Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tired Sewing Machine

My main sewing machine seems to be giving up the ghost. I'm not sure how long I've had it, but probably close to 15 years. And it has a lot of miles on it. I can't begin to count the number of quilts that have been sewn on it. There's also been many home decorating projects, a couple wedding dresses and many bridesmaid dresses. My daughters have all sewn on the machine. Over the last few months the machine has become very noisy, the tension not good and regular thread breakage. Yesterday it became so frustrating that I put the machine away and got out an old machine. I have 5 sewing machines but they are old and I'm spoiled by the computerized machine. I imagine it will be expensive to fix. I'm debating whether I get it fixed or purchase another computerized machine. I know I won't put the money into a machine like I did this last one. It had a lot of stitches, several alphabets and many options I just never used. There are some things I wouldn't do without, like a needle up down, the buttonhole stitch, a machine that makes good buttonholes and a few decorative stitches. But I don't need an alphabet. So now I have to contemplate my options and decide a course of action.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


It's getting to that time of summer when my garden is really starting to produce. So that means it's also canning time. I love to can. I started canning the first summer after I was married, over 30 years ago. Since then, I try more and more new things so that now canning requires a huge chunk of my time. I don't regret it or even feel like it's too much work. I love gardening and 'putting by' what comes out of the garden. The last two days I've canned raspberry jam and blueberries. Today I will finish the blueberries and then maybe get marionberries. After that it's pickles, beets, and then into tomato season. I can literally a ton of tomatoes. It's my favorite because there is so much you can do with tomatoes. I'll do plain sauce, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, salsa, tomato soup, chili sauce, diced tomatoes, italian tomatoes and anything else that suits my fancy and have the tomatoes for. This year I also am growing tomatillos. I've found several recipes that look wonderful.
I love canning so much that last night I taught a home canning class in our community. 15 people came. Of those 15 only 3 had ever canned before. Most were young women who have a desire to be more in charge of what comes to their tables. It was exciting to see their enthusiasm. Hopefully most went home saying, "I can can"!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Daughter Engaged!

My oldest daughter got engaged over the weekend. I'm so happy and excited for her. She is 26 and waited a long time to meet the man of her dreams! They just started dating 5 months ago but I guess when you're older and sure of your relationship there's no need to wait years. They are thinking of a December wedding. I've always hoped one of my daughters would get married in December. We have a lot of birthdays in December but a wedding would still be wonderful. I love everything about Christmas so it would be so fun to throw in a wedding. My daughter loves vintage. I'm wondering what she will choose as a wedding dress. Or will she want to sew her dress (which means a big commitment from me). My younger daughter who got married almost two years ago made her own wedding dress and it was absolutely beautiful. We actually had a great time sewing it. I learned a lot having it only my second wedding dress that I sewed. I would do it again (am I crazy)! Stay tuned as more will be posted soon. This is not the dress but a picture I found of a vintage wedding dress.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Booking Fall Quilts

I have room on my schedule for a couple more quilts this summer and then I'm into fall quilting. September, October and November are my busiest months for quilting and they usually fill very quickly. So this is just a reminder to those of you who I regularly quilt for -- if you want something quilted this fall get your name on my schedule before fall is here. I won't be doing a lot of quilting in August and I usually take most of December off too. August this year will be busy with vacation, working at the Clackamas County Fair (with sewing and quilts), canning and teaching canning classes, and hopefully working on some of my own quilts. Sounds like a plan!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Basket Quilt is Quilted

I finished the quilting on the basket quilt. I'm pleased with how it turned out. The quilting doesn't show up like it would on plainer fabric but I still put some time and effort into quilting it artisitcally and with designs that I thought would add to the beauty of the quilt. I'm not sure if this will hang in the front entry hallway or our bedroom. The quilt was so long in the process of getting to this point that it deserves some place of prominence! Now just to get the binding done.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Whole Cloth Quilt

I have been toying with the idea for several years now of making a wholecloth quilt. Tonight I spent a bit of time looking at photos on the internet and in my own stash of books and pictures from quilt shows. I have two different wholecloth tops in my studio that are just begging to be done. One is a golden beige fabric and the other a plain off-white. I have thought about just loading one of them on my machine and simply designing as I go. It might be really interesting and definitely a challenge I would enjoy. But would it turn out? I wish I had several weeks to put all these design ideas I have in my head down on cloth. I'm still thinking -- just don't know where it will take me! (The photo is of some design play done while my sister was here last year)