Another summer is gone. In our house, one can read that as: Lawn care season is over. We’re getting the riding lawn mower ready to be put away till next Spring, cleaning the blower and edger. (And by “we” I mean R.D.) The A/C has been off for several days now, and we’ve even started turning the heat in the evenings. I’m breaking out the electric blanket tonight, for it’s going to get down to 18º in the wee hours. Slowly, over the past month, we’ve transitioned more and more from grilled meats and salads to warmer, oven baked comfort foods & stews. Definitely, the season has changed. I like curling under the blankets in the morning for longer periods, I’m slower to get up and get moving. That makes these shorter and shorter days just that much shorter overall. Right this minute, I have my bedroom window blinds open and watching 43mph winds blow thru the neighborhood tress with their leaves that have already gone from green to reds and yellows. This is my favorite time of the year. This is the start of my seasons, Fall and Winter. I love Spring, too. I love those days where you feel blessed and happy to be alive and I just get thru Summer, tolerating it with as few complaints about the heat as I can manage…but Fall & Winter? Those are my times. I feel like I’m coming home. I think because I’m not a people person and enjoy my own company. Fall & Winter encourages one to settle in and get comfortable with oneself for the duration. I was born for Winter.
Raymond ended up turning his Uncle’s job offer down and stay with the company he’s been with for the past 3 years. His Superintendent called him in on his 2nd day back and told him they were making him back-up Superintendent, with a long range goal of grooming him to become Super one day. I don’t think the current Super has any immediate plans to retire, but I’m sure even Supers enjoy the odd vacation from time to time and that makes the need to prepare for a back up. I know Raymond spent a couple of weeks trying to decide. In the end, he told me he was a “Yellow Iron” guy. Yellow Iron meaning Caterpillar Equipment. We wondered about that, R.D. & I. Raymond was already a gifted mechanic…he can fix anything…but when he decided to go to school, he specifically chose heavy equipment. He had the chance to choose from automotive, big trucks and heavy equipment, and he went with heavy equipment. From the moment my brother offered Raymond a job, I saw that discrepancy. How can he go from overhauling Triple 7 Haul trucks to changing oil and filters as part of fleet management? What my bother’s offer held was the chance to own his own business down range. I think Raymond made the right decision. It was a hard decision, but in the end, I think staying with his company…where he shines like a rockstar…was the only choice he could make. Also, my son is a very rooted man. He sets roots down deep. I know this about him. Poor guy, totally missed the Tumbleweed Gene from his mother!!!
Of course, his Uncle understood completely and was even quite gracious about Raymond’s decision…as I knew he would be. I also thought my brother & Raymond would get along, but the way they immediately took to one another surprised me. They’re cut from the same cloth. My brother sent Raymond back a message to say he understood, he had a great time with Raymond and to come visit anytime, he’d be very welcomed! So that’s sweet! I…really like how they took to one another like ducks to water.
On a very different note, this was Raymond’s first vacation in years. He went from working steady, going to school, to working with this company for three years. He had a great time just being on vacation. The first thing he said to me when I swung by his place to get him to go to Arkansas was “We’re on VACATION!” He gets his head down so much, he’s all about getting the job done that he forgets he needs down time himself. I had the greatest fun just being on the road with him, secondary roads at that, off interstates. I can’t describe it. I’m already planning a vacation for next year with him. I hope R.D. comes along, but R.D. traveled a lot in his work and I’ve noticed that these days, he seems to be losing his tumbleweed religion. R.D. doesn’t have an itch to burn the roads up traveling. He likes being settled, he’s comfortable in his home and doesn’t mind at all staying behind and caring for the pups. If my next planned vacay (to South Dakota) turns into an all out family affair, well…Hallelujah!…but if he decides to just stay home, Raymond & I will go and make the most of it. I’m still going in the Airstream. Raymond & I agreed that every night in and every morning out of hotels, eating out in restaurants loses its charms very quickly. By the time we got home, I was actually unwell from all the eating out. But then again, I have 2 Class A wonderful home gourmet chefs in my life!! I eat better and healthier at home!! I never, ever, ever crave a meal out. Never. Ever!
I’ve got…if you can believe this…5. Five. Five different sewing projects going. Me. The woman who cannot start another project until the last project has been put away! I’ve tried! And I get this “…just one last seam…I have to finish this one last hem…” before I can even think of starting a new one. One project is this:
R.D. has 3 or 4 shirts that he loves and has worn out. Sure, he has a closet full of shirts, but these 3 or 4 are the only ones he will wear. And now, they’re falling apart. So I spent a week, working in the evenings, picking the seams apart and I’m going to use the pieces as a pattern to make him some new shirts. He says he likes the way these particular LL Bean shirts fit. And that’s the one thing: You have to love the fit of your clothes.
Next, I need some new nightgowns…or Chemises in the French, and had bought the most beautiful linen earlier this year just for that purpose. I spent 3 days sewing this beauty up. This fabric is…blue chip. It’s practically a silk linen. It’s smooth and soft and has a beautiful drapey hand.
And aesthetically pleasing as any fabric I own. I own a lot of fabric. This one is Top Five.
