Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"To Sew Successfully"

"When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible.  Go through a beauty ritual of orderliness.  Have on a clean dress.  Be sure your hands are clean, fingernails are smooth--a nail file and pumice will help.  Always avoid hangnails.  Keep a little bag of French chalk near your sewing machine where you can pick it up and dust your fingers at intervals.  This not only absorbs the moisture on our fingers, but helps to keep your work clean.  Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on with care.  Looking attractive is a very important part of sewing, because if you are making something for yourself, you will try it on at intervals in front of your mirror, and you can hope for better results when you look your best.

Again, sewing must be approached with the idea that you are going to enjoy it, and if you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing as you should.  Therefore, "spruce up" at the beginning so that you are free to enjoy every part of any sewing you do."

Singer Sewing Book, by Mary Brooks Picken, copyright 1949

So ladies.....are we ready to sew today???  ;-)

Monday, August 13, 2012


Nothing overly exciting to say really.  After four trips to the car hospital it is nice to be able say Red is back on the road.   We had all the brakes done and the rear wheels kept locking up.  A rather unpleasant sensation.  First one side, then the other.  I'm not sure they ever really figured out what exactly was going wrong but they kept re-replacing parts and working on it until they and we were satisfied.  We drove it all weekend with our fingers crossed, but Red appears to be fully cured.

The weather has been rainy off and on.  Not sure if everyone enjoys it, but I do.

And also clear and sunny.  The days are a tiny bit cooler this week.  Too hot for me still, but August is marching on and I'm looking forward to autumn.  :-)

The backyard is still a wasteland but the crabgrass and weeds seem to love it.

One day last week while I was on Pooper Scooper patrol I was amazed to find five tomato plants growing all in a nice row in a patch of crabgrass.  I have no idea where they came from.  Birds I suppose, though I'm not sure how they managed to come up in such a nice straight evenly spaced row!  So we bought some tomato cages and The Tramp built a simple frame to go around them.

Add some soil, mulch and fertilizer, and hope for the best.  There are already tomatoes forming.  Who knows what kind!  I guess they are Wait and See tomatoes.  :-)

My nod to backyard gardening this summer has been pots on the deck.  Nice and colorful though they are starting to get leggy and weird, and the less hardy have given up the ghost.  Another sign of summer being Long Enough Already.

In the nice cool sewing room I've been working on this and that.  I have this t-shirt quilt to finish tomorrow.

Bonnie Hunter recently shared the idea of using Scotch Reusable Strips as a seam guide.  I found Scotch Restickable Strips at Staples, which I'm assuming are basically the same thing.  I've used one layer and topped it with part of a plastic card as Bonnie suggests here.

I measured my 1/4" and stuck it down.  It's easily removable and you can wash the strip when it looses it's stickiness (like those washable lint rollers) and it's a good as new.

It works great!  I could also stack them double high but as I mostly use my walking foot for the t-shirt quilts I need to keep it low as to not interfere with the foot.  The Bernina is in the shop and I look forward to trying this method when it comes home......and the old Singers too.  :-)

There was some puppy love this evening.  :-)  Ngaire doesn't usually lay still for this but tonight seemed relaxed and happy to be cuddled.

The camera is out and Ivy's giving her, "me too?" look.  And check it out!  Freshly brushed dog and freshly vacuumed carpet.  Too bad I'll have to do it all over again tomorrow.  It's just like dishes and laundry.  Hmmmmm.  Good thing I like you Ivy.  ;-)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday morning

I am seriously unmotivated this AM.  The Tramp is "at work" this morning, sitting at his computer across the room monitoring something or other.  The weather is dull, the house is very quiet, and all around me are bodies in repose.   All I can hear is the clock ticking and the rattle of our keyboards.

Well....he's not totally relaxed.  But Charlie is at least quiet at the moment.  :-)  In fact he is giving himself a good preening, and since he is molting that means white fluff and colorful feathers on the floor.  Wonderful.

Heh.   I really shouldn't show you this.  Ngaire over to my left, laying in a soft cloud of dog toys, sewing scraps and dog hair....mostly hers.  Sigh.  Yesterday I finished prepping 90 t-shirts (two 20 shirt quilts and 50 for a two-sided quilt).  What a mess!

There are little black fluffy tufts of hair from Ivy all over the house.

Oops.  The flash got Maisy's attention.

Oh.  Darn.  There's that pesky vacuum cleaner.   I suppose I better break the silence and use it.  *grumble, grumble*

But not until I've finished my tea!   :-)

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I think we can all agree that Red is fabulous.  

Then why is it on the back of a tow truck???  

So now you know how my day went.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012


It's all about red these days..  On the toes.....

and in the driveway!  First the red Saturn came home with us.

Then the red Ford.  :-)  We are both very pleased with our "new" cars.  Now we just have to find buyers for the other two in the driveway.  Anybody???

Inside the house it's been all about dog hair lately.  The Tramp gave all the dogs a shower on the weekend.  What a black hairy mess the bathroom was!  With various brushes and combs I've managed to get a full bin of hair off of Ngaire and Ivy in the last week.  This is of course, in addition to what the vacuum cleaners pick up.  It's truly amazing.   It's just like kids really.  No matter how much you love them, there are times you aren't especially in like with them.  But this too shall pass......

In between cars and dog hair (and the endless vacuuming) I've been trying to concentrate on sewing.  Four blocks are finished for the Temecula Summer Star Sew Along.  Block five is waiting for me to finish it before six comes out on Friday.

I put this custom quilt top together for Patchwork Memories.  Julianne's embroidery machine spent days on all those blocks.  In contrast, the pinwheels went together quickly.

This is the 20 block quilt with 39 t-shirts in it.  I think it came out very well.

And this is two custom wall hangings.  It was a bit tricky working with a some heavy sweaters and fleece jackets but they came out all right in the end and I hope the client will enjoy them.

We haven't been hearing much from the ESD in New Zealand, I think she's running on very little sleep these days.  I love this photo of Grand #3 and Magenta.  I wonder what he's thinking?  :-)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Blogger has a problem.  81 spam comments this morning and more coming!  Yikes!