Summer is comin’ with normalcy?

Memorial Day. The unofficial start of summer! WooHoo! Pre-Covid, the Old Guy and I would have been to many grandson end of the year school activities. Not this year, but thankfully, things are looking better in the pandemic world. So much better that we as a family were all together for the first time in about a year for Grandson #4’s birthday party. Thankfully!! There is hope for normalcy!

The grand boys have all decided that they like our family traditional bears now in various seasonal “attire” so each one got a patriotic bear for Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Yep, Halloween is probably next. Ah what nana starts…..

I had the privilege to sew a double nana blankie, a mini blankie and a toy bag for a new wee one given the theme of rainbows. All were personalized with baby Riley’s name and the topstitching of the mini nana blankie even had a rainbow-ish topstitching as well. Gotta love details!

I always enjoy sewing sleeping bags for a little one’s “friend”. So fun. The teal sleeping bag is my standard size that would cover a traditional 18″ doll comfortably, but the pink one needed to be a bit longer to hold that special Elsa doll that is taller. Being a tall person myself, I totally understand needing a tall sleeping bag. Elsa needed to stretch her legs. Very do-able.

Another rainbow theme project came for a toddler who needed a mini nana blankie and a toy bag. That mini blankie is easy to carry (and not trip over) for those that are beginning to walk, but big enough to snuggle up with.

I needed a gift for a Secret Pal reveal so I created a seasonal pillow package for my friend. The seasons of summer, fall, winter and spring are easily enjoyed just by changing the cover of a simple pillow form. With my friend living in a condo, storage space can be a premium so my thought was that this would be much easier than storing four separate pillows.

I’ve also (optimistically) started planning an Open House for this fall to celebrate Satt Cat Bags’ 10th Anniversary year. Hopefully by then, we have all enjoyed a wonderful healthy summer with even more normalcy. Once the date is finalized, I will definitely let you all know. I am excited! Excited to sew in a normal world again.

With Gratitude

It is nothing new to anyone that I have a soft spot in my heart for military veterans, but in the past year plus, that soft spot is growing. I can’t imagine being a health care or front line worker and deal with this historic pandemic every day. I am also very appreciative to the first responders, police or tow truck drivers that work tirelessly 24/7 to keep us all safe to enjoy our lives while they risk theirs.

Last year, I made a “thank you” bag for my clients of Fiscal Year 2020. I encouraged the recipients to enjoy the treat that was in the bag that I provided and then to replenish the bag and pay it forward to someone with their appreciation for whatever reason. Maybe a teacher, maybe a neighbor, maybe a special friend. whomever. Spread the appreciation, so to speak.

Right now, I am in the planning stage for my thank you bag for the clients of this current 2021 Fiscal Year. Since this is my 10th year of Satt Cat Bags, I wanted to do something special like the five year gift of a mini wine bag with wine so I could share my appreciation and celebrate with the clients of that year. But this year is different. We’re still dealing with Covid, and the country seems to be divided on many lines. I just want to share goodness and kindness and gratitude.

With gratitude in mind, I’m going to expand on last year. I will donate a gift bag to one of the above mentioned groups or individuals for each client of this year with my gratitude. Whether a client chooses to pay it forward with their bag is their choice, but I will be spreading my gratitude to some of our unsung heroes that sometimes get taken for granted.

And thank you for ten years!! Let me know if there is someone in particular that you thinks needs extra gratitude! I’ll add them to my list!

April Spools

April. Wow. That. Is. Crazy. Where did the past three months go?!? Of course, I have been busy sewing for our new home and also others. It’s been a nice blend of fun and function (something that I have discussed here before), BUT with spring, it seems that all colors are brighter and more vibrant.

Eventually, we’ll have this pandemic behind us and our five grandsons (and their parents) will be visiting. The dormitory is all ready to go, and now I’m organizing the toys for the toy closet. We’ll see if the toys end up in the right place, but at least there is a starting point. This one would be function for nana in red, but fun for the boys in all colors!

One little guy who loves Pokémon and blue will be getting a pillowcase showcasing his favorite game. This could be both a fun AND a function. Okay, let’s be honest – fun with an orange stripe!

Actually at times, I do have to sew for myself. I just got new sunglasses and my old case was worn out, SO why not make a new one for my own needs. With the padded sides, I’ll go with function and red on this one with a subtle personalization.

A sweet little one needed some double nana blankies for her daycare naptime, so even though this would be a functional use of pink, green and blue, I thought it should be fun as well! She will be in the “ladybug” room and enjoys letters and animals. Check and check. ( Note: I’ve blocked out her last name for her privacy) Have fun, Little Ladybug!

