Trial by Cross Stitch

Coming right along, slowly, but surely.

Yes, it’s monotonous.

Maybe it’s a little boring (for me).

There is a level of tedium, here.

And I Wanna Make Another Virtue Doll . . .

Everybody gather round. Come in a bit closer . . . that’s it . . . closer . . . okay, ready? I’m the worst.

Just love me.

Good-bye, for now, cross stitch from the nineteen-nineties. Ta-Ta! Back into the tote, you go!

Wow! No, really, I was expecting something like guilt or shame or feelings of inferiority, but there’s, like, none of that! I feel great! Talk about taking a load off.

I don’t know, I guess I was somebody else in 1994, huh? She had keener eyesight, that’s for sure. 1994 Connie was busy raising young children, and maybe cross stitch was the zen she needed. Her life was busy, chaotic, and sort of lonely, in a weird way. Cross stitch was there for her, and I’m super glad it was.

The 1994 me is still in here, doing laundry, somewhere. She’s deep, inside the programming of the person I am in 2018. I like her; she’s good at folding towels.

Hey, guys!

Wanna make another doll?

Guys?

Guys???

 

 

 

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Who’s Ready for a Road Trip?

While we’re finishing up those pesky projects, it is always a good idea to stop, look around, and take in some scenery. Tennessee is a great place to do it!

Beautiful Chattanooga, TN

Mr. Murphy and I took a little trip, took a little trip to Chattanooga (The Chat), last week–just an overnighter.

Here’s a view of the city from Lookout Mountain. Look at the clouds! The storms from the Gulf were rolling in, adding a major SCHWING! to the photo-op, don’t you think?

Here’s a pretty thing:

Kinda looks like something from an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, dunnit?

The Lookout Mountain Hotel was built in 1928, but became Covenant College in 1964. I’m told the inside is spectacular. I wanted to see, but Mr. Murphy said they wouldn’t let me in. Now, I’m sad. Let’s look at downtown.

Right?! And these photos don’t do it the justice it deserves. Just like most places in Tennessee, the land is beautiful and the people are super friendly.

What’s my point?

You don’t have to be rich and famous to go on a trip. No matter where you live, you are absolutely within a few hours from an adventure. Stay overnight in a cheap motel. Heck, sleep in your car or, better, pitch a tent at a roadside campground, but escape your normal for a day or three, and get a life! It’s good for your head.

Mr. Murphy’s 360° video cam is BOSS! That’s the Tennessee River bordering the right side of our Small Planet pic.

But Wait; There’s More

I visited my friends in White Bluff. Born in Nashville, I spent a large chunk of the grow years out here, in the woods. Check it!

I mean, have you ever???

LOOK!

 

We totally hiked it, stopping occasionally to BREATHE IN THE HEALING BEAUTY. With all those trees around us, the air was pure and heady with that awesome tree smell. If only I could post THAT in a blog. We had so much fun frolicking in the woods, we wore out a dog.

When my kids were babies, and they were waaay past tired, the best way to soothe them was to put them in the car, and drive around the block. Every parent knows that trick. If the car was out of the question, I would hold them and walk around the house. Why do babies love that? Maybe they think they’re going somewhere better, away from the boredom or bad dreams.

When everything agitates you, and life seems like all work and no play, it’s time to hit the road, even if it’s just a quick trip to the hills or the beach or the junk store. Grab some clean underwear and go, go, go!

 

 

 

Cross Stitching in Kind

Did you ever have a friend (of course, you have) that you didn’t interact with for a very long time, like, a decade or two? Maybe you encountered someone from school or the old neighborhood, and you thought, “This person is a nice person. Why didn’t I stay in touch with this person?”

And then . . .

After a few moments, the light of recollection flickers in the deep reaches of your memory as you slowly realize, after only a few minutes of conversation, “Oh, right, now I remember.”

That’s me and this cross stitch.

Sweet mother of Pearl, what have I gotten myself into, this time? Why didn’t one of you STOP me? Remember that talk we had about letting stuff go?

