The dog days of summer are here with a vengeance. Living so close to the icy Atlantic used to mean an afternoon sea breeze that cooled things off to the point where you had to close a window at night. Not any more. I am a climate-change believer. I used to have at least five or six summer weight cardigans I needed to wear in the evenings out here. Now I’m slicing the sleeves off old t-shirts to find something cool enough to wear around the house.
In July and August we crank up our trusty R2D2 air conditioner in the family room and I haul down my embroidery floss basket, a tub of wool felt and start cutting up birds, stars, ornaments and mug rug pads so I can embroider my little projects that I sell locally. I’ve set up a corner of the room that now looks like a wooly tornado hit it – complete with splattered bits of color from the bits of wool and knots of embroidery floss that get snipped off as I work. I could clean it up every night after a session of sewing, but what is the point? A sample of works in progress:
There is always that bit of a re-learning curve that comes with taking up embroidery after a long break. I fumble around trying to remember old stitches and sometimes invent new ones in the process. I get very frustrated that the work isn’t spacing evenly until I hit my rhythm and I’m back in the groove. Then I wonder why I ever stopped – hand sewing is the most relaxing thing (well, next to a cigarette and a martini but I had to stop smoking years ago and you really should not #gdas).
BTW, I highly recommend the “R2D2″ style of AC for a single room use. I’ve put up heavy (upholstery remnant) curtains in the 2 open doorways to the room so it stays remarkably comfortable. Joe rigged up a little template so we can tuck the exhaust hose out one of our windows. The only other work is to make sure there is a bucket next to it because it needs to “pee” every 5 hours or so. (We don’t leave it on overnight.) The water gets taken outside to the porch to water the flowers. It’s a win-win.
I wait until I have a bunch of them finished before I bag and tag them – it’s a very gratifying part of the process. My tag reads “MSQ” as a tribute to my mom who used to make and sell small quilts and table runners at our shop here in Gloucester. Since her last name was Major, she tagged her products, “Major Stuff Quilts” – hence, the MSQ on my label. I like sewing in the evenings while we watch a movie, surf around the DIY channels, or just discuss (and solve) the world’s problems. Joe is always there to bounce ideas off of and give me solid tips on getting the most bang for my embroidery buck. Best part - he really gets it about my sewing, quilting, etc. and that is a remarkably redeeming quality in a partner.
EDIT: If you were wondering, #gdas is a Twitter hashmark for a Friday evening TweetChat where spirited, earthy sewing enthusiasts pop a cold one and discuss projects, tips, good food, and whatever else strikes our fancy. (The name Get Drunk And Sew tells you all you need to know.)