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Well, I haven’t had too many finishes this year – LOTS of new things started, though . . . hmmm, does this mean I have finishing issues? Or just busy multi-tasking? The answer depends on who you ask!!!
Anyway, I have finished this . . .
It’s the “Our Home” applique (by Lynette Anderson), which I wrote about here and here. It’s been finished for a little while, but now it’s framed and hanging on the wall. I put the year “2009″ on it, even though I made it this year, in honour of 2009 being the year we moved into our current home.
I’m really pleased with the way it turned out – a little piece of cheeriness celebrating our home.
This is “Francene” – my birthday present! How lucky am I?
She’s a February 1951 Featherweight model 221K, made in Scotland. And she’s just about perfect!
When I first unpacked her, the needle wouldn’t go up or down, but removing the 2″ piece of thread caught (or really just snagged slightly) in the bobbin case and the lint from around the bobbin saw her sewing like a dream – such lovely tension and perfect stitches (I used 2 different coloured threads to test her out – much easier to see where the tension needs adjusting). Her bobbin area may never have been cleaned, but all in all, she’s been very well looked after.
And she’s got the most beautiful scroll work on the face plate . . .
Her paintwork is in pretty good condition – see her reflection in the bed extension?
What is it about older things that holds such appeal? I mean, I can’t speak highly enough of my Janome machine (which is about 23 years old). It sews like a charm – always has. But Francene . . . she’s got a feel all of her own. Such a gentle rhythm, not to mention way toooo cute. She’s aged pretty gracefully for a 59 year-old! I guess my husband feels the same way with his cabinet making – he has the “new” tools, but there’s something about working with vintage equipment – mentally it seems to take you back to simpler times, a less rushed pace somehow. Whatever it is, I like it!
So there she is – Francene the sewing machine!
I was engrossed in doing some sewing, deep in contemplation when I looked up to see this . . .
the sun was streaming in through a small leadlight window and casting lovely coloured light across the room. And this little beauty was in the spotlight! It was as if she was just keeping an eye on what was happening in my little part of the world today.
I’ve posted about this lovely collage by Kate Mason before – she does really, really nice work.
I’ve added a page to my blog with links to useful and/or interesting iPhone applications. You can click on the button on the left of the page or the iPhone Stuff tab at the top of the page to get there . . .
This is an evolving list – as I come across things I like, or as my kids point me in all kinds of different directions to different apps . . .
Yesterday, Heidi talked about an app which I knew I just had to have. It’s the Quick & Easy Quilt Block Tool! Heidi talked about the “real life” version of this tool a while back, but I hadn’t seen it in the shops in my travels. So this app was ideal for me. Check it out if you’re a quilter . . .
If you go to the iTunes Store and use “quilt” to search the apps, there are a few interesting one to see.
Check back to the iPhone Stuff page from time to time if you like (I can’t quite figure out how to set it up so that you can subscribe directly to that page, so if anyone has any ideas, I’d love to hear them!).
Janelle Wind is taking “Snapshots of June” . . . “to focus on little things in my day to day life that bring me joy, make me happy or just make me smile”.
I thought I’d join in, too . . . a little late, but better late than never, right? So here goes . . .
Today, I’m inspired by greens and reds, like on the magazine cover . . .
and in this little dish made many moons ago by our son . . .
And this snapshot from a few days ago brings a smile to my face . . . one very happy, BRAND NEW learner driver!
What’s making you smile today?
Can you say your alphabet backwards? That’s one of the things that my grandfather could do – right up until he passed away last week, aged 97.
Fred – a good man who lived a good life. A kind and gentle man, a man who let you know he loved you. A man who was half of the team I know as my grandparents – the team who showed everyday what it is to live life from a place of love and respect. A man who’s heart stretched way across the miles and who gave hugs that let you know you were cherished.
Well, Fred’s body gave up the race, but his spirit lives on. And I smile as I think of (among other things) him teaching our kids the “backwards alphabet”. It was a bit of a conversation piece for him and is now a bit of a party trick in our household. Not that long ago, while he was unwell and being assessed by medical staff, he whipped out the “backwards alphabet” – much to their amazement. At 97, no less!
Try it for yourself – it’s not that hard once you get your head around it. But trust me, if you try to learn this sitting around the table with your kids laughing hysterically at you, it may take you a little longer!
So, here’s to Fred – Z Y X W V U T S R Q P O N M L K J I H G F E D C B A
OK, so it’s not like I’m in need of another project, but I’ve been seeing the Snowbound Block of the Month from Bunny Hill – and I really like it! The snowmen are so cute. But I decided I was going to start . . . and then I had a moment of indecision!
What was it that caught my imagination about this project?
Was it the fabrics (Rural Jardin – who can resist)?
Was it the applique which should go together pretty quickly?
Was it the snowmen?
Actually, it was a bit of all of those things. But . . .
I have decided, for now, to simplify (my life and this project) – so I’m doing it as a stitchery – in miniature!
Each stitchery block with be about 4 /12″ square. And I’m using some vintage silk thread that I picked up on my travels a while ago (I knew I loved it but didn’t quite know what to do with it).
So . . .
I started with the pattern and a fine (01) Zig pen (I find Pure Brown pretty good for tracing stitcheries) . . .
and traced it onto my fabric (which is the Rural Jardin plain in the aqua) . . .
then I started stitching . . .
There are 5 blocks available so far, with 12 in all to be done. I’m not sure what I’m going to add – maybe some little nine-patch blocks . . . we’ll see.
I quite liked stitching with the silk. It’s actually not quite as fine as would I would have preferred for this project, but still, I’m using it! I did a bit of Google-ing and it seems that the threads were probably made around 1925. They’ve held up pretty well – one spool was a little grubby on the outer threads, but most of the others are in pristine condition, with the label bands still in tact! There’s something quite appealing to me about working with older things (it’s a bit like antique furniture, I suppose). Whoever owned the threads before me must have a had a project in mind at some point, as there are 6 spools of one colour and a couple of another. Just goes to show – one girl’s stash is another girl’s treasure!