The end of 2013

Good-by 2013. 

2013 has sped by as fast as the years before it. Like all of the others it has included good and bad. This is the year my mother faced cancer. Luckily, even though it required surgery and a major stay in the hospital with plenty of unexpected complications she is doing well now and beginning chemo. All of the scans are clean so it is a milder form of chemo, not the aggressive chemo that brings all sorts of complications of its own. It was hard to write during the worst of this so there were a few less blog posts. 

Later in the year I added dining room furniture to our small apartment, which forced me to move the sewing area. It is still quite a disorganized mess because when I decided to make the change I had to move all of the sewing tables, machines and tools quickly. I am working through it now to reduce some of the stash, re-organize the tools and make sewing a planned and purposeful event. I have to include set up, clean up, and breakdown time. It also has to work around dining schedules now so it has become a much more disciplined activity than before. I think maybe I have even been sewing more in spite of the extra steps.

I miss having everything set up and ready, but I do like that each project is pretty special because of the extra setup and breakdown involved. I am also learning which tools are most important. The down side is the table height. Working on a counter height table for laying out and cutting patterns is nice and I miss that but the dining table is longer than the cut table, so there is extra space for fabric on either side of the cutting mat. A long time ago this was how I worked on all projects. Once I have everything organized, I may be able to use a smaller version of my cut table again. 

This year I looked up word origins to go with projects during the year. I have not yet decided what I might include next year. I would like to say that I would blog on a more frequent basis, but then I would probably be spending more time writing than sewing.  Anyone have any special New Year's Resolutions?

From Online Etymology Dictionary:

review (v.) Look up review at Dictionary.com
1570s, "examine again," from re- + view (v.). Meaning "look back on" is from 1751; that of "consider or discuss critically" is from 1781. Related: Reviewedreviewing.


Last Minute Gifts

My daughter called to let me know she was planning to spend part of Christmas Eve with me. So we planned to go to the mall, have a chai and watch the last minute shoppers hurry about. Before I had children I would do this with a good friend each Christmas Eve. I had to explain the "tradition" to my daughter.  

Pillows with Dog Images
While we were out I asked if she had finished the gifts she was working on. She had decided to make some decorative pillows for her boyfriend's family. They were customized with silhouettes of the family's pet dogs. She said she had not finished them yet, but would be working on them tonight. I thought sometime around midnight she might be calling to have me help finish them, but I did not hear from her. 

On Christmas Day, I had just placed a turkey breast into the oven when the phone rang. It was my daughter asking me if I could help her with about five minutes worth of sewing because she was having trouble with her machine. At first I asked if she wanted help with the machine but she just wanted me to sew instead. I said I would help her, but I knew the five minutes estimate was just lunacy.

When she arrived she was already an hour and a half late to her original destination, so I hoped that she was going to be able to be patient while I helped her finish the pillows. She wanted me to stitch around the designs, sew in the zipper and sew up the pillows. There were four pillows, so four zippers and several dog designs on the pillows. I zig-zag stitched over the designs, added the zippers, sewed up the sides of the pillows. She trimmed the corners and turned the pillows inside out, added the pillow form, and gift wrapped them as I finished each pillow. 

All the while, I was having my son check the timer I had set for the turkey breast to cook. As the time counted down I was telling him which item to add to the oven, or start working on. It took a couple of hours for me to finish all of the top stitching and sew the pillows for her. By the time we had finished working on the pillows Christmas dinner was ready to serve and all I had had to do was start the turkey and make the gravy after everything else was finished. That was probably the easiest holiday meal I had ever made, thanks to a lot of help from my son.


I think my daughter's pillows turned out pretty nice too. I wonder if she will need help again the next time she decides to make something.

