"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

"It is love in old age, no longer blind, that is true love.  For love's highest intensity doesn't necessarily mean its highest quality.  Glamour and jealousy are gone; and the ardent caress, no longer needed, is valueless compared to the reassuring touch of a trembling hand.  Passersby commonly see little beauty in the embrace of young lovers on a park bench, but the understanding smile of an old wife to her husband is one of the loveliest things in the world."  - Booth Tarkington

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Two Finishes!

I have joined the line-up of people needing encouragment to finish their quilting projects at Joys Quilts (and as soon as I figure out how to do it, I'm going to add her button to my sidebar).  So I get to show off my two finishes for October (in a humble sort of way, of course).
This yo-yo vest has been in the works for close to two years now, I think.  I designed it by tracing a vest that Princess already had.  I'm tickled that it still fits her and that she likes it.  And I'm tickled to be finished!

Joy also encourages us to finish a quilt block, for instance from a block of the month.  This past January, I began giving block patterns to the ladies of our church in an effort, mostly, to help myself use up my scraps.  I also had four of my five daughters joining in, in more of an effort at using up more of our scraps.  We did pretty well for awhile, but when summer came, everything got set aside for being outside.  So, now it's time to get caught up and back on schedule.  Two of my girls informed me that they thought the blocks were too difficult and they didn't want to continue.  Though I explained that I'd stand right over them and take them step-by-step through them, I didn't think it was something that they really had to do and they're enjoying learning other handwork right now.  So, I'm working on what they had started or what I had cut out already for them and will probably turn those blocks into a smaller quilt for charity. 
Anyhow, here is the block that Princess had started and I finished up this week:

Thanks, Joy, for the encouragement from clear over in Australia!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

First Handsewing/quilting Project

What do you do when your six-year-old has trouble telling her right hand from her left?  How about if this causes trouble during her piano practice?  And how do you help her get comfortable with needle and thread? 
Well, besides painting The Peanut's fingernails red on the right hand and blue on the left hand and color coordinating her piano music to match with red and blue pencils, here's how we're working on both challenges and having a fun project, too!

She enjoyed sticking her hands in the paints and putting them on old sheet fabric.  Then with a special quilter's disappearing ink pen (the ink disappears in water), I wrote LEFT and RIGHT for her to embroider with a simple back-stitch.  Then I made dashed outlines of the hands with about 1/2 inch long dashes for her to quilt the batting and backing onto the panel.  She has now finished all the stitching and we're going to work on putting a binding around it, label the back (a must with all good quilters) and hang it above the piano. 
She's excited about getting it done and with the possibility that we might enter it in the fair next summer!

On another note, today is my nephew's birthday, so we wish him a very happy day, though his day is about over since he's on the other side of the world as a missionary kid in the Philippines.
Again rejoicing in God's blessings, I

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Repurposed clothes

Thanks to some friends, we have found a fun way to have some new clothes for less money and to have the fun of sewing without the not-so-fun challenge of zippers, facings, buttonholes, etc.  We enjoy finding clothes at thrift stores and yard sales and remaking them to our liking. 

Here are some samples:

To do the skirts, we cut them off just below the pockets, as in the left photo, or longer, as in the right one.  The fabric strips are as wide as you like (ours were aboutt 7 inches thick), with the length of each strip being 20 inches longer than the previous level (also depends on how ruffly you want your layers to look).  Sew the short ends right sides together to make a tube and then gather and sew to the previous strip or to the denim, depending on where you are in your sewing.

This dress just took some very simple adding on to match the embroidery of the dress.

A too-short denim shirt became a cute dress by sewing the bottom of the shirt closed and then adding layers of gathered fabric.

So, if you find a cute dress or skirt that might just be too short for modesty, just add too it.  A note to novice seamstresses, you'll want to cut off the thick hems from denim skirts before you try to gather and sew to it.
I hope you get to give this a try.  It's lots of fun!