Friday, February 8, 2019


The temperatures have been sub-zero in Vermont this winter. Our house in New York was one hundred years old. The windows were original, double hung, single pane with leaded glass on the top. I loved them. They were elegant and drafty.
I made roman shades for them with Warm Window insulating fabric. We left the shades behind when we moved. That was likely a mistake. I never saw that the new owners hung them back up after we moved out. Too bad. I could have used that fabric.

Window technology changed between 1920 and 1990.  True, the casement windows in our Vermont house are double pane but the seal is gone. The weatherstripping has failed as well. So I did here what I did in New York. I made roman shades for the windows.

I made three long narrow ones for the atrium door that leads to our deck.
I've got a clouds and bird theme going on. This fabric reminded me a bit of fall. So I decided the next curtain would be winter.  Today I almost finished it. Blue sky with cardinals on snowy tree branches

I can tell that I will have to press out the top seam. It pulls a bit. Must be that the bottom tension was a bit tight.

This curtain/shade is 74 inches wide by 70 inches high. Since it will draw up as a shade, I used the Super Nova Necchi zig zag setting to stitch 63 carbone rings onto the back side of the shade. It took all afternoon.

 I used the Necchi BU (as a treadle)  to put the curtain together.  It is strong and quiet. I think it is as strong as the Singer 15-90. It certainly is much quieter. That 15-90 clanks and clatters. Fun I have not when I sew with it. Can I pass it along? I don't know. I don't think so. I think that I will put some high shelves up and display my machines. That would make me happy. I could display the 15-90, 15-91, 201-1, 201-2,  one of the 301s, the 221, a Kenmore or two, the hand crank, the 319. Good idea.

The fabric slid under the presser foot of the BU as I was sewing this line of rings. In this picture it looks as if I am sewing with both machines.  Not so.

For some reason, Theo was desperate to get either behind me or underneath the machine this afternoon. I don't know why.  No, I don't think it was because I was mourning my sister and worried about my mother. Though maybe. He got over it pretty quickly when I offered him a cookie. More than likely he was upset by Steven stomping around upstairs.

Alice died April 7, 2018.  I was supposed to go out to help with her SCT right after I retired. The last few weeks of work I was channeling my inner urbanite so that, somehow, I could tolerate the city. I had it all planned out. We would spend the spring and summer together in the windy city as she recovered. Then, after the requisite 100 days, we would come here and I would continue to help her get well. We would laugh and play with the pups. We would ride our bikes on the rail trail, take walks in the woods, paddle on the reservoir, and, maybe, even hike in the mountains a bit. We would go see Mom.

Instead, I packed up all her stuff, sold her dwelling and brought her dog home. I won't ever get over it. Some days I feel as if she just died. The grief is sudden, deep, and awful. Then other days, like today, I could almost claim contentment.  The promise of spring, and sewing help. Steven helps. The grandbabies and their parents help. The dogs help. My friends help. Looking at the mountains helps.   It wasn't supposed to be this way. But now it is.