A bug in the craftroom

One of my BFF’s loves ladybugs and I when I saw this on Pinterest I knew I had to attempt it – an applique ladybug table center piece.  Thanks to pre-selected fat quarter sets picking out the fabrics was easy, the back is a pre-quilted pre-batted black and white paisley print.  I happened upon a ladybug party invitation which was the perfect template for the ladybug. After a trial run I discovered the black fabric I picked out was too flimsy for the head and antenna so I found a thicker fabric and that made it much sturdier.


Two parts of this project were  a challenge for me  – getting the corner blocks sewn in properly (my seam ripper got a workout after I realized my first mistake) and the ladybug applique.  Thank goodness for YouTube videos on appliqueing! I did a practice run which was helpful to say the least.  I wanted to prevent the sides of the ladybug from lifting and because I didn’t quilt the whole piece it needed something to hold the middle down. So I experimented with some stitches on my sewing machine and found this scalloped one –


I was really happy with the effect! I learned when using one of these automatic stitches you need to let the machine do the work and not hurry it along, you can see a few scallop stitches that are not as dense as the others where I pulled the fabric too quickly (patience ladybug!!).  I will definitely experiment more with the stitches on the machine now that I have some confidence.

My next project is my Halloween costume which I am SUPER excited about and will be posting about soon!



And the verdict is…

All negative! No celiac, no gastritis, no Barrett’s esophagus. While I’m grateful there’s nothing medically wrong with me I’m frustrated because this most likely means IBS and/or it’s my food sensitivities (wheat, dairy, eggs, corn, soy). <sigh>

So after way too much googling and learning a lot, I decided to start with giving up my coffee. It wasn’t a several pots a day habit, just 3 coffee mugs a day – about 14oz per mug though – and the first morning cup always on an empty stomach which I’ve learned provokes all kinds of undesirable reactions. Tough at first, I definitely went through caffeine withdrawal, but it’s been effective in relieving 90% of my symptoms.  I should say 95% giving up because I have experimented with just one cup of brewed ground coffee (based on some things I learned on the internet) a few days a week with only a slight reaction.  On several celiac blogs I found a recommendation to try chai tea to “mimic” the coffee, which really works! Admittedly I use 3 tea bags in one mug with just a little non-dairy creamer, but so far so good.  I am in love with Tazo brands flavored chai – Vanilla Caramel, Chocolate, and Pumpkin Spice.  (psa: they were on sale last week at Target for $3/box!)

I’ve been lenient on the dairy and wheat intake, but am still 90% better than I was a month ago.  So now to focus on better clean eating and seeing if I can narrow it down to what irks my GI tract – which probably means I should truly eliminate the sensitive foods for at least 2 months. One idea I thought of to get more of a range of veggies/fruits is to have a different color for each day – like Monday would be orange: oranges, cantaloupe, orange pepper, butternut squash – etc.  This strikes me as easier than trying to eat several different ones each day!  And provides me with a neat list of blog posts to make 🙂

In addition to my what-to-not-eat obsession, Fall season and Halloween dabbles abound, I’m SUPER excited about my Halloween costume for this year…stay tuned!