Back to School

Whew!  September was a whirlwind!  All kinds of life ganged up...most of which did not include sewing time!

I have been out of school for a very long time, even my kids have been out of school for some time now, but when September rolls around I still get into a 'back to school' frame of mind.  I don't know if it's the cooler weather, the piles of notebooks and new crayons at Target, but I need to pick apples and make something tweedy...preferably with pleats!!!  So here we are at the END of September and not one piece of tweed has crossed my ironing board.  (And the apples are still on the trees!  Geez!)

So what, you may ask, have I been doing if not sewing?  Other than nursing my dang toe, lots of fun stuff.....

My youngest sister encountered her 50th birthday early in the month and 10 of us went to Philadelphia to help her celebrate.  I have been to Philly several times and have loved it, but each time I have been with a group of people and didn't have to navigate myself around.  So once again I loved my visit but have no clue where I was!!  I am going to have to go by myself sometime and really figure it out.

We visited the "Magic Garden" which is a huge (I mean several buildings) mosaic installation.  There are tons of mirrors incorporated so I couldn't resist a 'selfie.'
You can check out some 'real' pictures of the place here.

We also had a wonderful tour of the Barnes Foundation which houses Dr. Albert Barnes art collection.  It is hung in a very intriguing and approachable way.  If you ever get the chance to see it, do!  And have a docent tour, it's worth it.  

We did some 'history' with a visit to Liberty Hall...we ate fabulous food...Philly is a huge foodie town and we did our best to take advantage of it. Oh, and wine was consumed, lots!

Obligatory Philly Cheesesteak!!!  Yum!

I did try to find some fabric stores, but it was way hot and most that I found were the kind of places where everything is piled to the ceiling and most did not have AC...maybe on my next visit.  I found this cool cotton voile border print, notice the different directions of the border stripes, and a great button before the heat overwhelmed me and I had to go eat gelato!!!!

The very next weekend was the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan.  I have been going for many years and for the last 9 years have been part of the "Passion For Fashion," competition that is held there.

I am the design mentor (think Tim Gunn) for 12 designers who complete a "Project Runway" style challenge during the show.  We arrive on Thursday evening, get our models and set up our 'sewing room' which is in the center of the convention floor...

Friday morning at 8am we are given the 'challenge'...this year it was to create an evening or cocktail ensemble using decorative thread as a feature...the designers can shop on the floor of the show for their supplies.  We have until 3 pm on Saturday (yes we do go home and sleep on Friday night!) when the models return for fitting, photography, judging and the runway show at 6pm!!!!!  It's a total whirlwind!  My motto is 'No Naked Models' and every year there is at least one designer who makes me nervous...but we somehow get it done!

Me with the winning designer and her model.  

The designers are asked to wear black and this year's winner forgot, so she is wearing my jacket!  That's why we are so coordinated!
(Black leather lapels on the moto style jacket and yoke of the dress, matelasse knit for the body of the jacket and dress.)

It is a lot of fun, but I was extra tired this year since I was hauling around my goofy boot.  I did mange to fit in a bit of shopping on Sunday before heading home...

Cool sweater knit with a great selvedge from Haberman's,  Amazing boiled wool with felted bits and pieces from Beautiful Textiles, and a 'holey' denim stitched to mesh from Vogue Fabrics...

When I got home on Sunday it was truly feeling like fall so I swapped out the summer table runner for a more autumnal arrangement...maybe I'll make it to the apple orchard before the end of the week!  ...or make some tweedy pleats!

p.s.  I thought this little pumpkin craft was darn cute...it's made with mason jar rings tied together and cinnamon sticks!

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