Rainy Weekend

 rainstormIt rained all day yesterday, it is raining today.  Nashville is not faring well.  We are south of Nashville but church was cancelled this morning due to I-24 being shut down.  I understand there were hundreds of cars and trucks stranded and a portable school building which had floated onto the highway.  We were fortunate that it calmed a bit last night and much of the standing water in our yard had drained off but this afternoon it is on again with a vengeance.  Here are a couple of shots of a normally tiny and dry drainage ditch near the back of our property.  I tried to get video but it didn’t work well.  This is fast running water.  It would wipe you right down the hill.  We did loose power briefly yesterday.  So far so good, but there is one major substation under water and on fire in west Nashville right now.  They say the fire will burn out soon because of the oil in transformers that will soon burn off. Good thing, there are tanker semi’s floating down toward it too.  We are setting records as I type and I am so thankful for a nice dry house with a good french drain system.



A Quilt Comes Full Circle…well…almost!


In the 8o’s my maternal grandmother, Iva Fredde,  pieced this quilt, by hand, from a kit.  The quality of the fabric is not fabulous…no moda fabrics then.  😉 But the time, love and care that went into the quilt was immense.  Late in the 80’s my grandmother had a series of strokes leaving her right side pretty much useless.  She wanted me to learn to quilt and to hand quilt her masterpiece.  I agreed. I adored my grandmother and she was the woman who patiently taught me to sew as a 6 year old.  So, under her tutelage I learned to hand quilt, picking out many stitches which she felt did not measure up.  I quilted on this as my mother died of cancer, keeping my hands busy while my mind buzzed.  I spent many hours sitting by her bed in a nursing home.  This year, I am 54, the same age as my mother when God took her home.

A few years later, Grandma died.  At that point the half finished quilt went into a large rubber maid tub where it remained.  I simply could not feel anything but grief as my hands held it.  Now, my cousin’s daughter Ginny will marry in June.  She loves pink, just like Grandma did.  So, I have pulled out the quilt and am finishing it.  I must meet the June deadline!  It will be Ginny’s wedding gift and a piece of our family heritage which she will hopefully treasure.

As I work on the quilt, I no longer feel grief.  I feel a wonderful connection to my grandmother and my extended family, and I look forward to the joy of sharing a part of my grandmother’s love with the next generation.

My plan in to find a nice modern print to bind this with…I think it needs that…any thoughts out there on this plan?  Any suggestions on just what fabric?  Hurry!  I have to work fast!


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From Bad to Worse

My feet have been hurting again and today I saw the podiatrist fully expecting photo(2) to be told I had to go back in ‘the boot’.  That knee length pump up thing I wore on my right foot for nearly a year when I had a stress fracture in my heel (calcaneous) that would not heal. Well, now in addition to the plantar fasciitis, the heel spurs and the arthritis rapidly degrading my feet, ankles and knees I have a ligament in both feet pulling the bone loose.  So, I’m braced…on both ankles for the indefinite future.  Then the feet go into intense athletic shoes with ‘super orthotics’.  If this doesn’t work it’s major surgery to clean up what we can and try to salvage a bit of foot for old age.


Ok…tonight I’m whining.  I’ve lost a few pounds and was dreaming of summer dresses.  I think I’d better just think pants. 

I will sew this weekend, my sanity demands it!


Snowy Days

We had a snowstorm here in the Nashville area.  But we were prepared.  Just in case it was preceded by ice DH had stocked up on wood for the fireplace.  We didn’t need it, but he burned it all day in the fireplace on Friday while a telecommuted.  A very productive and relaxing day.Winter

We did get ice on top of snow.  That means snowmen and snowball fights are out.  We stayed inside and just relaxed.  Would that all weekends were like this.  Then this morning we ventured out to church.  There is a definite difference in the road care in our little county and that of Davidson/Metro Nashville.  We do a much better job!

