Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Saddle Bag for a Walker, Wheelchair or Easy Chair,

Materials needed:

Two fabrics that go together, Fabric #1 , which will be the fabric that shows when this laps over the bar of the walker, and Fabric #2, which will be the fabric that shows when the pockets are folded up. Prewash.

Cut each fabric 30 inches X 10 inches.

This is an approximate measurement. It can be changed for a wider or deeper Saddle Bag.

Fabric #2 can be two different fabrics pieced together, but don’t piece them exactly at the 15 inch mid-point.

Thread, either to blend in or to show for the top stitching.

Velcro 3 inches in length.


Very thin batting or interfacing.

Embellishments or decorative stitching.

This is a good use for the type of inexpensive fabric that never gets soft when it is washed. If you use this kind of fabric, you can leave off the batting, saving time and money.


Place Fabric #1 and Fabric #2 right sides together [if using batting, place fabrics right sides together and the batting on top of that.] Sew around the edges, ¼ to 3/8 inch seam allowance, leaving a large enough opening to turn the “pillowcase” right sides out.

Clip the points off the corners, turn right sides out. Press the seams. Press in the seam allowances of the opening and sew closed, by hand, or (HINT) glue them closed with light fabric glue.

Top stitch across the short ends, plain or decorative stitching. You could embellish the last three or so inches of each end of Fabric #2. A name could be embroidered on the fabric.

On Fabric #2, mark the mid point {A} of the fabric, along the long side. Measure 7 inches from the midpoint, toward each end. Mark. Separate the Velcro and place a three inch piece of Velcro at these points, but centered {B}, parallel to the ends of the Saddle Bag. Sew the Velcro on. [Another way to explain this is: the two velcro strips are to be placed 7" from either side of the midpoint, parallel to the short ends, and in the middle.]

(HINT) A blind hem foot works well for Velcro. Don’t worry about stitching through both fabrics since this stitching will be hidden when the pocket is folded up.

On the Fabric #1 side, measure and mark about 5 inches from each end {C}. Fold up the ends (short sides) at that mark. That forms the pockets.

Top Stitch around the Outside edge, with an extra few back stitches where the edge of the pockets meet the “saddle” part of the fabric to secure them. The top stitching holds the pockets in place and also acts to slightly stiffen the bottom of the pockets.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas lights for the near-sighted

My favorite way to look at the Christmas tree is without my glasses. I've very near-sighted. I tricked my camera into taking a photo of this view. If you have perfect eyes, enjoy the lights in a new way.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nigerian Clothing and Fabric Creations

Look at the clothes these women are wearing in Nigeria and see the quilting that they are learning and doing to increase their income.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ah, the Christmas season…the Christmas shopping season. What to get; what to give? Who do I include on my list? Who do I lop off my list? What a problem: what do I get for the person who has everything?

Well, few of us have “everything” but many (most of us who would be at a computer to read this) have “enough.” Enough stuff. Too much stuff. What do I get rid of now? How can I get rid of that; it was a gift from my dear ___? But I don’t need more things.

I’m not a shoppaholic in the usual sense, but I’ve been known to have my moments. I will seldom come home with “too many clothes” but I’ve been known to buy more for ME than I buy for others if I get pointed in the direction of a store that carries items related to my hobbies, and you, dear readers, know what those are.

And so I’ve been reevaluating my own possessions. Yes, I have too much in certain categories. Compared to the closets of many Americans, my collection of clothes is small, but that is only “in comparison.” After all, I can only wear one pair of pants, one shirt, and one sweater at a time. There is a saying, “She who dies with the most stash, still dies.”

Back to Christmas shopping: How should I reevaluate my shopping in light of the too much stuff stuffing the closets of many of my giftees? Three ideas come to mind: Give the gift of time, give the gift of service, or give to a charity in the name of my loved ones.

A worthy charity that I have personal knowledge of and which puts the donations directly to service is The God’s Child Project. There are lots of links to follow. Please consider this group when you make decisions about giving to others this Christmas. We've found that some of our relatives have been pleased and touched when we've given in their name to this organization and others like it.

Instead of a gift this Christmas....

