Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 a Year in Review

It is that time of year again. A time to look back. It has been a good year, a very good year. There have been some worrisome moments, there has been some stressful ones as well but above all it has been a very blessed year.

Just when you think you haven't accomplished as much as you set out to do, try to get it all into one pic. Above is a collage of almost all I have sewn in the past year. Here is the rundown, some not pictured.
  • 6 Covered Hangers
  • 4 Daygowns, unsmocked
  • 1 Completely handsewn daygown, sorry, it gets its own count
  • 3 Doll dresses, 2 smocked 1 not
  • 1 Doll Apron
  • 4 Smocked Bishops
  • 2 Smocked Basic Yoke Dresses
  • 4 Bubbles
  • 1 Diaper Shirt
  • 5 Slips
  • 6 Machine Embroidered Diaper Covers
  • 6 Machine Embroidered Burp Cloths
  • 2 Bonnets
  • 1 Diaper Cover, no embellishment
  • 1 Christmas Ornament
  • 1 Embroidered Journal Cover
  • 15 Scissor Fobs, beaded not sewn
  • 80 Beaded Pins for Pincushion Jewelry
  • 1 Christening gown!!
in addition to that include
  • 2 trips abroad
  • 1 sewing school
  • 1 SAGA convention
  • 5 tutorials
  • 2 chapter programs
  • 1 child moving back home
  • Same child moving back out
  • 1 sewing room dismantled, sorted, moved and remodeled
add it all together and NONE of it equals

the birth of the most beautiful grandchild ever! So if you are counting, you would need to add
  • 26 million snuggles
  • 14,200,335 photos taken
  • 1,020 hours spent gazing
  • 4,320 hours being thankful
I hope your year has been filled with blessings beyond measure and that the new year brings more of the same.

Thank you, faithful readers. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thirty Three Years Ago Today

Thirty-three years ago today, my life changed for the better. Good golly, we were young! I was 21, he was 22. I was in my last year of nursing school and he was in the U.S. Coast Guard. Seems like yesterday.

It has been a wild ride; 4 kids, 14 moves, 8 states and countless miles, but I wouldn't change a thing. Except those tuxes! What was I thinking? It was 1977, what can I say?

Happy Anniversary honey. I love you more than you know.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It is still Christmas

First posted by Roxy Creations

First of all, thank you for all the get well wishes. I still have next to no voice. I do feel a teeny bit better. I am hoping tomorrow brings back more voice than this squeak/croak combo I have going on. So again, thank you, faithful readers for all of the get well wishes.

I am glad everyone enjoyed the ABC's of Christmas. It was fun to do. I will admit at about the letter "P" or so, I wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into. :) It was fun. Not sure there will be Easter or St. Patrick's day ABC's anytime soon though.

Just a reminder, it is still Christmas. Don't you love this collection of felt Santas? My best friend collected Santas. When I saw this, it reminded me of her. Her birthday would have been tomorrow, so maybe it was just her way of saying "hello." I love their fluffy mustaches.

And even though it is still Christmas until January 6th and the snow for our white Christmas has been lovely, I feel myself wanting to move on!

First posted by flossbox

And this sweet bunny is a reminder that spring will come. I KNOW winter just started. Haven't you learned yet that I am impatient?

I have a few things in the works on my cutting table. And now that the rolls of wrapping paper have been put away, I feel like I can get back to stitching.

And thank you to Sew Beautiful for the shout out in Issue #134. Yours truly, Southern Matriarch, was given a reference for the pulled thread tutorial I had done last year. All in all, this was a wonderful issue. Lots of eye candy as well as projects I want to put on my to-do list. If you haven't picked up an issue, I urge you to do so.

Monday, December 27, 2010


This is me. I hope to be back soon. I also hope that everyone's holiday was wonderfully merry.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Z is for


Z is for 

Hope you have had a wonderful holiday, now sit back and reflect on the joy of the season.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Y is for

Y is for 

Yuletide. A word and tradition that had a pagan beginning but is now synonymous with the Christmas season. I know retailers, media and most of the secular world would have us believe that the Christmas season started with Black Friday, it actually begins tonight; Christmas Eve. 

