Saturday, November 20, 2010

Self-proclaimed Queen of Making Do

Hi, I'm Kasey! You can find me rambling over here. I'm so thrilled that Madame Samm has let me gab away here on Stash Manicure!

I had intended to document the transition from sewing space to sewing room, and moving with my stash... however, we still haven't moved!!! The joys of buying a house....

So, this is my sewing space...

It's the corner of the sunroom/almost porch/really awkward addition to the house we're currently renting. Usually my ironing board would be blocking the view of my mess fabric stash. That's our kitchen table (I was standing in the pass through kitchen to take this)... I have the best husband who, upon returning from Iraq and seeing my "domain" granted me supreme sewing rule. Which is why we eat on TV trays when he's home.

Since I started reading SM, I have been attempting to organize my fabric. The shoebox sized plastic bins are great for strips, and the rolling carts are nice for my folded fabric. But, it seems like the more stuff I pack from our house, the more fabric I come home with during trips to Target for more tape (I swear, ladies and gents, i don't know HOW I ended up at the cutting counter!). So I have now purchased 2 more plastic bins-- one from JoAnn's, the other from Wally World... and they are MUCH CHEAPER at Wally World! I bought them after seeing others have had success with them, and because eventually those handles will come in handy to move.

I call myself the Queen of Making Do because I am currently *employed* as a Homemaker. Y'all know how well that pays... which means I have no budget for investing in fancy equipment. So when I needed a way to grip and unruly table runner for my first go at FMQ, I used these!

To quilt this!

He's such a dear, he'd been home 5 minutes from work and I was prancing around nagging,
"Hold this so I can get it all in one shot!"
Starting at either end, I rolled the well-basted runner up with one roll for each side. That way, i could hold the whole runner and not have so much awkward length dangling as I tried to move it around to quilt it.

I know, most people avoid rolling, but like I said- I make do! I have since squandered away found the money to purchase quilting gloves with those little grippy fingers so I can "puddle" rather than roll.

I also often make do by altering patterns, or straight up making my own to suit my wants/needs/goofy ideas. Like my purses, that have custom cell phone pockets so my iPhone is safely hidden but convenient
The pocket it still "hidden" since I used the same red fabric on the side... it's like Where's Waldo!
This purse is a double make-do since it was designed off of my last purse that I made over the summer... but when I made this one, I kind of forgot to sew the cell pocket in with the lining... so there it is, even handier on the exterior!

And speaking of Making Do... what do you do when you have either a malfunctioning walking foot or a design flaw that lets your walking foot misbehave? MAKE DO! Which, in this case, meant wire...

I rigged it so the wire forces the lever to drop and make it walk... it gets stuck in the up position. My other walking foot for my Fashion Mate is engineered better- it has a little claw that grips the needle screw. Too bad it wouldn't fit on Helga the Viking.

Last but not least, what do you do when you've packed 90% of your sewing and crafting stuff since taking of picture of your mess domain? MAKE DO! Lucky for me, I had packed with planning... Most of my more recent (and more important) UFOs were all packed in the same plastic bin, which I left accessible.... so I have since finished the last 2 pumpkin placemats of a set of 4, my grandparent's Christmas present which happens to be another tablerunner, designed and finished Christmas placemats (ok not a UFO but so fun!), and turned 2 blocks into a completed flimsy that will probably be finished before we move!!!!

Laid out like this, it sure looks like I've been busy!
I have learned in my 26 years that complaining might be a good way to vent, but if you don't do something about it you just wasted your breath and your time. If I'm complaining, I'm probably forming a plan of attack as I speak/type as to how to improve my day/situation/attitude. Sometimes all it takes is a few minutes of staring at my packed fabric, dreaming up what my first new project will be whenever we get moved and I get my sewing Room, and then pulling out another UFO and making progress. Other times, it takes sewing, and chocolate, and lots of love from our 2 dogs. But no matter what, if I do something rather than wallow in self-pity, I always feel better.

When life hands you a problem you think you can't solve, MAKE DO!

Happy sewing!!!


  1. I love it when quilter's are honest about their sewing rooms, stash, and work habits. Really, how many are truly like the wonderful TV set "craft rooms"? I laughed at your wiring, because I have one machine that I do the same with when using the walking foot (that actually belongs to another machine). Why are so many quilters in transit lately? Seems everywhere I look someone is waiting, in process, almost done, or rennovating existing. And the quilters? Making do! Loved the post and enjoyed your blog - yes I did go browse.

