Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jumbo Christmas stockings...

So this year my goal was to "... get those stockings done!" I'd bought the pattern, fabrics, batting and threads last year - and of course I didn't quite get there. Although the boys are now 22 and 24 (as in years - not months)  I really needed to complete this so it wasn't technically a "quarter of a century" in the making. (They have had a Christmas stocking of sorts - but I always envisioned the handmade family heirloom that so many people talk about).

The pattern I bought (Simplicity 4842) was not a quilting pattern and I wanted to quilt something on the stockings; so I chose the heels, toes and cuffs. This of course required a few modifications (it always does) such as additional backing to the toes and heels, as well as some extra batting.

I am new to the whole "free motion" quilting concept, so my technique really isn't very good - but I forged ahead anyways.

As I worked away, it became readily apparent to me that the "medium size" stocking was immense. I'm of the mind set that stockings are hung and Santa traditionally puts in a box of pencil crayons, a magazine, a few little stocking stuffers (remember Mattel Hot Wheels?) and a bag of Christmas candies (which in our house has evolved into Holiday Skittles and the annual Christmas Terry's "Whack & Unwrap" Chocolate Orange). As I worked I could see that these stockings could easily replace any need for a tree at all.

Having said that, stocking number 1 was wonderful. Or so I thought. (Click here) Needless to say - stocking #2 is on hold

Friday, December 23, 2011

If I'd only known....

From Christmas past...

Last year I wrote the following optimistic little ditty ...

"...I also decided to make the boys Christmas stockings this year. I've been threatening to replace the plush Teddybear stockings I bought the Youngmen when they were Babyboys (21 and 23 years ago)  - but I just haven't gotten around to it. I suppose tacky plush teddy's hanging by their necks on the pseudo yuletide hearth is a vision I'd like to erase from their memory now while I still have the chance - that way when we all end up in therapy it won't be something that comes up..."

So this year, I pulled out the stocking fabrics, the batting, threads and pattern pieces and began to stitch. I had wanted to quilt parts of the stockings, and I wanted them to be a little larger than the plush bears. Well they are bigger- way bigger - as in ginormous. And not in a good way. I think in my enthusiasm to finally make the Christmas stockings which I had always envisioned over the years, I may have over compensated. So much so, that both Youngmen are somewhat appalled. To make matters worse - there is a whole "anti - new Christmas stocking" backlash in the yuletide air. I've been advised that they "like" their tacky plush teddy bears "thank you very much!"- with ragged hats, threadbare droopy bow ties and saggy bellies that get stuffed each year with chocolates, candies and magazines. 

I do realize that Christmas isn't "all about me" but I was somewhat taken aback when I offered to cut off detach their fluffy little plush heads and stitch them to the new stockings as a compromise. This suggestion was met with unanimous horrified derision. 

And so my elaborate handmade Christmas stocking family heirloom has once again been stifled. 

Another sheepless Christmas begins...

(If you are wanting all the process details of making the dratted stocking please click here).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Old Guy...back?

Well where the heck did that week go? I barely had time to break out the 2nd tier pizza pamphlets and the Old Guy was home again...

Not that he wasn't missed. But something was different this year.This year I actually got a little c-o-o-p-e-r-a-t-i-o-n from the troops. . And I'm not used to that. Dishes were washed, garbage carried out, snow was shoveled, and shoveled and shoveled again. All without begging, pleading, threatening or bribing (..."How much is this task worth ... two bits? A buck? Two bucks?"). It was a bit like (dare I say it) co-habitating with other adults.

Which is not to say I only value the Old Guy for his ability to wield a grill brush over the BBQ in the middle of winter, or his ability to remember which day the recycle bin goes out. That is not true.

I missed our witty morning repartee, our weekend rounds to the grocer, the butcher. Our evenings over a brew-ski lamenting about our day and relaying the latest and greatest goofball story heard on the radio or read in the paper. The novelty of having the "whole bed to myself " wears pretty thin pretty quick. But most of all I missed him. All of him.

Welcome home Old Guy - we missed you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Old Guy Gone...

A Bowl of  sheepless handspun

This is my annual Old Guy Gone post... in which I tell my dear readers about all the cool things I'm going to do while the Old Guy has left me for his annual pre holiday sojourn down East to visit family and friends.

