Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gamma's Blankie

             Have courage for the great sorrows of life
             and patience for the small ones; 
             and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, 
             go to sleep in peace. 
                                            ~Victor Hugo

I know this blankie is going to give little Miss Molly many hours of
peaceful  slumber.

Kathy is expecting a new granddaughter soon, and of course this calls for new blankets and burp cloths.  She searched for days hunting for just the right blue and coral combination, and I think she found it!  The blanket is the absolute softest in the world.  The back is  a soft Minkey in turquoise and white.The Minkey is 60 inches wide,  so a yard cut will do.
It is topped with a pretty little flannel print. Warm and Natural batting is sandwiched in between.  The fabrics are cut to 36" by 42"

Next she bastes the layers together, and I watched her quilt it on a Crown Jewel using a beautiful wave-like  free motion pattern.   I love this free motion quilting, and for some reason I much prefer it to precision of the software designs. Her work shows much skill and hours of practice.

Kathy does her binding by cutting bias strips, 2 and 1/4 inches wide and she cuts PLENTY of them.   There are lots of sites that show this technique, but she attaches them evenly on the angle, and the look is smooth and neat.  She folds her binding in half lengthwise, then turns the folded edge to the back of the blanket and whips it down by hand.

 Her gift is completed with  2 burp cloths, trimmed with a blue polka dot ribbon.  Lucky Miss Molly to have Kathy for her Grandma!

Monday, May 27, 2013

I love you so, I always will...

Grow old with me!
The best is yet to be.
  ~Robert Browning

A friend asked me to make a ring bearer pillow for her son's wedding.  She had already completed the embroidery, so all that I had to do was put it on the front of a pillow.

You can't really see in the photograph, but I used a very small gimp cord and the 23 applique foot for the piping. She had used a medium weight stabilizer behind her embroidery, and we left that in to give the pillow a more stable feel.  After I had completed the piping (I cut 1.5 inch bias strips for the piping), I trimmed it to 1/4 inches wide, matched the raw edges, then stitched it to the outside edge of the pillow top.
Marian had the idea to attach a strap to the back
of the pillow to give the ring bearer a little
something to hang onto, so I cut a strip about 4.5  
inches wide and the length of the pillow.  I inserted a strip
of the stabilizer inside the strip.

There were no tears, there was no sweat, but OH NO I did bleed on the pretty white satin.  I had stabbed myself with a pin and before I knew it, there it was. A big red spot. Thankfully I had satin to spare and was able to cut out another back.

On June 1, a sweet little boy will carry this pillow down the aisle to give a set of rings to a dear couple who are ready to begin their lives together.  I am honored to play a small part in this wonderful day!
( and I finished an hour and twenty minutes before schedule!)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Who's Crabby?

 Temper tantrums, however fun they may be to throw, rarely solve whatever problem is causing them. ~Lemony Snicket

Certainly not Miss Avery! Her Grandma is leaving Atlanta today with this little shirt lovingly packed in her suitcase.  Kathy is one of those Grandmas who always finds the time, no matter how busy, to do little outfits for her visits and special occasions.

And here is what I can tell you about the shirt...The ruffle neck t-shirt is from Giggle Box, the applique crab is from one of the many online companies that Kathy peruses for her cute designs, and the font is Curlz.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Swim Suit Cover Up

 Live in the sunshine,
swim the sea,
 drink in the wild air.
 ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  I saw this cute swimsuit coverup in two separate blogs,  Crafter Hours and Dana Made It,  so understand that this is not an original project.  My little girls all love the water and they swim whenever a pool, lake or beach is available, so I decided to try it without a pattern available.  After the first one, two things became very clear.. was more difficult than anticipated without a pattern, and   2...they would all have to be from different beach towels because I find it very difficult to make the same thing over and over and over and over again!

The first one was the purple polka dot, and I call that my prototype.  I made lots of mistakes, but I still think it is it is wearable.  It was intended to be for the oldest girlie, Issa, who just turned 8, but it was waaay to small.  She could get it over her head, but pulling her arms into the armholes and the cover-up over her shoulders was a struggle.

After reading the directions from Crafter Hours, it really was fairly simple.  You can go to her site and read her directions, which will be much more clear than mine. I used a yoke pattern from a basic yoke dress , extended it , scooped the front neckline , cut the back armholes into a racer back , used both ends of the towel for the ruffle , and cut a hood from what was left.

