same pattern, different versions

More tea towels

Ever since I made that first batch of tea towels, I’ve been wanting to perfect a pattern for the ‘dressy’ one. Well, this was the weekend to try it. It seems there is always a problem or ten with any pattern I try to develop, though. So what’s there to do but work through them. Which I did.

What’s the first thing I did when I tried out the pattern? Cut the fabric wrong! Yes, sad but true. But I was able to salvage it and actually make something out of it (I’ll just let you guess which of these was the mistake). That’s part of the process of pattern experimentation, I plumb reckon.

I started out by drawing a pattern on some craft paper. After about ten drafts, I came up with one that seemed to work.

But when I tried to take a picture of the pattern, I forgot to account for the glare from the overhead light. I had to get creative and redo the pattern to show here. I started with a rectangular piece of craft paper, about 6″ tall and 12″ long, and fashioned the pattern within those parameters.

Anyway, I thought I’d share how I made one of the towels from my experimental pattern. Just click on the gallery and follow along! If you’re able to make one from these pictures and explanations, I’d love to see yours.

I used a lot of scraps from my scrap stash in these, since I consider them all practice pieces. Once I get through all the humps and bumps of these practices, the next one should only take me about an hour. I’ll time it, though, just to be sure. :lol:

I don't think I can wait for Christmas. I'm going to use it as a pincushion.

Christmas in July? Yup.

I just got a wonderful gift in the mail today! It even included a lovely card, the kind that makes me wish I knew the second and all subsequent things about lighting for photos.


love the card and the gift…even the string’s got bling!!

Inside that cute package was a Christmas ornament (or pincushion), handmade by Del from Curls n Skirls, a blog I follow. I’d seen it on her blog right after we left for our three-week adventure. She was doing a giveaway, and it was so cute I had to comment on it. Well, when we returned from our vacation, I got an email saying I’d won it!

I don't think I can wait for Christmas. I'm going to use it as a pincushion.

Yes, that is indeed all hand embroidery, which I absolutely love.

I don’t think I can wait for Christmas. I’m going to use it now, as a pincushion.



Now, what state do we live in again??

We’re finally home, after three weeks, 19 states, and 7460 miles on the road. Some states were merely corridors to pass through to the next state. In some I only got a few drive-by shootings as I went, but at least those pictures tell a general story of the areas we passed through. The problem with many of those photos was that I don’t know the first thing about lighting.

Well – let me rephrase that. I do know the first thing about lighting: that you have to have it. It’s that second thing, and all subsequent things, that gets me bumfuzzled. I won’t quit my day job to be a photographer, but I enjoyed taking them.

We created memories every single day. And when anything went not exactly according to plan (like being asked to leave a restaurant), or didn’t quite meet our expectations (like the very next restaurant), or was just plain out-of-the-usual-routine (like that tarantula’s warning), we just said, “Oh well, it’s all part of the experience.”

We added quite a few “experience enhancers” to this trip, but overall it’s been a wonderful, once in a lifetime vacation.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was when my sister and I decided to visit an antique store in Corydon, Indiana. No, the store itself wasn’t an antique – it sold antiques. I found a piece of fabric there that I just had to buy. Hubby thought I might possibly be wasting my hard-earned $20 for this purchase.  But hey, what can I say? I like fabric.


the fabric I found in Corydon

My sister at first thought it was barkcloth (I didn’t hear a sound from it myself), but it turned out to be cotton jacquard. Since I’m not very good at fabric identification (I can usually tell the difference between cotton and silk, at least), I looked it up online. The selvedge had the name of the designer (Raymond Waites), the pattern name (Ancient King), and the fabric store where it was sold (Mill Creek Fabrics). I saw that it was selling for about $16 per yard (+ shipping) on eBay, so I thought $20 for 3 yards was a pretty good deal. See, honey – I WASN’T wasting my hard-earned $20!!

We probably took close to 2000 photos altogether, but I’ll only share a few of my favorites. Hubby was having a wonderful time, in his favorite type of landscape – rocks and trees. We saw LOTS of rocks and trees!

Anyway, we’re back to work and to our regularly scheduled programs. How were YOUR last three weeks??

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I think I’m tired

How long have we been traveling now? Let’s see . . . I think it’s been 12 days. No – 14 days. Longer?? I think I’m tired.

But it’s been fun so far, even with the little quirks in the GPS, and the quirky little navigator :lol: who makes certain miscalculations (quite innocently, I assure you!), and the pilot who is patient with his navigator’s bossiness – and the rather interesting places and people we’ve encountered.

We’ve gone through about 13 states so far, had lots of ‘experiences,’ and made memories. We’ve climbed to the pinnacle…


descended to the depths…

Indiana Jones? No, Indiana Caverns

Indiana Jones? No, Indiana Caverns

gotten caught in thunderstorms…

soaked in Dollywood

soaked in Dollywood

outran tornadoes, gripped the steering wheel during high winds, and made huge inroads into developing our farmer’s tans.

The sewing machine is relaxing in the back of the car. I haven’t used it since making the curtains, but it performed well for that time in its life. Now it’s getting a free ride home while we cruise the countryside.

I just wanted to share a few pictures that represent the total experience. How has your week been going?

Have Machine, Will Travel

Five days on the road, bookin’ it to Kentucky! We’re here to see more family – especially our new grandson. What a cutie he is, too!!! I just wish I could figure out how to post those cute videos. Ah well, in time.

We got here just in time to help paint our grandson’s play room and make curtains for it – the whole reason for bringing my sewing machine cross-country. Did you figure that out without my help?? Thought so. :lol:

Yesterday we went fabric shopping. We chose a dark purple quilting fabric and white lining. Why white? Well, that window gets lots of sun, and I didn’t want the lining to show any window-shaped fade marks.

Oh. Did I mention that this is my first EVER attempt at making lined curtains? Yup. Maybe I should’ve gotten a pattern.

While I spent the entire day sewing, hubby was painting the play room. Isn’t it nice to be needed!! Who else would drive clear across the country just to fix up a grandchild’s play room?? Yah, I know – doting grandparents. :lol: It’s a very bright room, with three walls almost lime green and one blue accent wall. Brightly colored circles are to be randomly painted on the walls. The purple in the curtains matches one of those colors. I don’t think we’ll be here to help paint those circles, but we got enough done so our family can finish the rest at a more leisurely pace.

These pictures are as close as I can get to the actual colors.

Our job’s done here. Time to move on. Next stop: Tennessee and South Carolina!!