Tuesday, February 8, 2022


Thanks to "my editor," who spotted that I used the incorrect word to describe the goodies we enjoyed yesterday. I wrote that we were eating macaroons, but in fact, we were sharing maracons! Two different cookies. HEY -- if you want to know more about it, check out this website from Martha Stewart. Macarons and macaroons are both cookies with similar ingredients, but macarons are made with almonds; macaroons use coconut, and they look and are made differently. 

I made a typo when I wrote that yesterday!

I know that many people are new to sewing or sewing techniques, and I get that. But I'm amazed at how many people don't know the BASICS about their machines. I feel the need to run a basic sewing machine lecture, covering things like - what is tension and how to adjust it, what is the speed control and what it does, what are all those basic sewing machine feet for, turning the flywheel or not, how to set the ¼" seam allowance and a whole lot of other myths or things you were told to do or not do with your sewing machine. Hmmm   -- that might make a good lecture topic. 

So -- if you have other questions/topics about your sewing machine and would like to know, send me a note, and I'll add it to my list. elainetheriault@gmail.com

We had a great time at Monday Sewing. Gosh -- it is so much fun on Zoom, and our snowbirds can keep right on with the group! You have to love that! And I got a lot of work done. 

I'm working on the homework for one of our sew-alongs, and I made excellent progress. Now I'm working on the strips for one of the quilts. The background is comprised of many (68 to be exact) 1" (finished) strips. 

It's so nice to have a clear open space to lay this all out on the cutting table. 

The cutting table with a work in progress

For the moment, I'm putting them on the design wall after the various lengths have been cut. I'm also sewing the strips together in pairs, where possible, as that'll cut down the amount of sewing when it comes time to sew the quilt together. 

The background strips in pairs

All the strips are labeled and on the design wall. However, the moment I'm done, I'll remove them. I'm NOT tying my design wall up with this quilt for months! We won't be finished until June, and I don't want this taking up lots of space. Once everything is labeled, it can safely be put in a box. I managed to get half of the strips done -- well, I'm one pair short of being half done, and it's going well. 

Labels on the strips

I'm using the hourglass units as enders and leaders. And making good progress, and I'll have some trimming to do soon. 

Hourglass units in progress

While I'm working by myself, I'm listening to a new audiobook. State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny. I LOVE how they keep taking pokes at the previous administration. It's a fiction book -- the names have been changed to protect the "innocent," but it's hilarious. The book is a thriller, and I'm enjoying it. 

I'm sorry to post so much about these dogs, but they are driving me nuts. Yesterday at Monday sewing, the subject of buying guns came up and how someone in our city was able to purchase an air rifle online so they could do some practice shooting in their backyard. 

OK -- that's illegal, but I'm tempted to buy one. Why? Not for the dogs, but for the &^%$() rabbits. There's another one under the deck/gazebo. OK --- let's face it, there's probably quite a few of them. And they are driving the dogs NUTS. 

Murphy and Lexi were outside for HOURS yesterday as they ran from one side of the deck to the other. Frantic to find the rabbit -- no, desperate to GET the rabbit. 

Hot on the trail of the rabbit

They were relentless, and then at one point, I think the rabbit moved to the gazebo because that became their focal point. Sigh........................
MOM -- that rabbit is down there -- I know

Of course, Murphy didn't learn from getting stuck under the deck and proceeds to get under the gazebo and come in the house MUDDY as ever. This isn't just mud, but frozen gobs of mud on her tummy. This is how she looked after I got some of it off. 

Dirty tummy

But I made her lie in her bed with a towel on her tummy as the frozen mud thawed. She was NOT impressed. 

Toweling off

We talked about installing a dog wash in the laundry room. This would be an excellent idea -- I have a door to the outside from my laundry room. Hmm -- how quickly can I get a contractor in here to do that and then I'd have to buy a new washer/dryer. OK -- so how much will all this cost? Just because I have an idiot dog? Lexi is fine and never gets dirty. Murphy? A mud magnet and it's not even spring yet!

Here's something that you may not know. Someone at Monday sewing mentioned they saw a person walking on the road the other day and how dangerous it is. And YES -- it is dangerous as we're talking a major street. 

But just because the city plow passes, it doesn't mean the sidewalks are safe. This is the sidewalk yesterday on a busy street near me. It's a street with HIGH traffic as it is used by kids from about 8 nearby schools. It's a disgrace! It's covered in slush!! What's worse is that this sidewalk is extremely dangerous when that slush freezes. It does NOT get any sun to help dry it out. 

A slush-covered sidewalk

I know that it's a challenge for the plows to get down to the cement of the sidewalk, but I really think they need to come back and SLOWLY clear this sidewalk to make it safer. Perhaps, I need to send them this picture. If we are trying to encourage people and students to walk more, this situation needs to be rectified. 

Most of the other sidewalks in the area are dry and safe to walk on. The other thing that drives me crazy, and well, since I'm in the reporting mode, is our street. One-half of our street will shovel or make an attempt to shovel the sidewalks. The sidewalk plow does NOT come on our street. But the other half? It's a disgrace, and they don't even attempt to go out and shovel it when it gets warm enough that it starts to thaw. So it's a huge slushy mess. 

I'm sure they are saying, "If we just tramp it down with our cars, that solves the shoveling problem." Oh yes -- and then it becomes a slippery mess. 

Me? I'm out there with my shovel all the time, trying to get rid of all that excess snow that's in front of the house. As it softens, I'm shoveling it off the drive. 

Oh, the joys of winter! 

Anyway, the dogs are outside now and madly chasing the rabbit. That'll keep them occupied for hours. Maybe I could sneak out without walking them? 

Another busy day looms -- lots of sewing to do, some writing, and the never-ending stream of e-mails, although I think I'm in pretty good shape with those. 

Have a super day!!!!



  1. Stitch length would be good to add in too for a class. I see people who use a long stitch length and then their seams open up all along the edge of a quilt top. Even if they stay stitch along the edge when finished those seams have opened up from handling the quilt.

  2. My mom owned a fabric store when I was a kid. She sold Viking sewing machines (of which I still own 2). I worked in the fabric store all through middle school and high school. It was one of the best educations for using a sewing machine. I was well versed in the machines and their features and could discuss this with potential customers (maybe not in middle school, but certainly when in high school).

    One thing everyone should do with their machine is make a stitch book. Get some standard size pieces of fabric and stitch out all the stitches that your machine makes. Use a sharpie to label the various stitches with the stitch number and the length and width settings. Change the settings up and see what happens to the stitch. Sometimes the changes can be amazing. So after stitching a few rows of stitches on the fabric, place them in a sheet protector and keep in a notebook so you can go back and look at your stitch samples.