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Quilting & Sewing in 2117? What Will It Be?

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Thoughts wanted! Just a very quick post because the future of quilting and sewing was on my mind today As I work to finally finish the backing for my 1876 Centennial Quilt (why did I choose to piece rather than simply use a 'fat back' ?!....I know I wanted to use up ALL of the fabrics that I had purchased for the quilt). I began to ruminate on the future of quilting. Perhaps the future of sewing in general as a valued skill.The original maker of the 1876 Quilt may well have wondered how and where her quirky quilt would be in a hundred years (which, ironically, just happened to be 1976 when the 'great quilting revival' was in full bloom and was also when a I began to make quilts ). Where, I wonder, will our quilts end up. Well loved and in pride of place at a family member's home? Ragged and torn in a basement?What do you envision 'quilters and quilting' in 2117? Will people still be making and using quilts? Will sewing still be a viable art form and avocat…

Summery Frocks & Sweet Surrender Update

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Most often I seem to wear clothes with rounded necks, and I wanted to switch up and sew some v-necks. I find that many RTW (ready to wear) v-necks styles are cut too low for my taste, so I decided that it was time to try a pattern with a v-neck. This is a 2003 Vogue pattern (7724) designed by Koko Beall. A "very easy" at that. Since I have not used a Vogue pattern in years and since I needed to grade between sizes I had planned to make a muslin of the pattern. I am a fan of soft Indian cottons and last April I ordered 5 yards of a border print from an EBay vendor. I decided to use some of that fabric to make what I hoped would become a 'wearable muslin'. Hoping, I suppose, that my first try would work, and it did, but not without a few ups and downs. I graded between sizes in several areas and, thankfully, it worked outfairly well. The finished dress fit well enough, but I felt that a summer dress would benefit by being a bit looser. After 'sleeping on it' …

Summer Dresses

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Many people who sew clothes have what are called TNT (tried'n'true) patterns. They are patterns that you know well, can be adjusted easily and that you like to make and wear. Thy tend to be comfortable, easy-to-make in a variety of fabrics and easy-to-love. Ever since I found this pattern from Sonya Philip of 100 Acts of Sewing, her Dress No.2 has been my TNT. I make one of them when I need some instant gratification. I had purchased two yards of a lovely batiste-like cotton fabric from Stevie Saint Fabrics a year or more ago. It's a bit odd that I ordered so little of it but I had probably planned to make a simple shirt originally. These days I usually buy 3.5 yards or more of fabrics that I like so that, when I decide to use it, I have more pattern choices. I loved the flowers on this cloth, but also though that the fabric looked a bit "curtain-ish" or "50's housedress-ish", plus the pale green is not a great color on me but oh! I love those ric…

The 1876 Centennial Quilt Project. A 19 Month Adventure

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In October of 2015 eighteen of us began an interesting journey. Recreating a quilt that was made in Connecticut in 1876 as a centennial remembrance. This quilt was purchased at an estate sale in about 1998 by a Connecticut resident, Barbara F. Menasian for the small sum of $25.00!  We know nothing of the maker except for her initials, and we are not even able to decipher how those initials are read. 


Fast forward to 2015 when Barbara posted an image of it on a FaceBook group where Karen B. Alexander, a quilt historian and contributing member of the American Quilt Study Group chanced to see the photograph. Well, the rest of this happenstance becomes the story of our 19-month project. it was filled with highs and a few lows for some of us. Anne Dawson, quilt restorationist, quilt shop owner, quilt pattern drafter and quilter extraordinaire, became the person who painstakingly drafted these intricate patterns as she created her reconstruction of the quilt. her quilt followed the original …

Zirkel, Zirkel, Who's Tried a Zirkel?

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I had been looking at Zirkels for some time, but I kept deciding that it was one, albeit small, expense that I did not need to follow through on. There are many less expensive options for magnetic pincushions. I had never considered buying one and I am unsure why, other than the fanning, the Zirkel caught my eye while the others didn't. Of course there is a caveat here....or it wouldn't be worth a post after so very long an absence. I am working on a project that, like it or not, requires using a whole lotta pins...many, many more than I generally use ...which is usually as few as possible. I used my well loved wool felt pincushions until one day, as I sewed, I considered how much time I was spending taking the pins out ahead of my sewing and tucking them safely back in the pincushion. My mind turned to the Zirkel again. Would using one be any faster than using a wool felt pincushion? Keep in mind that I am most decidedly not a "quick, fun and fabulous" kind of sewer…