Sunday, August 29, 2010

Playing again

While I waited for dear daughter to come over and try the dress on, I started something else. My friends and I are not cotton snobs and I have shelves filled with polyester cotton broadcloth. I love solid colours and when I started quilting there wasn't much in the way of cotton solids but now there are those wonderful tone on tone fabrics that read as solids. Anyway, I decided that I really should do something with them and so I came up with this.

I call it Gees Bend Revisited. Of course it was influence by the Gees Bend quilts. I was blog surfing and came across the fact that there are now patterns and even kits where you too can make your very own Gees Bend quilt. I didn't need a kit. I just needed to look on the shelves and pull out a few fabrics. Cut, sew, cut, sew and now it's done. It will get quilted but I will not worry about the length of the stitches at all. It is just a small wall hanging (24" X 27") and fun to do since you really don't have to worry if anything is straight or even.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beach wedding outfit - dress and matching hat

Well, the dress and matching hat are both done now and winging their way over to California for a wedding. Maili wanted a new dress to wear for the wedding of friends which is to be held in San Clemente, where she used to live. It will take place on the beach.

I showed the pattern for the dress a few posts back but here it is again for those of you who missed it and don't want to back track my posts (although you really should so you can read about the BOOK.)
I am not liking Simplicity's Project Runway patterns. They are supposed to be for beginners but I (who has been sewing garments for eons) didn't find the instructions clearly helpful at all - especially the way they laid it all out. Confusing! Never again will I buy one of them (but I do like Simplicity and their fit so I will still buy the regular patterns.) This past weekend I assisted a beginner sewer who purchased a skirt pattern that was one of these Project Runway patterns. Same deal - confusing, confusing as to "where do I find the next step?" Who writes these and do they go through a consumer test to see how helpful the whole written instructions are (are not!)? In my case, even the pattern pieces were dumb. The skirt part of the dress is identical in every way front and back and yet there were two pattern pieces in the package. They could have just had one and marked it "cut one for front and one for back." Anyway, enough of the rant! Here's the end result.

First up, the hat:
 Actually, this is a photo of the fabric I used. I mentioned that the fabric was from my stash. It was a navy polyester piece that was 60 inches wide with a houndstooth check on it - shiny and dull. It was enough for the dress with a small piece left for a cocktail hat.

   I made the buckram form and finished the edges. The form actually started out as just a rough piece of buckram that had been stretched on a head block. The whole thing was sort of misshapen (except for the top) and I cut out this teardrop shape from it. The darker parts that you see are actually some of the tin foil that I struggled to get rid of but the glue/hardening agent on the buckram would not give it up. The foil keeps the buckram from adhering to the block. Since the buckram was being covered up, I had to leave it. You can also see the scratches in it where I tried with a pin to score the foil and get it to release but, it wasn't meant to be - don't tell anyone it's there.

Here's my lovely model wearing the finished creation. A lot of design thoughts went into this. There was a lot of discussion as to what Maili wanted and how I was going to make this. I would like to thank Michael's craft store for the tulle and for that matter, the feather pick. They were the only store open on Saturday just before closing when I wanted some netting (I did have another feather pick that didn't make the final cut mainly because the stem part was so very thick.) Fabricland was too far to get to since we were on the road and on our way home.

I am showing this because I struggle with the dilemma of how to keep a cocktail hat on one's head. People use elastics - they look like they would go under your chin but they actually go behind your head. This would never do for me since my hair is fine and slippery. Combs are another way of keeping the hat on one's head. These are little, curved "pik" combs. Again, with me, it would not work. I know this isn't my hat and I know Maili has more hair than I do but I still struggle with the options. What I came up with while sewing the lining in, is little loops of thread (overlapped with blanket stitches) so that bobby pins or other clips can slide in and hold the hat to the head. This photo shows that there are three of these loops (click to enlarge.) The other thing I thought of was that if I had used a cotton or other non-slip fabric, instead of lining fabric, for the inside of the hat, it might not slip around. I thought of this even before putting the lining in but the sewer in me went with the lining fabric. It is totally hand made with the machine being used only to sew the bias tape on the buckram to hold the wire and finish the edges.

