Knitting and Stitching Show 2015

Knitting and Stitching Show 2015
Knitting and Stitching Show 2015
Walkaway Dress from Butterick
Walkaway Dress from Butterick

I was sent a reminder about the 2015 Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in London, England. One of the events is the Butterick Walkaway Tea Celebration. The ‘Walkaway Dress’ pattern was featured on the The Great British Sewing Bee and thousands of sewers created their own version of the Butterick classic.

The email reminded me of all the years I made my own clothes. My first serious sewing machine was an Elna which I left behind with a friend when I moved to the West Indies and started living abroad. I missed my Elna and bought another no-name machine while in Antigua. I say ‘no name’ because I can’t for the life of me remember what it was!

Everyone on the island was a skilled seamstress and pattern maker. We couldn’t afford to buy clothes as they were all imported at vast expense. And you could fit only so much into a suitcase when you traveled to the States.

I made all my clothes – even my own swimsuits.

When I married and moved to the States, we bought a Pfaff. My husband wondered if we couldn’t have bought a car with the money we spent on my machine!

I stopped making my own clothes. The machine didn’t languish – I began making quilts.

I bought a second sewing machine – a Juki with a big throat, which I could use on a large quilting frame.

My mother gave me 2 family Singer sewing machines. One of which I remember using when a child. It was kept on a table in the attic and I have no memory of what I stitched – but something! The oldest machine belonged to my great grandmother and the other to my paternal grandmother.

So I am part of a great tradition. No, not the ladies who sew. But the ladies who have far too many sewing machines in their home……!

If you are in England next month then take yourself to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in London. You’ll enjoy it.

National Beading Week in the UK

National Beading Week UKIt’s the first ever National Beading week in the UK, starting on Saturday, July 25th to August 2nd.

Jean Power is offering a secret bead along project. If you want to join in, sign up for her newsletter and you can get the pattern for free.

In June I bought some interesting rivolis at the Bead and Button show in Milwaukee. And I’m using some equally interesting bead colours from my stash to go with them, so I am curious how this will all turn out. At the last count she had over 4000 people signed up to work on the project, along with a Facebook page to show how everyone is doing.

Very exciting – I’m there! Are you?

Frog Purse from an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, UK – Elizabeth 1 and Her People

For the last two weeks I have been visiting my mother in England. While there I was fortunate to go the latest exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Queen Elizabeth 1 and her people.

There were plenty of paintings of the Queen, her courtiers, people of the time – it is the National PORTRAIT Gallery. Interesting in their own right, along with the explanations. Always fascinating to think people lived so differently, thought so differently, dressed so differently, than we do today.

What caught my eye, for a long time, was a little purse in the shape of a frog. How inventive, and attractive. Human beings always return to the natural world for design.

Frog purse displayed at National Portrait Gallery - Elizabeth 1 and Her People
Frog purse displayed at National Portrait Gallery – Elizabeth 1 and Her People