Changes

Changes for sure. School starting tomorrow the big sophomore. When I say big, I mean it literally. Look at the size of the great shoes he picked for his new school shoes.

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I do remember in 1987 having very similar shoes. I think I got them at Kmart for 2.50. I won’t say how much these were but they weren’t 2.50. Teenagers are expensive. These were worth it by how much they make me smile.

So other big changes: the big boy is turning 21 tomorrow. I told my husband that we had been married a whole grown man time. Then I thought: my parents have been married a whole 45-year-old woman time.

He has begun packing:

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Quite a treasure trove. I will miss him, but his happiness is infectious, I am starting to get excited to help him move next week.

 

Published in: on August 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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bolero

I just got back from a long trip to my mom and dad’s.   I had a great time first at my parent’s house and then at a big family reunion.  We had a good time fishing and hanging out with my dad.  At the reunion, it was wonderful to see everyone and catch up.   We also had a rousing game of kick ball which has left me still walking a little funny.

 

It is a 10 hour drive each way so I made up 4 kits a la Alabama Stitch book to work on in the car. The first one was this little bolero which I made to match the little tank top I made a few weeks ago. It took me most of the trip but I am very pleased with it.

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Here is a close up of the beaded edge.

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I am very happy with it. I am excited to start on my other three kits. Now I can position one on the porch and another up in my bedroom while I am watching TV.

 

sewing story

Again, I am working on such slow path, I don’t have new work to show. Instead I will tell you this sewing related story.

I had found a great dresser at the church garage sale. I lined up a ride for the dresser because it was too large for my car. In the mean tine, I began to clean out a corner to put the dresser in. I had a old sewing table upstairs that I put my sewing machine in sometimes.

I started carrying it down the stairs and I remembered there was a young man downstairs who was very strong. I asked him to help me and he somewhat resentfully came to help me. He easily picked up the table and started carrying it down the stairs. He took about two steps and I saw a pin cushion fall out from the interior of the table on, of course, the next step. “Stop!” I yelled. This is when time went into slow motion as I watched my son’s foot come down on the pin cushion.

Do these things happen to any one else? I felt so bad. He was mad at me for two days. Luckily, when we actually went over the church to look at the dresser again and found out it was too large to go up the stairs, he didn’t realize that the two things were related.

Published in: on August 10, 2014 at 8:24 am  Comments (2)  
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new Alabama stitch project

I finished another Alabama Stitch Project top. This is the fitted top from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. This garment, as with all the other ones I have made, fits perfectly. I will say that if you have little belly like me, this garment does not hide the belly at all. I am doing some sit ups.

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I made this little decorative pattern down the front. I initially had red cross stitches down the front. Somehow they weren’t right so I ripped them out. I wanted two things, first to make it a little fancy, and also to add to the strength of the seam.  I added a running stitch in gray holding down the seam allowance on each side. I tried to make the stitches parallel to each other. Then I added a flat bead in the center and made an x, with each edge of the x touching one of the running stitch.  It is very pretty and still sturdy.

 

I am making a matching bolero and fingerless gloves which I will decorate with the same pattern.

 

Published in: on August 3, 2014 at 9:36 am  Comments (2)  
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Now back to our regularly scheduled program

Finally, I am getting back to quilting. For some time I have been considering my triangle template. Lately, I haven’t been very inspired. Last weekend I spent some time cleaning my sewing area. I was putting a big bin of small pieces of fabric away. I realized I had filled my blue bin. I decided then to start a blue quilt. Here is the result:

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I am not sure if I want to work with these in stars as pictures or in a random/landscape way.  In any case, it feels good to start a new project!

Published in: on July 27, 2014 at 8:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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bike trip

I have been very busy. Last weekend, we went camping in Wisconsin to bike the Sparta – Elroy trail. We had a great time. Paul rode 45 miles and I rode 26 miles, each a personal best. The tunnels were great. It was neat experience to go in them, a little eerie, and really unusual. So, life intervenes again. No new projects today.

