Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You ought to be in pictures!

As bloggers we spend a lot of time reading other people's blogs. And sometimes you link to a link to a link to a blog and have no idea how you got there. But are always glad you did. Such as it was when I ran across Tricia at Notes of Sincerity. She has posted a neat way to get to know you. Through fun pictures. So here goes.

  • Your age on your next birthday?

  • Where would you like to go?

Madeira Portugal

  • Your favorite place

  • Your favorite object

  • Your favorite food

is there any other?

  • Your favorite animal

  • Your favorite color

  • Where were you born?

  • Where do you live?

  • Name of a previous pet

  • Name of a previous boyfriend

  • Best friend's nickname

  • Your first name

  • Your middle name

  • One of your bad habits.

Like a sailor.

  • Your first job

  • Your grandmother's name

  • What was your college major?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do you see a Kitty?

I haven't had time to resize the pictures from the fair. But I did stitch another Wee Care gown on the way. I used an older picture smocking plate by Kathy Crisp "Mini More". I used the kitty. I think it looks like a kitty, the husband is not so sure. So what do you think?

For a more tailored and gender neutral look I trimmed the sleeves with entredeux instead of lace. I often smock my wee care gowns with Finca Perle cotton 16. It is the perfect weight to smock these tiny gowns. The 16 is the same size as two stands of cotton floss and it goes so quick. I have a couple of UFO's to take on the plane to Florida with me. I can't travel without some stitching to take with me. I will be back Sunday. I am going to see oldest daughter. Keep stitching.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

This picture was actually taken 23 years ago tomorrow, the day we brought her home. I was a mere 29 years old and DH was 30. I can't believe how dark his hair is, he is totally gray now. See what you did Amy? :) No I think it could have been the combination of all 4 of you and genes. We wouldn't trade you for the world.

Back to sewing she is wearing the first baby dress I made completely by hand. Rolling and whipping by hand are still not my strong suites and I am glad to say that my embroidery has vastly improved. But even with its obvious imperfections it hangs in my sewing room for inspiration and sweet nostalgia.

This was and is the only time I have ever seen a pattern by this designer. I still love the dress pattern and want to make it again though I think I will leave the rolling and whipping to machine the next time.

I guilted my mother into the cross stitched blanket. The discharge nurse commented that you would have thought we were bringing home a first baby instead of a fourth. I was just as glad to see her as I was her oldest sister. Babies are a blessing. She has certainly been one to us.

Happy Birthday sweet girl.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Covered cupcakes (oops)..buttons

Some things just scream summer. That is what this darling cupcake print from Susan Branch did for me. I got it from Jan at Bessie Mary. I love Susan Branch graphics anyway, so it was a given I would like her graphics in a fabric. My first thought was to make a bishop smocked with cupcakes, and I still have enough, but then decided to use it to make a CC Taylor. On the Delphi Heirloom Sewing and Smocking board we had a Taylor challenge. Since I had never made this pattern before I decide to try it. It is a sleeveless bubble that I adapted to have a yoke. I paired the cupcakes with what else, gingham. I swear if you used gingham with burlap it would be adorable. Things go better with gingham! (I wonder if the Coco Cola Bottling company will mind?) I didn't have any cute buttons to go with it so I decided to cover some to match. I LOVE covered buttons almost as much as I love linen. And since I liked these little cupcakes so well, I wanted to make sure I had cupcakes on each button.

Covered buttons can be intimidating for some, but are really quite simple. And since I liked the cupcakes it took a bit more planning to achieve buttons with cupcakes on each center. I decided to share with you how I did that. As always you can click on the image to enlarge.

  1. These are the supplies you will need. The covered button kit. These are readily available at most fabric stores.
  2. A scrap of your fabric.
  3. Temporary spray adhesive
  4. Scissors, both paper and fabric.
  5. Blue water-soluble fabric marking pen.

Using your paper scissors, cut out the appropriate sized circle from the cardboard backing of the button kit.

Decide which motif you want to feature on your button. I chose this cute little cupcake with the cherry on top. Trace around the cardboard circle with a blue water-soluble marker. Cut out traced circle.

I have marked the base of the button kit with a black marker. This is so that when I place the covered top into the base, I can position the cupcake right side up. This will be important when attaching the back. Otherwise your button turns out with your cupcake facing sideways. Ask me how I know this.

Pay close attention to this very technically savvy process. Stick the button front on the end of your finger. Spray button front with spray adhesive. It doesn't take much, you just want it to be tacky enough to catch your cupcake and not let it slip as you push it into the white base. (I told you it was technical.) Place button face down on back of fabric circle. It will stick to the fabric while remainng on the end of your finger. Pick up fabric circle and button front, place over white base making sure that the top of your motif is placed below the black mark you made on the base. Shove, press, push what ever verb suits you, the fabric and button front into the well of the white base.

