Handkerchiefs from a Repurposed Bedsheet

Handkerchiefs made from a torn bedsheet.

Not all sewing is glamorous and Insta-worthy. Nope. Sometimes I’m stitching things I need or making the most out of some fabric so it doesn’t end up in a landfill.

Apparently, I like to run marathons in my sleep, because I wore a hole in a flannel fitted sheet. Now, to my defense, these are fast home décor (think fast fashion, but with home décor). We’ve only had the sheets for a couple of years (and use them seasonally because they’re flannel), but still, a hole showed up.

To my credit, I made the hole larger so that I WOULD NOT MISS IT and try to put it back on the bed.

The sheet is queen-size. That’s a lot of fabric without a hole. I washed the sheet and kept it because I knew I’d think of something to use it for. Finally, I decided on handkerchiefs. I grew up using handkerchiefs, or hankies, when I had a cold. Granted, they’re gross. You blow your nose on them. And, you don’t throw them away like you would with a tissue. But, because you DON’T throw them away, you always have one handy. Also, you don’t have to remember to buy tissues or use toilet paper.

Because this sheet was to become hankies, I wasn’t too worried about how they looked in the end. I mean, they’re going to wipe up snot. I simply cut out as many squares as I could by cutting along the plaid pattern. Further evidence of this sheet being fast home décor? The plaid isn’t yarn-dyed, it’s piece-dyed (piece-printed?). Most plaids are yarn-dyed. Go to your closet and check out your favorite plaid shirt and flip it over to the reverse side. The reverse should look like the front and not plain. The reverse of this sheet is white, not plaid: piece-dyed. Because of this, cutting along the plaid pattern didn’t necessarily result in true square pieces. But, whatever—snot.

Plaid on one side; plain on the reverse.

I took the time to press a ¼” hem on two opposite sides of each hankie. Then, I stitched it down. I was going to press the remaining two sides, but it took a long time the first round. I decided to wing it and just fold the hem over as I stitched, because boogers. It worked! They didn’t turn out too shabby—for hankies.

Artsy shot of a snot rag.

The result is 20 or so hankies for my family to use. And, bonus! My husband gave me a cold only a week or so after I finished making these. I used them and I’m satisfied with how they turned out. One sheet saved from the landfill and a house of happy noses!

Stitched. Folded. Stacked. Ready for boogers.


My Tips and Tricks for Starting Avocado Pits

My first 5 pits that I potted.

At the end of 2017, I decided I was going to try my hand at growing an avocado tree in 2018. You know, just for fun. But I also challenged my siblings and parents to grow one, too. I started 10 pits. (Because avocado pits take a long time to start, I’m eager, and I wanted to increase my odds of getting a new, fun houseplant—I’m well aware avocado trees don’t grow in Ohio!)

My avocado seed setup: 8 in water bottles; 2 in AvoSeedos. First they split, send out roots, and then grow a shoot.

Right now, 7 are in pots; 1 is sending up a shoot (and will need to be potted within a few weeks); 2 have rooted. I’m at the point of giving away some of the trees because I can’t possibly keep 7 avocado trees—I just want 1 or 2, maybe 3.

I’ve been chronically my avocado journey on Instagram and dare I say that it has become my “thing.” As in, friends and family are starting to gift me avocado-related items. A friend gave me some snazzy socks and I received a funny “Avocado-holic” t-shirt from family.

I can’t wait for cooler weather so I can start sporting my avocado socks again!
The shirt doesn’t lie. And, it’s comfortable!

When it comes to growing plants and caring for them, I tend to not be too scientific with it. I wing it—go with my gut, for better or worse. But, because of aforementioned challenge, I actually researched this endeavor—a little bit—and then created my own piecemeal method. I’d say 7 out of 10 pits potted ain’t too shabby. Almost 80% successfully grown into trees and who knows what’s going to happen with those last 2?

So, I figured, I’d share with you how I’ve done it. My method sprouts avocado seeds without toothpicks, which is a common technique. I started with the soaking technique in this video:

But! I only soaked my pits until the peel came completely off (with my help). As soon as they were peeled, I transferred them to water bottle starters that I learned to make with this video:

I kept the bottles filled with enough water so the bottom half of the pit was always submersed.

My 2 AvoSeedos and the cup I soaked my pits in.

Here, I’m going to tell you that I tried 2 AvoSeedos. While they’re very innovative, I liked the water bottle starters better. The main benefit of the AvoSeedo is that you don’t have to worry about the water level getting too low and your pit drying out. While I DID have to check the water bottle starters daily, I found that one of the pits in my AvoSeedos didn’t send up a viable shoot until I kept the water level very high, checking it every day. It could have been because I was using a small-ish bowl to float the AvoSeedo in. I don’t know. The other one did just fine. You make the choice, as you start your own avocado journey.

Ready for dirt.