It’s so wrong to despise one’s creative work, but this . . . THIS . . .

It’s rare, but I’m speechless.

 

MOMENT OF SILENCE, PLEASE, WHILE WE OBSERVE THE PHENOMENON

 

Okay, so I was sitting in my lil’ sewing nest,

. . . sewing my lil’ heart out,

–what? Hey, anytime’s a good time–where was I? Right. My lil’ heart.

And as I was squinting at the pattern and squinting at the cloth and squinting at the stitches and magnifying the pattern and magnifying the cloth and magnifying the stitches, I began to hallucinate (around 57:31).

That’s when it all came back to me, not so much in a flash, but more like a slow, horrible realization: “Oh. Right. Now, I remember.”

This cross stitch has all the characteristics of a person you thought you were glad to see, only to become trapped in a dismal conversation from which you cannot extract yourself.

  • touchy and moody
  • no sense of humor
  • more complicated than necessary
  • a tad pretentious
  • It looks nice, but, upon closer inspection, something’s a bit off.

I know; I’m so judgmental. There has to be something redeeming about this person, er, I mean, cross stitch.

It really is a pretty thing, so far. Somewhere along the road (a cliche), my taste in cliches-as-home-decor must have shifted, slightly. Some people/projects require a lot of work, and we must decide if the payoff is worth it.

In this case, just barely.

The Case for Kindness

Certain people/projects need my attention, not just in spite of the fact that I will get nothing in return, but precisely because I will get nothing in return. Loving something or somebody for no good reason except they need it the most, is very good for your freaky self.

Jack, the worst, best dog I ever knew

So, I’m stuck in a conversation with a neglected cross stitch who won’t stop talking about her old boyfriend. She smells like a half-smoked, wet cigarette, and repeats “you know” too much. But everybody has an unlovable moment in their lives, right? I’m gonna invest in this relationship and see what happens next.

At least now I know why we didn’t keep in touch.

 

 

 

 

Problems with Perfection

Uh-oh.

Remember when I asked the cross stitch how it had offended me? Twenty-three years is a long time to ditch a sewing project. We found the unfinished side flower:

Addressed it:

And . . .

Then I found this:

Not too bad on first inspection, but wait.

Look closer . . .

Do you see it? The flower/leaf thingie in the top left corner is slightly different than the flower/leaf thingie in the top right corner. The pattern calls for a Smyrna cross overlaid with french knots.

The pattern isn’t rocket science, but it’s fairly involved with a few really tedious little details.

This particular detail tripped me up. Hey, cut me some slack. I was stitching between diapers and breast feeding (and housekeeping, cooking, babysitting, homeschooling, errand running, etc.). I’m not complaining; it’s how I roll.

Here’s the Clincher

I worked two strands of DMC834-pale bronze in the top left design instead of one strand, per the directions.

Tricky.

When I realized my mistake, I worked the top right corner design correctly, but now the two top corners are different. Because the overall design texture is layered–pale bronze, then deep bronze, then french knots–fixing my flub was going to be a complicated, time-consuming bummer of a not-fun-at-all kind of mess.

Here’s a view of the flip-side:

Oh, yeah, everything is connected to everything, back here.

Considering I had ripped out the bottom right corner a number of times (due to my sight issues) and was already disgusted with this bit of oopsie at the top, the bottom must have been an oops too far. Like the doll dress, I cast it away from me, banishing it to the boot box . . .

Away from me, oh testament of my failure!

. . . for 23 years.

The Moral of the Story

Everybody gather in; get close, because you want to hear this.

If it’s not perfect, it’s okay.

At the time of its ostracization (there’s a word), I couldn’t see past the glaring imperfection in the work. Curious, isn’t it, the tendency for a young mother to see flaws in her work as a reflection of perceived flaws in her own character. If anybody is struggling with this, let me set you free with one word: baloney.

Here’s one with a hyphen: fiddle-faddle.