Thus far I have safely delivered one DBN (aka dearly beloved niece) to the ski bus, watched Youngman 2 head to work and had an update on Youngman 1's ever evolving revised Christmas Wishlist. I've let the canine in - out - in - out (and so on) 53 times (in which I give him a cookie upon each return). 

I have reviewed, responded, forwarded, categorized and appropriately deleted  all my email. I have tried to open my new digital magazine subscription without success, dialed the 1-800 number for my automated voice message "press 1 / press 2 / press 346 /" -  sent two email complaints and received two automated "we'll get back to ya later" responses.

I've ordered some online gifts (in which no one ever seems to have problems automatically debiting my account).

I've added a seasonal background to my blog (which I hope you are enjoying) and I've taken a walk down memory lane via old online photos that I found in a folder which I  had made at some point in history and managed to inadvertently put in my "financial planning" folder (which is empty because I haven't got around to planning my finances yet - though every year it sounds like a good idea and goes into my "good idea folder" along with various knitting / quilting / and sock projects which will likely never see the light of day either). (This was one v e r y long sentence).

I have drank two gingerbread lattes and scoured the bowels of the fridge for the Wednesday's leftover mac n cheese that I thought was safely hidden tucked in behind the lettuce (which is currently growing a beard). 

It is now 11am and I am beat. I may have to go back to bed - and since I haven't got around to making the bed yet - I think that's my cue...

Am I having a cool time yet?

Friday, November 18, 2011

My annual November retrospective (in which I look at all the things I haven't got done, need to get done and then seem to still not do) has come to an end. It was a great week.

 I went for coffee, and walks, and talks.  I had naps. I did six loads of laundry while I finished my audio book. I made a ton of soup... and the soup was good!

And now ... my freezer runneth over!

Curried Carrot soup

Roasted Chile and Potato Soup

Spiced Mexican Squash

Winter Minestrone

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Okotoks 2011 Quilt Stroll -  Quilts - Cars - and Quilts for Cars!

Monday, November 7, 2011

And now for an amazing culinary feat...

Today is Day 1 of my annual mid November "week off". I generally use this as a week to begin my winter preparations. As in - wash the summer clothes and pack them away; bring out the winter wear (which was a bit easier this year, as it seems the winter jackets, mitts, hats,scarves and boots never made it downstairs last spring - which makes me wonder where the spring stuff went) and of course make soup. And soup ... and hopefully more soup.  

I found the video below on the Dinner With Julie (our local CBC celebrity chef) blog as I was searching for a tasty Christmas pudding recipe. I got myself a little sidetracked while looking up Wensleydale cheese which I had (in a moment of adventurous spirit) bought at the farmers market on the weekend. A quick Google search took me to Wikipedia. The Wensleydale was recommended with cranberries, and from there it was a quick jump to Christmas Cake and pudding... and you know how it goes...

But I ended up at Julie's (did I mention she has an ultra modern slow cooker give-away going on? Which of course I entered) and lo and behold here was an amazing video on "How to peel a head of garlic in less than 10 seconds".

 So ... what does one do when they have 6 loads of laundry in process, 27 pairs of sandals to give the nod or chuck for next year, a Dutch oven full of carrots,onions and curry bubbling on the burners, Inspector Lynley mystery blaring on the audio and a block of Wensleydale cheese looking for a purpose?

You stop and smell the garlic...

... and yes it does work. I tried it. It was amazing. And it was in less than 10 seconds. I counted.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy Wovember!

Now here's a month for those of us living in the Northern climes ... Wovember! A month in which we celebrate wool - wear wool - work with wool ... and generally tell woolley stories about wool.

For more information go to 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

We Walk Sundays...

Most Sunday mornings, I can be found at the Reservoir near my house.I meet friends and we go walking. We call it our time to rebalance, replenish and get back in touch with nature and ourselves. We've trained for half marathons, 10K walks and the 60 KM Walk for the cure. We share recipes, knitting patterns, debate the pros and cons of  whatever has a pro and a con. We  commiserate and encourage. We laugh - alot.

This morning marks the beginning of our 3rd year of winter walking. It was sunny, crisp and bright. Ice has finally formed on the water - and the last sail boat was ready for dry dock.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bike 101 all done...

