Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Hometown Special Event

My blogging friend Julie of Working on a Dream has started a fun new meme. Her idea is to link up hometown events and interesting tour spots that are nearby tourist attractions. By going to her blog you'll be able to sample charming and interesting happenings from all over. Please check out her listings for today. You'll be surprised where it will take you and you'll learn a lot about places where other bloggers live.

A big event in LaCrosse, Wisconsin is the Maple Leaf Parade. It is usually held on the last Saturday of September. We had very good weather for the parade in 2009. Enjoy my slide show.

Photos are courtesy of my brother, Gordy.

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Parade Fun
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This photo album personalized with Smilebox

Come back next September in 2010 for the 50th year!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pincushion Ready for Service!

Finally I have something ready for a "Friday Finish!" I have been using this pincushion for 2 years without completely having it finished and today was the day to get 'er done. It already was sewn with a gathering string on the bottom and I had it filled with wool roving. The problem was that it wasn't knotted off and it didn't have a covered base. It never quite stayed in the silicone ringed frame. So I have solved all of that today in under an hour.

It was enjoyable to be out on the patio to do this little task. The extra materials are going to be for my friend Deb's pincushion. I think her's was in the same state as mine. But I predict that by the end of the evening it may be more useable.

The final step included a glue gun to attach the fabric covered cardboard circle. This was easy enough!
Time to head over to Deb's house and put her's into a finished stage too.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sewing Memories of the Singer Toy Machines

When I was little, I used to sew on a tan little singer toy at my grandma's house. I would run upstairs and get out the dark green and white suitcase and set the machine into its little flip down holder. I made silly things like pillows and blankets, but it sure was lots of fun! I really didn't think too much of the ugly green case and I liked the textured tan paint on the Singer even less, but the sewing part was awesome. I remember that the thread would often get stuck, but I quickly figured out how to cut it loose from underneath the machine! It was an awesome little toy!

My mom and I really don't know what ever became of that cute little toy, but I solved that problem with a few clicks of the mouse while on E bay. Three little machines later and I am still shopping around. You never know when there might be one listed that is a color I don't have in my collection. Or for goodness sake, maybe someone will even want to sell a dark green and ivory case!

Sometime later I'll have to show you all how my curtains toppers turned out after piecing them on one of my cute little toys! Maybe you even saw my post about how I sewed the wonky roses while on vacation! What fun... Now what shall I crank out next?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Shaping Up a Plan for Topiary

Lately I've been dreaming up some ideas about topiaries for the garden this season.

Topiary forms in the garden and in home decor interest me. I love the formal shape and the
punch of color they bring to a design.

This one is made on a Styrofoam form, but I have some wire forms on the patio that I usually use for training ivy, rosemary, and mandevilla vines.

This year I'm planning to get an early start with the passion vine and try to grow that on a standard ball form. It really grows like wild when we get a nice hot, humid summer. I hope it will fill up the entire wire top.
This was a Passion vine grown in a previous season. It did well into late September.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Has Really Arrived!

Greetings from Wisconsin!

I've been catching up on my work for the Hazel Ilene Diary quilt along with Shelly and I've been doing well enough to want to start another quilt in flannel fabrics!

This photo shows my blocks in progress for the flannel version. My friend Deb has been doing hers in some lovely pink and green vintage floral flannel, so I must have one too! It will be a great quilt for snuggling in on the couch in the middle of our Wisconsin winters.

I adore the accuracy of my little vintage Singer featherweight. That little seam gauge makes quite the difference! I also rely heavily on my Perkin's Perfect seam guide for resetting the metal seam gauge after sewing squares into half square triangles.
It is perfect because it has a scant 1/4 inch marked clearly into its surface and it has a tiny hole for the needle to be lined up exactly. It has been especially helpful for the smallest blocks in the Diary Quilt Along. Many of those triangles are quite tiny and they have been pulled under the feed dogs by my good Viking machine. I guess the single needle hole on the featherweight really helps prevent that.

Here's a view of block # 3 just after I sewed on the last corner! I am confident that I'll be able to get block #4 done in 1 or 2 days and be all caught up to the first few steps in the #5 block by the end of the week. This may be possible since I am off work for the school's spring break.

It was time for a walk out to the garden to see how it is shaping up for the spring. In the last 10 days I've been enjoying the purple crocus. Now the day after Easter, my yellow daffodils have started to open.
Stepping stone - before cleaning

Stepping Stone - after a brushdown with bleach and water cleaner
Now I suppose the rest of my stepping stones with the mosaic tiles and glass deserve to be cleaned.