From  Etymology Online Dictionary

lunacy (n.) Look up lunacy at Dictionary.com
1540s, "condition of being a lunatic," formed in English from lunatic + -cy. Originally in reference to intermittent periods of insanity, such as were believed to be triggered by the moon's cycle. The Old English equivalent was monaĆ°seocnes "month-sickness."
assist (n.) Look up assist at Dictionary.com
1570s, "an act of assistance," from assist (v.). In the sporting sense attested 1877 in baseball, 1925 in ice hockey.
assistance (n.) Look up assistance at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "act of helping or aiding," from Middle French assistance, from assister (see assist (v.)).
assistant (n.) Look up assistant at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., assistent "one who helps or aids another," from Middle French assistent, adjective and noun, properly present participle of assister (see assist (v.)).


Happy Holidays

Scarves for co-workers
For this year's group gifts I needed something impressive. The first time I had time to work on anything was after December 15th. That means it had to be quick, easy, impressive and fit within my budget - inexpensive. 

What is easy to make? Scarves! Yes scarves. I stopped by the local fabric store, without my coupons just to check out what was on sale. I figured there might be some red tag fabric available if nothing else. It must have been my lucky day because everything in the store, well, everything I looked at in the store, was on sale 50-60% off. Simply silky fabrics, red tag fabrics, remnants. All of it on sale. 

I needed 1/2 yard each for six people. I saved so much I picked up a sheer curtain fabric remnant which is about 90 inches wide to make little gift bags to hold the scarves. If you need a quick idea, try this.  

Simply silky prints are about 60" wide, one of the few fabrics that has not been reduced to 54-58 inches instead of the 60 it should be.  One half yard is 18".  By making the purchase of 1/2 yard I did not even need to trim the fabric, except for cutting the selvage edges, before I narrowly hemmed it.  (There were some uneven cuts from the store that I did correct.) 

If you have a narrow hem foot this is a good project to use it, but I found it easier to just roll the fabric and straight stitch it.  When I finished the scarves I made a drawstring bag that allowed the scarf colors to show through. 

Instructions for the gift bags:
  • Trace around a folded scarf, add enough fabric to fold back one side for the drawstring placement. Mark the drawstring placement on the pattern. (Pattern is on the left above.)
  • Place the pattern on fold so width is double that of the pattern drawing. (See the place on fold mark above.)
  • Serge (or zig-zag stitch) along one end side. (Top of the white bag, pictured on the right above.)
  • Bring the sides together, serge (or zig-zag stitch) these edges together. (You can see the vertical seam on the right side above.)
Pattern, drawstring hem area folded back,  seams on cloth bag.
  • Center this seam, then serge (or zig-zag stitch) the bottom of the bag.
Button hole placement 

  • Make a button hole on each side of the bag. 
  • Fold the drawstring hem edge down and stitch around the bag above and below the button holes. This forms the track for the drawstrings.
  • With a bodkin, or a safety pen, thread one cord beginning at one button hole, all the way around and back out the same button hole. Then thread another cord from the other button hole, around and back out the same button hole. 
  • Tie the cord ends together. When the strings are pulled on each side it will close the bag. Use the excess string to tie a bow.

Gift Bags with Scarves and Name Tags

Now  you can give your friends these presents. If you have picked the right fabric they will really be impressed and the gift bag becomes a second present.

On line Etymology Dictionary

present (n.2) Look up present at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "thing offered, what is offered or given as a gift," from Old French present and Medieval Latin presentia, from phrases such as French en present "(to offer) in the presence of," mettre en present "place before, give," from Late Latin inpraesent "face to face," from Latin in re praesenti "in the situation in question," from praesens "being there" (seepresent (adj.)), on the notion of "bringing something into someone's presence."


Change is Good

Dot helped me draft a skirt pattern this week. 

Just before Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to acquire a large formal dining table and matching china hutch. It was an opportunity that I really had to consider. If I took the table I would have to use the living room area as a dining room and it would displace my sewing area. What to do, what to do?  

My living area already feels small and cramped, because I downsized to a two bedroom apartment from a house that was much larger. It has been quite an adjustment. My car has taken a beating in door dings, bumper scrapes, scratches and other maladies from fellow tenants who must not know how to drive, or maybe just don't care. Then there is the upstairs neighbor who vacuums the floor after midnight and stomps around scaring Dot. If I was already in bed sleeping that might bother me more, but I am usually up late too.

