February has been crazy!

After posting a record breaking (for me) 11 times in January, I just disappeared, didn’t I? I’m sorry about that. Things got crazy busy for me – I spent last week in London for work, which meant that the week before I spent getting ready to go. But I’m back now and I’m here to tell you about what’s happening on other fronts for me!

First of all, I’ve taken to baking our own bread. It’s light, it’s fluffy, it’s so darn good, I can’t imagine why I didn’t start doing this sooner. Actually, I DO know – I could never find the right sandwich loaf, but I finally found it, and it is awesome. The recipe is from King Arthur’s flour, and it is by far the best loaf of bread I’ve ever baked – and I’ve baked many! You can find the recipe here … I highly recommend it. I double the recipe (don’t add any more yeast, but increase the salt by half) and it turns out wonderful every time.

The second development is that I’ve been looking at sewing machines and have just about decided on the Pfaff Creative Performance. Of course, if someone else has a rockin’ deal on a wide throat machine when I get ready to buy next month, that might change. But I’m loving the CP right now like you wouldn’t believe. It does quilting in the hoop, it’s an embroidery machine and it has a standard 9mm stitch width. You can also buy the embroidery unit separate from the machine, so the purchase can be broken into two separate transactions. My current plan is to buy the embroidery unit with the machine, but it’s nice to know that if my finances won’t allow that, I can save up the money for the embroidery unit while still enjoying the machine. I don’t mind telling you the fact that this machine is purple doesn’t hurt either! 😉

And the third thing is … with the idea of spending so much money on a sewing machine, I have decided it’s time to expand my sewing horizons into fashion and home decor. I have done some fashion sewing in the past – mostly for the kids when they were small, and all of it extremely easy. What I haven’t ever tried before – but seriously something I need to master – is a zipper. So, I have decided that I need some sewing classes, either online or in person. I signed up this week for my very first sewing class – Sewing Studio through Craftsy. I got a great deal because I signed up during a promotional special for President’s Day – I think I paid only $15 for the class. Don’t worry if you’re interested though, they run specials fairly often. Just sign up for their newsletter and you can get notifications on reduced prices all the time. Once I got enrolled in the class,  I found out there’s a book that is needed, called S.E.W. Sew Everything Workshop. I was lucky and found it at my local Barnes & Noble, but you can order it through Craftsy, Amazon or a number of other booksellers. I know that people were complaining about needing to buy the book, but my feeling is, you can never have too many reference books, and it does offer 10 patterns that can be altered to fit even plus size (the author is great; she was offering to help folks alter the pattern in the class!). So far I’ve only watched the first two lessons on making the envelope pillow, and tonight I plan to actually try my hand at it. I will pull some fabric from my stash (I have a few 16″ pillow forms, so I think I can get away with using a fat quarter), and I keep muslin (for the back) on hand all the time. The first two lessons have already taught me things I didn’t know – like how to make a french seam. That lesson will be very useful now that I don’t have a serger (I sold it last summer, like an idiot).

When I have my pillow completed, I’ll post a photo! Oh, and after I bake some bread this afternoon, I’ll post a photo of that too. 😉

Domestically yours,

Jill

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