Friday, September 17, 2010

Free Pattern Day!

OK, here we go!  Our first Free Pattern Friday!

In honor of my daughter, who is serving in the US Navy, I picked this project.

Star1 (2) 

This cute little star is quick, easy and versatile!  You can wear it as a pin, a hair clip,  purse clip, flip-flop decoration, or package trim.  Make it large or small, the choice is yours.


1.  Print out the pattern templates provided below.  There are 3 sizes given, so choose the #1 and #2 pieces that correspond to the size you wish to make.  You can shrink or enlarge any of them on a copy machine.  Trace the templates onto the right side of the red and blue fabrics with a wash-out marker.

2.  Sandwich a piece of blue (right side to the table), a piece of batting, and the blue piece that has the pattern traced on it (right side up).  Pin together, if you need to.

3.  Sew through all three layers on the traced line for each color.  You can do this by machine or by hand.

4.  Trim approximately 1/4 inch outside your sewing line.  I used pinking shears to trim mine.

5.  Place the small triangle on top of the “rocket” shape, matching the bottom triangle point to the “V” point, as shown in the picture.

6.  Place a button (or 2!) on top and sew through all layers.  I used several strands of embroidery floss and tied a bow.  Be sure to place a dab of Fray Check seam sealant on you knots to keep  your button secure!

They work up so quickly, you could make several on one piece of fabric and chain sew!

Attach a pin or other finding to the back and wear it proudly!

Star Pattern

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Project Runway

Taking a break from my travel log series….sort of…to show you some fun button fashion:


While on our trip to Atlanta for the American Sewing Guild Annual Conference, my daughter-in-law, Lisa, and I went shopping.  We combed through the Forever 21 store at an upscale mall in Atlanta and found the cutest button clothes!  This jacket had a double row of metal buttons, but closed with hooks and loops.


This jacket had a zipper, but was “embellished” with buttons.  I think I would have hidden the zipper and used prettier buttons, but I haven’t gotten any phone calls from Tim Gunn or Heidi Klum, so I guess that’s just my opinion!

IMG00020-20100801-1417 (2)

Finally, this dress was Sew-adorable!  I think it was a lightweight jersey; very soft and flowed nice.  It is, as you can see, strapless.  The skirt has box pleats with these sweet bows and button centers.  Now, I won’t be wearing this dress (or any other garments from this store!) anytime soon, but I sure can apply this technique to something else…say, a purse!

I recently was told that my Warman’s Buttons Field Guide is out of print, with no plans to reprint it.  I am very hopeful that we will be producing a second edition or newer version of this wonderful little book, but I have no news yet.  I have been told by many in “the industry” that buttons are HOT right now, but they feel it will cool off very soon.  I could not disagree more!  Not only have buttons been enjoying a popularity similar to when quilting was brought back into the forefront, but if we, the consumer, continue to buy, design with,  request, use and cherish our buttons we can send a strong message to the powers-that-be.  Button Up!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Initiation of Gorski Men

There is something magical about the second Saturday in July when you’re in Sister’s Oregon.  The town is inviting, the flowers are blooming, the mountains are glorious and the quilts are spectacular!  oh, and one other thing…there are more people there than in the state of Rhode Island!


This is looking north on the main street in town, halfway through town.  There are 3 main streets and the whole south end of town, and they all look like this……I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!


It takes a huge team of people, including the local fire department, to put up and take down all these quilts for a one day show.  That’s right, one day!  Not to mention the planning, etc. that must be done all year long to make this the best quilt show in the country (in my humble opinion).  The craziness is part of the charm and you meet some of the nicest folks!


There were dogs everywhere and Tristan wanted to see them all.  This nice lady let him pet her puppies while Babcia ran around taking pictures of blankets and Dzia-Dziu relaxed in the shade.  We ate ice cream, shopped for a new cowboy hat, and learned something that all Gorski men must know:


Where to find the “man bench” outside the quilt shop door!  It is tradition for husbands (and grandsons) to sit on this bench outside The Stitchin’ Post, hold packages, give out money and reply, “yes, Dear” on cue.  Tristan has been initiated!  Steve is a pro at it!