I was reminded of my move to Nashville nearly 17 years ago.  We packed the u-haul in snow and drove through deepening snow from Topeka to just east of St. Louis where we stopped for the night.  It was just a girl friend and I and my two kitties.  Next morning we set out again in the snow which turned to rain as we reached Nashville.  On Friday morning we were at my new apartment and the rain held off long enough for the unloading that had been arranged on this end.

Saturday morning I got up to a light dusting of snow, my first experience with “Southern Snow” panic.  I had ordered a dryer from Sears and had arranged it to be delivered on Saturday.  I needed to do laundry as I had been packing for days before the move and had left my gas dryer in Topeka realizing I was going to need to make the swap to electric.  I had to leave for a week in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon and desperately needed clean clothes!  The delivery time came and went…no dryer. I called Sears.  “Mamm, I was told, we can not have our drivers out in such dangerous weather.”  I looked out the window to see a light dusting of snow with plenty of green grass still showing.  “But, it’s only a dusting, I said.  Can you deliver later today?”  “No”.  “When can you deliver? I asked.”  The response, “well, it depends on how long the dangerous weatherWinter2 lasts and how long it takes the driver to catch up.”  I hung up and howled!  Then, I proceeded to find a laundromat.  Of course I was the only one out and about even in my apartment complex so no problem finding plenty of empty washing machines.

I understand it a bit better now that I have lived in the south for the last 17 years come the first of March.  I have lost my ability to drive in snow from lack of practice.  DH, a northerner for many years, claims to still have his, but when riding with him I doubt his skill at times.  What I don’t understand are the school snow days.  They call off school here on the threat of snow that never happens….sometimes for days.  They say it’s too cold for children on busses.  Excuse me!  I was a child on the snowy high plains of Kansas in the winter and in all my years of school experienced one snow day!

But I love the pristine beauty of the unmarred snow which lasts much longer when people are afraid to go out in it.  And..I am coming around…in a not too long ago conversation with a friend in Chicago…”I hear you had snow.”  Me…”Yes, quite a bit, nearly an inch.”  Pause, then we both giggle…well…I am getting southernized after all!Winter3

I’ve finally figured it out

Ever wonder why some people have no trouble blogging regularly and others are sporadic?  Well I think after some leisure time last week to read posts I may have hit on something. 

  • Blogs with one topic, like a sewing bog get bogged down.  Not many people sew every day. 
  • Blogs that reflect the balance, or lack of balance in one’s life are probably more interesting, easier to relate to, and read a lot more like a soap opera or a sitcom than they do like ‘Pattern Review’.
  • When you have nothing else to write about…post your recipes and take pictures of your food.

Well, I do think I will allow my blog to become a larger reflection of Loretta, so if that offends you, you may need to unsubscribe me from your feed.  I will not however be posting recipes.  Nor will I be posting pictures of the Healthy Choice  boxes I microwave or the salad in a sack that I wash before eating….yes….every time.  I work in the world of public health by day….I know a lot about sanitation and microbiology…take my advise, wash the salad and wash it well whether it comes from a sack or you construct it yourself from the farm fresh ingredients.

Jalie Tee Shirt – The New Pattern


Last week I was on vacation.  DH finished my new sewing table for cutting just in time.  I began by starting a pair of drapes for the bedroom but hit a snag, so I stitched up a pair of Ottobre pants for DGD (which she will not allow me to photograph) and then made myself a new top from the newly revised Jalie Tee shirt.  I have made a number of tops from the older pattern.  As far as I can tell the main changes are the length…the new one is longer, and the sleeve, for some reason they have gotten rid of the difference in the front and back sleeve cap.  Did that matter like I thought it would….not really.

I used a piece of fabric that I had purchased on a Hancock fabric clearance table for just over a dollar a yard.  I like the color and the nice lacy texture, but unfortunately it has little stretch.  So…to compensate I cut an extra inch on the sides and on the under arm seams.  Not bad…certainly wearable.  Now the fabric was a nightmare to sew.  The open weave led to a series of thread nests in the machine.  Fortunately I have a roll of solvy that I had purchased on a coop and pulled it out.  When the seams were sandwiched between solvy I could manage to get them sewn.  I did not hem the sleeve or the bottom of this top.  I simply zig zagged near the edge in case some ‘unknitting’ occured.  I have washed the top in the machine to remove the solvy and it still looks fine.  Good thing, I was tired of fighting the fabric.  But, I do like the top.

