Monday, July 13, 2015

Wisconsin Quilt

We lived in La Crosse, Wisconsin, for one year and we wish it could've been longer.  We loved everything about it, except for the winter that lasted for 6 months and the bazillions of mosquitoes that descended upon us during the muggy summers.

I started quilting in La Crosse and tried my first paper piecing project with this candy box heart pattern.

Don't you just love quilts with legs?!  Anyway, I usually avoid anything with hearts, but this was a special group project.  We wanted the young women at church to have an ongoing service experience.  Somehow we found out that the Renal Dialysis Unit at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital was drab and needed some holiday decor to cheer up patients who spent many hours at a time there.

We kicked off this partnership by taking a tour of the unit and learning about dialysis.  Then, after that, each month we would devote one of our weekly meetings to making decorations and one of them to decorating the unit.

We worked on the quilt together during a few of our weekly meetings.  I know we taught the girls how to applique and they made most of the star blocks.  I think some of them also helped sew the 4-patch blocks.  I can't remember if I made all the hearts or if we taught some of them to do that too. 

We gave this quilt to the unit to hang on the wall permanently.  I wonder if it's still there?  I hope the girls and other leaders cherish this experience as I much as I do.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Skinny Jeans

These are skinny jeans.  They were the jeans that I made and wore...when I was skinny.

This is what skinny jeans look like after you've been riding an elephant at the zoo.

Back then, I didn't know that I was skinny.  Over the years, I've discovered that skinny is relative.  These jeans stopped fitting about 25 pounds ago (30 years ago?).  The zipper is broken and the hems are faded and stitched together.  So, why do I still have them?

For many years I hoped that I could just put them on again, not wear them necessarily.  If I worked hard, I probably could do that.  I was just about ready to part with them - cut them up and incorporate them into a quilt.  Fortunately, before I grabbed the rotary cutter, I suddenly realized that they are the only Kathy-constructed article of clothing I still have in my possession.

In high school and college, I made almost all of my clothing - back when it was affordable and cool to make your own clothing.  People would say in genuine surprise, "You made that?!"  I made all of my pants, from super bell-bottomed 70s hiphuggers to high-waisted 80s pants.  I even made my brother some trousers.  That's why these jeans are so cool.  They are constructed like men's trousers, not like wimpily constructed girly pants.  Oh, I could go on about that.

Check out these details.  They have pleats...and darts.

They have waistband lining and SERIOUS pocket construction.  Check out the denim pocket insert on the front view - just like store-bought guy pants!

This is a hard-core zipper.  It's so hard-core that I can't even call it a zipper, it's a fly.  Usually there are no extra pieces when sewing a zipper in women's pants.  But with men's trousers, there are about 8 pieces to put that fly together.  Oh, I could go on about that too!

There's no way I can part with these pants now.  Ugh!  This excavation is going to be hopeless!

P.S. During my image searches, I came across this pattern that could very possibly be the exact pattern (the red ones) that I used for my white denim ├╝ber hip-huggy bell-bottomy 70s pants.  I used to wear them to school with a crop top, belly exposed.  Oh my, what was I thinking?!