Tuesday, April 26, 2011

He Is Risen Indeed

So Easter morning found us on the lake, at the beautiful Church in the Pines and not with our Birmingham girls or our Atlanta girls. If we couldn't be with any of our girlies on Easter morning, this is where we wanted to be. Joe and I skied here when we were dating. Brent and Rachel were married here. Our family gathers here. I find solace here. And nothing makes us happier than when family and friends join us for a visit here.
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I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those photos that will make Issa cringe when she is 13, but I love the gap toothed grimace. And Mae is thrilled to be in her purple and lime green rather than anything heirloom. Katelyn and Sarah sang their Allelujahs in Birmingham; we may not have been together, but it could not have been a more joyous morning.

Monday, April 25, 2011

TV face

Here is Mae on Saturday morning, before she has seen a hairbrush and while she is intent on Boots and Dora Dora Dora the Expolorer!
Katelyn was not yet 4, and we wanted to applique a t shirt for her, so I chose this design from one that we found on the internet, from digistitches. It was quick to stitch, and I have 3 more to do in the next few weeks because my 4 little girls were all born in April and May.

I will have to check with my applique experts at the ASC. I did not notice so much while it was on Mae, but the photograph shows how the green gingham shows through the pink on the 4. I am guessing I should have put an interfacing behind the pink gingham.

Live and learn!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Connected by a skirt!

This was so exciting!
A follower...Burt Designs...liked the little skirt that I made for Issa and she posted a comment with an address to see the skirt that she made for her daughter. I tried it with no success until it occurred to me to copy and paste the address. Voila! The most precious little girl in another "Hoopla" skirt. It is in the comment box for the skirt of many colors post if you want to see it. I loved the little daisy trim and the strip at the bottom of the skirt. I'm wondering if it is a bias strip?

Little Gifts

I personalized 4 of these smaller market baskets for the girls and filled them with Easter goodies. (Except for Sarah, who will get get a baggie of cheerios.)

I used the curlz font and didn't worry about keeping my letters on a line, and I like the way they turned out. But the fun part was after I embroidered them. Issa and Mae were in my sewing room helping, and Issa asked if she could take the white stuff off the back of the design. I handed her my purple "thang" and she went to work. I was seated at my machine and glanced over and smiled; she was so intent on her task, and it made the sweetest photograph. She did an excellent job, getting even the smallest pieces of stabilizer from the inside of Katelyn's basket.

Behind Issa, you can see hanging on the wall a sample that Kathleen made for me of various serger stitches. I used her Bernina serger for the little skirt a few weeks ago, and it is nice to have a sampling available to see the different finishes that a serger will do.

So my little gifts in this post aren't the baskets. They are the time spent with my girls in my sewing room, my serger sampler on the wall, and my sweet friends who do nice little things for meet just because.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hand look quilt stitches

I understand once again that this is not the best photograph in the world, but I am so excited about this technique/stitch. I had been looking at a machine at the Atlanta Sewing Center that stitches only a hand look stitch, and it is quite expensive considering its limited ability. But I loved the stitch. A customer recently visited the store asking about the stitch, showing it to me in her machine manual and she wanted to know how to do it. We sat down at a machine, got a swatch with some batting, read the directions and stitched away. WHO KNEW? It looks like a little old lady sat down and stitched a running stitch by hand. We increased the upper tension to about 7, used monofilament thread (the one that looks like fishing line), used a 50 weight thread in the bobbin and stitch number 149 on the Bernina 430. On the 200 it is stitch number 328. This would be so pretty around the sleeve of a onsie, but our sewing gurus at the store thought it would not have the necessary give for a t-shirt fabric; I think they may be right. It would look great around the edge of a primitive look applique. I can't wait to find a place to use it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Katelyn's super secret playhouse

Under the willow tree in her back yard, Katelyn and I like to spread out a blanket and read. It is enclosed and we feel like we are hiding away from the rest of the world. She calls it her Super Secret Playhouse. Today we read Strawberry Shortcake stories and ate peanut butter cookies. She wore her new dress and it is the same Children's Corner Charlotte pattern that I made Issa in the pastel polka dot. This pretty fabric reminded me of Rachel and Katelyn the minute I saw it at Children's Corner in Nashville. It looks absolutely precious on her ( no boots today). I like the length, but as those legs get longer this summer, Rachel has some pink shorter leggings that will look great too. I had such a fun day with my Birmingham Girls. A little fever for her turned into unexpected treat for me!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

woo hoo!

Mae chose the color. As she watched Issa model the hailspot voille white and cream dress, she announced "I want Purple!" It took some time to find purple fabric that I liked; I lined it in lime green and found them both at Hancock's Fabrics in Decatur.

The dress has been made twice. The first time it had darts in the back, making it slightly fitted. Wonderful darts using Carol Harris's method of stitching next to a sheet of paper, reaching the end point, then lifting the presser foot slightly and stitchine a few stitches inside the dart. It had wonderful french seams, it had a placket facing the right direction .
Then I tried it on Mae.

