Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sewing Mania

At the end of February my sewing projects took a turn and its been full steam ahead. Children's clothes are fun because they are fast.  In an evening I can turn out a finished item.

The patterns are from garments bought at Goodwill and taken apart.  This requires a bit more finesse when cutting but provides better instruction. I can see exactly how the pieces fit together and how the finished product should look.

Within the recycle/reuse theme there have been great ideas for children's clothes from t-shirts.  After making 2 t-shirt quilts for L. I still have some t-shirts left.

This dress was bought at Goodwill...and this dress, (the t-shirt is L.'s Middle School) was the result.

Pinterest is a wonderful resource for tutorials on children's clothes.  This adorable t-shirt dress comes from taking a child's t-shirt and adding a skirt.  The fabric for the skirt and sash were more quilt remnants from the most recent stash R. provided.

The dresses are great but there was also a lounge pant tutorial using t-shirts that came from Pinterest.  Quick and cute!

Not only are these clothes fast and relatively easy, but I'm learning so much about my sewing machines and garment construction, and loving it. My first items are a bit rough but practice makes 'almost' perfect.  

Please take a minute and share a sewing tip, website you find helpful or a pattern that is your favorite. 

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Breaking for Spring

March has been busy and it isn't half over.  My niece got married on the 2nd in Fort Worth, Texas, which brought family from afar to revel together in celebration.  The fun was extended as I chatted with other nieces and sisters about what to wear, if we all had boots and what fun we would have boot scootin'.

My parents, Wisconsin natives, drove the extra miles to visit after the wedding.  Texas Panhandle weather can be feisty this time of year but the sun came out everyday and although the temperature was cool it was warm compared to their March weather. They rested after all the festivities, we enjoyed quality time together and they stayed long enough to see L., home for spring break.

Second semester, Sophomore year is a busy term for L.  He took on a double major (Chemistry and Computer Science) which leaves no room to take an easy class with a difficult one. He flew in on Friday evening with a programming problem still unsolved; due at the stroke of midnight.  We hugged hello then set him up at the kitchen table.  Eureka! occurred at 11:30 pm when he ran another test and the bug was ousted.

The rest of the week was spent getting ahead on future assignments, submitting scholarship applications, catching up on sleep and eating superb home cooking.

The sewing room reverted to a guest room three weeks ago.  The success replicating the size 2T dress has me itching to pull the machines out and get busy.

The weekend is being spent putting the house to rights and prepping the yard for spring.

St. Patrick's Day is upon us with Easter close at hand. Summer holds a host of possibilities dependent on what the spring brings.  Exciting times ahead!

What are you doing here on the cusp of spring?

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Friday, March 8, 2013

We The People

My parents, this month, left the frigid north for a visit to the warmer south.  They don't make the trip often. It was a granddaughter's wedding that got them moving but once out they get the most from their road trip.  I am stop number eight on their nine stop tour.

My folks live in a rural community where my father was born and grew up, thirty miles from where my mother grew up.   I lived in the same community until an industrial accident caused us to move when I was 14.  My parent's returned to the same homestead 20 years ago and retired there.

Their roots are deep; active members in the Congregational Church, the American Legion, Historical Society and the Seniors Association. They are a part of a close knit community that expresses a life dreamed of, written about, yearned for...and common in towns across our country.

They shared this story, a perfect reflection of the lives that knit the fabric of America.

Ed, 58, was a local truck driver, divorced and living with Ellen, 56, in the small town.  They lived on little spending their meager earnings and socializing regularly in the corner pub.  Ed died of cancer with only Ellen and a few dollars to mark his passing.

Jerry, a member of the community who knew Ellen's circumstances, called my Dad, the Commander of the American Legion and shared that Ed was a vet.  Jerry knew that Ed was never active in the local chapter but perhaps the American Legion could help out.

My father contacted Ellen and learned that the hospice chaplain would perform the funeral service. Through her grief he visited with Ellen about Ed's life in order to write an obituary and send it to the paper. He also offered the Legion building for the location of the funeral.

Phone calls to fellow Legion members procured a guitar player to provide music for the service. Women of the legion provided and served the meal. Another member searched the web and published a funeral pamphlet highlighting Ed's military career including the history of the ship he served on.

The Legion Honor Guard honored Ed 's passing with a twenty-one gun salute.
In a manner of those communities we idealize, they took care of their own.

There is often a caring community that counts us as a member but we don't fully realize what that means until those souls are the only ones who show up at our door with food, encouragement or the staples we need to make it another day.

Or perhaps you are the member that sees the need and steps up to offer your hand.  We all make up the threads that knit our neighborhoods and towns together.

What close knit communities are you a part of?

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