Please consider giving to The God's Child Project as a way to honor a loved one this Christmas. This is a worthy organization that some of my family members have volunteered with in Guatemala. They have seen the needs first hand and they have witnessed the effectiveness of this organization on the ground.

ABC News recently profiled this organization.

Friday, November 24, 2006

What accent?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
North Central
The West
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Well, they have me pegged, almost. I WAS from Wisconsin. I still live near a Great Lake. But people from Wisconsin don't say "pop," they say "soda" just like it says on the can. You have to move a bit west to hear "pop."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

to my neglected blog and possible blog readers. Family circumstances have left me with little time for computer surfing.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It's in the Bag!

Finally getting some sewing done because of going to a retreat. This was a free from flip-and-sew side to the bag. Posted by Picasa

"useful" phrases

1. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by
your unique point of view.
2. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean
you're an artist.
3. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet
it's hard to pronounce.
4. Any connection between your reality and mine is
purely coincidental.
5. I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don't
6. I like you. You remind me of when I was young
and stupid.
7. What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?
8. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.
9. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your
10. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions
I had about you.
11. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of
Karma to burn off.
12. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are
largely ceremonial.
13. No, my powers can only be used for good.
14. How about never? Is never good for you?
15. I'm really easy to get along with once you
people learn to worship me.
16. You sound reasonable. Time to up my medication.
17. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being
18. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a
message .
19. I don't work here. I'm a consultant.
20. Who me? I just wander from room to room.
21. My toys! My toys! I can't do this job without my
22. It might look like I'm doing nothing, but at the
cellular level I'm really quite busy.
23. At least I have a positive attitude about my
destructive habits.
24. You are validating my inherent mistrust of
25. I see you've set aside this special time to
humiliate yourself in public.
26. Someday, we'll look back on this, laugh
nervously, and change the subject.

zen wisdom

This.... is new. Zen sarcasm:

1. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't
be promoted.

2. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

3. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

4. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a
couple of your house payments.

5. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their
shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away
and you have their shoes.

6. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving just wasn’t your thing.

7. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how
to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

8. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it
was probably worth it.

9. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

10. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

11. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

12. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half
and put it back in your pocket.

13. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

14. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a
dark side, and it holds the universe together.

15. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one

16. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips
are moving.

17. Experience is something you don't get until just after you
need it.

18. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

19. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a
laxative on the same night.

20. There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

21. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

22. Life is sexually transmitted.

22. Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Leaving again

I'm going away again, but not far.  I'll actually be within biking distance, but I won't be biking due to the wicked and cold wind.  I'm supposed to be going on a retreat, but since I've been gone nearly 6 weeks in the last 3 1/2 months, the best retreat might be just staying home.  I'm really a homebody, so the trips have been out of character and out of my comfort zone.  Three times I drove 1000 miles and once I flew out east.  I often don't even go more than two miles from home in a month.
But maybe when I'm there, I'll be able to forget my cares and have fun and fellowship and do some of my hobby "work"....if I get enough sleep.  And if the weather is not too brisk, I'll take a lot of pictures. 

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Weatherman was Wrong Again

All summer we've had forecasts predicting rain, storms, showers, scattered showers. But we've had a drought.
The forecast is often for "high of 78 degrees" or "high of 82 degrees" but we get a nice sunny day of 85 or 88.
So yesterday, I listened carefully when the forecaster said, "Lows in the lower thirties, with scattered areas of frost." Since they were so far off in the wet and cool directions all summer, I figured on only bringing in the pots of impatients. The pansies will usually survive the frosts. The petunias might make it if the weather isn't too cold, and besides, they are somewhat over the hill anyway.
When I got up this morning at 7:00 am, I read the indoor/outdoor thermometer: 25.7 degrees! The flower pots still looked great. I went out and checked them: the flowers were frozen solid. There was ice in my little fountain.
What would a weather forecaster earn if he were paid by percent of accuracy?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I Love Pansies!

 Posted by Picasa

Our View

This river may be small, but it is ours and this is our view. Someone with a good arm can throw a rock across it. With the current heat and drought, I could wade across it and not get my shorts wet. But when the water is up a bit, we can actually swim, or at least float in a tube, right here. Up or down stream, it is shallow enough in summer that one's butt drags on the bottom when one sits in an inner tube.

