Sunday, December 16, 2012

Heal the Brokenhearted

Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys. 
    ~Madeleine L'Engle

Saturday, December 8, 2012

O Christmas Tree...

The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!
~Charles N. Barnard

I wanted to do something a little different than the usual red and green this year for my girls. My little kiwis are in white batiste from Christmas Past, so I just had my two Birmingham sweeties to sew for.  I let the design from Applique Corner dictate the colors.  The tree was whimsical, so I used lime green and red on a blue corduroy.  The little hanging star was embroidered with Gutterman gold metallic thread.  I slowed the machine down and didn't have a problem with the thread breaking.
For some reason both my Ipad and Iphone photograph the tree's fabric as yellow, when it is really a pretty bright green.
Happy Christmas sweet Katelyn and Sarah.  I hope they fit!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

STAY is a charming word in a friend’s vocabulary.
 ~ Louisa May Alcott

The time in New Zealand is coming to an end, and Mandy needed some parting gifts for a few of the many kind people she has met along the way. 1 Lilo's linen napkin with the brown ribbon comes from Embroidery Arts.  I couldn't find a font that I liked in the software, so I took the Middle M from the Empire font, then reduced the size of the other letters, using the middle option so that they did not lean.  She uses four letters, so I had to do a little research on ways to do a four letter monogram.  2.  Toni's towel is from Williams Sonoma, and I used a soft cotton on the bottom border.  The font is Art Deco from Embroidery Arts and is accented in bright blue and black.  3.  Jodene's towel is linen with a simple manuscript font from the Artista software.  I used a step fill on this one because of the size of the F.  4.  Hope's black linen towel is Empire, a long time favorite.  5.  I had to play around with the circle monogram.  Lorna is the her friend's  first name, but the L  did not look right on the left side of the circle.  I put her husband's name first, and the final effect is much more pleasing to the eye.

  I hate to see their adventure end, but I am so glad that they will be home soon.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sewing Under the influence

When the wine goes in, strange things come out.
            ~Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, The Piccolomini, 1799


I am not going to complain about being to busy to sew, because I am grateful for a full and happy life. When I get up in the morning I have every intention of finishing just one little project, but life seems to get in the way.  But Christmas is coming, and even though there is not time for 4 little smocked dresses this year, I can at least do little lined jumpers.

I wanted to do something a little different this year, and Kathy suggested I try turquoise and red; it is in many of the stores this year for Christmas.  I was in a rush, so was my answer.  I ordered a cute little snowman print for the lining and a soft pinwale corduroy for the body of the dress.
Long story short,  I was tired, I had a glass or two of wine, but I am getting worried about getting the dresses in the mail.  Nothing was on TV, so even though I usually sew in the morning, I went up to my little closet at 8 this evening.
My first problem was the lining. The little snowmen on the back lining are right side up, but the poor little guys on the front are all standing on their heads. I don't think Sarah will mind too much if her ling is upside down, so I forged ahead.
I sewed back to front, and as I began to attach it to the corduroy, I notitced I had SEWN UP THE WRONG SIDE.
I have learned that I am an early morning sewist rather than one who sews at 8 in the evening.  And from now on I will sew after a cup of tea rather than a glass of Kendall Jackson.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Birthday to Evelyn...

So mayst thou live, dear! many years,
                        In all the bliss that life endears,..
                            ~Thomas Hood, "To My Daughter, On Her Birthday"

This little Kiwi Girl has a birthday in April,

but Issa's little Kiwi Girlfriend has a birthday in November, and this is part of her present!  I knew that she liked pink, so I started gathering fabrics.  I liked the lacey pink pattern, and found a pink and white stripe to put with it.  Instead of a third fabric to accent,  I used a bit of preruffled eyelet from my stash in between the two fabrics. Baby rickrack in pink completed the gift.  The key to making this pillowcase is lining up your fabrics and trimming them to exactly the same size. 

