Monday, September 1, 2008

September is National Sewing Month…

What will you sew today? That's always the question, isn't it? Some days I don't sew at all—but I usually think about it. Today, as I entered my sewing room, I thought about all the happy hours I've spent in my life sewing. I've been using a needle and thread for almost as long as I can remember. Mom sewed for us (six little girls) and then taught me how to do more than the crooked little straight stitches I sewed on my doll's clothes. She made the dresses in this photo—each a different pastel shade of organdy with tiny rosebuds embroidered at the point of each scallop around the neckline and hem. How she managed to do this and take care of six children, ages one to six, and do all of her farmer's wife duties is still beyond me—but I'm sure glad she did! We were lined up for this photo, stair step-style, at my dear Aunt Judy's wedding. Can you pick me out in the photo? (Two boys followed this gaggle of girls, much to Dad's delight.)

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jog!
That's something my mother would say when we would arrive home from wherever we'd been and I often think it or say it to myself for the same reason. It's part of poem about a dog from The Better Homes and Gardens Storybook—a book she read to us frequently when I was a child. How I wish that book hadn't disappeared from her bookshelf—I'd like to read to my granddaughter from it. I have such fond memories of storytime with that book. One of my favorites was The Little Red Hen—perhaps someday, I'll make a little chicken quilt in tribute to that story!

Anyway, we returned home from our boating trip on Saturday. The weather proved cold, rainy, and windy while we were away, so Victoria BC will have to wait for sunnier days. Gas is too dear to cruise to a pretty place and then sit in the rain! It's unseasonably cool here at home—more like November than August/September! Below are two more photos to share from our trip...a tall ship was under sail as we made our way home after stopping at the city dock (free!) in Gig Harbor for the night.

It was raining, so some of my shots were taken through the window in the salon of our boat. I love this one of the boat fender through the rain-spattered window. The 3-D quality of the raindrops is so "real."

Something from my Sewing Room
I'm back in the sewing room/office today, trying to decide which project to tackle first. Since I've been working on new patterns for the past few months, the pattern for "The Magic Tuck Market Tote" is at the top of my list to finish up today. I want it to be available soon, along with my new Sew 'N' Go patterns that are in the illustration stage—a wonderful quilted travel tote and a quilted travel wallet for sewers and quilters on the go! Watch for them and the Market Tote to appear on my website, sometime in late September or early October. I'll let you know here when they are available there.

As a long-time sewer, I've also become a collector of vintage sewing tools, bits of lace, and other sewing related ephemera. Most of my antique sewing tools are on display in my sewing room in an old type box that I lined with wallpaper and refinished. I took a photo so you can see my collection. I'll take and post close-ups of the items shown in future blog posts.

A New Book to Consider for Your Bookshelf

Here's a new book I just heard about that I plan to buy: Digital Essentials: The Quilt Maker’s Must-Have Guide to Images, Files, and More by Gloria Hansen. It's touted as a learning guide for designing using software programs like Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro. I have Photoshop but have never taken a class and so didn't know what I could do with it other than resize my digital photos—which I've done a lot. But organizing them and storing them is a daunting task.
I just read Gloria's two-part series on manipulating image files in Quilting Arts—one of my most favorite magazines. You'll find her excellent articles in the June/July and August/September issue of the magazine. Even if you don't quilt, this magazine is a feast for the eyes and full of techniques and inspiration. When I retire, if not before, I hope to go back through my issues and try some of them. Even though I didn't have the article with me when I was in Hawaii in June, I remembered a bit of what I'd read. After taking photos of the orchids in the Orchid House and a lotus in the Japanese Garden at Koele Lodge in Lanai, I was brave enough to explore some of the tools in my Photoshop program and came up with some really interesting results. Here are two of the photos I played with and an interesting new image for each one. When you use the drop-down menu for "Filter" in Photoshop, you'll find interesting options. These photos were adjusted with "posterize" and "poster edges." First the original and then the adjusted image; I wish I could put them side by side, but when I do, the text flows strangely so here they are, one after the other.

I think these photos--both versions of each--will make nice notecards.
I have yet to get out Gloria's articles and follow along step-by-step to create and print an image for an art quilt but I'm not so afraid to play with the tools on Photoshop now, and I think I'll be able to make an art quilt with Gloria's well-written instructions. I'm sure her book will be enlightening and encouraging! Ask for it at your local quilt shop. It's published by


You can sign up to get a Thought for the Day at Wordles. I love today's: "Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives." William Dement

I have made up my own version of Dement's great quote:
Sewing permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely and insanely creative every day of our lives!!

Let Me Know What You're Sewing
...and share your thoughts and questions about your quilting and sewing projects. At the end of every post in this blog there is a place to post your comments. Click on "comments" and a window will appear for you to leave your comments, suggestions, and questions.

Until next time…
Keep on sewing and smiling!

"One little person, giving all of her time to peace, makes news.Many people, giving some of their time, can make history." Peace Pilgrim

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