My hands hurt (every single joint and digit) my elbows, knees, back, even my rib cage. After endless scrubbing, my nails are still encrusted with bike dirt and grease. I think my bike still works. I'll never begrudge my bike repair guy another nickle...

The Grey Goose - in bits
On Day 1 we pretty much worked on the rear end of the bike. I removed and reapplied my rear wheel at least 30 times. I was proficient. I removed the wheel, pulled off the tire, deflated - re-inflated the tube, and learned the difference between schaeder and presta valves. (Consequently I have gone to MEC to buy a few valve converters and a new tire pump) . We learned how to break our chains (on purpose) and how to use a nifty tool to put them back together (need to buy tool). I learned how to fix a flat and how to use those 2 little wrench things that look like beer cap flippers - and why I do need 2).

I did a "grease transfer" of the bike chain, gear sprockets, derailleurs, and the chain stay (that's CSI talk for all the greasy gritty sludgy crap on the bike was transferred to me). In the afternoon while everyone was replacing their brake cables, I was truing my rear wheel. Truing a wheel is an extremely zen type experience and once I got going with the little "tweek here" and just another little "tweek there" it was extremely difficult to stop.

 Day 2 - I was behind. At this point we were really getting into the knitty (oooops) nitty gritty. We pulled off the crankset (this almost killed me) disassembled the hub, removed, inspected, washed the ballbearings - degreased - regreased and reassembled.

By midday I was constantly 3 steps behind in a 2 step process. I was desperate for a Venti triple ANYTHING! I longed for Day 1 where my only worry was "did I put my tire tread on backwards?" But I persevered, and by the end of the day I was back on my bike with a "Basic Bicycle Mechanic Certificate" in hand .

Happily riding into the crisp autumn sunset with swirls of fallen frost laden leaves crunching under my tires...

Clunk-ity... clunk-ity ... aaahhh crap!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A little knitty video..

Here's a little knitting video kicking around Ravelry right now... perfect for this time of year when we switch out the cotton on our needles and are drawn to our thick fuzzy woolie projects..

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Now for something different...

Tour De France - carry your own spare parts

As you all may or may not know, I've been riding my bike alot this summer - and I loved it. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my commute to work (via Schlecky - my bike's name) was decidedly quicker than walking (35 minutes) scootering (around 15 - 20 minutes depending on traffic) and carpool (same as scootering depending on traffic). So I've pretty much been pedaling to work since this year's Tour de France (or Fleece if you were a participant) in July.

I had planned a few bike rides with a friend in which she reminded me to bring a spare tire "just in case". Good idea. "I assume you know to change it?" I asked. "No, my husband usually does that..." "But he's not coming with us..." (Hmmm - an oversight on our part.)

A few weeks ago my tires were getting low, and administering a self-congratulatory pat on the back for actually having a bicycle pump, I promptly released all the air from the tire and now had a complete flat. The pump didn't have a "doo hickey" converter on it, so it was useless - now really - who knew?

So what is all this leading to? This weekend I'm taking a "Weekend Bike Repair Course" at the University  which "... leads you through a full bike tune up  and teaches you how to repair and maintain your bike."

Wish me luck - grannie-good-wrench here I come!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

So you think you've knit it all?

Sexy Turkey Hat by Angela Catirina

I found this " Sexy Turkey Hat" pattern on Ravelry (I mean what else does one do with their Thanksgiving Weekend?). I've tried to link to it - but the links are all broken. If you are on Ravelry - go here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Was it just me?

Bye bye Sal...
... Well my gal Sal has moved on. She went to her new forever home on the weekend. I put her up on kijiji  about a month ago and promptly forgot about her. Then I got the call "Could we come by to give her a try? " No problem! When I opened the door, lo and behold! the prospective buyer (along with a friend) turned out to be an acquaintance from my other fibre-y life.

Now, being a firm believer in the old "what goes around comes around" philosophy of life (also known as karma I believe) I did disclose a blow by blow on our love - hate relationship. And Sally's sketchy past. And her last colossal breakdown. Sal must have known this was her do or die moment, because when they put her through her paces - the little beggar sewed her heart out. Now there is something to be said for having a master who knows what they are doing - to coax the best out of you. Turns out the happy shoppers were computer sewing savvy - and before I knew it Sal was making buttonholes, doing needle ups and downs and just itching to jump in the bosom of her new owner and get outta Dodge. All I could think was UGH!  foiled again... 

