Thursday, June 20, 2024

Irina Dress, and Pot Luck

I'm a reader/follower of Bernina's "We All Sew" website. In May, a free pattern was offered to make an "Irina dress" designed by Anna Hicks. A Sew Along was offered, starting June 3, and I joined, even though the whole event, and prize-winners, is for makers in Australia and New Zealand. 

Still, lovin' the idea of having a new loose-fitting, casual dress, I'm sewing along. I bought linen checked fabric from Fabric Wholesale Direct, luckily managing to make my online purchase during the Memorial Day Weekend sale. 

After printing the pattern, taping together pieces, marking my size (converting cms to inches), adding ⅝" seam allowances and cutting out pieces - so much prep work - I'm following each weekly assignment.

Week 3 focused on adding decorative machine embroidery designs to the bodice. Not having an embroidery feature on my Bernina 770QE (though I have lots of decorative stitches), I decided to hand stitch chicken scratch on the bodice. It's been decades since I've done this type of embroidery - an apron made as a 4-H project in junior high school - but it proved easy to pick up again. 

I backed the bodice front (and back) with white muslin which is a nice lining and provides stability for stitches. Thread is three strands of DMC embroidery floss.

I'll add chicken scratch to both sleeve hems too. Though I considered putting it on the skirt hem, I won't. I don't have enough DMC embroidery floss color 826 for that, and who wants to drive 15 miles to a JoAnn's for a skein of embroidery floss? Not me.

Other handwork has included moving forward on the Pot Luck modern potholder group quilt. About two weeks ago I completed hand-stitching together the blocks. Then I entertained the idea of adding more to this 48" X 48" quilt. 

I first tilted the design to audition different color possibilities. I didn't want all the colors, but needed to see them to decide which I liked best. 

A few days ago I settled on the Painter's Palette color Aruba. It hasn't been easy to work out the angle to cut, and how large to make the pieces. The smaller ends of the wedges are going to be a bear to bind... if I even figure out how to do that! But, I've plunged in by cutting approximate wedges, and piecing inserts of Pewter solid to connect the quilt center to each wedge. 

I've sandwiched and hand-quilted the top wedge. It's ready to be bound, but I've been putting off actually doing it, feeling very uncertain about the outcome. (Deep breath.) But I'll try. 

I'm also adding, bit-by-bit, more hand quilting to the Minimalist, Ha! quilt (Could I really give it that name?!) 

So far his month, with so much quilting and hand-stitching happening, I'm not using-up fabric as I try to do. In fact, I'm adding to my stash due to a recent purchase from Heather at Quiltachusetts who has a sale going (through the end of June) on Painter's Palette solids - my favorite! I'm restocking four yards: Oyster, Aruba, and French Blue - the latter color is to make Amy Friend's newest pattern Bibliography - a design with selvages. I have a few of them to use!

Book Recommendations
This Time Tomorrow,
by Emma Strauss follows 40 year-old Alice who's single, working in the same private school she herself attended, and living among many of the same people she's known her whole life. Alice is still close to her best girlfriend, and Alice's daily routine includes visiting her 73 year-old dad who's hospitalized, in a coma.

As she observes friends with families, children, and different lifestyle choices than hers, Alice wonders how her life might have been different. One morning she inadvertently finds herself back in her 15 year-old body, in the home she shared with her dad, still retaining what she knows about the past 40 years. Confused, yet wanting to see where her younger-self opportunities might take her, she experiments to change her future, and especially that of life for her dad.  

I've always enjoyed reading books about time travel. The Time Traveler's Wife was the first time-travel book I read. This is one I thoroughly enjoyed too. Linda's score: 4.2/5.0

In The Last List of Mabel Beaumont, by Laura Pearson, Mabel and Arthur are in their 80's. Having been married for more than 60 years, they're comfortable with one another, even if love has never felt real to Mabel. When she unexpectedly finds herself alone, she begins to wonder whatever became of her best girlfriend, Dot. As Mabel thinks she must adjust to living by herself, a caregiver comes into her life. Their friendship develops and Mabel determines that with the help of several new friends, she will find Dot.

While the story seemed pleasant, I don't care to read about this subject.
Linda's score: 3.0/5.0

For those who are interested... I have not been making Quilt Your Life blocks on a daily basis. As of today, I've made 25 blocks, and I'm 10 blocks in arrears! Sheesh. You know what I'll be doing this weekend. Linda


  1. I don't know how you juggle so many different projects and get them all done. And done so well too. When I try to do more than one thing it doesn't work and I end up totally consumed with a single thing. I just started The Last List of Mabel Beaumont and hesitated about continuing due to the nature it. I don't like thinking about what she's going through. But I'm still reading and have gotten past the initial pause.

  2. I do love your Pot Luck quilt, all the ideas in the pot holders, beautiful colour.s.

  3. Have fun with those selvedges!

  4. I like where the potholder quilt is going. Good luck with that binding!

  5. Your Irina dress looks beautiful already! Love the potholder quilt progress 😻

  6. That's a very pretty homespun-looking gingham! Love your "chicken scratch"--I've never heard it referred to as such, but it's looking cute, Linda! I'm excited to see your selvage quilt--a familiar sight, as I'm crocheting a selvage rug right now from my friend's 150 charity quilt top's selvages! Mountains of them!!! I put my name in for This Time Tomorrow--several months wait. I recommend Gabrielle Meyer time travel series--first one is When The Day Comes.

  7. Wow Linda! You surely have been busy! So many great things happening there! I wasn’t sure about using the same color fabric for these outer wedges, but it looks dynamite! You made it work well!!

  8. Oh, good for you for making a dress! Those aren't as easy to fit as quilts :D

  9. Oh my goodness, the movement on the Pot Luck quilt, it is glorious and will win awards for sure! I got my Mountain quilt all basted but it's been waiting while I sew silly outfits to wear as Camp Nurse in July. One more week until the girls are out of school!


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