A Stitch in the Ditch

Today is one of those days my projects didn’t quite turn out right, outside and inside.

With all the snow we had in Portland last weekend, a brilliant idea from last summer turned into a repair project this summer. Last summer, I rebuilt a trellis into a smaller, ladder trellis. Then I attached the ladder trellis to my fence. Unfortunately I didn’t consider that a rain soaked ladder trellis without extra support would just break the fence post. In between rain showers today, I removed the ladder trellis and cut down the evergreen clematis vine that I pruned severely for this idea to work. The vine died too. My very nice next door neighbor held up the fence. He rejoiced that the vine died so he no longer has to keep it pruned from taking over his plum tree. He also cut a 2×4 at a 45 degree angle for bracing until the temperature is warm enough for cement to set.

ladder trellis ladder trellis broken

Feeling resigned but productive, I settled in front of my sewing machine to finish a project. My Grandma Pauline made my sister Heather a quilted apron years ago. The fabric is one of those pre-patterned fabrics with the pieces cutout. The back says “apron”. Heather used it so much that it’s literally threadbare. Chunks of fabric are missing and the batting is exposed to the elements. Last fall, I promised Heather I would make her a similar one for Christmas. Yeah, that didn’t happen. It turns out that I sometimes over-commit to craft project and can’t get them all done in time. Because Heather is so gracious, she was okay with receiving the apron for her birthday present at the end of February.

grandma apron

Armed with new red and white spools of thread and my idealistic vision of a perfect apron, I started sewing. I quilted the batting between two pieces of pink cherry fabric. I even used a rotary cutter and my fancy cutting board. It’s weird that my projects sometimes don’t turn out because I often “eyeball” things rather than actually measuring. After quilting the main apron fabric, I sewed the binding and ironed it. I called Heather for instructions on adding a binding. She explained it over the phone, but lost me at the Stitch in the Ditch part. I was going to find a You-Tube video, but figured I could wing it and hope for the best instead. Those videos might take an extra five minutes of time. I wanted to sew! That was a misstep.

stitch in the ditch

The first part of the binding went smooth. Then I made an irreversible mistake. Rather than folding over the binding and sewing on the front seam, I sewed it on the back seam. So the back looks okay, but the front shows several seams. In fairness, this is my first attempt at a binding. But if I would have just found a video I wouldn’t be in this predicament. Also, most seams in sewing are not irreversible. I just hate ripping out seams, so I usually go with it if it’s close enough. I called Heather, disappointed in my work. After she chucked a little, she asked “I thought you were going to watch a video?” I was, but I didn’t want to take the time. Because she is so nice, Heather said things like…”look at the apron Grandma made me that I would still be using if you didn’t have it for a pattern” and “it’s just a kitchen apron” and “I will love it no matter what”. Now I’m almost done. And it will look super cute…as long as Heather doesn’t look too close.


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