Sally I hope you and your new owner make lot's of happy projects together ...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Moving over from the old blog...

This may be a long arduous project. Although I readily admit I've written alot of trash junk - less than optimal drivel over the years, I do have a few blog entries that I need to move from one place to the other. One of them is Days to Dye For from my masterspinner wannabe blog (be forewarned it's  l o n g ...)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The miracles of steam blocking ...

Blocking lesson 1
Well I have finally finished my first set of swatches (5 in all) for lesson 1 of the TKGA Basics course. I am enjoying it immensely. Primarily because for the first time in my life I am actually granting myself the luxury of thinking about my knitting, analyzing my knitting, researching, rethinking,re-doing, and finally appreciating unreservedly what can be done with two sticks and string. I am learning how to actually make increases lean left or right at my will. I'm learning how to make them invisible. I am using duplicate stitch to weave in my ends. All of this is new to me.

 I'm trying out new techniques and comparing them with my old standbys. I am humbly learning that some of my old standbys are sadly lacking. Case in point: Being the lazy so and so that I am (fully admitted) I taught myself to knit right wise and left wise so I wouldn't have to purl. "I hate purling" I announced. In Swatch 2 of my swatches, I did the requested stocking stitch dutifully turning my work knitting one direction and purling back on the next.  By the time I hit Swatch 3, I declared "I don't like this - and I'm returning to my lazy ways" and I knit back and forth. I was quite anxious by this, and wrote to my instructor asking for "permission". The response was a common sense one telling me it was not the intent to tell my how to execute the required task at hand - but that the tension must be even, the stitches not twisted, and the increases were to slant in the correct direction indicated in the instructions. Relieved, I carried on my merry way.

Today I blocked the swatches... and look what I discovered.

 A : Swatch 2 (back) - stitches look even. B:  Swatch 3 (back) - uneven stockinette stitches with gutters. C: Swatch 4 (back) more gutters! Needless to say Swatch 3 &4 are now in the do-over pile.

On a happier note, steam blocking did wonders for the appearance of my ribbing:

Remember this Swatch - with the awful looking ribbing?

Post blocking....

Yes! It really is the same swatch...

 I found a little video on YouTube a few years back when I was looking to block a fairisle afghan that I had knit for the Ravelry 2010 Winter Ravelmpics. The author is Annie Modesitt.  She had me so sold on the Scunci Steamer, that I found one on Kijiji and was rearing to go.

Well, time to revisit Swatches 3 and 4 -Swatch on!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Basics, Bascis, Basics - TKGA here I come...

Just got my BBB package (as in TKGA Basics course) last week and I  have spent a good deal of time doing "prep work." IE: finding a suitable yarn that I think will sustain me through the levels. I've decided to use Cascade 220 based on it's availability (my LYS carries it) price (seems reasonable) and it does a nice job of showing off stitch definition. It also seems to be a TKGA fan favourite.

I've made about 6  "first swatches" trying out various needle sizes (4.5 - 5mm) and types (plastic / bamboo / metal / circs / long / short). Having said that - my biggest decision has been around whether I'll knit Continental or English.  I started swatch 1 doing continental and was horrified at my tension and edges. Tried again (blamed the needle size) and not much better. Next - I resentfully tried an English knit swatch - which looked better. I was somewhat miffed because I didn't want to do my swatches English... (nothing to do with the whole English vs Continental business). Finally I needed to review why I am even embarking on this journey. Generally speaking it is to become a more proficient  knitter - more specifically however, I want to accomplish this proficiency using the continental technique. For some reason my "hand -brain" connectors seem to navigate more naturally  towards this technique. It feels like home (I guess home needs a little sprucing up at the moment).

And so all was frogged again - and finally swatch 1 was done. (Almost - still need to block it).

Swatch 1 - Sample A on needles. Sample B 5mm needles. I've decided that B has a bettter hand. These swatches aren't yet blocked - we'll see what they look like post "finishing."
Bumpy side of long tail cast on - and uneven looking K2P2 ribbing

K2 P2 rib - I know a number of these stitches look twisted - but when I pull the swatch and look more closely I know they aren't. Also shown is the long tail cast smooth side.

