Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Skirt Repair

January 5, 2019

I was a member of the RTW Fasters 2018 group on Facebook, started by the blogger Sarah Gunn at Goodbye Valentino, and it wasn’t all that hard to not purchase any Ready To Wear clothing at all, but it was hard for me to sew my own clothing.  True to my procrastinator personality, I finally started focusing on clothing in 2019.  Better late than never.

This was the first time I did not pack all my clothing in our RV for our annual snow bird flight to Tucson, and when we arrived, I realized that my skirts had been shoved against a metal hinge, and had 2 slits across the abdomen.  Accidents happen, and heh, I can sew, I can fix these garments.

Yes, I repaired this skirt:


See the top yoke?  It used to be twice as long.  I measured down from the elastic to the top of the tears, and cut evenly around the entire skirt.  Then I had the joy of removing the seam that attached the yoke to the gathered skirt second tier to get the torn section off the skirt.  That took some time.  Part way through the job I managed to find the correct thread tail to just pull, and all the overlocking came out – like the top of a potato sack string.  That was a win for me.

Next step was to fold down 1/2″ from the yoke bottom, and stitch the yoke section back to the gathered skirt’s second tier.  That required sewing basting stitches, and pulling the bobbin thread to pull the fullness evenly from the skirt’s second tier to fit the yoke.

It actually went pretty fast – after I pinned, thought I pinned inside out, repinned, realized the original pinning was correct, and repinned for a third time.  Yes, that’s what happens when I sew in a social setting.  I am so happy to be visiting with friends, I don’t pay attention to what I’m supposed to be doing.

Okay, sewed the 2 sections together, and realized I needed to get some matching thread for one more sew around.  Luckily a friend offered me to shop in her thread collection, and we found a perfect match.  One more seam, and voila!!! my skirt is wearable again.

I only wear this skirt in Tucson.  Lots of people walk around wearing this style.  It’s not all that flattering, but it’s cool, and so comfortable, I don’t care.  It’s actually cooler than wearing shorts.

The upshot?  It took me longer to repair this one skirt, than it took for me to piece this entire quilt top.  That could be why I haven’t made a lot of clothes for myself.  I’m way out of practice, and it takes me forever to accomplish much, but you know what?  My next project is a pair of shorts or pants for myself.  At the rate I sew, y’all might not hear from me for 2 months.  😉

I have the pattern, tracing paper, elastic and thread for this project, so as soon as I finish making a nametag for my quilt club at Tucson Estates, and  17 more 4 patch blocks for a group project, shorts/pants it is.





Endings and Beginnings

December 31, 2018

2018 is on its way out, and 2019 is on its way in.  The years are all starting to melt together, and I don’t mind that.

A lot was accomplished in 2018 despite two stress fractures, and I’m hoping for lots to be accomplished in 2019.

You won’t find lists of what was created in 2018 here though, or a list of resolutions.  I used to keep track of how much I created, how much I got out of my house, and realized, quit counting things, Diane.  Not all that easy for an accountant.  It’s in my DNA to count things, so the numbers are still running around in a corner of my mind, but no longer a focused activity.

Instead, I’m taking each day as it comes, and try to celebrate something joyful each and every day.  It could be the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the laundry is folded, etc…  I can’t type the laundry is finished, because honestly, I think our clothing, towels and sheets are in cahoots, so something is always dirty.

Life is moving quickly now.  I’m taking time to appreciate my family and friends with actions and words.  My parents were good role models.  Not a day went by that they didn’t kiss each other, and say they loved each other.  I was blessed to be raised in such a family.

I realize that isn’t true for everyone, but know that if you are my family, if you are my friend, I love you, I appreciate you, and am grateful for knowing all of you.




