Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pinwheel Progress

Here is the pinwheel quilt so far. I did most of this on Thursday. The plan is 5 blocks across, 7 blocks down, with a few pinwheels going into the borders. Blocks are 9" finished, and the border will be 6" finished.

I am not thrilled with this. I think the pinwheels get a little lost. Same problem as the Clifford quilt. I'll still finish this, but I need other ideas to use the koi print, because I bought 8 yards of it, and love it. Anyone? (NO paper piecing!)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Harvest Time

Our broccoli is ready for harvesting! Calvin has been begging to harvest it since the first buds showed up, and finally he got to cut some.

First we look at all the plants and pick the ripest one.

He used a knife to cut it out, and was very careful.

Isn't it just gorgeous? I thought I had a great picture of him eating it, but it turned out blurry. While eating, he said, "Broccoli isn't gross, this broccoli is GREAT!". :)

Calvin's watermelon plant is finally growing! The other plant isn't growing at all, but this one is, and I hope we get melons before it gets too cold.

Monday, July 24, 2006

State Fair Entries

Here are my two State Fair entries. I had planned four items, but with the heat and relatives visiting, I only got these two finished. I'll drop them off this afternoon.

First, my 1945 Nancy Erickson jacket! YES! Finished after languishing for eighteen months! This is going into the Tailored Jacket category. I lost another 10 pounds after fitting the muslins, and so I think it's a titch big. I used a size 8 in the shoulders, went out to a 10 in the hips, and did a small FBA. Over on Stitcher's Guild and on NMSL I asked opinions on how many buttons (3 vs. 4), and you can see I decided on 4 (consensus was about 50/50 on how many). I have just under a yard of this leftover, with a piece cut off one selvedge, so I hope to squeeze out a little skirt. I have some fantastic pink slingbacks to wear with it, and I think it'll look great with a skirt or jeans. I'll take more detail shots and write a review when I get it back.

I also finished Nappy Bag #4. This one is for me! I love the ginko leaves. This one is going into the Tote Bag category. I had also planned to enter my recent skirt along with a top in the Two Piece Sport Outfit category, but didn't even get the top started. My last entry was going to be a La Fred Europa blouse. It's been hanging in my closet for years, lacking only sleeve hems and buttons/buttonholes. I drag my feet on it because I've lost 20 pounds since I made it, so I won't even be able to wear the darn thing when I finish it.

Judging is tomorrow, and as of right now I don't plan to go, but I might change my mind. Otherwise, I won't find out how I've done until August 4th, when we go to the fair for the day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Carnivale of Couture: Technical Complexity

(click on any picture to enlarge)

Kathleen Fasanella, over at Fashion-Incubator is hosting the most recent Carnivale of Couture: Technical Complexity. I've had fun reading the entries, and got to thinking about my own sewing/patternmaking. This afternoon I remembered this pullover I made for my husband, in late 1994 or early 1995.

My husband designed the pullover, inspired by Dale of Norway, another company that I can't remember (Sondre?), along with Celtic influences. He drew it out, and I made a pattern, starting with a Vogue Sport jacket pattern and changing it. A lot.

I used UltraSuede for the welt pockets, and put zippers in them. The pocket is a kangaroo style, meaning if you put your hands in the pockets, they can touch each other. Everything was done by machine.

The clasps were purchased at a local knit shop, and I put welting in the seams. I mitered every corner, and broke a few needles, as it got pretty thick in places!

He used to wear it quite a bit, and I wish I would have used real suede instead of the UltraSuede. I think real suede would've held up better?

The back view. I put welting in the sleeve seams too. The jacket is made from a gray wool boucle, striped wool flannel, and is interlined with Thinsulate (I don't remember which weight). It's really hot.

I bagged the lining (Hang Loose), though I could not figure out how to stitch the little section across the bottom of the placket, so I did those few inches by hand.

He wore this on a ski trip to Colorado in 1995, and someone commented on it. Turns out he was some sort of ski celebrity, so David had him sign the lining. It's faded, but it did say "nice piece, Linda -- Scott Schimdt '95".

I've made quite a few complex things (wedding gowns, mostly, though there was that Taming of the Shrew costume), but this gave me more headaches, and I am proud of how it turned out. Do go over to Kathleen's site and read the other entries.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Blech. It's hot hot hot here. We discovered yesterday that our A/C isn't working. It rarely gets switched on, but it was about 100 yesterday, and so we switched it on. Nothing. Hopefully someone will be out today or tomorrow to check it out.

I'm supposed to be working on my State Fair entries, but honestly, the LAST thing I want to do is flick on the iron and sew! I just want to sleep and eat popsicles.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Here is the Swing Bag I made for my friend Beth. I bought the pink lining specifically with her in mind, probably about 3-4 years ago. I was stuck on what to do with it, though, and one day she saw the b/w dots lying in my sewing room (scraps leftover from this bag), and viola! I knew what to make! She loved the bag, btw. I really need to make one for myself, it's such a nice size.