 For the second one,  I attached the ruffle to the front and back separately, and that was waaaay easier.
I serged each piece after I cut it out, all that terry cloth floating around gave me the sneezes!  I attached the front to the back, right sides french seams here!  Then I took the two hood pieces, which I had placed on the edge of the towel so I didn't have to finish it,sewed it right sides together and then sewed it to the dress, extending the hood down over the shoulders a bit.  It gives the dress almost a little collar look from the front.

This second attempt was made with a lighter weight towel and it was so much easier to work with.  I liked the navy, white and orange; even though the stripes were a little bit of a pain to match, but it could be done. Instead of turning my bias trim to the inside, I turned it to the front and it gave another little bit of color.  I used a fat quarter from my stash that matched the orange.   Now I thought I was finished with cover up number 2.  Au contraire!

I pulled the piece of orange rick rack from my box and it was just enough to go around the skirt!  I wanted to put it on the edge of the hood, but none of my other oranges matched.

The last step was the I for Issa.  I used the Twirly monogram, (which has applique letters enclosed by parentheses) and removed  the parentheses from the design in my Artista software.  The bit of orange on the bottom and the initial on the front finished it off nicely.  Now only 2 more to do!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Loving Kindness, part deux

Meditate.  Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. 
 Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds!  Shine!
                           ~ Buddha

There were some words on my original word block that I wanted to change, and I wanted to minimize a couple of the ornaments.  So I guess it is just as well that I did a practice run with the wrong stabilizer!

This time I used Tearaway Stabilizer.  I sprayed it and pressed it carefully to the back of the towel, then hooped it in my Jumbo Hoop.   I slid a scrap of tearaway under the hoop, making sure that it covered the entire stitch area.  The last step before stitching was to use the basting option for the solvy.  Now it is a little thing, but it is just one of the many things I love about this new 780.  No more spitting on my finger to get the solvy to stay put.
I haven't really blogged about this new machine.  I just love it.  I realize I am a Bernina Cheerleader, but I can't help it.  Quality,Precision,
and Ease of use.  It just doesn't get any better!
 The jumbo hoop is so much easier on my Grandma hands to use, and I can get my entire image in one hooping.  I chose the colors as I stitched, seeing what colors I wanted with each word as my block took form.  It seems when I plan these things ahead I always end up changing my mind, anyway.

So I am all stitched out and ready to send this to Vermont to a very kind Meditative Gardener.
I have continued meditating since my trip to Mexico, and will always  be grateful to Cheryl Wilfong for the part she played  helping me to be successful in  (as one doctor has told me)  my search for peace.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A mother's treasure is her daughter.       ~ Catherine Pulsifer

 Miss Mae has a new, well, almost new, outfit.  The skirt was passed down from Issa and Mandy asked for a t shirt to go with it.  I was not feeling my most creative ;  I had a difficult time trying to bring in a third color that I liked, so I just went with the dark pink corduroy from the skirt for the applique.  I did use black as the outline color to give it a little punch, knowing that the shirt will be worn with much more than the skirt.
     The skirt is another Children's Corner pattern, with two pieces of elastic on either side giving it a nice fit around the waist.  I have got to make more of these skirts, I know all the girls would like them.

I was pleased with the results of the applique, I used 1 layers of beige polymesh cut away.  It is lightweight, but stable enough to work well under a knit.  Then I slid a scrap of tearaway under the hoop, and added a layer of solvy on top.  The results are a nice smooth applique.

    This little girl is certainly one of Mandy's treasures, rowdy as she is.  She loves her new t-shirt, and her almost new skirt. She does NOT, however, love posing for the camera on demand, but she will roll her eyes and do it for her Bibi anyway.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Anchors Aweigh

Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky.  Conscious breathing is my anchor.
                                        ~Thich Nhat Hanh

These little red dresses needed some dressing up, and Mandy liked the nautical look of this applique from Applique Market.  I always seem to have a difficult time choosing fabrics and colors when using red. I don't have a good stash of scraps to use with reds. I couldn't decide whether to use the fresher new look of turquoise, or the traditional red, white and I decided to try both.  The font for the M is sugar and spice, and I cannot remember what font I used for Issa's dress..
Once again, the satin stitch on the applique did not have the outline stitch on top.  Easy Peasy... In the software I just duplicated the tack down straight stitch and moved it to the end in the color film.  It gives a nice finish to the satin stitch.

 These simple red dresses should see them through the summer!