Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Chemistry of Sewing



Makes much more sense to me!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

OT: Egypt!

We got back from Egypt yesterday, and I decided to post about it on my blog because trying to email this many pictures does weird things...

We flew into Cairo, and of course we went to see the most famous pyramids in Giza. Cairo is a pretty crazy place. It has about 20 million people!! I'm a small town girl, really out of my element among all those city dwellers!

When we are in Egypt we don't drink anything but bottled water - we don't even brush our teeth with tap water, no ice in our drinks, careful of juice that might be diluted. We don't eat anything that hasn't been cooked, or that we haven't peeled ourselves - no fruit or salads. No lettuce or tomato on a hamburger. That is, unless you want to ruin your trip with serious stomach trouble! You really want to spend as little time as possible in their public bathrooms (eeew!).


Life seems a little more dangerous there... If you need a ride somewhere, there are all these vans driving around with the doors open. They have hand gestures that you do on the side of the street to let the drivers know where you want to go. If someone happens to be going that way they will stop and pick you up. Well, stop may be exaggerating, they kind of slow down and you jump in!


The traffic is CRAZY! Imagine if there were no lines on the roads to tell you where the lanes are -- they do have the lines, but everyone ignores them and they just fit as many cars on the road as they can. There are hardly any stop lights or intersections on the main streets. The road is divided in the middle. If you want to go somewhere on the opposite side of the street you have to drive past it until you get to the places made for you to turn around and get on the road going the other direction. Then you go back up the way you just came until you reach your destination. I think it probably really cuts down on accidents, since the stop lights are pretty much ignored anyway. They drive the way you walk through a crowd, if someone wants to drive across they just start nosing their way through until they get to the other side. They drive in such a different way, I'm sure they would have just as much trouble driving in the States as we would have driving there!



You really do see horses, donkeys or camels mixed in with the traffic fairly frequently, and buses and cars honk at them -- I worried that they would spook one of the animals and cause an accident, but the animals just ignore them and plod along!


Some parts of Cairo are not very beautiful. This was a common sight out the window of the bus. The city is so over crowded that some of the living conditions are quite poor. I think they don't have enough places to dispose of things, so trash really piles up in unused areas.


But there are amazing sights too! I can't wrap my brain around how old these things are. They were old when Abraham was here! The old Abraham, father of Isaac, Abraham - that Abraham!

This could have been a better picture if the camera angle had been different and you could see that the great pyramid of Giza is that big thing behind the sphinx. Oh well, maybe next semester...


I know I'm strange, but I really do enjoy shopping at the Khan al Khalili bazaar! It is crazy and busy and crawling with pick pockets and obnoxious shop keepers that want to get as much money out of you as they can. I can't explain why I think it is fun, there are such strange things there... All kinds of junk and a few treasures. Some of the shop keepers are hilarious. I was looking at purses in one shop and Roy decided to take my picture. When the shop keeper realized it, he wanted to pose for a picture and came up and put his arm around me. I looked at Roy and said sarcastically, "Thanks, Honey!". The shop keeper said, 'Hey, that's my name!", he turned to someone walking by and said, "What's my name?" The man looked surprised and said, "Your name is Hanni.". Ha ha!


We were surprised at how many people wanted to get their pictures taken with us. Strange. This family stopped us and asked if they could pose with us. What do they do with pictures of strangers? Put them on a blog like I just did?


We also went to Luxor to visit the Valley of the Kings. I really prefer Luxor to Cairo - it is a much smaller town. This is common as you drive along. We also saw women walking along with huge loads they were balancing on their heads. I really want to to know how they do that, it seems like it would be so great to carry something and have both your hands free!


Most of the men wear gallabias or galabeyas or many other spellings. I can see why this would be so much cooler than wearing pants!


Roy often takes pictures that are truly amazing! Here is a picture of the sunset over the Nile. I often felt like I needed to pinch myself to make sure we were really there.

I saved my best picture for last. I highly doubt I will ever see this again. We were driving down the road, and there was a a birthday party for some child, and there is a woman in a burka wearing a rainbow clown wig! I never thought that was a combination I would see! I wonder, would National Geographic pay money for this picture?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I still have room!



Well, then I'm doing a lot better than I thought! Let's go shopping :)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Unusual Measuring Tape

I am really puzzled by this. I'm familiar with the metric system, and I'm American, so I have grown up using inches and feet for measurements. I bought a measuring tape the other day here in Jerusalem. I chatted away with the girl behind the sales counter, and bought several things there. She didn't offer me any information about this being "unusual".


What do you think?

I am SO glad I hadn't taken anyone's measurements before realizing something was really wrong! If I had taken my own measurements, of course, I would have been thrilled and wondered why my clothes weren't falling off me! Ha ha!

Any ideas to what unit of measurement that white measuring tape is meant for? It was ridiculously cheap -- I guess I know why!

Any clever ideas on what I should use this for, of course, I bought two of them since they were so cheap.   :)

Have a happy day!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A New Arrival

She's here!

