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WiP Wednesday

8 Mar

Yes, it’s Thursday, but I had to share what I did all day yesterday! I made Work in Progress Wednesday my bitch! I have been seriously slacking in the sewing department, my projects are all backing up. I broke my tailbone a few weeks ago, so sitting at a sewing machine has not been high on my priority list! I have another blog about swaps and blocks of the month to share, but all in due time!  As for Wednesday, I made blocks from FIVE different projects!

Image

Booyah!

The owl is from The Western Washington Shop Hop of 2010, The Churn Dash is a Farmer’s Wife block, The Hydrangea and Pink blocks are Buck a Blocks from some years back, and the Baskets are from the Better Homes and Gardens Quilt Shop Hop from last October! (more on those later!)

Also, I have yet to finish my February cross stitch, but I’m working on it!  See Selina’s progress Here!

Devil's Food...in progress

I’m doing my best to catch up! More soon, I promise!

Lizze

Berry Season!

8 Sep

There is nothing more heartwarming to me than picking berries with my children.  I don’t know if it’s because it reminds me of picking blackberries with my parents when I was a child, or if it is because berries only ripen when the long-absent Seattle sun makes its return.  All I know is, when I think of my idea of happiness, picking blueberries with my girls is at the top of my list.  It’s so great, even the dog joins in!

Anyway, a couple months ago our dear friend Kitty Pearl at Road Home Quilting had a poll to choose a favorite vintage apron. She posted a ‘Picker’s Apron’ and I fell in love.  I had never heard of or seen such an apron! It looked adorable, functional and easy to make!  The appeal was that it was an apron that had strings in it you could draw up to turn it into a basket.  I wouldn’t have to use my skirt anymore!

It turns out that was a favorite among many, and would be published in new book; How to Make Aprons. I was smitten and knew I needed the pattern ‘one day’.

How to Make Aprons

As luck would have it, @RoadHomeQuiltin (as followed on Twitter) was giving out a copy of this wonderful book and Selina was lucky enough to win it! She knew how badly I wanted to make the pickers apron and she lent me the book to make it!  I even had a lovely cherry fabric given to me by my Aunt Eileen to make it in.  After a couple calls to my mom for help reading a pattern, (clothing patterns aren’t my thing) I knocked out an adorable apron!

Picker's Apron

I used vintage buttons from my grandmother’s button box as the draw pulls, and vintage ric-rac Selina had as a cute accent! I was very pleased with the end result!

TaDa!

I was able to make this apron, start to finish, in just a couple hours.  We were out picking lots of blueberries in no time at all!

Fresh Blueberries!!

The girls enjoyed picking blueberries and putting them into the pouch of my new apron, but couldn’t wait until it was their turn to wear it too!

Picking Berries!

Each girl got a turn.

Sienna with blueberries

Capri with Apron

We had a very successful picking experience in the back yard with our new apron.  Not a single berry was spilled! In fact, we had enough for a delicious cobbler! The very rainy spring/summer made for excellent berries.

Berry Cobbler

The girls had so much fun with this apron that they went around looking for berries on the blackberry and raspberry bushes. The result was this delicious berry cobbler! In case I haven’t mentioned it, Fall is my favorite season and harvesting is the reward for the labor!

ProTip:  If you make your apron in white as I did, and you’re picking berries that stain, try using Zout to treat the stains before washing! Mine comes out as good as new!

Happy Harvest!

Lizze

I Got In Trouble

3 Aug

There is a dream sewing machine that every quilter has. It’s not the same machine for all of us. A sewing machine that would make quilting so much more enjoyable and take some of the extra work out of it it for us. For me, this dream machine is a Bernina 440QE. This machine, brand new, is right around four thousand dollars. Throw in the walking foot that I need for attaching binding and straight line quilting and that tacks on an extra hundred and fifty. So, this is a pricey machine and one that has always been out of my reach.

A year and a half ago I got the okay from my husband to buy a new sewing machine. I lusted after those Berninas… oh yes, I did. But I couldn’t afford one. I ended up taking home the next best thing. I was so happy to leave the store that day with my Viking Sapphire 875. She is a gorgeous machine and has so many really great features. This is Ingrid (she’s German so she had to have a German name, you know.). Her and I have had some great times together. But the Bernina was my first true love. I wasn’t looking to cheat on her. I really wasn’t. But you know how these things go.

