Friday, April 30, 2021

Mirri Dress Sewalong

The Mirri wrap dress Instagram sew-along - #wbmmirridress sewalong - started last Saturday and finishes tomorrow, May 1.

I joined because it was co-led by a new sewist-friend, Julie @consistentlydifferentdesigns. Julie lives in Minnesota and has family in Iowa, so you understand the connection we made. 

The Mirri dress pattern, by Wardrobe by Me, can be purchased online, for €12 Euros that equals $14.52. A few parts of pattern instructions were vague, but it was really helpful to access the Mirri dress Youtube tutorial

It took a while to print 29 pages, tape... and tape and tape... the pattern together. Between organizing the pages, matching lines, and choosing which size line to cut, it's much like a jigsaw puzzle. Still, for the expediency of having the pattern "right now," it's a convenient way to sew clothing. 

I would have labeled pieces with more information (shown in red), to make it perfectly clear which length is which. I made the knee-length dress, B.

Thanks to Julie, who is long-waisted like me, I learned in advance to add length to the bodice. For me, that was ¾", but now that I've finished, I'd make that 1". As well, next time I'll cut 1½" off the hem length. 

Only five pattern pieces are needed.

I used 2 yards of this cotton jersey print design called "Hello Sunshine" by AGF (Art Galley Fabrics), purchased from 

It took only a day to cut and sew the dress. 

Most of it was sewn on my Bernina 234 serger. I bought this machine in 1985, and I'm certain this is the first serger Bernina manufactured. I remember going to a Des Moines, Iowa, Bernina store - Ingersoll Bernina (long since out of business) - to try out the machine by making a pair of sweatpants for our son. Yep, I sewed them in the store! I wish I could remember what I paid for this serger. Maybe $325?

I'm glad to have been able to sew the dress on this because, as it happened, while doing some piecing on my Bernina 770 QE, a thread tangled in the copper wire inside the bobbin case. When I pulled on the fabric to pull out the thread, the wire completely came out of the case. 

When I showed it to my local Bernina dealer (Al at Sharky's), he told me it broke!

Bernina does not sell a replacement wire for the bobbin case, so I had to buy an entire new case. You can see where the copper wire fits beneath the silver part, so I don't know how it caught some thread. But, what can you do?

Though the Mirri dress looks like a true wrap dress, in fact the "wrap" is pleats sewn-in the front. 

Having a stretchy waistline, the dress is simply pulled on over the head, 

I wish I'd made this in a size 10 instead of an 8, but if I suck it in...  and lose five extra COVID pounds...

Did you notice my bracelet? It's from Zappy Dots. It's a hinged bracelet that can be decorated with whatever magnetic "dot" you choose to put on it. 

This dot is the "Cutter Wheel" design by Megan Dougherty - rainbow bright to go with my sunshine Mirri dress. Isn't it pretty?

Book Recommendation

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro isn't what I expected, but when a story is about "humanoids" designed to be with children, what could I have expected?! From the start, it takes speculation to determine what's going on.

Klara is an Artificial Friend - called an AF - who starts "life" in a store, awaiting purchase. Because AFs  are solar-powered, getting a spot in the sunny store window is a coveted position. When in the window, Klara attracts the attention of Josie who returns to visit Klara several times before she's bought. As Klara lives with Josie, she learns more about her fragile health, and that, for example - she uses an "oblong" to learn and study from home. The girls share secrets, and Klara does all she can to help Josie, enlisting help from friend Rick to carry Klara to Mr. McBain's barn, and Josie's dad to find a Cootings machine. Klara understands and accepts her role, even when Josie moves on without her.  

This book is unusual, and certainly not my typical read. But outside-the-norm is good for thoughtful reflection.

Linda's score: 3.4/5.0

By July, Google Blogger will discontinue its email auto-delivery of blog posts by Feedburner. This will affect all of the blogs you follow by email!

If you previously registered to receive email notifications of my blog posts, or would like to register to receive email notification of my blog posts, please register by completing the NEW Follow It form I have installed on the right-hand menu of my home page. 

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Thank you to 104 of you who have registered to receive my blog posts by email! Linda

Monday, April 26, 2021

Selene Handbag

Making things other than quilts results in more expedient gratification! Once again I've been reminded of this as I've been preparing to sew clothing, and made a Selene handbag.

Selene is a relatively new design by Bagstock Designs. I highly recommend this pattern. If every Bagstock Designs pattern is as well-written as this one, you're making an excellent, inexpensive investment. I have no affiliation with the business; I'm only a very satisfied customer who was a professional pattern-writer.

In my last post, I mentioned being at a stopping point with this handbag because I needed to install four rivets. Instead of using a proper rivet tool set (out of stock at the store where I purchased supplies), I ended-up enlisting hub's help to squeeze rivets into place with adjustable pliers. Though the rivets are meant to be round-capped, mine have been flattened... but I think they look okay. The iridescence of the rivet, on top of the busy Ex Libris print, hides the flatness. 

