Thursday, October 31, 2013

2013 SAGA Convention Wrap-Up

Another SAGA convention has come to a close. I apologize for the lack of photos. I was the worst photo taker ever. I even lugged that heavy camera everywhere with me. Oh well. It didn't deter me from having a good time.

It was a long drive to Frisco, TX but an easy one. Good company, good weather and an uncomplicated route made for a a pleasant trip. And a stupendous bellman at the hotel. They are a gift from heaven for sure! It takes a lot to have this much fun.

I wasn't able to take any pre-day classes this year though I heard good things about the ones that were offered.

My first class was Perfecting Bullions with Susan O'Connor. Good class. This sweet bullion rose looks pretty good. See anything wrong with it? Its on the doodle cloth! The one on my hand towel looked like a pine cone. I didn't take a picture of that. (See I have total control over what you see. I don't show pictures of the carpy stuff.) I learned quite a few tips that I hope I can remember when it is time to stitch some on the real project. Must remove those pinecones first. Believe me.

Next up a highlight of the week for me, Show and Share as well as Design Show. I love seeing what others are working on and being inspired by the amazing talent shown. Another first for me was entering a garment into the Design Show. I had never done that before. It paid off.

A blue ribbon and two judge's choice ribbons for my entry. (Sorry, the garment is still under wraps. Soon.) I am a tad odd perhaps in that I look forward to the critiques. I want to know how I can improve my skills. Since this was my first time to enter Design Show I didn't know what to expect from the critiques. They were wonderful point wise but there wasn't a whole lot of feedback. The forms aren't set up that way. All that being said, I am thrilled to pieces to have been awarded with my ribbons. A real honor. Plus I received 5 Artisan points for the blue ribbon.

Friday's class was Two Lovely Openwork Stitches with Jeannie Baumeister. This was her inspiration for this class. The class featured the pin stitch as well as Bermuda Faggoting also known as Point Turc. Here are my two practice samples. Each one stitched with a different weight thread. I like the one on the right but the teacher likes the one on the left better. Hmmmmm. Jury is out to which one I will try on my pillowcase.

Friday afternoon brings the retail market. There isn't a picture of this event to be had, I was too busy. I was helping my friend Jan, aka Bessiemary, in her booth. How fast can you measure and cut lace? Whewie, we were busy. Which was great for Jan.

My Saturday class was Miss Buford's Bonnet also with Jeannie Baumeister. Love this class. It was probably my favorite. These are my practice eyelets. It is a sweet bonnet and a great take along project. Eyelets and linen, how can you go wrong?

Saturday was the last day to get your Wee Care gowns turned in. I had another gown cut out from the same pattern I used a couple of weeks ago. You can't tell in this picture that the gown is still damp from washing out the blue marks.

SAGA's photo

I didn't get a good picture of the Wee Care display, this is the photo from SAGA's facebook page. Almost 800 gowns were collected for Dallas area hospitals. A wonderful testament to the stitchers of SAGA.

Saturday morning was also the deadline to turn in Raffle baskets. Baskets are a highlight of every convention. You would think these women never had a chance to win anything before.

This is my chapter's basket. It is  loaded with matching accessories for a sewing room. The recipient of this basket was pleased as punch to get it. This fabric was one of her favorites and one she had planned to use in her sewing room. Our basket had lots and lots of tickets in its box. A hit.

I did win TWO baskets myself this year. I neglected to take photos of them before I dismantled them to travel home. One basket was in homage of the Royal Baby. Some great fabric, trims, pattern and book as well as a commemorative mug marking the occasion of Prince George's birth. Too funny. The other basket was chock full of notions and drafting tools as well as a couple of books on pattern drafting and fashion sketching. I look forward to studying those more. Some good stuff in there.

In case you are mistaken and think we only stitch and buy raffle tickets, we also eat really well. This adorable dessert was for the Saturday night banquet. Chocolate boots and hats. How fun is that? You can also spot some of the table favors that are given out at each meal.

This brings us to Sunday. One last class, Ultimate Elegant Pincushion with Judith Adams. I snapped this photo before I finished stitching, it isn't complete but its close! You can't beat a class where you walk out almost finished.

Another convention wrapped up. I enjoyed the stitching, learning and eating; my favorite thing about convention? The people! I so enjoyed meeting new people, getting together with familiar faces as well as getting to know the faculty even better. I can't brag on this organization enough. It has been a real blessing in my life for 21 years. Convention for 17 years. I obviously love it.

