day is to try and keep myself busy with writing, taking pictures, and sewing and quilting for others. 

It's absolutely true. I wouldn't have gotten where I am now without those things, but...

It's getting harder. Harder to keep my mind off the pain. I don't know if the pain has become greater, making it harder to keep my mind focused or if it is something else. One of the reasons I enjoyed getting into the sewing so much is because it kept me from thinking about how bad I was feeling. It was a relaxing process, yet a process where I could focus on something else besides what I was feeling. But now, not so much. The temptation to take a pain pill is returning. A pain pill would provide relief, albeit temporary.

I'm pursuing my own form of temporary relief today. I'm taking a break from sewing for the first time in a while and heading down on the casino bus. Maybe a little getaway for the day will make me feel better. (I doubt it, but you never know!)

It does make me feel better having two more kids' quilts finished up before I head out, though.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Stockings for Soldiers Directions - Day 237 of 365, Tutorial Tuesday

Homemade Christmas Stockings Sewing Project for Stockings for Soldiers

I thought my work was done. The Stockings for Soldiers work, that is. I thought I was ending at 80 stockings. I made my contribution and that was plenty. I did my part.

Yet on Day 225 I took material over to my mom's place to have her help with sewing some additional stockings. She sewed up eight more.
But then another couple things happened.

First - sometimes my husband is around when I'm taking my picture of the day. He's seen me taking pictures of kid quilts and turtle pillows and Christmas stockings, and usually never asks questions. The other day we were talking about the stockings - who they were for, where they went, and how I only sewed stockings. How the organization had a list of items they need donated so they can fill the stockings. Items that I wasn't collecting. Things like like gum, toothbrushes, fly swatters, trail mix. My husband wanted more details and even wanted a printed list. (You can find the complete list here.)

My husband took that list with him to school. Shared it with some staff members, and now we have a high school club collecting items. I'll be picking them up here in a couple weeks. I'm not sure how much they're planning on collecting, but anything will be great!

Looking for sewing and crafting projects? 

Then, number two happened.

I needed a tutorial for the week. I still had some Christmas fabric around, so it was natural for me to do a tutorial on how to make the stockings. (I wanted others to see how quick and easy they were to make.) I put the video up on YouTube and sent the link to the organization for them to use if they wanted. I got a very excited sounding e-mail back. Among other things, it read: Thank you very much for thinking of our Project and for creating such an excellent and perfect video that will help other volunteers to have a very clear understanding of what we do and what we need.

Take a look, and hopefully you too will be able to whip some up. 

Happy Sewing.

Disclosure: Deb's Days is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to affiliated sites. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you new sewing and crafting content.

You can find the step-by-step how to video for making the Christmas stockings sewing project for the Stockings for Soldiers organization right here:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 236 of 365

Since this week (and every week) I'm knee-deep in sewing for charity, I thought I'd do a recap of all the organizations I'm providing support for. (My projects for all these groups can be found under "Charity/Donations" at the top of my page.) Hopefully it might inspire you to do some sewing, too!

If you are looking for projects where your sewing skills are greatly appreciated, here are my favorites:

Operation Kid Comfort needs people to help make pillows and quilts for kids of deployed military personnel. They send you pictures of the parent and child which have already been ironed onto fabric. You use those pictures along with your own fabrics to create one of a kind meaningful quilts.

Quilts of Valor needs quilters to help provide servicemembers and veterans with quilts of their own. You can make quilts, but they also have a need for presentation cases (like a pillowcase).

The Painted Turtle is one of the Paul Newman Hole in the Wall Camps for seriously ill kids. They are always looking for folks to sew quilts or crochet/knit afghans, or even sew turtle pillows. (They send all campers home with a big ole stuffed turtle pillow.)

Stockings for Soldiers needs people to sew up Christmas Stockings for our troops overseas. The quick and easy pattern can be printed off the internet. (My tutorial tomorrow will prove how quick and easy it is to make these.) They also have a list of items they are collecting to "stuff" the stockings with.

Quilts for Kids. You can request their free quilt kits. They contain a pattern, fabric for the top and a backing fabric. You supply the batting (and the labor). They ask you send along an additional quilt from your own fabric, if possible.
Today's picture is from my free fabric kit from Quilts for Kids. I sewed the top together on Day 229 and today I got it quilted.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 235 of 365

I have the entire week off from work and I'm ready to go. The flu is gone and I need to get myself moving. I need some goals for the week and I've got a good list started.

I have a mixture of household tasks and sewing tasks to be accomplished. This week I will:
  • Quilt all my unfinished quilt tops.
  • Do a tutorial for Stockings for Soldiers. On how to make the stockings, of course.
  • Call to get roofing quotes. Yuck.
  • Write up directions for the strip quilt for my school's Project Linus blankets.
  • Put the electric blanket on the bed.
  • Dust, dust, dust.
  • Put new curtains up in the bedroom. Finally.
  • Rake leaves. Rake leaves. Rake leaves.
  • Take the casino bus for the day. Free food, $50 in free play. Yay!
  • Make final payments on all the medical bills that have been dragging on for ages - physical therapy, MRI, and ultrasounds.
  • If the hard freeze comes this week as predicted - pull up the pepper plants and pick the remaining pumpkins and watermelon.

One of the items has already been started. I finished up the quilt top I made yesterday. I added a fleece backing and tied it with some excess candlewicking thread I had. Unfortunately, the only matching piece of fleece I had was a bit smaller than it should be, so the quilt isn't perfect. (At least by my standards.) They'll be no picture taking of it, but I'll make another one (need the practice, ya know) with the correct size fleece.

A better picture was found outside today anyway. If that hard freeze shows up, these roses won't look nearly as pretty. But they sure are pretty right now.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 234 of 365

Nine. I have a backlog of nine.

These last couple weeks I've been slowly working away on putting together kids quilts for Operation Kid Comfort and Quilts for Kids. Yesterday evening when I still wasn't feeling so hot I went into the sewing room to clean up some scraps. And counted. Counted the quilt tops finished that need to be quilted.

I came up with eight. I don't know how that happened. Usually I might have two or three, but somehow with being busy with work and my daughter being here and me not feeling so great this week, I wound up with quite a pile. I've never had that many at once ready to be quilted. This is the time where I wish I knew someone who liked doing the quilting part.

Yet this afternoon I made another quilt top for yet another charity project.

The school counselor where I work is putting something together for Project Linus. Project Linus is another kids quilt/blanket donation/charity organization. I'll give more details later on the school's specific project, but I was asked to design a quilt easy enough for even non-sewers to make. 

So I did. And that makes nine.

My own version of a simple strip quilt. Straight seams, no need to match corners. Easy and quick. I'm working on putting together yardage requirements and clear and concise directions. (Guess my writing skills will be coming in handy yet again). This one will be backed with fleece, something new for me.

Maybe I'll tackle that learning experience tomorrow.