Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Color Catcher

Have you ever heard of Color Catcher? 

Color Catcher sheets are very much like fabric softener dryer sheets, only instead of putting them in the dryer, you put them into the washing machine. They're for catching any color that might bleed out of whatever you're washing. (You can find them in the laundry products aisle of your store.)

I had occasion to try them for the first time recently. I was washing a couple new fabrics before sewing them, and I wanted to make sure they wouldn't bleed onto each other. I used two Color Catcher sheets, just to make sure, since the first step in the directions said to use two for new garments.

They did the job, and here are a couple of quickly-taken-in-poor-light photos to show you how they turned out. The center sheet is a new, unused one, and on either side is a used sheet.

You can certainly tell the difference. There was a little bit of bleeding, although it was probably not enough that it would've affected either fabric.

It's nice to know that I don't have to worry about dye bleeds anymore. I can think of numerous occasions in the past when I held my breath washing something new in with other clothing!

(No, this was not an ad and I was not compensated in any way. It was just my own personal experience.)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Crafting with Courtney

Well, let's get back to business here. Thanks again to those of you who commented on my last post - I really, really, REALLY appreciate your encouragement! My plan for the time being is to just post whatever I have whenever I have time to do it. How's that sound? ;)

I've been making stuff... even have a couple of completed projects that unfortunately I can't show you yet (next week, okay?) and another one in the works. And then there'll be another pattern test that I'll need to get through as quickly as possible, so if I disappear it'll only mean that I'm busy, not that I've quit blogging.

Meanwhile, last Tuesday when Courtney came, she had another softie project in mind. That girl! She now even has a notebook dedicated to sketches of ideas for things we can make. :) I guess I... um... complained a wee bit about being kinda tired of making tiny softies. (REALLY, Grandma!) She insisted that since she had her sketch already drawn that we had to make it that day, but she also promised me she'd give me 3 weeks off from sewing itty-bitty softies before we had to do another one. What a sweetie! :)

Here's the sketch page from her notebook:

It was an owl... or actually a pair of owls. We decided to look up on the internet to maybe get a better idea of what owls looked like. Below is the revision, in the actual size pattern pieces.

Courtney did all the cutting this time, and she drew on the features before I sewed the felt pieces together. Drawing seemed to be much easier than sewing on teeny eyes, etc. Here's the finished project:

If you noticed on her original drawing, there was "velcrow" shown for fastening the little owl to the big one. Great idea!

She also wanted a strap so she could "wear" it. So the bigger owl has a piece of fold-over elastic attached to the back.

The strap was so she could wear it on her hand!

Here (in terrible lighting) is Courtney modeling the finished project.

I wonder what her designing mind will think up next! With 4 weeks to work on it, it could be quite a project! ;)

Update: Here I am updating the post before it even gets posted - ha. I was so proud of myself in that I had already written it up Friday evening to get auto-posted today. BUT... we went out to eat with Courtney and her parents Saturday night, and she had a gift for me, and I just must show you! She had made, on her own, with her very own Sew Cool sewing machine something "to thank you for helping me make all those little stuffed animals"! Awww.... how sweet is that?!! Here's my gift:

Wow! That tiny little critter... and stuffed, even! I guess she's been learning things in our crafting sessions. I am so proud of her!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


I was informed the other night (very gently, mind you) that my blog has gotten somewhat boring lately. :) I readily agreed. I'm kind of bored with it, and I guess it shows. I sorta feel like it's become "same ol' same ol'" in some respects. I mean, how many times can you go through the same events, year after year, and keep them interesting?

Writing blog posts takes time... time I'd rather spend sewing. So do I give up blogging to have more time for other things? Maybe. But not yet. I still have to think about it.

Maybe it's just the time of year. This right now is about the most dreary time of year ever. The snow has all melted but it's left everything just a blah tan/brown. Not much new life out there yet.

BUT... it's coming! On the way back from shooting yesterday's squirrel, I noticed these pretty leaf buds on the maple trees. They're so tiny... yet so colorful! Just look and see what I mean:

I especially like this next one. Have you ever looked closely enough to notice all those teensy spears?

Against a blue sky, they look especially lovely.

Just so you know, my tulips are making good progress, too. The color's coming.

So who knows what will happen with the ol' blog. Maybe there'll be new life here, too, eventually. Or maybe not. Any input or suggestions for possible future posts would be appreciated. Or feel free to tell me to give it up 'cause it ain't worth the time to look at anymore. ;)

Monday, March 23, 2015

I shot a squirrel

A few days ago, from my sewing room window I noticed this little "bump" on a tree branch across the driveway. I figured out it was a squirrel, and it must've been taking a nap, because it stayed just the same for such a long time. Finally I decided since it was still there, I had to go out and try to get a picture.

I must've woken it up, because by the time I got close enough for a shot that wasn't obscured by branches, it had sat up just a little.

I kept sneaking closer, taking shots along the way, because I knew it could disappear at any time.

I was surprised at how long it waited, watching me.

Then it decided it was time to depart.

It started scurrying away, hoping I didn't see it, I guess...

... and this is the last I did see:

They sure have a way of managing to stay on the opposite side of a tree from you! I gave up and went back to the house, knowing it was a waste of time to try and get any more shots.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Gifts from Courtney

I realized that I took pictures but forgot to show you something that Courtney made and brought for Grandpa and me a couple of weeks ago. She had gotten her own "sewing machine" as a gift, and she'd been busy making projects.

Her machine is a Sew Cool, and it looks like this:

Photo by

It doesn't use any thread but has a special needle that somehow attaches pieces of felt together. I haven't seen Courtney's machine in person yet, but it seems to work pretty well, and she likes it a lot.

She made this cute little pouch (about 2½ inches square) for me (Mommy helped sew on the button):

Sweet, huh? Inside the pouch was this cute little dress!

For Grandpa, Courtney made this special pouch:

It's for holding pens or pencils, and since Grandpa likes fancy pens, it was a perfect choice for him!

What cool gifts! I still need to get to Courtney's house to see this machine in action. It sounds like a lot of fun!