The dress:

And here she is modelling the hat and the dress. She did want to see if the self bow at the bodice would have looked good but I did not have enough fabric for it. As it stands, I have maybe a rough 8" square and a bunch of long thin strips left of the fabric.
On another note, she told me that she was reminded that the actual ceremony will be on the beach and that she thinks the hat may be a bit over the top. She has a small daisy thing that she will probably wear instead.

Oh well, such is life - I am a mom and I can take it!

Now, I will go and sew something else. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Yes, it is! It's early too!! It wasn't suppose to be out until the 1st of September but it arrived yesterday.

 The BIG event had to be recorded  - regardless of what time it was...


Just a flip through. The very first time Mark has held his very first published book called Snowmen.

And, of course, every NEW BOOK has to be smelled. Yes there are two books there - these are the ones his brother pre-ordered but since he is in Spain, he lucked out.

WOW, it's even dedicated!
(To my parents, Clare and Dolores)

This is a commercial and a shameless plug, for all of you who didn't get it.

Here's the cover for a better look and ...

This is the invitation to the book launch - for those of you who are interested.

One more thing: Here's the very first review of the book from  

A winner in more ways than one
Snowmen, which took top honours in last year’s 3-Day Novel Contest, is a fast-paced, gripping tale about brothers
Quentin Mills-Fenn
How are you going to spend the Labour Day long weekend? Last year, Mark Sedore wrote a novel.

Snowmen (3-Day Books) won 2009’s 3-Day Novel Contest, the annual literary marathon. Winning manuscripts get published and, like all the 3-Day winners I’ve read, Snowmen is really quite good. It’s a fast-paced read, but it still manages to delve into a complicated relationship between two brothers.

Charlie is a decent guy, a music therapist. His younger brother, Larry, is a genius with a social disorder — he’s wildly successful, professionally, but a disaster, personally.

Larry lays two bombshells on Charlie: he has a brain tumour and he wants to walk across the Arctic Circle to raise money for cancer research. When Larry is unable to undertake the quest, Charlie fills in for him. Larry doesn’t like this at all and sabotages his sibling.

The book alternates between the antipodal brothers’ backstory, which relates the circumstances of their falling-out, and Charlie’s interior monologues on his lonely journey. Not directly addressed but intriguing to consider is any connection between Larry’s deteriorating mental health and his increasingly aberrant personality.

Sedore has produced a gripping and satisfying story which betrays no clue to its origins.

If you’ve got the inclination, who not do something productive next month and whip up a novel? You can make an outline, even collaborate with another person, but all writing has to be done during the long weekend, wrapping up at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 6th. Register by Sept. 3 at The winning entry will get published next year.

Thank you for reading all this if you've made it this far. I am a proud and happy mom.
Note: The lovely young lady with me in the photos and wearing my favourite turquoise colour is Kate, proud wife of the new author.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Something new and the process

I had a bunch of these...
black and white fabrics and so I put them together with a bunch of these...

white and black fabrics but they needed a pick-me-up so I threw in...

a little bit of green.

Then I made some of these...

and some of these (blogger didn't want to co-operate with uploading the photo the way it was taken) ...

which I then put together like this many times over and ...

came up with this quilt top.

Note: I really didn't need to make another quilt since I have so many already but it was a nagging thing that needed to be done. Here's where I got the idea and pattern. They have only a pillow top as the pattern but really, it's so easy to make it bigger and into a quilt. I really wanted a lime green instead of this more emerald looking green but I couldn't find the one I knew I had and decided to use my stash. I do like free - patterns.

Monday, August 16, 2010

From idea to doodle and then creation

This is my screen saver. I change it every once in a while but I really liked the trees and since it is summer, I decided that this could stay for a couple of months. So, every time I turn on the computer, this is what I see.

This is the doodle that came from the idea of palm trees. Sometimes you just have to use the paper that's the closest.

This is the little journal quilt that came from the idea and the doodle. It was fun to do.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Not for me but for my daughter who has a wedding later this month in California again.

The view of the dress she wants is the halter on the right - minus the bow that they put on the bodice. The fabric is from my stash (she is adamant that the volume of fabric gets diminished.) The piece she chose is only just over a metre but it's 60 inches wide, navy polyester blend (so it doesn't wrinkle) with a big houndstooth check in the weaving. I'll show you when it's done. We cut the paper pattern and I roughly laid it on the fabric to see if it was enough and it is. I do think it needs a bit of lining fabric though.