Friday, May 31, 2013

More 12 wt. thread

The shop is offering a basic hand embroidery class once a month for the entire year.  Each month our students have been taught various methods of stitch types, different looks using wool and a plethora of wonderful threads that are used for handwork or that can also be ran through the machine.  I am always talking about my love for 12 wt. thread, so I have been asked to teach for the month of June.  I wanted the students to experience for themselves the many uses of 12 wt. thread so I came up with this hand towel project so that they could do just that!  I used a double strand on the word autumn, (a single strand on the veins of the leaves) and then ran it through my machine using a buttonhole stitch on the pumpkins.  I liked how the towel came out and toyed with the idea of finishing off the towel with matching fabric... I decided to leave it plain.

The towels that I have pictured below this latest project, are towels that I have posted before, but that have been finished differently at the bottom....OR you can simply leave it plain like I have on this one.

I had fun machine embroidering this towel... just make sure that you wash the towel first to get rid of any shrinkage.  I also decided that this towel needed more than the embroidery... it needed a ruffle and some trim.

 I added a coordinating fabric to this one as well, along with piping.  Piping adds so much...

I decided not to add a ruffle to this last one, but to simply cover the bottom of the towel with coordinating fabric... and again.. piping.  Click for closer looks of each towel.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Finished....well almost

Ahhhhh...nearly done!  I just need to pick out the buttons for the back and I will have completed yet another looming project.  I am so glad.  I must admit however, that working with my hands at night after a long day is very relaxing for me.  Have you found that as well?  The particular pattern that I was using by Crab-Apple,  had a few challenges this time around.  Many of the flowers were dimensional, which  I hadn't done in years!  And.. I had  never tried using the 12 wt. thread to accomplish that particular technique.  Normally, when one is doing  dimensional embroidery, you use a thicker, rounder, thread to achieve the 3D look that you are going for.  Brazilian embroidery, or dimensional embroidery, is very beautiful as the thread is not only thicker, but also very shiny.  The results can be breathtaking if done correctly.  Youtube provides various directions on this nearly forgotten art.

The pillow pattern below challenged me to brush up on those long forgotten stitches.  I initially had my doubts about using my 12 wt. thread but  I was pleasantly surprised with the results!  Even though the 12 wt. is a finer thread than the traditional thicker thread used for dimensional embroidery, I thought it worked out well and matched the overall look of the pillow much better. 

And I must admit that I also enjoyed using crayons to color my flowers before I did any embroidery.  I felt like a school girl coloring once again.  If you haven't used crayons before on your embroidery projects, give it a try.  Just make sure that you color slightly darker than normal, and that you set your work with a hot iron.  Just place a paper towel between your hot iron and your design and the colors will set nicely and not wash out.  I have already washed this pillow and you can see that the color is still there.  Isn't that great??  So crab those crayons.... from your kids or grandkids... and start coloring.

Blessings, Debbie

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

A quick note to all of my children... you have made being a mom the best adventure of my life!  You have made me cry, laugh, yell, scream for joy, and the proudest mom ever.  I still can't believe that God gave me His very best when He sent each of you into my life.  I get blown away by your love, your sweet words, and your precious friendship.  Thank you, thank you my lovelies.  I am one blessed woman.

Below are the pictures of the seven arrows that God shot into the depths of my heart.....

My oldest... Sacramento's top photographer.. You ARE the best.. and you're looking mighty fine here son.

My oldest daughter... your friendship is a blessing to me... the years that you were gone were so very sad for I missed you.  Corporate Hallmark doesn't know how lucky they are to have you!

I love how you two love the beach, fitness.... and each other. What a joy to watch the two of you.. Precious.

My youngest girl.... can't wait for the next little one.. especially can't wait to see what little Cash man is going to do.. Tee hee.  You've become quite the little mother.  Love it!!  MTS doesn't know what they have with you working for them!

Oh how you two have made me laugh!!   (And cry)   Blessing me with identical twin boys was God's best surprise and blessing ever.  I will forever be grateful.  Keep those fires under control.

And to the man who holds my heart... the man who made me a mom.......

How I love you all..

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hawaii Five-O

Our shop is getting ready for a shop hop that will be taking place in our area at the end of June.  This time around, the hop is based on the old television series that many of us used to watch years ago.  Cozy will be representing the series Hawaii Five-O.  The store owner felt that we needed to take the series' persona to heart so she ordered in fabric with a Hawaiian flare to make either a blouse or an apron.... I went with the  blouse.  The fabric came in blue, red, or greenish blue... which is what I went with.  I have way too many projects that have deadlines on them so I knew that I had to choose a verily easy pattern.  Below is a picture of the blouse pattern that I decided to go  with.  Can I just say how great it was to work with a pattern that actually makes sense and fits properly??  This pattern line was an absolute joy to work with!  Over the many years that I have been sewing, I have been sorely disappointed in more pattern companies than I can list here.  The directions in many of these patterns have been  horrible, the fit even worse, and the outcome would have been disastrous if I didn't have good sewing sense on my own to figure out what the designer was trying to convey.  I don't know how new sewers do it!  No fear with this company however..... thank you so much Silhouettes Pattern company!!

A picture of the pattern.

The Beauty of Wool and 12 wt. Thread

Many of you are probably getting tired of me and my continual praise in regards to the use of 12 wt. thread, but again.... the following samples explain it all.   

