“Whether or not God has kissed your brow, you still have to work. Without learning and preparation, you won’t know how to harness the power of that kiss.”

Twyla Tharp

Monday, September 21, 2009

Too Little Time!

It's been a very busy week, with the Holidays here. I do have a sewing camp on Friday from 10 - 5 so I hope to make some real progress on my coat then. In the meantime, I did finish up Sarah's shirt. This came right from Pattern Review, fabric and all, and I have to thank AmyRose for sharing so generously. I knew as soon as I saw her review that my daughter would really like it -- actually I would really have liked it! The only thing I did differently was to detach lengths of ruffle from some of the fabric pieces and used it over the serged edge at the bottom. It made a perfect hem which was great since she didn't want to lose any more length, even with a very tiny hem. The cloth is definitely the star here -- not sure I'd necessarily use the pattern again for a plainer fabric.

I did splurge on Thursday during an outing at Sawyerbrook with my mother and sister and bought a wonderful black and fuchsia silk novelty for a suit for a wedding next spring and a cool poly/viscose that looks good on either side and fringes nicely. Will make a funky skirt for Sarah with the right pattern. When I knit I am never tempted to shop for another project until I am finished with what I am currently working on. If only I could translate that to sewing!! I have no discipline when it comes to picking out new projects and cloth to sew with...


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Strudel - Homage to Bubbe and Grandma

When I married into my husband's family, Bubbe was an institution in her own right. I had Nanas, who were very, very different from Bubbe. Until Bubbe, I had never met an elderly woman who smoked, much less non-filter cigarettes! And, no one in my family would give an opinion if they weren't asked -- it just wasn't done. But Bubbe?!

When you visited Bubbe, no matter how little notice you gave, or how badly she was feeling (Bubbe's health was poor from the day I met her until she passed away years later), she greeted your presence by pulling a never ending stream of food from her freezer. There were fish cakes, Bubbe cookies, and especially strudel. Her strudel was legendary in the family, though since I wasn't a big strudel fan at the time, it didn't mean quite as much to me. I will diverge for just a moment to say that when Bubbe made fish cakes (which were my husband's favorite) she would go to the market and wouldn't dream of buying a filet of fish. She purchased the least expensive cut of fish and took it home where she pulled all the bones out herself with pliers! That was Bubbe....

My mother-in-law tried to get Bubbe's Strudel recipe for years, but Bubbe never wrote things down and never measured. So, one day, they made strudel together with my mother-in-law stopping to measure whenever Bubbe was about to add an ingredient. Interestingly, Bubbe ground her raisins and no one knew why until they made strudel together and Bubbe explained that Auntie Sylvia didn't eat raisins, so they had to be disguised! And, so, strudel passed down to my mother-in-law who made it faithfully for every family occasion. She was very proud of her strudel!

About three years ago, my mother-in-law entered the nursing home. So, there has been no strudel since then, and for some time before. She gave the recipe to my sister-in-law, but we never did what she did with her mother-in-law and actually make the strudel with her, meticulously noting every detail. Rosh Hashanah is next week and I am determined that we will have her strudel. It won't be the same, but I will try for their sake. I, too, will make adjustments for family members, this time for my son who won't eat coconut (I don't think I can disguise it -- he's pretty discerning). Next week, my mother in law will tell me if I've even come close. Here's to you, Bubbe and Grandma...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sewing Class

I don't know whether to call this new fabric store, sewing classes, or Cutting Lines Raincoat! I started class a week ago at Apple Annie Fabric in Swansea, MA. It's a long drive for me -- over two hours each way -- but when I'm there I stay for 4 hours so it's worth it (I think). I had never been there before and they have beautiful fabric! What a wonderful treat -- you can get some idea when you visit their website. They do lots of project of choice classes and you get lots of individual attention, which is great!

I've been sewing, but really need to bring it up another level. There are a number of things I don't do on a regular basis, including linings, knits, zippers..... So, I've sought out help. My project for class is the Cutting Lines Pure & Simple Coat. I'm doing a single color for all 3 sections and I haven't decided yet if I will insert a matching or contrast piping where each of the sections meet. I am also lining it, though the pattern doesn't call for lining. My fabric is a very tightly woven, shiny graphite color and my lining is a beautiful print silk (both shown below). Along the side of the silk is a solid fuschia border which I will use to pipe the edge where the lining and fashion fabric meet.I will probably do much of the work in class, so it may be a bit before we see a final result. I'll do some smaller projects in between. Off to cut this out -- a bit nervous!