Are you familiar with Fiddler on the Roof? Do you remember the scene where Tzeitel and Motel are expecting a new arrival, and it turns out to be a sewing machine?

That's what we have been joking about here! I've been expecting my machine for weeks, and things kept happening to put it off. Several times I had made the announcement that I was getting my new machine "tomorrow" but the day would come and go and there would be some kind of delay - but no more!

We moved here to Jerusalem and now live in a little apartment in the BYU Jerusalem Center. I joked that I was turning my kitchen into a sewing room since we are eating at the Oasis (the cafeteria where the students eat). But when I found out they were giving me an office, I decided my tiny apartment would be much easier to live in if I moved all sewing related things to my "office"!

Here is what it looked like the first time I saw it...

A little discouraging, a big mess, a catch all for items that no one knew what to do with. I just kept asking and asking (other wise known as nagging :) about the room. After this picture was taken they put in a new ceiling and new carpet. At first I was worried that my machine would come and I wouldn't have a place to put it -- ha ha, silly me! The room was ready and waiting long before my machine actually arrived.


I'm still refining it, but this is where I am working now - big smiley face!


Since my stash and sewing supplies are vastly reduced from what I own at home, this has plenty of space.

And of course, the top two shelves are WAY out of my reach anyway.

After weeks of itching to get behind my sewing machine, I am SEW happy to be stitching away! Of course, students keep bringing me things that need mending, but I don't even mind! I'm just so glad to have a machine!

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Sewing Machine Saga

Sew, I've been wanting a sewing machine so much! You have heard the story up to the point of me expecting to get a 560 within a few days..

But...

I got another call from the dealer - the lady with the machine needed to use it for another week, then she would trade it in.  Aargh, OK. At the end of that week after I had already left my house and was on my way to pick it up he calls me again to tell me that she went out of town and would be gone for a week. Seriously?

Then I get a call from his assistant and she tells me that they aren't sure when this woman is going to trade in the machine, and I'm thinking of all this wasted time that they could have been shipping one from somewhere - AAAHHH! So I call the dealer on his cell phone to see what we should do about this. He apparently was unaware of this latest development and called me back to say he would have it for sure in a week. I have my fingers crossed AND I'm holding my breath now...

So the next week he finally calls me and says it is there, ready for me to come and pick up! I have to wait until the next day because Roy was busy that day, and I try really hard to not drive here, it's crazy! The Big Day finally arrives!! We go to pick up the machine, and he has a woman there to help me become familiar with the machine. As she is showing how to change the bobbin I can see this big blob of lint in there. I stick out a fingernail to snag it and a HUGE glob of lint follows! Excuse me? They were supposed to make sure all was well with the machine and clean and oil it...  So, I refuse to take the machine because I want it serviced before I take it home!

I was not a happy customer by this time. He threw in 3 spools of thread to make it up to me. Yep. 3 spools. yippee.

The dealer promised to clean it and oil it and he would deliver it to me the next day... and he did. Whew! I have the machine! Wahoo!

I looked EXACTLY like this when I walked in with it, well maybe a little older.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Sewing in Jerusalem - or trying to...

Well, I've been looking for a sewing machine almost since the moment we arrived on August 6th and I still don't have my own machine!

Shopping here is so different.  There are two sewing machine stores in Jerusalem - a city with about 850,000 people in it.  When I drive to Idaho Falls, a small town by comparison (55,000) there are three stores, they each have many new machines and are ready to send three home with you at any given moment!

The first store I went to here did not have a single new machine in the store, and it was pretty dirty. They said they could get some from the warehouse, but it was a brand I don't have confidence in. All they had was worn out, used machines. I don't have anything against used machines, if they have been maintained and work like they should...

The second store I went to was cluttered, but clean.  They had several new machines, but they were all the basic models, not the ones with the bells and whistles I have become used to and now feel are necessities!  I need to have a walking foot, needle down, needle threader, thread cutter...

The second store sold Berninas, so I decided to go with one of those, even though I haven't been able to sew on it yet. I asked them to order me a 550.  He called me back the next day and said they don't make those anymore, but he would get me a 560, I said great! Then he said it would take 3 weeks. Aaah! OK, order it! Then he called me back a few days later and said he had sold one to a customer two months ago, and she was willing to sell me her machine for a low price. I suspect he has talked her into something from the 800 series. "The machine is basically new!" he says. And, I can have it right away, he will honor the warranty and all that good stuff. I decide to go with it, and here I am still waiting.

They did give me a loaner machine so I can at least be sewing. Of course, I'm not paying for it until I run that machine through it's paces! I'll do some free motion quilting, a buttonhole, decorative stitches and anything else I can think of to make sure it really is as good as new. I even looked up how I can check to see how many stitches it has sewn, just to make sure it really is barely used.

I'll report back and let you know, I'm hoping I will have it in the next few days...

