Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

Summer, Summer

Summer, Summer

We have had a very pleasant summer here, weather-wise. Temps have been in the high 70s to low 80s—I don’t think we’ve been anywhere near 90 yet—and the rain showers every couple of days are most welcome. While we’re all still vigilant about fire danger, I appreciate not having to be constantly on edge or worry about taking a day or two to go to Missoula or Spokane. And I just don’t like the heat. Temperatures above 80 degrees sap my energy and make it difficult for me to get anything done.

Unfortunately, all the visitors will believe that this what Montana is like 365 days a year and wouldn’t this be a lovely place to live? Trust me, don’t move here. This summer weather doesn’t last, and just like death and taxes, February is inevitable. (I am not leaving, however, because I like it that way.)

The cashier at the farm store commented on the fact that I was there at 8:15 a.m. yesterday morning getting chicken feed. I told her that I was trying to get all my errands run before the onslaught of tourists. She rolled her eyes and said, “Oh, I know.” Despite being out so early, it still took me longer than I wanted to get everything done. My last stop, of course, was Joann Fabrics. For some reason, I thought that I had laid in a supply of black Coats and Clarks Heavy Duty thread for the Necchi industrial, but when I went to work on the Fika Tote over the weekend, I ran out and couldn’t find any more in my stash. Joanns is having a thread sale so I stocked up. All of the Quilter’s Showcase fabrics were on sale, too, and when that happens, I try to buy a few extra five-yard lengths for quilt backs. The store is being reorganized by a couple of guys who have been there for the past week. Our store has always been kept fairly neat—I’ve been in some Joanns where it looked like a toddler went on a rampage—but the store is even nicer now that merchandise has been moved around.

I also picked up two yards of fabric for the fair apron:


This is perfect. (Ignore that piece of fuzz.) The first version was made in a reproduction 1930s fabric and this one also looks vintage. Red bias tape coordinates nicely. I made the first apron from this pattern in a size Medium, and while it fits me, I decided to make the second iteration in a Large. Luckily, because I am a devoted member of #TeamTrace, the original pattern is still intact and all I had to do was trace the Large onto some new tracing paper. (I use Pellon Easy Pattern, which is a nonwoven poly blend.)

[Patterns are so darned expensive that about the only time I’ll cut into one anymore is if it’s a McCall’s pattern I picked up for $0.99 at Hobby Lobby during one of their sales. Vogue patterns routinely retail for upwards of $25, although they go on sale once in a while at Joanns for half that. Still, at $12 a pattern, I want to get multiple uses out of it and tracing doesn’t take that long. Tracing also allows for grading between sizes when necessary.]

All that is left on the Fika Tote is to sew the binding down on the inside by hand:


The instructions say to sew it down by machine, but I can never do that to my satisfaction. I am just going to pretend this is quilt binding and attach it on the inside the same way. I am not averse to hand sewing like some people, and this won’t take long.

I am glad to have this done. The binding gave me fits, and I realized about halfway through attaching it that I should have cut it on the lengthwise grain instead of across the width of the fabric. The Kaufman Essex Linen is a linen/cotton blend but the weave is loose enough that it was stretching as I sewed it. Interfacing the binding would have made it too stiff, I think, but cutting it on the lengthwise grain would have kept the stretching in check. Live and learn. I do like the bag now that it’s finished. I am not sure what I’ll do with it—I am thinking we need another giveaway on the blog. I’ll let you know.

I saw a little black bear, probably a yearling, on the way home from town yesterday morning. It walked across the road right in front of my car and up the hillside into the woods. I was still a few miles from home and we haven’t seen any around our house recently, but obviously, they are still active and still roaming the area. This one was black, not cinnamon like the one we saw near the chicken coop.

The shop excitement for this week is the delivery of the metal roofing. The Architectural Review Committee did indeed get its way and the shop roof will be brown to match the roofing on the house. I just didn’t think that galvanized roofing on such a big roof would be very attractive. The husband likely will work on getting the metal up there this weekend and then we will have to sit down and talk about what needs to be done next.

Fika Tote Recap

Fika Tote Recap

No Apples for the Deer

No Apples for the Deer