Friday, June 3, 2011

End of week accomplishments

Everything is early here in western NC.    It's the tail end for local blueberries and I eat all I can in pancakes, salads and just plain.    I also grow herbs and wanted a recipe for a blueberry sage sauce.     I found this recipe for a

Wild Blueberry, Balsamic and Sage Sauce Reduction

You can read it and my review with modifications on the Food Network site (link above).   It was easy to prepare.   The fresh sage and blueberries with the balsamic vinegar is an amazing combination and really goes well with roast pork or on pork chops.     It's great on beef as well.   You can adjust the fat (olive oil and tablespoon of butter to finish)  and salt content as well.    Also your house smells divine.   My mailman had to come in for a taste this afternoon after I told him about it. 

Finished the stretch lace Pure and Simple top in an hour or so this afternoon.   I should have picked another fabric to play with because the chunky black knit embroidery on this fabric actually ravels.   No wonder it was hard to cut -  I need an image for gnashing teeth here.    Hint to self -- no more cheap fabric, even if your DH likes it at an Expo.    No this did not come from Louise's booth. 

I fused some light interfacing on the shoulders and sewed/serged them; then fused bias tape to the edges of the armholes.  That's as far as I got yesterday evening.   I only fused the bias knit tape to the armholes that you can see here.  This afternoon  I serged the neckline and hem edges and used a 2 x 2 mm zig zag to top-stitch down the 5/8" seam allowances from the inside, being careful not to stretch them out.  

I used differential feed to serge and draw up the curved hem edges prior to turning over and top-stitching.   Here's a photo of the hem that curves at the sides.   I used the same sewing sequence as the pattern instructions,  just omitted the facings.   I used a straight stitch to sew up the side seams.  

Making this gave me an opportunity to test this type of fabric in this pattern and also see where I was and what I could do at the machine.   The zig zag top-stitching worked out well and didn't require the precision of straight stitching that I'm not so good doing right now.   I think it turned out quite nice.   I've got black pants on that show through but the photo shows that it fits and drapes nicely.  More photos on Flickr.

While up in the sewing chamber I could hear Joe the tree frog croaking outside my window.     We had lots of toads and many frog species on our wooded property in MD.    Our house was at the top of a hill and we had a big pond at the bottom that you passed driving up the hill to the house.   In the spring you could hear a symphony of frog calls down there.   Some nights I would walk down with a flashlight to see who all was there.    If I found a huge bullfrog -- we had them the size of the old black telephones,  so we called them telephone frogs,  I would shine the flashlight in their eyes, catch them with a net, then take them down the road to a creek the next day.    This was our bullfrog relocation program because those guys will eat anyone bigger than they are, i.e. other frogs.   I also had a snapping turtle relocation program but that is another story.    Tree frogs like to hide in trees during the day but at night they sit on the edge of ponds/water and call for mates.    We had a bridge across the narrow part of the MD pond and I use to find many of them sitting on the bridge calling.    They have such big voices for their size.    I've heard this one in the gutters and trees during the day and then on the edge of our small fish pond, on the side where my sewing room windows open,  at night.     Frogs are our friends.

I was looking at The Sewing Workshop's web site.   They have really done a nice job of updating their site.   I enjoy seeing what's new on the blog and the facebook page that they update frequently now.    I read on TSW facebook page that a new pattern is due out in a couple weeks!    I found some really nice photos taken during the October sewing retreat in Orlando and at Louise Cutting's house on the facebook page.    I've never been to one of those events, or to Louise's home where she entertains the participants, but when I recover,  I intend to sign up for one.   Check out the photo of Louise's garage where she sells the fabrics.    Here's a nice photo of Linda Lee and Louise Cutting and their assistants, Kathy and Sandy on  Louise's deck.


  1. Ah Terri can't claim to have the friendly frogs in my yard but we do encourage other beasties including several garden snakes that scare my neighbor and eat DH's minnows (for fishing) but help keep down the bug populations. We're not real tree-huggers, but we appreciate help by the wildlife as opposed to chemical measures.

    Thanks for reference at my blog. I'll be sure to look for the SW raglan pattern.

  2. You had me at "blueberry" and I LOVE your lace top!

    'Course, we won't have our local blueberries until the end of July ...

  3. I simply love the lace top. Love it.

  4. Bev, I have had a strong kinship with amphibians since I was a child - they probably are my totems. In MD I to picked the treefrogs off the bridge, and they would hang on my fingers with their little sticky feet pads. Then they would get distracted and leap away.

    Thanks to all for the complements on my top. I'm just happy to be able to accomplish these little things I enjoy doing, and to share details to help others do the same.

  5. Terri, top if so very pretty! Glad you are still sewing and hope the visit to JH brings improved health very soon!

  6. Great top, and lovely on you! I agree - it would be so much fun to go on one of those retreats with Louise and Linda. I hope to include something like that in 2012. I'll bet there is a lot of laughing and cutting up (pun intended?) going on there.

  7. I also love your knit lace top. We do purchase fabrics/patterns and clothes our DH's like, don't we. Sometimes I find it hard to say no to his enthusiasm. Where do you purchaes your knit bias fusible? I'll keep you in my prayers and know that you're being thought of.