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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Monday, January 30, 2017

Full disclosure

We are still in transit to St. Augustine and will be there day after tomorrow. Since we last spoke I have been sewing my brains out at various state parks (shout out to the amazing state and national parks service and rangers for many reasons) and I sometimes run into times where I am so busy sewing I don't seem tear myself away from the machine to blog about it.

Hope you understand.

Plus I am sewing a lot of samples to deadline for my book and am pretty sure I am not supposed to be blogging about those garments in the meantime. My intention is that when I have enough made so I can get through the night without waking up at 3:00 thinking about my to-do list I can then start sewing more things to share.

Just think when the book is finally out you will be among those who will look at the pictures and know there was a good chance they were put together in an RV or on a picnic table in some state park.

In the meantime, until I am back on track and my out basket looks bigger than my in basket, I want to share some sewing thoughts:

  • Jalie's dropped pocket cardigan is a wonderful pattern. Made two, will make more. Not a cardigan so much as something you can wear over a T shirt to disguise the extra body parts and also sort of pockets with sleeves. Excellent for dog walkers, who carry a few poop purses.
  • Louise Cutting's instructions are terrific. Every new sewer should sew at least one for the insights. Bear in mind though that her shapes are over-sized and sort of boxy and choose sizes accordingly. I mean who would have thought I would be an  X small. But really great, great instructions.
  • To sew in an RV one of those cardboard cutting maps is essential. You can put it on the bed or a picnic table. Hanging toiletry bags with compartments are good too for notions, mine dangles from the hooks for the ladder to the over the bulkhead bunk.
  • A husband who cooks and cleans is also handy.
  • Dogs have no idea why we are doing any of this or why we just didn't stay in the nice yard back home.
  • My serger has given up the ghost on my. 20 years and innumerable services later I can't complain.
  • OK I did.
  • Already on the phone trying to get one lined up for when I arrive in Florida.
  • I love American grocery stores. I haven't exactly come from the Gulag but really there is so much stuff. We walk the aisles and marvel.
  • People leave interesting books in campground laundry rooms. Finished the one I picked up in Tennessee and leaving for the next reader here in South Carolina.
  • A small black dog in a dark state park at night is a challenge. We had to get one of those light things for her harness.
  • No idea if she was peeing or not
  • The man next site is a musician from New York
  • The lady working the next dryer is from the woods of Maine
  • Her kids have sent them south this winter.
  • Last winter there was so much snow she had to snowshoe across the lake to get coffee and the kids said enough
  • Stayed put one night on a mountain because my husband had a feeling
  • Turns out the place we were headed to was evacuated because of a tornado
  • Us we stayed alone on the mountain until some lost hikers saw our light
  • Husband took them down to the ranger
  • Two RVs of families home schooling on the road
  • RVs are not that big for a family of 6
  • Those are some tough mothers
  • Off to bed now so more later
  • Pictures should be next


theresa said...

About the grocery stores, they have so much variety of c**p but often so little of the basics. I was looking for ordinary oatmeal and Cream of Wheat and all the store had were the individual packages. Had to go to another store to get it. Enjoy your vacation and tell Daisy not to worry, as long as you're there, it's home.

Theresa in Tucson

Summer Flies said...

Love this update. Love your husband's feeling and taking notice of it.

annie said...

Anne La Bastille wrote a book about living, snow-bound, in the Adirondacks, "Woodswoman," and having to use snowshoes to connect with the outer world. Instantly thought about her when you wrote of the woman who had to snow-shoe for coffee. I do like my coffee in the morning so I understand.

Jan said...

As a fellow Canadian, I too wander the aisles of an American grocery store with wide eyes and an open mouth. But it is all relative. My friend once told the story of his relatives coming from the former USSR and crying in a Canadian grocery store. Your posts are always so enjoyable that I can't wait for your book.

Anonymous said...

what a day brightener to get a dispatch from the edge! I'm in Michigan visiting a sick friend (sort of Jane Austen?) and it snowed as the plane was landing, shock!, and then again last night. And I am supposed to drive in it, because one is no help if one doesn't drive, and yesterday I DID. No disaster. Hopefully today works out the same.

Lucky for the hikers your husband had a feeling, eh?

Looking forward to your book!

love to Miss D.


SuzieB said...

Glad you're having a safe trip & avoided the tornado. Hope all of that is over for awhile.
I'm curious about the grocery store items not found at home.

Carol said...

I love reading whatever you write! It's not every day you can read about sewing in an RV. I'm so glad y'all paid attention to your husband's "feeling", and I bet the lost hikers were too! Can't wait for your book to come out.

Jean Shaw said...

Your book will be amazing, I am sure.

Wow, those hikers hit the jackpot when they saw your light. How wonderful that your husband listens to those subtle messages.

Karen Lyon said...

Barbara, have missed your missives and appreciate the update. Keep away from tornado territory (I.E. PAY ATTENTION TO HUBBY'S FEELINGS) There is no point in him having a talent like this if you ignore what he is feeling.
Must be nice to be able to go outside and sew, temps are well below freezing here (Central Ont.). Can't wait for spring.
Enjoy the life on the road in the (sunny) south.

Nana said...

Always love to get you blog....sure the book will be great. Can't imagine that you could create boring. Glad you are safe and maybe Daisy will be more settled when you stay somewhere longer that 2 nights.

AJW said...

I live less than one mile from a grocery in upstate NY and I am ALWAYS returning because I can never find what I need in the store of many choices. Too much of a good thing.

Louise Cutting's patterns are excellent. And the caveat about her sizes is important. When I returned to sewing 20 years ago I made one of her patterns. It was a wonderful sewing experience. I made my usual size and I could have fit another me in the jacket. The piece was perfect because her instructions were so wonderful. I wore it once. A good lesson in reading the directions and flat-pattern measuring.

Have fun on the road. Can't wait for your book!

Anonymous said...

Re the American grocery store, I live in a small city in Australia and visit family in Nova Scotia regularly. I love going to the big supermarkets in New Minas. I walk aroung goggling at the variety of stuff, especially "ready to eat" which is really interesting, but not stuff I would actually eat. Then I buy some milk and cheese, and go to the farmers market for fruit and veg. Mae

sunnlitt said...

Yes, the grocery stores here can be gigantic!!
And, they keep getting bigger. It's very difficult to 'run in' and get a few things when there are 20 aisles plus produce and a deli and Starbucks!
I live in Santa Cruz, California, about 80 miles south of San Francisco. It's a lovely part of the world.