Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Collection Plate

Some of you have written to say how much you miss the daily postings and I really appreciate hearing that however, considering that not nearly as much sewing is going on in the studio as in the past, I've decided to stay with once a week postings for now.... on Wednesdays.

Since moving, my life has a different flow. This is such an artistic community that there is always something to see and do and I'm enjoying the relationships I'm developing with other creative women. That takes time, as does walking in the park or along the lake. This summer, I'd like to get a bicycle.  And, I'm making time for new explorations.

This is not my bag. A friend took one of her acrylic paintings, cut it up, adhered it to a canvas bag, and then painted in the rest of the details. Isn't it gorgeous? Earlier this year, I taught her to knit and she's totally addicted. For her birthday I gave her some wool, a pattern magazine, and the canvas bag. I have more bags so in a few weeks we're going to get together for a play date and she'll teach me how to paint my own bag. What fun. It's another step in surface design.

The three or more process is working excellent. Although I'm not getting a lot done in terms of actual pieces produced, the ideas are endless and energizing. I'm going to tweak it a bit though or I'll have all tops or all bottoms and no coordinated outfits. I will rotate between fit, surface design, and added details but not necessarily with the same pattern. Fit can be a new pattern and the other two can be ones I've already fitted. I think that'll work better and eventually each pattern that I liked will get its moment.

In my last posting, I talked about exploring the crotch curve further. I used the drawing above - made with the flexible ruler to mimic my curve - to trace the line onto the pattern I used for the surface designed jeans and then I sewed it again out of muslin just to see. The crotch curve fit FABULOUS only the muslin was incredibly tight which is really strange since it fit with the denim and it was way too big with the stretch denim I used next. It just goes to show how much of an impact the fabric factor has.

Here's the side seam of the stretch denim jeans. First I stitched at 5/8" and then the width of the presser foot - six times - making the seam 2 1/2" wide. That removed an additional 7 1/2" of ease. Wow!

The first of the three quilts is about a third done. The long, straight rows of stitching are tedious but they are progressing and I like the results. Beside the sewing machine, I have a bowl to collect all the thread ends. I refer to it as the collection plate. By the time I finish the quilts, it should be full and I can use the ends to create thread lace. With the stretch jeans...

... I collected all the bits as well. The pile top left is the 1/8" that's shaved off by the serger when I edge finish a seam. The pile at right was made with the seam allowance cut off by the serger for the inseams and the crotch seam. I took the strips and twisted them and then zigzagged over the length to get the cording. The middle pile is of serged strips made with the wide seam allowance. I ran it through the serger, stitched the seam, cut if off, and then ran the width through again. There are fourteen 40" long sections. A few years ago, I used serged strips like that on a little girl's coat. Now I'd like to try using them on something for myself. This feels like "free" supplies, embellishments that would have been thrown away but can now be used from something unique and personal.

Today's posting is late because last night, when I would have written it, I was instead stiff and sore on the couch. I think even my fingertips ached and certainly parts of me are still screaming this morning. The picture above is of the house before I bought it. By the time I did, the garden was not nearly as pretty and the door with glass panel had been replaced with a plain one because it was damaged. As you can see, the steps go out at a forty-five degree angle from each end of the porch. It's rather odd so I...

... had my contractor square out the ends, replace some rotted boards, and add new steps off the front. I wanted him to do a whole lot more only the quote was way too high for my budget. Right now, I have more time than money so...

... I am doing as much as possible myself. On Monday, I took out the cement around the bottom of the tree and widened the dirt to make it look less crowded and then I rolled a whole bunch of the rocks from below the lilac bush to the front of the house... one at a time... like a child with a ball. The lilac bush will be given away and the lawn filled in. I also removed the bricks from the old stairwell and...

... stacked them in the carport. They remind me of the scraps from sewing. Even though they weren't what I wanted where I wanted it, they are completely usable. Right now, I'm cutting out some curved gardens that will be lined with large rocks and then I'll figure out the walkway. I need to make the work manageable by doing it a step at a time plus I'll need to find someone to haul away the mess. Not only do I have all the turf to get rid of but there was an illegal, not attached to the house, cracked and leaning, chimney that we had taken down before it fell on someone. That mess is along the side of the house where I want to extend the garden and create an opening for French doors into my studio... eventually.

I've been looking at different options for railings for the front porch and I think this version using rabbit wire might be what I go with. The wire is not too expensive, quite sturdy so it won't sag, see through to maintain the light and the view, and galvanized so it won't rust. It should work but first I need to strip and stain the deck.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - strength and mobility


  1. No wonder, you are tired and achy and late with the blog post! I hurt just thinking about all that work -- of course, it will be lovely when you finish. Can't wait to see. Hugs, Charmion

    1. LOL - thanks. That's what the neighbours are saying too as they wander by and examine. I finished up the grass and started placing rocks this afternoon. Tomorrow, I'll have to put back the annuals I dug up from the original garden before they get dried out but otherwise it'll be a while for plants. Looking good though. Curves always make a square house look better IMHO.

  2. Sorry to hear your achy and sore again, but very glad it's because you've recovered from your mishap to be able to tackle the yard work. There's just something that's so satisfying about redoing the landscaping and outside of the house. Maybe because unlike most indoor projects, outside ones are visible to the world and can gather unsolicited comments from strangers? I mean - unless someone's a window peeper (not THAT kind of window peeper - I mean the ones that look at the decorating!), what color you paint your walls don't usually elicit comments. Unless you are wearing the paint color on your hair and clothes. Not that I've ever done that. Ahem. :-)

    1. LOL - it is a great way to meet the neighbors. I like - the good kind of - window watching so I'm always glad when people leave their lights on and drapes open. The fun thing abut our condo was 113 versions of the same thing. With the house, there isn't another one alike it in the community.


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