I decided to take the table and hutch. It did displace the sewing area, but it gave the living area a much better look and somehow made this apartment feel more like a home. With the leaf in the table it is slightly longer than my sewing table. It holds the cutting mat nicely, although much lower than the counter high table. I was worried that it might make sewing more of an ordeal because it would require that I lay out the cutting mat, cut the fabric, then pull out the sewing machines, set them up, sew, then take them down and stow them away, each time I wanted to sew. It has brought a little discipline to the sewing front and really makes me sew with a purpose. Twice this week I have had reason to sew and it really has not been that bad.    

Because my sewing table was made with Ikea Lack tables, I have been able to set it up like a storage shelf unit in one corner of the bedroom. It is grouped differently and still stores all of the tubs that were under it before. The major project for this weekend will be to cull a lot of unused items out of my closet and see what can be condensed into a smaller storage space.

From Online Etymology Dictionary

flexible (adj.) 
early 15c., from Middle French flexible or directly from Latin flexibilis "that may be bent, pliant, flexible, yielding;" figuratively "tractable, inconstant," from flexus, past participle of flectere "to bend," of uncertain origin. Related: Flexibly.

comfortable (adj.) 
mid-14c., "affording mental comfort," from Anglo-French confortable, from conforter "to comfort" (see comfort (v.)); also see -able. Meaning "offering physical comfort" is attested from 1769; that of "in a state of tranquil enjoyment" is from 1770.

comfy (adj.) 
1829, colloquial shortening of comfortable.


Holiday Season

Sorry it has been a while between posts. I am doing more baking a the moment than sewing. Today I think I will be making some chewy ginger cookies and maybe some white chocolate holiday cookies. These are also ginger flavored with white chocolate chips. If I get really ambitious, I may also make some snickerdoodles.

The first thing the recipe instructions say  is "1 cup butter softened". It is so cold here the butter will have to sit on the stove top for a while to soften. It has been hovering above and below zero here for days and it looks like it will be several more days before it warms up. Baking will make the house feel warmer and cozy.

I did do just a little bit of sewing yesterday. I have been really busy getting everything ready for the company winter party and it dawned on me that I had better figure out what I was going to wear. I knew I wanted it to be warm, and I did not have time to deal with a lot of pieces or details or have time to go shopping. This was a time for tried and true and stashed fabric to save the day.

McCalls 6468 was on top of the pattern stack and I had made view C this summer to go with a summer dress. Besides having sewn one of the views earlier, it is a loose flowing top- no fitting needed. I picked out view D and started looking for some fabric with the proper drape. The first fabric I found was a leopard print. The drape was good, but there was not enough fabric. The second choice was an extra piece of fabric I had purchased because the bolt had been double wrapped when I purchased a piece for a blouse earlier this year. The pattern called for more than either of the double wrapped pieces were alone, but I got a good deal by purchasing both pieces and getting the remnant price for the little bit that was not quite a yard in addition to the first yard. As it turned out the fabric was wider than I expected and I did not end up using both pieces. I also did not have a plan for the second piece so it was in the stash, waiting for a purpose.

I cut it out Friday evening before I went to bed and sewed it in the morning. It took about two hours to sew, mostly because of hems. There are eight total pleats on the front shoulders and four seams. The hems took most of the time, but even that did not take long. It is a slick fabric and dark, so I used tailor tacks to mark the pleats. This was quicker than locating a light marking pencil and easier to see on the dark navy print. The cape like top was just the right touch to keep me warm.

Tailor's tacks

Happy Holidays!


For Everything There is a Season

Here we are at the obvious change of seasons. Autumn is fully here and already passed peak color. Although I have plenty of ideas to sew, other matters have forced their way to front and center attention. It truly is my favorite time of year. The angry aggressive heat of summer has passed, mornings are cool, the days are still warm, but shorter and the evenings are cool for easy sleeping. Tree leaves are changing color and some have already fallen.  

