Roughin’ It

We purchased on older model pop-up camper this week.  Honeyman wants to travel an hour or two for hunting purposes, and we like to go to the beach or mountains for short weekend get-a-ways.  So I expect it will get a lot of use.  We have been looking at campers for sale for several weeks and it is amazing the prices these things still sell for.  They hold their value much better than a car does.  We saw some that were 10-15 years old and people wanted $3000-$4000 for them.

We found an ’81 Coleman for a much better price.  Overall, we were looking for a good deal with solid bones and a good top — and this one fit that perfectly.   It doesn’t have a microwave, or a porta-potty (I think I’m ok with that), and the other little extras that the newer pop-up campers have.  But, I’m good with that.  There are two areas of the canvas that are unraveling and need to be restitched — good thing I’m pretty handy with a needle and thread.  Also, the board under the sink area is rotted out and will need to be replaced.

The tires however, may take a little more work.  Not 10 minutes into the drive last night, one of the tires blew (that is how the dent in the side panel got there).  Not to worry though — it came with a spare.  I’m not sure in which decade the tires were last changed, but whenever it was, it was too long ago — they are permanently rusted in place now!  The lug nuts will not budge.  So honeyman was driving home with the left side of the truck and camper on the road, and the right side on the grassy edge.  It was a sight to see.  That worked until he got into town and then the grassy edge became concrete curbs and sidewalks, so that wasn’t going to work any more.  He pulled off at the first tire center he found and left it in the parking lot overnight.  Bright and early this morning, we drove back up there when they opened.  Surely, they could get the tire off with their impact wrench… Wrong!  They couldn’t get it off either.  The lug nuts really are stuck!  So we had to tow it home.  Golly geez, that was expensive!  The tow cost a 1/3 of what we paid for the camper itself.  Not sure how we’re going to get the tires off and replaced, but hopefully it won’t be too bad on the pocketbook.

The inside is something ugly though (hope it didn’t overhear me say that).  What was it about the 70’s and early 80’s that made designers think that gold, orange, and brown were the choice decorating colors?  Ewww!  So, while honeyman works on the wheels, I’ll be doing my magic on the inside.  A trip to the fabric store is at the top of the list.  Yippee!  And then a trip to the hardware store for paint. I love to sew and paint so this is right up my alley. I’m not sure I’ll be adding curtains or fluffy pillows, but a color change in the cushions and laminate is definitely on the list.  And maybe curtains if I can find some tracks to hang up on the inside.  I haven’t completely ruled them out yet.

As if we didn’t already have a lot to keep us busy, we have another project now.  I love taking something old and ugly and making it beautiful again.  It’s so much fun to dig in, work with my hands, watch the progress, and then end up with a nice finished project.  I think that’s why I like quilting and sewing so much.  Although I typically start with nice, not ugly, fabric, it is still nothing more than a flat 44″ by something inch panel that has no real use.  But throw together a little designing, a little cutting, and a little sewing and you end up with really nice usable items — quilts, aprons, clothes, curtains, bags, etc.  It’s amazing all the things you can make with fabric, and it’s ‘sew’ much fun!  It’s the enjoyment and the feeling of achievement – a job well done.

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Lego, Car, Truck Sack Tutorial


My grandson turned 2 today.  He loves playing with cars and trucks.  To him, anything with wheels is a truck — a vacuum cleaner, a bus, a cart.  There is no difference.  Wheels = truck.  Period.

I made my nephew a Lego sack in December for Christmas and I thought it would be a great idea for a truck sack as well.  All you need is somewhat different fabric, and you have a cool sack for things with wheels.

Following is a tutorial for making your own sack whether it be for Legos, things with wheels, or little ponies.  I included a bunch of pictures, so this post is quite long.  But it’s easy peasy so you should be able to get through it quickly.  Feel free to let me know if you have questions, or if you run across problems with the tutuorial

Lego Sack or Car Sack Tutorial

Materials Needed:

1-1/4 yards interior fabric

1-1/4 yards exterior fabric

4-1/8 yards cording or rope, 3/8” – 1/2” wide

Scrap pieces of heavy duty interfacing or craft fuse

General Sewing Supplies – thread, scissors, pins, marking pen or chalk, measuring tape

Most fabric is 42”-44” wide.  You will want to start by cutting the length of your fabric to be the same as the width of the fabric.  So, if your fabric is 44” wide, the length should also be 44” so that you have a square.  There are a couple of ways you could do this as pictured below.  This is a small sample of fabric I am using just for demonstration.  This does not need to be perfect, close will work.

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Once you have your fabric length and width the same size, fold the interior fabric in half, and then in half again, such that a square is formed.   Then do the same for the exterior fabric.  Place one on top of the other, matching the corner fold and lining up the edges.