So what, if they’re slightly different? Will I be barred from all polite society? Will I be hauled out and whipped in the streets? Look! It’s the villagers coming for me with torches and pitch forks! Somebody call 911; my cross stitch is IMPERFECT!!!

If it was a glaring problem that distracted from the beauty, okay, I’ll suck it up and fix it, or . . . that’s right . . . pitch it or give it away.

Aaahhhh . . . breath the free air.

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY is going to look at the finished, framed stitchery, turn pale and suddenly grab the kids exclaiming, “Good heavens! This woman has an inferior cross stitch displayed in her very home! Run to the car, my children, and don’t look baaack!”

In fact, I will proudly point my work out to my closest, dearest friends and relatives, and they won’t even recall ‘Home Sweet Home,’ let alone the slightly lighter shade of pale bronze in one corner, compared to the other three, I promise.

And one more thing:

No Regrets

So, it took me 23 years to finish a small cross stitch project. That’s a lot of time wasted. EEERRRRRRR! Wrong. Maybe I needed to grow, a little. Maybe I needed to remember who I was back then to embrace who I am now. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything. Who cares? I’m hungry. What’s for lunch?

 

 

 

 

 

You Sew; You Learn

How do you feel? Is the pressure off? Good. Now you can make a clear decision. I did. I decided to finish that silly cross stitch, after all.

Okay, okay, I know what I said, but that was last week. We’ve slept since then. I’ve created a little time distance between me and the finding of the cross stitch (self-conscious giggle; time distance = 24 years???). Just be quiet, all of you.

I didn’t decide to resume the work all at once. I had to investigate the piece and gather the facts:

  • My off-stitching was due to my failing eyesight(?) at that time.
  • I now possess technology (aka glasses) to help me finish it (and this is key) if I want to.
  • I found where I had not quite finished one section before starting the next, which threw off my count.
  • It really is a beautiful work, and I still love the look of it.

Although I was only 28 years old when I started it, my hawk-eye capabilities were already declining. I’m not sure you can tell, but the tiny-ness of the weave is a challenge, even for younger eyes.

See the red bits on the ends of the squiggly things? I hadn’t added them which really messed up my count. Let’s take a look at the mag cover.

Awww, it’s the nineties. Wait, let me get my Alanis Morissette CD.

Later, that same day . . . 

Gee, I can’t find Jagged Little Pill, anywhere. Hmmm . . . maybe I planted it among my ex-husband’s belongings as a terrible, terrible joke. No worries; let’s stream it.

Hang on; gotta dance.

Did you check the date on the mag? Look closer:

Ew–September/October 1995?? Yep, that’s quite a stretch. I was off by one year, so, it’s only been 23 years!

Yay!!!

There’s a thing about me; maybe you’ve figured this out. I don’t like to be told what to do. *long sigh* This is the source of the great and the awful aspects of my character. Mrs. Murphy, quite contrary, why won’t you do what you’re told?

When the pressure’s on, my creative light dims, considerably; I don’t know why. When I can distance myself from feeling the guilt, the juices flow once more. Don’t get me wrong; I work extremely well under pressure when it’s for a good cause. If I can see the greater good–which is almost always–the work is joyful and totally worth it. I’m a process person, but there must be a noble cause to motivate the journey. That’s just me.

Index

Talk about journeys, Christmas is a mere 224 days away. Some of you are gagging, right now, and some of you just giggled a little. I may start posting occasional ideas and thoughts toward the holiday season.

Try This

Close your eyes and imagine it’s November 31st. CLOSE YOUR EYES! Wait for it. Let it sink in. Let the realization of your predicament go deep to that place where your darkest monsters sleep. Hum your favorite Christmas carol, if you dare. Feel it? There it is, in the pit of your stomach. Fear? Panic? Guilt?

P R E S S U R E ?

Yeah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfinished Biz

Do you harbor feelings of shame each time you look in the back of your craft closet?