This year it is particularly relevant as my parents have reached the autumn of their lives. The gradual aging process has become pronounced and the combination of both slowly failing health for one and a sudden health crises for the other have pushed all of my less significant passions to the side for a while. I have just returned from one of what will undoubtedly be several trips back to be with them during this time. Winter may be here far too soon.



It's that time of year again.  The days are noticeably shorter and cooler.  Time to start changing out the summer clothing for more substantial items.

However, I have a few other things to change out too.  My SD card reader is being uncooperative so I am having to be more creative to get any photos from the SD card to the blog post.  If that is not just frustrating enough, the computer keyboard has decided to be a nonparticipant too. Sounds like it is time to upgrade. I really can't complain. Until just now, everything has been running smoothly and I appreciate the warning.

Happy Autumn.


Scrappy Bits Update

Just a quick update on Scrappy Bits, although, now that I have cut it out and started sewing it, I think a more appropriate name might be scrappy bricks. It is so easy it is a great little sewing project to work on while I think about other things I am planning. 

This top is made from two jelly rolls, cut in 6.5" x 2.5" blocks. Because I am not a big fan of quilts with lots of sashing this quilt will look like a multicolored brick wall. 
  1. I have grouped the blocks by the colors I plan to put in each row. 
  2. Then numbered each group on a piece of paper to keep them separated. 
  3. As I finish each row the top color is moved to the back so the next row from the color set will not be exactly like the newly completed row.  
  4. A benefit of the paper besides keeping the rows grouped, is being able to stack them up which makes storage easier and keeps them away from the cat, who will scramble the pieces for me if I let her.
pieces grouped by rows
The next photograph is a test lay out to see if the results are what I want before I commit to sewing the rows together. There are still a lot of rows to go, but I think it will go quickly because it is the speediest quilt top I have ever put together. It is something a beginner could make with very little trouble. Quite the departure from my usual hexagon shapes I love so much. I am thinking it needs to be quilted with leaves so it looks like ivy on a brick wall.

Testing the lay out
There seems to be some irony here that I am working on a brick wall shaped quilt top when I hit the wall and mull over ideas for other projects. 

From Online Etymology Dictionary:

irony (n.) 
c.1500, from Latin ironia, from Greek eironeia "dissimulation, assumed ignorance," from eiron "dissembler," perhaps related to eirein "to speak" (see verb). Used in Greek of affected ignorance, especially that of Socrates. For nuances of usage, see humor. Figurative use for "condition opposite to what might be expected; contradictory circumstances" is from 1640s.

illusion (n.) Look up illusion at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "act of deception," from Old French illusion "a mocking, deceit, deception" (12c.), from Latin illusionem (nominative illusio) "a mocking, jesting, irony," from illudere "mock at," literally "to play with," from assimilated form of in- "at, upon" (see in- (2)) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Sense of "deceptive appearance" developed in Church Latin and was attested in English by late 14c. Related: Illusioned "full of illusions" (1920).


1930s Vintage

Vintage patterns to draft at home

Pattern from Mrs. Depew Vintage Etsy Shop, see link below
I found Mrs. Depew's Vintage shop on ETSY with these small draft at home patterns that are very much like the Lutterloh system I wrote about here. The biggest difference is the measuring device. Lutterloh has one tape measure, in centimeters. The first part of the measuring tape is used to make the size adjustments. After taking the appropriate measurements you use the number you measured as the pivot point to make the rest of the register dots when marking out the pattern. 

Mrs. Depew's vintage patterns are also very small replications of the patterns but each size has its own tape measure that you will need to print and tape together. Custom tape measures are included for all sizes when you purchase the pattern. The size differences are made by adjusting the measurement marks. Instead of each mark being a full centimeter, the number stays the same and the distance between the marks is different. This means your marks probably are not an exact centimeter, depending on the size you need. You may also need to use a couple of measuring tapes if your top and bottom measurements are not exactly the same.  

