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Keeping in Stitches and Paper and Food

We've moved on from buttonholes and buttons to decorative stitching with my new Eversewn Sparrow 15. Here's a look at the latest.




The polka dots sort of distort the appearance here and there, but the decorative stitching comes out very even. I had the stitch length dial set about in the middle of the buttonhole area (between 0 and 1) on this dial. 



I could have shortened the stitch further and made more like satin stitch, but this looked good enough for my story photos.

The stitch I used is the one in black at 5 o'clock on the dial in the next photo. The stitches indicated in other colors correspond to the S1 and S2 on the stitch length dial, so if you want the darker blue/green stitch indicated on the stitch pattern dial and the stitch length dial set on S1, you will get that stitch. I haven't tried those yet. (Stay tuned.)



I notice the price has gone up $20 because of the new tariffs on goods from China, so DH did me a favor to suggest getting it when I did. I think it's still a bargain


Now that I've tantalized you with the decorative stitching, here's the project I was working on.



The decorative stitching would have been nice around the neck, but by the time I thought of it, I already had the buttons on with snaps underneath, and they would be in the way.




That was very time-consuming (putting on the buttons and snaps). Next time, I'll make buttonholes and buttons. Even this tiny, it would have been much faster than sewing the buttons and snaps on by hand. Jolena will be wearing this dress in this week's story in The Doll's Storybook. The most recent story is here, in case you haven't found it.


Common Threads met at Lynda's. Almost everyone in our small group was knitting, except Ginny, who was working on this lovely needlepoint piece. She has started filling in the background.



It was raining, so it had cooled off. While I was at Common Threads, the appraiser was at our house, deciding its fate. Our agent says he does a lot of her appraisals, and they almost always come in about the contract price. After all, an appraisal tells you what someone is willing pay, and so does the contract. However, the appraisal also tries to justify that price to the bank. We don't expect any problems with it.


Preparations for the move continue. We have had some interesting meals. Like the Quorn Turk'y Roast we had in the freezer, which we're trying to empty. There was also a big container of bread crumbs in there for stuffing and toppings, and I found a container of mushroom gravy, which expired in May, in the pantry, so we had a feast; like Thanksgiving but with summer squash.



We also found one frozen salmon fillet, which I threw into some Thai stir-fried vegetables with rice.


I made some corn salad, a favorite of ours for summer. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator without going mushy, like my DH, but without the refrigerator. Here's my recipe:


Easy Corn Salad



• Dressing:
• 3 T olive oil
• 3 T lemon juice
• 1/2 t Salt
• 1/2 t dried cilantro
• 1/2 t dried basil
• 2 T salsa
• 1 T pickled garlic

• Salad:
• 1 16-Oz pkg. frozen corn
• 2 chopped tomatoes
• 4 green onions
• 1/2 chopped red onion
• 1 C chopped cucumber 
• 1 handful fresh spinach, chopped (optional)
• 1 chopped avocado
• 1 bell pepper (any color, optional)

• Topping:
• Crumbled feta cheese

Mix dressing ingredients. Add to remaining ingredients in a large Tupperware bowl and toss. Top each serving with feta cheese.

I know it will last several days. It might last longer, but we always manage to eat it up quickly.


I made bread this week and discovered that the bread-machine pan is starting to leak. I tried to find a place to buy a new pan, but the pan for this machine seems to be discontinued. However, I found out you can replace the washer using a silicone washer you make yourself. I don't actually bake in my bread machine; I just use it for mixing the dough, so I think his first suggestion would work fine for me.


I have a nice stand mixer. Why don't I use it to make bread? The bread machine doesn't require that the liquid ingredients be heated to the right temperature first, so you basically just throw everything in the pan, start the machine and walk away.


Friday I took down most of the quilts on the walls. I should have popped them into the wash right off, instead of carefully folding each one and filling the big steamer trunk in our living room with them. I realized my mistake on Saturday, when I came down with a full-blown allergy attack, unusual for this time of year. I'm sure the quilts had accumulated dust from months, or in some cases years, of hanging around, watching my activities. It didn't show, but I'm pretty sure that was the case. I'll have to wash them at the other end. The steamer trunk is wood covered with painted canvas. I didn't want my quilts to be in contact with the wood for what could be several months, so I lined it with a sheet first. The sheet was one our granddaughter (DGD1) used when she lived with us. Amazingly, it still smelled like her perfume.


I packed a box of glasses on Saturday and had to stop because the box was full, and I still had this much. I got back to it late Sunday afternoon. I finished at 9:00 PM. I have 12 glasses that were too tall for the glasses pack, but I managed to get most of my china teacups in on top of the shorter glasses, with a piece of cardboard between, which I cut out at 4.5" using my paper cutter (I knew there was a reason I kept it out) and the only rotary-cutting ruler I have left with me.



