Wet and Cold
Food and Fibers

Gray Days


Please forgive me if I sound grumpy while I reconstruct this post for the _third_ time. Grrr. I am clearly in a more clumsy state than usual as I keep losing my in-process typing while searching for links. <Deep Breath>

That, up there, is a class Singer Featherweight sewing machine. If you've been reading my blog for very long, you probably remember that I won a Fwt several years ago that I call Blue (for her custom painted color). Ever since I acquired Blue I've been trying to find a local class on maintenance so I can care for my machine correctly. I even managed to sign up for one a while back (at Jinny Beyer's shop in Falls Church), but it got snowed out. Sigh.

Dawn at Springwater Designs arranged for Kathy The Machine Lady from Pennsylvania to teach such a class and I was a very happy student in it this morning. I highly recommend her class - I feel pretty confident now about cleaning, oiling and maintaining my baby properly. I also respect her business ethics ... and bought some goods from her after class (a really good machine oil mixture with an excellent container, some cute hot pink tweezers to grab stray thread tangles, a walking foot for Blue which has been on my wish list, and a cute little white doily to put under the thread spool). The information in the class was clear and useful - with lots of fun details about the history of the machine for those folks who like to collect (not me!). :)

Most of the days of this past week have been bland with very little of true interest happening chez Schiffer. I am having some digestive troubles associated with taking these heavy antibiotic doses and I'll be glad to be done with the stuff (fingers crossed that it works this time to kill of the stomach bacteria; I have no idea what comes next if it doesn't). I felt really blah on Wednesday and Thursday ... and so missed my guild meeting on Thursday morning (my social outing). Since Monday's evening's guild meeting fell on MLK Day and the church (where we meet) was closed, I was really happy when Friday's session of Stitching Together came around. :)

Barbara and I decided to have lunch at a new-to-us (and probably pretty newly opened, too) restaurant called Indigo which serves Indian (subcontinent) buffet. The food was quite good I thought and I enjoyed our lunch.

The name tickles me, too - I think of indigo fabrics as Japanese since that's where I was first exposed to the use of the historic blue dye ... but there are strong indigo dyeing traditions is India, middle America and Africa, too, that I've read about. Of course, many of my ancestors probably were indigo loving (those 'naked' Celts going into battle wore woad - the native indigo plant of the British Isles - as an infection prevention and probably as personal decoration). 

Side trails ... sorry, my mind jumps around like a cricket. :)

Anyway, our friend Patty came to Barbara's house after lunch to sew, too. She brought along the spool blocks she won at Village Quilters this month - the block of the month design was a single spool of thread with the 'thread' portion of the design made of striped fabric. Patty made 10 blocks for the drawing and won 14 more (if I remember what she told me correctly:) ... and ended up with enough for a decent sized bed quilt. It was fun to lay them out on Barbara's design wall (about 6 by 6 feet) and play with the arrangement. :)

Barbara was sewing foundation patterns for a design by Judy Niemeyer she is making in a class at Jinny Beyer Studio. I forget the name of the design (and don't have the patience at this moment to wade through all of Judy's patterns to find the right photo) - but it will be a spectacular quilt when Barbara is done! I have never learned Judy's methods for doing foundation piecing (although I did have someone teach them at my shop) and it has been interesting learning tidbits as Barbara works. I doubt that I have the necessary patience to tackle such a monumental undertaking. Barbara does, though (her Ladies of the Sea quilt is certainly a major undertaking).

Oh, I almost forgot ... Barbara made an executive decision and declared that she and I will be starting to work on our town and country quilt next Friday. We've been contemplating this project since the pattern came out in 2016 and she just decided to put her foot down. :) I have dithered about what colors to use (I thought about using Japanese taupes a la Yoko Saito as well as the blue backgrounds featured in the original quilt) ... about what exact applique technique to use (I am tending toward wool applique on cotton with hand embroidery, now) ... and just generally being indecisive over the details for several (um, four, I guess) years. 


Push has come to shove with this project and I need to make some decisions. This will be an adventure! I am hoping/planning to work in details of places significant to me - from my childhood, my travels, my parents' farm or my current home - in this quilt. Wish me luck!

:) Linda



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