Maybe you were digging around for a certain book of patterns or bag of yarn. Your head was full of ideas, strange and wonderful, and then it happened. You spied a large box that once held a new pair of over-priced boots. You pushed past the lap-quilting frame and the dried up poster paints and savaged calico flour sack scraps to get to the majik box only to discover . . . your abandoned cross stitch from 1994:

Nooooooo!!!!!

Yes.

It was the best of cross stitch projects . . . it was the worst of cross stitch projects . . .

But why? Why did I abandon such a lovely bit of work? Why???

What did this cross stitch do to offend me? Nothing. It’s a counted cross stitch pattern, just beautiful, and as you can see, I was not too far from the finish line. Okay, the piece was taking a little time, because I kept giving birth. I started the third corner detail, really got into it, and found that I was one count off center.

Sigh.

I ripped it out and started again. I really got into it, and found that I was one count off center, again, but in a different direction.

Deep sigh.

I ripped it out and started again. I really got into it and . . . yep, off center. So I released it to the Underverse and it’s been one of the quasi-dead ever since*.

vin diesel GIF by IFC

Vin Diesel, how I love you.

As I begin the dreaded task of finding where I broke relationship with the poor piece of aida cloth, I reflect on all the unfinished projects of my life (low hum from a choir; video montage). NO! Stop that! Silly! I think of all the space devoted to junk I may never finish.

That pic on my homepage(?), that pic of the pretty afghan(?) that’s somebody else’s project that I finished because they had the good sense to let it go.

Yeah, really. A woman I worked for asked me if I wanted a bag of unfinished granny squares that one of her friends had given her. Aren’t they beautiful? She was probably trying to use up all of her scraps, and what a palette! I can see why she became overwhelmed; there were a lot of them. How brilliant they are on my black background. Think of all the precious things she made for the people who were most important to her, people she loved and who loved her. These are the scraps (of their lives–sorry, had to go there) from all those sweet projects, possibly from years of birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries, and showers.

She let them go, and they came to me. I don’t know who she is or was, but I get to sleep under her love on cold nights. ISN’T THAT COOL? 

I love stuff like that. Life is too good to spend it kicking yourself over a bag of granny squares or an off-kilter cross stitch that makes you want to barf every five years when you accidentally encounter it. Say it with me: “Let it go.”

Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that you never finish anything. So what? Did you enjoy it while it interested you? Did you learn something? Hey, that’s a win; if nobody wants it, chuck it in the dog’s bed, and call it a day.

 

*The Chronicles of Riddick, –so awesome.

Bag’s End

How much time do you spend wishing? I wish we had a dog. I wish somebody would get me a soda. I wish my trig class was easier. I wish I had more time to sew. I wish I hadn’t eaten that stale donut.

Image result for bad donuts

My experience with wishing, to date, has taught me that wishing will get you precisely NADA. If you want or need something, if something needs to change, start looking for ways to do it, get it, or change it, right? A wish is just a glorified complaint.

Image result for angry star

So let’s stop whining and finish this bag!

Stitching the sides made my flower-loving heart beat for joy. This is my creation, but I’ll bet yours is better!

Pocket-side view

I looked up cartoon bee images and created my own version. The weird circles just needed to be there. Don’t ask me why. Now, for the lining *brushes strands of slightly dirty hair out of face*.

I rolled down the top of the large pocket for a hem, but no sewing, yet.

It’s time to cut a lining.

Just tuck it under that pinned edge, and make sure the wrong sides face one another.

Go ahead and stitch that pocket!

Okay, okay, I should have cut the bag in one long part instead of two side parts. What was I thinking? Hey, I was thinking how I think. So what if there’s a seam on the bottom? If this was a major defect, you bet your lil’ presser foot I would have figured out a way to repair it. But there’s no need for all that when I consider the use of the bag: shopping ads and coupons. As long as my friend doesn’t load it up with bricks or library books, the two-panel panic is completely unnecessary. I also stitched darts in the bottom to give it more room inside, but this is up to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I lined the pocket on the other side. Remember that one?

