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On October 28th Vicki of Field Trips in Fiber announced a drawing to celebrate her 2 year Blogoversary.

…it’s time to celebrate my blogoversary by giving you the gifts!The prizes (yes, plural) are all coming from my dye studio and you get to pick! The cool thing about this year is that everyone can enter, even non-sewists, because one of the options is (of course) a tie dye shirt!

There will be FIVE winners and each winner can select from a tie-dye shirt, a set of gradient dyed fat quarters, painted fat quarters or dyed yardage (1.5). You will pick the prize, colors and design.

I’ve been reading Vicki’s blog for several months (we met through sharon b’s Take It Further Challenge, In A Minute Ago is now Pin Tangle) and am always amazed that she gets so many textile-related things done (and posted!), in spite of working and managing some health problems. So…I commented and guess what? On November 6th I won! I selected a tie-dye shirt for my new Grandson (I promise to post more about him later…)

Imagine my surprise when I saw this post last week!

These little baby clothes are for Elaine’s prize from the drawing. She has an adorable grandson with beautiful blue eyes and red-blond hair so I stuck with blues for these outfits.

Vicki's photo of the onesies

Vicki's photo of the onesies

Take a look! There are THREE garments! Wow!

She goes on to claim that she’s not too good at dyeing baby clothes… Ha! Right. lol.

Anyhow, thank you, thank you Vicki!

(in the midst of long work days during harvest 2008 here on the farm)


In response to this introduction to the Take It Further June concept, Paula wrote:

When you say, “it becomes a project,” it makes that sound like a bad thing. But a project is full of possibilities of it’s own. I think it’s interesting that Sharon acknowledges these possibilities when she says, “these materials can take on another story. They can be made into something new and take on other meanings in someone’s life,” but then turns around and says, “material moves from being something that is full of potential to a project,” denying the potential that she previously acknowledged.

To which I responded:
“Interesting. Thanks for pointing that out. Maybe the process is somewhat different for crazy quilters, especially since they sort of make up their designs and decide to use pieces of their stash as they go along.

For garment sewing however, once you’ve cut a garment out of your fabric you’ve necessarily limited what garment is possible from that fabric. Now I will concede that there are things you can be creative about as you are constructing that garment; also opportunities to make changes (within the parameters of the cut pieces) as you tweak the fit and miscellaneous things like buttons and topstitching. But once I’ve done the planning, designing and cutting I often feel as though I just have to do the drudgery.”

Luckily Paula doesn’t hesitate to give me honest feedback and make me think. So of course she had more good points:

But a garment project is full of mystery and possibilities. Will it turn out? Will it be flattering? Will I feel fabulous when I wear it? Will it end up as a dress or will I turn it into a top? Will I keep it or pass it along? Will I scrap it and make a quilt with the pieces? What will happen to me when I wear it? Will I get the job? Meet the love of my life?

I think a garment have maybe even more potential to write new stories than a quilt. Of course I’m speaking as someone who has never really quilted so I may be biased.

Hmmmmmm. I do think that crazy quilting and some types of scrap quilting include more creative decision-making while stitching/piecing than following a strict pattern or using a kit. I guess that aspect, being able to make decisions about the final result while actually constructing the piece, holds a lot of appeal to me. Once the creative and drafting/altering decisions are done, I tend to lose interest.

I guess I was thinking only of the immediate loss of possibilities due to cutting, not the future possibilities of that particular project. I was also thinking of the work and time needed to get the sewing done.

But the truth is that I have plenty of fabric and ‘losing’ one piece to a possibly poor decision will not make much difference in the long run of my life. lol. And certainly I can’t wear the flat fold pieces in my stash, so if I leave them uncut I’ll certainly never be able to find out the answers to your questions above!

June palette

I’ve fallen behind with the TIF challenges. These are the colors for June.