I saw Bernie in a quilt shop. Sitting there all cute and batting her thread cutters at me. Flaunting her BSR all over the place. I commented to the shop owner how much I wanted to take Bernie home with me, but alas, I couldn’t afford her. Then the owner said the magic words “she’s on sale, you know.”

I left the shop, but her words kept echoing in my mind. Taunting me. I literally couldn’t sleep. I mentioned it to my husband (in a room far away from Ingrid so she wouldn’t hear of my treacherousness) and he said if I sold my beloved Ingrid, I could then have Bernie. I placed ads on Craigslist, facebook, harassed my friends on twitter, but to no avail. No one wanted my poor Ingrid.

I couldn’t get Bernie out of my mind. I wanted her. I had to have her. So I came up with an ingenious plan (or so I thought). I worked out a way to bring Bernie home before I had actually sold Ingrid. I guess you could say that they are now sister wives – for now. I can only handle one lady at a time here, two are just a bit much for me. Plus, my husband is overrun with estrogen in this house so something has got to give. Not to mention that he isn’t speaking to me until Ingrid has packed her bags and left town.

It’s time for Ingrid and I to break up. She has been wonderful and we’ve shared some good times, but we have to move on. We’ve made peace and said our goodbye’s and she is ready to be with someone else.

She has been serviced, oiled, all cleaned up and spiffy. She comes with lots of presser feet and can do so many amazing things. Also included is a genuine Husqvarna/Viking walking foot (cause, you know, a lady can never have too many designer shoes), and an 18″ x 24″ sew steady acrylic extension table. She can be yours for $2000 (or make me an offer I can’t refuse) – plus shipping if you don’t live in the Seattle area.

http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/us/17053_17194.htm <—– Click this link to download an extensive list of all of Ingrid’s many features and benefits.

She has been wonderful to me and has made some gorgeous quilts. I will  miss her greatly. Someone please give her a good home?

The Disappearance of the Domestic Product

25 Feb

It’s no secret that finding products made in America are harder and harder to find.  Here in Seattle, our “hometown” aerospace manufacturer, Boeing, was just awarded the Air Force Tanker contract!  They were in competition with EADS (Airbus), a European company.  It was a very close competition, but ultimately the American contractor won out, creating American jobs making airplanes for the American military.  It seems odd to me that we nearly lost an American military contract to a foreign company.

I’m not trying to be political here, but I have to wonder what has become of manufacturing in this country.  MADE IN AMERICA!  It used to be a source of pride and a badge of honor.  Is low cost and net profit the American way now?  I suppose that’s the nature of capitalism and I need to get with the program.  But what if I don’t want to?  What if I genuinely want to purchase goods made here, despite the “high cost”.  Fabric, for instance.

I fancy myself a fabric snob.  I love well manufactured cottons, and I am a big consumer of boutique fabrics.  I’m not sure why I was so surprised to find my favorite, high end lines of fabric were made over seas, but I was.  Maybe it’s because the cotton usually starts here and is shipped overseas, and that the offices of these companies are here in the states…Anyhow, it got me to thinking about where I might be able to find textiles manufactured, beginning to end, from the USA.  My quest has begun!

I know the clothing manufacturer American Apparel is made in America.  And by made, I mean they process their own cotton, weave it, dye it, design it, cut it and produce clothes from it all in downtown L.A. That being said, they don’t make quilting fabric.

Many of the fabrics offered at Connecting Threads (a company from Washington Sate!) are made from American cotton, woven and printed here…but is that it?  Are there not any other textile companies that offer domestic fabric?  The Warm Company (also from Washington!!) manufactures its batting here in America, and that’s pretty great!

I guess I didn’t think it would be so difficult to find American made quilting fabric, but I won’t give up the search!  In fact, maybe I won’t give up the demand, which is really what it’s all about.

Lizze

 

America the Beautiful

5 Jul

I’m writing this hoping that the day after the 4th of July finds everyone well. The 4th can be a crazy day (and night). We had a fantastic Independence Day. The kids and I went to a great BBQ that had ALL the works. I’m not kidding. The spread was amazing. I just started Atkins though, so I couldn’t eat most of what was served. It all looked really delicious. Getting old and fat sucks.

The fireworks we had would have put nearly any other show to shame. These people spend thousands of money on fireworks. It was insane. The kids loved it and you could hear cheering and clapping from literally blocks away.

I know I’m a day late, but Happy 234th Birthday to the United States of America! Land of the free, home of the brave! America, F*** Yeah!

Selina