Published in: on July 20, 2014 at 8:48 am  Comments (2)  
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Alabama Chanin bolero – pattern review

I am now working through a great book I bought called Alabama Studio Sewing and Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe. The pattern I tried was the bolero.

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I am very happy with this pattern.  If you remember the corset I made that matches this bolero, I used two men’s size t-shirts.  I had enough extra to make this matching bolero. I wasn’t sure how useful the bolero would be, but since we have had few chilly days, I have used it quite a bit, much the way I would use a scarf.

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There were a few things I struggled with. First, the sleeves have quite a bit of ease. Chanin recommends putting them together flat, I did it in the round. I will try it flat next time.

Also, the binding. She recommends sewing through all layers at once. I found this difficult and it made my stitches uneven. Instead I bound it much like I would bind a quilt. I sewed the binding to the wrong side, then brought it around the edge and sewed the right side. This gave me much better stitch quality on the outside and a firmer bind.

I would also suggest to think about the binding at the garment cutting stage so you have longer pieces.  I did quite a bit of piecing for the binding and it made it a little less nice.

Just like the corset, the fit is very flattering. It is especially nice with the matching corset. I had fun using the different colored fabrics for different parts to create a subtle color blocking. I definitely will make it again.

Published in: on July 15, 2014 at 7:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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multi plaid robe

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I have been working on a robe for a long time. I call it the multi-plaid robe because I used four different plaids. I love it- although everyone I showed laughed at it. It is super warm and comfortable. I used McCalls 6231. This is a super easy pattern. I am not happy with the fit.  The fit issues have to do with it being a men’s robe pattern, so next time I make one, I will get a new pattern. Still, I am happy to have a second robe so I don’t have to go without when I am washing my other one. I hope it make you smile today!

Published in: on July 6, 2014 at 8:08 am  Comments (2)  
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yarn bomb

I was invited to go to a yarn bombing. I wasn’t able to go, but went to look as soon as possible. Look at this fabulous yarn bomb:

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It is such a cheerful, happy piece with so much attention to detail. I love how dimensional it is. I love how many different yarns were used.

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This photo shows the beautiful sun.  I can’t believe what  a great job they did.  It was made from leftover donated yarn. If you live in Minneapolis, this is at my church, Holy Cross, on 1720 East Minnehaha Parkway.  The column that is decorated is on the east side by the basement.

Published in: on June 29, 2014 at 7:56 am  Comments (2)  
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Busy week

I am in the midst of a little bit of chaos. One of the good things is my mother-in-law is visiting. I am excited and happy she is here. However, any visitor requires me to maintain the façade that always have a clean house. Yes, there isn’t a layer of dust and ketchup on most of the horizontal surfaces of my house and hand and foot prints on most of the walls.

What is nice is the house cleans up pretty good. Steve even painted the walls of the front porch. He bought floor paint also, but time got away from him with all of the things going on. He plans on finishing the floor later this summer, as part of our four year plan to have the house really nice by graduation 2017.

We also noticed we were very low on chairs. So I went out with my usual dining room chair budget of five dollars each to get new chairs. I found these at a garage sale for twenty dollars for four. I am very happy with them, only one has a slight crack in the upholstery. I have had chairs like this before and I know they are super easy to recover so I may do that in the future. Steve wants to paint the carved insert red. I am not convinced because we have nothing else red in our house. However,  I agree with him that it would look super neat.

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We also found these chairs for seven dollars each:

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They look like they have been in our house forever. They are very comfortable and came with these matching pillows.

The other thing going on is the rain. We have had incredible amounts in Minneapolis- all of Minnesota really.  We are in the midst of what is already the 2nd wettest June on record, with a strong shot at the wettest. The parkway is very flooded and we even had a small amount of water in the basement.  I am including a link to some footage shot kitty-corner from my church.

http://www.kare11.com/story/news/local/2014/06/19/minnehaha-parkway-traffic-blocked-by-surging-creek/11031135/

The nice thing about much of Minneapolis is that we  have a history of a edge of public space around our streams and lakes.  For this reason, there is a buffer between the parkway and buildings.  So it hasn’t bad as it could be.

Published in: on June 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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