Here’s the idea part: Stashes “are either purchased or scavenged materials that have accumulated over time and as such they often have a story to tell. Or it is possibly more correct to say that stashes are full of stories. The interesting thing for textile practitioners is that these materials can take on another story. They can be made into something new and take on other meanings in someone’s life.” Sharon goes on to talk about the wealth that a stash represents monetarily, but also “there is the psychological wealth of a stash because a stash is full of possibilities. While material is uncut it is rich with possible uses. Once you have committed to using it the material moves from being something that is full of potential to a project.” … “So this month the idea to think about is stories that are and stories that are possible.”

I’m not quite clear what is meant to be considered, but I do definitely resonate with the idea that uncut fabric/material represents possibilities and wealth and once it is cut it becomes a project.

More about sharonb’s Take It Further Challenges for 2008.

Just a check-in to let you know that I’m still around, but have been ILL. A long convoluted bunch of things that started with a week long bout with that very BAD influenza that’s been making the rounds this year and now badly straining my lower back from the spasmodic coughing.

BUT…things are looking up. I appear to be recovering, at least from the flu! A few more days of eating and sleeping and I’ll no doubt be back sewing my SWAP. I’ll show my TIF challenges when I’m able to actually take some photos.

sharonb’s Take It Further Challenge is up for February.

This month the Take it Further challenge concept is a question. What are [you] old enough to remember?

Or we can use this palette:


After picking out the clothing I’ll wear today I did a double take! The Take It Further Challenge has affected me at deeper levels than I expected. Never before have I worn these particular items together…

Dark olive pants (sewn in Dec 2007 from Kwik Sew 3393 3393aand Siltex 100% cotton fleece.) A light yellow green Tshirt. Soft greyed-purple knit top.

I’ve been sort of a renegade, I think, with my sewing/wardrobe type responses to the TIF challenge. At this point I think my goal with TIF is to use it to expand the way I view my textile work and it’s definitely doing that.

Late last night it occurred to me that I already have a garment with the January TIF colors.

The colors in these vest photos aren’t too accurate, but you can get the overall idea.

Pavelka vest

The vest is from an out of print (OOP) Pavelka vest pattern, but this current pattern is similar, although a lot shorter in length:
Pavelka’s Scrapbook Vest

In fact I need another coordinating garment to go with this vest as the linen/cotton blend 4 gore flared skirt I originally made has faded more than the vest. Yes, I probably have washed the linen/cotton blend skirt more often than the vest…

So now I have to decide whether I’ll be creating something ‘new’ with these colors or whether I’ll do a wardrobe ‘fix’ based on these colors. Since I’m rather twisting Sharon’s original premise already by responding with sewing/wardrobe work, I guess I can make up my own rules for this part also…

sharonb’s Take It Further Challenge for January 2008 is up and includes two options, either or both of which can be included in our responses.

The first is an idea:

The key concept for January is a feeling we have all had, the feeling of admiration for another. Ask yourself who do you look up to and admire? Why? What is it you admire about them? …Take the idea, develop it into a resolved design during that month and apply it to fiber or paper.

The second is a color palette:

I have some fabric that includes those colors! In fact, it was one that was included in my first ideas for a SWAP wardrobe, but practicality won out over silks and light colored linens and I’ll be sewing the cottons, warm fleeces and other items that I need in my wardrobe right now for my first foray into Sewing With A Plan.

Maybe a late spring/summer 2008 SWAP is what I need. With clothing that will work for Sundays and for summer weddings, etc. Hmmm. I’ll need to designate a new title for separating the topics here on this blog… Maybe SWAP – Summer 2008

Timmel Fabrics is sponsoring SWAP 2008, Sew With A Plan. My wardrobe would definitely benefit from a plan….The challenge begins Jan 1 and runs through April 11. We were allowed to cut in advance and also test patterns in advance.

My fabric choices center around brown and taupe/tan cottons. I have two prints that would work – a small peachy plaid cotton and a paisley printed cotton interlock.

I’m considering ways to combine this project with sharonb’s Take It Further Challenge.


May 2018
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In honor of my late father-in-law