About me

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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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Friday, May 11, 2018

Flypaper thoughts and thank you

  • First things first
  • Many thanks for responding that that videos were useful
  • It turns out that if I can just be myself I have about a million small details in my head
  • Sit at the dining room table
  • And hand the husband the phone
  • We can do that
  • Love to write
  • But love to talk too
  • Listen
  • Any of you good packers?
  • I am not
  • My grandmother who was a great traveller in the days
  • When it meant going trans Atlantic on ship
  • Used to say that the secret was rolling everything
  • Took great pride in her packing
  • Occurring to me that she only wore polyester Crimpoline
  • Not sure about the spelling but you know what I mean
  • Bouncy original synthetic
  • Sorry Grandma
  • You could put that stuff through a road grader on the highway and it still wouldn't wrinkle
  • Actually wrinkles not my problem
  • Who knows what you might need?
  • There's climate change going on you know
  • Which means sunny with a chance of showers and cloud is pretty much it
  • My idea is best to take everything just in case
  • Still manage to leave what I really need at home
  • Spouse says no one needs five pairs of shoes for four days
  • He is still recovering from the time I packed all the tops in one suitcase and all the bottoms in another
  • And left the bottoms suitcase in that hallway
  • We were off to a kid's grad
  • Not ready to be the parents naked from the waist down
  • So ran around a mall buying only bottoms units
  • Honestly
  • If there was a bad packing Olympics there would be a gold medal for Canada
  • But I wouldn't make it to the podium
  • Because I had nothing to wear
  •  If you read my book can you leave a review somewhere?
  • One of my kids keep checking and he's worried about his mom
  • Doesn't quite understand that giving a copy to the library was the highlight of my week
  • I built my life on things I learned from library books
  • I think in my early teens I read everything that had "So you want to be ..." in the title
  • As in " so you want to raise goats" or "so you want to write poetry" anything at all
  • When I was 12 and we moved away from the small prairie town I grew up in
  • The town librarian gave me a lifetime library card in recognition
  • Of the fact maybe that I was the only person who took out all those odd books
  • Librarians like that are heroes
  • They changed lives, and they made them
  • Brainwave
  • I am going to send that library a copy of my book
  • Maybe there is another 12 year old who would like to sew
  • This is what matters
  • This is why I wrote that book
  • None of us are alone
  • The one thing in life I am most sure of
  • Tomorrow I am going to see my Mom
  • First mother's day since I left home that I will be with her on Mother's Day
  • She's a case without a cover
  • As my husband would say
  • Expect pictures and dedicated flypaper thoughts
  • On my mom who was the original in that department
  • "Your mother has a mind like a squirrel cage" my dad used to say
  • Appears to be genetic
  • You've figured that part out
  • Then I am off to Portland for Quilt Mart with the publisher
  • More or less having fits about it
  • I am signing books and doing a presentation
  • I want to talk about sewing people and to sewing people
  • Is that what I am supposed to do?
  • Mostly I want to watch
  • Not much a quilter
  • A lot of being careful with multiple pieces
  • I'm better with the variety of sleeves, necklines and hems
  • Might lie low on that one
  • I will however find things to buy
  • And am getting a tour of Portland that I am so excited about
  • Will involve fabric tours
  • What if the Air BNB doesn't have an iron?
  • Many household don't
  • There a crazy people everywhere
  • Huge list of sewing to do when I get back
  • Maternity clothes for my much missed DIL
  • If you can't be with them, sew for them
  • Sparkly swimsuit for my synchro swimmer
  • And more versions of the new Jalie releases
  • They are so nice, so nice
  • My dad typed all my university essays and pinned up all my hems
  • Pretty much everything that came out of that man's mouth made you laugh
  • My mother was an only child and an orphan at 16
  • Then she met my dad
  • Forced to ask him to a party in Grade 10
  • Not a great looking guy but someone had to ask him because he was so funny
  • And the life of the party
  • Said he made her laugh every day they were married
  • He passed away a long time ago
  • But we still talk his lingo
  • What a gift
  • Off I go to pack
  • Can someone come on over and help me
  • The videos will be back
  • When I am
  • First I have to get on a plane
  • Which, these days
  • Makes you miss Greyhound buses


Moosiemoose said...

It makes my day when a new blog by you pops up. Happy Mother's day to both you and your Mom. Jean

tmd said...

