25 August 2012

four sewing tips

I am presently sewing my wedding dress and have come up with a few tips to share.

1.  Lay out slippery fabric on a mattress.  Spread out one layer of fabric at a time, putting pins through each one straight into the mattress to keep it from wrinkling; then spread the pattern on top in the same way.  Trace around the pattern with a pen or wheel and cut the fabric later, or just cut (carefully) along the pattern.

2.  Keep track of pieces cut with check-boxes on each pattern piece.  When you've cut one piece, check off one box.  Then keep track of the pieces with a note pinned onto each one.

3.  Mark seam allowances with masking tape on the sewing machine plate.  If you have, say, a quarter-inch foot but need a five-eighths inch seam, measure five-eighths inch from the needle on the plate and mark it with a piece of masking tape.

4.  Baste your hems.  Instead of measuring, say, a quarter inch and ironing it over twice, baste a line half an inch from the raw edge.  Press it down and tuck the raw edge into the fold.  Or baste a line a quarter inch from the raw edge, press it down, and fold and press it again.  Generally, baste halfway up the seam (here, a quarter inch) when the raw edge is wider than the rest of the fabric, such as at the bottom of a skirt; otherwise, baste all the way up the seam (here, half an inch).

Please share your sewing tips!

18 August 2012

welcome to strawberry cottage!

At last, the new name and new blog header are here.  A new button will come eventually.  How does it look?

15 August 2012

yes, I would ask the same question

On top of the building, a large, flaking plywood sign spelled out PATS' in handpainted letters....
     'Do you think it's owned by someone named Pats?  Or is there more than one Pat?'
     Horace had stopped at the door.  Pulling it open, he stepped to the side and smiled.  'Mr. Cyrus, I wouldn't have thought that you would be one to notice -- or care about -- an apostrophe.'
     Cyrus glared at him.
     'Right.  Well, there are two Pats,' Horace said.  'And this place belongs to both of them.'

(N. D. Wilson, Ashtown Burials:  The Dragon's Tooth.)

In case I don't get a chance to write a longer review, let me just say that The Dragon's Tooth is a lot of fun.  Cyrus and Antigone, ages twelve and thirteen, are two ideosyncratically ordinary children (the kind of ordinary children who go to the state fair and usually get motion-sick), living with their elder brother in an old motel in Wisconsin, with a barely-holding-together car and a diet consisting mainly of waffles, when a guest nicknamed Billy Bones shows up.  They are thrown into a wild adventure involving a secret society and an evil scientist trying to take over the world.  And echoes of Treasure Island.  And somewhat immortal persons.  And fantastic mutant animals and ancient relics.  It's a lot of fun.  You should read it, so you'll be ready when the sequel, The Drowned Vault, is released in about four weeks.

13 August 2012

a little vase


Each letter shows a plant with its meaning in the Victorian language of flowers:

Nightshade -- truth.
A
ster -- variety.
O
ak -- hospitality.
M
ugwort -- happiness.
I
vy -- friendship.

Happy belated birthday, Naomi!

10 August 2012

city with foundations


By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went....  For he looked for the city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God....  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth....  Now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.  (Hebrews 11.8,10,13,16 KJV)

06 August 2012

in my heart


and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) 

(E. E. Cummings, 'i carry your heart with me'.)