And a huge fun is the “Miss Julie’s Magic” bag. This special teacher fixes boo-boos that little ones may have at a preschool with a pinch of Miss Julie’s Magic. When I was approached with this story and need, a satin lined purple suede bag to hold her magic was created. Okay, maybe a wee bit of function, but fun all the way!

And since Christmas is never out of my mind, whenever I get a vision of something, I create a prototype of it. This bag is definitely fun all the way. With it’s green and gold, I call it my Elf bag in honor of that favorite holiday movie. Of course, it could be filled with sugar of all kinds, and like Buddy would say of his four food groups – candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup. Yep, fun.

Whether any item in your life is functional or fun, enjoy the awakening that spring brings and the vibrancy of colors that come with it!

Spring of Life

People have used the seasons of a year to break down the seasons of one’s life. For example, “they are in the fall of their lives” in reference to someone maybe in their retirement years. I personally am just going to continually be in my summertime phase and not get to fall or winter, but I digress. Anyway, with that reference line in mind, I guess I have been sewing lately for the “springtime” people. With last month, my sewing was definitely for new babies; but this month, that age range has expanded to also include the younger wee ones and babies.

Nana blankies and burp cloths were made for a new baby girl that is due this spring to a camping, outdoor loving couple.

And I was honored to be invited to a baby shower for that new momma. The fascinating part is that I had the fabric bought to make the gift bag before the invitation arrived. Hmm….an uncanny similarity indeed. And definitely not the first time this has happened! After all, I do have my sewing angels working with me.

I also had an emergency “nana to the rescue” situation. Grandson #3 had received a taco game for Christmas. Once the game box was opened, it would not house all the taco pieces ever again. What horror to a child (who LOVES tacos) to think that the lettuce or cheese might get lost?!? Not so since nana made a taco bag that can hold all the fixins safely and securely. Crisis averted.

We also have a grandson with a birthday on St. Patrick’s Day. To commemorate both his birthday and “his” holiday, I made five of what I am calling Leprechaun O’Bears (cousin of my legendary Christmas Bear) each with their very own pot o’gold (filled with m&m’s). One is for the birthday boy and the other four would be for his brothers and cousins. It’s a Happy St. Patrick’s Day Birthday!

I also had the privilege to sew pillowcases for a very special little girl. She loves princesses and jungle animals. And along with those pillowcases, I also made sleeping bags and mini pillows for whatever special little friend sleeps with her. I love the diverse interests of this sweet one.

With spring coming, bunny bags are also starting to appear. They are whimsical and fun and clearly can be personalized with a name and in any color imaginable. And FYI – a group of bunnies is a litter, colony or fluffle. I like fluffle.

Besides sewing for others, I am also working on all the valances or drapes for this new Satt Cat Inn. The latest adventure (and I do mean adventure) has been the 129″ side panels for our living room. Yes, 129″. That is over 10 feet of fabric on each side of the window x 2 panels. They are up, but still needs some tweaking and training. Done – Amen! Only four more windows to go!

I am enjoying sewing for all those in the spring of their lives and just starting out, but no matter what stage you are in, the season of spring itself is coming and that is something we can all enjoy!

It’s Baby Time…again!

If it’s February, it must be Sewing for Babies time! During the past two Februarys, I have posted a blog comparing the fun vs. function of sewing for babies. With the Covid isolation that we all have done during the past 10 months, it is very exciting that late winter and early spring this year again has me sewing for a number of new babies! Love it!

And this year, my ‘theory’ of fun vs. function in baby sewing is still holding. New parents and their peers seem to prefer the function items that I sew and tend to order prior to the baby’s birth as they prepare the nursery or if there is an upcoming shower.

Nana blankie or burp cloth – FUNCTION. Nana blankies are a bit bigger than traditional receiving blankets and the 3-ply burp cloths are useful for the obvious with a new wee one. It’s always in the plan to pick the fabrics to coordinate with the baby’s nursery or family’s hobbies or favorite colors.

Laundry Bag – FUNCTION. A big drawstring bag can hold all the laundry that a baby generates, or can hold excess diapers, bedding or any of those bigger necessities and eventually toys.

Utility Bag or Toy Bag – FUNCTION. A utility bag with or without an inside pocket can be useful for holding anything from that those tiny toiletries to pacifiers. A little bigger toy bag is great for holding those bigger items or even smaller books and toys.

Relatives and friends tend to order the more fun items that I sew; those items that are more whimsical or apt to create a memory or tradition. These items are usually ordered after the baby’s birth so that the baby’s name can be added. Clearly, they can be made without any personalization, but it is fun to see that new baby’s name on some of their first personal items!

Mitten Bags, Snowman Bags or Bunny Bags – FUN. FUN. FUN. I have clients that have any or all of these bags for each of their kids or grandkids to hold treats or gift cards each year. Most pick the favorite color of the individual which makes it even more personal than just a name. A bit of function, but clearly more fun.