Happy Mother’s Day a tad early. Don’t sweat the iron; if nothing else Portland will have a Walmart equivalent and mediocre irons cost less than a Big Mac. My husband is the one who packs everything and the kitchen sink—and still buys clothes while traveling—whereas I take off for 3 weeks in Italy with two t-shirts, a pair of jeans, and a trench coat. I’d love to sew a “travel wardrobe” that lets me pack light but look like a grownup (or at least less like a roadie) but have no idea where to start. I’ve seen one or two indie capsules of that kind, but they’re generally designed for people without boobs... any advice, oh mistress of the Jalie compendium?

Ellen said...

Going to Quilt Mart with the publisher will be a BLAST!
I was terrified about going to the ITAA Conference with my publisher and I had the best time talking to people about my book, Creating Couture Embellishment. Everyone who stopped by were interested in my book and me! (people who weren't interested didn't stop.) I had lots of lovely conversations about teaching, fashion, sewing, fabric and embellishments at the ITAA conference.
Most of sewists are pretty introverted-- we're happiest talking to a sewing machine-- but talking to other sewists is really fun.
xo, Ellen

Nancy McKenzie said...

Quilters are often garment sewers who got tired of clothing that didn't fit and instructions that made no sense. Your book will be perfect for them! Remind them that their very expensive sewing machine and supplies can multitask. And a 1/4" seam is not required. I find many quilters have quite a stack of quilts in the closet and are looking for a chance to try something else. Have a good time at the conference! They will love you!

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day! And best wishes for your book signing. Have a feeling you will enjoy yourself and charm the sewists from the "other" part of the sewing world.

Packing. I am pretty good, but living in a primarily warm climate (low desert) makes travel to some locations a bit challenging. I tend to pack layers, as my wardrobe really does not address temperatures much below 60 degrees for an extended period​ of time. Small carry-on contains extra day of clothing, two sets of undies and basic toiletries. Plus two books--the priorities in life! Essentials for two or three days.

Checked bag: one bottom for every two days with one top per day for five or six days, plus related lingerie and toiletries. One or two jackets depending on the weather, as well as occasion-specific garments as needed. Aim for fabrics that do not show the wrinkles or can embrace them. I prefer doing laundry to hauling a lot of clothing. More books, a small sewing kit, some hand sewing on longer trips. A few things to make my travels a bit more comfortable, particularly on extended trips.

Shoes are challenging. Depends on purpose of the trip. Always a comfortable pair of slides for indoor and outdoor use. If sightseeing, two pairs of walking shoes--usually trainers and Birks with a backstrap. Business and/or formal wear share one pair of shoes and a small handbag.

Compression bags are terrific. They keep things neatly in place.

Have to admit my best friend is even better at packing---she fits a lot more stuff in the same amount of space. But no books. Priorities! lol


Diane Kaylor said...

I am so glad you are coming to Portland. I would love to attend your book signing. I looked on the event schedule and couldn’t find a time and day for your signing. Can you give me those specifics?

Barbara said...

Hi Diane I am doing a Schoolhousd Thursday at B114 from 1:55-2:25 with another author Amanda Murphy. And two book signings Friday: I:30-2:00 at the C&T booth 1524 and again at the Brewer Booth 852 from 2:15-2:45. Nice if we could meet!

Anonymous said...

Your trip will be so fun! Remember to get enough to eat and drink during all those hours signing and so on.

My packing challenge is that I can never QUITE believe that the weather will be different where I am going, so I tend to arrive with mainly stuff appropriate to my home weather. Sometimes that works, as in beastly hot trips to Maine in the summer. Other times I am off to buy a jacket or rain coat shortly after arrival. And books - can't pack enough for other than just the trip - those are abandoned and a new supply sought out for the trip home.


Lori said...

Have a great trip! I seem to recall that Rick Steves has great packing tips on his website. Best advice ever--limit yourself to a carry on no matter how long you'll be gone. His luggage is pretty awesome too!

jane said...

You warmed the heart of this retired librarian. I, too, learned to sew from library books in junior high!

MelM said...

Mom is a pretty good packer. Can bring amazing amounts in small bags. Her problem is that Dad is impatient and wants to put the bags in the car before she is done. So there is a tug-of-war over the bags and almost every trip they lose track of one and it gets left behind. So there is always an emergency shopping trip.

Natalia said...

Laughing out loud so much here! "Not ready to be those parents..." :D I watched your "reducing bulk" video and loved it. I thought you had a Canadian accent, but thought that your being Canadian would be too good to be true. LOL. And here you are Canadian! Hooray! (Writing from BC here.) Love your humour. :)