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!

 

On the Move

Recently, I was asked by a client if I was planning another Christmas in July Open House. For those unfamiliar with it, the Christmas in July Open House was an event held last summer here at the Satt Cat Inn to showcase many of the Satt Cat Bags products in a party atmosphere with product samples, snacks and beverages.  The intent was to allow those that came an opportunity to order items that would then disperse the mad rush of sewing that happens for me during the holidays.  It was a complete success, and I am eager to host another one, BUT let’s just say that my answer to the original question is……..it has been postponed.

 

Why postponed, you ask?  As if life wasn’t chaotic enough as we all have dealt with Covid-19 and all that it is involved with that, but the Old Guy and I have sold our home and are building a new home with plans to physically move in August.  To say it has been interesting to do all of this during a pandemic is an understatement.  We have never been conventional people, and this whole process started last fall well before Covid-19.  Maybe chaos keeps the mind sharp?!  So this July, we will be fully living among boxes getting ready for The Move.  I have decided that my sewing room will be the last room packed since I have been very busy sewing and probably will be until the truck comes.  I’m envisioning Granny of the Beverly Hillbillies in her rocking chair when they loaded up the truck and moved to Bever-lee only instead, I’ll be riding on top of the truck sewing as we relocate.

During the pandemic and besides sewing over 250 masks, I have sewn for a set of twins and their big sister:

and another new baby with a Golden Books nursery whose family loves softball and baseball:Dottie Bundle

We have all been thanking those medical personnel and essential workers, AND I have sewn personalized candy bags to thank some special teachers:

I have sewn a very personal utility bag for a special lady and a wine bag for a very handy guy:

And of course with my pledge to sew a pillowcase for every order between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, I have started sewing pillowcases for the Quilts of Valor:

So I continue to happily sew for others, but now I am also packing those boxes and overseeing everything we have picked out for our new Satt Cat Inn.  There will be another Satt Cat Bags Open House, but not while we are in boxes.  Stay safe, stay healthy and stay tuned!

 

A Cause for the Brave

Suddenly we are to Memorial Day 2020 on the calendar.  The end of May.  The beginning of summer.  Festivals should abound and graduations should be happening.  And where did spring go?!?  Oh that’s right – it happened while we all stayed home going out for only essentials; and sadly, we all now use terms like pandemic, Covid-19 or shelter-in-place in normal conversations.

My sewing continues.  My normal.  Two years ago, I was privileged to see a program on the Quilts of Valor.  The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.  Since my mother was a quilter and my dad was a WWII veteran, I was hooked and the whole program was in my heart.  To feed this new passion, I went to one of the Quilts of Valor’s presentation ceremonies last fall and saw the benefits first hand from the appreciation on veterans’ faces to the pride of those that made the quilts.  There were WWII veterans who stood proudly next to recent heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan.  I was moved and wondered how I could help…

…and then it hit me!  Along with the Quilts of Valor quilt, a pillowcase is also presented to each veteran.  I may not quilt, but having made somewhere between 100 and 200 pillowcases in my past, I found my place.  This year, I will donate a patriotic pillowcase to the Quilts of Valor Foundation for every Satt Cat Bags order between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  I felt these were appropriate days for commemorating those who ensure our freedoms.

Whatever your order is does not matter.  It does not have to be a pillowcase, but could be a wine bag, a mini nana blankie, a pillow or anything showcased on my website www.sattcatbags.com .  All will be counted.   As we all thank our newest heroes of medical personnel and essential workers during The Virus, let’s also remember that we are the home of the free because of the brave.  Happy Summer.

 

Still Sewing, Still Crazy

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we at the Satt Cat Inn (with everyone else) are entering the second month of the “shelter-in-place”, stay-at-home status.  I continue sewing orders using online shopping for supplies and sewing masks, lots of masks.

Some masks are for families:

Some masks are for business employees:

Some masks are for agencies that directly deal with individuals effected by Covid-19:

The other side of this past month’s sewing is more of the normal that we all had in our pasts that seems so long ago…..even though it’s just weeks ago.

Babies are still arriving:

Birthdays are celebrated with the passions of the honorees:

Pillowcases are personalized for an athletic teenager and a wee boy:

And for one of those Satt Cat Bags items categorized as “not a bag”, there was Dane the Dinosaur to cut-out, stuff and assemble.  Did you know that there are 20 pieces to a stuffed dinosaur?  Too fun.

Dane the Dinosaur

It’s nice to have those “normal” items to sew as we all stay safe; but as needed, I will sew masks.  We will get back to being social again. We will have family parties.  BUT until then, we will do our part and stay home and stay strong, and I will sew.