For an accent to Evelyn's name, I put the little hearts. 
I wish lots of sweet Birthday dreams to little Evelynl!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Boy, n.: a noise with dirt on it. ~Not Your Average Dictionary

Kathy made this beautiful quilt, blanket and burp pad for little Tony's soon to be here little brother, Carter.
It is made out of the most beautifully soft fabrics;  they will feel so nice next to baby soft skin.  The blanket above is a quilted blanket with flannel on one side, and Minkey on the back.  Her bias bindings are always so neat.  The burp bad is edged in the flannel, with the boy definition  embroidered on it in matching thread.  These are really cute, but the fun part is this quilt! 

The fabric on the top of the quilt is a soft polka dot, and she appliqued a "to do" list for a new baby boy!  She added his initials in the top right hand corner.  Again she has a perfect binding, and the quilt is backed with a soft dimpled orange Minkey.  Kathy used the Crown Jewel to quilt her little blanket, and she used a new swirly design that you just can't see in this photograph.  Lucky little Carter James!

Friday, October 5, 2012

New Zealand is not a small country but a large village.        ~Peter Jackson
I think I'm in love.
I love the scenic beauty,  I love the fresh food that you can get in all the tiny restaurants and coffee shops,  I love the people, I love the ocean with all the little bays,  I love the solitary feeling you can get strolling on the beach, and I love the ice cream.  It is like nothing I have ever tasted.  I loved the south island with it's mountains, lakes and sheep.  I love the fresh air and the wind.  I do love New Zealand.

Today we took the ferry from downtown Auckland to Devonport and did a little shopping.  I should say I did some shopping;  the rest of the family did some sightseeing, then went to the playground and the library.

In Cushlas's Village Fabrics in Devonport, I found the most beautiful selection of patterns and fabrics.  It was difficult to make a selection and be on my way.  I finally settled on the cute little sheep for pillowcases for the girls.  Mandy snapped this photo as I entered the shop ; I think they all knew that I would be occupied for awhile.

This country is only missing the rest of my family, my friends, and my Bernina.   Give me those, and I could be perfectly happy here.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kathy's Spooky towel

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-legged beasties
And things that go bump in the night
Good Lord, deliver us!
                            ~Scottish saying

Bibi isn't sewing these days, but Kathy is sewing up a storm!  She has been on a search for weeks for black kitchen towels, and I believe this one was the last one from her stash.  So kind readers, if you know where we can find them, please let us know!
Her design came from Embroitique, one of our favorite sites.  Every time I see one of these, I think it would be so much fun to make one through my Artista software, but when it gets right down to it, it is a dad gummed whole lot of work!  These designs are digitized so well, and stitch out so nicely, I am afraid I could not get the same result on my own.
Her last touch was to add a cute polka dot grosgrain ribbon along the bottom of the towel.
And if you think about it, it is REALLY spooky that she can stitch this towel in Atlanta, and send it to me on the other side of the world, and I can put it on a blog!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Its time for tea!

           A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

I have finished Mandy's second tea cozy.  Those Kiwis have morning and afternoon tea, so she needed a morning and afternoon tea cozy.  This cozy was made from a pattern called  Tea and Cupcakes,  and it included the pattern and instructions for the oversized Cupcake Tea Cozy.  The pattern is from Tique Productions in Arizona.The finished size is about 10" by 13", but you can use it for fancy, regular, or Brown Betty tea pots.  I think the girls will like the cupcake!
The directions are easy to follow, and they even give you instructions for preparing a proper pot of tea!

I did not line these napkins, I used a rotary cutter to cut 13 " squares, and then did a double hem with mitered corners.  You just cut the corners off at a 45 degree angle, and then fold the corners so that they meet, then topstitch.
My last little touch was to add a YoYo to the top of the cozy, where the pink ribbon is attached.  You just cut a circle, larger than the size needed for your yoyo, and do a running stitch by hand about an eighth of an inch from the edge.  I did not turn the edges under because  I knew the button was going to be on top.  After you do the running stitch, just gather it up and flatten it into shape.  If I were doing lots of yoyos, I would do a basting stitch on the machine.  Before too long, I will be having morning and afternoon tea with 2 precious girls with Kiwi accents.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Good Morning Sunshine!

I had a little tea party
This afternoon at three.