Along with needing some new nightgowns, what I also needed to work on underarm gussets, and these came out perfectly.
While at my brother’s in Arkansas, I brought along several sewing projects to keep myself busy while he & Raymond ran around. One of my projects was this top, a cloned pattern traced off from one of the few store bought tops I own. It’s a very loose silky/rayon T-Shirt:
Except, the upper arms are way too tight because the top I cloned it from was knit and stretchy, this fabric is a woven. I added a couple very clumsy underarm gusset. Not only were the gussets inept, but too small. I still had pull marks from the fabric being too tight.
I can fix the gusset size easily enough, but the clumsiness is another matter altogether. So not only needing new night gowns, a refresher on properly inserted underarm gussets was called for. What I really need to do now with this top (which I love, btw) is to totally redo the sleeves. Indeed, when I attached the underarm gussets to the new chemise, I thought to myself “OOoooh! Yes! This is much better than the way I did it!” Long story short…I have to unpick the sleeves and do them again from scratch. This is something I can sit in the evenings and do after supper. Along with redoing the sleeves, I also had to redo the hem. Facing-Hems are still new, a technique I really like but I just started it last year and still have some things to learn about doing them correctly. So far, my biggest learn is to do the facing hem in 2 pieces, front and back. Sew the front piece, do a facing hem on it, then do the back and sew them the facing hems at the side seams just as you would do the top/blouse itself. Saves the facing hem from being smaller in circumference than the blouse itself.
The next project I have no new pics for. It’s this one: https://jypsea.us/2020/09/08/my-first-princess-seams/ The project I thought I’d work on while at my brother’s, but time got away from me. There really wasn’t as much quiet sewing time as I thought there would be, actually. I did cut the pattern out in muslin, I may have sewn 3 seams on it but there’s nothing much to show for it. It’s in a ziploc bag waiting. It’s now an UFO (Un-Finished Object). I’ll get to it when I get to it. Because….
Right before me, I have a project with a time limit on it. Seattle Sister’s quilt I promised for Christmas! I bought the fabric…don’t ask about the price!!! Just let me repeat a conversation I overheard with a couple of quilters while in the fabric shop. One said “Well, that’s why I don’t donate quilts to charities!! They want to give you $100 for the quilt and that doesn’t even come close to covering my fabric expense! And the time and work I have in it?? Forget about it!” I thought about it. It can seem selfish on the surface. But then again, I wanted to do Seattle Sister’s quilt first because they are coming for Thanksgiving and I wanted to be able to give it to her personally instead of shipping it. It is expensive and labor intensive…what if it gets lost in transit?? I would never be able to recover my labor and cost in it!! Also, the only people that would ever donate a car (or anything comparable) to a charity is a business who can write that expense off and get some sort of return for it. So yeah. Anyway, this is the fabric I chose for Seattle Sister:
This is from her requested color palette. Her darkest blue from her palette is still pretty “medium” to me. She has a really nice yellow in her palette but I couldn’t find a good blue fabric in her choice of blues, with her yellow. But I have an idea….here’s the quilt pattern I’m using:
I really, really, really want to do something like this, where the color transverse:
This idea has my imagination in a stranglehold and I will not be able to find peace until I make it. So…I have 2 ways I can do this. Either with a straight transverse like the above, but instead of a white line delineation, use muted colors to swap from light to dark….OR…hear me out….use her yellow as the delineation strip between the transversing. Just a thought.
As for the quilting itself, the batting I’ll use for her quilt is pretty heavy. Seattle is cold and wet so she gets the really good warm stuff. It’s too heavy to quilt by hand so I think I’m going to try and do it as a lap quilt where you piece a block together, add the backing/batting then quilt it one block at a time, then sew the blocks together. I can machine quilt each block, I just can’t get the entire quilt under my Bernina B560 and be able to maneuver it so’s I can see what the heck I’m doing! It’s too much! So one block at a time is how I think I can manage. I could take it to my local quilt shop and have them do it on their longarm. I don’t know how much they charge for that. I should know. I’ve promised 3 other quilts after this one and how much my local quilt shop charges to longarm a quilt for seems like something I should be aware of, right? Maybe I will do it like that. I betcha I end up doing that. Then I have Raymond’s quilt to do and then my brother’s and then, Riverside Sister’s.
That’s the long term. Right now, the Moment is calling me. R.D. has turned on the gas fireplace in the living room. It’s official. We’re running the gas fireplace in daylight hours, we’re calling it. Summer is gone, cold weather is here. Before I can comfortably get into Seattle Sister’s quilt, I have to hold a House-Cleaning Day. Both bathrooms, clean sheets, break out the electric blanket, do a deep clean dusting…I successfully talked R.D. out of mowing the lawn for the last time today as we’ve got 45mph winds happening, I have to redirect his energies to running the vacuum. If I jump up and get started, I can get this done and still go to Joanns Fabrics for Seattle Sister’s yellow. And a ribbon for my new chemise.
So, off I pop. Up and at ‘em!
P.S. R.D.is after me to get going. He needs some things from the store, wants I should get ready to go to Joann’s right this second so I am not previewing this post. It’s getting published as is! If I find egregious errors later, I will correct.