Garter stitch selvedge - unfortunately - no slip stitches allowed!

K2 P2 selvedge

In looking at my tension with an analytical eye - I see one loose stitch. I am hoping with proper finishing  the fibres will relax and it will "disappear" into the fabric when the wool fulls a bit.
The bind off instructions were BIND OFF 12 stitches purl wise and the remainder knit wise. Interesting how it looks different - eh?
 Well that's it for today. Swatch on!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Good morning - eh?


So -  I am clearing up a number of commitments which have been taking up immense chunks of my time:
  •  Tour de Fleece - I am letting my singles "cure" on the bobbins for a bit before I start plying. This is just my way of justifying not quite completing this project as that would require pulling out my swift and winding off a few already plied yarns that have also been "curing" since.... ?
  • I have finally thrown in the towel on The Young & the Restless. I have deleted all my saved episodes and removed it from my PVR series recordings list. I cannot watch Nikki go to rehab one more time, Nick and Phyllis do the dirty on yet another company desk, couch, floor, bathroom or Daddy's jet, yacht,  helicopter or icecream truck. Or watch yet another victim rise like the phoenix,after falling into an active volcano - for what -  the fifth time?And with a new face??? And Victor? Don't even get me started...
  • I'm ready to call it a day on my vegetable garden - the weather has conspired against me and either pummelled it with hail or hidden the sun away for days on end. It's been cold. My tomato plants have a total of 5 little tomatoes holding on for dear life as the dog sniffs them every morning. I'm waiting for him, or the rabbits to make lunch.
  • I had fund raising commitments for a Weekend to End Women's Cancers Walk that I did a few weekends ago and that has wrapped up as well. Our team raised over $6,000.00! We were delighted and especially appreciative as our fund-raising efforts were largely successful due to the support we received from family, friends and work colleagues.

And so here I am. I continue to quilt on the weekends and my Mondays off. But I have this evening lull before me which usually occurs around 7 pm. I usually watch my soap (see above) or surf the net. I really don't have many projects that I need / want to work on (knit wise) and I'm getting bored with mindless surfing.

I've been thinking about "my knitting" quite a bit. I've been knitting for a long, long time (it was recently pointed out to me that it's been 42 years. I had to check the math on that - and in reality it's been longer than that). I used to be a fearless knitter. Primarily self taught, I converted patterns to suit my left handedness - and since I hated to purl, I started knitting back and forth and converted the patterns again. I used to knit sweaters and never really had a flop! And then I had kids. And somewhere along the line - I lost my knitting mojo. I started to lack understanding about what the pattern "wanted me to do." Things started "not fitting". I started to just knit kid's sweaters saying "oh well - he'll have to grow into this one". I stopped buying enough yarn to make a project - because I wasn't sure I'd really make it. I started picking up 1 skein orphan yarns in the bargain bin - just to sample. Sampling wasn't that satisfying - so the stash just grew and grew. And grew.

And then I found a book called "Knitting for Anarchists" by Anna Zilboorg. I have always admired her work. And lets face it - anything that can marry the words "anarchy" and "knitting" has to be worth a look. And it was... Ms. Zilboorg definitely has opinions about knitting.

It changed my knitting. I learned to knit continental style. I started to "give a hoot" about my stitches. But there is a difference between "giving a hoot" and actually incorporating into one's knitting practice. And that - is my next project. I have signed joined the Knitting Guild Association. I would very much like to start my Master Knitters Certificate - but I'm a little gun shy as I am a great starter of things (see way up on this post) but not so great on the following and finishing aspects. And so I'm starting with the Basics course. It's set up like the actual Masters program - so if I enjoy it I can give it further consideration...

So there you have it folks - knit on!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Big Old Bernie and the Quilted Wine tote project

So while Sally rests on her laurels at the machine shop - I needed to get a move on and try something! Not just anything really - but something quick and easy that entailed cutting, sewing, and quilting. I was itching to try out the old mechanical Bernina (730 Record) I had rescued earlier last year.

