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.

Digging Up the Spuds

Digging Up the Spuds

One of our employees has been coming over and helping on Saturdays. He’s a young guy whose family is east of the mountains and he told me that his weekends are long with nothing to do. The husband is paying him to clear brush and do miscellaneous jobs around the property. Yesterday, he helped me with garden cleanup and then the two of us dug all the potatoes:


This is a respectable haul. There are some whoppers in there, too. The plants did well this year. These need to dry a bit and then I’ll sort them into burlap bags to put into the root cellar. We have a lot of Butter Reds and Classic Russets but not so many Yukon Golds or Purple Vikings. I’ll have to replace that seed stock next spring. The potatoes were next to the tomatoes and now that whole end of the garden has been dealt with and is ready for winter. Yay.

I spent the afternoon sewing. I made a gift for my friend Marcie and I will drop it off on my way to church this morning. I don’t think she’ll see this blog post before then.

Marcie and I have been doing the Mixed-Media Girls online art class taught by Cori Dantini. Cori lives south of Spokane and she and Marcie are good friends. Cori doesn’t sew (much), but she has some very popular fabric lines, some of which I have in the stash. I just love her quirky style. Finding our own style was one of the goals of the class we took, but drawing is hard for me. Marcie has been very encouraging, though, and we have gotten together a couple of times to work on our projects. During one of those sessions, Marcie mentioned that she really liked Cori’s new line of fabric with bees and she’d love to have an apron made out of it.

[I respond well to broad hints.]

Regal Fabric and Gifts, one of the quilt stores in Spokane, carries all of Cori’s fabric, so when I was there last week, I picked up some bee fabric and a coordinating print. (Cori was also scheduled to make a shop visit to Regal Fabrics yesterday, but obviously I missed that.)

I went through the apron pattern collection and pulled out Mary Mulari’s Favorite Reversible Apron. It’s a simple butcher-style apron. Despite its simplicity, I had a few technical details to work out. The piece of fabric I wanted to use for the front of the apron was a panel, which meant I had to position the pattern in a specific way to have it oriented and centered correctly. I only had one yard of panel and one yard of coordinating print. The pattern is cleverly designed and laid out to take advantage of the entire yard with minimum waste, but the panel didn’t lend itself well to making a pocket or ties. I decided to place a pocket only on the front of the apron, not the back, even though the apron is reversible. I also had to dip into the stash of Kona for a coordinating solid to complete the ties. The neck tie was designed to be adjustable with hook-and-loop tape. Marcie has long, thick hair, though, and I could see that being an issue, so I changed the neck ties to be adjustable with D-rings, instead.

With those issues sorted, I went full-steam ahead and had a completed apron in about two hours:


It turned out well, I think. I have mixed feelings about the pocket breaking up the panel. It could be removed easily, but aprons should have pockets. I’ll let Marcie decide. Here is a close-up of the top center panel, so you get a better sense of Cori’s style:


I couldn’t help thinking to myself, while I was working on this, how much more comfortable I am with fabric and sewing than I am with drawing. I knew exactly what I was doing. Fabric is clearly my medium of choice.

[That front pocket had to be cut from two pieces of fabric because of the way the pattern is laid out to fit onto a single yard. No one cares but me, but I decided to match the print across the seam so that it looked like the pocket had been cut from a single piece of fabric. Those are the kinds of technical challenges I like to set for myself when I make something.]

I may use this same pattern to make an apron for myself out of the chicken fabric I bought a few weeks ago. In any case, it was nice to get in a few hours of sewing.

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall!

A Different Kind of Garden Beauty

A Different Kind of Garden Beauty