I’ve been making acres of ruffles. I have the punctured fingertips to prove it.

The ruffles are part of a wedding dress project I’ve been entrusted with. No, I didn’t make the dress, but I’m using raw silk and vintage lace to embellish it. The silk is new and the lace is the veil of the mother of the bride. She gave the okay to cut it, but that first snip was accompanied by a little gasp. After that it was easier. © Sue Schlabach

I wouldn’t dare show what I’m making before the bride—who will become my sister-in-law—has completed her walk down the aisle (in early June). But I’ve enjoyed photographing the process and like the abstract sculptural feel these ruffles have.

In February I went with my daughter’s class to the Billings Farm to experience a day in the 1890s. The kids learned to clean a barn stall, make butter, do laundry and make their lunch.

The last thing they learned was how to sew two quilt patches together. I sat in the circle and sewed a patch too. I hadn’t hand stitched anything in awhile, but still the needle and thread felt good in my hands. I helped the kids thread their needles and get started–watching both boys and girls doing their best to make it to the end of their six inch strip without a mishap.

Making small even stitches isn’t so important for ruffles, though I’m taking extra care for this special purpose. Even with a new millenium sewing machine, I still like what happens with a simple needle and thread and 36″ of bias-cut silk.

Magic every time.