Custom measuring device, labeled with pattern number
I found the best way to create the measuring tape was to rough cut the pieces from the paper, join the ends together with small pieces of tape then lay the tape measure over the clear packaging tape. Once that is smoothed down, Cover the other side of the measuring tape with packaging tape so that the paper tape measure is sandwiched between two long strips of packaging tape. Once that is completely smooth then trim the tape measure. You can see in my photo that the yellow tape (Lutterloh) and the white tape (Mrs. Depew's) are not marked the exact same, although I did start them together at the beginning of centimeter 1. Each tape measure for each different size on the Mrs. Depew's tapes will be slightly different and are made specifically for each pattern. 

Why you need the customized tape measure
There is a lot of interest in vintage patterns and the biggest complaint is grading these to fit. To check out Mrs. Depew's ETSY shop go here. She has vintage patterns from several eras. I just happened to find several from the 30's I had to have. 

From Online Etymology Dictionary:

grade (n.) 
1510s, "degree of measurement," from French grade "grade, degree" (16c.), from Latin gradus "step, pace, gait, walk;" figuratively "a step, stage, degree," related to gradi "to walk, step, go," from PIE *ghredh- (cf. Lithuanian gridiju "to go, wander," Old Church Slavonic gredo "to come," Old Irish in-greinn "he pursues," and second element in congress,progress, etc.).

Replaced Middle English gree "step, degree in a series," from Old French grei "step," from Latin gradus. Railway sense is from 1811. Meaning "class of things having the same quality or value" is from 1807; meaning "division of a school curriculum equivalent to one year" is from 1835; that of "letter-mark indicating assessment of a student's work" is from 1886 (earlier used of numerical grades). Grade A "top quality, fit for human consumption" (originally of milk) is from a U.S. system instituted in 1912.


Project Fit - Systems I use - Part 2

Sure-Fit Designs

Sure-Fit Designs was created by Glenda Sparling in the 80s. She has several You-tube videos to explain her system and how it works. All garments created are based on your personal measurements. She also has a blog, hosts workshops and is easily accessible via email to answer your questions. 

Sure-Fit Designs kit pieces

It is similar to the Lutterloh System because you mark a series of dots, then connect them with the special Sure-Fit Designs Designing Stylus. The Stylus has specific body curve areas listed with instructions for where to properly place the stylus for optimum results making it pretty easy to trace out the pattern. There are are also instruction booklets with step by step instructions on where and how to measure, where to customize the pattern to match your measurements and what to do when creating new design elements. 

The good
Easy to find fitting placement marks because the pattern template is full size and size points are clearly labeled. Alterations are easy to make on the pattern and templates are included for specific measurements like small or large bust adjustments. Instructional discs are included with step by step tutorials. There is also a booklet that illustrates options for different styles. Easy to recreate in a new size if your size changes or dress a group all the same.

The bad
I don't think there are any bad things with this system. Just be sure to read the booklet instructions, go step by step, or use the tutorial discs and watch the You-Tube videos. 

Sure-Fit is probably a little easier than the Lutterloh system because templates that are full pattern size which makes it much easier to find where to mark your fitting dots. Be sure to read all instructions though because there are still areas to customize. It is good to have a sewing buddy too because some of the measurements are hard to take by yourself.  

There are kits for Men, women and children for dresses, pants, shirts, and jackets.  You can purchase by the kit. If you sew for men, women and children there is substantial savings for all of the kits in a bundle over each individual kit. This is not a paid endorsement, but if you are interested click here to go to Sure-Fit Designs web site.

Sure fit bodice trace under a tried princes seam dress.
I will have to add the princess design onto he Sure-fit trace.

Here is an example of my tested pattern over the Sure-fit pattern, above.  As always a muslin test garment will be necessary, but you can see the pattern is fairly close to the tested pattern size.  

