Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Remembrance Quilt: Backing

My quilt nailed to the wall is turning out to be a handy design wall.  I should probably take it down and replace it with a white quilt.  Maybe soon. 

I've cut and pieced the backing for the remembrance quilt.  I knew immediately the selection of Hawaiian shirts would work splendidly as the backing.  I did have to unstitch the front plackets and hems for some additional width and length.   I'm not fond of that task but it went quickly enough.

Remembrance quilts use a variety of clothes and therefore a variety of fabric contents.  I take it all in stride; many years of sewing has given me confidence to combine fabrics successfully. 

I will study the clothes for the quilt's front before cutting them.  This is always the challenge: these clothes are "one of a kind".  I want to respect that and make their story perfect for the recipient.

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Do you ever hesitate with fabric decisions knowing the fabric is limited or has some personal significance? 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Remembrance Quilt

Starting a Remembrance Quilt this week.
All the husband's beloved Hawaiian shirts will be pieced for the backing.  

Join the Conversation!
If someone were to piece a quilt with your beloved clothes, what would they use? 


My friend Cindy Lou Hodges is now blogging!  You will want to stop by and see the lovely work she crafts!    https://yoohoocindylou.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Out and About Houston: PEO/Junior League of Houston Luncheon

I've moved my IPhone to another part of my bedroom during the night.  I read recently about the dangers of Wifi and keeping the phone on the nightstand so in an act of compliance I moved the phone.  When the alarm goes off I have to get out of bed to turn it off.  I'm not totally keen to the practice but I'll give it some time.

My dogs have started a routine of crying at my bedroom door about 6:30 AM which is an hour before I planned to wake up.  Thinking they need to go outside I reluctantly get up.  Once I'm up I have to go to the bathroom.  One of the dogs goes out and the other one jumps into the warm spot on my bed.  I have to wrangle him to move.  By this time I realize I am not falling back to sleep. 

This morning I decided the warm spot and the gentle dip of my mattress felt really good.  I stayed in bed past the alarm.  The dogs joined me long enough to be sure I didn't fall back to sleep.  Then they jumped off and paced back and forth by my bed.  I have a small bedroom so that really means they crowded up by the bed and pushed my elbow repeatedly to get me to move.  There's no opportunity to deviate from habits in this household.  Dogs keep me accountable. 

Then we played a game of back and forth between the front and the back door.  This is mainly with my pit bull Elvis.  He's quite definite in his demands.  My other dog Beav who is basically blind keeps a very strict routine.  He only goes out when it's necessary.

Opening the door and hearing the heater come on convinced me to stay in this morning.  I feel like I need a day off from the world and work.  I'll listen to the church service via the internet.  Actually while I am typing this post. 

I am thoroughly enjoying my little kitchen dining area.  I have a narrow window on either side of my table and the morning sun gently shines in.  It's turning into a favorite spot to eat and read.  When Laura visited Wednesday she complimented the cozy and inviting feel of the space.  Today I put on my new patchwork bathrobe so I could enjoy it's coziness for a few hours.  Normally I dress immediately upon rising in the morning. 

I look like a linebacker but saintly with the sun shining on me!   I've lived in very cold climates in the past.  I'm acting like it is cold outside.  

Yesterday I attended a PEO luncheon with two chapter friends.  PEO is a philanthropic educational organization for women.  Our main goal is to empower women through educational opportunities.  I was initiated in January 2019.  This was my 1st Founders' Day Luncheon and my first visit to the Junior League of Houston who hosted the event.  It's a gorgeous traditionally appointed setting; very feminine and elegant.  I loved it but I can't see myself living in such style.  I'm more about shabby chic and collections and dust and chipped thrifted items and beds with a little slump.  

The Ladies Room wallpaper was gorgeous!

Photo of Junior League of Houston, Inc - Houston, TX, United States

Photo of Junior League of Houston, Inc - Houston, TX, United States

I lifted these images from the internet.  I'm sad to write I couldn't find any images of the wonderfully fabulous collection of porcelain bird figurines given to the League by a patron.  

Image may contain: 3 people, including Pat Morford Smith and Debra Dixon, people smiling, people standing

My friend Pat (left) I met when I was working for Floor and Decor.  I designed her kitchen remodel and we became friends.  She invited me to join PEO.  Nancy (left) is the current President.  She's a physics professor at the local junior college. 