Twas very small,
Three guests in all,
Just I, Myself and Me.

Myself ate up the sandwiches.
I drank up the tea.
Twas also I who ate the pie,
And passed the cake to me.

I made this second tea cozy using the Bernina Circular Tool.
  I didn't have a pattern , so I just measured the length and height of my teapot , then made a guestimate.  I knew I wanted a big sunshine on the blue polka dot , so I used a bright yellow cotton to accent the blue , cut a square large enough for the sun, and attached the tool to the freearm of my machine.  You almost don't need to look at the directions.  You stick the center of your fabric through the pin, put the plastic top on it so you don't stick yourself, and choose a decorative stitch.  IT SEWS IN CIRCLES!  Perfect little circles.  It reminds you of using a compass like you did in Jr. High. 

After I had done my sun, and cut it to the size I wanted, I attached it to the blue usinig a little blanket stitch. I used pieces of rick-rack for the rays of the sun, and decided to let them go wild and not attach the ends.  My cloud is a biece of batting.  Now I was ready to cut out the cozy.
I just drew the shape out on tissue paper, folding it in half so it would at least be symmetrical.  I cut two blue polka dots, two bright yellow linings, 2 layers of Insul-Brite, 2 layers of Warm and Natural batting.  You layer the insulated Insul-Brite on the bottom  (it will be closest to your warm object), then a layer of batting, then the blue polka dot on top.  I basted the layers together because they were so bulky, then sewed  the two sandwiches right sides together, leaving the bottom open.  I put a little piece of yellow and white ribbon inbetween the layers.  Now sew the lining, right sides together leaving about 2 inches open to turn it, and stuff it inside the cozy, right sides together because you haven't turned your cozy yet.
Stitch the circle around the bottoms of the cozy and lining, pull the lining out and turn it through your opening.  I stitched in the ditch after pressing the cozy on my ham, and left a half inch trim along the bottom.
I fancied up my napkins a bit by lining them, monogramming, top stitching and addig some baby rick-rack.
Time for a tea party!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

September Song

There are flowers enough in the summertime,

More flowers than I can remember—
But none with the purple, gold, and red
That dyes the flowers of September!
                     ~Mary Howett  1799-1888

      It is hard to believe that September is already here.
      I spent the weekend with my little Birmingham girls, and Rachel had a PLAIN white t-shirt in Sarah's size.  We certainly couldn't have that, so I brought it home to jazz it up a little.
      The design of the little Teddy Bear came from a Sew Many Designs CD.  I moved the leaves around a little bit; there were 4 in the original design and they were spaced further away from the bear.  I deleted one with my Artista software, then scooted the remaining leaves a little closer to the bear so that the design would fit in my medium hoop.   I had to add sarah bear under the design in Child's Play; I heard that little endearment more than once this weekend from her Daddy and Mommy.  The design took a little while to stitch out; I had reduced the size and so the applique was a little more difficult to trim.
I used polymesh stabilizer behind the t shirt, added a layer of tear-away under the hoop, and solvy on top of the shirt.

My September Song this weekend turned out to be Twinkle,Twinkle Little Star, Sarah's current bedtime lullaby of choice.  And I can't imagine a more wonderful way to spend a Saturday night.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mandy's morning tea


There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.               ~ Henry James    The Portrait of a Lady

 I can honestly say that my New Zealand girls are truly enjoying their morning and afternoon teas.  Everyone stops what they are doing, and takes time to sit down and enjoy a bite to eat.  I know that they often have tea for their morning tea, but the afternoon tea is usually a light snack;  I have just facetimed with them and they were having pita chips and hummus, with water to drink.  Issa often drinks Chammomile tea while we are chatting.

Mandy wanted a tea cozy, and I saw this pattern and thought it was the cutest thing.  I will give the details of the pattern on my next post, because this little cozy needs to be fixed!  I was very careful as I marked the pink bottom of the cupcake to embroider...Mandy's Morning Tea.  It was just right, nice and straight.  That is until I atttached the top of the cupcake, I wasn't watching to keep the bottom even.  I didn't even notice until I took the photograph.  