Mini Mitten Pairs or Snowball Ornaments – FUN. FUN. No function here at all, but how cute to have them all hanging on the tree to represent all those special little people. Again, all personal with names or a favorite color or both.

My theory of fun vs. function still holds but either way, I love sewing for babies and there are babies being born right now or the next few weeks that have my best interest at heart! Hugs to all wee ones from this nana!

Let’s end 2020 and look to 2021

As the year 2020 draws to a close, we all have a sense of closing a book so to speak, and this has been a book to close. Holiday decorations get put away and a clean, and a more stark home is in place. Being in a brand new home is just that here, so now I will work on window treatments and making this house our home. A winter project of sorts. I have sewn draperies and valances for a design firm in a past life, so this is not a new mindset, just one that needs to be revitalized. Of course, I would start in my sewing room along with our bedroom and the Dormitory. I do have priorities! (And these were the easiest.) If my sewing world is labeled Satt CAT bags, that fabric choice was a no-brainer for the sewing room.

As I balance sewing for the new home and sewing for others, the last of the holiday orders were completed and safely delivered or picked up in time. The last orders included two pillow bags for two pre-teens and a family gift card bag.

I also made five “Bless you” bags following the design of my 2020 thank you bag along with a utility bag to be used to hold small stuff on campouts for a very special boy scout. Yes the lining is the Boy Scout Oath, Motto and Law. Subtle.

I have also recently sewn for a new baby who will have a personal nana blankie and burp cloths for his first Christmas. And a special one-year-old will be getting a Memory Bear made from the blouse of a special grandparent who loved the beach. I thought Vera Bear needed a beach tote bag to go with her “beach look” that could also double as an ornament. I do make bags after all!

As I turn the page to 2021, there are more babies to sew for and children who are getting personal pillowcases. In my plans for 2021, I’m hoping to have another Open House this summer or fall (without a pandemic of course) and that my fun on this journey just continues as I sew into my 10th year of Satt Cat Bags. Whatever your plans are for 2021, check out all the categories on my website at www.sattcatbags.com, and let your creative mind have fun, too! Happy New Year!

A Stitch in Time

Time is a crazy measurement. It is hard to believe that we are only 4 weeks away from Christmas, AND it is hard to believe that we are 8 long months into this historic pandemic. Thankfully (with a capital T), it has been a busy month of sewing which helps me maintain some level of sanity no matter if the time seems to be flying by or dragging along.

I have made pillowcases for all ages. I love how the fabric showcases the personality of the recipient…even if you are a financial officer, have a passion for birds or are just a sweet little girl!

And of course being within a month of the holiday season, gifts for others are a priority. How about holiday pillows made from a recently departed pet’s favorite blankie complete with a grey paw print. Those pets do get into our hearts! Or pillows of Super Mario for a video game designer or a t-shirt commemorating a favorite holiday movie. Fun stuff!

Snowball ornaments, mitten bags and mini mittens are again popular this year:

Not only are the thank you bags that I gave out to my clients of the past 12 months sharing my appreciation to others; but some teachers will also be thanked with goodies in a personal bag. Again, the personality of the teacher is highlighted…even with Dr. Seuss’s text fabric of red fish, blue fish.

Of course, Christmas comes with stockings. This isn’t something I do all the time, but for a special couple, each of the nine fabrics was picked specifically for them. Talk about personal!

With the pandemic raging here in the Midwest, our family has decided not to travel or meet for the holidays. As sad as that is, I have decided to send a surprise to all five wee boys every week prior to Christmas to give them some good memories in this difficult year. This past week I sent them each a “countdown” bag. A countdown bag has 24 chocolate kisses (like kisses from nana and papa) to count down the 24 days to Christmas starting December 1st. We have bets that Grandson #5 will be short some candy by the time that December 24th is here. How does that happen?!

Whether the time is racing to the holidays with too much to do; OR time is dragging as we all deal with the pandemic; OR those 24 days can’t come fast enough if you are three years old, let us all stay busy and safe. I’ll be sewing!

Thank you!

Thank-you is defined as “something you give or do to express gratitude”. Two months ago, my computer and cellphone both basically died within 24 hours of each other. Thus, no blog last month. Not good. It was stressful for me and I will admit, everyone around me until the tide turned to correct the mess. I am grateful for my kidlets and the old guy for putting me back in the technology world….and actually kind of updated now. Everything is not 100% both in my ability or the computer’s capability, but there is hope!

While this technological nightmare was happening, I was still sewing. Thankfully! And that thank you mindset continued. To three savvy women for whom I am very grateful to know, personal Halloween wine bags (with wine, of course!) were given.

Happy Halloween!

