Thursday, July 12, 2018

Retreat bags

There's just too much to share with you!!!!   My own stories and things I've found on the internet.

Where to start???  I need to get some of these links posted so I can close them in my browser. Otherwise, I'm going to run out of memory!!! Yep - already getting that message.

Here is the most adorable little film EVER!!!  And I mean LITTLE.  Check it out. Watch the first video which tells how the film was made and the second one is the actual film itself. Very cute and has a textile perspective to it.

And here's one more link for you to enjoy today. It's a new concept store that Joann's has opened in the US. I think this is a very important move for the craft industry. If shops don't start offering value-added services in-house, they are going to continue to lose business against online shopping. Let's hope that this store will be successful. I'd love to live near the shop and be able to "rent" their classroom space. That would be amazing!!!! Hmm - should I move to Colombus, Ohio? How far away is Colombus? It can't be that far of a drive. I haven't had a road trip - yet!!!

Hmm - then I could visit the bookstore in Chatham on the way. I might just have a look at that.

Let me chat about the class we did at the retreat and then I'll share my doctor visit story with you.

Although we've been to numerous sewing retreats, we've never had a class while we were at the retreat. We decided that it was time. We choose two patterns (thanks to Sue at Thimbles and Things) and we were set.  By the way, if you're not familiar with the retreat house we go to, it's called Fireside Retreat and is just FIVE MINUTES from Thimbles and Things.  (Tall) Sue from Thimbles and Things came to the retreat house so we didn't have to move our sewing machines. That was a huge bonus. Thanks to Tall Sue for that!! Although we had a choice of two bags, all of us but one made the same bag. It's called The Retreat Bag (how appropriate is that?) and it's a free download on Emmaline Bags website. Thanks so much to Emmaline Bags for the free pattern - it's a wonderful little bag. It does require a wire frame to keep it open, but in a pinch, you probably don't need to insert the wires.

The pattern offers two different sizes for the bag and some ambitious retreat goers made both. I had two cut out, but I only made one at the retreat. I came home and cut out one more, so the two of them are sitting here ready to sew.

The bevy of bags
Some people made matching bags - big and small from the same fabric. They are ALL adorable. They're easy to customize - just pick a print with someone's favorite thing, sport, or color and you're good to go. We had our bags cut out (well the others did - I hadn't completely gotten mine as prepped as much as some of the group). We were able to finish in the three hours allotted and the next one will go much faster.

We learned a lot of tricks, but of course, I'm not sharing those with you here! Oh no - you'll have to take a class.

Here's a close up of my bag. I know - it's not orange. It matches a pair of PJ pants that I have though!

My retreat bag - small
 I love how it opens up so you can see in all the nooks and crannies. That's because it has a wire frame around the top. Surprisingly that wireframe is a snap to put in. I thought it was going to be difficult, but it wasn't.

The bag opens up very nicely to put stuff in because of the wire frame around the opening

As you can see, it's a nice big opening and there are two pockets on the inside.

Nice big opening
 A number of different products were used in the construction of our bags. This bag has foam as the stabilizer for the outer fabric and a "regular" interfacing for the lining. She didn't know what kind of interfacing and I didn't check.

Foam is used to stabilize the outer bag

The end of the bag
 You can see that the foam gives the bag a nice smooth shape on the outside. It's a bit thicker than the others, but it seems to work just fine.

This person used fusible fleece for the outer bag and a medium weight stabilizer for the lining.

Fusible fleece and medium weight stabilizer

As per my norm (I don't deviate from my norm regardless of what the pattern says) because I like my norm. I used fusible fleece for the outer bag and Decor-Bond for the inside. Mine is stiff but not too stiff.

Fusible fleece and Decor-Bond used as stabilizers

Note the shape at the end of the small bag is different than the shape of the big bag
 This bag was made with what they called for in the pattern. Fusible fleece for the outside and ShapeFlex for the lining. ShapeFlex is a very soft interfacing. I'm not sure why the pattern would have called for ShapeFlex. I use it on my hand embroidery because it's so soft. Even though Decor Bond is very stiff and hard to turn inside out, the extra struggle is worth it.

The bag is a bit limp with the ShapeFlex used for the inner interfacing

The bag is perfectly fine and once you put stuff inside, you'll never know that it was a bit limp.

I guess the lesson here is that if you get a formula, stick with it. But it's OK to try new things. Just don't be afraid to do things differently from the pattern. Just because the designer says "do this", doesn't mean you have to.

Thanks again to Tall Sue and Short Sue at Thimbles and Things for making that class a huge success. I not only finished my bag in class (a first for me as I'm a bad student), but I learned a couple of neat tricks for making bags. That says a LOT!

