I hope to inspire and entertain you with a lot of sewing and a little of everything else!

Friday, November 30, 2018

More Christmas Embroidered Towels!

My Dream machine has hardly stopped this week. I have been digitizing several Christmas designs for my shop and testing them, as well as filling some orders for kitchen towels and making others just for fun!

Katie picked the color scheme for this one. Cranberry on a gray towel. I love how cozy this scene is!

This one is beautiful! It is a very tall design and fits perfectly on a folded towel. This one is over 26,000 stitches. I had a spool of gold Sulky thread I thought would be pretty and it is- but it ran out with 112 stitches left. Can you spot where I finished it with a different gold?

This one is a very quick, light design. The red and green make it feel very festive to me. Wouldn't you like to spend a couple of days  in that cabin sewing and baking cookies with your loved ones??

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Horse Lovers Kitchen Towel

This gorgeous sage green Christmas Horses towel was an order. It took a LONG time to stitch due to the 35 color changes and the size. I also had to sort all my threads because there are 9 different shades of brown in this one. I love how it turned out though and so did the person who ordered it! My horse-loving daughter would have been crazy for this embroidery when she was 6!!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Toile Towels for the Win!

This "Kathy's Kitchen" design has a little story. My Mom requested a winter embroidery on a kitchen towel for a friend. She wanted me to add "Kathy's Kitchen." I did it on one of my favorite white Williams-Sonoma towels and the recipient, Kathy, loved it. She loved it so much that she wrote me a lovely note stating that it was too nice to use and she was going to frame it for her kitchen. Well, I don't use these to wipe up spaghetti sauce, but "framing!!" Wow- quite a compliment. Anyone who writes a nice note deserves something good, so I stitched the design again on this taupe linen. I know she will love it and maybe she can actually use the towel now!! (I hadn't removed the basting box in this picture)

I used another of my favorite Williams Sonoma towels, this time in navy, for my sister. These toile designs are favorites year after year. They are also so nice to stitch because they are ALL ONE COLOR!! I think my sister will love this because it will remind her of winter where she grew up. She now lives in the south where she never gets snow. This one is on its way now.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Woodland Baltimore Embroideries

These pretty embroideries are part of a free sew-along at SF Stitch Co. They offered 4 blocks (the final one still needs to be stitched!) and then show how to make them into a wall-hanging.
This fox is deceptively cute. I hope he's not the one who stole all my chickens last spring!
Ah, squirrels. We have had an abundance of these in New England this year!!
I stitched the owl with variegated thread and the way the stitches curve makes it lovely! These blocks are all beautifully digitized. Definitely worth buying the set if you missed them as freebies!!
Realistically, I don't think these will get put together until after the holidays! I am so busy with prep already!

I am planning some Holiday Fun in my "Mommy's Apron Strings" Group on FB. Please join me!!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Holiday Projects Begin...

A good friend had her first grandson this year. I offered to help her make something and she decided to do a special Christmas stocking. This is a great project for a new seamstress, since the stitching is fairly simple and the project not too large in size or time.
She requested a "baby elephant with hat and scarf and maybe something Christmas-y" Well, those particulars aren't easy to find in an embroidery design, but a Google search led me to this one:
It was a perfect match for her request and a nice size for a stocking.
I suggested cotton velveteen or a plaid flannel, but I also suggested she check the fabric store to see if anything appealed to her. She wanted the baby elephant in a blue/green theme because that is the baby's nursery theme and the stocking would match.
She choose the navy and white co-ordinating quilting cottons with silver glitter swirls. We interfaced the navy fabric to give the stocking more body. The cuff is lined and has the baby's name in "Curlz" font.

I used a free PDF stocking pattern and enlarged it to 105%. It's a nice traditional stocking shape!

We stitched  the elephant on my new Brother Dream Machine and it stitched with no glitches! I love the striped hat and my friend had the idea to hand-stitch a tiny silver jingle bell at the tip. We also  thought about stitching jumbo red rick-rack behind the bottom of the cuff and adding the jingle bells at every other point.

But even if she doesn't add any embellishments, I think this is an adorable stocking and very festive.

Doesn't it look like the little elephant is dreaming of a swirling snow on Christmas Eve??

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Pumpkin Candy Treats in the Hoop

These adorable pumpkin treat bags are a free download on Brother's Stitching Sewcial blog. I made several in both the 4x4 and 5x7 sizes.

These are very quick and easy to sew, not to mention: fun!!
You can make them in Halloween or Fall colors and fill with all sorts of treats. The top opens and ties with a pretty ribbon. The window is made of vinyl (available at Walmart or Joann's".

It's not too late to stitch a patch of these pumpkins for your Thanksgiving celebration!! Get the designs and photo tutorial FREE HERE

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A "Dream" Come True!

