She Didn’t Let Me Down

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Thanks to all the military relatives and friends who have sacrificed so much for us in America. We can enjoy cookouts, water parks, watching old movies, going to the fro-yo place this four-day weekend, thanks to them. My heart goes out to the people in other countries right now who are dealing with misery and want.

My parents were both in the Army, and my grandfather and brother were in the Navy. One of my sons went into the Army, and has served in Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq. I’m grateful for the mindfulness of the military those associations have brought me. I seem to be enjoying a prosperous time right now, but I don’t want to forget the wars waged, the losses, the changes.

This weekend, Ancestry.com is offering free access if you want to search their military records for records of your ancestors. And if you haven’t set up a pedigree chart so far, you can do so with a free account on familysearch.org. Family Search is getting better and more public records are added all the time. I promise you, researching your ancestors is a fun and addictive hobby!

I decided to do a little sewing, and chose this Burdastyle wrap dress from their March 2015 UK issue.

wrap dress

Cotton sateen wrap dress from Burdastyle March 2015

The level of difficulty was greater than what I’ve been used to, but I tried to rise to the occasion! First, I had to trace the pattern, and it had all sorts of weird pieces. Waistband pieces, facings, slashes, pleats. Interfacing. For notions, I needed 2 snaps and a button. I looked all over and finally found exactly 2 large-enough snaps in the zipper drawer.

snaps

two snaps left in the stash

Would you believe this pack of snaps went for 50 cents? Once again, my grandmother didn’t let me down. She has been gone since 1995, but I am still benefitting from the thrifty cache of notions and sewing paraphernalia in her old teak sewing desk.

Have a great weekend!

Things that make you go “MMMMMM…made in America…mmmmm”

I got an email from the Gainesville Handweavers Guild to be on the lookout for a new, made-in-America quilting cotton fabric. AMB’s web site said that the fabric could be found at a couple of shops in the NC – SC area where I happened to be for a few days, visiting while a family member attended Evolution2014 in Raleigh. IMG_1841

Cary NC Quilt Shop

Quilt Shop in Cary, NC

I stopped by here and snagged some fat quarters of the American Made Brand fabric, which my email said is from cotton grown in Arkansas, milled in SC…and then apparently marketed out of Seattle.

While in the vicinity of Raleigh, I was by no means subject to any sort of sensory deprivation. The beautiful sights, flavors, and atmosphere had me swooning with summer joy!

Raleigh Convention Center

View of our hotel from inside the Raleigh Convention Center

Convention Center artwork

Convention Center artwork

For more art on display at the center, click here.
Raleigh Convention Center

Raleigh Convention Center

One regret: the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo is coming to Raleigh, right here at the Convention Center, this weekend, and I will be long gone by then! If only…woulda, coulda, shoulda….sniffle…

We got take-out from The Pit, a famous North Carolina Barbecue place that has been featured on Man V. Food and Bobby Flay’s Throwdown. My favorite: the mashed potatoes with spicy gravy. Another: Soul Rolls, a deep-fried egg roll stuffed with smooth, piquant, mellow-seasoned chopped pork and collard greens and tender-crisp shredded carrots. We sampled a lot of delicious food in this town.

So what do you think about AMB: American-Made Brand fabric? Everyone I’ve spoken to about it is excited that there’s an American-made cotton quilting fabric on the market now. Is anyone up to their Farm-to-Fabric challenge? Hurry, there’s a deadline to register.

Original Sewing and Quilt Expo Lakeland

I was WOW! blessed to be able to go with a group on a tour bus hired by A1 Sewing. It was a great value for $45 which included admission to the Expo ($10), a cool pin, one free class at the event, and a rather large shopping bag. The bus ride down and back had us viewing several instructional dvd’s on the drop down TV screens, featuring Sue Hausman, Joyce Drexler, and other wonderful artists. I think gas for just the drive down and back would have been at least $35 and I did not have to do the driving, yay.  I met a couple of interesting, fun people, and just had a fabulous day.

At the "station" - A1 Sewing-- early in the morning, the Gator bus

FYI, the Expo is still going on at Lakeland Friday and Saturday. Go to http://www.sewingexpo.com for the all the info.

I started out snapping photos right and left, because the sights to see were truly amazing. Then one of the exhibitors told me I was being rude, taking pics without permission, and I was pointed to one of about a thousand signs proclaiming that photography of the quilts was PROHIBITED unless you buy the pattern/kit. And, duh, I had to agree that these quilts and projects are original works of art, and how easy is it to copy someone’s design and take credit for it? We have the upper echelon of designers, then producers, then distributors, then end users, then the bottom feeders like me who try to get the best for way less using coupons and remnants. But I do give credit where credit is due  with sources, patterns, instructions.

Sewing and Quilt Expo a-go-go

My faves:

1) Batiks from  Color by Hand in Ky

African (left) and Indonesian (rt) batiks

2) The African fabrics from Beba’s

African fabrics from Beba

3) The Japanese fabric from SomeArtFabric.com–I love that their business cards say, “Colleen Maria Casey, Enabler” ha, ha! “We sell fabric, wanna make something out of it?”

Kokka Japanese fabric from Some Art Fabric

4) The wool patchwork and everything else from Primitive Gatherings. This booth was my all-time favorite, because of the sumptuous colors, textures, and organization of their wares

Kit for woollen table mat with Valdani thread, Primitive Gatherings

5) The fabulous jackets made from sweatshirts, even though the mic was malfunctioning during that show.

6) Marathon Thread Guy’s stabilizers (Badge Master) and notions, glow in the dark and solar activated threads.

7) Vogue fabric booth –far from being the pinnacle of fashion, it was a huge collection of fabric remnants, notions, old how to books and junk in bins, a la yard sale (I snagged a bag of 50 non-invisible  zippers for $7).

8) The Fasturn booth had a Make/Take project of a celtic knot wrist band, but I didn’t participate. I was fascinated by their fabric tube turner tools, but not enough to pay the $64 for them. One lady said she’d pay ANYTHING for them.

There were about 8 or 10 Make and Take projects going on at all hours, at great prices.

9) Silk scarves embellished with woollen fiber roving. Another make/take that I didn’t sit in on, but found to be gorgeous. From Sew Artfully Yours, Inc. at http://www.sewingart.com.

Silk scarf and roving

Things I noted:

1) The audience was overwhelmingly the 50+ curly perm cohort in shades of gray from white with carrot red streaks to steely, with a sprinkling of those unlikely hair colors that Revlon provides, and all manner of roots prominent. The few younger women in the group really stood out in contrast. I saw 2 kids there the whole day, a ten year old boy who was darting through the crowd with a wild look in his eyes, and a little girl who looked bored.

2) All representations of fat were on display, from spare tire to Jabba the Hut on a Hover-round.  We need to all jump up from our sewing machines en masse and take a power walk, quick, before the French fries settle on our hips more.

3) While I was standing in line to pay for something, behind an elderly couple, the old man turned around to me, licked his index finger, pressed it on my arm and said “Tssss.” As I stood there gaping at him, he said, “Well, you deserved it!” Suggested interpretation:  in that crowd, I’m a super hottie? That both intrigues and horrifies me.

4) On the way home, I texted my husband to tell him we had just passed Cafe Risque, so he’d know about how long it would take for me to get home, and the iPhone automatically added the accent aigu to the e in risque. 🙂

4) I told him that my view of the sewing universe is decidedly less glamorous after that trip. I still haven’t really found my niche.

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