This is fun information:  almost all of our outfits are thrifted!   I thought I had thrifting down to a fine practice until I met Nancy.  She's the undisputed Queen.  At her last teaching position she had a 6 store route mapped out from the classroom to her house!   She was instrumental in finding all the baskets for our Christmas Bean Soup fundraiser for 50¢ or less.   I asked her if her skirt was thrifted and she sheepishly told us she'd bought it off the pilates clearance rack for $30; a fortune over what she normally spends for clothes.   Pat is wearing a thrifted knit dress with her thrifted Chico's jacket.  Seriously, what would we do without Chico's jackets?

I'm head to toe in thrifted clothes.  My kimono is an Eva Mendez piece.  I didn't even know she was designing clothes but what the heck, it's very pretty.  It's velvet with flat sequins. (One lady asked me if I had gotten it on a trip abroad!) The scarf has a rough texture with silver embroidered flowers on the ends.  I like the contrast.  My skirt is a sheer knit in a patchwork print; blues, pinks, peaches (my colors).  The slip goes to the knees and then the bottom half is ruffled.  Very feminine and lovely. Button front Talbot's cotton sweater is under the scarf.  I was wearing turquoise patent leather heels the color of Nancy's blouse.  My only criticism is I wish I'd put my hair up.  I'm at the stage again of thinking about what to do with it.

We had a choice of luncheon entrees so I ordered the vegetarian plate.  My friends at the table were jealous!  I was surprised!  It was delicious.

Image may contain: food

Saturday in Houston.  Always full of fun adventures!  I love living in Houston.

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What's your best thrifted outfit? 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Strip Pieced Costume Fabric

The yardage for Laura's vest is stitched.  It's quite lovely in a black textural way! 

As I was drifting off to sleep last night I remembered a strip pieced jacket I sewed.   It was a commission and the owner picked out all the fabrics.

Quilted jackets are certainly not new but they seem to be perennial favorites.  Last year I had the idea of kitting fabrics for sewers to make their own jackets.  Last night I had the idea of quilted yardage for jackets.

The big assumption is someone would sew a jacket.  Probably too big of an assumption.  They could turn the fabric into something else of course. 

This could be exciting!  It wasn't on the 2020 "Stay Focused" Plan but it's early, I could sneak it in.  At least try a few kits & see if they sell. 

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Is a quilted jacket kit a good idea?

Friday, January 17, 2020

Belly Dance Costumes

In the spring Brent and Laura perform at Sherwood Faire (in a forest outside of Austin TX) which is a fun venue staged in the 1400-1500s.  Because they are a belly dance troupe (The Hands of Fatima)  their costumes can be a little out of period but not by much.  They also perform for other venues, such as Laura's event The Crimson Vagabond Roadshow.

Laura has the green parasol on the left.  Brent is the drummer dressed in black.

Image may contain: 11 people, people smiling

 Laura asked for a new vest & jacket for the season.  She wants to promote my work because she's been told many times faire patrons like to buy the outfits seen on performers.  Toward that end, we meet to finalize ideas.

Her immediate request is for a knee length vest to wear over dresses.  When the troupe performs they wear decorated bras and full skirts.  This particular vest is cut low in the front so the bedazzled bras show well.  Slits on the sides and an open front allow the full skirts to peek through.  One of the main skirts they wear is the 25 yard skirt.  Yep, 25 yards of cotton sewn into a skirt.  Egads!

Laura had patterns but we quickly learned they were "just a guideline" because they didn't fit and they weren't really authentic enough.  The hip belts in particular were totally wrong.  It was good to have someone evaluate them who knows the belly dance costumes well.

I'll be sewing View C Vest.  

Laura being who she is and having me as a mother in law wanted the fabric for her vest strip pieced.  So she pulled a variety of black fabrics for me to use.  I've never strip pieced a "solid" color as such.  And black.  But I'm going to try. 

She decided a poncho would be a good alternative to a jacket.  She can quickly throw it over her costume. It won't interfere with bulky costume parts.

I had this sewing pattern and a 3 yard piece of raw edge fabric. I'll be sewing View C.   Luckily it was in her colors (she's a natural ginger).  She was delighted!   I'm delighted to use the fabric & the pattern doesn't have to be fitted.  

Today I am planning to get the black strip piecing finished.  Laura will be returning next week for the muslin fitting of the vest and check out the new black fabric.   Fun times!

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Do you have any new projects to stretch your sewing skills?