Bernina 730 Record (aka Big Old Bernie)

 This has turned out to be a super machine. It came with lots of attachments, loads of metal bobbins, a suitcase (which could be sturdier) and the all important MANUAL...

I think I've mentioned this before, but I do indeed like to fiddle "under the hood" so to speak, and one of the big bonuses about mechanical machines is that they actually encourage you to do that!

Red dots indicate where to add oil

lots of gears and moving parts to admire
Okay - enough Big Old Bernina Love and back to making wine totes. I googled "quilt pattern wine bag" and voila! this pattern by Needle and Spatula appeared. It has a very good tutorial, which includes links to other tutorials (as in how to making your own binding)..

Below is my pictorial progress through the pattern.
Gathering supplies
Cutting templates

I have to admit - I'm a bit rusty on reading (and following instructions). This is the type of pattern that is best to read through before you start. I found that I really didn't get the drift about a few things until I read further into the pattern. I only used a single layer of batting because I was using some very heavy stuff I had "on hand" from my Christmas stocking project (which I hope to complete in the near future).

Darning foot

 I switched to the Darning foot as I had read this was suitable for "free motion quilting" which as the whole reason for trying this project. I've never done "free form" before and if I screwed up I didn't want it to be a "devastating" blow - after all I'd rather screw up a tote than a whole quilt.

Excess fabric sandwich rolled into throat of machine
It appears there are advocates  for and against lowering the feed dogs to quilt. Since I haven't a clue and the wee bit that I've read talked about lowering them - I did just that. I'll do more experimentation with the whole up/down thing later.

Freeform quilting on the bottom of sandwich
Free form quilting on the top
So overall I'm very pleased with my results. However the stitches are pretty irregular in length - so I need to figure that out. I know there are machines that have some type of stitch length regulators - but that takes me back into "modern machine land" and I'm a bit scared off of that at present.  I used regular thread - and I see at the store there is such a thing a "machine quilting thread".

Inside view
Outside view with custom binding by moi

"Ladies who Lunch" wine tote by sheepless

So overall I'm in love with "Big Old Bernie" (Sally be very afraid) and I really liked the "freeform quilting" technique. Happy with my tote too!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy Tuesday...

Well - another tour has drawn to a close. Both of the Schleck boys were on the podium - and if Andy couldn't be first - at least Cadel was a worthy opponent. I was going great guns til the weekend - but the tour finale conflicted with my 60 km Weekend to End Women's Cancers. By the time I got home each evening I could barely waddle much less treadle. It was a beautiful weekend for walking and for a great cause, so it was a contented fatigue. There were 1250 participants and 2.6 million dollars was raised.

The Old Guy was on his fishing weekend (in which he returned triumphant with 50 pounds of fish for the freezer). Youngman 1 & 2 made supper and cleaned up ... I must say I marvel at how far families can evolve given enough time... life is good!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

tour de sheepless

Not sure if I mentioned it in my last post - but I have a new bike! I had it on layaway for awhile and finally broke her out of the bike shop on July 2nd - the first day of the tour. That was important. My goal? To ride every day of the tour. Thus far I'm about 99% - (I had to bring a "Good luck on your ride" cake to a colleague who is doing a charity ride this weekend (see below) and couldn't figure out how to attach it to the bike). Also had to buy groceries and go out for dinner -so I'll have to ride on a rest day.

Call me weird (don't you dare!) but I have a tendency to name inanimate objects - such as spinning wheels and weaving looms. My first wheel was Eva Luna and my first loom was Oma. My old bike (which is now sitting neglected in the shed) was alternately "the Grey Goose" vs the "Silver Fox" depending on my mood and how it was performing. I spent a good deal of time trying to think of a suitable name for my new bike. She's very fast - and sleek - and lovely. I finally settled on "Ultraviolet". After a quick Google check, I determined it was the name of a science fiction super heroine type - so that seemed fitting. However within moments of announcing her chosen name - the Old Guy promptly nicknamed her "Schlecky."  After the Schleck brothers. Andy and Frank. And since I happen to love the the brothers - the name has stuck - Schlecky it is.

What type of quilter are you? And opening the box ...

Recently I've become a dedicated "Sewcialite" at my LQS. We meet every Monday and work on our projects. Some of us are prolifi...