Saturday, February 29, 2020

Sewing finesse

As far as stuff to show you, there's not as much as the previous day. However, I'm happy to report that I finished reading two books yesterday. One a paperback and the other was an audiobook. I'm so happy to be finished with Radium Girls. This is a novel about a true and shockingly disturbing incident that occurred in the US. The story started before WWI and spans several decades. I had never heard of the Radium Girls and all that did to make our society much safer from radioactivity.

But never have I been so shocked, horrified, and disgusted with big business. The delay tactics, the lies, the deceit and the absolute total disregard for their worker's health were so appalling. You wanted to force-feed the radium down each of their slimy little throats and watch them rot. I'm glad I read the book, but I'm also very happy to be finished.

What's even more appalling is that in one case, they were still using traces of radium in painting in 1978!!!  That is NOT a typo. I just shake my head. I have NEVER SHOUTED OUT LOUD in frustration when reading a book, nor have I SWORE out loud when reading a book, but I did it frequently during this book.

I must find a happy book to read because that was not happy at all.

Here are the two latest blocks in our Vintage Christmas Sew Along.

Away in a Manger

I would say that a little bit of sewing finesse is required on these blocks - especially the one above. You know when you have to cut 3/4" squares that it's going to be fiddly and require patience!

Reindeer Hooves

It's a wee bit of a challenge to only use gray with a trace of red or green in each block, but so far it's working.

I got the next quilt loaded on the long arm, but didn't even bother to turn it on. Time was tight yesterday.

I did manage to get a fair amount of computer work done - one more big job off the list so that made me very happy.

It's the BONUS day of the year. M was almost born on the leap year day 24 years ago. She was stubborn (even then) and wasn't ready to come out until about 2:30 AM on March 1. Not only is it the bonus day of the month, but it's also the end of the month and the end of the week. I'll be taking some time later today and reflecting on what needs to be done for the coming week and month. Yeah - I get to update/work on my lists. It's very satisfying to check things off and I think it's a reality check to review the amount of time one has to work on certain things and not go crazy with what you can do.

I suffer big time from delusional doability! So the lists including The Task Master help to keep me in check.

The best part of this weekend? Well besides M's birthday is that I have NOTHING on the schedule for TWO ENTIRE days. I have loads to do but I don't have to go anywhere or see anyone, so I should be able to get a lot accomplished.

Here's my waistband sample from the dressmaking class. I managed to finish the sample in class so technically, I have no homework this weekend. Although I would like to make the invisible zipper sample as I wasn't happy with it. I've taken the zipper out and want to remake the darn thing. It's not a required sample. Then I'd better get my act together and cut out the skirts.

The little waistband sample

We had to leave the center of the sample open so the teacher could see that we did the inside correctly, including hand stitching the interfacing to the skirt band. I never knew about that. Oh - it's these little details that I wanted to learn and I'm learning them!!

I also didn't know about stitching in the ditch to close down the waistband. How fast is that? I love it. This is the right side of the waistband.

The right side of the waistband
 And this is what it looks like on the inside.

The inside of the waistband 
 The other side of the waistband had to be stitched by hand. This is the outside of the waistband stitched with great finesse by hand. Notice how even those stitches are!!

The outside of the handstitched waistband

And here's the inside.

The inside of the waistband stitched by hand

We still have snaps and skirt hooks to add to our sample and then work on different hems. That's for next week.

Last night, I taught a class on paper piecing. There were two in the class and we had a great time. Here are the blocks that they got started. I always teach the paper piecing technique with a small block. If the students do not like paper piecing and it's not for everyone, then they don't have a lot of money or time invested in a project that they won't like or god forbid that it becomes a UFO.

Paper piecing samples from the class

Before I go today, I have to document my progress on my Virtual Challenges for 2020. On the Route 66 challenge, there's a group of four of us and there's a weekly leaderboard. Yes - I'm usually wearing the yellow jersey except on the first day of each week when no one has booked any miles yet and I think I'm always relegated to the fourth position. It's hilarious - I wonder why it does that?

The leader board for this week

But it wasn't the yellow jersey that I wanted to show you - it is the total miles. In two months this year, I've walked almost 442 miles. That MILES, not KM. That's an average of 7.47 miles per day. It's not difficult to make that mileage and I've settled into a routine where I don't find it a challenge at all. Two daily walks with the dogs and a walk on the treadmill about 4 times a week. I'm quite far ahead (just shy of 60 miles) of my pace marker for the Route 66 challenge.

My position on the Route 66 Virtual Challenge

I'm headed to Springfield, Missouri and in the Cross Canada Virtual Challenge, I'm headed for the BC/Alberta border. It truly is a great incentive to get out there and walk. Even yesterday with that blustering wind, I went with the girls for our usual walk in the morning. In the afternoon, we did walk to the grocery store, but we cheated and took the shortcut through the forest. I still managed to walk almost 8 miles yesterday.

Walking is a great exercise. It's free, you can do it anywhere, and you get to explore your neighborhood. Just remember to dress warmly if the weather is bad. You'll feel like a million bucks when you get back inside.

OK - speaking of walking, it's time to get moving. I see it's cold outside, but NO wind this morning. Thank goodness.

Have a great day!!!!


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