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2010 Goals

OK…I’m a goal driven gal.  Resolutions aren’t really the same thing in my mind.  Goals are achievable, resolutions are dreams.

This year my goals related to sewing are:

  • Sew from my stash fabric resource center.  I have a great deal of wonderful fabric, I need to use it before my tastes change or it develops a moth infestation, rots, etc.
  • Get rid of stashed fabrics that are no longer flattering to my skin or haircolor…nope…still remaining silver haired for 2010.  Or sew those fabrics into useable garments or accessories for grandchildren or daughters.
  • Learn to grade patterns and use that skill.
  • Create at least one draped garment for myself.
  • Sew regularly.
  • Finish all home dec projects for which I currently have fabric.
  • Loose weight, and sew as I go so that I have well fitting, weightloss motivating clothing.
  • Organize my newly inhabited sewing room.
  • Hang out with sewing friends more, maybe even organize one sew-in in my sparsely decorated livingroom.

Non sewing goals…

  • Do yoga or other flexibility exercises every day.
  • Work on my Bible study project.
  • Clean off my home office desk once a month and start over with the piles.

Yes, I know that is quite a list, but  I do think they are achievable goals.  I’m not disciplined enough to count yardage used and yardage purchased like some of you.  I just go in, grab a hunk of fabric and start the process.  This does not mean I will not purchase any fabric in 2010..that is completely unreasonable in my mind, but I need to get my stash whittled down to where I can store it all in either my sewing room or my ‘fabric storage closet’

  • Make soap regularly…yes, I love my home made soap and so does my family.
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Warm Winter Coat Emerges From Stash

Last August when we moved, and the extent of my fabric inventory became fully apparent, I resolved to sew with what I had. We are visiting grandchildren in Kansas and I need a suitable winter coat. After nearly 17 years in the Nashville, TN area, I no longer own a coat that is suitable. I did have 4 yards of heavy navy blue wool melton, 5 yards of slate radiance, assorted tailoring supplies and a stack of Ottobre womens pattern magazines. I selected a princess line coat from the fall 2008 issue. The only changes I made were ditching the patch pockets over the tummy and replacing them with inseam pockets of cotton velveteen. A nice warm luxury. The radience makes an incredible lining. Slick enough to slide into the coat easily and nice and sturdy as well as all natural. My tailoring techniques are pretty much fusing and due to the weight of the wool applied only in the facing, neck and shoulder areas. It’s been tested as we drive across lower Missouri and found to be perfect! My only purchase was buttons and a spool of upholstery thread to sew them on with because the have metal shanks.

Just outside my window

OK…it’s taken by pushing my iphone between the blinds, but this is a photo of a lovely winter red Mr. Cardnal.  Mrs. lives there too, in the birch tree, just outside the windows to my office and my sewing room.  What a delight on a winter morning to share the day with them!cardinal

Not a Wedding Gown but….


Here’s what I have been making.  

I know it doesn’t fit my dress form.  It’s for a slim little redhead who will wear it over her wedding dress on Saturday.  I drafted the pattern with PMB.  It is elbow length and lined with a chartreuse radiance lining.  (See picture of lining below.)  The faux fur is from Fabric.com…just took a yard.  I made the button by gathering a circle of fur and sewing it into a ball which is simply sewn to the cape by stitching thru the center to form a shank.  It closes with a ponytail loop sewn into the collar/cape seam.  capelining

I have also altered a red dress for DGD to wear as she serves as her mother’s maid of honor, hemmed the wedding dress (charmeuse) with a chiffon grecian style overlay, and altered my own dress…no…I didn’t make it…and shopped for shoes..and…and…well, you get the idea.

Tomorrow we host the family for Thanksgiving.  It’s a big day for us.  We always make it our special day.    We also celebrate our own wedding anniversary on November 30, it will be 7 wonderful years! 

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