Friday, 12 October 2012

Sewing for Sanity - TGIFF

 I definitely sew for sanity. A little bit of sewing makes me calmer, happier and a better mum. I love being a mum, but let’s be honest, at the end of the day it’s very hard to say “Look what I accomplished!”. Because the house that you cleaned, will not look like it (not if you have little tearaways like I do), the laundry you have done – well there’s more of it for tomorrow, the parenting you have done, well maybe you can reap the rewards from that in about 18 years.

So at least with sewing, I can make something (something pretty even!) and say – look! I’m creative and clever and I –made- something that will last longer than 5 seconds! And if I’m lucky, it might even last 5 minutes before having grubby childsized finger prints on it.

In honour of all that, here’s my finished little mini that sums up all those thoughts in one little phrase.

Sewing each day keeps the crazy away mini

Last you saw, I was in a dilemma over the binding. Thanks for all the fab input. In an ideal world, I would have ducked out to my nearest shop and picked up a stripey fabric (or at least stolen some from Jane’s stash) but rarely do things happen like that! So I went with what I had so I could finish it up. I like it. I think it brings it all together nicely.

So how did I create this masterpiece? I used PicMonkey for the words. I typed up the phrase and played with the fonts til I found one I liked, then printed it out. Bit of fusible web, and a whole lot of itty bitty cutting out, and I had my letters. It took me awhile to cut them out – which is why I didn’t cut the insides of the letters. That sounded like too much hard work. I FMQ’d the letters on with black thread. Messy, but I don’t mind.

Bit of Lush Running Stitch and some Timeless Treasures Keep Calm fabric for the corners, a bit of brave loopy loop FMQing and I was done! Until the binding.

Loopy quilting

You know I like to be honest about my sewing, so here goes. I loved making this mini. Right up until the binding. Then it made me:

Crazy applique

Wish I was kidding. I had the bright idea to try something new, something bold, something zig zag! Apparently my sewing machine does not like zig zag. My binding started looking like this:

Wonky zig zag

But did I stop after the first few inches of uneven zig zag? Noooo. Because surely that won’t be noticeable and it’s just a mini for me after all. So I did the whole thing. Smart. Especially when I turned it over with a bit of a grimace and discovered this:


Bit of a grimace turned into a monster scowling frown. What was supposed to be my sanity saver was rapidly becoming crazy inducing. Plenty of unpicking, a bit of resewing and the binding is on with my usual straight stitch. It is not my best attempt at binding but the thing is on and I’m calling this done.

Look, I even sticky taped it on my wall in my sewing room (don’t tell the landlord) for the sake of a photo! This is what it would look like if I was allowed to put hooks in the wall to hang things up! (Don’t worry, no paint was harmed in the making of this photo – sticky tape was quickly removed before any damage was done).

Sewing each day keeps the crazy away mini quilt

And in the theme of keeping it real, I’m kidding if I pretend my sewing desk EVER looks like this. See that little bit of mess creeping in the right hand corner? It actually looks like this:

The reality of my sewing room

But hey, I can work in this kind of chaos. I can even create pretty things. I can say at the end of the day “Look, I made something fabulous” and feel a little bit productive. That’s what counts in my book.

Linking up with TGIFF which is over at Quilt Matters with M-R this week. So got something that saved your sanity this week or perhaps induced a bit of crazy? Share your finished project during OctoberQuest for a chance to win a prize!


PS. Talking of prizes – there’s a little giveaway happening on my last post – pop over and check it out Smile


  1. You call that messy?! So glad you can't see my sewing space at the moment, and I think it is quite tidy!

    Why is it always the little things that you think will only take a few minutes to finish off that go so wrong??

    Neat mini though!

  2. Love your little wall hanging and couldn't agree more Kristy. Sewing keeps me sane!

  3. Oh that is what I do if I suspect something might not quite be going ok - just carry on and then realise waaaaaaay too late that I should have stopped to check/fix things earlier. You know what looks great about your sewing room (apart from that cute mini) - the AWESOME iris quilt hanging on the door!!!

  4. Today, reading your blog post has saved my sanity. Your opening gambit is so accurate and really made me smile. I love being a mum but you are so right about about the accomplishments of the day. Thanks for making me feel like I am not the only person in the world who feels like this.
    I love mini quilts and yours is just brilliant.
    Shame about that annoying zigzag but you handled it with style.

  5. I only have a clear sewing space because before I can open my cabinet I have to dump all the stuff off the top onto my bed! Tada! Clear space (just don't look in the bedroom!) Isn't it always the time you think, 'it'll be fine, I'll just keep going' that it always goes pear-shaped?! Your wallhanging looks great though - you need some of those magic removable hooks so you can see it every day!

  6. Hmm, our definitions of untidy are very different! I love your mini, and entirely agree with the sentiment - sometimes you need something just for yourself!

  7. Your mi I finished up nicely!! I love it and need to make one for myself sometime. I can't believe you hand cut all of those letters!!

  8. I showed it to my husband and we both had a great laugh. So freaking true! I LOVE this, Kristy! The little Keep Calm and Quilt On squares in the corner are a great touch. I have to do something similar for my quilt room!

  9. You are so funny! I like the letters with uncut insides, looks great and your zig zag story is hilarious! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Oh, I *love* your mini so much, and I love this post! Despite being crazy busy all day long, my sewing is often the only thing I feel like I can point to and say 'I did that, that is done'.

  11. I love this! It's so true too. I was without a machine for a week and it was not good for anyone. ;) Pinning this, would love to make something similar for myself someday.

  12. This is wonderful! It's beautiful and I completely share the sentiment :)

  13. Sewing calms me too! Nice finish.

  14. What a fun mini quilt! That Running Stitch is one of my favorite fabrics. The colors are so beautiful, especially together.

    Try hanging your mini's on the wall with sturdy straight pins. They go right into sheet rock (with a bit of pushing). If you have a larger wall quilt, just use a few straight pins across the top. When you take them out, the holes are so tiny you can't even see them. If you can see them, they can be easily patched by rubbing a bit of white toothpaste over them, then wiping clean. I hang lots of Christmas mini quilts on my walls in December, and no one sees the holes throughout the rest of the year. A way to hang your quilts without having a landlord problem later!

    Thanks for sharing.

  15. This may have to be my new mantra- and bravo on showing your messy sewing station... I think a little (or a lot of) sewing clutter is all part of keeping the crazy away! ;)

  16. I feel the same way, as a lot of moms do too I guess! Even if I can see a bitty bit, I'm energized and am ready to be a good mommy. :)

  17. Such a cute mini.. I love the cornerstone too!!!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I read each and every word! I'll do my best to reply to them either via email or here on the blog, when time permits!