Up to My Neck in Sewing

I promise I wrote an entry last night. Then my computer started acting up, so I tired of waiting and went to bed. This morning I had to do a hard restart and when I finally got my computer going again, my blog entry had disappeared. So I had two main things to say yesterday:

First, I found a new and very handy use for Google Documents. I have almost never used Google Docs before because it cannot handle large files such as my manuscripts, and that’s the primary thing I would have wanted it for. But for the last couple of days, my long-distance student and I used Google Docs to go through his essays, since we do not share the same word processing software.  I loved it. We could both see and edit the document at the same time. When I suggested a change to him, I could see him carry it out. And he could see if I made a change as well. It worked so well. I will definitely use this technique again in future tutoring situations.

Secondly, I did finally get serious about sewing yesterday. I had to buy a pattern, and in my quest I went to Hancock Fabrics for the very last time. They didn’t have what I wanted, and seeing the store made me profoundly depressed. I have been shopping there for 35 years! Fortunately, I did get what I needed at another store and for a good price.

Then I came home and began the grim and painful process of ironing my fabric. The first piece was only 2 yards long, so that wasn’t too bad. The second (main) piece was 6 yards long and 2  yards wide! Standing at the ironing board for that long is very hard on my back. I had to do it in stages.

After supper Janet helped me cut out the Desert Assassin Cloak. It is hard to handle that much fabric alone! I spent the rest of the evening working on the project I’m trying to finish before I have to switch all my thread over to khaki for the new cloak.

Jasper was at a birthday party all night, but he had to get up early this morning so he could come with me to finally get his bees! We met his benefactor on the north side of town and then he followed us home and helped Jasper get his hive set up again. It is a small hive so we are going to have to feed them sugar water until next spring if we want them to thrive. We REALLY want the bees to stay this time! It was so discouraging to lose our bees last fall.

Once we had our new ladies installed, Jasper went back to his party (across the street) and I got back to work on my sewing. I needed about 12 inches of cord in a specific color. I hadn’t tried to buy it because I was confident I would have some in my stash. (I have a very large stash of every possible type of embellishment.) I pulled out my cord and ribbon box and began looking. There was every color except the one I was looking for. There was even some in the right color but it was too thick for what I needed. I was incredulous that I did not have anything that would work. Almost at the bottom of the box, I found some black cording that was usable, but not ideal. Still, I kept on looking “just in case,” and there it was on the very bottom—right color, right thickness. I was so proud of myself.

My luck ran out this afternoon, though. I finished the project that’s been hanging over my head for weeks and was all ready to start sewing on the Desert Assassin Cloak. The first step was to change the thread color in my serger and sewing machine. I went to find my khaki serger thread, only to discover that there was none to find. It is so unheard of for me not to have the right color of thread that I had never even checked to make sure I did!

I really didn’t want to go out. I was heating water for tea. I asked myself if there was anything I could do on the cloak without having to go out and buy thread. I answered myself “no.” Out I went, leaving my kettle still on the fire, and got the thread I needed. Good thing I’m going to have some khaki fabric left over, because now I’ve got plenty of thread!

And yes, I did get back before the kettle boiled dry and I did get my tea.

I got my serger re-threaded with the khaki thread, sewed a couple of seams, and then my serger started acting up. I cleaned it thoroughly and oiled it, but the needle threads kept breaking. Grrr! I do not have time to get it fixed, and if I must do without it will take a lot longer to finish this project. The serger has become more and more crotchety of late, and I am forced to admit that after more than 15 years, it is no longer “new.” In fact, it may be nearing the end of its natural lifespan, which is disheartening since I don’t suppose I’ll be able to replace it anytime soon.

I spent the rest of the evening doing things that didn’t require the serger. I made a large map pocket and sewed it to the inside back of the cloak. I made a veil that will be attached later. And I marked off several lengths of cord for another feature of the cloak.

Tomorrow, I will have a very anxious morning. The exterminator is coming to spray the yard for fleas again, since last time it didn’t get them all. I thought we’d get that out of the way tomorrow and then get the bees on the weekend. Instead, we got the bees today. I am very, very worried that the spray will be harmful for the bees, and if we lose this hive I think both Jasper and I will be heartbroken. We’ve waited so long to get bees again.

Finally, Lucy called me this evening to let me know that there was a security concern at camp. It seems to only affect the boys (it involved a threatening letter), but the camp staff are taking it very seriously, as they must do, of course. Please pray that all the kids will stay safe and that camp won’t have to close early!

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