The Saturday before Thanksgiving, nights getting down into the 20s for great sleeping weather and the days only going up into the 40s. This is the start of my favorite time of the year. During the summer, I feel spread out too thin. Always something I “should be doing”. When the weather turns cold, my universe coalesces back in on me and I feel pure contentment. I can be quiet and solitary because one is supposed to be quiet and solitary during hibernation.
Both hounds are snuggled up next to me in bed where it’s warm. In a few minutes, it will occur to one or the other of them that it’s time for a biscuit and we’ll use that biscuit to bribe them to go back outside. Just a game we play to maintain harmony in the pack and keep the balance of power in check.
Them: “We demand a biscuit!” Us: “Ok, you can have a biscuit but you have to go outside.” Them: “Your terms are acceptable to us.” Also Them: “We will bark at everyone and everything and remember Possum has that high pitched shrieking howl when he gets really excited.” Us: “Get back in here, you’re driving the neighborhood crazy!” Them: “Of course. If you think that’s best. We’ll just climb back up into that nice soft, warm bed and sleep the biscuit off.”
That’s me in the middle. It’s wetter outside now, the pups’ feet are a bit muddier so after throwing every bit of bedding into the wash…again…we debated on kicking the pups out of bed completely. Of course, RD could never withstand that kind of pressure, he will buckle like a cheap belt at the first whimper from Possum. Indeed, RD buckled before we even tried it! He decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to just take an old sheet and throw it over everything at night. I have the first quilt I ever made on the bed right now. It’s 20 years old and won’t stand up to weekly washings. Which is exactly what happened to the 12-13 year old quilt I specifically made for our bed. Beauty of a quilt, but falling apart now. I need to do some repairs on it like replace the binding and patch a few holes.
I just finished the quilt for Seattle Sister. It…was interesting to do. Her colors are not my colors, so inspiration was hard to come by. Truly. And the “cream” background I used is the exact same color as the cheap muslin fabric we sewists use to test new garment patterns for fit and whatnot. It’s a far better quality fabric by a long shot, but the color to me was bargain-basement. However! I finally decided to bear down and focus all my concentration solely on technique, matching points, honing in on alignment and by the time I had 4 rows put together, I could see the pattern emerge and started to like her quilt. Pics now:
Seattle has very wet and cold winters so this quilt will be done up with thick, very warm 100% cotton batting. Too warm for me, in fact. My above mentioned falling-apart quilt is made up with the thick 100% cotton batting and I could never sleep under it for its bent on trapping the heat in. There’s no way I could possibly be able to hand quilt that thick batting, and the quilt is too large to fit in my Bernina (I tried, it was a disaster) so I took it to my local quilt shop and paid to have them quilt it on their long arm after all. It was only $130, well worth every penny. The shop’s long arm is tied up all the way thru February so I won’t get this back to send to her till then. I’ve sent pics to Seattle Sister. She came back with “I want to touch it! I love it! I love the blues!” RD really loved the blues and thought it was a beautiful quilt. Me? I like the pattern. Every quilt I’ve done for myself has been dark. This is the first time I’ve made a “light” quilt. I like that, the lightness of it. When it comes back from the shop, I’ll bind it in the darker blue and that will change the dynamics further. I’m satisfied Seattle Sister is thrilled with it.
My next quilt…is this one:
It’s called Latimer Farms, originally a Block of the Month (BOM) pattern. A friend of mine, a master quilter, made it and won the Blue Ribbon in her Guild show. The Irish Chain has me…over the moon!! I searched the interwebs for days trying to find somewhere that would sell this pattern alone and finally found the entire kit on eBay. I snapped it up. There was only one entire kit left in the wild and now, it’s mine. The original kit came with the reproduction Civil War fabrics included. I’m running the calculus in my head as to whether I go get my own fabrics in my own color choices and make up 2 quilts at the same time. It didn’t help that when I dropped Seattle Sister’s quilt off to be quilted, the shop had a collection of Fall fabrics that knocked me to my knees. That didn’t help one whit so I guess I know where I’ll be on Monday: right back to the quilt shop to buy those fabrics. I do have at least 3 more quilts that I’ve actually promised to people, Raymond gets one and Riverside Sister gets one. In my head, I’ve promised on to my brother and I have a Kentucky Sister-In-Law that would be so happy just to be remembered. And there’s a wonderful Brother-In-Law in Mobile that if I make one for Seattle, Riverside & Kentucky, I would have to remember him as well. So 7 more quilts on my list, including our bed and our guest bed. Let the shutdowns continue, I guess. I have plenty to do, trying to flatten the curve of unmade quilts.
NOTE: I am not advocating for shutdowns. I’m actually irritated by them and refuse to wear the mask. I feel claustrophobic and like I can’t breathe wearing masks. But that said, I’m not one to flaunt it downtown and make an ass of myself. I’ll stay home, thank you. RD is willing to comply so he does the shopping. Trade-space and all that.
As a palate cleanser, in between Seattle Sister’s quilt and the next one, I made a cover for the new Juki serger. Now all the machines have dust covers.
I’m trying to use up that gorgeous silky linen so I cut out a new Chemise. This time, I changed the neckline up a little by adding a 2” band of silky rayon. I didn’t want this one to have a drawstring neckline and thought I’d create gathers below the 2” band while having the 2” band be a normal size neckline. But again, I just guessed and looked in the mirror for what I thought would work. Couldn’t be bothered to take exact measurements. I’ll see how close I get and go from there for the next nightie. I machined sewed the 2” band onto the front and have to hand sew it on the back as it’s slippery so it’s taking a day and a half to get the neckline done. After that, it’s zip, zip, zip, done. That silky linen is a delight to wear, I love hanging out while wearing it. Probably the most beautiful fabric I’ve ever owned.
Also today, I’ll start working up the pattern for RD’s shirt that I unpicked apart a couple of weeks ago and start working up a muslin for that. He needs some new shirts but I can’t get him to go to LL Bean and order some new ones.
But FIRST!! I have to get myself together and go make a pie crust. We’re making this today! A 400 year old traditional “Pumpion Pie” recipe!! Not the current pumpkin custard pie we all know. RD bought the sugar pumpkins yesterday and this is our project today. So I had better get myself off this iPad and go get my flour and frozen butter together! This time, I am going to follow directions and use unsalted butter, thank you. There is a reason recipes call for the unsalted butter, trust me on this. I ignored the unsalted butter ask in the previous pie crust I made because I’m a saltaholic and like things on the salty side, but the pie crust came out too salty even for me and clashed with the sweetness of the peaches a bit too much. Oh, we still ate it.
So. That’s it. That’s all. Sewing and Baking in the Times of the Corona and politics suck worse than anything I know of and I had a very tumultuous love life in my much, much younger immature years. Politics suck worse than that. Makes me all that more grateful…thankful…that I have RD, a wonderful husband and that Raymond is doing well. I hope everyone is doing well, I’ll say a prayer.
So, yeah. That.
**That’s a great link up there to a youtube video on the Pumpion Pie-not misspelled, that’s how people 400 years ago called pumpkin pie-but can’t get the video to embed. You’re lucky you got a link.