Here is the pinwheel block for the next baby quilt. See my error? The entire complete pinwheel block needs to be 3" finished. I had figured on making the half square triangles 3" finished. OOPS! :) Now that I've corrected my error, I should be able to get this put together pretty quickly. I don't have anything specific in mind for the back yet.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Stitching along

I've been working on a new baby quilt. This one is a pinwheel quilt, and I completely screwed up the math for it! I'm actually pretty good at arithmetic, but I forgot to divide one number in half, and my pinwheels are 4 times as big as they are supposed to be! Thankfully, I had only cut up a few blocks for testing. I redid the math and made another sample, and it looks much nicer. Pictures later.

This morning I'll finish up the Amy Butler Swing Bag I started last night. It's for my friend Beth, for her birthday today. Then I need to focus on my state fair entries; they are due a week from Monday.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Nappy Bag #3

I finished this Nappy Bag yesterday. It is #3 in the stack of bags that I cut in January. It went together so fast because I had already basted the canvas underlining and had fused the pockets. All I had to do was SEW! This bag is for my friend Jessica. She and her husband Luther had a baby GIRL on Sunday. WHOO HOO! A GIRL!! We'll be going to visit them next week.

Of course, no Nappy Bag is complete for gift-giving until there are a few goodies inside. My mother and I put together a few things: a 1940's baby dress, a handmade bonnet (I don't know how old this is), some pretty lotions, and some baby toiletries. I also have a Weleda Baby Care kit to put in, along with a picture frame. If I find some pretty notecards by next week, I'll put some of those in too.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

More Garden Photos

Summer seems to beg for one's attention in so many areas all at once. I've been trying to spend a lot of time in the yard and garden. To see "before" and progress pictures of the landscaping, click here.

I took this picture just because they are pretty. :) This is just outside the kitchen window, opposite the iris.

My tomatoes and broccoli are very happy! I have three tomato plants this year: a cherry tomato, roma tomato, and regular one. I put a rain barrel nearby, so I've been mostly watering them with rain water. The watermelons (not pictured) are not so happy, and I'm not sure we'll get any fruit.

My latest big project has been the side of the garage. There were some daylilies (but not the pretty yellow ones like above, the plain orange ones) and some weeds here, and they were covering up the walkway (click here to see). I ripped everything out, and have slowly been putting in new plants. Right now there are a few varieties of iris, and other periennials that I can't remember the names of (pestimum is one, I think, and I'm sure I've spelled it wrong). I'd like to get some trellises and put clematis on the outsides of the windows, and a climbing rose or something else between the windows. Yesterday I laid the cocoa hull mulch.

I also laid some red cedar mulch in the back gardens. Then, when David got home, he showed me how to connect and use the pressure washer and I went to town! A woman and her pressure washer can be a dangerous thing! I cleaned off the back patio, cleaned the cement by the back door, then cleaned the grill. Then I cleaned off the picnic table -- it's white again, and looks almost new! I was looking at everything, thinking "hmm, I could wash that!". I almost wheeled the pressure washer around to the front and did the whole front too, but I restrained myself. That's for another day; I'm kinda stiff and sore.

Sewing project pictures tomorrow, I promise. I'm in the middle of an Amy Butler Nappy Bag, plus hope to get a baby sling made. I also have to get going on my State Fair sewing -- I decided to enter 4 items, all of which need to be finished (but are all started, phew!).

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Holiday Weekend

I had hoped to get a lot of stuff done this long holiday weekend, but we spent most of it with the icky sickies. Everyone is fine now, thankfully.

On Monday night we rode our bicycles downtown to watch the U.S. Bank Fireworks display. It was fantastic, and Connor loved seeing the "boom ay-yights!". We got up pretty close, and we could feel the explosions! Tuesday we went down to the beach across the street and watched the village fireworks display. This time we were farther away, so they weren't as loud, but still they were beautiful. This morning Connor asked to see more boom-lights. :)

I also got some yard work done. A friend was thinning out her garden, so I got some plants (none of which I can remember the names of!), and so I planted, watered, and cleaned off the back patio. Connor likes to help with the watering, as you can see. That's one of my rain barrels, and since I put them in, I haven't had to use the hose to water the garden, I've been able to use only rain water.

You can see I also gave Connor a haircut. No sewing happened, though I did get over to Hancocks for the 99 cent Simplicity pattern sale (I picked up 4076).

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Lemonade for Sale!

Lemonade for sale! Twenty-five cents! Snow cones for a limited time! Seventy-five cents!

The boys had their first 'offical' lemonade stand today. It's been hot and muggy all day, and around 2:00 Calvin asked if they could have a lemonade stand. Of course! I quickly made a double batch and put it in one of the coolers, and they quickly made some signs. Caleb also got out his snow cone maker and decided they would be a 'limited time only' type of thing. :) Get this -- they made over FIFTEEN dollars!!!

Our lemonade recipe:

1 c hot water
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c Santa Cruz Organic 100% Lemon Juice
4 c cold water

Mix hot water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice and cold water. Stir and enjoy!

This is really good with fresh squeezed lemon juice, but we fly through it like crazy, so it's a lot easier (and almost as good) to use the bottled juice. I went through an entire bottle today -- good thing I purchase it by the case!