I have no excuses.
I have loved to do a craft since I am 6 or so. I can remember making a turtle that had a rock for his shell and a piece of felt that represented the head and four feet. I made that at a Brownie meeting at a school that is right across the street from two houses that would been a rental for a sister in law and the other where a brother in law’s parents live to this day. I made another craft at another Brownie meeting the day my third brother was born. It was a yarn doll which I was hoping to give to a sister. That didn’t work out.
After that my mom started giving me all kinds of things to do, probably to keep me out her hair now that she had 4 kids. I embroidered dresser scarves, made beaded belts, wove a billion potholders, needlepoint, paint by number…you name it, I did it.
What bugs me now is that I really didn’t keep anything. Oh I did keep some things for a while but each time we moved I seemed to discard a thing or two. That turtle did hang around for while though. I eventually had a career working in the sewing industry so my hobby interest did pay off.
At any rate there isn’t much I do bring back the actual thing but the least I can do is write about things long ago discarded.
After I was married the first thing my mother did was send me some yellow yarn, knitting needles and her How to Knit Book, which I do still have and I set out to try to learn how to knit. That was hard since in 1969 there were no You Tube videos to show you what to do. I wound up knitting and I knitted quite a few booties before I got it right. Next I made a crewel pin cushion that had a lady bug on it. Still have that.
Soon we had a little boy and I did make him a few pieces of clothing but those Healthtex coveralls were so darn cute I just decked him out in them.
At that point in time my husband’s aunt was into making a ton of clothes out of polyester. There was a club at her sewing store for that in the 70’s it was called Stretch and Sew…
The country sure fell for that look and polyester fabric. She always had leftovers so she would give them to me. I finally figured out that if I cut enough hexagonal pieces I could eventually make a quilt…by hand since I didn’t have a sewing machine. I did that all summer. I could never figure out how to handle the edges so that project got folded up and put to the side. Now we call them UFP’S. Considering how popular hexi projects are now you can only imagine how many times I have have kicked myself for that discard. Probably more curiosity than anything.
More on my sewing memories to come.
Not to sound like I am on a reading binge but I have another book that I just finished called The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie. I bought it off Kindle and it appears to be a book written under a new theory where the book only cost me $2.99 but if I feel so inclined I can make a donation to Unbound by using the promo code BOBBIN17 if I visit their site. Interesting concept.
At any rate the book was great. I read it lickety split. Perhaps the best thing about the book was a quote made at the end of the book by Ruth, a gal who has found a way for a variety of reasons you will learn about when you read the book, to make a living off sewing machines. Here is the quote, “The sewing machine has provided work in manufacture, eased work in the home and facilitated work when there was none to be had. By designing with the individual components of a discarded machine, I connect with the people who used it in the home. In doing this I acknowledge those whose experience and determination paved the way for the working lives we have now.”
I couldn’t agree with her more. A sewing machine is filled with memories and necessities. While I no longer have the first 2 machines I had, I can still remember what they gave me: freedom to create, a part time job to pay one off, new friends and hopes for the future. It also always amazes me that talking about sewing can be such an “ice breaker”. People always have a story to share with you!
Back to my book reading interests. When I was a kid I actually belonged to 5 different libraries at once. Perhaps the one that I loved the best was the Delancey Floyd Jones Free Library. I loved it because it was so cozy and filled with books of all ages. It was a very old building and if you walked to rear extension you could find all the Nancy Drew books that you could imagine. When you had gathered up your latest books to read under a tree on a hot summer day, the lady at the desk would ask you what page number you were in the ledger, she would then write down the title to the books under your name and off you went. That library building is now part of a group of historic buildings in the cemetery where my father is buried. Pretty ironic that I can recall my library memories whenever I visit him.
Recently read Luncheon for the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland. I thought it was a great book, my book club members did not quite agree…oh well. I guess I liked it because we had seen the sculpture below at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ a few years ago on a perfect day like today…but it was HOT! At any rate as I read the book I found it so easy to imagine as we had seen this lovely piece! Imagine gathering folks with just the right personality for a piece of artwork like this… not really paying them very much and hoping that they continued to come back to work for several more Sundays…of course the restaurant owners were so generous to them with lovely meals and plenty to drink. They of course , hoped that the artwork would make their lovely restaurant on a canal in France famous.
One of our grand daughters insists on being “our teacher”. Lizzie has made us use Google Docs, some on line classrooms, watch educational videos, etc. She also sends us homework to complete and return. She loves to teach us all kinds of things. This evening she sent us a “message” just to remind us that today is National Teachers Day. Guess we blew it by not remembering to thank her before she got to it. Oh well.
A few months ago our son Chris, the proverbial middle child who is also the only one who is left handed and the only one who wears glasses…presented me with a project.
He wanted me to cut up this quilt top that had been made using old men’s shirts to make curtains for his bedroom. Time passed, we moved and I got busy with other things…then last week I found time in my schedule to look again at this project and decide what I really wanted to do with this quilt top.
Honestly I couldn’t see cutting it up to make curtains. It looked to shabby. I decided that it really needed to be what it was originally planned to be, a quilt. Since I had just organized my sewing fabrics, I knew that I had just the right fabric for the backing. That piece of fabric was brand new and not at all as soft as the top so I quickly rinsed and machine dried the top. Next I made the quilt sandwich and I was ready to start Quilting…since this was for my son’s condo I knew that the Quilting design had to be somewhat masculine so I was happy to find a graphic machine embroidery design..
When Chris came to visit I was quite excited to show him what I had been up to. As it turned out, he was was not as excited as I was…but then his artistic eye started to work and he was off and running. He wanted me to add lines of stitches on the pink to tone the color down, that worked, then he wanted to know what I could to to show the backing on the top, I brought the backing to the vertical edges as a self binding, that worked, next he wanted me to use red and white checked fabric for the binding on the short ends, that worked.
Finally to really make the little piece feel old, I threw it in the washer on gentle and then dried it…I am sure happy with the results and I certainly hope he will be…but that doesn’t solve the problem of the curtains…next project…
Been a very creative day for me. I embellished two pre-made tote bags and posted them to instagram…
Little did I realize that my tech-savvy little grand daughter Lizzie would be checking out my account and next thing I know she is requesting a Minnie Mouse tote bag because she just got eyeglasses. Getting spectacles is a dream come true for this girl. She has been wanting glasses forever. So after a nice dinner out with my husband I headed back up to the sewing studio and made her a bag from scratch with her very own initials. Hope she likes it.
The Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild has recently been apprised of the fact that a recent multi dwelling fire in Ocean Grove NJ left about 43 families without a home. We decided to make lots of quilts to donate to these folks. For the last few weeks we have been doing just that. As of yesterday have about 24 quilts already. Our members have made many quilts at 2 day long sew ins this week using many variations of the Split Rail Fence pattern, we have gotten quilt tops from several guilds and Victoria Findlay Wolf even sent us 3 of her quilts. Fabric has also shown up. Our friends at Timeless Treasures sent a big box of fabric and a quilt to!