Play Time

At the beginning of each year, my mom and I choose words to live by. They can be actions or descriptions but the purpose is to guide us throughout the year. My word this year is practice. I’ve learned a lot over the last four years here at Hobbies Up To Here and I realized I don’t take a lot of time to practice what I’ve learned. Instead, I rush into new things to learn new techniques rather than putting effort into improving the skills I already have.

So I wanted to focus on this for 2019. Taking time to practice. Making small things. Focusing on one skill and improving it. Create multiples of a project to get in as much practice as possible.

The year has not given me much time for practice. My son decided to play two sports this past season. I’ve been working harder than ever at school. And when I get free time, I tend to choose to do very little. I’m not going to berate myself for this because, #selfcare, but I did decided to venture into my craft room today to create something. Anything.

I went in with a simple purpose: just sit and finish a small project. No worries about perfection. No stress about gifting it to anyone. Hell, it didn’t even need to be anything. Just sit down and sew.

I pulled some scraps and pieced together a simple mug rug with fabric that was already cut. I had no use for this fabric in anything else so I was free to do with them as I pleased.

In a span of 90 minutes, I pieced and quilted. I bound and cleaned up the loose ends. And I was happy with the result. I simplely just allowed myself to play. To practice. To enjoy.

Are there things I would change? Yes. The binding is not my favorite piece. It was too big for such a small project. So I’d change that in the future. Otherwise, I did exactly what I set out to do. I played and practiced and finished a small project.


Gettin’ It Done All By Himself (almost)!

A few years ago, my son asked if I could teach him to sew and piece a block. Oh he was a cute little thing then and really took to piecing the bright colors from a simple fabric kit I had bought.

Then a long lapse in time away from the craft room happened and about two years ago we got back to piecing his block and completing it.

He was pretty happy with his block but it didn’t keep his attention long enough to come back to it and do any more or anything else to that one block. What can I say, ┬áPokemon and soccer occupies the majority of his attention!

After along time collecting dust in the closet, he finally asked again to pull out that block and make something of it. He really wanted to quilt it himself especially after having watched a long arm machine run in a shop we had visited. Watching the beast of a machine smoothly lay down stitches in a beautiful swirling pattern was enough to inspire him.

So I sandwiched his block with some random fabric from my stash and some scrap of batting left over from a bigger project. He’s really into purple these days so finding a swatch of purple and black fabric was just what he wanted.

His quilting was simple. Using a walking foot, he echoed the colorful swatches in his block. I guided him here and there but for the most part he did the work all himself. He kept his speed low and simply walked along to quilt his block together.

He helped me trim his block but using the rotary blade has always been tough for him. I’m making a note to myself that he needs a blade that works for both right and left handed people.

I really wanted him to help with every part of the process so he pressed and arranged his binding strips after I sewed them together.

It took a bit of team work but he pinned the binding down and got himself all set up to sew it to his block.

That walking foot sure came in handy. Every time he sat at the machine, it was the only foot he used. I figured with all the fabric and the larger base on the foot to line up against the edge, it would all make it easier for him to get done what he needed.

At this point he informed me he wanted to hand stitch the binding. I was pretty impressed. That’s a big task to undertake! But I happily set him up and gave him some pointers until…


My poor kiddo. When will I ever learn that he’s a lefty!!! I mean I’ve only been his mom for 11 years!! I started him off in the direction a right handed person would sew but once I handed it to him, he realized that wasn’t going to work for him.

He gave it a good try but it just wasn’t turned right and he was more frustrated than anything. Trying to sew the binding upside down just wasn’t going to work. I apologized and promised I would get it right next time and decided to just have him finish it off on the machine.

And here is his very first finished block! Now he did help to make his Darth Vader quilt but I did the quilting and binding. This time, he did most of it himself with only some help from me.

He’s pretty stinking proud of his mish-mash block with flowers on the back and stripes on the front. It took him some time to finally feel the need to do something with it but in the end, he’s happy and I’m so proud.