Using your measuring tape, measure from the folded corner out to the raw edge, a distance of ½ of the width of your fabric.  My fabric was 44” wide and 44” long before I folded it into a square; therefore I am going to measure 22” from the folded corner and make a mark at that point.  If your fabric was 43” wide, you would be making a mark at the 21 ½” point.  (Note: from the last picture to this picture, I flipped my fabric over so the folded corner would be to my left, instead of my right.  I am right handed so I wanted to hold the tape at the folded corner with my left hand, and make the marks at 22″ with my right hand)


Continue to move the tape measure across the square of fabric, starting at the folded corner each time and making a mark at the 22” point.  This will create an arc across your fabric.


Once you have an arc marked across your fabric, cut along the dotted line.  (Note: You will be cutting through 8 layers of fabric, so if your scissors are not strong enough for this, you will need to cut the interior and the exterior fabric separately, in which case the other fabric will also need to be marked following the instructions above.)


 Once you have cut along the arc you should have two nearly perfect circles that are 44” in diameter.


At this point you will need to decide how you want to create the holes on the interior fabric for access to the cording.  I used buttonholes for mine, but you could also use extra large eyelets.  On the interior fabric, place pins marking where you would like to create the buttonholes.   I put 4 buttonholes on mine, spaced evenly around the circle.  Since the fabric had been folded it had created 4 equaled-distance fold lines.  So I used those fold lines as placement for the buttonholes.

At the placement for the first buttonhole, measure down ¾” from edge and make a mark, and then measure down ¾” from that mark and make another mark.   This is where I will create a ¾” buttonhole, with a ½” opening.  I used a flat ½” wide cording and it was a tight fit through the buttonholes.  If you have a larger diameter cord, you may want to make a larger buttonhole.


Now that I know where the buttonhole will be, I like to stabilize the fabric by ironing some interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric before actually sewing the buttonhole.  I used heavy-duty craft fuse.  Since it has a grain, I ironed on one small piece on the back of where the buttonhole will be, and then ironed on another small piece on top of that with the grain going the opposite direction.  This will strengthen the buttonhole and provide more stability to this area since this is where the weight of the sack will be held.   I would also suggest doing this if you were to use large eyelets instead of buttonholes.


Do this for all four buttonholes around your circle.  And then sew and open each buttonhole.  The interior of your bag is now ready.


 If you wanted to do anything special to the exterior of the bag, now would be the time.  I embroidered my grandson’s name onto this one. 


Moving on…

With right sides together, pin the circles together.  You don’t need many pins, but 10-12 around will help hold it together as you sew.  Once pinned, sew a 3/8” seam around, leaving about 4” unsewn for turning.  Clip edges around, being sure not to clip any of your stitching.  This will help the circle lay flatter.  (I forgot to take a picture of this, but if you need help with it, let me know and I’ll take a picture of a sample and email it to you quickly.)


Turn right side out and press seam flat.  You may need to roll the seam between your fingers before pressing in order to get the seam to the outer most edge.


Once the seam has been pressed flat, sew around edge of the sack about ¼” from edge.  Then sew around the sack again about 1-¼” from edge.   (If you do not have a sewing guide for your machine, you may need to mark this second line all the way around.  I know I wouldn’t be able to eyeball that distance with any precision.) The buttonholes should be between the two lines of sewing you just made.  This will create a pocket around the sack for the cord.


Thread your cord through the pocket, all the way around until you get to the beginning again.  I like to use a safety pin to do this, although you might have your own favorite method.   Tie a knot to join the two ends.  You may need to burn both ends of the cord so it doesn’t unravel.


Pull up a loop of the cord from the buttonhole that is directly opposite that knot, and tie a knot on that side as well.  This will give you easy access to pull the cord from each side to close the sack.  At the moment, I am leaving the other two buttonholes unused, but you may find it easier to close the sack from all four corners, rather than just 2, especially as it gets full.


Congratulations!  You have just made a lego sack.


My grandson just turned two.  If you are making this for an older child, you may find that you need a larger circle.  To do this you would need to either buy 60” wide fabric or sew two widths of fabric together for both the exterior and interior.   You would also need a longer length of fabric.  However, the instructions for creating the sack would be the same.  You start with a square (the length and width of fabric being the same size) and go from there.

Ice Cream – My Favorite Food Group

What’s that you say?  Ice cream isn’t a food group?  Well, in my book it is.  Ice Cream is so good it belongs in a food group all by itself.  Oh, there are other foods I love, but not like ice cream.  Some people could create a food group with only pizza, or pie, or bread.  But for me, it is ice cream.

And what is better than ice cream?  That would be ice cream that is on sale!  If you are lucky enough to have a Harris Teeter in your area, they have Blue Bunny ice cream on sale through tomorrow.  In addition, Blue Bunny has a $0.75 coupon on their website (if you register your email address), and Harris Teeter will double that to $1.50.  I got 3 containers of Blue Bunny ice cream for just over $4.  Seriously! — receipt below.

Have a great evening.  I’m going to sit back, eat my ice cream, and work on completing a few more border blocks for my UFO.  Only 2 more to go and then I can start putting it all together.  That is if I can pull myself away from this movie.  Honeyman put in ‘Without a Paddle‘.  If you have never seen this movie, you have really to.  I think it’s on instant play on Netflix.  It is freaking hilarious!  The bear scene is the best!