Once again, wrong sides facing.

I stitched across the top of the pocket to secure the lining, then sewed the pocket onto the side panel with a double line of stitches. I tried to make it look like the original stitching, using a similarly colored (orangie-yellowie) thread.

For the main lining, I made a duplicate of the sides, slightly smaller with darts and all. I put more pockets inside because I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

See the darts? It looks like a weird little car with my markups, huh? As with any sewing project, things get a bit criss-crossed toward the finish line. This is where your genius moments are born. This is my favorite reason for making things up as I go, rather than always following the rules. There were several variables for consideration:

  • Preserve the decorative hand-stitching
  • Future installation of handles and clasps
  • Overall look and performance

I had some grommets lying about.

Image result for Gromit the dog reading newspaper

Not Gromit, grommets.

I also had some other stuff, too.

After I dropped the liner into the bag, the top looked unfinished and yucky. Add to this, the riddle of the handles. Hmmm . . . The quilt binding (leftover from a Christmas project) is of a durable material, sturdy enough to take the punishment of day-to-day digging. The colors looked nice, too. But if I add handles to be attached between the lining and the bag, itself, would I need to cut slits in this binding . . . ?

And this is where the mental conversation stopped for me. This is when I remembered the grommets. I could put the binding around the top, and use the grommets for the handles!!!

Sew many pins…

And here it is:

When you choose to follow your own rules, be mindful of what you’re doing and why. It’s been a long road coming home, and I’ve had to learn things the hard way:

  1. Don’t hoard stuff you’ll never use or won’t use in the next year.
  2. Keep the end result in focus; don’t get lost in the details.
  3. If you hate what you’re making, fix it or get rid of it, and MOVE ON.
  4. Finish (one way or another) what you start.

Ew, that last one is a stinker. In the spirit of doing instead of wishing, and finishing things once and for all time, my next post might, MIGHT involve digging up an unfinished project that has been hanging around since before one of my kids. If you don’t hear from me within the week, send a search party with my favorite sweater and chocolate, lots of chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make It Sew

Flying by the seat of my pants is a tricky way to navigate the universe. My feelings lead me all over the place if I let them. My feelings sometimes lie. But, what about the empty canvas that stares back at me when I’m starting a project? Flying without a net (or a pattern, template, etc.) can be intimidating.

Here in the land of MyWay, where I rule supreme and unquestioned, I can follow those feelings and instincts knowing that rules are for losers and fraidy cats. You heard me. This is the universe of my own making, and I boldly go where no pattern has gone before.

Image result for star trek

I just know Chekhov is hiding knitting needles behind his back.

Sure, I shoot for “precious” in most of my creations, because the world needs more sweet and less sour. My second goal is function. Will this thing be useful AND precious? Let’s go for it.

Oh, my goodness. This is pretty darned sweet (just love me). I was carried away by a color I found in my floss hoard: DMC 350, coral-medium. I put it around the leaf near the bottom, and then the madness took over. It’s everywhere.

Just look at the swirly goodness.

Here’s more.

It’s fabulous, and I can’t stop.

Here’s the panel pocket for the other side, still in embryonic anticipation of what will bee.

Hang on; too much yellow.

Aaaahhhhhhh . . . that’s better.

You may not be able to tell, but that’s a bee above the flower. Instead of solid black stripes on his fuzzy little body, I used a black-and-white checkered pattern. Why? Because I gotta!

Image result for The mask P A R T Y gifs

I love texture; it’s all about the texture. No, not the ‘feels’ kind of texture, but the visual texture. Gingham and little flowers just do it for me. I don’t know why.

Here’s the full view of the pocket-side of our bag:

I went ahead and rolled down the pocket top for the hem, and made double-sure I left enough space around the design for the seam allowance. What a drag it would be to lose a sunflower petal to the sewing machine after all the hand-stitching. That would make me sad, and the sewing machine would never stop apologizing for something that wasn’t her fault.

