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Go RED!

Between binding a surprise Birthday quilt and enlarging a quilt for a friend, I am trying to get in some reading. Quite honestly, I've needed a break from the hours of sitting at the computer, compiling lists for Insurance of all of our possessions lost in last summer's fire.



I encourage you to walk around your sewing area and take photos of each wall and every shelf of books, fabric and bins, tools, threads, tchotchkes, photos and memorabilia. Open cupboards and take pictures of what's inside. Purchase or make RED Go-Bags - a useful and visible tool for quick evacuations. I had a red ribbon around the handle of my Singer Featherweight's case, and two RED bags in my sewing room. When we evacuated, every red bag in the house was placed in the trunk of the car.


The Red Go-Bags in our closet had clothing for 3 days. Be sure to include a pair of shoes, sandals or slippers, socks, your favorite undergarments, travel toothbrush and toothpaste (in a Glad-Lock bag). Also, include a sweater, jacket or sweatshirt - something comfy to wear in each of the four seasons. Our bags were packed for summer evacuations. With everything we were dealing with, we were not prepared once the weather got colder. One day we experienced an unexpected rain storm and the poncho and umbrella helped but we had to immediately purchase shoes and jackets.



Consider the following:

- June Taylor's Quilt As You Go Sophie Tote Pattern: Choose red fabrics from your stash and "attach fabric strips to batting and piece-by-number to create your tote. Webbing for straps is included." I challenge you to get creative and give as gifts so that everyone you know has a Go-Bag.


- 24" Lightweight Canvas Duffle Bag: This weekender bag can be yours for about the price of a 1.5 yard of hand-dyed Batik fabric. The extra large interior space, and the roomy outer zip pocket make it perfect "to stuff full of clothes, reading material, & other essentials."


- Car Survival Kits: "Kits come in a variety of sizes and are designed with basic supplies to help you survive for up to 3 days. Each kit can be tailored to one or more people and further enhanced with additional food, water, and tools." We added rain ponchos, collapsible umbrella , a battery-free flashlight, and two baseball caps.

Don't stop at your sewing, quilting or crafting space. Move to another area and take photos of all of the walls and treasures in each room. Scan or take photos of family photos on the walls. Open closets and cupboards and document all of your things by taking pictures. Plan on this project taking a couple of weeks so you don't get overwhelmed. Take pictures of a room one day and upload those photos to the iCloud the next day. Move methodically throughout your home - including the attic if you have items stored there. When you have completed indoors, be sure to go outdoors and take photos of everything - light fixtures, where you park your car, your storage space, yard, plants, garden art and watering supplies. Don't forget dog house, cat area, chicken coop, etc.


Thankfully, we had taken photos a couple of years prior to our region's devastating fires and can now use them as a reference. Although sometimes painful to sort through, they have been helpful in documenting for insurance purposes.

While I was looking online for a book to read, I found a write-up of "The Sewing Machine" in a quilting newsletter. I often wondered who owned my Singer sewing machine for the 25 years before I purchased it in 1978. It's light wood cabinet was in great shape and all of the drawers glided smoothly. A button holer kit, zipper foot and squatty, wooden handle screw driver were in a drawer when I brought the machine home. I put thousands of hours of use on the 16-pound 301A model, and miles and miles of thread were stitched under the bayonnet style light bulb (that I only ever changed once).



THE SEWING MACHINE by Natalie Fergie


It is 1911, and Jean is about to join the mass strike at the Singer factory. For her, nothing will be the same again.


Decades later, in Edinburgh, Connie sews coded moments of her life into a notebook, as her mother did before her.


More than a hundred years after his grandmother’s sewing machine was made, Fred discovers a treasure trove of documents. His family history is laid out before him in a patchwork of unfamiliar handwriting and colourful seams. He starts to unpick the secrets of four generations, one stitch at a time.




Progress continues each day on my Button Project. Heartfelt thanks to all who have shared button stories from their grandmother or a newly found treasure from a family button jar. I will share more buttons that I have received the next time I write.


Have a fulfilling week of sewing, quilting or crafting. Take good care of yourself and let me know what is on your Summer Reading List.

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