I'm very pleased with this! The colorfulness. Fabrics are Ex Libris panels, by Alison Glass; and aqua linen.
handbag front

With a rectangle base composed of Timtex, Pellon foam, and fabric, it's sturdy. Optional is to put four purse feet on this bottom piece.

Inside, it's roomy, with a deep zipper pocket on one side, and on the other, a large open pocket divided into three sections with the center section meant for pens. 

I simply adore the iridescent zipper and zipper tab!

Another iridescent zipper is on the front exterior pocket where I'll probably keep my cell phone. I'm glad I bought this zipper tape by-the-yard, as I will gladly use it again.

handbag back

Last Saturday afternoon found me in another virtual workshop. This time I took Cassandra Beaver's @cassandra.beaver "Piecing Full Circles" workshop with South Florida MQG. As you already know, I'm comfortable cutting and piecing inset circles using a Classic Curves Ruler (see my Central Florida MQG Scrap Challenge quilt) - as Cassandra teaches - but, I was glad to learn how to use a Dritz "Quilter's See-Thru Drafting Ruler" to draw quarter-circles that translate to full circles, in whatever size I want! Learning that, in itself, made the workshop worthwhile.

By the way, the block in this picture is made with four of the 100 fat quarters I won in an Instagram giveaway of Superior Solids, from Benartex. I pre-washed all 100 fqs and none of them bled (a huge plus in my book), and the hand is lovely! 

Lately, have you noticed how many virtual workshops continue to be offered? I've been toying with registering for another intense, four-part series with Maria Shell: her "Three Points Workshop" about making improv triangles. Am I up for it? Have you taken any virtual workshops to recommend?


By July, Google Blogger will discontinue its email auto-delivery of blog posts by Feedburner. This will affect all of the blogs you follow by email!

If you previously registered to receive email notifications of my blog posts, or would like to register to receive email notification of my blog posts, please register by completing the NEW Follow It form I have installed on the right-hand menu of my home page. 

Thank you to 94 of you who have thus far registered on Follow It to receive my blog posts by email!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Doing and Viewing

This has been another week of not accomplishing much because we went away for a couple nights. Oh, but it was great to be somewhere different!

A friend who lives on New Smyrna Beach invited us to her Atlantic Ocean-side condo. We had fantastic views from the tenth floor, though the weather was mostly uncooperative with enough rain that we were prevented from spending time on the beach, or even eating outdoors at a restaurant.
panoramic photo

You can see how gloomy the weather was. There's a person walking on the beach. 

Still, it was wonderful to spend time with our friend. She has been the recipient of a couple of my quilts and has this one on the back of her sofa.

After entering the front door, when you look down the hall, it's what you see. Very eye-catching! That's the Slopes quilt I made in 2018 following Amanda Jean Nyberg's pattern in her book No Scrap Left Behind. Between the sliders, you can see her dog, Hogan.

Before and after visiting our friend, I've been making a Selene handbag, a pattern by BagstockDesign. I'm thoroughly impressed with this designer because instructions are extremely well-planned and written. Included is a page of labels, each with the piece name, fabrics to cut it from, and dimensions, so information can easily be clipped to all the parts. 

For the exterior of my bag, I'm using several panels of an older Alison Glass panel print called Ex Libris. Accent fabric is aqua-colored linen. 

Construction has gone very well, as I am happily switching among four different feet on my Bernina 770QE. But, I've most appreciated having the ability to lessen the foot pressure as I've pieced seams to join double layers of Pellon Flex Foam and linen.

By adjusting the presser foot pressure from 50 to 25, the bulk easily passes under the foot.

This is as far as I can go until I can attached four rivets. When I ordered handbag parts, the rivet tool set was out of stock. I appreciate being able to borrow one from a friend. 

Book Recommendation

Night of Miracles is the second book in the Mason (Missouri) series by Elizabeth Berg. I certainly enjoyed the first book The Story of Arther Truluv, and book two has earned my approval too. "Sweetly charming" is my description for it. The story continues, following Lucille who is meeting all sorts of people as she gives baking lessons from home. My favorite part was meeting "death" and finding out how Lucille dealt with his presence. New characters include: Iris, Lucille's assistant and Tiny's confident; Monica, a Polly's Henhouse waitress; Tiny, a Henhouse regular who is is the antithesis of his name; and Lucille's next door neighbors Abby, Jason, and Linc. Each character is knowable, understandable, and will have you feeling warm and gooey inside. 

Linda's score: 4.2/5.0

This morning at 5:49 am, we went outside, looked over the roof of our house and gazed into the sky to watch the SpaceEx launch of four astronauts. 

We first saw a small light.  

Then, it grew.
And blurred.

