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A Week of Sewing

I spent a large amount of time sewing last week, including most of Saturday. Back to my roots, you might say. Beginning in that eight grade Home Ec class at Howard Junior High School, an inauspicious start I might add, sewing has been an integral part of many years of my life. I mentioned in my last post how I'd learned to machine quilt, albeit on a relatively small piece, and now I've re-learned how to do applique. It's been years and years since last I tried applique, which I realize should be written with an accent over the e but I don't know how to do it!

Yup, nearly twenty years ago, when Matt was first a student at FSU, I made him a quilt with the school initials in the middle of it, however, it was anything but easy. So difficult for me and my equipment--the Elna machine I'd inherited from my Mother bit the dust completely, a friend's machine I borrowed broke, not a life threatening breakage, but enough that it needed $75 worth of repair that was hard to come by in those days. Finally, if you can imagine with that history, another friend allowed me to use her machine to finish the quilt. Success at last.

So, it was with a bit of trepidation that I tackled the project I found on this blog. Unfortunately I did not realize that she'd updated it with a drawn pattern when I made it, so Mr. Bruce had to come to my rescue. He not only figured out the size ratios, but cut the triangles too! Here is what the dining table looked like during that process.
Needless to say, I couldn't wait to put it together. Here is how I began laying it out.
After some rearranging, I ironed them in place using Stitch Witchery, a sort of fusible web tape. Finding a spot long enough was part of the challenge, however, the ironing board, while not ideal worked well enough. Except, when B came to see how things were coming, he, surprise, surprise, noticed my trees were heading downhill! Fortunately, I was able to rip them off the fabric and do some squaring up.

I must have only just used my steam iron on it before taking this photo-- the dark spot you see on one of the trees is nonexistent now! I am absolutely in love with this, and not because I made it, but because it is such a cool design, not to mention it can be used year round!
The blog author, used a variety of decorative stitches on her trees, however, my machine is not capable of that, so I contented myself with using multiple sizes of zigzag stitching, made all the easier with the fantastic walking foot. Here's the difference in my every day foot, and the walking foot, which is not only larger, but has feed dogs built into it.
Absolutely amazing how well it works!! It is good for an old dog like me to learn new tricks. :)

Remember in my last post that a cardinal was sitting pretty outside, even when I was nearby? Well, the other day, one flew into the house through my open front door!! Now that's a first. B went on the chase as it flew from one corner of the room to another ,eventually landing on this!!
In a case of life imitating art....

I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the photograph; the flash went off in my haste!

Sunday morning, after finishing the runner, we went to church, leaving in enough time, however, for whatever reason, there were no parking places to be found! Eventually we found one a few blocks away, making us both late, and having to sit in the second to the last pew. As always, this kind of thing happens for a reason. Had we been earlier, I'd have never sat behind two men wearing identical shirts!
Furthermore, there was woman, part of a family that came in even later, sitting next to Bruce. When we stood for the greetings and peace offerings, I noticed her and thought she looked familiar, saying as much to Bruce. Not a minute later, she told me I looked familiar. Well, as it turns out, they purchased a framed baby canvas from me the last time I was showing at the Winter Park Autumn Art Festival. So, there was that. After Communion, I sat next to her and we did a little chatting. I mentioned how I was taking a break and was so happy to once again be able to attend worship services, albeit in a different church than we'd once attended. I told her that our former Pastor was vehemently opposed to homosexuals and since we have a gay son, it just wasn't cutting it. To my surprise, she said, she too had a gay son, although they hadn't told many people about it yet. With time, I told her, it becomes very natural so don't be too hard on yourself. Before leaving, she gave me her phone number, suggesting we get together for lunch. No doubt she wants to hear more about our journey and how wonderful it is to know that our son is happy as can be. I remember a lovely woman did that for me, and now is my chance to pay it forward. Awesome, right?

Our walk back to the car took us through the grounds of the lovely Alford Inn. It was there that I thought perhaps B could take a photo of me standing beside the purple bougainvillea. I'm wearing an old purple dress that I thought would look nice. If only I were photogenic that is!
After another super lunch at Hawkers, we changed and got our tree at the lot benefiting the Russell Home. Had it not been for a good cause, we might have kept looking, but we both agreed--what the heck. It may be a tiny tree, but we'll make it ours.
I had B put it on the above side of the living room, however, because the ceiling is so high, it only highlighted the minuscule size. Using my turkey baster, I removed most of the water, and the baby tree moved to the other side of the room. Much better!
The boxes on the table will be put away today, mostly full, that's for sure! If ever there were a tree crying out for large packages, it is our baby tree!

I could not find my silver tray, instead I'm using gold with my parent's old Christmas angel, which may, or may not, have much life left in her. Depends on how shabby you like things!
We are now officially in the Christmas spirit, made possible by both the tree, and our annual viewing of Love Actually last night. Now, about those big presents....

Trying to stay away from my sewing machine,

Gail

p.s. I nearly forgot about the beautiful flowers Lisa's husband Danny sent for Thanksgiving, the roses are still going strong!
There now, all my generous relatives are accounted for!
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