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Archive for November, 2007

This is a bedside purse to keep things at hand like the telephone, remote control and eyeglasses. I designed this for mom to use in her hospital bed because she cannot reach well, and this puts everything close by.

I was planning to take photos along the way but forgot, so I’ll describe its function: The purse has non-skid rubber underneath the adjustable straps. One strap can be high while the other low, to accommodate the tilt of a hospital bed. One of the three pockets is clear so she doesn’t have to fish around to find small items… she can see them at her bedside.

The bonus to the bag is that it will convert for use on a walker or wheelchair. Just button the straps in place and go. Another feature is a removable insert to keep the bottom stable and can be removed for washing.

For the exception of the pockets, I quilted the fabric which gave it a bit more stability. Of course, this isn’t like a purse for valuables, just something to hold the “stuff” one might need while lying in a hospital bed or walking on a walker.

I call it “Peggy’s Purse”, in honor of mom.

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I find myself clutching most everything in my arms while Mr. Empty Nester drives happily with his stuff stashed in the console. There was no place for the junk I think I need to carry from place to place. What junk? Well, only the important stuff… my reading glasses, cell phone, sunglasses, knitting, small magazines and treats for the pups when they go off with us. I don’t use the console because it is husband territory, the place where old keys, flashlights and maps live. The maps are kept handy because men do not ask for directions, they do their own research.

Having mentioned this (probably more than once), my hubby found some leather scraps that matched his truck and suggested I make something to keep my stuff in. Requirements were: It had to be manly, had to look nice, had to made of the approved leather and it had to be something that could be removed if necessary. “Necessary” means if it fades or something terrible like that and mars the innate beauty of the interior of said truck. By the way, it looks baby blue in the photo. Trust me, it is not. It is a very cool (and manly) gray.
No problem, oh hubby of mine! So I whipped out the sewing machine and thought this might be “the” project to do my machine in… but no. It sewed the leather like it was cotton. No kidding! I used a leather needle and rayon thread, only because it was the only thread I had at the time, and in about an hour, the bag was hanging in the truck, waiting for my junk. I almost carried my knitting out there just to see how it would fit.
The bag is a bit (ahem!) “rustic” shall we say… I could have rolled the edges of the tabs and even lined it but I was most interested in functionality. Also, we didn’t have a lot of the leather, so the back of the bag and its tabs are pieced. How’s that for manly?!

Sorry I didn’t take pix during the process, but if you want to try something like this, you should use rather soft leather and make sure you follow your machine’s criteria for sewing on tougher materials. I winged the design since I was just needing something to fit the area above the glove compartment.

The next project on the drawing board: a pretty carryall bag for my mom’s bed at the nursing home. Criteria: it has to be pretty, have sections for cool stuff like her portable telephone, TV remote, tissues and whatever else she wants to have access to. It will also need to hang on her walker when she gets up and ‘runnin again!

I’ll post that project as I go!

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These are reversible placemats I made from a recent sewing class. The paisley pattern reverses to the monogram and vice-versa. They nestle in as an insert in a fabric “frame”, which is the bordering fabric. You make the frame and then the reversible placemat, and interchange as you wish. This would be great to have an everyday design on one side and then a special design (Christmas, Valentine’s, birthday) on the other.

I made this in a sewing class recently. I enjoy taking sewing classes for several reasons, but mostly to learn new techniques and have a day of sewing with others. When I heard of the placemat class I wasn’t really stoked over making a placemat BUT I knew that the teacher, Carol Prevatt, would make her class fun and interesting. Sure enough, she walked each of her students through the process and we created some really neat pieces.

I brought mine home and machine embroidered them. I’m thinking of stippling them next and I will also make a clear vinyl pouch to slip them in before putting them back in their “frame”. That way, when the Empty Nesters get bored and have a food fight, the placemats stay pristine.

It’s all about fun, you know!

How to Make: Covered Buttons!

Carol suggested that I use covered buttons on my placemats and I agree, they really set them off beautifully. Covered buttons are super easy to do. If you’d like to try, here’s some pictures to show you just how simple!

A package of hardware for 4 buttons cost around $1.50.
I used some batting to “pouf” my buttons. Cut a circle of batting the size of the button and cut a square of fabric about 2X the size of the button. Notice if you have a large patterned fabric, you will want to fussy cut the square so the design will be centered. In this photo, you see the fabric, batting and what will be the top of the button.

Put the button top on the batting and wrong side of fabric.
Pull the fabric snug around the metal

Push everything into the large rubber tool that comes in the package. (see next 2 photos)

Now trim the fabric around the button. You want enough extra on the edges to close over the metal. Fold fabric over the button. Put the next metal piece over the folded fabric and press down with the blue tool (see picture above). You’ll feel a “snap” as the smaller metal nests into the larger metal.

TahDah! You have a button!

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God’s Healing Touch

Thanks to all who have contacted me about mom. Our prayers were answered in such a way that even her specialists received ministry through her latest improvement.

Mom’s single functioning kidney was working at around 8% when the decision was made to put her on dialysis. It was this past Labor Day, just two weeks after her 84th birthday that she had her first treatment. She felt tired but better after this first round, so we were encouraged. Events that surrounded another treatment rendered her unconsious and rushed to ICU where she was put on a ventilator. She would spend the next few weeks alternating between hospital stays and transport to rehab. She has been in the hospital off and on ever since, and the dialysis procedures became more and more difficult for her.

I mentioned in a previous “mom” post that as an answer to prayer, it was discovered that her kidney was functioning at 31%! It was enough for the doctor to take her off dialysis and even remove the port from her chest.

People all over have been praying for mom. She is on prayer lists at churches, worship groups and at bedsides. Please don’t ever think your prayers are not heard! They are. You have to trust in God’s will. We have asked for God’s will for mom, and are you ready for this?…. My sister Barbara called from Atlanta earlier this week to report that mom’s kidney is now working at 45%!

And people say God doesn’t do miracles anymore.

He does.

We prayed it, God did it, we believe it.

Praise God for His healing hand!

We don’t know how long mom will be with us, as none of us know how long we have together, but we do know that her quality of life is better today and she may be able to recover from the problems she has had since the “bad” dialysis event.

Whatever God’s will is, we are ready to accept it. We have had to truly and without faltering, put mom in His hands. I believe in my heart that God has blessed mom and is sharing His mercy with us.

Thanks to each of you again for your prayers. Please continue, for mom and for all others you are praying for. And though we don’t always get the answers that “we” want, isn’t that what faith is all about?

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