Here's a 170% zoom of a photo I took with my Canon SX620. You can see the "jellyfish" talked about by announcers.

I know lots of people got more spectacular photos than I did, but for being 107 miles away, this isn't too bad. 

Thank you to 77 of you who have thus far registered on Follow It to receive my blog posts by email! I will continue to remind readers to register/REregister in future blog posts, so everyone who likes to follow by email can do so before Feedburner is discontinued in July.


By July, Google Blogger will discontinue its email auto-delivery of blog posts by Feedburner. This will affect all of the blogs you follow by email!

If you previously registered to receive email notifications of my blog posts, or would like to register to receive email notification of my blog posts, please register by completing the NEW Follow It form I have installed on the right-hand menu of my home page.  Thank you!

Monday, April 19, 2021

Important Info for EMAIL Blog Followers

This post is for all of you who follow my blog by email.

If you subscribe to receive my blog posts by email - long ago, you typed your email address into the form alongside my blog - effective in July, you will no longer receive posts. 

Here's the notice about "Feedburner, the service that provided emailed blog posts."
FollowByEmail widget (Feedburner) is going away 
You are receiving this information because your blog uses the FollowByEmail widget (Feedburner). 

Recently, the Feedburner team released a system update announcement , that the email subscription service will be discontinued in July 2021. 

After July 2021, your blog feed will still continue to work, but the automated emails to your subscribers will no longer be supported. 

"Feedburner" provided the service. In July, it's is going away. (Darned Google! I wish they'd stop messing with Blogger! Ergh.) 

Therefore, I have already removed the Feedburner widget/form from my blog. 

Many of you have been following my blog for years - since I started this blog on January 26, 2009!

Though most of the 1,497 of you who registered to receive my posts do not comment, I will be sorry to see you go. 

However, if you wish to continue receiving my posts by email, please REregister by using the NEW form I have installed on the right-hand menu of this home page. This is a different application called "Follow It." 

Or, if you have a Blogger account, you can use the "Reading List" to track which blogs you wish to follow. Then, instead of receiving an email, you'll need to go into Blogger to read blog posts on your reading list.

Here's a portion of the dozens of blogs I follow.

If you'd rather receive notice of my blog posts by email, just re-enter your email address in the form at the right. 

Oh! This is an opportunity to say that if you are trying to comment on my blog using a Yahoo email address... well, don’t bother. I’m sorry to say that 12 years ago, Google stopped allowing Yahoo comments to publish. What can I say? Google doesn’t make it easy for bloggers and blog-readers. 

Thanks very much! Linda

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Modern Scrap Challenge Quilt

Modern Scrap Challenge quilt, 70" X 80"

I had to go back in my blog posts to find when I first I wrote about participating in the Central Florida MQG Modern Scrap Challenge. It was December 17, 2020! Four months ago was when I shared what our challenge was all about. 

Challenge criteria included:
  • making a quilt any size
  • using scraps no larger than 6½" 
  • creating a design with negative space
  • choose one of three personal options; I chose rainbow
Here are our challenge guidelines, in case you'd like info about challenging your quilting group. 

Between piecing and big stitch quilting, my Classic Curves Ruler and Quilter's Rule acrylic nested rings received lots of use.

I got pretty good at sewing inset circles... 
.... and ended up making:
  • 14 print scrappy-pieced circles in a variety of sizes; and
  • 8 solids-only scrappy rings.

When I saw that the design needed a little "something," I machine-appliqu├ęd scrappy strips in assorted places. With right sides together, I sewed the strip to the quilt top, then folded it over, turned under the ends and long side, and straight stitched along the edge. My Bernina 10D foot, with the guide, came in handy for that.

Batting is white Quilter's Dream Request that I pin-basted in preparation for quilting on my Bernina 770QE. I started by walking foot quilting around the rings. Then, I spiral-quilted the scrappy circles. 
quilt back

Lastly, I randomly added big stitch hand-quilted rings across the quilt top, using these #8 pearl cottons - three different brands. With such large stitches, hand quilting went more quickly than I would have guessed.

I estimate I big stitch quilted 70 to 80 rings. And, I can always add more if I feel like it!
quilt back

In keeping with the mostly-circles theme, this spotted binding was the best choice. Of course, I used my favorite No Tails Binding: Mitered Corners by Machine. Find method instructions HERE if you're an MQG member; and HERE on my blog. 

Hubs has been keeping our Bismarck palm trimmed by removing the lower branches as the tree grows. Unfortunately for me, that means I can no longer use a step-stool to reach a branch! I had to bring out the six foot-tall step ladder to reach the lowest branch.

I'm showing my finished quilt at our Central Florida MQG meeting this morning. We're meeting in person at a local park. Plans changed! Due to rain, 15 of us met in a member's home. Yay! It will be great to be with friends again. It was truly great to be with friends again! Linda


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