Tomorrow I will pull the cozy through its lining, rip out the bottom seam, trim the cozy so it is even with the lettering, and reattach the lining to the body of the cozy.

Thats my plan!                          

Sunday, August 19, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten

 Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.
                      ~William Butler Yeats

     This little girl is so ready for her first day of Kindergarten.  She needed a towel for rest time, with her name on it of course.  
     The  project started out easy enough.   I went to Five Star Fonts,  purchased the Sassy applique font,  and brought it into my software.  I wanted the name large across the top of the towel, so I used my mega hoop. I did this towel like I have done so many others, hooping only my stabilizer and very carefully centering the towel on top with 505.  The machine stitched out  the placement and tack down straight stitches.  So far so good.  I removed the hoop and trimmed up the letters, and this is where everything fell apart.
     As I put the hoop back on for it to satin stitch around the letters, the satin stitch was a good half inch below my underlay; a result of shifting when I cut out my letters.  Oh No!  The only way to salvage my project was to go to my sewing side of the machine and manually  zigzag around each letter...the old fashioned way.  Not at all neat or even, but the letters are on there!
     My only consolation is the fact that Kindergarteners only nap until December.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Nite Nite Jonah

Fatigue is the best pillow. ~Benjamen Franklin

This pillow is for sweet little Jonah, who lives in Birmingham.  His
room is decorated in primary colors, and we had a blue dish towel at the store,  so I thought this was an easy way to do a quick gift.

   I fiinally bought the Designer Plus version of the Artista software! This is my first project, and I love how easy the lettering was to do.  I am not sure of the font that I used,  I think it may be London, but I just typed in his name and enlarged it.  I changed both the fill stitch  and the underlay to a step stitch, since I enlarged the name a good bit.  Then it was as simple as going to the icons on the left, clicking on the Outline Tool, and choosing a triple straight stitch.  There is a box to check for Outline Holes, and I had to go back and check that because the inside of the O and A did not get the outline on my first attempt.

Jonah's little sister, Julie, gets the next pillow.  I hope to finish it soon!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

1949 was a very good year 

 It is time, gentle friends, to tell you why there are no new sewing projects on my blog.  It is time to come clean.  I have had either a sink full of dirty dishes, or my beds were unmade.  My only dress is in the dry cleaners.  I cannot find my French Chalk, and my hair is a total wreck.  My husband is here all the time, so at least I do not have to constantly worry that he will come home.  When I get neatly put together, and find a lipstick and powder, perhaps I will get back to my Bernina where I belong.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea.  It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it who makes a difference. ~ Nolan Bushnell

           I bought this shower curtain off the sale shelf at Restoration Hardware.  It has been hanging in my bathroom for quite some time, and I stared at the large expanse of unembellished cotton every morning and thought..."I really should put a monogram on that."

So I finally did it.  I used the Empire font from Embroidery Arts.  I used the measuring tool and could see that especially when I enlarged the letters,  the B was a good bit smaller.  So I enlarged it in the software and sent it to the computer.  The fun part was using the Bernina 830 to do the stitching.  Even with that fast machine, it took 95 minutes to stitch out.  I used 2 layers of Stitch and Tear;  I hooped one with the curtain and then slid the other layer under the hoop.

And if I don't get the chance to sew soon,  I will have to change my blog to Bibi Embroiders rather than Bibi Sews.  There just are NOT enough hours in the day.
 And I think I'll put a notepad and pen in my bathroom for all of those fabulous ideas that I am obviously forgetting.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bibi Doesn't Quilt

