Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fair-Fairness-Whine, Whine, Whine!

Image may contain: text

Modern conversations and attitudes seem to have regressed a bit. Lets say (IMO) that no one over the age of 9 should being using the word fair to imply lack of equity. The synonyms of just, equitable, honest, upright, honorable, trustworthy might be better suited for adult conversations.

As soon as I hear "It is not fair..." coming from the mouth of an adult my skin crawls! 

I belong to a group that sew garments. We are all ages. We are all different levels of experience. However, in this polarizing culture I am hearing that word more often. A recent conversation was dedicated to the beautiful dress made by a lovely member in a style very typical of the 1950's but fabricated with modern fabric and design lines. A Dior New Style dress. It was fitted so well. Most of us stated that we wish certain elements of ladies clothing would return to modern style. Some modesty, something other than Yoga pants, tank tops with bra straps hanging out and way too much skin and curve exposed. One member stated categorically that we were not being....fair in our opinions. What? She felt that by praising the work that was done and shared was a negative statement about her and her generation. She said real Ladies were not judgemental and critical.  We were accused of slagging her style. Well tootsie, we were not even discussing you. We were discussing the lady and her beautiful dress. (I had to look up slagging in the Urban dictionary:  A term used to explain when someone is talking behind someone's/your back.)
Excusez-moi? I's just not FAIR! I agree with you. 
Disclaimer: it is rare for me to go to exasperation on this blog 
but this was all a bit too much. I'm supposed to be on a break. 💨 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Tick-Tock, Humor and Hiatus

Where Lola and I start our daily Constitutional.
Leaves are coming down in Sewtopia. Lots of Cubanelle peppers to be picked and pickled. The last of the herbs, sage, parsley, chives, need to be picked and dried. New outdoor carpet needs to be fitted and laid to the back porch. I had to toss the one that was there, only for two seasons, because we had so much rain and dampness this year I was dealing with a creeping mildew. No way, gone. A few other seasonal projects to deal with as well. That said, it is time for my Fall Hiatus. There is just not enough time or energy to do it all anymore. Lola and I will be off line for a week or so. In the mean time, a few little giggles!
They should have named me Curly Joe!

Image may contain: text

No automatic alt text available.
seen on Facebook!
  •   We live in an area that is dangerous with ticks. Deer ticks specifically. I have lots of deer here. Guess what, getting dressed yesterday for Church I found one, just beginning his journey into my skin and quickly pulled him out! I didn't even feel it there. If it had been on another part of my body I likely would have missed it. This one landed on my chest, right girl actually.  It left a tiny prick where it was burrowing and it is slightly red. Not big red, no bulls eye. I am keeping an eye though. Always something, you know, always something💥

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

F.Y.I. on a Fall That Feels Like Summer Tuesday

Hello Fall. 80+ degrees today, 50's by Wednesday, welcome to Pennsylvania!
Do you remember these blocks? They are the ones I named the charm jumble. Left over charm squares from a couple fabric collections, made into half square triangles. I made them into a runner of sorts but also tested it on the back of a leather chair. Who knows, not sure where it will end up.

I simply used the wobble stitch on my Destiny to quilt the layers and used a left over 1 1/2 inch strip of black fabric for the binding.


No automatic alt text available.
In a recent discussion with a group of quilters we were having fun trying to remember all these well used acronyms. A newly formed group of quilters, they are filled with enthusiasm and projects in their future. Representing all age groups, they are all levels of skill and talent and want to advance the art via their combined efforts.    
Another part of the conversation leaned to "orphan" blocks or test blocks. When I am dealing with a pattern that has a lot of pieces I always make a test block. I have a few sitting around in storage bins and now and then I get the urge to do something with them. I think I have showed this one before but the story is the same. Quite frankly, didn't like the fabric (it was all cut to finish the entire quilt) not sure why, just don't. Separately, many of them aren't so bad but cut up in all these little pieces No. It is also designed by someone who is well respected in the industry, just not my style. Good enough to sit outside on a rocking chair.
Odd piece of fabric for the back, simple zipper.
  • It sure gets dark early.
  • I really don't care for that. 
  • I just finished a second book by Kristen Hannah, The Nightingale. It was amazing. Large and amazing.
  • The deprivations of war, I hope we never know again. Ever.
  • Things are changing, Summer will soon give way to Fall. Leaves are turning, turn over a new leaf, inhale the scent of of the season.
Fungus among us!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Events, Retreats, Seminars

 I am retired now. A time where one transitions from their professional life to a new, evolving and exciting time. Despite the creaking of bones and the gravitational pull on body structure, we soldier on, finding ways to best spend our time. I have been sewing since age 9, I started on my Grandmother's Treadle machine. I had one thread color, red, and a white sheet off my Mother's laundry line. The rest is history as they say. 

My Dear Sister has the treadle machine, I have moved through many machines over the years. The current one is beyond my imagination at times. Therefore, continuous training is required.  

I enjoy an occasional event or retreat focused and themed for sewing, embroidery and/or quilting. It has sure been a busy week. Inspiration, camaraderie, meeting up with friends, old and new in a supportive atmosphere is a wonderful way to learn more about our craft. No one attempting to shove their political agenda at you, no interruptions by telephone advertisers, and no pushy sales.
Learning the correct stabilizer for your project is important for a quality stitch out. I mostly get mine at the dealer's shop because it is just right for my machine. In addition, the printed label provides the information you need to choose the correct product. 
For example, this design was quilted on a light-weight interfacing because it had quilt batting a heavy stabilizer was not required. These blocks were samples made using a Jelly Roll. I think there are 6 or 7 of them. I will assemble them one of these days. They were bumped in the queue getting ready for Christmas. The design is "Feathers" from Anita Gooddesigns. The designs are on a CD, transferred to a USB, inserted in machine, sized for the hoop and stitched out with the push of a button. As a quilter this works well on small projects for a precise design and spacing. My free hand feathers are not so good!
In addition to machine embroidery we had a little session on cutting. Nicci mentioned that she really was not a quilter although she belongs to a guild and helps her friend occasionally. She discovered that it is not her quilting or stitching that causes her grief but her cutting! Bingo! My issue exactly. I purchased my Accuquilt cutter several years ago and find that using a sharp die to cut blocks, strips and applique have changed the quality of my work. Cutting was the issue. Some poo-poo the process thinking it wastes fabric. If you do not position your fabric properly that can occur but even the small pieces can be cut and re-cut many times. This system, the Accuquilt, is my preferred. 