Once a pit sent up a shoot and a few leaves unfurled (it takes months), I transferred it to a pot of dirt. I have a bunch of 32 oz. yogurt tubs stashed in my basement for gardening purposes, so I was all set. I punched holes in the bottom of them to allow water to drain, put a few rocks in the bottom, added some potting soil, and tucked in the avocado tree, covering the pit about halfway with dirt.

Happy and healthy in its new home.

Okay, so from there, I dunno. Ha! A follower on Instagram told me to pinch the top of the tree off to make it bushier. I did that with the first tree I potted. It hasn’t done much since. It’s still healthy, but I’ve yet to see new growth. It makes me hesitant to pinch other trees juuuust yet.

Are you a step ahead? Have you already done this and have an avocado tree in your home—or garden? Tell me your secrets!





Copywriting Tip: Bring Your Product to Life with Words

Grainline Studio Scout Tee 01
Grainline Studio Scout Tee Printed Pattern

Grainline Studio brought their Scout Tee to life on the front of the envelope of the printed pattern. The copy starts with a description of the design (cap sleeves, scoop neck) and fit (fitted at shoulders; relaxed below bust). The last line, though, really brings the garment to life: “Perfect on its own for spring and summer and a great layering piece under blazers and cardigans the rest of the year.”

Grainline Studio Scout Tee 02
A description of the garment and how/when to wear it brings it to life, making the purchasing decision easier to make.

With that copy, I could easily imagine how and when I’d wear the shirt. Because of that, I was compelled to purchase the pattern–and make the shirt. When your customers can read how your product fits into their lives, it is that much easier for them to make the decision to purchase. Take the time to bring your product to life with words. Especially if photography isn’t an option due to printing space, budget constraints, or any other restrictions.

Click on over here to see my completed Scout Tee.

*If you have the eye of a proofreader, you’ll notice the typo in “Its fitted at the shoulders…” Yup, mistakes happen.

T-Bud Co. Quilts Ohio: August Ohio Star

August’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

August’s Ohio Star quilt block represents my son, born this month three years ago.

To the discerning eye, these are UK colors—the blue and white of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. You’re right. My son was not born in Ohio.

Detail of Kentucky-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

At 32 weeks pregnant, my family and I headed to Lake Cumberland in Kentucky for an annual weekend trip. On Saturday night, I went into labor, but I didn’t really know I was in the early stages of labor. My doctor (in Ohio) told me to take it easy and get some sleep. That doesn’t help when you’re in labor. Sunday morning, instead of driving back to Ohio, my husband drove me to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital.

Delivering at 32 weeks isn’t great. It really isn’t great when you’re a 4-hour drive from home. But! We were in the best, worst-case scenario. The doctor and nurses were friendly, smart, and on the same page as us! My son came out breathing and eating on his own! There was no need to transfer him to a larger hospital with higher-level NICU over an hour away (but still in Kentucky)! We went home after about 12 days in the hospital! (That’s a long time, but a mere blip on the calendar compared to other preemies.)

Detail of Kentucky-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

I had to include my son in my Ohio Star quilt, because my kids and husband (remember January’s block?) are the main reasons I enjoy living in Ohio. My son wasn’t born here, but besides those 12 days in Kentucky, he’s lived here his whole life. His Kentucky origin will always be a twist in his story. He’ll say he grew up in Ohio, but has a Kentucky birth certificate. I can’t wait to hear this story in his own words and the perspective he puts on it.

This block was easy to make. I followed the traditional pattern in iconic Wildcats white and royal blue.

August’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

Welcome Blanket Quilt

Welcome Blanket Quilt

After seeing pictures of children sleeping under foil blankets at the border, I knew I had to participate in the Welcome Blanket project. This quilt, and others made by different crafters, will eventually be distributed to refugees and other immigrants through resettlement organizations after being displayed as part of MODA’s exhibit, “Making Change: The Art and Craft of Activism.”

I know it’s not going to the children sleeping under foil blankets, but the sentiment is the same. I started to quilt because I wanted to ensure that my family members always have quilts to sleep under. As the daughter of a quilter, I have slept under nothing but handmade quilts. I think I get better sleep, plus, knowing that someone loves you enough to put that much work into a quilt for you is one of the best feelings. Refugees and immigrants deserve to feel this, as do all human beings.

TLC Quilt Label

I labeled my quilt with “TLC” even though my middle name is “Budnik.” “Louise” is my given middle name, after my grandma who was a daughter of immigrants. I also like that “TLC” means “tender loving care.” Which, I think is the whole point of making someone a quilt.

Crisscross Tie

The design is my own, after miscalculating how much fabric I would need and making do with the fabric I had. I wanted to play with half square triangles, and after I had them made, I arranged them until I was happy with the layout. I tied the quilt with an “X” (crisscross) on the front and the knot on the back.

Knots on the back.

I hope that it adds a bit of warmth and happiness to someone’s American experience!

Welcome Blanket Quilt