Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Last Blog Post Ever

So this post marks the end.  Yes, this will be my last post.  What has prompted this?  I recently came across the KonMari Method of decluttering.  At first I thought it was some sort of decluttering fad.  After reading more into it and getting the book, I realized I have been decluttering and organizing all wrong.  I won't go into detail here because you only need to Google KonMari and you will get the idea.  Better yet, get the book.  It's not expensive, only $15, and well worth it.

Anyways, this book got me thinking.  While I think it only deals with the physical clutter in your home (I haven't finished it yet), I wanted to address my "To Do List" clutter.  I have project, upon project to complete, but I really don't NEED to do them.  The book says to keep things that only "spark joy".  I asked myself "Do these projects spark joy?".  Maybe at first thought, but now I feel them an obligation.  One of these "to do clutter" I have is this blog.  And it's ongoing.  When I examined the "why" of this blog,  I realized my motivations to have a blog were built upon self-esteem issues.  Or lack thereof rather.

I'm a stay-at-home-mom and have been for the past 10 years.  I know personally that other people don't view SAHM's as a "real" job. This impacted me greatly and therefore I never viewed it as all that important either.  And so I tried to do more.  I thought if I had a blog then people would know that I do more than just clean and watch TV (I think that's what people think SAHM's do).  Does it really matter if people know that I do more than clean or watch TV?  No, it doesn't, and only recently did I realize this.

After coming to this conclusion, I feel at peace to let the blog go.  And that's not all.  I'm letting Qwirk go too.  Yes, that long-held dream of selling my products at Farmer's Market's has come to pass.  It was a bucket-list item and I completed it.  Not successfully, but completed it nonetheless. 

So now I will have more pictures of my kids on my camera and not pictures that I intended to put on my blog.  I will no longer have to stress about uploading pictures onto my sloooowww computer, and taking the time to write posts, which do take awhile BTW.  I will have more time to spend with my family.  I will complete the projects that "spark joy" and not the ones that I feel I need to complete for the blog.  I dislike technology and the more time I spend away from it, the better I feel.  Also, I hate retail!  So why would I open a shop intending to sell THINGS.  I absolutely love to make things for my family and friends but to sell to the masses more of what they don't really need seems silly.  Why I didn't realize this sooner? I don't know, but at least I'm realizing it before I'm in too deep.

Knowing that I'm letting my blog go and Qwirk (my "business") go makes my feel free and light.  I am keeping this blog up instead of deleting it like I'm tempted to, because I have been to blogs (via Pinterest, or other links) that have seemingly dropped off a cliff with no explanation.  I always wonder what has happened to them to stop blogging, and I always think of the worst.  Here I leave an explanation in case you're wondering.

Now off I go to LIVE my life, instead of blogging about it.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Some Selfish Sewing

Just thought I'd share a couple selfish sewing projects I've needed for awhile now: Pincushions!

I definitely needed one by the sewing machine.  I would always forget to grab my pincushion and was too lazy to get up and grab it.  Then I would just pile the needles beside the machine.  Now that won't happen anymore!

Another project from Sewing to Sell; the boxy pincushion.  The only difference I made to the pattern was make a scrappy rainbow for the top.  I also filled it with crushed walnut shells.  The pinchushions filled with polyfil were always so light.  This one now feels like good quality.  It's so fun to push the pins in (it doesn't take much to make me smile).

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Back to School Sewing

My kids needed some new lunch bags.  The other ones were store bought and pretty icky looking after just one school year.  So I pulled out my copy of Sewing to Sell and made three lunch bags using the pattern from the book.  I let each child choose their own fabric.

Also, my oldest needed a "soft sided" pencil box for school.  I wasn't sure what that meant, so I just made a pencil pouch that was big enough like those hard pencil boxes.

I followed a great tutorial for this pencil pouch found here.

So happy that these are done.  I've wanted the kids to have stylish lunch bags for awhile, but didn't get around to it last year.  Also, when the kids outgrow their clothes and it's not in good enough shape to give away (aka: stained), I salvage the zippers and buttons.  The pencil box has a zipper from an old sweater.  The zipper had a cute pull with a heart in it.  It adds a cute little extra to the pouch I think.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Crocheted Rag Rug Finish

 I did it!  I finally finished that crocheted rag rug I've wanted to do for years! I didn't follow a pattern.  I just made a foundation chain as long as I wanted the width and then kind of improvised from there with a pattern of colours I had available. 

Now, I'll be honest, it's not the nicest looking rug.  I just used the colours I had.  Also the edges aren't straight.  That's due to the fact that the fabrics I used were different weights. So even if I had 1" ripped strip, some strips were thicker than others.  This was more of a trial.

