threading needles, threading words

17 February 2011


My two favorite, favorite flannel shirts are pictured here. What's left of them, anyway. Both have become so threadbare that I've regretfully realized they must be retired.

This turquoise one started out as Mr. E.'s, and quickly became his go-to shirt for winter outings. Woolrich. 100% cotton. Made in the USA. Possibly the best piece of brushed flannel fabric I've ever encountered. I can't tell you how many years Mr. E. wore it before handing it down to me on one of those raw cold days at winter's start. It's practically been my uniform these past months, my work smock (over two other layers). Michigan winters can be brutal, and being wrapped up in a cozy flannel shirt has been my saving grace more than once. 

Truth be told, this khaki/navy/white plaid flannel one went into semi-retirement at the beginning of the season. I'm not sure whether you can tell from the photo, but the placket edge is completely worn through. The entire shirt is that way. Thin. Frayed. Threadbare. It was a gift from my daughter almost ten years ago, and it has served me very well.

Flannel. Not stylish, perhaps, but necessary, both for my physical and mental health. Is it because they're flannel that they've kept me so snug, or is it because they were wrapped around me by loved ones? Yes.

Stay warm these last few weeks of winter....

14 February 2011

iPad Valentine's...

I've never held an iPad, but my four-year-old granddaughter received one for Christmas. (Is that a generational thing? I mean, four-year-old iPad owner?! Every time I mention it to a friend, I get, "My grandkids have 'em, too.")

Anyway. She's in Missouri, I'm in Michigan. She needed a sleeve for her new techno toy, and I fretted over getting the fit right--until it finally occurred to me to use a book. (As a writer, that should have dawned on me much sooner than it did. Just sayin'.) Rulers in hand, Mr. E. and I headed to our bookshelves. (He's sweet that way, which is one of many reasons he's my Valentine.)

I've made a Kindle3 envelope sleeve for a custom order, using western fabrics and my own saddlebag flap design. I'll be making more of those for my etsy shop. This iPad sleeve is a non-western version of that design.

Although I've heard a few complaints about the cost of sleeves for gadgets, I totally get it now. Designer quilt cottons, padding (two kinds for iPad), labor....  And, yeah, I put a bit more time in this one, because it was for my tie-dye lovin' gal who goes crazy over funky stitches and likes printing her name in all caps, except for the "i." Credit goes to my daughter--Lydia's mother--for suggesting the heart over the "i." Perfect for Valentine's Day, and for LYDiA.


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