Oh no! Mandy wanted me to add one inch strips of fabric down the side. NEVER! All I could do was detach the gathered skirt, remove the piping, take out the darts and re do the placket. So that is what I did, and now it fits. In my haste I put the placket in perfectly backwards. I decided to let it stay that way.

So this morning I went to the patio, and under the watchful eye of St. Joseph drank my coffee, whipped down the bodice lining, and hemmed it. Not exactly the dress as I had planned it, but I think Miss Mae is completely happy with her purple dress.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mae models Katelyn's dress

Here is Katelyn's version of Children's Corner Charlotte. I used pink gingham to line it, pink rick rack down the front, and little pink buttons.
I miss my birminham girls so much. This little dress just needed a smiling face, so I had Mae try it on for me. I hope the length is all right; I made it a little shorter since it had a little bit of a swing to it. Mae's special touch is faux suede boots. She came in today wearing those with shorts and a tube top. Mandy let her choose her clothes; I guess this is her answer to that difficult time between seasons!

The big smile is because she was showing me that she could button "All by myself!"

Katelyn, I hope you like your new dress! (you might try wearing it with sandles)

Monday, April 4, 2011

A preview of Katelyn's new dress

It was a rare moment of demonstrated affection, but I was so happy to catch it on my camera! Issa's polka dot dress is from last spring, made from Children's Corner Charlotte, and it is lined with a soft pink gingham. I love the little angel sleeve and it has a tiny pocket on her right side. I am going to use this pattern for Katelyn this spring; the dress is cut out and on my sewing machine right now. Barbara at the Atlanta Sewing Center shared a tip with me last spring when I was having trouble with the pocket. I added rick rack to the top of the pocket then used a piece of solvy to stitch around it. Then I just put a slit in the middle of the solvy, turned it on the stitch line, and had a perfectly rounded bottom! Who knew? But then with a lifetime of sewing, Barbara is full of useful little sewing ideas.

He loves me...he loves me not...

This romper was made from a Children's Corner pattern, Hank and Helen. The soft blue cotton seems to be so comfortable, and I loved the little ribbon flower. The stem is made from two pieces of rick rack intertwined with each other, the leaves are gingham applique, and the flower is a button with with little petals made from yellow grosgrain ribbon. TRUE CONFESSION: Yes, this romper is precious, and NO, I did not make it! It was a sample hanging on the rack at Sweet Treasures and when I calculated the expense of the fabric and the pattern, it was well worth the price on the tag! Also, the sweet lady who helped me had made the romper, and had cut out some of the fullness through the hips. I think this was a great idea; if you look at the pattern online it is very full.

We had quite a discussion after Issa asked where the rest of the petals were, and I told her that someone must have been playing He loves me, He loves me not. So of course we had to pick some azalea blossoms, and recite it for both of the girls. When Issa's azalea ended in He Loves Me, we got a shy smile, but when Mae's ended she laughed out loud and shouted "Anfony!"

Button, button...

Another fun project to do with our Bernina! Leann saw these in an embroidery shop, stitched out some designs and had a button maker make them for her. The 3 inch buttons, the H and the D, are mirrors on the back, and would be perfect in one of the zippy bags as a gift. The 2 inch G button is for Game Day next fall at UGA. The bag tag is just ribbon with interfacing, a large grommet and a ribbon to tie it to your luggage. So many projects...so little time~

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A skirt of many colors

I found another great shop for fabric for children's clothing...Sweet Treasures in Columbus, Georgia. It was a little off my beaten path to the lake, but well worth the detour! I made this precious skirt from 4 inch squares in a Hoopla packet from MODA. The little skirt in the shop was done in pastels, but the primary color packet was left...so I decided to try it! The skirt was made by placing the squares into 3 rows; first 7, then 11, then 16. I matched up the squares as directed, trying to match at least one color in a block to its neighbor. Since I haven't ever threaded my serger, I went to Kathleen's and used her Bernina serger. Got those blocks sewn together in a minute. (I may have to rethink the serger thing.) It was just a matter of gathering the strips and sewing them together. I added a white facing to the inside of the casing so that I would have a little extra length. The skirt in the shop had a bias strip along the bottom, but since I did not have a coordinating fabric in my stash I just added a larger white rick rack at the hem.
Issa modeled the skirt for me before it was completed; I needed to adjust the elastic in the waist a tad, and finished it off with the rick rack hem. She doesn't look exactly overjoyed, but I am sure she is going to love this little skirt!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

sweet baby kayla

Precious baby Kayla has been vacationing in the islands this week, and I wanted to have a new little onesie for her to wear on her return to cooler temperatures. The little duck came out nicely, but I wish I had used a darker pink for the lettering. Overall, though, it looks sweet. A onesie is one of my least favorite pieces to embroider. I used a soft beige cut away as a stabilizer, and added a second layer behind the first. I almost forgot the solvy on top, but was able to add it after I began stitching. Finally, I cut a small oval of Floriani Dreamweave and pressed it to the back of the design to be soft next to Kayla's tender skin. Hope I get a picture of her in it!