Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Brrrr... it's cold!

Jack Frost is definitely nipping at our heels around here! As I write this, the temps outside are a balmy -4 degrees and it has been snowing just enough to make everything slippery as all get out. I'm definitely walking to the bus stop very carefully these days! Thank goodness for my Lands End down commuter coat. It keeps me toasty warm and nothing (and I do mean nothing) gets through it, not even that nasty little wind we had this morning. Now, if only I can convince the bus driver that not all of us enjoy a sauna experience on our way to work! It never fails to amaze me that no matter how cold it gets, the driver is nearly always wearing a short-sleeved shirt and, of course, has the heater going full blast. I have to shuck my coat off as soon as I get on the bus or else I'd have heat stroke and not be so daisy fresh anymore by the time I got to my stop downtown.

This past weekend was a very busy one! I attended a two-day machine embroidery event Friday and Saturday and had a wonderful time. It was very well attended and very informative. The event was hosted by Steve Wilson and Laura Winzeler who are the founders of Anita Goodesign, a company that creates fabulous embroidery designs for both home and commercial embroidery machines. Each table had three different Brother machines, two were embroidery/sewing machine models and one was a six-needle commercial model. We worked on several projects in teams of three, trading off on the machines so that we all got a chance to use them. This was the first time that I had worked with Brother machines, and I have to say I really was impressed with them (and this is no small praise coming from a dedicated Viking gal like me.) The six-needle was quite slick and very fast, now I want one! I took pictures of some of the many samples that Steve and Laura created which were hanging around the room and here are my favorites:

This is a tree skirt with embroidered snow globes. The really cool thing about this is that they used clear vinyl over the embroidery to create realistic looking globes.

Here are vintage-look tea towels. Laura worked on Steve for years to get him to digitize vintage designs as he didn't think anyone would want them. I'm glad that she finally got him to change his mind because I bought several of them.

Another vintage concept that Laura convinced Steve to digitize were cutwork designs, and in the process, he innovated a way that makes doing cutwork a lot less painful. Rather than stitching out the design and then cutting out all the little areas with small scissors, you now stitch out an outline, cut away the fabric within the outline and then the machine stitches out the design the same way free-standing lace is done. Voila- perfect cutwork without all the tedious cutting!

Two of the quilts that they had there which I just loved were the Baltimore Albums. I ended up getting both of the design discs for these.

And last but not least, is this stunning piece. The center is created from embroidered "tiles" that were pieced together after they were stitched out. The borders are silk fabric and the effect was just elegant.

Yesterday I went off to the City and County Building to respond to my summons for jury duty. While I did get called as part of a pool, I didn't make it into the jury box so that was it for this time. It's a funny thing, I've been summoned for jury duty like clockwork about every two years since I moved up from Arizona 23 years ago, starting with my first one not long after I got here. The big guy never gets called. Sometimes I really have to wonder about that.


joan said...

Those projects are beautiful.. Jury duty..YAK I was only called once and because it was a client there was a conflict of interest so I ended up testafing on his behalf insteasd of the jury!
I looked for your email but could not find it. Would you e-mail me how you are doing with your Secret Santa?

Kelly@ Charming Chatter said...

Yikes -- it is cold there (but glad to hear the bus is warm -- I think??)! Very pretty embroidery stuff--glad you had fun, and that you didn't have to serve on the jury (more time to sew)!