Friday, February 1, 2019

Sewing in the Polar Vortex

We are just coming out of the Polar Vortex.   Schools here were closed both Wednesday and Thursday, and at one point our temperature was -10 degrees, and the wind chill was -41 degrees.   I just trusted the weather forecasters that this was bone chilling cold, and I stayed inside.  It's a bit warmer today, and we had some snow overnight.   It's not enough to completely cover the grass.  Before spring, I would just like one huge dump of snow.  And, I would like for it to snow during the day so I can watch it pile up.  I've stayed in and worked on some projects.   

This is the time of year when I'm very thankful that I have a warm home and all of the comforts that go with it.  This house has a gas fireplace, so with a flip of a switch there is warm air filling the family room.   I know there are  many others that are not so fortunate.

I've been spending days in my sewing room.   The photo below is quilts I've made to donate to Quilters United.  All of the quilts and items we make are donated to children.   I had some of these tops made before, and some I just put together this week.  Then I machine quilted all of them.   Today I plan to finish the binding.

To be honest, this is the time of year I take a look at all of the fabric, yarn and other "stuff" I have here and wonder, "What was I thinking?"    So I'm trying to use up some of what I have here.  And, yes I've had to buy more fabric for backing and batting to finish some of these things.   I guess it's two steps forward and one step back.   

I'm backing most of my charity quilts with flannel, so in a lot of cases when I trim the quilt after it's quilted there is enough flannel and batting left for a burp cloth.   I think this is 8 1/2 inches wide before it's sewn.  I had a half yard of wide blue flannel backing left from backing a quilt, so I bought this blue bird flannel.   OK.  I bought some pretty bright yellow solid flannel and some with yellow butterflies and flowers, too.  

 We have a Quilters United sewing day once a month, and one of the girls had the Paw Patrol and heart fleece left over, so I brought it home to crochet around.   Yep, I bought more fleece to put on the backs.

Then these two pieces of fleece were in the remnants, so I bought them to make another blanket.   As I write this, I see that I just might be buying more than I'm using.   To crochet around these, I have a skip stitch blade that fits in my rotary cutter.   You just roll it around the edges of the fleece, and it makes tiny holes that are big enough to get a crochet hook into.   Oh, I am using some yarn from my stash!

I saw a post on Instagram where someone was making Soap Sacks out of cotton yarn like the Sugar and Cream that you use to make dishcloths.   I had a bag (really a huge bag) of leftovers so I started making these soap sacks.  SACK stands for Serving a Community with Kindness.  This was started as a way to give back to your community's homeless shelters, food pantries or transitional housing centers.  There is a link in the About section of their web page to find places near you to donate.  The idea is that each sack is donated with a bar of soap inside, and the sack (which is all cotton) can be used as a washcloth.  There is always a need for toiletries at shelters and food pantries.  There are links to both knit and crochet patterns on their site, or email me if you are interested.   Now I have used up a lot of my leftover yarn for these, but there were some really pretty variegated yarns out there so I bought a few...…    The pattern for these is easily memorized.   Jennifer at has issued a challenge to crochet or knit 100 soap sacks in a year.   I have made a start with 20 so far

I've also been spending a lot of time on some of the Farmhouse Decorating blogs and Instagram pages.   There is just something that appeals to me about the neutral décor with the buffalo check and farmhouse accessories.  A lot of the photos show solid color knit blankets with big stitches.  I think most of them are done with finger knitting, but I bought a size 19 knitting needle and have been knitting on this.   This didn't come from my stash.   I bought this yarn, and there is a box of a pretty seafoam color waiting in the wings.

I also love to make knit dishcloths.  This pattern is easily memorized, too.  

  The pattern on the needles is:

Cast on 4 stitches.  K2, yarn over, knit across.   Repeat until you have 40-44 stitches on the needle.
Then:  K1, K2 together, YO, K2 together until you have 4 stitches left on the needles.  Bind off.

Some of this yarn was what I bought for Soap Sacks.  Naturally I had to buy enough to make both dishcloths and Soap Sacks.

We also have a jigsaw puzzle in the works on one end of the table.  This was the last one finished.  I admit that I haven't put many pieces in (ok...maybe none) because I'd rather be stitching.

If you've read the entire post, I'll show you where I sew.  It's a bit of a pit right now.  The edge of the white table you can see in front of the TV is where my cutting mat is.  I've cut and just shoved the rest on the floor, but I know there is fabric in there that can be used for burp cloths.  That table is full of strips cut for binding the quilts you saw in the first photo.  There is also a couple containers of thread there to match the binding colors for top stitching.  There is really no room for a table.  There is a closet to the left with part of my stash.  On the right is my bookcase and my machine is to the right of that facing the window.  This is what should be our guest room, but I love the light that comes in that big window and the arch above it so I sew here.  At the bottom of the photo, you can see Tiki our cat.  He's not sure he wants to venture in.  I'll post another photo when I've cleaned and sorted the piles.  Right now there is more sewing to do.  I'll post another photo when it's cleaned up (much later), and I'll post a photo of my UFO tops that need to be quilted.

Until then...……….

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today. 


  1. First off, I have to say--what a great cat puzzle! I shop for puzzles for my Mom all the time. She loves cats in them. :)
    My goodness, LuAnn, you are doing so many good things with your stash supplies, but I did chuckle each time you mentioned having to buy more of this or that. Does seem to be one step forward and two steps back, doesn't it?
    You appear to be extremely productive, and I am glad to know that you are staying warm AND busy.

  2. Hi LuAnn, I always enjoy reading your posts. You certainly are staying busy. Makes my heart smile to see all your doing to help others. I can't remember if I've asked before, what machine are you doing your quilting on? Looks like your doing a beautiful job.
    Speaking of sewing rooms, we are building on our home. The ground level will be a larger sewing/quilting room for me and the upper level will be an art studio for my husband. We are doing the construction ourselves, so it's a little slow going. I am so excited to move it, trying to think about the layout. Keep up the awesome job of being productive.

  3. I really enjoyed this post, Luann! I love all the things you're making. It sounds to me like you're making good use of your stash, which we all need to "refresh" from time to ttime with a few new pieces. Its raining here today, so I think I'll be able to find some time to sew. Stay warm!

  4. My head is reeling looking at all the projects you have in the appreciative the recipients will be!

  5. You made good use of your time during the Polar Vortex. We did not have really cold weather here in Florida but we had family and friends who had to go through it. Not pleasant.

  6. you have so much going on! love all your items you are working on - I realized I hadn't seen your blog for awhile and then notice it had disappeared off my reader! I never know how that happens but every now I then I guess I accidentally do something and loose a blog - sorry for not dropping by for a long time.


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