Dot, the pattern weight pitching in to help out.
From Online Etymology Dictionary:

system (n.) Look up system at Dictionary.com
1610s, "the whole creation, the universe," from Late Latin systema "an arrangement, system," from Greek systema "organized whole, body," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + root of histanai "cause to stand" from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Meaning "set of correlated principles, facts, ideas, etc." first recorded 1630s. Meaning "animal body as an organized whole, sum of the vital processes in an organism" is recorded from 1680s; hence figurative phrase to get (something) out of one's system (1900). Computer sense of "group of related programs" is recorded from 1963. All systems go (1962) is from U.S. space program.
systemic (adj.) Look up systemic at Dictionary.com
1803, irregularly formed from system, used in medicine and biology for differentiation of meaning from systematic. Related: Systemically.
systematic (adj.) Look up systematic at Dictionary.com
1670s, from Late Latin systematicus, from Greek systematikos, from systema (see system). Related: Systematically.
systematize (v.) Look up systematize at Dictionary.com
1760s, from system (Greek stem systemat-) + -ize. Related: Systematizedsystematizing.


Project Fit - Systems I use Part 1

Lutterloh System

Pattern maker rulers and measuring tools

I started using the Lutterloh System in the 90s. It is sold in a set of 280 patterns collected into a small notebook.  For a subscription fee you can get updates quarterly with new drawings and patterns which include current fashion trends. I have only purchased two of the updates in the whole time I have used this system. If you understand patterns just about everything you really need is already included. I would not however recommend it to a beginner.  

The actual patterns are very small, about 2000 times smaller than an actual pattern. By using your measurements and a special tape measure designed to use with the small patterns you draw out a series of dots, then connect the dots and create a full size garment pattern that is already customized to your personal figure. 

The good 
Accurate fit with minimal alterations, large choice of style options, takes up very little area to store the original pattern library. Easy to make a new pattern for the same style if you gain or loose weight and change sizes. Very easy to create multiple sizes when dressing a group that needs to match, choirs, school groups etc.  

The bad 
Sometimes hard to accurately place the dots because the tape measure is difficult to keep taut and as smooth as a straight edge ruler. Hard to know exactly where to lengthen or shorten for best results. Connecting the dots requires curved tools and understanding which curved tools for which areas. A little experience is best before using this system. 

Lutterloh System and enlarged mini pattern, click to enlarge and see comments in red.

When I use Lutterloh patterns I always make a photo copy so my original pattern is never damaged. The original is always returned to the storage book before I even start to draw the enlarged pattern. When I finish a garment I store the copied image, the full size pattern drawn on tracing paper and a little snippet of the fabric I used, along with any special notes I may have taken in a zip lock bag, which is stored in a large filing cabinet with all of my other patterns.

Recently Brooke at Custom Style wrote about scaling patterns with ratios on a copy machine. I intend to test her system on a few other patterns, but it made me wonder if it could be used on the Lutterloh patterns too. Each dot is aligned with the center and tells you how far out to mark, but the little patterns are sometimes hard to see. This time I picked my pattern and enlarged it by 300% instead of the usual 100%. I am happy to say it works on most pieces, I am still testing it on some of the smaller pieces that are marked from the side instead of the middle. You can see the difference in pattern sizes the photo above.    

Tested pattern laying over Lutterloh pattern

Here is how the front compares to the pattern I copied from a dress that fit the Lutterloh pattern is in green lines, the tested pattern is laying over it, matched at the neck. There are some differences as it is not the exact same dress, but the sizes are close. A muslin test will still be required.

Lutterloh is sold by Tru-fit patterns & tools. This is not a paid endorsement, but if you are interested I have added a link to their website.

 From Online Etymology dictionary

trial (n.) Look up trial at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "act or process of testing," from Anglo-French trial, noun formed from triet "to try" (see try). Sense of "examining and deciding a case in a court of law" is first recorded 1570s; extended to any ordeal by 1590s. As an adjectival phrase, trial-and-error is recorded from 1806. Trial balloon (1939) is congnate of French ballon d'essai.

test (v.) Look up test at Dictionary.com
1748, "to examine the correctness of," from test (n.). Related: Testedtesting.