I've been doing some quilting and here's the latest customer quilt.

Customer quilt - DONE

OK - so I have to tell you the doctor story. You might think that it is "too much information", but I think there's an important lesson here so I'm going to share the story with you.

It's not that I hate to go to the doctor. I don't mind but I really feel that there's no need. I'm in pretty good health. The last couple of times that I've been to the doctor, I've NOT gone for blood work, so I figured I was due.  I called my doctor on Tuesday morning not knowing that they don't open until noon on Tuesday. At noon, I got a call from the receptionist and due to a cancellation, I was at the doctor's for a physical at 2:30 THAT SAME DAY. "OH - you lost 6 KG. Did you want to lose 6 KG?" "Yes", I said. She didn't say anything else, but at least she didn't tell me to lose weight like she has every other time I visited. Yeah!!

 She took my blood pressure. "OH - do you lift weights?" "Nope", I said. "Do you run?"  "Nope. I ride my bike and I walk every day", I said. I guess my blood pressure was low. So when I was waiting in the drug store later, I took my blood pressure on the machine in the store. I love it - they have a new screen. Do you see that "normal" is in yellow!!!  But I'm way in the green OPTIMAL zone. Yippeee!!!!

Optimal blood pressure

I love that little screen. It's much better than the old one they had.

Did you know that your patient files are electronic? Well, my doctor had my file on a tablet - I don't remember that from last time. She walks in and announces that I'm overdue for a tetanus shot and I should get the shingles shot. The tetanus shot is free, the shingles shot is not ($400).  I opted for the tetanus shot. I remember people saying how painful this shot is. I asked her and she said, it's not that bad. Of course, that's what she's going to say. It wasn't that bad. My arm was a bit heavy the rest of the day, but nothing I couldn't handle. Shingles - well, I'm on the fence about that one. Yes - I know shingles are PAINFUL for a long time.

Next up - I can opt for a colonoscopy or that little sampling thing you do at home. I'll take the sampling thing, please.

I did walk out of there with a raft of requisitions. I need to get the blood work done - that will happen next week. I better schedule the darn thing in my calendar - you can't make appointments at my lab and I like to eat breakfast early. But you can register online and get a notification when it's close to your turn in line. But I have to wait for the sampling thing to be done as that goes in at the same time. Too much scheduling for me!!!

Have to pop in for an ultrasound even though I had a clear mammogram earlier this year. I've got a lot less fat than I used to have and the doctor couldn't get a good touch on the situation so it's just precautionary. Not the first time I've had to go for that. It's been so long that I've been there that the office to book these appointments has changed, but I went to the old place, but still got the appointment booked. Next week.

I'm pretty much in good health all around, but I do have one thing. I've known about it for a while but now it has an official name. It's called Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Good grief!!!  (Although my research tells me that I just have a weak pelvic floor and not necessarily total dysfunction). I'm telling you about it because I'm not sure that you know about it. It's important. The doctor and I had a discussion about it and then I came home and did a bit of research. Wow - there is physiotherapy for this and well, I won't go into details, but yikes - who knew. I know exactly what happened to me. When M was born, I spent hours pushing. I didn't realize at the time, but I had literally stretched my pelvic floor all to heck. I couldn't walk without a walker for two weeks after she was born. I suppose at the time that someone should have looked after me, but it didn't happen. And I didn't know better.

I should have been doing exercises specifically to get that back in shape, but again - I had no idea. If you have a weak pelvic floor, I'd be doing a whole lot of exercises. And even if I didn't, I'd still be doing a whole lot of exercises. Seriously - you'll be happy you did. Check out that link!!

So - a wee bit of follow-up stuff in the next week and then I'm good for doctors for a long, long time (I hope).

I'm doing more tidying up in the office and I've got the paperwork set out for today. I'm loving this scenario. I wish I could go faster and get more cleaned up, but seriously - it's starting to look a whole lot better in here. There's still a long way to go, but I have a lot of work to do and not as much time as I would like to focus on that. Besides, I get bored very quickly doing all this cleanup stuff. I like to spend a few minutes a day and that works for me.

On that note, I'm out of here. Got lots to get done today.

Have a great day!!!!



  1. I like the idea of having a project at a retreat...not everyone might participate, but most would. I love the bags, may have to suggest this for our retreat in the fall!

    1. Sharon - It was just a nice change from the usual and so fun to see each others bags!!! And the pattern is free (but you have to buy those wires). Have fun at your retreat and share what you end up making! Oh yes - can be done in three hours or less. Nice break!