The Apron

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I met Jerri at a show in the fall. She was working for a vendor at one of the high school FFA shows I did, and she was interested in getting some embroidery done for Christmas gifts. So, I did an apron and chef’s hat for her middle granddaughter, and bags for all three of her granddaughters. I also did some bags for her daughter and daughters in law, and when I delivered them a week or two before Christmas, she asked if I could do an apron for one of her daughters in law. I said I would be delighted.

It hasn’t exactly been a delight …

I used See & Sew pattern B5125, and the pattern states, “YES! It’s EASY” so like a sucker, I fell for that. And honestly, it SHOULD be easy, but the directions were sort of stupid. The part about attaching the flounce was fine, but the binding around the neck and arms? Stupid. The directions made it appear as though a raw edge would be the product of constructing this area, which was ludicrous, and it wasn’t reflected in the photograph on the pattern envelope. Being a quilter, I decided to do it more or less the same way I bind a quilt, though I had already cut the pattern pieces out and felt obliged to use them. I could explain how I managed this, but suffice it to say, it sucked. Next time I decide to make a pattern like this, I will instead cut and make wide bias tape and use it to bind the appropriate area.

I had originally hoped to have the apron done in three days, but that didn’t happen because of the problems I had with the binding. I spent a lot of time, and tried a lot of options, before I landed on one that I thought would be the best way to finish this particular piece, and I’m fairly happy with the way it turned out, though next time I’ll be better prepared and have a solid game plan. I ran in to further problems with the pocket, which was not part of the original apron View A. I took the pocket from View B, and cut out two of them. On one, I monogrammed it as the customer requested, and then I sewed the two together to make the pocket appear to be lined. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the apron, even though it took far longer than I expected, due to design issues, the holidays and my daughter landing in the hospital for several days. At any rate, the apron is on its way to it’s new owner, and I am on to the next project … more on that on Wednesday.

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2013 Recap

This has been quite the year for me and my family. Here’s a little look back on what’s been going on around our place over the last twelve months …

In January, I really got into fabric dyeing.

This was among my first batch of dyed fabric. I love the bright colors!

This was among my first batch of dyed fabric. I love the bright colors!

It became one of my favorite ways to add fabric to my quilts, and my stash, and I think at this point, there’s no going back. I’m not using dyed fabric in every quilt, but it’s made an appearance in one or two and people really seem to love it.

In February, I traveled back to London for business. It was crazy cold there, and snowed more than once during my trip! This South Texas girl certainly wasn’t ready for that weather, but it was beautiful in a cold sort of way. I didn’t get any good photos of the snow, but have no fear – I have to go back in January 2014, so I have another chance. The weather also lived up to its famous reputation while I was there …

Rain in London, February 2013

Rain in London, February 2013

In March, Ricco came to live with me. He’s been a faithful companion all year long, and I’ve really enjoyed having him as part of my life. 

April brought my annual physical results, which weren’t great but weren’t horrible either. I set a lot of goals, some of which I attained and some I did not. I still have a long way to go with this one, but I’m working on it.

In May, I gave canning tomatoes a shot, and it was a huge success.

My first batch of canned tomatoes

My first batch of canned tomatoes

June saw the graduation of my son and his friends from high school – last one of my kids out of public schools – and we celebrated.

Party

My foster son, JT, left for college in Ohio in July, so we had a going away party for that …

JT leaves for college

JT leaves for college

In August, we bought a new car!

Ford Edge

In September, my daughter got MARRIED.

My daughter gets married

My daughter gets married

In October, I finished the first of two commission quilts, this one for my friend Heather.

The front of Heather's quilt

The front of Heather’s quilt

My son-in-law also left for Army boot camp, and we found out shortly after that my daughter was pregnant (I’m too young to be a grandmother, I’m pretty sure!).

In November, my daughter and I attended the Houston Quilt Festival.

Houston Quilt Festival

We also enjoyed celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, of course.