Besides keeping busy with sewing, packing and cooking, I've had to lend a hand now and then when DH has needed help with mending the fence or reinforcing the posts for the rail for our stairs from one of the many decks outdoors.


Vroni is wearing her new checkered shirt. I think this was the best one of the four. I really understand buttonholes and buttons with my new machine now. It still isn't perfect, but I'm getting there. I made her the same kind of skirt Mandy has and the same Capri-length, stretch lace leggings. She wants to know when we're going to get back to quilting. She's ready!




What's on my needles: Still the Kisu Cardigan for Jolena, and still at the BO for the neck. Also the Coastal Skies shawl for me, which I worked on at Common Threads, so several more rows done.


What's on my Sparrow 15: Decorative stitching. Check. Now on to using the overcast foot.


What's in my hoop: Still the Spring Flowers quilt, no progress this week.


What's on my wheel: Stanzi is still waiting patiently. 


What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finally finished listening to The Secret Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams. Very little time to listen for a bit this week. It was an interesting book, but it didn't really grab me, although I enjoyed the fact that the characters had issues (i.e., they were human) and still were likeable. I haven't started anything new yet. It may be that I've been too busy to pay attention to a book.


What's in my wine glass: Durant Vinyards 2015 Pinot Gris from Dundee, Oregon. It brings back memories of our trip last summer, when we picked this up, and a reminder that our younger DDIL, Alexa (not the Siri wannabe) has a birthday this week. Here's the photo we took then of her with our DS2.




What's my tip of the week: If a quilt has been on the wall a long time, it's a good idea to wash it, or vacuum it (if it isn't suitable for washing) after you take it down. How do you vacuum a quilt? Place a clean window screen over the quilt and vacuum with the hose attachment, one area at a time. If it's a new and sturdy quilt but you can't wash it, throw it over a clothesline (if anyone still has one) or a porch rail and beat with a rug beater.



Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals or dolls were harmed during the production of this blog post.

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Comment by Peggy Stuart on August 6, 2018 at 7:39pm

I didn't find it any more difficult than other stretch fabric, but if you need to you can use some of that tape to stabilize the seams, or sew it onto a coffee filter and then tear the coffee filter off when your done. (So I've heard; I haven't needed to do that yet."

Comment by Barb/WI on August 6, 2018 at 7:16pm

Dolls are sweet as always.  My granddaughter now thinks her dolls need some of those cute lace leggings.  I'm sure I will tackle them soon.  

Comment by Peggy Stuart on August 6, 2018 at 2:38pm

I thought about quilting with my Sparrow. It certainly is set up for it. I'm thinking, though, for all the time it would take to pick out my mistakes and resew, I could quilt the thing by hand. My turn for LOL! When I was in high school, I could make my own clothes for a fraction of the cost of buying them. Now sewing is an expensive hobby. At least my "girls" can have handmade clothes for not too much. You can usually get a dress out of a FQ.

Comment by Peggy Stuart on August 6, 2018 at 11:23am

It's almost as cheap to buy a new rotary cutter.

I use one of these. Of course, it's packed away. I rarely have to buy new blades, but then, I think you're in a different category, LOL!

Comment by Janet/MO on August 6, 2018 at 11:19am

Peggy, you are absolutely right.  Thankfully I still have a lot of stash left over from when I used to work at a quilt shop in Las Vegas plus enough scraps to keep me quilting until I'm 300 yrs old!  The last time I was in Jo-Anns I noticed they had the regular price of a 5 pack of 45mm rotary blades marked at $45!  Of course they expect people to use their coupons which gets the price back down to a more reasonable level, but geesh!  

Comment by Peggy Stuart on August 6, 2018 at 11:11am

Janet, it could be the latter. Quilting is an expensive hobby, unless you do much of it by hand and enjoy doing so. I could easily spend $1,000 a month quilting if I made easy patterns and paid someone to quilt them.

Comment by Janet/MO on August 6, 2018 at 10:46am

I love the new outfits for the dolls.  Speaking of tariffs, this morning, while cutting fabric for a binding, I started lamenting the fact that rotary blades don't seem to last nearly as long as they used to.  It then occurred to me that the price of them are probably going to go higher too & they are already high priced in my opinion.  Just another thing that will make it more difficult for a lot of people to be able to continue with quilting.  I always take them out of the cutter & clean them with left over batting scraps, which does prolong their life a bit, but they still seem to get dull much faster than they used to.  Or then again, maybe I'm just being more productive than I used to be!  

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