Same-Old vs Something Different for National Sewing Month

I’m interested in knowing if any readers are beefing up their sewing agendas in honor of National Sewing Month. I know my friend Ethel has been busy making curtain tie backs. Check out this cute pair of scissors she brought with her to Knitting group last week:


Ethel’s scissors

So far, I’ve done several “same-old” projects for the sake of doing something, anything, for Sewing Month.

Besides the things I’ve already posted, I’ve also done a few others:

Jalie leotard

leotard Jalie 3354

baby blankets

flannel reversible receiving blankets

McCall's 4185 pattern

fleece quilt McCall’s 4185

I’ve made the fleece quilt so many times before I can’t even count them all. McCall’s pattern 4185 is now considered a “vintage pattern” and can be found on ebay and Etsy and such places. For me, a remnant hoarder enthusiast, it’s the ideal thing for using up smaller pieces of fleece that one has bought 50% off regular price, in the remnant rack at the local fabric shop. This time, I used 3 different Curious George fleece remnants, plus a couple of non-printed remnants in contrasting colors red and blue.


remnant repository

I hesitate to show the part of my sewing room that houses some of my remnants, as viewers might be offended by such excess, but there it is. I also had plenty of fleece binding in either red or yellow, purchased on clearance.

fleece binding

fleece binding

Good thing I had those extra remnants of binding, because I needed just a few more inches and a little extra length saved me from opening a brand new package.

fleece binding

yikes! need just a few more inches of binding

fleece quilt

finished Curious George fleece quilt

Here’s an excerpt of the conversation I had with my DH this morning in honor of National Sewing Month:

Me: I’m so excited about the project I made with those Curious George Remnants!
DH: Oh, you finally opened up the barrel and found them in there?
Me: Yeah, I think I hurt my elbow trying to reach them!
DH: You might be able to sell that as a Vintage Quilt. That fabric must be as old as that monkey.
Me (cracking up laughing)
DH: So what are you going to make this afternoon?
Me: During The Bloodlettin’?
DH: Yes. During the Gator game when we play Alabama…it’s probably going to be a slaughter…
Me: I thought I would try to do something new…

A Gift to Warm You

Gator Fleece Quilt

Gator Fleece Quilt

I made a couple of fleece quilts to give some friends. The only thing I bought was some fleece binding; I had plenty of fleece remnants on hand.

These friends are very special to us. They believe in thrift and using what you have. They have two boys who are out of high school, and the biggest part of their Christmas fun is to search for gifts for the boys. Whatever the boys name on their list each year, even if it happens to be misspelled, which frequently happens, the parents diligently search until they find just the right thing. For instance, one of the boys asked for a book about the history of guns. Except that he typed “nuns.” It was a deep search, but the parents eventually found a book about the history of nuns. Little fella had a laugh about it eventually.

Every year they give us greens from their garden, and various other marvelous food gifts. This year they brought my DH a little bag of coal, because they’ve been experimenting with a forge to do some welding, and had to drive to Georgia to buy a lot of coal to power the forge. At least, they say that is the reason they gave him some coal. For what other reason does a person get coal for Christmas? 😉 Actually, he was impressed. They had a very long conversation about anthracite versus other types of coal.

I realize that I’ve slipped into another post about blankets again! But apparently blog-surfers want to read about blankets and quilts, because 2 of my blanket posts are in the top 10 of my posts people have hit on since I’ve been blogging. My favorite blanket/quilt pattern is McCall’s 4185, a fleece quilt. It’s a Sewing With Nancy pattern, and I’ve always gotten a lot of use and understanding from Nancy Zieman’s offerings, whether in books, patterns, TV or blog posts. The beauty of her fleece quilt is that you can piece together small remnants and make a good size blanket. Using small remnants=less textile waste in the landfills. Fleece is a modern fabric; you see it everywhere. Fleece can pinch-hit for a household central heating unit. I once owned a house that had a hit-or-miss furnace. In the middle of the night I’d wake up freezing and have to re-light the pilot light that kept going out. After awhile, I bundled up in fleece and I didn’t feel the cold. That was nothing short of a miracle. At the request of my old boss, I once made a fleece blanket out of licensed collegiate gator fabric, for her to give to an aged relative in a nursing home up in Rhode Island. A couple of years later, the old lady passed away and she’d asked to be buried with her gator blanket tucked into the casket with her.

I remember one of my most interesting Christmases. I guess I had run my mouth to someone about being short on cash, because a family came over and brought my kids not just one present each, but quite a few each, so much that the space under my little Christmas tree was full of wrapped packages with bows. Then they invited us to dinner. I made up my mind I would never again mention to anyone that I might be low on money around Christmas so that I wouldn’t be taken in as “the poor family of the congregation” that year: someone’s charity project. Then they took us riding around in their pickup across a hilly and bumpy pasture while the guys in the family looked for dead tree branches they gathered and sold to a company that made silk flowers and attached them to the branches to make fancy floral decorations. They might have thought my boys would have fun doing that, and could help them in the wild, crazy search. During the bumpy ride I realized I wasn’t just a charity case to them. They cared about me and my kids enough to spend time with us, not just throw some money at “the problem.”

Jesus said in Matthew 26:11 “For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.” This time of year, it helps to ponder the presents (presence) of both…

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