Friday, December 30, 2011

The gifts of Christmas

Standing, sitting, working together into the wee hours of the morning, my partner and I completed:

eight watercolor quilted placemats
seven matching bucket hats
four flannel pj pants
four Christmas stockings
four quilted placemats
three cotton Hawaiian shirts
one bow tie
one corduroy shirt
a lap quilt
and a three foot bolster for my bed

Understand also that there were no buttonholes on any of the shirts on Christmas morning, that the quilt was wrapped without binding and the cover for the bolster (a surprise!!!) was missing it's closure. Be assured that before the New Year the buttonholes will be in place and the bolster will be snuggled up against my pillows. The quilt was completed and has travelled into Boston to live happily on the futon.

New Years Resolution? Organize my sewing room and keep it organized and, try not to fall down any stairs.....and be patient.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I just take for granted that I will have the time. The time and the ability to accomplish what I need to before any event. Life always intervenes and yet I still seem to muddle through. So this Christmas with my job in flux and family needing extra care and support what do I do? I proclaim that all my gifts should be made. An easy feat under normal circumstances and thinking that the four day work week would work to my advantage, I plan and begin execution of six (O.K. seven) projects. Then the flying squirrels enter the picture. Nine in total, but I believe it was numbers seven and eight that caused me to rise in the middle of the night and track their movements. Unfortunately tracking their movements involved a flight of hardwood stairs and my back side.
Six hours in the ER, four x-rays and two CT scans later I was released. No work for a week. No sitting, little standing and definitely no right foot sewing machine pedal operation. My sewing schedule is off!!!!!
It's been six days since the fall. Six days of drug induced sleep, bizarre dreams and too many made for TV Christmas movies. Today I am going to experiment with my machine configuration. Standing like the factory workers from the 40's and sewing. If they could do it, I can do it!!  More later........

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Mom turns 80 this month!

My mom turns eighty this month. My brothers and sisters and I threw a party for her to celebrate.
It was a personal choice to speak or not at the party and I chose to remain silent. Not for lack of love or respect, but a personal choice ~ I'm a cryer and figured that the party would be better without tears!! There is so much to be thankful for when it comes to my mother. Everything I love started with her influence.
When someone asks me if I am a  'self-taught' seamstress, I say "No, my mother taught me!" My earliest memories are of sitting on her lap at the sewing machine with my hands resting on hers as she guided fabric under the needle. Listening to the sound of the heavy shears as they cut through the fabric on the dining room table, a sound that to this day fills me with anticipation of wonderful surprises. Those scissors did so much in her hands: made clothing, sliced pizza, trimmed bangs, made paper dolls, feather flowers, slip covers, Fourth of July floats and May Party dresses out of crepe paper. Sewing became the 'thing' that identified me.
As a young woman when it was time for introductions it would sound something like this: this is Lawrence he's an engineer, Lenny's a carpenter, Liz is the artist, Stephen is the musician, Michelle....likes to cook and Celeste is the baby. It is funny because for years I felt cheated as being the person who just liked to cook, but poor Celeste, really, just the baby?  So it seemed appropriate that for the birthday party I would make the cake. I do like to cook all sorts of things. So number two on my list of things my mother taught me to love is cooking.

When I moved to North Carolina a little magnet that read "Bloom where you are planted" was given to me by my mom and I hate to admit that I spent alot of time in front of that magnet praying to see the blossoms.....Another thing ~ patience.

But back to the party.....
Not to be outdone by the Royal family we all wore hats: big hats, little hats, serious and silly hats, headbands, crowns, flowers and fruit. Here is mine. A pincushion seemed appropriate and it was made like a slipcover to go over an existing straw hat. 

So to my parents I owe everything; my love and appreciation of music and gardening, of art and diversity, my inner strength, my faith and my love of family. Thank You Mom, Happy Birthday!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Has it really been a year?

Since last January I have sewn and worked; thought about coming and posting here many times. Never feeling that what I have to say is relevent and so letting it slip away. But today realizing that I haven't shared any projects for a year, I thought it was about time.

I designed and constructed 85 aprons for the bakery. Not exactly the most creative project, nor the easiest on my hands, but when you wear an apron for 10 hours a day, it's nice if it covers your entire chest and not just one side......I hope that the 'girls' are happy with them and appreciate the bias cut and full coverage.

Alterations kept me busy in the sewing room and reorganizing every so often keeps me on my toes.

Christmas projects started early and they included a vintage pattern flannel bed jacket, a set of John Deere satin PJ's, a number of fabric pieced ornaments, a fleece pullover, an asymetrical knit top, and sewing lessons for my love.

Next week end with the weather warming up, a trip to Marden's to see all the fabric I've been missing (and my big sister, who I've also been missing!!) It always gives my imagination a kick start to see new fabric and think about the possibilities. Maybe my sisters garden will be free of snow and we'll get to think of those planting possibilities as well! The smell of damp earth, of clean air and a good cup of coffee mixed in with a new bag of quilting fabric and great company. How could a weekend get any better?