Those who sleep under a quilt, sleep under a blanket of love. ~ Author Unknown
                                    If there is a sweeter gift for a precious one year old granddaughter, I honestly can't think of it.  Little sweet cheeks lives several states away, and grandma lives here in the sunny south.  This beautiful quilt was not entrusted to the baggage handlers on the airlines, but carefully flew to its destination safely in grandmas lap. 
Kathy did the blocks on her 830, so they did not take quite as long to stitch out as they would have on any of the other Berninas.  Her choice of fabrics is beautiful, and the colors are perfect girly colors.  Kathy does many, many quilts and I am amazed at the speed with which they are finished.  This one she quilted on the Crown Jewel and it was fun to watch her control the arm in gentle swirls on her quilt.  She uses Warm and White batting, and for an extra soft backing, she has a fun and bright and extra cuddly minkey.
She appliqued Happy Birthday Avery across the top, and the birth date across the bottom of the quilt.  For an extra girly touch, she scalloped the edge of the quilt and bound it.  And if you look carefully, you can see a bumblebee appliqued in the lower right; Avery's birthday party had a bumblebee theme!
I can picture Avery watching Saturday morning cartoons wrapped up in Grandma's quilt, snuggled in her room with it as a teen, and taking it off to college someday. 
Happy, happy birthday, sweet little girl!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ribbons for her hair

                              Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons. ~ Ruth Ann Schabacke  

Mae Mae wanted some new ribbons.  Her school colors are navy blue and burgundy, and she wanted  ribbons with her name on them.  I used one inch navy ribbon and the Tinkertoy font.  it is difficult to embroider grosgrain ribbon because it just wants to wave after it is stitched. 

I used the measuring feature on the Artista software for the first time and couldn't believe how helpful it was.  I brought my letters in one at a time, then hit control D to duplicate them.  I knew my ribbon was one inch wide, so I hit the m key and left clicked, then moved the cursor slowly to the other side of the M and clicked, Lo and Behold, the M was 31.2 mm, so I knew it was not going to fit on the ribbon.  I changed the size until I got under 25.0 mm and I got my name large enough to read.  I had saved the little heart  to add to her name and I was ready to send it to the machine.
I have found, that when stitching on grosgrain ribbon, the right stabilizer is essential.  Or is should say stabilizers;  I used aquamesh stabilizer, hooped it, then sprayed it with 505 and laid both ends of the ribbon in the hoop, side by side.  I slid an extra layer of aquamesh under the hoop, and a layer of solvy on top of the ribbon.  I was ready to stitch away.  After pressing the ribbons on the wrong side, into a terry cloth towel, I was pleased with the results.
I was able to hold my ipad up to the computer as I was Face Timing this evening, and Mae Mae approved.  I can't wait to get a picture of the ribbons bouncing along beside a curly brown pony tail!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Christmas in July

People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
                      ~Anton Chekhov

     We are having Christmas in July at the store, and everyone was asked to make some samples.  So I looked in my stash to see what was there, and found these two little aprons left over from Issa's birthday party.  I found them at Michael's last spring.
After thinking about it, I decided to check with Mandy and see if she needed Christmas gifts for any little friends in New Zealand.  While I am on a roll I will check with my Birmingham sweeties, too, because I have a couple more aprons left.  The little gingerbread girl design came from Planet Applique;  the font is Sugar and Spice.  I used chenille rickrack around the binding.  One apron is trimmed in dark pink, the other in red.  It is difficult to see the little black eyes on the brown corduroy;  I should have used a golden brown.

 Now wouldn't it be nice to keep my momentum going and make some more Christmas gifts?  It is not in my nature to plan ahead so far,  so we shall see if it is indeed Christmas in July in the little Sewing Closet upstairs!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Splish, Splash

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

     I hope this towel will make Linda smile as she dries off after her showers on these hot summer days.  I used the Marleigh font from Embroitique.  If I downloaded the directions, I couldn't find them, so I had to kind of feel my way around as I stitched it out. 
      It is a raggy font, so I used two layers of fabric for the applique, a soft pink flannel underneath and the darker pink polka dot on top.  On the first run through of stitching, it did a straight stitch.  I laid down my fabrics, and on the second run through, it did a very tight straight stitch. I then cut it out along the straight stitch, leaving about an eighth of an inch around the sraight stitchiing.  The last stitch out was a pretty stitch, not a zig zag, but almost a small feather stitch.  Then I  I took my springloaded snips that I used for rag quilting and clipped the letter around, being careful not to go through the straight stitching.  Finally I ran the side of my scissors along the edge to rag it.