Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rat Haiku

I have cats but I also have a rat too. They make great pets. So she does not feel left out, here is my ode to rats.

Constantly sniffing
Testing all for food-maybe
Rat scurries away.

Here and there again
Tasting with tiny wet tongue
Busy, busy rat.

Noses touching once
Too much for playful kittens
Rattie wins this round!

Okay, so I never said I was a poet! Back to sewing!

Monday, April 27, 2009

What's New At Cat Song Stitchery

I just finished this Cats and Berries Quilt. Reversible, 54"x54". Great for a picnic or a sofa throw. Would look great on a table too! The sling bags are carefree, easy to wear either over the shoulder or across the chest. Secure with a zipper closing. The navy blue goes with everything while the tangerine is a hot color for spring and summer! See these and more at

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sewing and Yoga

Sewing is a sedentary activity, for the most part, but there are ways to combine sewing and exercise. This bag is great for carrying my yoga mat, block, strap, drink, and knee pad. I slip my gym pass and keys in the clear front pocket and they are easy to find. Bags similar to this one are available in my shop at , or make your own simple tote. My knee pad is actually a gardening knee pad, but it works great for yoga. It doesn't slip. I just position it on my mat and it stays throughout the class. I bought this one at the drug store. I sewed the yoga pants from Silhouettes by Peggy Sagers-3 piece yoga pant #3400. Available from They were very easy and quick to sew and so comfortable to wear. They also look great for running errands after class! While I am sewing, I try to take frequent stretch breaks and remember to breathe! While I work on the computer, I often sit on an exercise ball. Its fun and makes sitting more active. I also have an exercise bike in my sewing room. When I am reading patterns or sewing magazines, I hop on the bike and pedal! Do you have any ways to keep fit and enjoy sewing?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How To Sew, Be Earth Friendly, And Save Money

There are so many ways to sew, be Earth friendly and save money at the same time! Mending and altering items which otherwise might go in the trash. Quilting with all the scraps saved from other projects or discarded clothing and curtains. Create something wonderful out of fabric that might go to waste. I use old clothes, unsuitable for quilts, to wipe up spills instead of paper towels. Make your own cloth napkins out of 12"-18" squares hemmed on all sides. I find that cotton in a medium to dark print works best to hide spaghetti stains! Make a canvas shopping bag from a simple pattern and use it when you go to the store. I have four I take to the grocery store and others in the car and in my purse just in case. Remake clothes, that are no longer being worn, into purses using my instruction booklets available at . Give pants and sweaters new life. I even made an autoharp case out of my living room curtains. Make reusable gift bags out of pretty blouses, skirts or t-shirts. Cut 2 squares or rectangles- larger than the gift. Sew right sides together on 3 sides. Hem the opening and tie with a ribbon. It is that easy! Buy recycled fabric and organic whenever possible. It is starting to show up more in stores. Get creative- keep the earth in mind and save money too!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Favorite Basic Sewing Tools

Here is a list of the basics. Things to pack for sewing classes.

  1. clear 2" wide plastic, see-through ruler with a metal strip down one side

  2. hem gauge, also known as seam gauge, with sliding marker, 6"

  3. seam ripper

  4. good shears, mine are 8" chrome Gingher

  5. pins

  6. hand needles

  7. iron

  8. rotary cutter, mat, weights

  9. sewing machine: foot pedal, bobbins, machine needles, instruction book

  10. machine feet: basic, zipper, walking (not necessary, but nice to have)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Granola-The Breakfast of Craftspeople

I make granola every few weeks and eat it every morning for breakfast. Just 1/2 cup granola with Silk Light soy milk and craisens keeps me going all the way to lunch! Lots of energy for sewing all morning! My kids love to make it with me too.

I have altered it slightly, but the original version came from "More-with-Less Cookbook" by Doris Janzen Longacre; an excellent book.

Simple Granola

Makes 2 1/2-3 qts.
250 degrees
1 hour

In a large bowl: 6 c. rolled oats, 2 c. whole wheat flour, 1 c. coconut, 1 c. wheat germ, 1/2 c. each slivered almonds and walnuts, sprinkle cinnamon on top and mix.

In a smaller bowl: 1/2 c. water, 1 c. oil, 1 c. honey, molasses, syrup or any combination of those equaling 1 c. total, 2 t. vanilla, 1 T. salt and mix.

Add the small bowl to the big bowl, mix and spread on a greased pan or 2. Cook 1 hour, allow to cool completely and store in a closed container for several weeks. Enjoy!

Not only is it tasty, it is good for you and cheaper than store bought cereal.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sewing Sites to Check Out

Here are a few sites I visited yesterday. Add a comment with your favorite sewing, knit, crochet sites! -runway fashions -color forcasts -lots of free projects! -edgy with lots of how to's -downloadable "guidelines" on different topics -really good -good basic techniques -great free downloads

Now its your turn. What are your favorites?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why I Love Sewing

  1. It is a creative outlet to express myself
  2. Make personalized gifts with love
  3. It appeals to my frugal nature-mend items, alterations, remake items to give them new life
  4. You get the color, style, size you want
  5. Zen meditation
  6. Satisfaction of seeing a project from beginning to end

Icing on the cake: When people compliment things I've made, I feel great!

If you don't sew, try it, if you do, tell me what you enjoy about it.

What's New At Cat Song Stitchery

Spring is in the air and I'm cleaning out my closet to move in the fresh spring and summer clothes. Now what to do with those old sweaters and pants? Remake them into great new purses and totes! I have two instruction booklets, "Pants to Purse #209" and "Sweater to Purse #109" to help you out! Full of photos and instructions to guide you. You be the designer- each purse is unique. Check out the booklets at . Let me know what you create. Happy sewing!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Why I donate to Heifer International

This is actually related to sewing. I donate to Heifer International for several reasons. One, I've always wanted chickens and goats but realize, in my area, thats not going to happen. Two, I needed a gift for my 90+ year old grandmother, and she used to own chickens. Three, I believe in making the Earth a better place whenever possible and helping out my neighbors on the planet. Four, as with teaching sewing, a gift from Heifer International keeps on benefitting the recipients with increased self esteem, and a way of helping to support their families. H.I. focuses on community and education, ending hunger and poverty. Mental poverty ends. H.I. is improving women's status in their families and laying the ground work for self-impowerment. And lastly, yes I am 90 percent vegetarian, but I realize not everyone in the world is. I give trees, chicks (for eggs), and goats (for milk, cheese). Go to for more information.

Fall Fashion-2009

I just checked out the fall 2009 fashion forecast at It gives you plenty to think about even if you don't follow fads. Here are a few things to look forward to: Matryoshka Couture (Russian nesting dolls as dresses), Space Glam, Edgy Victorian, Vampire Punk, Muppet-Inspired Fashion (Kermit!), Punk Geisha Fusion, 80's Disco, and lots of black, among other things! It is fun to look at and you can always pick out a theme and make a purse or a scarf. I just might pull out my old Kermit and wear him around my neck next fall!