After you shove it into the base, tuck the excess fabric down into the button. You will think it is too much, it rarely is. You can trim a scant amount of excess if you are dealing with a heavier fabric. If you trim it too close, the fabric won't be held securely by the button back. After you have tucked in the extra fabric, place the blue "pusher" thing, (I am sure it has a name that I don't know.) down into the back of the button front to make sure that the extra fabric is snug into the button front. Place button back on top of fabric making sure that the shank is horizontal to the black mark on the white base, thus aligning motif upright on button. Push down pretty hard. Sometimes you will feel the back snap into the button front. Remove blue pusher, check that back is snapped down all the way around. If not, repeat wit h blue pusher.

Twist white base to remove button.

Voila! Cute little cupcake button to go on my Taylor.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A thought

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.

Saint Augustine

Thursday, August 7, 2008

And the results are in...

Well I have been waiting for the state fair to post the results before I tooted my horn. But the results are in. My white square yoke won Best of Show in the Smocking division. I also gt a blue ribbon for the pink linen daygown. (It was not entered in the smocking division) That was the project with the most personal investment in it. My silk organza christening gown also won a blue. So that feels good. My doll bishop and Wee Care gown got red, second place ribbons.

Nice. Even more exciting is that the category had 34 entries. The goal is to help perpetuate the art of fine needlework.

I'll have pictures when we go back to the fair on the 17th.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wee pursuits

I have a teeny Wee Care gown. I stitched this almost completely on the way back from the fairgrounds. So you can stitch a Wee Care gown in four hours or less. This gown uses the Grady gown pattern developed by the Atlanta chapter for Grady Memorial Hospital. There is no bias neckband. It is done by adding 1 inch to the top of each piece and then pressing over 1 inch before pleating. The smocking is stitched about 3/4" inch below the folded edge through all layers. This catches the fabric that has been pressed to the back. A ribbon is then run through the casing that is left when the stitching is complete and the pleating threads are removed. It is not may favorite look, but it gives a lot a leeway in dressing a tiny baby because the ribbon casing is adjustable. This is the gown pattern that my chapter uses to supply Wee Care gowns to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. This alteration could be made to any bishop really. There are additional Wee Care patterns on the SAGA website at http://www.smocking.org/weecare_program.php

I love Wee Care!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What is strange in this picture?

You can see the top of the cutting table! It feels great, so great that I am anxious to get in there and get to work on something. Anything. Along the back of the table on the left is my Wee Care basket, which right now is woefully under supplied. I keep cut out, constructed, waiting to be smocked Wee Care gowns in it at all times. In the center is a pillow I made from a class project from SAGA convention a couple of years ago. On the right is a pile of UFOs that I don't want to get buried somewhere. Now lest any of you run screaming from the room under the mistaken impression that these are all of the UFOs I have, please rest easy that this is a TINY pile of a FEW of them. I have a double cabinet and a couple of containers in the double closet full of UFOs as well. These are just the ones I want to get to soon. I had to go buy a new seam ripper from all of my trails of last week. How sad is that?

I had to chuckle at myself today when I was vacuuming. To vacuum is a 3 step process. You have to first sweep the carpet. Yes I said sweep. So many tiny bits of seam clippings, piping ends, tracing paper scraps, interfacing scraps etc etc to pile and scoop up first. Then I used the nozzle to get as many loose threads as I could before I used the vacuum so that I don't wrap quite as many around the brushes in the vacuum cleaner.

Why go through all of this you ask? I have a child who when she comes home thinks it is her responsibility to clean house. Her mother doesn't do a good enough job I guess and I am not going to sway her opinion. But she has this nasty habit of getting grumpy while she does it. One of the things that makes her really cranky is threads wrapped around the brushes of the vacuum. Is this the same child who tried to vacuum up a petrified peanut butter and jelly sandwich found under the bed? Who didn't wash her uniform skirt her entire senior year of high school on a dare? Who thought that the only way to clean a bathroom was to throw away a year's worth of empty shampoo bottles she has stashed in the vanity instead of throwing away? Could this be the same child?

So just to please her when she comes home, I go through this lengthy process to vacuum the sewing room. Perhaps she'll notice. Now I am off to mend a stole for my husband, a tie for my son and finish off two Wee Care items I stitched in the car yesterday on the to and from the fairgrounds.

Friday, August 1, 2008

As promised,

Here are pictures of the finished dress. I am pleased with how it turned out. The collar makes me crazy but I figure after four times, I was leaving it and not re-doing another. It is on a pretty hanger in a bag and ready to travel to the fair tomorrow. Now have to get my travel stitching bag ready for the car.

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