Looking for answers to life's questions

This project was finished earlier in the week but I waited to blog about it because I’m hoping it gets to the intended recipient before she has a chance to read this. It was raining too hard for me to drive to the post office so it will go out in tomorrow’s mail.

Iron caddy in carrying position

Iron caddy in carrying position

Insert travel iron and off you go

Insert travel iron and off you go

I saw the pattern for this in a quilt shop here in November and hoped to have it done for my friend’s birthday in early December. Uh, I don’t think I made it. It looked so cute and so easy when I looked at the picture. My good friend could take it to the quilt classess and retreats that she so enjoys. How hard can it be to sew four layers of fabric together and bend them into this cute little caddy? I’ve been sewing for years so I should just zip right through it.

Ironing side

Ironing side

I’m going to tell you something I have had a hard time admitting. All those report cards in grade school saying “Marlene doesn’t follow directions well” may have been onto something. Personally, I think the directions were written by someone who has made this hundreds of times and doesn’t understand the idea of missing information. I missed the information in small print that said “preshrink material before cutting”. Then I cut it and read the measurements incorrectly. I cut up 4 pieces of material and finally chose a different fabric entirely. Then it went together so much easier. I finally figured out my friend would be more agreeable with the last one so it was the Universes way of letting me know.

outside cady

At the end, when it came to figuring out how to fold it into a caddy, the instructions were not there. I had to look it up on the internet. What happens if you don’t have access? A lot of my older quilting friends don’t do computer. Really!

In all my years of sewing and crafting, I have rarely done anything the easy way. My last husband asked me why I insisted on beating myself up so much? It’s in my DNA. Somehow, I see something that looks so beautiful and I just have to make it. Like this dress I made for my daughter. I was working in a fabric store and material was discounted if I made something and it was displayed to entice customers. I had never sewn plaids before so let’s just go all out and make it long and ruffled. It took six yards of fabric with plaids matching up the center front, exactly and at every other point of connection. The planning before cutting was incredibly time consuming. I was much younger and healthy at the time or maybe the directions for the dress were just better. You’d think I’d learn.

Someone offered my $100 for it while hanging in the store.

Someone offered my $100 for it while hanging in the store.

Her favorite Christmas dress.

Her favorite Christmas dress.

Just like the casserole caddy I made for my sister, this was not as easy for me as it looked. It might be easier for others who know how to read and follow directions. Will I give up on the hard projects? I have several (many) quilts to do, a big shirt where you cut the pattern all apart and put it back together patchwork style waiting. Any chance there is a simple project in that room? Probably not, so maybe I’ll just sit here for awhile reading all of your wonderful blogs; living vicariously for a bit.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”Confucius

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of a Simple Project" (12)

  1. You always make me laugh. I guess you are just too creative to follow direction…they should have added that to your report cards. I like the Mary Engelbreit fabric you choose too. I use to love her magazine and really miss it. Her style was really appealing to me. Looks pretty complicated really, good for you to stick with it. I have piles of fabric I bought last summer at a sale. I really need to think about a project soon.

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    • I have a stack of Mary E fabric to work up. MY friend is very fond of it too. As I continue to heal, the ability to work gets better. The directions were ok, just not written for people like me. 🙂 and there are lots of us. I’ve read directions on patterns for dummies and they were so dumb, you kind of wonder about who write them. That may be my next job in life. Re-writing directions. Thanks for making me feel better.

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    • Glad to be of service. Making someone laugh is the highlight of my day. Nothing gives me more pleasure. I like your take on why I can’t follow directions. I miss the magazine too but still love her calendars. Haven’t had one in a could years but then, didn’t have a wall to put one on either. If I showed you my piles of fabric, you’d probably get me checked in somewhere. They don’t have rehab for fabricaholics, do they? I’m sure you’ll dream something up with that creative mind of yours.

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  2. Sheryl said:

    Looks like my last 3 Quilt projects that 2 took till the last minute and the 3rd is still sitting in the room. Too much pressing before I get back to it! Any way you could work an intermediate Christmas Quilt I can’t figure out? It’s Called O’ Snowy Night ?It’s cut all out putting it together is not easy to read!

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  3. Marlene, I truly envy your sewing skills. I could never do any of this with or without directions!

    Spashionista (Alicia)

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    • I sewed because I couldn’t afford to buy many for my children or find things they looked good in. It was a creative outlet born of necessity. Others do puzzles or crosswords to keep the alzheimers at bay. I try to figure out patterns. Most make no sense at all. You have many other talents.

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  4. You gave me a good laugh this morning, Marlene! I’ve been sewing for years like you, and also like you, find patterns confusing. In theater we would often wing it. My favorite series of dresses were draped on a form, not flat patterned. It was liberating and fun.

    I like the way it turned out. I’ll add myself to the list of ME fans. In fact just last week, my friend Laura gave me a notebook with two young girls having tea and of course one of them had red hair and a cat on her lap.

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    • I have never tried draping on a form. Sounds interesting though.Since I’m self taught from a “BOOK” I have always had to wing it. My son thinks I should get a job writing directions because so many are written badly. Took a crochet class once and the whole first class was going through the book fixing mistakes in the pattern directions. And someone is getting paid for them! How can you not love ME? Mostly I love her attitude. 🙂 I so happy to made you laugh. That makes my day.

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