About a week ago, I fell down the stairs - all thirteen of them... face first, right into a window. Since then, my back has been acting up - okay, it hurts... really bad. Today I'm on a heating pad. Yesterday I was down flat. This has been the cycle for an entire week - heating pad, down flat, heating pad, down flat. So while I give my back a rest, I thought I would share some pictures of what I was doing before I fell down the stairs: Project Wall Hanging. I finished these quilts before I was down for the count. Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the muscle spasms go away in time for me to clean up the mess that this project created in my house, which currently looks like a fabric store gone bad.
This is a picture of the wall hangings I made to give to my family on Thanksgiving day. I made three of these and I will mail my sister's gift to her since she won't be able to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. My thinking is that by giving the wall hangings as early Christmas presents it will allow the recipients the opportunity to incorporate them into their holiday decor, that way, they can enjoy the gift for the entire holiday season. The finished size of each wall hanging is 22"x28".
The pattern I used was from a company called Art to Heart. This company has all sorts of great projects and patterns for those who enjoy applique quilting. Note to my sewing friends who have not tried their hand at applique quilting: it is so much fun! You are missing out on a very versatile method of quilting if you haven't yet tried this style. In fact, it is my favorite thing to sew because it allows me the opportunity to use my decorative stitches.
Last month while at the quilt show I stopped to see a demonstration using sewing machine feet that were universal for all machines (these are the feet used by Mattel to make Barbie clothes!). The gal demonstrating these accessories was doing all sorts of amazing things with her sewing machine. Things like sewing on pearls and yarn and finishing edges with teeny-tiny stitches... and she made it look so easy. Well, being the easily influenced girl that I am, I ended up buying those feet. I also purchased her demonstration in class format on a DVD. And I bought the training manual that went with it. Yep. These purchases set me back a pretty penny. But you know what? I later took the time to do the classwork in my home. And I now use those feet and the manual all the time. These feet were the best investment I have made this year! For the first time ever, I was able to make professional looking napkins for my Thanksgiving table using the satin edge foot. Below is a picture of the additional Thanksgiving placemats and napkins I made to go with the fall placemats I made in October.
The name of this product is Creative Feet. For those interested in these accessories, I highly recommend purchasing the demonstration DVD and the training manual to supplement your purchase. Without the visual demonstration and the manual, I would not be able to utilize the feet to their full potential. But with the combination of all three items, I have been able to take my sewing to a whole new level. I truly believe that the Creative Feet have helped me utilize my sewing machine the way it was meant to be used (but that I was not adept enough to do without the aid of these feet).
Here is a close up of the edges of the napkins - I used the satin edge foot and a regular zig zag stitch:
Enough about sewing. I have one more fun thing to share. Last week I received the Vera Bradley holiday catalog in the mail. I don't carry a Vera Bradley purse, but I love the totes and accessories. My favorite VB products are the eyeglasses case and the cell phone wristlet and I've yet to find another company that makes these in so many styles and colors. And then there is my Alyssa - she is all about Vera Bradley products - she would have one of everything if her budget allowed, so the catalog was more than welcome in my home; I planned to get a head start on some Christmas shopping as I sat down to browse the pages. Little did I know that I would find something fun for myself! This is the picture of my new tote style purse. It is made out of rain slicker fabric, which to my knowledge is new to the Vera Bradley line. The color is called Symphony in Hue. And carrying this tote is a dream. It lies flat against my side and it holds everything I need and more, including a book and my little camera. I love my new purse!
I did end up buying a darling Christmas tree ornament to give to Alyssa, which helped alleviate the guilt I had from spending money on myself this close to Christmas. When I showed Jeff the purse, he thought it was great because 1) it won't get dirty during the winter, and 2) I haven't purchased a new purse in over two years and he knows that when I find one I like, I use it forever.
I like to say that I work hard and I play harder. But right now, I am not doing a dang thing other than resting my back - so no work and less play. I am so bored. I really hope my back is well enough for driving by tomorrow because I need to get ready for my company (and I want to use my new purse again). But the good news is: Project Wall Hanging is complete. When I hurt my back, I had doubts that I would be able to finish the wall hangings before Thanksgiving, so it comes as a pleasant, but painful, surprise that I met my deadline with days to spare. And now I can begin the much anticipated countdown of "Mom comes to dinner!"