Summer Travels

Last week I flew to Boston to visit my niece.  We followed the Freedom Trail and ate Italian in the North End.  I soaked up the experience of being surrounded by so much academia (MIT and Harvard were within walking distance of my bed & breakfast).  I also visited the main Boston Public Library. I reveled in the magnificent architecture and experienced a sense of awe as I ascended the main staircase between the lions.  However, I knew in a flash that I much prefer the warmth and noisiness of my own school library.

Keepsake Quilting - Center Harbor, NH

One of my side trips was a day trip to the Lakes region of New Hampshire, which also happens to be the home of Keepsake Quilting – you know THE quilting catalog just about every quilter receives in their mailbox 2-3 times a year.  Here’s proof there really is a retail store to go along with the catalog.  The shop is a treat to visit with all of the quilts on display and vignettes set up around the store.  I engaged in a little retail therapy and was most happy to find the remaining batik fabrics to make the bird applique quilt for my mom.

I’m glad I listened to that little voice that told me to pack a small embroidery kit in my suitcase.  My return journey home took 18 hours instead of the anticipated 4-1/2 hours due to mechanical breakdowns, cancellations, rerouting, bad weather and a ground stop at the Atlanta airport.  The retro embroidery book I found atgather here & make something in Cambridge came in handy, as did the floss I purchased at a cute stitchery shop in downtown Boston.   I traced designs onto the muslin squares in my kit and stitched away.  I now have a collection of redwork squares waiting to be made into small projects.

Custom baby quilts and sewing lessons

The first picture is a photo of the completed 6″ Tumbler block quilt in a girly jungle theme made using my AccuQuilt GO!.  The finished size is about 38″x48″or 9 blocks across by 8 rows down.  I used one of the antique quilting stitches (#31) on my Pfaff 2046 and the stitch-in-the-ditch/edge joining foot to quilt down each seam line.  It made for an interesting design on the back.   I plan to  use this same stitch again on the Tweet!Tweet! quilt, however, I will increase the stitch length to 3.0.  AccuQuilt suggests you even up the sides before machine quilting.  If you’re machine quilting on a domestic machine, I suggest you wait until your quilting is complete before removing the excess tumbler block material.

Here’s my sewing friend learning how to guide fabric under the needle.  Mom requested my help in selecting a sewing machine to give to her daughter at Christmas.  We met at the local dealer and selected the Janome 2212.  Originally, mom and daughter were supposed to take owner’s lessons from the dealer before coming to me for sewing lessons.  Little one was so excited, we scheduled Sewing Machine 101 right after Christmas.  Her mom tells me she’s sewing everything that doesn’t sew her first.

Clogging Skirts

Over the summer, I made custom clogging skirts for two members of the Little General Cloggers based in Kennesaw, GA.  (One of the cloggers’ mother happens to be a co-worker of mine.)  This turned out to be more of a challenge than I ever imagined.  No pattern, no instructions, only a sample of a too-small skirt made five years previously to be used as a guide. Thanks to the web and several phone calls to a sewing mentor, I figured out the basic pattern drafting and construction sequence.  I did as much reverse sewing on the first skirt as I did stitching – but it got finished.  I also wrote out detailed instructions in case anyone else needed a skirt.

The Little General Cloggers recently appeared at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.  My handiwork can be seen on the young lady to the far left in the second row  and on the young lady to the far right in the second row (wearing Mary Janes not cowboy boots).

Article courtesy of Brightside Newspapers
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