Vacation fun

I am back. I have not had the energy to start on projects I have planned. I think it takes a little while to re-acclimate to the higher altitude after being in the Midwest. I am not sure if it is because I stayed in the lower elevations longer or if it is more related to age. I am going to blame it on the thinner atmosphere though because even though the mirror tells a different story I am not getting older. I am always amazed at how much easier it is to move about in the lower thicker atmosphere, even if it is humid.

I got to visit relatives, attend a very small class reunion, catch up with friends from long ago who are also not getting older, visit landmarks and museums I have not seen in a while and float the river. I don't know how to swim and really don't like water sports but look how peaceful this river is. In some places it may be as deep as your waist and in others it is pretty shallow. When we went there were places the canoe just barely cleared the shallow areas. Once we were underway, my brother said, "We will probably have to stop a couple of times before the end, my canoe has a leak."  

I probably would have been in a full panic but he had his three young children with us and I figured if it was a dangerous leak he would not have let them go. We ended up stopping about five times to dump out the water the canoe took on. And my brother admitted that it was leaking much worse than he thought. In all but the deepest part at the very end though, even if the boat had sunk the kiddos would have only been in about waist high. 

The day I left the river was muddy from rain upstream and since then the river has gone to flood stage because of eleven inches of rain in the area yesterday and two or three more inches of rain expected today. 

From Online Etymology Dictionary:
canoe (v.) 
1842, from canoe (n.). Related: Canoedcanoing.
canoeing (n.) 
1870, verbal noun from canoe (v.). Related: Canoeist.
canoe (n.) 
1550s, originally in a West Indian context, from Spanish canoa, a term used by Columbus, from Arawakan (Haiti) canaoua. Extended to rough-made or dugout boats generally. Early variants in English included canocanowcanoa, etc., before spelling settled down c.1600.
paddle (v.3) 
"to move in water by means of paddles," 1670s, from paddle (n.). To paddle one's (own) canoe "do for oneself" is from 1828.

Scrappy Bits

Last week, on the way home, I stopped at A Needle in a Haystack quilt shop in Severy Kansas. I had wanted to stop a couple of times before but have never been in the area during normal business hours. Often I look for quilt shops when I am on vacation to see what others are working on, get inspiration, or just see what they have to offer.  I watch for billboards advertising quilt shops and stop in if  i) I can find it , ii) if I am passing by during normal business hours and iii) if I have time.

This little shop was busy with several customers from all across America and a friendly efficient staff. I don't think I was in the store for more than about 15 minutes before I had made my selections, had the fabric cut and was back out on the open road. They also have a few collectibles to sell, lots of beautiful fabric choices, patterns, books, quilting rulers. They offer classes too but I am definitely out of the area where I could stop in for a class. I picked up a special ruler, some bright colors for the stars portion of a quilt I have not yet started and a jelly roll that will coordinate with another jelly roll that has been sitting around waiting for just the right project.   

I am going to make a strip quilt with these two jelly rolls. It will be scrappy but unified by color tones. It is just the project I need today. I am not ready to jump back into the fitting project I am working on but I do want to sew. I also pulled some of my "thread scraps" from the box of threads I keep so that I can start using up spools with just little bits of thread. This will keep it from going to waste and clear out the clutter of nearly empty spools mixed in with more complete spools.   

So here it is, the beginning of a quilt I am going to call Scrappy Bits.

From Online Etymology Dictionary:

quilt (n.) 
c.1300, "mattress with soft lining," from Anglo-French quilte, Old French cuiltecoute "quilt, mattress" (12c.), from Latin culcita "mattress, bolster," of unknown origin. Sense of "thick outer bed covering" is first recorded 1590s.
quilt (v.) 
1550s, from quilt (n.). Related: QuiltedquiltingQuilting bee attested from 1824 (see bee).
quilter (n.) 
late 13c. (late 12c. as a surname); agent noun from quilt (v.).