Thursday, May 31, 2012

The waves on the shore are playing, playing
The flowers in the breeze are swaying, swaying,
The whole wide world is out a Maying.
                          ~ Abba Gold Woolson

Its the end of what has been a beautiful month.  And it is time to think of people we care about and  make little gifts for them.  We love these designs from Embroitique.  Kathy chose the Happy Birthday for a sweet daughter in law in Texas;  I chose the Live Happy design for kind neighbors at the lake.
Now I think Kathy was really clever in the way she did her lettering.  The design came with just HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Using her Artista Software, Kathy took the B, the R, and the from the design then found an e and N from other fonts that fit.  June 14 is done in Curlz.  How cute is that?  She trimmed the bottom with  chennille rick rack and the result is a nice little surprise for Berni.

My towel for the Shivers is also an Embroitique design.  I added the Shivers name at the bottom, and trimmed it out with some bright rick rack and ball fringe.  I stitched it out on the 830 Jumbo Hoop; it was quick and would have taken alot longer on my little 200.

 So June is almost here, and I have some fun little dresses to make for Sarah.  I am looking forward to having some time to sew tomorrow.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Twirly Girlie

Dance till the stars come down from the rafters. 
 Dance, Dance, Dance till you drop.
                                                                    ~W.H. Auden

Is there a little girl who doesn't love a twirly skirt? I got this dance when I asked to photograph our skirt this morning at the lake.

  I used the same number of squares that I did for Issa's skirt, 7 for the first row, 11 for the second, 16 for the third.  I serged them together with the trusty White serger.  My only regret is that I forgot to pipe between the three rows.  I think it might have been really a pretty touch.  I added a row of  binding at the bottom, cutting a strip 2 inches wide, folding one side under and pressing it, then stitching it to the skirt, right side of binding to wrong side of skirt.  For the waistband, I added a strip of coordinating fabric for the inside of the skirt, then ran 22inches of 1 inch elastic.
The iron at the lake is at least twenty years old, so the little skirt didn't get the pressing that it needed.  I don't think Katelyn will mind too much.
Dance, Katelyn, Dance!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A donkey or a Horse?

Listen to the donkey at the break of day,
If you do not feed him this is what he'll say...

Katelyn LOVES horses.  I searched Joann's, Hancock's, and  This was the only really cute fabric that I could find for her pillowcase.  I loved the boots, and I thought if you squinted your eyes a little, and stood back, and were just 5 years old, maybe this cute booted animal could pass for a horse.  What do you think?

I am afraid that Katelyn won't be fooled, but I hope she likes her new pillowcase, regardless.  And I have to admit, I am becoming a believer.  The old White serger is sitting  in my little sewing closet, taking up space but earning its keep.  I zipped this little pillowcase up in NO time.  It was SOOO easy and fast.  I embroidered her message using the St. Charles font, added extra underlay to it, then pressed and serged.  It is actually quite an amazing machine!   I have almost finished Katelyn's little skirt, I hope I will get to try it on her soon.  The little squares were so easy to get together on the serger.   All this from ME, I have to admit, the serger snob.  But it has a place in my sewing room to stay!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tea for Two

A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards.
                                                      ~ A. A. Milne


I love the thought of sitting down with Issa and having a cup of tea .  In New Zealand, at school in the morning, they don't have a snack, they have Morning Tea.  When we face time late at night, she has just come home from school to a cup of chamomile tea with honey for her Afternoon Tea.  Sometimes I make a cup for myself  and we have tea together.

I was so happy to find this Michael Miller fabric on  I knew that it would make the perfect pillowcase for Sweet Issa.
So I measured the body of my fabric 27 inches long, the cuff nine inches and the little accent strip 1 and 1/2 inches.  I then laid them out on my cutting mat, one on top of the other and evened the widths all perfectly the same with a rotary cutter.  I sewed up the side seams to make 3 fabric circles, and then sewed up the end of the body of the pillowcase.

In this photo, I have all 3 pieces of fabric layered together, the body, the accent strip which is in between the body and the cuff, and the polka dot cuff, which is on top.  I finished the seams with a zig zag.  (I did not use my serger because it had dark thread in it!)
I miss my all of my girlies when they aren't here with me,  but honestly my Proper Tea  with Issa at midnight is the perfect ending to my day.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ruffles, but no ridges