That is this year's wrap up, faithful reader. What are you working on?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Wildman Loves George

Wildman has a birthday coming up. And he LOVES George! So a Curious George birthday was in order.

A longall made from red pique with a great big 2 on the front. Featuring George of course.

I used Children's Corner "William and Winnie" again. It goes together in a snap and fits great.

The embroidery design came from Diva Doodles. I think he will like it. His days for longalls are numbered so I was glad to squeeze this one in. I hope momma has a shirt, Mimi didn't have time to get or make a shirt before this had to go in the mail. His birthday wasn't the rush, his birthday is another 2 weeks away, no...

it was the requested trick or treat bag. It matches the one I helped Momma make for Princess three years ago.  I didn't have a pattern or tutorial, just the dimensions of the first bag. Momma couldn't remember where the pattern for the first one came from. ::sigh:: Not sure it is a complete match, but close enough.

The drippy font came from an Etsy shop. Here. A project that didn't take long, took longer to find the font than anything else. I am sure he will enjoy it. They better trick or treat in Italy is all I have to say!

What are you working on faithful reader?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Time for SAGA Convention

It is that time again. Time for my annual  pajama stitching party. Complete with fun, laughter, learning and most of all, friends. The laundry is done, reno is closing in on being complete, kids all know the mantra, "no emergencies allowed" and bags are almost packed. Ready to go.

I am taking

  • Perfect Bullion class with Susan O'Connor. Bullions can always use a refresher course. 
  • Then I am taking two classes from Jeannie Baumeister. Two Lovely Openwork Stitches and Miss Buford's Bonnet
  • Lastly, Judith Adams Elegant Ultimate Pincushion. A smocking class. Yes I know how to smock, but there is always a new little nugget to learn.
I hope to come home refreshed and inspired. I am sure I will. 

In the past I have talked about the vast number of raffle baskets at convention. It is the big money maker for SAGA that funds their education grant program to aide chapters in holding workshops. My local chapter always sends a basket. This year is a repeat of the well received basket we sent last year. It is a collection of coordinating sewing room accessories. I posted about this same accessory last year here. A quick and fun gift for a sewing friend.

A close up of the embroidered pockets on the front. I used designs from Embroidery Library. It is much cuter in person. I love the fabrics even though on my screen the polka dots come out much more avocado than it really is.

When I return it will onto drapery making before I can finish up Christmas sewing/shopping. This is a sneak peek of my draperies to come. I love the crewel inspired print. The beauty of crewel work without the time spent. As a matter of fact my new rooms were built around this print. Good thing I love it.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Prayer in Pink

My love for Wee Care is well known. It holds a very special place in my heart, almost more than I can articulate. I have had many say to me, "Oh I can't do Wee Care. It is too sad." I am not judging anyone, we all have to do what is best for us. That said, I admit that I never fail to think when hearing that: "Not near as sad as it is for those parents" Also, every baby deserves the love and dignity that these precious gowns offer. Which brings us to this post. I was talking with my daughter for her birthday when she asked if I had any Wee Care gowns on hand. A friend of a friend needed one and quickly. I stopped everything I was doing to stitch this tiny pink gown. A prayer in every stitch.

I chose a luxurious Swiss flannel in a soft pink. The sleeves are trimmed with tiny 1/4" French lace to make this tiny, 8.5" gown.

Excuse the bad cell phone picture but this gives you a perspective of the size of the gown. I used the pattern from Australian Smocking and Embroidery Issue #48 called Wee Care. They have the pattern on their website that is downloadable. (Currently the download is not there due to a glitch on the website. It should be back up soon.)

There are also free Wee Care patterns available on SAGA's website.

I attached the silk satin ribbon with tiny antique buttons from Old Fashioned Baby.

It is smocked with two strands of floss. 

It is bound at the neck with a 1/8" bias neckband. There are also the teeniest one strand bullion flowers that you can't see very well.

Since I was mailing this overnight, I stuffed it well with tulle and wrapped the stuffed gown with a cut-up dry cleaner bag to prevent as much wrinkling as possible. Though Swiss flannel is forgiving as far as wrinkles go. I was even able to find a box that I could lay the gown flat, not folded, for mailing.

This gown will never replace the life that was lost, but I pray that it brings the parents a tiny bit of comfort. If you are able, never pass up the opportunity to stitch a Wee Care gown. You will never know the impact it can have.

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