As promised, we did not stay all day, and returned to Bend for some Pizza and swimming in the pool.  Tristan got better each day as he practiced his swimming.  He was such a quick learner and we had a great time together.


This photo shows one of my favorite views in the whole world:  The 3 Sister’s Mountains and, on the far left, Broken Top.  Further to the left you would see Mt. Bachelor, and to the right, Mt. Washington, Jefferson, and Black Butte.  The Deschutes river runs through the center of Bend and fish and birds abound.  Paradise!

By the way, if you’d like to see all of the quilt photos I took, here is a link to the album.  They are truly exquisite, but too many to post here!  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Reindeer and Llamas and Snow, Oh My!

We pick up our story as we wake up in Bend, Oregon on a gorgeous Friday morning.  As we eat breakfast, Steve and I can’t help but fondly reminisce about the trip we took with our own 3 kiddos.  We spent several glorious days in Bend one Easter when they were about Tristan’s age and it is still a favorite memory.  We are hoping to show Tristan some of those same magical places his daddy enjoyed.IMG_0406

First stop:  Operation Santa Claus Reindeer Farm.  The farm has dwindled alarmingly since we were here with the kids.  We talked to the owner who told us that government regulations and disease problems have caused him to keep the numbers low.  We drive down the road to where the reindeer are lying in the shade of a few trees.  There are a few little ones among the adults.  IMG_0404 IMG_0409







They are fun to look at but there are llamas down the road, so off we go.

Any time we visit Bend, we try to stop at the Hinterland Llama Ranch.  It is a stunningly beautiful place with hundreds of llamas, a barn full of swallows and a house and garden that are a showplace in their own right.  IMG_0430

As we come up to some of the enclosures, the llamas seem very curious about Tristan. In fact, when we walked up to one area, all 8 llamas actually ran to the fence to check us out.



I lifted Tristan and they took turns sniffing him. 








Finally one allowed him close enough to stroke his neck.  Tristan was delighted!


Tristan kept insisting that he wanted to talk to the farmer, and we did find one of the hands who talked to us for quite some time.  I was saddened to that after many years, the owner was retiring and the ranch was for sale.  Does anybody have $4, 500, 000 they can loan me?



On our way out, we stopped at the pen with several mamas and adorable babies.  This one wanted to go home with Tristan!  They were so sweet, running and frolicking together.  We hated to leave.


IMG_0468                                                                                                           We spent the rest of the day driving up to Mt. Bachelor and playing in the snow and lava beds.  We put our feet in the cold, cold water of the Deschutes River, “just like Daddy did”.

It was a memorable day.  Too tired even to go swimming (gasp!)  we slept soundly!


Tomorrow:  Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show and passing on manly traditions!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Lesson in Polish.


  I love being a Babcia!  That’s Polish for Gramma, by the way and pronounced “bobsha”.  Tristan is the son of our oldest son, Chad, and his wife, Anna.  He looks so much like Chad, but then, a cock of his head will transform him into his Mother’s son!  He is, without a doubt, the biggest blessing in our lives.

We recently took a vacation with Tristan.  Here we are, on day one, feet in the water at Mukilteo Beach in Washington.  We then proceeded to “jump” the ripples he called waves.  We laughed and screeched and nearly fell in !  What joy!


The next day we stopped to visit old friends and Tristan played with his new best friend, “Kat”, at this play place while we adults chattered away and watched them at play.  Mostly we asked each other where they got their energy form and “remember when?”.

IMG_0385 Tristan’s Dzia-Dziu (more Polish, sort of pronounced “Jaw-Jew”), insisted it was time to teach his grandson how to speak “cow”.  Not just any, cow…Tillamook Cow!  It’s a special dialect that only Steve can speak. (true story!)  Tristan was delighted to find he can now speak IMG_0380English, German and Tillamook!  Here we are enjoying real Tillamook ice cream!  Yummy!

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard those immortal words, “Are we there yet?”, but Tristan knows them very well!  We took the rest of the day to cross over the Cascades into the town of Bend, Oregon, or, as I like to call it, “Paradise”.

To be continued……