For a lady who helps keep me put together and functioning every month, I gave a satin bag for her wedding shoes and personal pillows for her (and her husband’s) passion of horses. Congratulations, Paula and Joe!

I have a client that has asked me to make mini gift bags for each of her 20 employees to thank them for their work during this stressful year. She works in a senior care facility and keeping all those super seniors safe during the pandemic makes her a true hero (IMO) that deserves our gratitude. She in turn, will be passing that gratitude on to her employees this holiday season by filling these little treat bags with something personal and her appreciation.

My pledge at the beginning of 2020 to donate pillowcases to the Quilts of Valor has been met. Even though there will not be a formal presentation ceremony this November due to the Covid pandemic, I donated 15 pillowcases for a future presentation next spring or the drive-by ones that they are currently able to do. Thank you, Veterans! And thank you to the Quad Cities Quilts of Valor chairman – your drive and passion are infectious.

Quilts of Valor donation

And in two days on October 31st, another fiscal year of Satt Cat Bags is in the books. As I have done every year, I will be giving a small token of my thanks to clients of the past 12 months. As I have blogged about in the past, this custom is to commemorate the same gesture that my dad did for patrons of his lumberyard back in the day. So to all my clients and everyone else in my life…thank you!

We’re In!

Yes, we have moved and yes, I have a brand new, bigger sewing space for Satt Cat Bags.  Of course in our crazy life, the move was not without adventure.  On Monday, August 10th a derecho storm with straightline winds peeking at 90-100 mph hit.  The “old” house was without power for only 2 days which was nothing compared to some in the area, BUT the new house ended up with a tree IN one of our garages.  Yep, 10 days before we were to close and move in, we had major damage to our beautiful new home.  These are pictures taken the next morning after the tree was removed….

Without missing a beat, our wonderful, extremely competent building team immediately went to work and repaired everything so that we were able to move in on time.  There are minor things yet to be fixed from that storm, but overall we are in and good to go!  Definitely a memory.

The sewing room is now unpacked – yay!  I almost went into withdrawal without a place to sew.  Okay, almost.  I am able to now find everything and happily get back to work making personal items for everyone.  Satt Cat Bags hiatus is officially done; and I am up and running once again.  As I work through this “virtual” Christmas in July Open House idea, not only do clients order traditional holiday gifts like ornaments and items in Christmas fabrics, but some order more functional non-holiday looking items for children or grandchildren.  Maybe a blankie either full size or mini, burp cloths or lightweight toy back pack bags…

And for adults, maybe a memory bear or pillow using a loved one’s shirt or blouse.

Functionality could also be shoe bags, jewelry bags, pillow bags or even bags for techy stuff like a heart monitor and all it’s wires.  Function – check!

No matter if you want fun or functional for those on your upcoming holiday lists, you can check my website at www.sattcatbags.com for even more ideas.  Most items can be personalized by embroidering a name, or choosing a personal fabric or even by showcasing a favorite color.  The only addendum this year is that some supplies take even longer to get because of the Covid world in which we now live.  But I WILL continue to sew and maintain that normalcy in my life…now in our new Satt Cat Inn.  Stop in and visit anytime.  We’re in!

Potential Elf Run?

With building a new house and moving in August, I knew last fall that I would not be doing a Christmas in July Open House here at the Satt Cat Inn.  What I did not anticipate in any way was a pandemic.  HOWEVER, I do think that this new “pandemic, masking, social distancing way of life”  has required people to become creative in order to continue daily living with some semblance of normalcy.

I continue to make masks, especially now for children as they possibly need them to try and return to the classrooms for some kind of normal educational experience in an abnormal world.

And I have also sewn a 60″-ish Swedish table runner with two complementary 18″ inch table squares.  It was so nice to have normal sewing that only required normal creativity.

But it is July and my Open House that is not happening…at least in the normal way.  So in this “pandemic, masking, social distancing way of life”, I had an idea.  Ah-h, my creativity is trying to rally.  The sewing room is packed and ready to go on the truck, but my computer and design book are not packed yet.  Over the next few months, I will highlight some of the most popular items during the past year & holiday season; and you can check my website at www.sattcatbags.com for even more ideas.  Most items can be personalized by embroidering a name, or choosing a personal fabric or even by showcasing a favorite color.

As soon as you know what you may want to order for whomever, either add a a reply comment to this blog OR send me an email and I will add you to The List.

I already have five orders, and with the extended time that any of my online ordering companies need in this bizarre world, it’s never too soon to start acquiring the needed supplies.

Who knows, maybe instead of the Bunny Drop that the Old Guy and I did back in March to deliver all the spring sewing orders, we could do an Elf Run to safely deliver the orders in this “pandemic, masking, social distancing way of life”.  Could be fun and would be entertaining, for sure!