Friday, April 27, 2012

Gone Fishin

                 Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.

                                                                  ~Henry David Thoreau

This t-shirt was done for Katelyn, who loves to fish.  More than one weekend at the lake has passed with Katelyn being the only person to catch a fish. I am amazed at her patience and thrilled by her smile when she holds up her prize.

   The green t-shirt was ordered from an internet website and it is a little flimsier that the standard Target shirts that for some reason have been in short supply.  I like the lettuce edge detail on the sleeves and bottom, but wish I could have found some locally.  The design is from Planet Applique and I added her name through the software
The beauty of this little post is that my son, who took the photograph, is wise far beyond his years.  When his daughter asks,"Daddy, can we go fishing?"  the answer is yes whenever possible.  He figured out long ago that it was not the fish he was after.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring and Fall
 The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
               ~ Robert Frost

     I am working on 2 more little sweatshirt jackets, one for spring and one for fall,  one for Birmingham and one for Auckland, one for Katelyn and one for Issa.  They are a nice weight and easy to wear; and certainly fun to make.  Mae is enjoying hers already in Auckland, and I decided to do the last 2 jackets at the same time.  I need to get Katelyn's to her in Birmingham soon as there are probably not too many cool evenings left this spring.
     Katelyn's jacket is all ready to go.  She has a little dress in the white, pink and green fabric.  It leaves tomorrow for Birmingham and Spring.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. 
                                         ~Albert Camus


                                                                       ~ Issa's jacket will get in the mail soon to Auckland and Fall.  They seem to be wearing more sweaters when we Face Time, and Mandy says there is a new crispness to the air.  I just wish I had a little girl in Atlanta to try them on for me!

Friday, April 20, 2012

enjoy life

The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. 
 ~Allen Chalmers

Kathy must have a wonderful selection of dish towels.  She has just completed this one on her Bernina 830.  Her machine stitches so fast; I am sure it took her no time to do.   It is nice and large and easy to read.  She gets these designs from Embroitique, and stitches them out for friends and family.
But these designs have got me to thinking.  I have been making my own little list for several months, and I was thinking about asking my sister to just paint it out for me in her really cool handwriting.  But maybe I can put it through the software and stitch it out.
Feed the birds
Make ruffles
Feel the wind on your face
Play with your girlies
Pamper your hydrangeas
Ride your bike
That is just a start of my little list.  I have many more things that I need to remind myself to do to make sure that I enjoy this life with which I have been blessed.
So until I finish my list, and get it out of my heart and on to fabric,  I will do one of these sweet towels to take to the lake, hang in the kitchen, and remember to enjoy life.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Ballad of Barbara Allen

They buried her in the old churchyard    
They buried him in the choir

And from his grave grew a red red rose
From her grave a green briar.

They grew and grew to the steeple top
Till they could grow no higher
And there they twined in a true love's knot
Red rose around green briar.

     I love my sister Bethannne's paintings, and she texted this one to me today with a link to the folk song, Barbara Allen. It is a sad song , but it was interesting to read about its history and listen to some of the different versions on the internet.
       I have always wanted to try reproducing some of her images in fabric, so I thought I would give it a go with this painting.  I used her crow on the branch,  some of the leaves and the daisy on the left side of the painting.  I used Wonder Under and pressed it to some different colors of linen that came from my stash, and carefully cut out the crow, the white daisy petals, the daisy center and the green leaves.
     Using my #23 foot, the clear applique foot, I used a small zigzag to go around each little linen cut out.  I was going to just use a straight stitch and leave the edges raw, but since I had used linen I thought it would ravel too easily.  I loved the look of the black on the natural linen backing, with the small touches of color.
     My last step is to make some piping and sew up a little pillow.  A nice little surprise for Bethanne.

Look for Bethanne on Facebook, or go to her website, to see some of her interesting paintings.  She has a beautiful show now at Blue Spiral in Asheville, and her work can also be seen at  Leipers Creek Gallery in Franklin, Tennessee or Monty Stabler Gallery in Birmingham.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Drunkard's Path

A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.
                                               ~Author Unknown

     I have made it perfectly clear, by now, gentle friends, that I am not a quilter.  But I want to be!  A Bernina instructor came to the store today and showed us how to do these quick quilt blocks, and it was  fun!  The block is Drunkard's Path, and it can look very different depending on how you arrange your squares.  I had to spend a good portion of my time ripping out, my squares don't have perfect right angles, and I didn't finish, but I had a great time.
     Kathy cut our fabric for us, and we rotated machines to get
the benefit of sewing on different machines with different features.  It
was a great way to compare machines and  I got to use all those fun
decorative stitches
     I have ordered some fabric and with the support of my buddy Kathy, hopefully sometime in the not too distant future you will see some REAL quilt squares on Bibi Sews! 