And can somebody explain to me why all my pics are incredibly blurry, today?

Eh, it’s a thing. I’m gonna roll with it.

See? I could be sew self-conscious about it, or I could press on to the unexplored, cosmic reaches of Piece and Happiness. Which option looks better to you? Why, Piece and Happiness, of course! It always wins over Fractured and Complicated in the land of MyWay. YAY!!! Romulan Ale for everybody!

Up Next:

Lining your bag without breaking your heart: common sense strategies to look like you know what you’re doing.

 

 

 

 

Is Everybody Happy?

Did I say I loved the spring? I do. I really do.

Spring is an excellent time of year to . . .

Make a Bag!

By now, you all know about my little fetish: weird containers. Weird containers could be boxes,

baskets,

containers,

or BAGS!

My name is Connie, and I’m a bag lady.

Yeah, it’s a problem. Here they are, hanging in the closet. They also hide under night stands.

Here’s one in the middle of the floor for no reason, at all.

Pinterest is lousy with them.

There are so many patterns available, but I decided to do it myyyy waaayyy!

I have a big wad of bolt denim from somewhere. I think my sister-in-law gave it to me. Who knows? The fabric is here. I’m here. And here are some nice, sharp scissors with nothing to do but obey me. I cut two squares of denim, roughly 13 in. x 14.5 in. Because my friend loves to take her sale papers and coupons with her when she shops, I made the bag large and flat to accommodate her stuff. I also cut two squares of lining from another wad of fabric that was hanging around.

I wanted to keep this project simple, and just like the Hokey-Pokey, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? The minute something gets complicated, sigh, I don’t know, it just sucks all the joy out of life. Things may get weird around here, even downright strange at times, but my sewing room cannot abide complication. It’s my happy place.

Don’t mess with my happy place.

I mean it.

Where was I? Right. I was digging in my drawers . . . FOR FABRIC! Come on, guys, honestly.

Here’s something pretty:

I cut a big circle out of something black-ish and sixteen(?) petals from varying shades of yellow to tuck all around the edge. We’re going for simple, so why not free-hand it? Start cutting fabric scraps into shapes and arranging them on your background, in this case, a side of the bag-to-be. Your work should look rough; this is folk art, people: art for regular folks. Your creation should be scaled to your ability, so keep that in mind as you’re clipping. Ability increases with practice; your hands have to learn.

Check it out:

That’s nice. I used a blanket stitch and a whole lot of pins to pull this off. By no means should you feel like you have to hand-sew anything. I was in the mood. Your sewing machine’s zig-zag feature will work just fine.

Here’s a back pocket that I ripped off of Mr. Murphy’s old blue jeans. I love font. This will go in the upper left corner opposite the sunflower. Why? because I like it there.

It’s great to have templates and directions, but it’s also great to make it up as you go. Give your head some creative license, ever so often, to keep it running smoothly. Let the work guide itself, and see where it takes you.

What’s Next

I hope to finish the bag this weekend with more pics and snark to come. My last trip to the used book store provided me with two new KNITTING BOOKS! (I peed a little.) Start digging around in your own drawers for those needles and yarn scraps. The red sweater is so threadbare (dog blanket), if I don’t get on the knitting train, I will have nothing to wear this fall!

P.S. Would you like some homework? Stop stammering; it’s alright if you don’t wanna. Cruise YouTube for knitting videos. This is how I learned to knit. It’s true. Look up something easy and quick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piece, Love, and Baby Shower Happiness

What a week. What a couple of months. Around and around, up and down, Jane! . . . get me off this crazy thing!

Image result for cosmo from the jetsons

Spring is springing in Nashville, TN, and the hipsters are in full bloom. Sorry, no pictures. Fully aware that I’m stumbling, ever closer, toward the unhappy discovery of a hideous Internet photo of myself out and about in the big, red sweater, how can I ever shame another?