  2. Good Morning Kasey...ok, first thing...I laughed when I got to the bottom of your post regarding wiring your walking foot...MOST certainly my kinda girl.I would call you a creative troubleshooter..and that is a compliment...someone who makes do and comes to a solution that most would never think of. Take for instance your paper that is genius, I will invest in that lol..
    Your Where is waldo, hidden cracked me up there. Your post which reflects..I am what I am..., is a welcomed treat...I sew agree with Sharon above..LOVE win! lol

  3. Love your attitude, Kasey and your post has me beaming from ear to ear.

  4. You won me over with a chuckle of making do.
    yes the wire got me.

  5. Thanks Kasey for sharing today. Your comment of doing something instead of wallowing in self-pity is a great jump start. I'm adding that to my sewing inspiration board.

  6. Kasey you're a girl after my own heart! In fact, I wrote a short story that was published years ago about my mother - the queen of make do. She could devise a way to make anything work for her needs and it was normal for her to have a full tool kit in her purse for just that reason. She was a quilter who used every scrap and sewed in any corner. She and my dad used to "go south" for the winter but it was just an excuse to fish for months, something they both loved to do. They rented a motel room, yes A room, and that along with the back of the truck was how they lived. She took her sewing machine and it was in a corner somewhere - she sewed where God put her. I applaud your ingenuity and your joyful outlook! blessings, marlene

  7. What great advise!! Thank you :)

  8. Kasey, great job on the post! I love making do ideas...I am a make do kinda girl myself and totally get it! I love your idea about the paper towel rolls for rolling quilts, quite brilliant I think, as I am a roller too! LOL

  9. We moved this past summer, and finding all of my quilting tools has been a challenge. I was also shocked at how much stash I had stored away in containers (hiding in closets). Thanks for a great post.

  10. 1. Thank you husband for serving in the military.
    2. Thank you for being able to a wife to a man in the military.
    3. Our country is founded on those who have learned to make do and it is what makes our country great.
    4. Thanks for sharing the realities of your life.

  11. LOL. You are so creative and so happy! I love that. I am brutally honest when I say......I have a nice large space, totally clutters with piles and piles and piles. I need to pretend I have a small tiny space and clean up one corner at a time.

    glen: but I have said that for two years now!

  12. Kasey, thank you for a great story. the way you can fix things. I need you here. I could use some of your ingenuity. I like your philosophy, no worries move forward. Love that. hugs Tania

  13. This was a good post. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us. I loved it.

  15. What a hoot!! My favorite?? The wire on the walking foot...I call that "jury rigging"!! I so enjoyed your post, your sense of humor, your respect for your husband, your Make-Do, Can-Do attitude!! You ROCK!!

    GMAMA Jane
    PS. Come back and show us when you finally get your own sewing room! I'm sure we would all love to see it!

  16. A great, fun post, Kasey! I like your attitude. I think I need to give myself a kick in the pants to remind myself not to whine about what I don't have and be grateful for all that I do. Thanks!

    Leslie S. in MN
    esclante at comcast dot net

  17. I had to laugh at this post - reminds me of me - except that I HAVE a sewing room with plenty of space...when it's clean! And when it's not I push stuff around to give me just enough room to cut fabric and really, one foot of clearing can produce a nice little quilt! xo, Nan

  18. I love your positive attitude, Kasey.

  19. Kasey, I have found that in my many years of moving around (Air Force officers wife) and sewing that I have sewn in every room of the house, except one. I refused to put my sewing machine in the bathroom. If you sew, and want to sew, you will find a corner somewhere for your craft. Currently I am sharing the bedroom that my grandsons sleep in when they come over. I had it decorated in western/Texas theme for a long while and said that I really didn't care, but lately I have noticed my femine side is taking over and the decore is changing. Keep on sewing as it will bring you many joys and a few frustrations in the years to come. BettyLou

  20. There's an old saying from the 30s that comes to mind: Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do or do without. I positively adore frugal tips and think your creative use of paper towel holders is FANTASTIC!! Thanks so much for sharing.


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