Attending with a best friend makes it even more exciting. 40 machines buzzing along, a room well appointed with absolutely everything you need to be successful in your project, and smiles all around. It was good, it was really good.

The key to having a well produced event involves several components. Number one, the venue and the sponsor. Ours was held at a local racetrack/casino with several hotels nearby, off an interstate or two, great parking, great security. Our sponsor was a local Baby Lock dealer who goes above and beyond to be sure that everything we need is available and the staff and helpers at the event are knowledgeable and available.

The presenter was Nicci Brazzell, a nationally recognized expert in machine embroidery. Well organized material interjected with funny stories and great humor gave us all the opportunity to learn the fine points of more complicated processes needed to use our machines. 

While there were all levels of expertise among the attendees, Nicci made sure that each person was in step with the other and the sponsor's helpers constantly roamed the venue to assist and support. No one left behind as can often happen at events like this. Probably one of the best I have ever attended. 

I'm tired, really tired, I have to check my pulse now and then to make sure the old ticker is still keeping up!💖
  • Food was very good! 
  • No hard sell of machines or merchandise.
  • Length of day was 6 hours of  intense sewing, lunch and a break. Just right. 
  • Merchandise in the "store" was geared to the work we were doing. Priced very well at 30% off.
  • Much of what we worked on was geared to machine embroidered applique and in the hoop projects. 
  • There were several members of Nicci's Destiny Diva On-line Classes attending. We were all very busy. Met at the end for a group photo. Nice to see the locals of the same mind!
  • Many samples to view and examine.  
  • At all stages of life a challenge is important to keep the old brain cells in shape. 
 Image may contain: Nicci Brazzell, smiling, standing and indoor
   Meet Nicci Brazzell. Our theme was camping. The event sponsor provided these wraps, embroidered with our initials, to cuddle up in. Many of us sort of moan and groan about being cold. That is how you can tell the pre and post menopausal attendees!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

It's The Little Things

No automatic alt text available.
Shared on Facebook "A Taste of Country Group"  by Deb
Good Morning Sewtopians. I just came in from our morning constitutional and The Wonder Dog might actually take a nap. So a quick scan of social media revealed this cute little idea. Now, I know I have one or two of these graters somewhere, probably in the fruit cellar that doubles as a repository for extra kitchen stuff. I will be scanning there soon.

These are fake by the way. Or faux as some would say. I tried leaving a pretty little bowl of apples on the table for Mr. (I cannot eat raw apples, I know, it's a burden) then every little fruit flea in the township showed up to entertain me.  
She now weighs 35 pounds, no longer fits in a medium crate and while she looks very innocent in this photo, little Miss Curly Doodle is a spitfire!
  • After watching just a wee bit of news programming I think I might be the only person who has not written a book. 
  • The blogs that feature sewing clothing are in full swing right now. Beautiful colors, fabrics that are full of texture, inspiration galore, if you are drawn to that.
  • Kale, I just cannot eat anymore. 
  • I am on my way to the Ladies of the Cloth Gathering now. Looking for inspiration. It has been a long week without any quilt related activity. Well I did try to put binding on a little table runner but that fabric binding, flopping in the breeze, was just too much for Lola. Yes, dogs can eat binding....just so you know!
  •  I suppose you are tired of the Lola stories and photo's....sorry. She takes up 90% of my waking hours, hard to ignore that!👀

Sunday, September 30, 2018

A Little Break......

"A little change is as good as a rest!" river walk trail along Clarion River in Cook Forest area.

Fall is starting to enter the landscape here. A few leaves down, many more just turning to oranges and reds, the air is brisk, cold. 

And yes, she smiles!
 Miss Lola the Wonderdog is in the motor home and ready to go. It was quite the adventure. 4 month old puppies are full of wonder and devilment. Lola is NO exception. 

 I took a crochet project and a pincushion to finish and didn't touch either one. Between raindrops I played with her majesty, took pictures and hunted, didn't pick, mushrooms. The forest is absolutely littered with fungus at this time of year. 

We are home again, back to our routines, The season will move along quickly, of course, with Thanksgiving and Christmas hot on our heels. I have some new ideas this year for gifts. Hope to share them soon.
  • This is a busy week, I have a Nicci Brazzell event coming up. A Diva for the machine embroiderer, she is coming to Pittsburgh and will provide us a two day immersive class. My dear friend and I are attending as a team. They call us the Cheryll's!
  • I need to finish up the garden produce, clear out the beds, put away the Summer "stuff."
  • While I rarely, if ever, offer endorsements here I must speak highly of the camp ground we frequent in the Clarion, Pa. area. The name is Kalyumet. It is one of the nicest, cleanest and friendliest places we have ever visited. During the warm months a resort atmosphere prevails and many families enjoy all they have to offer. In cooler weather, regular activities are planned and the surrounding area is populated with multiple opportunities to hike, bike and enjoy river sports as well as attend Fall and Harvest festivals.