I have said it before, Christmas eve is my favorite. The dark, the quiet, the expectation. That expectant waiting. It does it for me. I think I fell in love with the quiet of late Christmas eve when we had small children. There is no quiet as loud as the quiet that comes after the clammer. After Santa had come, my husband and I would sit and just gaze at the tree in the darkened room and just be. It was always a magical moment.

I hope you aren't up late tonight feverishly stitching. If you are, turn off the TV and listen to the quiet while you take those last few stitches. For tonight a child is born on these holiest of nights.


A blessed Christmas to you, faithful reader.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

X is for

The French Needle

X is

for my Xtra special readers. You, faithful readers, are why I continue to do this. I hope all of you know how much I appreciate your visits, your comments and questions.

Christmas has reached high gear around here. All of the children have arrived home. :sigh: It warms a mother's heart. My husband is happy also. He loves to have all of his "peeps" around the table. My mother always said she slept better when everyone was under one roof, hers.

I amazingly have finished shopping, wrapping and cleaning. I plan to make some cookies this evening and start cooking dinner in the morning. Oh and I have to prepare linens and set the table. That is hard to do, because when everyone is home that table gets used a lot between now and Christmas dinner.

I hope you have finished the preparing part and have started the enjoying part of the holiday.
Until then... 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

W is for

Needle Passion Embroidery

W is for 

Wise Men. I love the image of these three men following a call. Oh but if I had the courage to answer that call, no matter what. A question I ask myself daily, am I willing? No matter the price.

It is has been a crazy busy day. So I will make this a short interlude. Enjoy this version of "We Three Kings" 

V is for

V is for

Velvet. Nothing looks richer than velvet. The deep color, the shimmer and shadows. It is just a luxurious fabric. And really shines at the holidays. Our baby is too young for velvet this year. A baby in arms is going to wad a velvet dress until she and the dress both look like a dish rag. So in a year or two, she will be big enough for a beautiful velvet dress like this one.

I really like this dress for an older child of 4 or 5.

A really striking bodice that is a vertical smocked panel. The red bullion roses are beautiful against the deep navy.

And the royal blue bishop I posted here is still a favorite.

Off to finish wrapping! I can hear sleigh bells beginning to ring.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

U is for

First posted by Creations by Eve

U is for Unbelievable stitching friends. Friends who casually say, I'll stitch for your baby. And then send incredible gifts of love.

Like this beautiful Christmas bishop. It is cotton pique smocked with deep red and green. With darling red buttons down the back!. The sleeves are trimmed with Swiss eyelet. It is just beautiful. Excuse the fact that this is hanging from the light switch. I was in a hurry. Christmas is 4 days away and I am way behind the power curve. So desperate times call for desperate measures. It was the closest thing to hang from after I had washed and ironed it for my daughter.

There are little sprigs of holly across the neck and sweet French knot holly berries along the bottom of the smocking. The neckline is piped, we love that. The Swiss eyelet on the sleeves has red and green floss run through it to add just a little more oomph. There are also more sweet holly across the smocked sleeves. 

A close up of the smocking, and see those cute red buttons with the green floss centers? Too stinkin' cute.

And you can see it fits to perfection. Thank you so much, Colleen. I really am blessed with wonderful friends.

Off to wrap, cook, and finish decorating. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

T is for

T is for

TREATS! Just like holiday menus that can't be tampered with, there are certain treats that every family relies on. What are some of your family's favorites? 

We have some simple ones. Santa always brings candy canes and they hang from the tree with these cute little mice. My mother made the mice for the kids at least 25 years ago. Some of our mice probably need to be replaced, but every year out they come.

My hands down favorite cookie, M&M cookies. The ones made from the recipe that was on the bag in the early 70's. I have had it written on the back of an old bill from my sister's orthodontist for 30+ years. The recipe on the bag now is not the same.

Chocolate peanut butter fudge from the Southern Living 1990 Annual Recipes cookbook. Love this!

Swedish Heirloom Cookies. My second favorite cookie. These are dangerous though, I can't seem to let them cool before I have inhaled a half dozen.


