Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Ledwidge Lookoff Rally Weekend

Sorry I haven't posted in a bit. I have been sewing and do have things to show. The big car rally of the year for us is this weekend. We organize now and don't drive. So sad.

However, there will be a car display at Dartmouth Crossing from 3 to 5 on Saturday - followed by a spectator stage at Conrad's Gravel Pit at 6. The spectator stage is easily viewed, short and meant to be for show, although the times are included in Sunday's rally. Come out and see what we are up to!

More info here at http://www.lookoffrally.com.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

A Whole Bunch of Nothing

Here are some of my Natal Day experiences. That lovely dog entertained us all at the parade by putting nose to the sky and hooooowling with every siren and bagpipe that went by. In true Dartmouth form I saw everybody I ever knew at the parade. 

The box car was part of a very long train passing through the middle of the ferry terminal parking lot. The stage for the music concert was on the other side. That train goes every year (probably every night?) at that time. Concert would not be the same without it!

The Great Lake Swimmers were on and I had heard them on CBC and liked them. Off I went for the live version. Mistake! They are a mellow and mournful group. After a few of their 'mournful and sad' tunes - all of which sounded just the same - I was completely sad. So sad. The fireworks perked me up, thank heavens!

There was a large crowd of the 'younger set' waiting well off from the stage. I can understand their lack of interest. However after the fireworks they were rewarded with an excellent DJ/rapper type. Nice young crowd. Well mannered and keen.

And as usual the Dartmouth Banook Lake fireworks ended with the biggest waterfall ever! Yah!

Look at this pillow! It's from a new embroidery card from Husqvarna. Instead of using Christmas colours I went pretty and bright. I'm thinking these designs will be quite useful. I'm planning to pop one on the bottom of my next jewelry bag.

Here we have my new machine cover! I don't know about you but dust can be a problem in my sewing room. Probably because I'd rather sew than clean. It just makes sense. I have more of this fabric to make covers for the other current busy bodies. Like the embroideries? Bertha has attitude. 

 And now for my latest baby. It's a toy, and I have great hopes for using it soon. It needs a small adjustment in timing, I think. Found this in a nice shop out the Musquodoboit way.

Last, and least in my mind is my first and last attempt at hand quilting. IT'S HARD! I can't make little consistent stitches! However, It does make a lovely tea cozy. Notice how I used left over scraps from my quilted jacket for the reverse side. Waste not, want not!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

My Latest Addition!

DH and I went to the Caledonia area 30 mile yard sale today. It was a lovely time! Nice drive and great food when we stopped into Mahone Bay for lunch (Kedy House - excellent food!).


Just before Mahone Bay we stopped into a barn of junk for sale and noticed an unusual silhouette  stacked on many other layers of stuff. DH was first to spot it.

My heart did a little flip. It was a treadle machine, but not a shape I knew. It was smaller than expected and (after we hauled off some junk) identified as a Wanzer by the foot pedal. I needed to see it.

The man in charge was cranky and would not allow it to come down for viewing until I agreed to a general range of price. I don't know why, as DH did all the lifting. The more we looked the more we saw. All the important parts and pieces were there - bobbins and shuttle included! DH had it tucked in the car before the cranky man could tuck away the cash!

It's a Wanzer A - one of the early ones I think. That means 1870 to 1880 I think.

 Here is the machine lifted off the treadle. It lifts off and has a hand crank for table top use! The base is marble to give it weight.The top thread would be impossible to thread without very detailed instructions. At one point the thread passes through a guide for the second time, in the opposite direction. The bobbin is even more convoluted! It uses a series of holes for tension. However, if you do anything wrong the machine won't move. Excellent fail safes!

 Here is the first seam. I used paper towel so I could tear my way out of disasters. Saw that one on You Tube. It is a beautiful stitch! The bobbin thread broke, but then again it's probably 100 years old, so I'll forgive and forget.

Here it is in complete form. Don't mind the black tape. It's not as bad as it looks.

The top has been removed. The machine fits into the table to provide a flat top for work.

Here are the attachments. Those are the original instructions and they are readable. 

This is the presser foot. It has a hole for threading wire. I assume cording as well? Other feet slide over this foot to fit onto it.

Here is the bobbin wonder.

Here is the tiniest rolled hem foot I've ever seen. It slides over the presser foot.

And now off to the fireworks to celebrate!


My raspberries are ripening like popcorn into an overflowing bowl. It's a good year! Popped one in my mouth last night and got a mouthful of wasabi. It seems that some bugs taste like wasabi. I'm not keen on those bugs.

Our groundhog is back! He/she is adorable, but likes to sample the salad bar rather than stick to one (and only one) squash like our last hog. The Lee Valley motion sensor water squirter is going back out! We are now keeping an eye out for the little rascal. It's called the 'Hog Watch'. It comes out as hog wash. After we admire him (so cute!) we gently shoo him away from the garden. You may roll your eyes now.

Sisters Week is over. We had a great time (what goes on during sister week stays....). The Fundy tides are amazing, and the valley has endless numbers of things to do! Mmm, lobster in Hall's Harbour! I made a sister week bag (Annika Market Bag) for everyone. I had another project planned, but it was NOT going to happen this year. Next year perhaps. It's all ready to go.

