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.

Beyond the Bounds of Believability

Beyond the Bounds of Believability

One hundred and twenty-some makeup rounds later…


The girls will field test these and report back. They are not difficult to make. I almost had a full eleven dozen but some were sacrificed in the product development phase.

This was the extent of the sewing this week. DD#2 and her friend are on their way here from Seattle for a few days and I had to clean and reorganize bedrooms. I get a lot of flak about the fact that my sweatshop takes up the entire second floor of the house, so when people come to visit, I have to hide things in closets. I did run some largish scraps through the Accuquilt cutter and added to the collection of 4” tumbler blocks.

I’ve started listening to “Behind the Seams,” a podcast produced by C&T Publishing. The host is their acquisitions editor, Roxane Cerda. She’s a very good podcast host and I think this will become one of my favorites. I especially enjoyed the interview with Barbara Emodi. I am a devoted reader of Barbara’s blog Sewing on the Edge and she also writes for Threads Magazine.

[If you’re new to Barbara’s blog, please read this post, which is a wonderful story about Barbara’s 91 year-old mother. Barbara’s mother trained as a nurse and worked for a couple of years but gave it up when she got married. She did not enjoy being a homemaker, however. I won’t spoil the story; read it all the way to the end (and the comments) and I think you’ll appreciate it as much as I did.]

I’ve been working on the Ritzville quilt every evening for an hour or so and I’ve got about a third of the binding sewn down. The Roku on the upstairs TV is not working properly. If I want to watch YouTube, I will have to delete and re-install the YouTube channel, but in doing so, I run the risk of totally destroying the husband’s carefully curated YouTube feed on the TV in the living room. (I don’t know how or why they are connected, only that they are.) The only crime worse than that would be to delete all of his bookmarks on the computer. As a result, I’ve been watching a lot of Hallmark Channel. I can feel my IQ dropping as soon as I switch to channel 185, but sometimes that’s all I’ve got. HC does provide many opportunities, though, to indulge in in-depth critique, as most of their offerings have zero grounding in reality. I have never known any men who have the kind of soul-searching, introspective conversations they have in HC movies. The men I know communicate mostly in grunts and monosyllables.

HC really took it up a notch, though, with the season finale of “The Good Witch.” I’ve been watching this show for a couple of years now. I don’t go so far as to arrange my schedule so that I am home when it comes on, but I have it set to record and I’ll watch it if there is a new episode. The show revolves around Cassie, the perfectly put-together middle-aged mother of a teenage daughter, Grace. Cassie has a very empathic personality and somehow manages to know what the people around her need before they do. She owns a very successful bed-and-breakfast as well as a gift store in her local midwestern town, and at one point she did all of that AND served as the mayor of the town.

[Insert eye roll here.]

In the season finale, Grace is about to graduate from high school. She is suffering a bit of an existential crisis and isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life. Two days before graduation, her mother suggests that Grace go help Mrs. So-and-So (I can’t remember her name), the town seamstress, who is retiring and packing up her shop. Instead of helping to pack, Grace becomes enchanted by all the fabric and sequins. Mrs. So-and-So suggests that Grace make the dress for the last client. Does Grace know how to sew? Well, her mother taught her when she was little. Armed with that bit of knowledge and experience, Grace cuts fearlessly into the bolt of black lacy (and no doubt very expensive) fabric. Cue shot of a gorgeous Singer 185J machine.

In one evening of sewing, Grace—who hasn’t sewn in years—puts together a complicated black lace skater dress. And as it turns out, the dress is for her, a nudge from her mother to help her figure out what she wants to be. Later in the episode, Cassie unveils the special family heirloom, a Singer clone (I forget the badged name but it started with an S) sewing machine in pristine condition. She tells Grace that this was always meant to be hers and that Grace is destined to become a famous fashion designer.

My eyes were rolling so far into the back of my head I could have walked backwards. Novice sewists do not make a complicated dress like that in one evening. And if Grace is destined to be a fashion designer, why hasn’t she been sewing since she learned as a little girl? Why wait until she’s about to leave for college to get out the fancy family heirloom sewing machine? I am all for featuring sewing in storylines and I especially appreciate the vintage sewing machine eye candy, but for pete’s sake, do some basic research.

[I can’t watch Hallmark Channel movies that are set in Montana for the same reason.]

I really need to get YouTube working on that TV again.


This made me laugh:


I watched the husband pull into the driveway last night and when he was done, I asked him if he was training for the Competitive Trailer Parking Olympics. I know he did this deliberately because I saw him watching in his mirrors. We have plenty of space in the yard. Sometimes I think he does these things just because he is bored and looking for a challenge.

A Day in Missoula

A Day in Missoula

Here Come the Apples and Tomatoes

Here Come the Apples and Tomatoes