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Still Alive


Ugh, so I haven’t checked in here in far too long. Sorry. And the site was totally hacked. The first few posts were links to free online videos. GRUMBLE. I really need to find time (and motivation) to overhaul this site and get rid of any creepers hiding here. Unfortunately, I have much larger priorities in life right now so that probably isn’t going to happen.

Anyhow, I was going to try to be good and write a blog post. I am still not sewing as much as I use to, nor do I have time to properly maintain a site. I will try to pop in from time to time though. Recently I have been doing some sewing room upgrades, and it has definitely made me want to get back in there more often. I organized the closet, got rid of my crappy old IKEA table in favor of a Criagslisted sewing table that gave me a little room back, cleaned everything up (well, close enough), and then used up that new free space with an Ironing Center table.

I just got the table put together the other day, so I don’t really have much to say about it yet. Right now the sides are folded down and it is just sitting at the end of my new-to-me sewing table. It is very tall though, and I have enjoyed not being hunched over while ironing the few things I have ironed on it. Next time I need to iron a quilt top or uncut yardage though, I have a feeling I am going to be singing praises about it. My only negative comments so far are:

1) the instructions for assembling are not that great. They crammed the entire assembly onto the front and back of ONE page. So step 1 alone covered pretty much half the assembly, and the illustrations were therefore not broken down into smaller steps. My husband and I managed to put it together easily enough though, with me interpreting the next bit of the instructions while he was working on the first bit… then while I took over the installation on the side of things closer to me, he read the instructions to make sure I had it right. Between the two of us we got it all figured out. It definitely does require two people to assemble easily, and is probably not going to be friendly for anyone that has trouble with IKEA instructions.

2) It is pretty narrow. This is fine for ironing, but I had also ordered a 22″ x 59″ cutting mat for it. I had hoped I wouldn’t miss the extra inches my current cutting table has (which is really a kitchen island cart from Target) in width so that I could just replace it and not have to cram more furniture into the little room… but no, it isn’t going to work. It was just awkward in the space, so alas it is just going to sit with the sides folded down except for when I need to iron things like yardage or quilt tops. I kind of wish I hadn’t ordered the cutting mat, which is now just taking up space on the floor (sitting on end, loosely rolled up). Perhaps I can find a tool to cut a couple holes in it so it can hang on the wall. Next time I have to cut something longer than my 35.5″ cutting table though, maybe I will change my mind.

In the midst of replacing my sewing table and assembling my new ironing table, I have been working on a bag for a friend. She is a huge Harry Potter fan, especially when it comes to Luna Lovegood and Ravenclaw. Knitorious ran a line of HP fabric recently called Magical Florals, which I knew needed to be made into a bag for her.

(these photos were before the final pressing, forgive the wrinkles)

A bit of backstory… This friend runs the ‘food room’ at Animazement every year. This means she is responsible for making sure all of the volunteers that work at the convention are fed three meals a day. My husband has been working with the convention for many years now, and this year my daughter was finally old enough to spend several days away from mommy… so I was working in the food room this year as well.

Since we were both focused on the food room, which is in a hotel adjacent to the convention center, neither one of us made it to the convention for very long. I don’t think either one of us really minded, but she didn’t get the opportunity to shop for Ravenclaw stuff because the one time she actually made it to the convention she immediately had to come back to take care of some crisis. So I popped over to the dealers room during the (literal) last few minutes it was open to look for last minute goodies for both myself and as a thank you gift for all the hard work she puts into the convention.

By then all of the Ravenclaw stuff I had seen on my one & only previous trip over to the dealer’s room was gone. I did find one vendor selling bags made of various fun prints from Spoonflower and elsewhere, who had a few HP prints left though. Since the bags were well made, it was totally work spending the money on them (considering time and what Spoonflower yardage costs) and picked up a couple pouches for her, and a Katamari one for myself. But I was still disappointed that I couldn’t score a Ravenclaw prize for her. So I decided I would make one just as soon as I found the time. Well, a few months later, I finally did!

I had just finished up a Sunrise Saddle Bag, by Dog Under My Desk while I was at the convention. It was just one I had whipped up to try out the pattern, but she really liked the bag. When I sent her a photo of the fabric, she requested that bag (which is good because it was what I had in mind!) and I got to work…

It took me a while since I didn’t have a lot of time to begin with, and had to stop a few times to deal with furniture stuff… and then there was The Aquaphor Incident. In the middle of picking the topstitching out of the bag opening for the fourth time (more on that later) my almost-4-year-old came to me after playing quietly in her room and said plaintively, “Mommy? Mommy, my dress is wet.” My immediate though was a potty accident, so I asked if she had had one while I was putting my seam ripper down and getting up to walk across to the door where she stood. “No…” she said, sounding slightly offended.

By this point I had reached her, and as I bent down to touch her dress I noticed the top of her head was coated in a thick goo. My hands reached her dress about the same time my brain was trying to comprehend what could possibly be in her hair… the dress felt greasy. Suddenly everything clicked in my head and I remembered the large jar of Aquaphor (basically vaseline) that was on the dresser in her room. Needless to say, that pretty much derailed all sewing attempts that afternoon as we had to switch into emergency clean up mode for a child that was covered head to toe in an ENTIRE JAR of Aquaphor, and the area of her room that was now also covered in it, and then the bathroom had to be cleansed of the slick goo that Aquaphor becomes when it is met with water and soap. This is why I don’t understand how people with multiple kids ever get anything done that does not involve keeping their children alive, whole, and free of goo.

The bag went together easily, except for the final bit of top stitching. My machine refused to deal with that. The exterior is canvas, lined with fusible interfacing, the interior is quilting cotton with fusible, and a layer of Pellon 50 sew in interfacing in between. The tabs the straps connect to are also canvas lined with fusible, which I probably should NOT have done. They are folded in half, then in half again, and then wrapped around the hardware to fold in half again. So that is 16 layers plus the fusible by themselves. I tried every single trick I know, including some new ones I asked Facebook groups about. After the fourth time I decided it just wasn’t going to happen. So I just topstitched the center front and back panels. As soon as I get a leather punch in hand I am going to put a couple rivets in to reinforce that area. Then it will be done!


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