Finally, in December, I finished the second of the commission quilts, for my friend Pam. We had wonderful Christmas celebrations with our families, and we were able to spend time on Christmas day with the kids for the first time in 14 years (they’ve always spent Christmas day with their dad since we split).

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

I don’t really know what changes 2014 will bring, except that we anticipate my son-in-law will be stationed somewhere around late April/early May, and in July we’ll be welcoming a new addition to the family. But 2013 was a very good year for us, and since I’m never one to just sit around waiting for things to happen, I am excited to see what 2014 has to offer.

Happy New Year’s to you and your family!

Things will be quiet …

At least, this week, they will be fairly quiet around here. My daughter is getting married on Friday, and while it’s not a big wedding there will still be a small reception at our house on Friday night. So, between the cooking and cleaning and generally getting ready … don’t expect a lot of activity here on the blog this week.

However, I can give you a brief update on Heather’s quilt. I dyed a backing and hated it. It came out lighter than I wanted it to, and it had a bunch of white spots throughout, so I decided to hang on to it and over-dye it for another project and start fresh on backing for this quilt. Right now, the backing is sitting downstairs in a storage box full of dye water, waiting for me to rinse it out and get it ready for use.

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This one is a sunrise orange color, which I love so far, and I cannot wait to see the final product! I think it’s going to be simply gorgeous. 🙂 Since I’m using this color for the backing, I am seriously considering using something similar for the quilting thread on both front and back. I really cannot wait to get it done!

Also in progress is a Halloween quilt that I’m hoping to have done shortly. It should be really cute, and I have high hopes for it. 🙂

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And finally, I’ve got another commission quilt to be started shortly, for my friend Pam. I just need to go pick out the fabrics to go with what I already have. I am excited about it because I am considering doing a double Irish chain, which is what Heather’s quilt was to be originally, but which I think will really be spectacular with this new quilt.
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I’ll try to set up posts for WIP Wednesday, Throwback Thursday and Photo Friday in the next day or so, so there will be activity here, but I will otherwise be pretty silent. But I’ll be back next week!

 

And in an interesting twist …

Kerstin & Joseph 2-1

On Wednesday, my daughter Kerstin sent me a text message saying she and Joseph, her fiance of the last several months, were going to come see us later that evening. Since we were headed out for dinner, we invited them to come along, knowing that if they were coming to see us, something big was on the horizon. Boy, were we right.

They told us that Joseph is joining the army, and that they want to get married before he leaves for boot camp. Since that date isn’t yet nailed down, they chose the somewhat inconvenient date of September 4th to be married. This year. Yes, they want to get married in three weeks. I managed to convince them to move the date back to the Friday of that week, since the fourth is a Wednesday, so the wedding date is now September 6th, 2013, a full 13 months ahead of the already set date in October 2014. Let the insanity begin!

Obviously, with just three weeks between now and the wedding date, we’re going for a smaller affair, less expensive, with some things that won’t be done either because of time constraints or budget constraints. Three weeks isn’t a lot of time to plan for an event like this, no matter how small it might be. But already we’ve found and bought her a dress, she’s registered at both Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond, and we’re looking at wedding invitations and cakes. We’ve settled on a menu for the reception – it’s the standard fare for us – BBQ (it’s a good thing our friends like BBQ because this will be the fourth (?) time this summer we’ll have a party and serve it). There aren’t any attendants, so there’s no need for gifts. They still need to look at rings, decide what the groom will wear, and a few other things. We need to work out a few logistics. But overall, I think things will work out just fine.

When it comes right down to it, the truth is, we’re not ceremonial people. We aren’t formal, so this works well for us. I’m sure that some people might think it’s too simple or whatever, but you know, the goal here is to be married, not to go into debt with an expensive wedding. Even if they’d waited until next year, there might have been a few more frills and trappings, but in the end, that isn’t the way Kerstin is, so they still would have been minimal.

All that truly matters is that they are happy in life.