There is such an abundance of patterns out there using wool that I didn't even know where to begin.... but begin I must. I wanted to see if my my 12 wt. thread would work just as nicely on wool as it does on everything else that I have stitched on.  We have ordered in   several wool patterns to sell at the shop, and when I came across a pattern that included all of the materials needed to complete it, I decided to go with that one.  It's a pin cushion pattern created by My Red Door Designs, that is fairly easy and rather quick to make.  I also decided  to  double up on my 12 wt. thread instead of the normal single strand that I usually use..... I loved the results.  Using crushed walnut shells for the inside was quite nice as well and rumor has it that the crushed shells are great for your pins and needles.  Check out the picture below. And don't forget to click on each picture if you want to see them close up.

With the availability of inexpensive towels in our shop, it's  nice to be able to hand stitch wonderful designs on them to make into precious gifts.  Below is a gift I made....for myself.  I used one of our Bird Brain Design patterns as they are always fun and delight to make.

Happy stitching!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sweet Babes

With summer coming, I decided to make a gal at work a sweet, little dress for her new grandbaby.  I know that this family spends lots and lots of time at the beach, so I thought that  something nice and summery would be perfect for them.....  I even added a pair of embroidered sunglasses to the bodice of the dress.  When this orange line of batiks came into the shop, it made my decision to make the dress even easier.  From previous posts, I'm sure you have come to the conclusion (rightfully so)  that this is one of my favorite dress patterns to make.  Everyone always loves how full it is, especially the one who actually gets to wear it.  ;)

Pattern?  From Kari Mecca's darling book:  Sewing With Whimsy

Friday, May 3, 2013

Blessed Handwork.......

I so enjoy handwork, don't you?  Right now I am working on a pattern by the Crab-apple bunch and I am getting so excited as I see my project coming to an end.  I wanted to share with you where I am right now with my project.  Behind it is the different fabrics that I am 'auditioning' to make this design complete.  I think I will make a pillow using both fabrics, but I know this pattern would also make a cute purse... or maybe sewn into a blouse or jacket... or who knows.  Anyway, here it is...

Below is a pillow that I made up to go along with the quilt I had made and shared in a previous post.  I know that you are familiar with the quilt as I shared so many pictures of it with you.  I had so much fun working on each of these projects and I hope you are sewing right there with me.  Don't forget the beauty of working with 12 wt. thread.  That is my thread of choice and what I have used on each project.  Love it, love it!

Blessings friends.  Until next time.....

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Lovely Art Of Machine Quilting

I wanted to share the latest quilt that I had quilted by my dear friend Sharon, who is an incredible long arm  quilter.  I have never had her quilt on any of my quilts using minkie as a backing before.  I have been too chicken as I have seen the disastrous results of many long arm quilters out there who have ruined many a quilt because they had no idea how to handle this lovely fabric.  Minkie is quite soft, much softer and nicer than flannel, yet very stretchy. Because of that, quilters often struggle with the correct way to place it on their racks before it is quilted.  When I called Sharon to ask her about using minkie on the back of my quilt, she encouraged me to bring it on over.  I will admit to all of you... I was skeptical of how this baby quilt was going to turn out.  Silly me!!  Check out the results below.  Isn't it absolutely beautiful???  As always, click on any picture for a closer look....

Many of you may remember this little diaper dock below, (from previous posts)  that I made out of the coordinating fabric.  Once opened, it is ready to change that little babe of yours on, closed, it easily carries a diaper or two along with the wipes.  I think this is such great pattern.  Some quilters use this same pattern for carrying their irons along with a small can of starch or water to their many classes.  Instead of the vinyl that I put over the fabric, they purchase that grey, heat resistant fabric so that they can iron right their next to their machines.  Fabulous idea don't you think?

I just had to throw in this picture of one of my grandsons at Easter.  He thought that he looked pretty hot in these egg glasses that I had purchased.  My daughter had to eventually hide them from him as he wanted to wear them all of the time.  Pretty cute I think!

Keep up your sewing... and share with me what you are doing.  Blessings!  Debbie

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Vintage Patterns

Having as many grandchildren as I do, I am often trying to come up with something different to make for them, besides just quilts or pillowcases.  As you can see from my previous posts, I adore making children's clothing for my little munchkins. So, of course, I am on the lookout for great and unusual patterns.  I don't really like using the standard, more well known patterns  found at  your local fabric I have to come up with something different all together, something unique, something that the normal person (aka. smart person) couldn't easily find. In my search this time I came upon a book that was filled with vintage style clothing patterns for kids. Aha.. this is just perfect I thought!!  It had a CD located at the back of the book, where you could run off each pattern  into various sections.  Once the printing is done, you then paste the pattern sections together.  (Now that took a lot more time than I thought it would!)  Once  taped, it's then time to cut out your project. Since I had chosen a vintage style pattern, it only made sense to find vintage style fabric to go along with it.  I found a pretty cute cowboy fabric that I thought Mr. Logan would like.  (My goodness, if I would simply stick to the norm, these projects wouldn't take me nearly as long as they do!!)  Well... below you will find a picture of the finished, "Boy's Short-Sleeved Shirt"  It is not made exactly like the directions suggest, but it's close enough.  I am forever making  changes to any pattern that I make.... and one of the many changes in this one was the pocket.  I felt it needed to have at least one and one that matched up perfectly with the fabric behind it....  (I take it back, I don't need to wonder why these little projects take me longer than I had planned....)  However,   I did like the shirt once I completed it. It was fun and I knew my little guy would enjoy wearing it.   I especially like the tucks in the back as well as the overall design of the shirt.  My grandson, from what I hear,  lives in it.  And THAT my dear readers makes it all worth it.  As long as those sweet peas are happy with what I do, I'll keep doing what I am doing.  Hopefully you're  busy making those around you delighted too.

Happy sewing!  Debbie