I like the bag pattern. It goes together in a sensible manner. The handles actually end up on the fold - and such a simple step makes it all more practical. You can line it (I did) or not. I embroidered both sides so a lining was tidier. The Great P designed the sister week logo for me. I don't do design software yet and she had just had a workshop. The other embroidery came from Urban Threads. They have great sales and monthly freebies!

Aren't we beautiful? 

Four days last week saw me at a Husqvarna Dealers Retreat, again in the Annapolis Valley. I've not sewn with a HV before and was a bit concerned I wouldn't like it. However, if you just assume a new machine works in a logical fashion, you seem to be correct - and things went very well. I had a Topaz 50 to work with. It's an embroidery machine aimed at beginner to middle enthusiast embroiderers. It's a bit slower to stitch things out and the screen you work with is smaller. Other than that it does a beautiful job and handled some pretty big tasks. For the bucks it's a bargain.

I accidentally embroidered some bag handles to the back of my work. That little machine just purred through all the 'extra' fabric. Usually you can hear a problem as it happens. I didn't, and the embroidery was just fine! The bag will be requiring a rescue. I have some handle strapping at home, I think. It will be good as new, and a testament to 'machine over stupid owner'.  I also put an embroidery stitching out of alignment. My fault. Don't leave clips where they shouldn't go. However, even with that little screen and fewer positioning tools we (it takes a village) got it back perfectly to finish a rather lovely piece of work.

But look! Great embroidery on one side, thick strap on the other side! Impressive!

It was a dream come true weekend for a sewer. Compare it to hopping on an endless wine tour bus that just keeps on pulling up to another wonderful discovery! So much expertise in a room! So many things to discover! Wonderful people and wonderful fun. We started officially at 9 am (most people were early) and ended anytime after 10 - including a few midnights. No, you didn't have to do any of it. You just couldn't stop! You might miss something! You were dying to see how that would turn out! We even ordered our meals delivered to our room. Sewing heaven!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

We Turn for Turtles!

So we drop the truck off for service and are driving home when....

I snap out directions for u-turning at the next driveway and the DH executes turn beautifully. There was a HUGE turtle (???) strolling the gravel parking at Red Bridge Pond! S/he was huge! We thought snapping turtle, but perhaps you have another call?

With the greatest respect for such an awesome beast I whipped out the phone to get pictures as we tried to determine where it was headed. It wasn't going anywhere with us watching, it seemed, so we took stronger measures. I hate to interfere but the road is really busy there, and Lake Banook is probably not the better choice for a peaceful locale. DH bravely picked the beast up and carried it to the pond edge. It snapped and wiggled hard all the way! Those jaws could do some real damage!

Water seemed to pour out of its shell as it was carried. That's what DH says. I think DH was being anointed. All is fair in love and war, after all.

DH is just disappointed I didn't get a video for YouTube. I've ruined his potential 15 minutes of fame and glory!

Monday, 23 June 2014


I won a Clover thingy, and you know how much I love new notions! I can't wait till it arrives. I lost my bamboo point turner and had to borrow one at the last retreat. This one looks like it has features! I'll let you know. Clover puts out a lot of things. I subscribe to their blog so I can see what's coming up.  They give a detailed description of how to use each tool. Often you see uses that way you'd never think of on your own. Sometimes they have giveaways - and you get a new toy!

Now, don't go there. This is the second toy I have won from Clover. I don't need your competition!

DH and I went to Acadia University yesterday and toured the Irving Gardens. They are amazing! If you have an interest in native NS plants and a beautiful setting, drop in any time. The garden is always open. It's well laid out and there are lots of labels. I'm a label reader. They do give a tour on the weekends. We were the only ones. I don't remember talking that fast when I was that young. She knew her stuff and was most pleasant, but wow! Could she talk!

No, he did not wear the new shirt yet. I may remind him of that this week.

I finished a new dress and cozy top lately and I don't have pictures. I'll get right on that and post. I do need to adjust the sleeve openings in the dress. I try to balance my bust and my shoulders, but if I leave the 'above bust' area too wide, the armholes cut into me as the day goes on. I will rescoop and then show you the 'before and after'. Maybe some of you will have suggestions.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Going Sewing/Sewing Going

The Atlantic Sewing Guild had a 3 day retreat recently. It was 3 glorious days of eating and sewing with friends. Social sewing is the way to go!

I made a squirrel! I see a lot of cute stuffed animals like this used to show off modern fabric prints. They make nice fun decor items. Stay ahead of the trends, people. The pattern for this came from a Burda Style magazine. The Great P got it for me!

I made a shirt for DH! Now I've made him things before, and he always likes that. He never wears anything I make him, but he appreciates the effort.

This shirt is the Negroni shirt by Collette, and he loves it! He likes the fit and the way it looks, and went off to the sewing room to find more suitable fabrics. Amazing! I think he needs a 'sway back' adjustment. I hate that term. It implies (to me) that an arch in the back is not normal. Anyway, he needs a little adjustment there and the fit will be even better.

This is a great little organizer I saw at a Pfaff gathering and loved. The instructions were a bit confusing but it went together very well and I'll be making more. It's called Pockets To Go by Atkinson Designs. I'll also try to get the fabric orientated correctly next time. The cowboys are all sideways!