Another Comfort Quilt Top Completed

December 21, 2018

Hard to believe, as I’m usually slow as molasses to get a top pieced, but I completed another quilt top today:


It’s my version of a B2B pattern.  I have no clue what size blocks the B2B pattern starts out with, but I had enough fabric to cut twelve 9.5″ squares of the floral pattern, and winged it for the measurements for the background and solid color stripes, using graph paper, and drawing the sections as wide as was pleasing to my eye to get twelve 12.5″ finished squares.

I had seen the layout used on a block of the month pattern from another website, and thought it would work great for my idea too.  Said idea was to totally use up that floral fabric, and it was a success.

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve gone through 7 yards of fabric in 2 weeks of sewing in Tucson.  Let me tell you, I’ve never accomplished that at home.  Must be something in the desert air that is encouraging me to sew, and this one was made in a little under 5 hours of actual sewing time.  That 5 hours, includes getting up and down to iron seams, chat a little while waiting for my turn at the ironing board, sew a little, help a fellow quilter out, then back to sewing a little on my project.  That’s what I call community sewing – more of a social event, than a peddle to the metal sewing session.

I am totally out of Comfort quilt fabric now.  From now on, my quilt projects will be lots more involved, and take a lot longer to complete.  I only packed 2 more projects for this 4 month vacation though.

One project is using solids – and only solid colored fabric – for an experiment.  Not sure how  it’ll turn out, but I have lots of time to work on it.

The second project is an Elizabeth Hartman pattern, and that requires a lot of concentration and organization.  Not too sure how that will fly in a social setting, because lets face it,  I end up doing almost as much talking as I do sewing.  No apologies about it either.  I love seeing what the other people in the room are making, catching up with their families, trying new recipes, and restaurants.

Not to forget garment sewing, but I actually brought a pant pattern down with me.  Also ordered material from – really only to get the Kona color card, but added the apparel fabric to qualify for free shipping.  What the heck,  a girl has to do what a girl has to do, to get free shipping.

I desperately need new clothes and entered the RTW Fasters group on FB – which just so happens to  end December 31 for encouragement.  It’s hard to admit that I didn’t make one single garment – the entire year folks!!!  BUT, I didn’t purchase one single garment either.  I’m just really late to get with the group and actually start making some MeMade clothes.   The challenge might be ending, but it worked to get me inspired to make some clothes for myself.  That’s a win in my book.

I hope you are all enjoying your creativity, and there is lots more to come.





Comfort Quilt # 17

December 14, 2018

I’m in my happy place – Tucson – and finished up my last comfort quilt for 2018:

Comfort quilt 17

I prepared a couple of quilt kits for Tucson, as it is so much easier bringing just what I need in the RV.  There is limited space for all my quilting supplies, so condensing is the way to go.

This was made with 2 Christmas fabrics I had in my collection who’s time had come to be used.  I had just enough for this project, and happily, one of my friends here said her church is happy to receive quilt tops, so I decided to donate it to her church.  It’s not easy machine quilting on my small travel sewing machine, so this was a win-win in my book.

I also donated the binding and backing fabric for a total of 5 yards, yes 5 yards of fabric going to a good cause.  Now I’ll have room in the RV to buy more fabric to bring home with me, but shh, that’s a secret between you and me.  😉




Free Motion Quilting

August 14, 2018

I used to be pretty good at FMQ, but my oh my, did that recent Comfort Quilt test my patience.  I lost my FMQ mojo.  That’s what happens when you don’t practice – often.

I was so upset that I was considering purchasing a new sewing machine – the Juki straight stitch only one – the mini version.  Came to my senses and realized, no, it wasn’t the sewing machine’s fault, it was little old me.

Determined to get better, I watched FMQ shows on YouTube and old Craftsy classes I had purchased, and practiced, practiced, practiced.  After 2 weeks of almost daily practice, this is what I sewed out today:


Yes!!!  Now that’s more like it.  Not perfect, but I’m happy with the improvement.

