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And Sew On…Reigniting Passion

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

Life is funny.

You can love something so much all your life and yet one day you wake up and find yourself in a rut. Tired. Burned out. It’s not that you–and by you, I mean me–hate what you’re doing. You still love it way down deep inside, it’s just not quite the same anymore. What used to hold so much excitement now feels lackluster and dull.

Shhhh….I’m going to tell you a secret. This happened to me with sewing and quilting. YIKES!!!!

Don’t get me wrong. I still love it.  I’m not leaving. I plan to be around for a long, long time.  But the same old stuff just wasn’t lighting me up like before.  I felt like something was missing. I needed something….more.

But…what?  I reflected a long, long time. I resisted an even longer time.  And then…I surrendered. Meet my new best friend, Buelah.

  • B – is for Brave, together we will bravely explore new territory.
  • U – is for (virtually) unbreakable…quite literally, she is an industrial machine.
  • E – is for exquisite stitches sewn, strong and straight.
  • L – is for love, my love for creating beautiful new items out of old stuff that would otherwise go into the trash.
  • A – is for able, because together we are.
  • H – is for happiness and the joy that has been returned!

Buelah is a Juki DU-1181N, single-needle, straight stitch, top and bottom feed industrial sewing machine. She is truly a WORK HORSE! She comes with a high capacity M bobbin, has her own Servo motor, and can sew up to 2,000 stitches a minute (not that we ever get close to that!). She has a max stitch length of 9mm and even has her own sexy knee lifter that can lift her presser foot up to 15mm.

Right about now you’re probably asking what on earth possessed me to purchase this machine. The short answer to that is: Bike Tubes.

As you may–or may not–know, I love recycling UP-cycling old bike tubes (and other things) into useful items. Yes, it’s true. I was able to sew bike tube on my domestic machine…but not without a lot of fiddling, prepping and babying because that machine was NOT made to sew rubber. Buelah? Well…she sews rubber like butter, baby. The truth is that–before I made the decision to get Buelah–I knew I was killing my domestic machine. That made me really sad. So I realized what I was doing was really limiting myself not doing the sewing/work that I crave the most because of course I couldn’t bear to kill my domestic sewing machine. I love her.

What have I created so far?  These are just a couple items. Several more prototypes are in the works.

UP-cycled Bike Tube and UP-cycled Bike Map Cell-Phone Wallet/Pouch gift I made for a dear cycling friend from the southern part of New Mexico
Inside of the UP-cycled Bike Tube/Bike Map Cell-Phone Wallet Pouch.
The patch pocket is an original block print by Tammy Schurr, my very dear friend and Adventure Cycling Event Director/Tour Leader.
Minimalist UP-cycled Bike Tube Zip Pouch
Minimalist Zip Pouch
Lined with UP-cycled DenimJeans

Sew what’s the point of all this?  Here are 3 points I can share right now: 

  • Exploration of my passion to recycle/UP-cycle old materials into something new, useful and beautiful through sewing.
  • Diversification of business for SewThankful. I will be sewing and selling a limited number of finished UP-cycled bike related items. Many bike friends and associates have asked me to sew and SELL my creations. This will be a new adventure and I am excited to see where it takes me.
  • Vehicle for development of new Sew TracyLee Designs patterns. The patterns will be adjusted and written for sewing quilting cottons and traditional fabrics.

What do you think?  I’m interested in your constructive thoughts and comments.  Please feel free to share below but note that in order to prevent spambots and junk I have to moderate each comment so it may take a little while for yours to post.

Magical Malibu Bicycle Bliss Tour – 2017

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

Tomorrow marks a week since I rode my bicycle into Malibu.

When a very dear cycling friend invited me to accompany her on a road trip to Malibu, CA that culminated in a 60 mile bicycle ride along the Pacific Coast Highway, of course, I enthusiastically accepted the invitation.
 

On Monday, October 2nd, we rode the Magical Malibu Bicycle Bliss Tour: 60 Miles for 60 Years in celebration of my friend’s 60th birthday which was earlier this year (August). For my part, I also rode in celebration of the lives of my sweet younger Sister (Trina) and my beloved Grampa (Earl) who would have celebrated their birthdays on October 2nd had they not been taken so soon. They have been gone for many years now, but I still feel the sad ache in my soul because I dearly miss them. They were good and kind people. They are part of me and that will never change.

 

Over the years I’ve found it helps if I do something significant and¬† physically challenging to celebrate their lives. This ride was the perfect thing to do this year. Here are a few pictures from our time in Malibu:

This is me just after we finished the 60 miles. Beams of love and thanksgiving shooting into and out of my chest. I am SEW thankful.

 

Last but not least…the video below shows highlights of about 17 of our miles riding into Malibu (shortened into one and a half minutes).¬† It’s my first attempt at using a trial offer of some new video editing software (thus the watermark…trial offer). I suspect I will end up purchasing the software as it seems much more intuitive than others I’ve tried. I still have a lot to learn but was pleased to be able to put something together without having to spend weeks learning how to use the product.

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Something about a fresh haircut and a bike ride…

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Sew…there’s something wonderful about a fresh haircut (really short this time, huh?!) and a bike ride with a new friend.

2015HairCutAfterBikeRide020715

Feeling happy and FREE

 

Yesterday, our weather was a gorgeous 64 degrees, sunny and very little wind.  A perfect day to get out on my bicycle with my new friend, Lisa.

Lisa is in my Saturday morning Strength Training Group…and new to New Mexico. Since this was her first outside ride in New Mexico and because my knees were feeling a little tweaky, we chose a relatively flat road with a nice bicycle lane in Corrales and pedaled an easy 12+ miles with the time we had.

I have to say, it absolutely invigorated me.¬† The sunlight, the scenery, the sound of the pedals and wheels turning…and freedom. Just taking it all in and giving myself permission to simply “be” with no expectations.¬† What a wonderful experience.¬† I can hardly wait until next Saturday! New course…some hills…and more friends!

Today is our present…truly a gift.¬† What will you do with yours?

SewThankful for Inspiration EVERYWHERE — Geyser Field in Chile Images

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

What inspires you?¬† Where is the most unusual place you’ve found inspiration?

While surfing facebook, I found this!¬† It’s so gorgeous and reminds me of fiber art in so many ways. Chilean geyser fields – surreal.

 

Do you like eCoupon Savings? Want to save on threads, pantograph patterns, quilting supplies & more?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014