At least it fits nicely in my sewing area.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Car Seat Canopy

We recently acquired a baby bucket car seat from a friend that was getting rid of theirs.  The only thing was, it was missing the canopy.  Not sure what happened to it but I wasn't complaining, it was free!  It still had the plastic brim that holds the canopy up, but it was broken.  It was held together by some duct tape.  For some strange reason I thought, no problem, I'll just make a new canopy.

Well I did just that. 

I don't have any pictures on how I made it but I'll try to explain what I did.
My husband suggested we add strength to the plastic brim with some Popsicle sticks and then add more good ol' duct tape.

I first measured the length of the brim and added 1".  Then from the top of the brim I measured down to the back and added 2" to allow room for a casing for the elastic.  I used purple for the brim and cushioned it with some leftover batting. I then sewed the purple to the rest of the fabric that I chose.  I was able to pop off that brim to sew on the fabric.  It was a little awkward with the machine but in the end, persistence prevailed.

There is elastic added to the back to keep things snug but movable.

Because the fabric was one big square, I had to gather the fabric at the sides.  I just tucked it underneath and then sewed that in place.

And that's it.  Even though I had no idea on how to go about making this, I am thankful it turned out well. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Baby Quilt # 3

This is the last baby quilt I made.  This time it's the boy version.  And appropriately I had my boy display it.  Aren't those feet cute?

This was quilted in a spiral "straight" stitch, just like the neutral version.  The quilting went so quickly.  It was done in 45min tops! 

The edging is again done with white bias tape.  I hand stitched it just like the girl version.  

And there you have it.  The last installation of baby quilts using this pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew.  

 And here's a look at all three: Neutral (original post here), girl (original post here) then boy versions.

I honestly couldn't pick a favourite.  Which do you like best?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Baby Quilt # 2

As promised, here is the girl version of the baby quilt.

The tractor came and made these hay barrels in the greenspace behind our house.  I'm glad I was able to get these pictures in before they hauled 34 barrels away!  For this version I quilted squares within squares.  It took longer than baby quilt #1 because of all the stopping and turning.

I just love those little white flowers on the green.  It gives the backing a vintage feel.

I hand bound this one with white bias tape.  I love putting on a couple shows and mindlessly sew.  So enjoyable.

Baby quilt # 3 is next, and it's the boy version.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Baby Quilt #1

I'm not sure if I told you, but there are three of us ladies in the neighbourhood all due within two weeks of each other.  We're all friends too, but we didn't plan this.  It's crazy! 

I decided to make three baby quilts, one for each of us to commemorate this journey we've shared together.

One lady already gave birth on the first of this month (she's always early).  I made her quilt top neutral since nobody knew what she was having.  It ended up being a boy, which is great because I think this quilt suits a boy better anyway.

I used this pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew.  So nice and quick.  Great for a crazy pregnant lady making 3 baby quilts back to back!

Since I had some extra bits from the end of the block row, I decided to add them to the backing to break up the mundane of the white.

I quilted it in a spiral "straight" stitch pattern.

It's machine binded with some white bias tape.

I will share our girl version next time.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Memorabilia Drawstring Backpack

Back in May my daughter and I volunteered at a local race together.  Since I couldn't run in it, I thought it would be nice to give back to the running community in this small way.

We each received a volunteer shirt.  They were both size large. When we got home I questioned what to do with my daughters t-shirt.

My answer was "You make a drawstring bag from it".  I used a pattern from Sewing to Sell

I gathered my materials and cut them to size.  I forgot to take a picture of the t-shirt but as you can see it was large enough to get two 18" squares from both sides. 

For the liner I used some material that I made a skirt from and then never wore because it looked awful.  It was terrible for a skirt but fabulous for the liner of this bag.

And there you have it; the finished product.

This was made for my daughter who helped me that day.  It's a nice way to commemorate the day that we spent together.  And she has a functional bag to boot.  I will probably make one out of my t-shirt to hold my gym shoes in. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


So there have been a lot of little girl birthdays around the neighbourhood lately.   I turned to my quick and easy sewn headband pattern found on Happy Together's blog here.  It's great.  I've made at least 8 already.  It's easier to make multiples actually.  If I do an assembly line (like 4 at a time) they average about 15 min to make, each.

Here are just two of the ones I made.

 And since they're reversible here's the other side:

A pretty cute and quick gift I'd say.  Almost every little girl in the area has one, and they're each unique, just like the girls who wear them.

