Pet Beds and an Etsy Sale

One of the things I like to do every year is make pet beds for charity. My church takes donated items to the local no-kill dog and cat shelter at Christmastime. 

I make pet beds using old repurposed denim jeans on one side and soft fleece on the other side. In inside is stuffed with batting scraps that I save up throughout the year. It's a great way to keep the scraps out of the landfill.

They aren't the prettiest pet beds around but they are very practical.  And I am happy to be able to complete them in time to turn them in at church considering I just had surgery.

And just when I thought I could relax, I sold a quilt on Etsy. Here we are three days before Christmas and I'm packaging up a quilt to ship. I don't mean to sound like I am complaining but it was a little stressful getting it out the door quickly. I am always grateful for my Etsy customers and I hope the recipient likes it.


A Little Christmas

Since I have to lay low this holiday season, there's not much going on. I did manage to get a Christmas tree up and I love how nice it looks. It's much smaller than we're used to and I think this will be come a tradition. It takes up so little space and I like it. 

Since the tree is much smaller, I set up a table next to it with a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. What fun it will be to complete it with the help of family members! 

I am really enjoying this holiday season. Here's the view out of my bedroom window.  

I had no idea slowing down could be so wonderful.

December Client Quilts

I agreed to longarm one quilt this month. With the upcoming holidays I didn't want the added pressure of having to work on longarming for others so I can post a client quilt summary way before the end of the month. Ha! 

This quilt is an anniversary gift for Jill, the quilt top maker's husband. 

Jill confided in me that she did not like how the quilt turned out. She said she had issues with the borders where she did not have enough fabric. 

She ended up adding cornerstones to the quilt border in order to have enough.

I find that the quilt is a little busy. The fabrics coordinate well, but my eye doesn't find a resting place. I wonder if some solids would have been a better choice in some of the blocks?

It really is a nice man's quilt though. I longarmed it with a pantograph called Ripples and the stitching does look just like ripples in a pond. A perfect compliment to Jill's hard work!

I hope her husband likes the quilt. There's nothing better than a homemade gift of love.


An Emergency Appendectomy

The holiday season has taken a strange turn for me. I have so many plans. But the universe apparently has something else in mind for me. 

I came home from working at the quilt shop yesterday with a belly ache. I couldn't eat my dinner and proceeded to throw up throughout the night. I was hoping that would make me feel better but by morning it was evident it was not to be. It felt so weirdly different that most belly pain I've had. I chose to go to my online medical portal to make an appointment with urgent care. I picked the first available appointment and worked my way through the list of questions regarding my reason for the visit. Once I completed the last answer, the program told me I cannot make an appointment, I must go to the emergency room immediately. Wow.

I alerted my husband to please get dressed because we have to go. At 8:55 am I walked into a very quiet emergency room, or so I thought. There was one person waiting when I got there and one who came in right behind me. I was immediately taken in for vitals and I was surprised as they hooked me up to an IV right away. They took blood from the IV and sent it to the lab. After asking me a few questions about my pain they administered morphine through the IV and apologized as they had me wait in a conference room. The reason for that was they were so full of covid patients there were no beds available in the ER. So I sat in a meeting room chair with my feet up on another chair. 

The physicians' assistant who was taking care of me came to tell me that my white blood count was high which was a sign that I'm fighting off something so they were going to do an abdominal CT scan. I can't believe how fast they were on it. It wasn't even 10 am yet and already I was headed to the CT unit. 

They did the scan and by 11 am the PA came to tell me I had appendicitis and they would need to remove my appendix. I was a little out of it from the morphine so I asked if they were going to do it this week? He says today! Oh yeah...pain... I wasn't shocked or surprised or scared, all I could feel was grateful. Grateful that this most likely wasn't going to kill me and even better, it was going to be fixed for good, unlike a chronic illness. They also told me they hoped to send me home the same day because there are no beds available to stay overnight. I would end up sleeping in a hallway and they wanted me to be prepared for that. So now comes the wait to get it over with. 

