Embroidered Silk Shirt

A couple of months ago a friend gave me this embroidered silk fabric in a bundle of silk fabrics she was discarding from her stash — a real find for me. This one I immediately thought would make an “elegant” shirt jacket (two of the other pieces are earmarked for a quilt).

So two days ago I finally cut the shirt out, being careful to match the sleeves, the two fronts, the cuffs, and especially the pocket. The under collar, inside collar stand, inside of the cuffs are done in a solid white silk dupioni which I bought through Etsy.

The real accomplishment was matching the two fronts across the front placket! It really was a lucky accident – because I was careful about matching the embroidery across the two fronts, it happened that the lines aligned across the placket. And the pocket matched exactly the embroidery beneath.

I plan to wear it with a shell underneath, and white pants, I think, at one of the family bar mitzvah gatherings.

Lattice Quilt – Kaffe Fassett IX


Yesterday I finished this Lattice Quilt using Kaffe Fassett / Philip Jacobs large pattern fabrics. (The back used a Philip Jacobs fabric with an inserted crazy quilted piece.)

Cutting and assembling this quilt wasn’t the challenge; figuring out how to quilt the “blocks” was. In the end I set up an 8×8 design – 20 blocks in all (leaving some of the sashing unquilted), thirteen 3×8 blocks, two 3×3 blocks and then a design for the border.

This quilt has turned out a wee bit larger than my usual lap quilts – the design forced that – had to use an even number of blocks to make the lattice symetrical.

A Boring Pair of Socks

Ok, so the point is to use up the stash of yarn left-overs, to stretch them out with interspersing them with a blending colour yarn, pick up a colour in the blend for cuffs, heels and toes. But in this case it has resulted in a very boring pair of socks! It was so boring it was all I could do to finish the second sock.

Oh well, someone will love them. They’re now in the give-away pile (which continues to grow – gotta start giving those socks away).

Some new Kaffe Fassett fabrics


Last evening I attended a lecture by Kaffe Fassett. Three of the local quilt guilds decided to work together and sponsor his visit to Nova Scotia. His talk was about “colour” – I’ve been following his work for years, beginning with his knitting books. His latest work has been quilts using fabrics he designs for Westminster Fabrics.

After the purge of my house last week, including the sewing room (I got rid of a lot of fat quarters and scraps I knew I was never going to use), I promised myself I was NOT going to buy any fabric — NO FABRIC, until I saw those luscious flowers in gold, pink, pale green, turquoise. And beside that bolt was the green dots, and then the pink houses… I added in the strong pink circles and a couple of others, bought a half meter of each. Then I came home and went through my Fossil Fern fat quarter collection (I still have about half of them unused) and picked out eight that I thought would work with the Kaffe Fassett prints.

These are more subtle than my usual quilt fabrics in shades I don’t usually gravitate toward, but last evening they called out to me.

I have no idea what kind of quilt I will make with this fabric collection. It might be several months before I think about using them but something interesting will get made.

Day Lilies

IMG_3032We’ve got day lilies in one of the garden beds across from my town house. They’ve been blooming for the past 10 days or so. This plant is thriving this year with a gazillion blooms to come.

Palazzo Pants


Bali is hot, and we also have a few hot days each summer here in Halifax. So I decided to make a pair of palazzo pants — loose fitting pants with a yoke that sits just below the waist.

This is the first pair — I used some of the katagami (Japanese batik) I bought several weeks ago. I’ve used this fabric in a couple of quilts (I backed one with it). It washes well, presses nicely and drapes softly.

The pattern I used didn’t have pockets (I added two on the front – deep enough to carry my phone in my pocket), and it had a side zipper. This pair I put in the side zipper with an added tab (with a button) at the top.

I’ve made a white and a navy pair – each with a fly-front which I prefer to a side zipper. I’ve got two more pair cut out – I think at least one of them I will cut off to a capri length.

Definitely comfortable. They’re not all for Bali (I’ll probably only take a single pair), but they’re great to wear in our weather which has been warm and humid for the last couple of weeks.

Luggage Tags




The women on the Bali trip have been talking about how to recognize one another in the Denpasar airport when we arrive. We’re coming from both the east and west coasts and from locations in between. Some travelling west, I’m traveling east. Several of us are arriving at about the same time in Denpasar. Since most of us don’t know anyone else on the trip, the suggestion was made to create luggage tags in a lime green so we can identify another trip member at the luggage pick up.

Seemed like a good idea. So yesterday I whipped up a couple of luggage tags – one for my suitcase, and one for my backpack (which I will be wearing). Very easy to do.

  • Cut 4 pieces of 3.5″ x 5″ fabric as well as 2 pieces of 3.5″ x 5″ heavy weight interfacing, two 6″ lengths of grosgrain ribbon and two  3.5″ x 5″ pieces of plastic.
  • Fuse the interfacing to two of the pieces of fabric.
  • Place the other two pieces of fabric on the right side of the fabric/interfacing piece and sew on three sides.
  • Turn inside out, press.
  • Insert the folded grosgrain ribbon (cut ends) into the open end which has been folded  inward. Stitch the open end closed.
  • Take a business card (or a card with your ID on it) and lay it in the middle of one side. Place the plastic piece on top and stitch around the outside, then stitch around the edge of the card. Trim the plastic as close to the seam as possible.

And there you have it – a personal luggage tag – won’t look like anybody else’s!

Elegant Attire

I got my invitation to my great-nephew Ben’s Bar Mitzvah last week. The invitation says: “elegant attire”. I wrote my niece asking her what that meant and she sent me back a photo of her new dress for the affair. The Bar Mitzvah is end of August, in Toronto, certain to be a hot evening. I went through my wardrobe looking for “elegant attire” — I have outfits but everything is more suitable for winter, too hot to wear on a late August evening.

I hate shopping for clothes, I prefer making stuff — it’s as much about the making as it is the wearing. So I went through my fabric stash. I have a lovely piece of blue and white stripe silk which I bought in Portland OR last spring, and I might just have been able to squeak out a dress from it but I didn’t want to cut the fabric and find I didn’t really have enough, that the dress ended up too short. That fabric will get saved for another garment of some kind.

Instead, I went to the local fabric shop and picked up 2 m. of a Japanese katagami stencilled indigo dyed cotton fabric. There were lots of large bold designs but I thought this one was delicate enough to be considered “elegant”. Yesterday, I cut out a t-shirt dress from the fabric; today I sewed the pieces together. IMG_3029

This is me wearing the completed dress with some large Navaho silver jewellery, green shoes. The dress will certainly be comfortable – it’s loose, and cotton. I think it will also pass muster as “elegant”!IMG_3028

New Back Pack

Just finished this new back pack. I made one like this using faux suede a number of years ago and I use it regularly. It holds quite a lot and sits comfortably into the small of my back. I made a pattern from a Japanese back pack which a friend purchased in Japan. I used one of the pieces of Japanese fabric I’d bought in Portland Oregon a year ago. Took about 5 hours to cut out and assemble.

I made this one to take to Bali at the end is September because the older one is surprisingly heavy. This one was made using lighter fabrics.