Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Lesson in Mindfulness

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~ Dalai Lama
This towel was going to be a gift for the kind woman, Cheryl Wilfong, who introduced me to meditation at a time when I needed it most.  She shared her skill and loving kindness each morning and afternoon with a small group of appreciative vacationers.
I wanted to do a word block with some of the phrases that she used during her guided meditations.  I used the Artista Software and a variety of fonts and colors.  It was fun to move the words around, and insert the tiny images.

 I  began to stitch.  The colors looked great, I had used 2 layers of stabilizer on the bottom and solvy on the top, and I was smiling when I took my hoop from the machine.   That is, until I began to tear the stabilizer from the back of the towel.  One of them was a CUTAWAY!  If I tugged and pulled, I could get some of it from around the back of the block, but there was no getting the stabilizer from between the words and letters.  Sigh.

So I will keep this towel, and do another for Cheryl.  I may revise it a little. I will be reminded of  Katherine Graham's quotation from a previous post.  And I will think back to my morning meditations, where I concentrate and attempt to be mindful of the moment.  Maybe I can learn to slow down, not multitask and hurry, and be mindful of what I am doing in the moments seated in front of my Bernina!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Little Mermaid

 The Mermaid
       Who would be
       A mermaid fair
       Singing alone
       Combing her hair 

       Under the sea,
       In a golden curl
       With a comb of pearl,
       On a throne?
              ~Alfred Lord Tennyson                                                                                    

     I did Katelyn's second tank top with a mermaid applique that I got from Designs by Juju.  I worked with it in the Artista software; I made it a little larger and added her name.  I used the Harrington font,  which was a true type font.  I brought it into the fonts folder of my computer, then brought it into the software and digitized it into stitches.  I curved and rotated it just a little, and it fit around the body of the mermaid perfectly.
This tank is a perfect example of why the right stabilizer is important.  I used a layer of polymesh behind the tank and hooped them both.  When I attached the hoop to the machine I slid a piece of tearaway under the polymesh, then added a layer of solvy on top.  I was working in pretty close quarters;  I had the medium hoop bunched up all around, and the solvy kept pulling up.  Finally it hit me!  I used the basting stitch function on the 780 and stitched around the perimeter of the design, holding the solvy in place.  
Then I just watched carefully as it stitched, making sure I didn't catch the tank,  and was thrilled when there was not a pucker to be seen!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Little Owl, Chapter II

Mistakes are simply another way of doing things.                           
       ~ Katherine Graham

Finally!  I got the owl on the t-shirt.  Joe did an early morning run to the local Wal-Mart.  ( I have vowed not to enter it again, but I realize this was the same thing.)  And don't you know I ALMOST sewed the thing together again?  Actually, I DID sew it together, but the result was not tragic and I could remove the offending stitches.

   I changed the background fabric to something a little lighter, put the polka dot for the body, and stitched out his feet in orange.  The feet get lost a little on the coral shirt, if I were doing them again I would change them to a bright yellow. So if Katherine graham is correct, I simply have another way of doing LOTS of things.

But I surely do have a good time while I'm doing it!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

If at first you don't succeed....

Don't look where you fall, but where you slipped.
 ~African Proverb

Rachel gave me a little pink tank top to stitch up  for Katelyn, and I thought that this owl would look cute on it. I had a photo with the colors of the skirt that she would wear it with, and I carefully picked out fabrics and threads to match. Joe and I had just gotten back in town, and I admit that I did have a sip or two of wine with Mandy,and I was a little tired,  but upstairs I went to finish the project that I had started.
I used an orange stripe that I had gotten from .the Atlanta Sewing Center in Duluth, a green polka dot from my stash, and added a blue feather accent.  I was getting ready to stitch out the eyes and the details that were going to give life to the applique. 

 As I ran my fingers over the fabric to admire my handiwork, I felt it... the dreaded lump under the hoop.

I was so excited about this design.  The stitching is so pretty, not just ordinary satin stitches around the fabric, but I guess you will not see those in this post.


So, girlfriends, when will I learn?
I am an early bird,  I sew best in the morning.

I am a cheap date, and even a glass of wine makes me just a little too relaxed        to sew.

So I am off tomorrow, I will make a trip to Walmart to hopefully find another little tank top, stitch it out and get it in the mail to Birmingham.  Hopefully this will be a lesson learned!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Linda's Shower Curtains

"When true friends meet in adverse hour;
'Tis like a sunbeam through a shower.
A watery way an instant seen,
The darkly closing clouds between."
            ~ Sir Walter Scott
     Linda wanted to snaz up her bathrooms with embroidered shower curtains, and I was more than happy to help her.  They are very simple, taupe and white, with reverse thread colors.
The taupe towel was done with a white monogram in the Blackboard font.  Because of the size of the letter, I changed the fill stitch from a satin stitch to a step.  For underlay I used a step stitch and an edgewalk. 
I used a different font for the white towel, still a simple manuscript B, but with not such a heavy body.  It is a true type font, @Batang, and one I have never used before.  Not only did I change the fill stich and underlays, but I changed the stitch spacing from .44 to .39.  I changed the pull compensation from 2.0 to 3.5.
I hope Linda's new shower curtains make her smile as she walks through the door.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Peace, love and coconuts

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
                       ~Ralph Waldo Emerson



 Peggy and I spent a wonderful week in Puerto Moreles, Mexico.
We went as part of a groups doing yoga everyday on the beach.  The week was planned and organized by the talented Ann; Thea was the yoga instructor extraordinaire.   We had two hours of yoga on the beach every morning,  followed by an incredible home cooked brunch, then the rest of the day to do whatever we chose.   Cheryl Wilfong, author of The Meditative Gardener, graciously offered to lead us in guided meditation each morning and afternoon.
It was without a doubt the most relaxing week of my life.

We wanted to give Thea and Ann a special thank-you, and a beach towel seemed to be a good choice.  I appliqued peace, love and coconuts in Spanish on thick terry towels, using a multicolor chevron print for the lettering.  I used the Groovy font to add Mexico 2013 and their initials.

I have been searching for MY peace for several years now, in many different places, with many different prayers.  Now I find Emerson's quote.  It says it all.  And honestly, I am there.