The next three or so blog posts will be scheduled while I await the arrival of baby #6.  Don't need to be thinking about blogging while I'm nursing and recovering, that's for sure.

Monday, June 8, 2015

$1 Hat Rack

My husband and I made these hat racks for my display. We followed these plans from Ana White, but made a couple changes.

First we started off with some scrap wood we had lying around (literally lying around in the backyard).  My husband cut the main piece and then the bottom pieces as stated.  We attached them like it says but let the main piece touch the floor as well for added support.  Since these are originally intended for the outdoor market I need extra support in case it gets windy or someone accidentally yanks on a bag and it falls over.  So, we added a base on the bottom to hold a small sand bag I made for even more support.

While the original plans have very adorable wooden hooks that look like branches, I really didn't feel like doing more cutting and painting.  I kept my eye open for some sort of hook, or at the very least I was going to drill a hole through the main piece and stick a dowel through. Well, my patience paid off.  I found a set of twelve shower hooks for $2at the thrift store!  I used six hooks per rack.

They turned out great.  Here's the breakdown of cost:

Wood-----------------------Free (scraps)
Primer---------------------Free from the recycling depot
Paint------------------------Free (leftover from my sewing room)

Total Cost For Both= $2

Cost Per Hat Rack=  $1

Can't really beat that.

Linking up to: My Repurposed Life

Saturday, June 6, 2015

To Market, To Market....

I can officially check one off the bucket list as of yesterday.  Yesterday I debuted at my first Farmer's Market. How did it go you ask?

Cue music....womp, womp, wooomp. 

Ya, it didn't go so well.  It was the opening weekend, well, a Friday to be exact.  So due to the fact it was a Friday, kids are in school and it was during working hours, there wasn't much traffic. 

The market itself was well run and I loooved the fact that I could pull up, through my stall and set up with my vehicle close by.  That was hugely appreciated.  It meant I could have a little more room at the back of my tent not only to move around, but to have access to my vehicle meant I could easily store things.

Anyways, on to some pictures and some lessons learned.

Five Things I Learned At My First Farmer's Market

#1. Scout Out Your Market Beforehand
      I like knowing what I'm getting into before I jump in.  That's just who I am, but this time, I decided to go in blind.  Mostly due to the fact that I had my Mother-In-Law visiting and I needed the help.  This was the only weekend that she could do it.  Anyway, if I had scouted out beforehand I would have realized that this market wasn't right for my stuff.  You know you're at the wrong market when it takes you 45 min to set up because you have so much product and display while it takes everyone else 10 min.  I guess you could say they were efficient and knew what they were doing.
#2 Don't Debut At An Opening Weekend
      I talked to a couple of the vendors and they told me that the first two weekends they suffer, and then things start to pick up.  I think it's just because people aren't used to the idea of an outdoor market yet.  School is still on, kids sports activities are still going and people's weekends are filled.  I think it's usually near the end of June, that weekends start to free up for people and the Market now becomes their "thing" they do.  Unless of course the market is always busy no matter what weekend it is.

#3 Be Adaptable
      It wasn't until the last two hours that I realized the little traffic that their was, was coming in from one side and the only table that people could see as they passed was the table with the higher priced items.  They completely passed by the table at the back that had the lower priced items.  When I realized this I moved my bookmarks ($4) to the other table and shuffled things around.  I will remember this for next time.

#4 Don't Sell Yourself Short
      I felt confident in my prices.  I calculated my time and material well. I researched on Etsy and other sources for comparable products.  I asked family and friends what they thought.  I didn't want to be greedy but I also wanted to be compensated for my time and effort.  I took all this into consideration when pricing my items, and was sure that I was charging appropriately.  With all this, I only made two real sales (besides family and friends).  I would have had to reduce my prices significantly to the point of loss if anyone would buy my products at this market.  I didn't want to do that just for the sake of a sale. 

#5 Be Prepared For Anything
     I thought of everything it seems, "just in case".  The questions in my mind before were "what if I sell everything?", "what if I don't sell anything?", "what if it rains?", "Will I have enough bags?" etc.  I had a ton of bags it turns out.  I realized it would be a good thing if I did sell everything and even if I didn't sell anything I knew just the experience would be worth it.  Having thought out many scenarios, I felt at ease.  The past few weeks have been a flurry of preparation but I wasn't up late the night before getting anything last minute done.  I wanted to be done, with time to spare in case something popped up.  I was able to go to bed easy and had a sound sleep because everything was thought of, and done ahead of time.

I had lots of support from family and friends and am very grateful for their help. Thanks to all who attended and those who had such nice things to say. 
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