I will now practice FMQ a few times a week, or I’ll lose my mojo again, and can’t let that happen.  😉


Bee Sewcial

August 8, 2018

I’m a member of a small group of quilt artists called Fiberistas, and we were looking for a small monthly project to try recently.  Beth sent us links to a concept new to all of us.  It’s called BeeSewcial.  Seems there is a thriving group on Instagram and on the internet, where members select a Queen Bee monthly.  The Queen Bee chooses a theme.  It can be a particular block, a thought, a word, a song, etc…  The members all make a block and gift it to the Queen Bee, who then makes a quilt out of the blocks, and gets to keep it for herself.

We all thought that was a great idea as our last group project – a Round Robin ended halfway through.  Some of the pieces were getting rather large, and interest waned. One block a month is very doable, and still lets us try all sorts of new techniques, and we get to make a quilt for ourselves.  The best part?  We each receive a block made by someone we all love.  Doesn’t get any better than that.

We decided to have all the block sizes be divisible by 3.   A block can be as small as 3″x3″ or 3″x12″ or anything between, but none larger than 12″x12″.  This will be fun and possibly challenging to put together 13 variously sized blocks, and should result with lots of great varied arrangements.

Jess chose Square in a Square, and I finished mine already.  It is 9″x9″.  Yes, good old procrastinator me, finished it a full month ahead of time.  Here it is:


She mentioned she liked batiks, so batiks she got, and I had oodles of fun playing with the design section in my Pfaff sewing machine.

That center embroidery started out life as a single scallop.  I multiplied it, tapered it, rotated it, and had the best time ever creating those squares, within squares in the center.  Sense a theme here?  More squares in a square for Jess.

This is the first time in years, and I mean years, that I used the embroidery module on my sewing machine.   It was so much fun.  That module is staying on my sewing machine, and I have big plans for it – in between finishing up the Santa quilt.



Surprise, Surprise

June 24, 2018

The day after my birthday, I ended up in the ER traveling by ambulance no less.  Quite a shock.  Was there for hours, had a gazillion tests, and sent home with orders to see a cardiologist the next day.

Have you ever tried to get an appointment with a cardiologist in one day?  Ain’t going to happen.  Didn’t matter because I ended up in the ER again, 24 hours after my last trip.  At least this time, my husband drove me, and we went to a different hospital.

This ER visit was 6.5 hours in the waiting room followed by being put in a room with a guy coughing so badly, I was worried about my husband getting sick.  I was admitted for observation, wore a heart monitor, and got sent home with BP meds, and an appointment to see a cardiologist.  Nice of them to make it for me.

Two days later I realized I caught an infection while in the hospital, so got to take antibiotics, and the next day realized I’m the one who caught what the guy in the bed next to me had.  Such joy – not.

I’m feeling much, much better now, and am looking forward to working on my Santa quilt again.  I’m also hopeful the rest of the year will be happy and healthy for me,  my loved ones, and all of you.



It’s My Birthday

May 29, 2018

Another year, another birthday, but as I age, I realize another birthday is not guaranteed to me.  Of course, another birthday has never been a given, but the reality of my mortality hit hard this year, when my best friend from high school, passed away this Spring.

All of us who knew her, knew this was coming, but it didn’t make it any easier for us when it happened.  This was a release from all the chemo, radation, fatigue and clinical trials she endured, but I still miss hearing from her.

My friend stayed positive till the end.  She stayed hopeful, kind to her friends, and as her husband said, “Everybody who knew her, loved her.”  True that.

With this birthday, I’m now a year older than my friend was when she passed away.  What will I do with my time on this earth?

Take it day by day.  That sounds simple, but how many of us live in the present?  We make bucket lists, we have our calendars filled with meetings and appointmets, and then what?  We get stressed  filling up our lives with “To-Do” lists.

Today, the sun is shining.  That gives me joy.  I love seeing the sun.  Watching how the landscape changes colors as the sun moves across the sky – the highlights, the secret, shady areas – it’s all quite spectacular.

Last night we had a full moon.  It never fails to awe me when I can walk around my house in the middle of the night without a light on, and have it illuminated by the glowing moon.  There is something magical about moonlight.

