Monday, August 25, 2008


This weekend we visited the Michigan City Zoo. Actually, it’s the Washington Park Zoo but we’ve always called it Michigan City. Partly because I work near a Washington Park in Chicago (no zoo but room for confusion), and partly just because it’s what it seems to be known as by everyone local. It’s a lovely, small zoo, build during the depression by the WPA. It’s recently undergone some renovation that improved it. If you’re near Northwest Indiana, it’s well worth a visit. (It’s just around the corner from the Lubeznik Gallery and the outlet mall.)

The zoo is built right on the hills next to Lake Michigan—we sat for a while on a shady bench and I took this photo. If you look closely, near the center you can see the tiger pacing in his cage.

I spent some down time working on my sample piece for Plimoth, for the 17th century jacket recreation project. I don't think I can get there to stitch but thought it would be fun to try the sample and learn the techniques. I have been nervous about doing it…those spaces are really tiny and the thread is thick! (soie perlee) I had some quiet time in the morning today and was able to do a sample of reverse chain stitch and a detached buttonhole stitch. I may not get back to it until I have another peaceful weekend morning. But I do feel more confident and competent now, having gotten underway.

I’ve also been making pincushions. When we visited Erica’s a couple of weeks ago, I bought a stack of 5” squares of Moda fabric (Portugal by April Cornell). Erica’s had dozens of packages of fabric like this and it was really hard to pick just one. The squares are one each of each design and colorway in the series.

I’ve decided to give away one of the pincushions—this biscornu. Please leave a comment between now and next Monday (September 1) and I will draw one name to receive the pincushion. I’ve wanted to do a giveaway for a while now and this pincushion seemed perfect. The seams are overstitched with Portuguese knotted stem stitch.

I also did a little work on this month’s TIF challenge. I hope to have more to report later this week.


Jo in NZ said...

Ohh, I would love to receive your biscornu. I attempted one once.....we'll speak no more of it.

Anonymous said...

You do the most interesting things, the places you go, the things you create. Super!

terryb said...

When I was young (less than 8 years) my family would head for Washington Park (we just called it Michigan City, too) many Sundays. At that time, it was known as Silver Beach and the big attraction was the amusement park. There was a merry-go-round, roller coaster (I rode it once and I don't recall riding another one since), tilt-a-whirl, crack-the-whip, even a boat ride through a tunnel. There was also a room with carnival games and probably a bingo tent (I'm not sure, but that would have been my mother's and grandmother's preferred hangout). We would also spend time at the beach, have a picnic and visit the zoo. I only remember the monkey exhibit, but there may have been more animals than that. Zoos have upgraded a lot since those days.

Karol said...

Your biscornu are really great. The mc zoo is a nice place.

Jane said...

Hi Marj,
Is that the same zoo that has the otter exhibit with the underwater tunnel for kids?
I'd love to get the biscornu!

terryb said...

At the risk of overstaying my welcome, this was a really interesting post. EGA featured the Plimoth jacket project;is that how you connected with the sample stitching? Apparently, I never followed up by checking out their website.

I love the idea of using the 5" charm squares for the biscornu. These have really taken off in popularity. I find the idea of finishing such an unusual shape a bit intimidating. Was it difficult? One of our quilt shops is going out of business--I might have to make another trip to see what they have left.

MargB said...

I love your biscornu - they are lots of fun and yours is beautiful.
They are a tad addictive.
Hope you feel better soon

sarita said...

Oh that is lovely! I would love to be entered in your drawing cuz...I don't even own a pincushion...:(
Love your blog and your photos. thanks for sharing!