And unlike almost any of you who may read this blog, we could get in a canoe here and paddle to Canada on this river.

If any of you want to know the name and location of this river, please email me privately and I'll answer. Posted by Picasa

Lush Growth of Flowers

I've been away from home for most of the past month due to both happy and sad family events. Those topics are for another post. This is about my flowers.

I didn't expect to see the lush growth and explosion of blooms that were so evident when I got back home. The plants had been watered as necessary and the temperatures were high while I was gone. All the plants, petunias, pansies, impatiens, as well as some mystery plants, were in their colorful glory. All the lobelia had died from the heat.

When I am home, I faithfully "dead-head" all my flowering plants, believing that if I don't do this, they won't make more flowers. But apparently being compulsive isn't necessary. I even wonder if doing it nearly every day stresses the plants. This year, I did some pruning a month ago, and then nothing since, except that someone else watered my plants. I even wonder if I've watered too frequently in the past. These plants flourished in the high heat this year.

I certainly felt welcomed by my flowers. What a joy after some of the stresses of the past weeks.

The grass hasn't been mowed in weeks and mostly it doesn't need it. The grass, that is. There are dozens of trees that have sprouted up from underground roots that are about 18 inches high! The yard looks scraggly with these tree sprouts and the weeds flourishing instead of the grass. What kind of tree grows that fast in a month? It is known as the Balm-of-Gilead or Populus candicans Ait, perhaps of variety of the balsam poplar. It is know for not much except for the resin of the buds, which smells good, and is used in medicine. It springs up like a weed. We used to live in a log cabin made of this tree. It rots easily, unfortunately.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lilies and more Lilies

When I left for my almost two weeks away from home, the buds of the lilies were swollen, just on the verge of showing color. I came home to a glorious display of color, several of which I'm showing here. I always marvel at the once of year displays of nature, and as I look forward to certain sub-seasons for the color.

 Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 07, 2006

Being me

I'm switching to the Gram part of my blogger name for awhile, so there will be less computer time.  Bye for now.

Pansy, Pansy

I entered this in a guild challenge last night and I didn't win. Oh well, I like it. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Purple Fringed Orchis

This little wild orchid grows right in the middle of our path.

As you can see from the recent postings, I haven't been putting up any results of sewing. The last two months have been devoted to my other hobby of photographing flowers and tending to them in the garden.

Shortly, I'll be away tending to my grand child. But I have been sewing again lately, and if the item gets finished, I'll post a picture.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Delicate light green soft needles in the spring. Golden in the sun of autumn. The tamarack is the one needled tree that isn't "evergreen" because the needles are shed in the fall. Posted by Picasa

Tree Frog

What are you contemplating?
 Posted by Picasa


This is so delicate and pristine that I could start to like orange. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Looking For Wildlife and finding it

On Sunday, we took a "nature hike" in the afternoon. I made the decision to NOT take the camera for a change. Just to be unburdened. Just to be forced into direct observation for a change. I joked to my husband that we were sure to see something good if I didn't bring the camera.
Well sure enough, I was right. On the way we saw three sand hill cranes in a field. What the heck are those? Of course, we DID bring along the bird book and the wild flower book, so I quickly looked up this bird that was new to my husband. I've seen them twice in Wisconsin, albeit from a car window.
The walk proved sensational for seeing wild flowers. We saw the moccasin flower, pitcher plant, the twin flower, and the jack in the pulpit, among many others.
There were lots of birds singing, but with the thick cover of mostly maple trees, it was impossible to see much more than an occasional flit of a bird. There were bird songs we didn't recognize.
Then I heard a bird making a sort of squawk. I left the path to try to find the source of the sound. The sound moved, but I never saw the bird. But there, sitting high up, with its head turned completely to its back, was a barred owl. That was not the source of the sound. Apparently another bird was warning his kind about the owl. The owl just sat and watched us the whole time we watched him, which was at least 10 minutes.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Tulip Tree

Picture taken at Valley Forge National Park, near Philadelphia. This tree is new to me. What a delight. Posted by Picasa