This pitiful rendition will make a real quilter smile, but like I said during our little class....a room full of nice women and a sewing project, what's not to like?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another use for the Bernina Cut Work Accessory

   We have used the Bernina Cut Work Accessory before to do cut work on linen towels, and the results were pretty.  The concept is really amazing when you actually think about it....instead of a needle, you put the tool in your machine and it has a little blade that cuts out your design.  For these three projects, we used the punched out design as an applique, rather than focusing on the cut out portion of fabric.  The flower design was in the software,  I added the lettering with the Alice font.  The gingham tulip was cut out with the blade by just attaching my fabric to hooped Hydrostick.  The software tells you when to turn the blade to a different angle...1, 2, 3, 4...and then your design is all punched out.  You then attach your applique to the project, and complete the rest as a regular embroidery design.
Where flowers bloom, so does hope. ~ Lady Bird Johnson

         Kathy punched out the frog with the accessory
 and the software, and then applied it to a bib.  This design
used a straight stitch around the frog instead of a satin
stitch, and I like the effect. 
My last project was another applique; I used white linen on hydrostick and cut out the white portion of the design,  attached it to the linen towel with 505, and then completed the embroidery around it.  I like the result and plan to put the name of a friend under the Fleur de Lis.
The cutwork package is a little pricey, and it is nice to have a second option for its use.  If we get some samples done with free standing lace, I'll show you those!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen

Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time. ~Martin Luther

It is Easter morning, and I am doing what I have done for many many years.  Sewing buttons on a little dress.  I wonder how many grandmas and mommies and nannas and bibis are doing this very thing.  I would have done it last night, but I was tired.  But a cup of coffee, a sunrise, The Messiah playing softly and a needle in my hand make a great way to begin a day.
Happy Easter, dear friends.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bluebird of Happiness

I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.
~  Robert Le Gallienne

     I have made my 2 little songbird dresses without a little girl to try them on, so I am holding my breath in hopes that they will fit Katelyn and Sarah.  I had a dilemma with this dress, which is made from Children's Corner Louise, because I thought it needed a little something extra.  I did not have enough of the pink polka dot to make a sash, which would have been my first choice.  I just barely squeaked out enough piping for the armholes and neckline.  So I added a monogram using the last of my polka dot. I am still on the fence, I may like the simplicity of the dress without the monogram...but oh well,  Sarah is certainly going to know what letter her first name begins with! 
     And I really am going to start my paperwork, some sewing chores, and house cleaning later today...honest

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thank You Aunt Marge

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.  ~Leonardo DaVinci

     Tucked back in a corner of the cleanest and most organized basement I have ever had the pleasure to explore sat this little sewing machine .  I carefully dragged it over to the center of the room and lifted the lid.  I was thrilled.  It was a very old metal singer, in beautiful condition.  Barry, the sewing machine man at the Sewing Center has since told me it was a Singer 101. It does not have a belt; it is gear driven, and it is beautiful.  It does a straight stitch. That's it.  No zig zag, no decorative stitches, no reverse stitch.  A beautiful straight stitch.  The Singer lettering on the throat is worn off from years of gently raising it up to use.
     I remember when I was about 12, visiting Uncle Earl and Aunt Marge, and the absolute thrill of Marge's sister, Ann, making a dress for me on this machine.  It was a blue and white gingham shift with ruffles around the bottom, and it would actually be pretty much in style today.  I loved that dress and wore it out.
     I have been sewing little Sarah's songbird dress today, but I keep coming to the den and playing with my little Singer,  I have hemmed a pair of pants on it and it just hums along.  I have a feeling this little machine in it's pretty oak cabinet is going to give me years of pleasure.
And I am not a photographer, but thinking about simplicity  made me appreciate the view out of my kitchen window.  My rose bush is going crazy and I have a thing for rocks (don't ask me why) and this one lives on the window sill.  Simple things.