Do I have future plans?  Not a lot of them.  Am I bored?  No.  I have a gazillion projects I can be making – or maybe not making, but am working on them one at a time.  It’s a lot more fun for me to work on more complicated projects now, and take my time with them.

I’m taking daily walks again.  It’s good for my body, and it makes me happy.  After breaking my femur this past January, I really appreciate the ability to walk.

Lest you think I’m withdrawing from life, nothing could be further from the truth. I’m eliminating activities that keep me busy.  I don’t need to be busy.  I want to be engaged in what life brings my way.  Spontaneity and reflection will be welcomed with open arms.








Delilah on the Design Wall

May 8, 2018

Finally, all the large and small blocks are completed – including the 31 small pinwheels, and they are up on my design wall under review:

My Delilah on the design wallThe lighting is terrible, but I am so proud of myself for getting this far.  I have remade a couple of blocks, and am thinking about remaking one of the pinwheels, but assembly has commenced.

There is still one large block that I think should be remade, but it was one stinker of a block to make.  You can probably tell which one I’m talking about – the grey and weird yellow green block a little left of center.

I was determined to use all the fabric I received in my fabric kit.  This was supposed to stretch my use of color, and it did.  Most of the fabric was great, but I seriously disliked some of the fabric.   That weird yellow green was in the fabric kit, but I’m the one responsible for using it, and for pairing it with the grey.  I think it would look a lot better if I removed the fabric around the 8 pointed star, and replaced it.  Sheesh, I just talked myself into it.

Aaargh, this quilt will never be completed.  It’s been a looooooong 12 months, and I learned I will never, ever enroll for a block of the month, or a template of the month again.  Just as I got in the swing of the quilt, I’d finish the month, then have to wait for the next shipment to arrive.

I like focusing on one quilt project at a time, and simply couldn’t get my brain wrapped around working on another challenging project that was in the works.  I solved the problem by shelving the other challenging project, and making a Comfort quilt with very easy piecing so I could happily sew with my quilt group while in Tucson, but really wanted to wrap up work on Delilah so I could go back to my Santa quilt – the other challenging project.  How about that for a run-on sentence?

Now this one-project-at-a-time person, is working on Delilah, wanting to work on the Santa quilt, and has a pin basted Comfort quilt that needs to be quilted.  This causes me stress.  I don’t like stress.  Neither does my blood pressure, and I didn’t have high blood pressure – till now.

It’s all rather silly.  I’m in control of whether I say yes or no to a project.  I just recently had to back out of participating with my friends on a solid fabric quilting challenge that was due in May.  It would have been great fun to display all the quilts together, but I would prefer to survive Spring.  It is awfully pretty in Upstate New York in Spring.  Who wants to be inside sewing all the time when they could be outside in the sunshine, listening to the birds, and seeing what blooms next?




An Ending and a Beginning

March 10, 2018

After nearly 40 years of being in business, I closed Dimity down officially yesterday. Filed my last NYS sales tax forms and will complete my last federal paperwork later this month.

It is a bittersweet time for me. I truly thought I’d stay in business till the day I died. You know what made the decision for me?  I’m sick of filing the forms when I’m on vacation in Tucson every Spring. Such a little irritation, but one I didn’t want to bother doing anymore.

It will be nice having simplified tax forms next year too. The less forms I have to fill out, the happier I am.

My business experienced a lot of change over the years, and I enjoyed each and every challenge.  From selling knitting machines, writing patterns and teaching across the USA and Canada, to hand dyeing yarn, purchasing beads from Tucson’s great shows and reselling them, to exhibiting art quilts and selling some.  When one revenue source died, another was explored.  Life was never boring.

While my business is closed, I still have lots to explore.  Not sure if I’ll be starting a new blog or not, but there will definitely be different subject matter discussed now.

Garment making will most likely be pursued, and I doubt I could give up quilt making.  So stayed tuned, folks.  There is more to come.