 I love this fun little pillow.  We did it duriing a Bernina training session at the store, and it was quick and easy to do.
     We used  Hoffman's Bali Pops, and sewed yards and yards and yards of them together.  The next step was to fold the strip in half lengthwise and press, then we ran them through the ruffler, which was sooo easy.  We set the ruffler to stitch every 6th stitch and with the screw in front of the attachment, we backed off the depth of the little pleat.  Then we attached it to the front of our pillow top (cut to an 18 by 18 inch square) beginning at the outside edge, slowly going around our pre drawn circle,  spiriling in toward the center.  We tried to barely cover the stitching line of the previous row, not pulling it too tight.  As we approached the center, we especially made our circles a little looser so that it wouldn't pull up in the center.
     You can't see from the photograph, but we stippled the four corners of the pillow top;  we had made a sandwich with the two 18 by 18 inch squares and Warm and Natural batting.  The back of the pillow is  two 17 by 24 inch pieces that we folded back to overlap; we added 3 buttons and buttonholes for the closure.
   I am anxious to try this pillow with muslin, maybe even not not folding the ruffle lengthwise, but letting it fray with a raw edge.  I will just have to play around with it a little to see what I like

Monday, May 14, 2012

Grandma and Bibi love

Between the earth and the sky above,
Nothing can match a grandmother's love. 

 I have to get some photography AND computer skills.  You can barely see Alex's pillowcase, and it is so cute.  The font is the London font from the Artista software and Kathy changed the fill stitch.  It is a really pretty effect but you can't see it from the photograph.  Her fabric, like mine, is probably from  The Happy Birthday print is covered with balloons and is precious.

Mae's pillowcase was snakebit from the beginning.  It started out with tea party fabric, but I obviously did not follow the old adage, measure twice, cut once.  Oops.  That fabric is destined to be something other than a pillowcase.

Now the pillowcase is mermaids, but it is in Mae's favorite purple so that was just fine.  I must not have been careful with my seam allowances because I had difficulty fitting the cuff to the body of the pillowcase, and I had to ease all the way around stitching it together.  I used the #12 foot to attach the rickrack and the trim to the cuff.  I was halfway through stitching the applique  letters when I bumped the embroidery module with my elbow and knocked everything off about a half inch.  I tried setting back up with the needle unthreaded to no avail.  So I just did a fairly tight zigzag around the letters with the sewing side of my machine and it worked just fine.  I used 2 layers of cotton under my pique applique because the print did show through the lettering.  The trim is a rainbow rickrack that I turned over because I needed white, and the piping was an experiment.  I think next time I will just use the flat trim that Kathy uses in between the cuff and the body of the pillowcase.  I have a couple more pillowcase surprises for my girlies, so I am headed back up to my sewing closet!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing. ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987 
I am so happy celebrating Mother's Day today,  honestly what is more heartwarming than talking to my grandgirlies, with their sweet mommies in the background?  Both Mandy and Rachel are wonderful mothers.
Now for my latest project!
I made these little corduroy pants for Miss Mae.  They have a long journey to make in a little box, and I hope they fit her!

Mae is a child after her Bibi's own heart...she likes for her clothes to FEEL GOOD!  The corduroy is soft, the one inch elastic at the waist is not too tight, and the facing on the waistband is a soft cotton with only one little seam. I actually had to add it to get some extra length, but I think it adds a little pizazz to the pants. So lets hope they fit and that she enjoys wearing them.
I made the pants from the updated Charlotte Pattern from the Children's Corner.  I added the ruffle and a little piping, too, so that it would have a little more finished look.  The patch pocket on the back has the same ruffle and piping, with an M in the sugar and spice font.

 Happy Mother's Day girlfriends! 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Comfort of Memories

Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.  
               ~ L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

This little pillow has been on my mental To Do list for a  long time.  The silhouettes were done by Kay Hogue , in 1981, at the now gone Rich's department store that most Atlantans still fondly remember.  I recall standing  beside Mandy and Brent watching them sit very very still as Ms. Hogue carefully cut their images from black paper.  They have hung on the walls in my den, living room, bedroom, and hallway.  They are dear to me and still make me smile.

I finally figured out a low tech way to reproduce the image and enlarge it a little bit.  I just took a photo of it on my ipad, and even I could figure out how to enlarge it!  I put a piece of typing paper on top and  lightly traced the outline with a pencil.  Just like I used to do as a teacher with an old overhead projector!  No scanners or computers to figure out!
The rest was easy.  I used  Woner Under on the back of the black linen and carefully cut it out with my sharpest little scissors.  I pressed it to the natural oatmeal linen and stitched around it using a small zigzag stitch.  I didn't want a satin stitch, and even though I like a blanket stitch, after several trials I decided on the open zigzag.
I made my piping from a larger piece of cording that was in my sewing room.  The only foot that would allow me to stitch close to it was the zipper foot, then I trimmed it and attatched it to the top of the pillow matching raw edges.  I added Brent's name and the year to the bottom back in black thread using the St. Charles font, and put my by BiBi label on the right side.  I stitched the enclosures with the #5 blind hem foot, and I need to add a few buttons and buttonholes to the back and Voila!  All done!
When I showed the pillow to Mandy while we were FaceTiming, her response was the 5 year old Mandy's response and I laughed out loud..."Why didn't you do me first?"
I  have many fond memories of their childhood days.