Month: September 2016

SAL Update September 25

Progress…I managed a little…but I neglected to snap a photo, so you will need to use your imagination! IF you imagine, you will see another little square with a flower on the right side. There is also a little motif before the title of the little poem. It isn’t finished, just started. 

Here’s my last picture, along with a photo of the finished piece to compare it to. I will be changing the poem, and I have charted that, just haven’t reached it yet. It won’t say mother…

Here are the other sites you will want to take a peek at, especially since they have made REAL progress!

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Wendy, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Susan


A Growing Sweater and Lemon Tree!

It was awhile ago that I posted about my itch to knit. Since then, I’ve been adding a few rows here and there, working on the body of a Norwegian sweater pattern I have. Nothing spectacular happening, but I have made steady progress and am soon going to be starting border number 2. It’s about 6 cm away now, so, I’m starting to get a little antsy!

Amazingly, the lemon trees are still thriving, even the third one has added some leaves!  So, both my unplanned projects are gaining a little every day.😃

A Quilting We Will Go…

Even though I have been posting about garment sewing the past few weeks, that wedding quilt has not just sat idle. While I hadn’t begun the quilting until this week, I have spent time considering how I will tackle the machine quilting. With my travel schedule finally on hold, I was able to take on the task of sandwiching the quilt and getting it started.

My plan for the center is scroll work, with some scallops in the diamond border and stippling in the appliqué section, unless I try out the echo quilting with pebbles I just found.:)

img_0699 I love the swirl going around the border in this example, as well as the treatment of the squares and triangles. I think that will go nicely of this quilt AND I think I can execute the design.

But for now, we are at the “gut it out and do the center” stage. It is actually going quite well, and me new system seems to be working pretty well. I have much less shoulder tension than when I do a quilt on the dining room table, and DH is looking at my set up with an eye for engineering something better. Always a good sign!

I have finally resigned myself to the fact that you cannot execute free motion quilting without a lot of practice, and each quilt is truly a practice piece. Perfection is not even on the horizon, but a new pattern is a step in the right direction. Once I finish the center, I doubt that most people will view my quilting with an eye for picking out those spots wher I broke the “rules,” accidentally crossing over a scallop or two. They will se the love and work that went into the making, and the overall effect.

So, I journey on. My biggest accomplishment at the moment is that I nailed the sandwiching this time, using masking tape to keep things taut, and I am having no issues with tucks or puckering. Hurrah!!!! I estimate I have quilted 2/3 of the main body, and will get at least halt of the remaining area done tonight. I would so love to have this off the machine so I can stitch the binding next week while on my last overnight work trip until January. Hurrah for that as well!



Not really, this pirate coat is actually a pretty nice diversion! It has been traveling with me the past couple of weeks, first just the pattern, then the material. I’m sure the maids at my last hotel think I am a crazy lady!

This project is for a friend, and since it is a costume, we aren’t getting too excited about perfect thread matches, and some of those niceties, but I still plan to present her with a well sewn and finished costume piece.
I am not interested in doing any hand sewing if I can get out of it, though I had resigned myself to basting the braid on by hand…boy there is a lot of braid, and it looked very uncooperative. I found just the thing to tame it in my goodies box. Anyone remember stitch witchery?

 It is supposed to make hems a snap; but I found it made a stiff, ugly hem that didn’t meet my specs.  I have found the perfect use for this roll….it is exactly what I needed for basting the braid in place! One nice press with the iron, and I can zig zag the stuff in place with nary a pin.😀

After a short evening in my sewing room, I had progressed to a hanger, and the scariest seams on the pattern envelope are finished and looking pretty nice, in my humble opinion! The bodice has an inset princess seam with the pocket flap attached via the bottom seam–unusual.

The coat will have three(!) godets, and the sleeves look really strange, but it looks pretty amazing on the pattern, so we’ll wait and see.

Another short evening in the sewing room, (I am so looking forward to having a real weekend again someday 😳) and frankly, I am amazed at the progress! 

The side seams are finished, along with the godets, and the facings are in as well.  Those funky sleeves are sewn together, and I have both cuffs together (8 pieces for two cuffs–seriously?) The next big job will be attaching the braid on the cuffs and down the front. There are 18 pieces in all, but using the stitch witchery makes it a snap. I’ll do them all at once so I only have to change thread one time.

Here are those bizarre looking sleeves; they are really odd! They look very strange sewn together, like a curvy barrel.

My friend bought some 100% teal cotton for interfacing, but I thought we needed a little more umph, so I pieced together some left over fusible for all but the front facing which I cut out of some sew-in Pellon I had on hand.  I would never do this  for something special, but I have used it to good effect on pjs in the past, so I felt comfortable using it here.

The sleeves look much better when complete, and the braid is really adding some pizzazz. I wasn’t completely sure about the choice of dull gold, but it looks great. 

I  am still amazed at how fast this is going together. I must have forgotten what it is like to sew something easy! I would never have guessed this would be a short weekend project. It looks much more intimidating on the pattern photo.

Now, minus another four buttons, this project is complete!

A Marfy Finish

What do you get when you take an Italian pattern, add some Pendleton wool, a little horsehair and some lambswool? Add some thread, do some cutting, do a lot of hand stitching, and after nearly eight months of work, a warm and cozy winter coat, with a little style thrown in!  Yes, it is finally finished!!
Well, maybe not quite…I think I’ll add one more snap on the inside so it hangs just a little better, and I may still rip out the hem and redo it for the fourth time when I have some more horsehair. It is a little stiff, especially on the corners.

It has been quite an adventure, this coat. I am really pleased with the cut and line of the coat, and I think the fit is really good. I know that I’m going to be wearing this for years, and I’m happy with the overall product. It will be a wonderful replacement for my 15 year old stadium coat!

Will I do another Marfy pattern? I don’t know. While I love the style features, I was not as fond of no seam allowances and the lack of instructions. I think that before I do another Marfy I will make sure that I have a reference available for any special features. That being said, I have learned so much on this project and sharpened some skills. I am excited about some projects coming up, and feel as though I have gained an extra measure of patience during the past few months. 

Old Man Winter, I’m ready whenever you are!

On to the MIWW Contest…..

State Fair Tour

We will start here in the brand new Norby Exhibit Hall which replaced our beloved but mold infested Clover Hall built shortly after World War 2. We found out three weeks ago that the exhibit area would be open, but had no time to do anything but hang backdrops and order tables.

The kids creativity has produced the festive air. It always amazes me that we can have every combination from really strange group crafts to amazing individual efforts. 

I am too allergic to spend much time in the barns, but I can tell you we have about 500 beef, 900 sheep, 400 pigs, 400 goats, and 150 dairy cows, all 4-H animals. There are nearly 5000 exhibits in Norby, and tomorrow there will be 200 participants cooking a portion of a meal and being judged on methods, nutrition and presentation during special foods and about 500 youth participating in judging contests. 

Saturday will be the Fashion Revue, which is always a highlight as well as the Performing Arts troupe, made up of about 60 teens, who performs throughout the weekend. My responsibilities lie in the Youth in Action area, which includes identification and decision making contests, and public presentations. It’s the culmination of the 4-H year, and this is the showcase event.

Here’s some photos of open class too.