Meanwhile, here's something to smile about:


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tone It Down Quilt

My Amazing Quilting Friend friend got several of my other quilting friends together and we made the "Tone It Down" Quilt, you can find more information about this quilt here.  It was a quilt along with American Patchwork & Quilting. I don't know why I didn't get pictures of all of our quilts, they all looked so different, even though we were using the same pattern!

I've been thinking that little by little I'm going to make queen sized quilts for each of my children, and someday I will give them each a quilt. As I began to choose the fabric for my quilt, my husband very gently told me that all my quilts look "girly" and my sons might not be as thrilled as I hoped :(



So I changed up what I was planning, and in my opinion this is a very manly looking quilt! Blue background, brown sashing...  But I have to say I don't love it as much as I would have liked a more girly one!


I do like it though. I laid it out over the quilt on my bed to take this picture. I still plan to put a border around it, and I'm doing red and black polka dots because I like them! I have that fabric in the red Xs, and it is one of my all time favorite fabrics, I am sure to learn to love this quilt once that happens!

But, the border is going to have to wait. For two years. Argh. I'm in the middle of packing up and next week we are off to Jerusalem for a two year stint. My hubby is going to be an administrator at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.

You may wonder what I am going to do -- I was wondering that too, until I gave him my terms :)  I am getting a new sewing machine when we get there, and I sent over a suitcase full of fabric with him when he went for training last April. It has all the fabric for a quilt I'm super excited about, and more fabric and some patterns. It is just sitting there waiting for me - I even cut out all the pieces for the blocks, and have them in ziplock bags - I CAN'T WAIT!  I decided I will make quilt tops while we are there, but I won't quilt any of them, it would take up too much suitcase room when we come home.

Just so you can see what I'm going to do, I'm making this quilt that I have fallen in love with! I saw this on Pinterest and knew it was the quilt I had been looking for all of my life. Tracking down the pattern took a lot of time, and then the pattern cost more than I have ever paid for a pattern in my life - I haven't even paid that much for a book full of patterns! But, I'm gonna have this quilt someday!

My next blog post will be from Jerusalem - Shalom!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Embroidered towels for tots!

I went to visit my grandchildren who live across the country, and while we were there we went to Cape Cod to spend some time on the beach! I decided to embroider some towels for the kids to take to the beach. When I got done with the towels I thought they looked so great, I wanted to do some matching T shirts...  I probably would have embroidered some underwear too, but we had to leave  :)


This towel is an unusual color, don't you think? If you want a towel this color, buy a yellow towel and a blue towel, and wash them together. Ack, I really know better than that, but I was in a hurry. I used cold water and crossed my fingers, but obviously that didn't work. I thought about washing the T shirt with the blue towel, so they would match, but decided I couldn't guarantee the results. Oh well, my grandson didn't seem to notice!


In case you want to know, these adorable little creatures came from the Embroidery Library.


I didn't embroider a T shirt for Paige, her little shirts are so small I was afraid that if I shrunk the design to fit, it would not turn out well. 


And here are two adorable boys who were happy to model their new shirts! I love it when children are this age and they love everything you make for them! I do know the day will come when that won't be the case, but I will enjoy it as long as I can :)

Have a happy day!





Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Curtains for a Sewing Room

I moved my sewing room to a larger room in our house :) !!! I LOVE having more space, and I am much more comfortable in there, able to spread out and make a bigger mess, I guess! This room has two windows, instead of one, like my old sewing room. I looked around online and saw that someone had put quilt blocks into a curtain, and I decided that was perfect! I got out my orphan block collection, chose some blocks and made a couple more so there would be enough, and here are the results!


In this picture you can see some of the mess I was talking about, ha ha! I couldn't back up enough to get both windows entirely in the picture, but this gives you an idea.


And here is a closer look. Of course, I had to put red and white polka dots in my curtain ya know! I love how they turned out, and this time I am older and wiser than when I made my last sewing room curtains - I'm OK with the wiser part. Anyhoo, I put the left over fabric and some measurements and directions in a ziplock bag, just in case I someday get an even BIGGER sewing room, and have THREE windows. Do you think that might happen??

Have a happy day!


Monday, May 9, 2016

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Method for Rotary Cutting Strips

I was working on a quilt the other day, and thought I would share what I do when I'm cutting small pieces off a long strip.


I went down to the hardware store a while back and bought the heaviest washers I could find, and I use them for weights. I use them on tissue patterns so I can cut with my rotary cutter.  I also use them to keep my long strips in place while I make my cuts.


It keeps me from having to readjust the strips each time, and I feel like it gets me a more accurate cut.

I even off the beginning, then just move the weights as I get to them. It's amazing how many helpful little things actually come from the hardware store instead of a quilt shop!

Have a happy day!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Crocheted Slippers

I don't know how to crochet, but my daughter spends all of her spare hours making things!  I wanted to show you what she made us. She used up all of her leftover yarn on her own slippers, so they don't match, silly girl!

Mine are the red ones (of course!).

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