new projects

Several projects that I have been slowly working on.  This first one is near my heart.  It is corduroy and so far just two fabrics, one my husband’s old shirt and one my sister gave me.


It is a wonky log cabin.  It is so much more successful than this block that I was also playing with:


Several errors here. Since is it was play I probably won’t redo it.  I was frustrated with it because it caused a lot thinking to put it together.  Someone with more patience than me would need to put a whole quilt of this pattern together. I get so much more enjoyment out of the wonky blocks instead of trying to force the pattern.

The last one is a bag I am making.  I just have a vague idea of how this will go together but I love the trajectory:




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.


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.


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.

Ocean blue

Lazy, lazy weekend. I took an extra day which gave me energy to do a little dyeing. I am making a wilderness landscape and I wanted fish in the little pond. But the fish fabric I bought had a white background. I decided to dye it blue.

I used a Dylon dye in Ocean Blue.  I will tell you when I mixed I freaked a little because the dye bath looked purple!  But I already had it mixed, so I soldiered ahead. I was happy in the end with the results.

You can tell from the mottled end result that I did not mix the fabric as it was in the bath at all.  I also added some miscellaneous fabric that I had lying around also:


And this embroidered fabric:


I have no idea how I will use it but it really came out beautifully.

I know I running late today, but I have the Walking Dead Season 3 out from the library.  I must retire now to the zombie apocalypse.

ufo on track

So, I have five more parts and this is done.  Right now I am out of thread, but I plan to go to Joanne’s tonight to remedy that.  Then I have two more squares left with the red edge, then three more seams and then three more finishing sections and I am done!  Yay!

August ufo part 2

Yes, I did, not one but two ufos in August. And I completed them both!  This rug I am really excited about because it came out so thick and wonderful.  The denim strips are very tightly packed and it makes an excellent bath mat.  I wish I had thought a little more about color when laying out my strips, but over all I am very happy with it.

clean studio

We’re having a few friends over and so I cleaned my studio.  unfortunately, my studio is not an out-of-the-way space that I can just close the door to in the summer, in order to get to the back yard from the house you have to get through it.  Since I never do anything in an efficient order, first I refolded all of my large fabrics, and folded the small ones into 4 inch squares.

Then, I covered my pop bottle scrap wall with this pretty scarf.  It will be nice to work in a clean sharp organized studio next week.

this is why my sisters are awesome

Yes, I was totally surprised when my sisters gave me these boots Memorial weekend.  I have wanted a pair of these awesome rubber boots for several years.  And look at these: brown with a pattern of wild pink and purple horses running on them.

Theme song break:

Yes, that is my boots’ theme song! They are so great, I wore them the whole weekend when I was camping. My feet were wonderfully dry and warm. Thanks again!

how our garden grows

We are all gardening this year, except maybe Paul.  This is Eliott’s plot above and there are two tiny pumpkin seedlings already coming through.

This is Steve’s garden.  I laid down the messy rhubarb leaves, but  you can see Steve’s hand with the neatness.

Because I was a little burned out from last year, I didn’t get my garden plot ready until last weekend.  So, I planted some carrots in a pot about a month ago, and now the tops are about 3-4 inches.

Here is my raspberries.  It is going to be a super bountiful year for the raspberries.  I cut them way back a year and half ago, and then again last spring.  This year I have done nothing and they have come back with a vengeance.

Finally, this is my real surprise.  A bud on my peony!  I moved this struggling plant from the back yard to the front.  It really looked sad last year, but this year it has a blossom!

That is a quick tour of my garden.  I will try to get some pictures again in the summer.


So remember when I was sick and went to the fabric store with my husband? We bought these birdhouses that day.  They were one dollar each.  As a family project, we painted them.  It was a great project, although we only had 75 per cent participation.  (Sorry about the photo, my camera is out of batteries and I had to use Paul’s ipod to shoot today.)

mushroom bonus

Remember last year when my mom gave me the mushroom log? Well, after it was spent I threw it out into the garden because the instructions said it was really good compost.  However, being a somewhat lazy gardener, I didn’t really break it up or anything.  Imagine my surprise when we came up to the house Friday and saw these beautiful huge oysters!  I took a picture in situ so you could see how they blended in.

Here is a close up. What a great dinner they made!

Then, finally a little spring preview.  Yes, here in Minnesota it is spring!  I know I should be more upset about the global warming thing, but when you have weather like this in Minnesota in March it is impossible to worry!

Happy Spring!