I missed a week here- we have been terribly busy cleaning and painting our house. It is part of our two year graduation plan. We have had a graduation every two years for the past 4 years and the next one is in two years. My son, Eliott, will be graduating next Sunday from the University. I am so happy and proud of his achievement! It is a great year to be a mother.

I have packed up my sewing room to create an illusion that I normally have a semi-organized house when people come over next week. I have taken all the unsightly parts down in the basement and left all the beautiful parts. I decided to reevaluate the space after the party and possibly reorganize it.

Meanwhile I have been focusing on this project:


Yes, a very long row of buttons.

Published in: on May 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

two new garments finished

I finished this skirt a while ago. I do like it, but if I make another garment with this surface treatment, I will make sure the stripes go completely from top to bottom without a break. The over dying was successful in toning down the very bright colors without losing the striking back ground.


This second piece is a bolero, I haven’t really documented it before. The sleeves are pieced with dramatic iconic symbols. The top and the bolero are from Alabama Stitch books, and they really do work well together and become very flattering. I have a hard time integrating them into the rest of my wardrobe.


I have a dress under construction that will be coming up soon.

There are several things I love about these patterns.  One, they fit beautifully.  Second, they work well with recycled fabrics.  Third, they are soft and very comfortable to wear.  Fourth, when working on them, I really am in the process.  I am hand sewing all these garments.  It still takes a surprisingly short time to complete them.  These two above took longer because of the piecing, but the dress is coming together quite quickly.

Published in: on April 26, 2015 at 1:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Holy Holey

I have started to follow Sew Slowly.  She just posted about some holes she is putting in her top.  This is very intriguing to me.  I love the way that quilts wear, so I love the idea of holes in a quilt top.  She has pretty clear photos of what she is doing.  She is hand working her quilt.  I decided to use her technique but by machine.



Here is a nice four patch that did not line up the way I would like. I prepared a square quite a bit larger than my intended hole with my stitch line already marked.


Then, I stitched around the circle and cut out the center. I then heavily clipped the seam allowance.


Then turn to the back.


Here is the finished front:


Now to decide what should go in the hole.

Published in: on April 5, 2015 at 12:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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skirt nearly complete


I almost have finished a skirt. This project has come in under the radar. It is one of my after dinner trying to diet not eat projects. Back in September, I made a bolero jacket with striped pieced sleeves.

That was pattern is from Alabama Chanin, and it was Natalie Chanin’s influence that gave me the idea to work the sleeves with the pieced stripes. When Steve saw it, he suggested I make a skirt with this striped technique, making the stripes vertical. A long time ago I saw one of the designers on Project Runway do a technique where they had taken strips of silk chiffon and sewed them down, leaving the edges free, then sewed across the strips at right angles one way then the other to create a wavy sort of pattern. I used this technique on the skirt instead of the pieced stripes that I used on the bolero.

This is the same pattern as this plaid skirt I made several years ago, New Look 0119. I traced the pattern and made it without pleats because I was afraid of bulk. I thought I may have to put a zipper in because the horizontal lines might make the skirt not stretchy enough to get into without breaking the sewing. However, it did have enough ease since I left the pleats out. I added a green binding and inserted 3/8 inch elastic. It is very comfortable. All and all, I am happy about the structure of this skirt. I don’t know if I would do this surface treatment again because it took a long time- I have been working on this garment since September.

When I finished the entire skirt and tried it on, Steve felt there was too much contrast between the lighter colored strips and the darker ones. I wish I would have only used three colors, the dark green, mid tone and the gray-green turquoise. I considered removing the light ones and the red/brown ones but the seam ripping was just too much with both the vertical and horizontal seams. Instead I decided to over dye the whole garment. It is in the dye bath right now. I chose a color about the same color as the background fabric. I will let you know next week whether it is successful.

blue quilt

I am starting another new quilt- this one blue. I already have quite a bit cut. I am using my new 10.5 ruler as the guide. The finished blocks will all be this size. I cut squares that will add up to a finished size of 10.5. I am excited to see how this one comes together.


Published in: on March 22, 2015 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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shoebox full of possibility


Here is my newest quilt – a shoebox full of various sized red and pink squares. 

It leans a little too much toward primary red. I intend to put green frames around the blocks, but not Christmas, so I need to add some more pink. I have an idea of wonky pieced squares floating in green with a wonky bright pink square and then green again.

In any case, more to come…

Hawaiian quilt update

Daylight savings and a beautiful spring day really took me off guard so I am posting late today. Between the cold weather and taking over the living room to sew (thank you, patient husband), I have been making a lot of progress. There are two projects that are too new to show and then this one, that is half done, the other half that is left a frame and quilting.


Published in: on March 8, 2015 at 5:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Angel quilt finished

Yes- finished. DSC05144

Published in: on March 1, 2015 at 10:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Angel quilt back

I have made considerable progress on the angel quilt. I have even decided on the name: Angels 3: Celestial Spirits. I finished the back. Here is a picture before I added the backing:


It is fun to see this quilting, never to see the light of day again. Here is the finished back:


I am adding prairie points which will look like rays.

I am excited because I am on track to finish by March 1!

Published in: on February 22, 2015 at 2:41 pm  Comments (2)  
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Update: Hawaiian quilt and February UFO

I have made great progress on my UFO:


I have solved the problem of the disk. I integrated it by adding a thin strip of fabric around it. Now it is partially surrounded, and even more dimensional. I trimmed the edges and I will add some fabric to make the quilt into a rectangle.

I did some stitching on the cardboard sections. There is definitely more to be done there. I also need to go out into the cold freezer that is my sewing room and root around for a specific fabric that has a feather motif for the wings. They are just too flat. Still, good progress.

On another front, I have added the first run of the green to the Hawaiian quilt. The muted green is perfect. It will really create dimension and reminds me of the ocean or water.


Published in: on February 15, 2015 at 1:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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