Finally my last treat that I adore at Christmas is a delectable treat that comes in this familiar tin. This is the first holiday in many that we don't have one.

Yes fruitcake. But only ONE fruitcake.


The only fruitcake I like is from the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas. Now don't write me and tell me yours is just as good. I refuse to believe it. As far as I am concerned, this is the only one that needs to be made.

But the best treat as you know is this little sweet morsel. She wore her new dress to see Santa today. And stole the show.

She loves to rock back and forth now. This is an action shot, caught in mid-rock.

I hope you are enjoying some sweet treats this holiday season. Still not done decorating, sewing, shopping, cooking or wrapping.

S is for

First posted at Pigeon Pair

S is for satin batiste. As in the fabric I used for Baby's First Christmas. A sweet bishop for baby. 

The recipe for this sweet dress:

1-  Shoulder Button Bishop-Creative Needle- Jan Feb 1998
1- "Nicole" smocking plate- Creative Needle- August 2005
1-  Yard satin batiste in champagne
5-  DMC floss colors #712, 600, 603, 605 and 524
1-  Yard Maline lace
Satin ribbon to taste.

Bessie Mary

An infant bishop takes just a tad over a yard of fabric. I used Spechler-Vogel Satin Batiste from Bessie Mary. I had never used this fabric before making the slip for Baby's Coming Home dress. Yummy. It pleats beautifully and is wonderful to smock on. And the sheen is just perfect for the holidays. The satin sheen finish withstands washing as well.

I have always wanted to make this bishop featured in Creative Needle several years ago, but like so many other things, never had. I love the continuous look of the smocking. It is also a very full bishop without being overwhelming. The pattern is included for several sizes in the March/April 2000 issue of Creative Needle. If you don't have it, back issues can often be found on ebay.

I stumbled across the plate "Nicole" in the CN August 2005 issue looking for something else. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to do it for Christmas. Since this is a size six months I did eliminate a couple of rows of smocking. I also backsmocked the row behind vine. I had visions of the pleats popping around my pretty vine and berries.

I used a three shades of a deep magenta instead of traditional red for longevity of wear. It reads "Christmas" without shouting it. It will be just as pretty in February. DMC 712 matches the champagne color of the batiste perfectly. Mommy wanted a "winter white" as opposed to white white. I am certain there are 14,000 lazy daisies and French knots along this yoke. Sure of it. As well as 19 bullion roses.

I also piped the neckline. I can see in this picture that the binding could have used a quick touch with the iron.

This is the back, though you could certainly wear it as the front if you wanted. I had planned to use white silk satin ribbon in the smocking. My thinking was if ecru/off white smocking and ribbon look good on white then white would look good on the off white. Not. If I had used white for the smocking perhaps. The white ribbon just looked like I had used the wrong color. So I opted for cream poly ribbon that I had on hand. I'll switch it to silk satin after Christmas when life isn't so crazy. 

For the sleeves I added a row of half space baby waves above and below the center full space waves. I did this for two reasons, our Mommy likes a more substantial smocking on the sleeves and I didn't want the ribbon to get buried in the gathers of the sleeve once it was on her and tied. I sprinkled a few more lazy daisies and French knots above and below the ribbon. The sleeves are trimmed with a champagne maline lace. Also from Bessie Mary.

I have a few more projects to finish up and a bazillion other things to do for the holiday. I am off to finish.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

R is for

Apex Embroidery

R is for 

Reindeer! Where would Santa be without reindeer? 

I tell you, he would look pretty silly flying through the air by himself. And you would hardly be able to spot him on the TV screen when the weatherman was trying to track his progress during the Christmas Eve newscast. Could we have Christmas without reindeer? I don't think so.

There are so many adorable reminders of reindeer at Christmas time. Isn't he a cutie?

I love this jumper, in my new favorite color scheme, that Angela of Dandelion Avenue did. So cute.

This smocked long-all is sure to please any little guy.

And I love this basic yoke dress. I may have to put this one on my next year's to do list. (A list already too long.) 

This, I think I will pass.

These reindeer though? Absolutely! 

If I don't push back from here, the reindeer will be clattering on the roof before I am ready.
Goodnight, faithful reader.
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