Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Needlework Tuesday - It's that Holiday Kind of Time

I'd like to tell you that I've been away on holiday, but no, I've been relaxing at home.  This past Friday we celebrated Canada Day.  Yesterday, family and friends to the south celebrated the American Fourth of July. Quite the weekend.

Today it's quiet in the house, the others are back to work and I am left to clear up, well, after I knit a few rows, and shop to get more yarn for the afghan, and get my walking in.  Did I mention that last year I bought a Fitbit for myself?  It's a wonderful little gadget for motivating me to keep moving.  The basic goal is to walk 10000 steps in a day. Yes, ten thousand.  Some health agencies have agreed that that is the amount we need for optimal health.  Most days I do get in all my steps, but some days, specially when ill, or when travelling it's difficult.

So how does this affect my needlework.  There are all sorts of professionals who would have you sit at your sewing machine and sew all day long.  When they need to press a seam, they swivel their chair to an ironing surface and press or use a pressing stick.  Bah, bad move.  Stand up, get your blood flowing and walk those few steps to your ironing board.  Better yet, move your ironing board to another room.  Every time you walk, the action of your legs helps pump your blood around your body.  More blood moving equals more blood to your brain, meaning healthier brain cells. The current line of thought is that better oxygenation of the brain will help stave off Alzheimer's.

I know I am worth the effort, so I keep moving and and stitching, even when the moving takes away time from today's stitching, in the long run it could help give me years more stitching time.

 I used to sew garments all the time.  I would tackle any project, only shying away from expensive difficult to handle fabrics.  Then I found home dec projects followed by quilting and didn't make a garment for years.  Lately daughter has wanted to learn to sew clothes.  Sure, why note, it's a great way to have unique clothing that you can custom fit.

There are a few things that give me pause, zippers and buttonholes.  It took me a week of prodding to install the zipper, which actually took less than an hour to complete.  The trick is to hand baste it in and then machine stitch.

Once that was done, I immediately jumped to the button holes. Didn't want to waste the momentum.  I had to read the wholely inadequate instructions that came with my machine and practice, practice, practice.  I had it perfect and made the first one on the dress. I was using the semi-automatic button hole foot, well, it couldn't cope with the slight bulge of fabric at the edge of the dress and sewed the second side of the button hole too short.  I had to take it out.  that left about 3000 needleholes in the dress. ouch.  had to get the new buttonhole in the exact spot.  But first, back to practice.  I put the machine back on manual and practiced, practiced, practiced.  On to the dress, got it perfect this time, did the second button hole. Done.

Then to cut open the button hole.  I use my seam ripper, but first, I put pins just inside the future opening, that way my seam ripper can not cut through the bar tacks at the end oft he button hole (oops, done that before).   Buttons are sewn on and the dress is waiting for daughter to learn how to do the hem on the machine.  Then finally you will get to see a photo of her wearing our creation.

Work progresses on the baby afghan.   I was going to use a baby blue in place of the green but it just didn't look right.  I borrowed the green from another project and am much happier with it.  Now I need one more green and more of the beige.   Son says his friend's baby is due soon though I can only stitch so fast.

The pattern says it needs to be vigorously blocked, but I am finding that it only pulls a little on the increase section, so I won't be worrying about that.

For the quilters in the audience. Today I am going to my first shop for the Row by Row Experience.  The very popular craft and surplus shop Lens Mills, has joined the hop.  All ten locations have a different row.  Unfortunately, the owner, Bruce Menary passed away this weekend.  His children plan to continue running the thriving business.  Bruce and his father Len will be remembered for their support of the annual MCC quilt auction in New Hamburg.  When you enter any of their stores, be sure to look on the walls and to the ceiling to see some of the over 200 quilts they purchased over the years.

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

I hope that you are having fun and  making progress on whatever project is dear to your heart at this moment.  Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current post.


Lin said...

What a lovely post - enjoyed reading all the way through. Thank you. xx

Marie said...

Good for you for sticking with your walking! Keep it up. Have you tried any strength training? It's also really good for you.

Great projects! Love that sealion (?) fabric! Is that the dress? Or just your practice fabric? Can't wait to see the finished project either way.