You think, “It’s not that bad.” You’re wrong. You are very, very wrong. I found the sweater in my in-laws’ garage, in a garbage bag, in a box, like, fifteen years ago. It is many sizes too large for me, but it is the *harsh whisper* perrrfect garrrment. It’s soft; it’s roomy; my body is a complete mystery to the average observer. The garment makes no demands; it only comforts . . .

Image result for linus

I recently received happy news from a dear friend, and I’m psyched about stitching something precious for the new human!

Here’s the bath towel with the matching hand towel I snagged at the Dollar Store. Yeah, Dollar Store towels are on the thin side, but that’s good: little risk if the towel flops on Baby’s face. Also, a thinner towel is easier to sew, and I’m making a hooded-towel-and-bath-mitt set. Good times. If ever there was such a thing as instant gratification sewing, this is it. The most time-consuming part of this project is finding and purchasing the towels, no joke. This gift delivers: low-cost, low labor, maximum turn-out, and maximum usefulness. I love it.

First, cut the hand towel (the smaller towel) in half.

Okay, I’m sitting at my desk with the sewing machine pushed back against the wall, propping up my tablet (where I’m writing), and it’s . . . noon. Okay. Go.

Wait, Ma’s calling (my mother), hang a sec.

. . . and it’s . . . 12:30. Okay. Go.

Later, that same day . . .

No, my sewing machine was neither threaded nor plugged in. Yes, my hand towel was already cut, BUT (ha-ha, cut-but, tee-hee, snicker) my mitt needed a bit more shaping than anticipated. You know how long it took?

Yeah, that’s a screen shot of my phone when I picked it up to see what time it was. I didn’t even rush. I goofed around with my Kindle. I stopped to take pictures, and I still enjoyed unbelievably fast piecing satisfaction. Is that crazy, or what?

So, I took one half of the hand towel (and this is the only part that’s remotely tricky in this thing) and folded back the finished edge about three-and-a-half inches. That’s not a hard-and-fast rule. Eyeball it. Imagine a baby’s head in there. The fold-back creates a somewhat adjustable-depth hoodie for a baby’s (child’s) epic-grow skull-size.

Now, fold it over again with “right sides facing,” with the three-and-a-half inch cuff on the inside. Sew the rough, cut edges together. After stitching and turning, the cuff of the hood will be on the outside away from Baby’s head.

Don’t get in a hurry. Trim the corner, if you need, to keep it crisp after turning out.

IMPORTANT!!!

Do not, repeat, DO NOT attempt to sew hood to towel without pinning first! Terry cloth is stretchy, and it lies, how it lies. Don’t give in to your impulse to say, “Oh, this is so easy. Who needs pins? I’m a free-wheelin’ sew-and-sew. La, la-lalla, la-llla-lla, la-laaah!”

Don’t do that.

You will sew regret it.

Make sure your insides are your insides and your outsides are your outsides. Now, Sew, my Pretties! Sew! SEW!! Aaaahhh, heh, heh, HEH!!! Seriously, you won’t have to leave much of a seam, because, here, you’re sewing through finished seams.

I just love that: such a cozy picture of my presser foot. Warms my heart. All that’s left is the mitt.

Grab that other half of the hand towel and just get jiggy with it. Sew it into any shape you want. Make it into a little pouch, shape it like a hand, whatever strikes your fancy. Have fun. Also, it’s always a good idea to run a zig-zag stitch over the rough edges of the seams. You know that terry cloth, so full of lies and soooo unravel-ly. But you should end up with something like this:

Wait, is that it? Hey! Wait a minute! Is that’s all?

Yep. That’s it. Embellish it, add stuff, monogram, go nuts! I recently had a friend tell me that this was still her son’s favorite towel, and he’s . . . hmmm . . . seven(?) eight(?) . . . sigh, they grow up so fast.

Now what?

Well, May is on its way with Mother’s Day and birthdays o’ plenty. And don’t you think for one second I have forgotten about Christmas (tiny squeal of joy in my heart).