The surgeon turned out to be the partner of the surgeon who assisted with my spine surgery a few years back. That made me feel more comfortable. I was wheeled to a surgical unit on the 5th floor of the hospital around 1 pm. There I met the surgeon's assistant to asked me lots of questions about my health and prepped me for what to expect. And since I had a negative covid test, they let my husband in to sit with me. Surgery was scheduled for 2:30 but I ended up not going in until closer to 3:30. 

Once I came out of surgery, the nurse told me I was lucky to be in such good health. That meant I could go home as soon as my vital signs stabilized and I was fully awake. 

I was home in my recliner with an ice pack by 6 pm, just in time to watch Jeopardy. It also seems someone was worried about me. I don't think he's going to move from that spot this evening. I feel so lucky to have had such a good experience. The surgeon told my husband that my appendix was 'red-hot' so I was fortunate that it didn't burst. It was a good reminder to pay attention to your body and to appreciate my husband for taking such good care of me. It's good to be home. 


Holiday Market at Hillside Coffee House

My friend owns a coffee shop and she offers up events throughout the year. This weekend she held a Holiday Market where she invites crafters and artists to sell their items. I purchased a table space for the event. I sort of regretted it - at first. All I could think of is it's the first weekend of the Christmas season and I have so much to do and this was a distraction. But I persevered.

I set up my booth on Friday afternoon. After years of attending craft fairs I have learned to relax throughout the process. Years ago I fretted and did not sleep the night before worrying about whether I had everything I needed. Now I don't even think about it. I am so lucky for that.

The holiday market ran for 2 days, both Saturday and Sunday. It was a pleasant surprise to meet new customers. Of course, I did my own social media posts and quite a few of my friends and past customers stopped in to see me. I am so grateful for all of them. I was also happy to see my best quilting friend, Sue. I can always count on her stopping by.

What a weekend! I made 24 gnomes and I sold all but 2. I made so many sales I couldn't believe it. After I got home I inventoried everything, packed up my craft fair bins and stored it all away. Even with all the hard work that goes into setup and teardown, in the end, I have no regrets for attending this event. It was exhausting and rewarding at the same time. 

See you in spring, Hillside Coffee House!


Christmas Gnomes

I had this moment of clarity when I recently looked that this gnome that one of the ladies from my basement quilters group made. Everybody got one for Christmas last year. 

I picked up the gnome, pulled the hat off to sort of re-arrange it on the little guy's head and I realized that it looked pretty easy to make. 

So I started to look for free online patterns or tutorials to make my own version - well, actually someone else's version, haha. 

I'm not the most ambitious when it comes to hand sewing so I had a few requirements. There would be no stuffed nose, a bead would be preferred. It had to be smaller than mine and I absolutely hate fleece fabric so it would be made with cottons or flannels. And luckily I have a bag of plastic pellets that my daughter gave me probably 10 years ago. I will finally get to use them. She also gave me 2 bags of stuffing that she wasn't going to use. She suggested that I take them to the senior center to donate but I chose to keep them. What she doesn't know won't hurt her. 

I found this pattern from LearnCreateSew and it was perfect. It came in multiple sizes so I could choose the one that best suited my plan. 

The hard part turned out to be the search for the beard fabric. I ended up at a Joann Fabrics store that I don't really care for. My local Joann's has some really nice employees but this one just isn't all that inviting. But they had the fur! The bad thing was that the fur was 44.99 per yard. I was happy to find that it was 40% off without a coupon so I figured if I got one-third of a yard it wouldn't be terribly expensive and there would be plenty. When I got to the cutting table the clerk unrolled the bolt and there was very little on it. She offered me the end of bolt for 50% off. I asked if it was 50% off after the 40% off and she said yes! I left this Joann's a very happy customer with almost a yard of fur for less than I would have paid for the one-third cut. What a pleasant experience after all.

I dug through my scrap stash and I made these:

I absolutely loved how they turned out so I posted this photo on Facebook and within 5 minutes I had friends asking me if they could buy them from me. So I made a few more.

While I was at it, I made a few wine gift bags. At the end of the week I had made 24 gnomes. I had so much fun making those little guys. Thank you LearnCreateSew for the great instructions.