A few weeks ago, in the midst of every cold/sore throat/virus going through our house, I had a great opportunity to buy a gently used Brother Dream Machine. My friend Janice found it for me in Florida and the wonderful store shipped it north!

This machine is totally amazing! It is a huge step up from my beloved Viking Designer 1. My largest hoop used to be 150x240mm and it's now 200x360mm!! That's 9x5"x 14"!! It's crazy!
I never would have attempted certain designs before that needed many re-hoopings. Today I am tackling the Blue Ribbon Baby Crib Cover. It has about 75000 stitches and I was able to combine it into 3 hoopings with  my new huge hoop!
One of the incredible things about this machine is that it has a scanner and a camera, so I just scanned the fabric for the 2nd hooping and it shows my finished embroidery along with the new part I am about to stitch! Teh elephant in the picture is already stitched and the light blue bow is the next section. I quickly used my arrows to place it and I'm off!! It is a real game changer!
I haven't even begun to explore all that this machine can do, but I'm looking forward to it!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The 1960 "Charlie Brown" Dress

Quite awhile ago, I saw a vintage Polly Flinders Smocked Dress on Etsy and I loved it. I nicknamed it the "Charlie Brown Dress" because of the color and the black rick rack like Charlie's zig zag shirt.

Here's the original dress. It was size 3 and I think it was about $35. I saved the image and kept it in the back of my mind for a future project. Eventually I looked for a nice honey/mustard broadcloth to remake the dress. I even ordered one, but it was so dark when it arrived. Finally I found a quality cotton fabric that I thought would work.
I also found a McCall's pattern from 1960 with the same full skirt, deep smocking, and straight sleeves that I wanted. Then I got to work. The construction was quite different from the modern yoke dresses I had made.
I did a simple diamond smocking design.
Notice how full the skirt is? The back yokes also form the sides of the dress and "wrap" around to meet the front smocking. There are 3 full 42" panels to the skirt- one front and 2 back/side. It's a really clever way to get the nice full skirt. It needs a puffy crinoline.
I added a belt instead of a sash because I liked it and because I was running low on fabric. This dress took a lot of yardage. I made a size 3 and added 6 inches of length! I think it has a nice "vintage" length without being too short. It looks big to me- more like at least a 4. I used Swiss embroidery and black baby rick rack for the trim.
This was a really fun project and I am very happy with the results!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Blueberry Baby Bubble

This little bubble was a quick sew. The yoke is cotton pointelle knit and the body is a soft cotton lawn.

I added a small blueberry embroidery to the yoke to coordinate with the blueberries on the print.

The back has a keyhole opening with a single button and loop.

Here is the bubble on a newborn doll. It is a good fit and I think the colors are pretty.

Modeled back view.

Here is a view of the leg casings. It is done in blue gingham. Gingham and florals look great together. This was a quick, fun project. I like it when you can make something cute in a couple of hours!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Baby Juno ITH Doll

My daughter and I made this Baby Juno In The Hoop Doll (design from Planet Applique). It is stitched entirely in the hoop of the embroidery machine. I did the stitching and she did the stuffing and joints.

This is the 5x5 hoop size, so the finished doll is about 14" long. I wanted  to make it as a model for preemie clothing.

The knit sleeper is from a free preemie pattern I found. It is a perfect fit!

Here's a view of the doll undressed. The limbs are joined with plastic joints  I bought on Etsy. The fingers are very tiny and it was hard to get any stuffing in them. It does come with an option for hands without fingers, which might be good on the 2 smallest sizes.

This comes in 4 sizes: 4x4, 5x7 (mine), 6x10, or 8x12. I think the larger sizes would be amazing. This one makes a great preemie model. We had fun making this and look forward to trying another one soon. Happy Last Day of Summer Vacation- boo hoo.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Duckling Embroidery Set & Duckling Romper!

I have been working on a darling vintage duckling set of embroideries. I kept adding more sizes and borders to it. Now it has 10 adorable designs! 
This is a collage of some of the designs.
There are single ducklings, a set of 2 and borders of 3, 4, or 5 both horizontal and vertical.
These are all stitch-outs of various designs. 
I made the bubble using the 3 vertical ducklings.
It is yellow chambray in size 3 months.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Watermelon Smocked Bloomers

Here is the third pair of little smocked bloomers. This is a fun one made from novelty watermelon fabrics.

I bought these fabrics a few years ago in a quilt shop and I didn't have a plan for them. When I was trying to do something fun with the bloomers, I thought how cute it would be to do the ruffles from the "rind" fabric.

Both the waist ruffles and the bum ruffles are 1" wide "rind" with a narrow hem. I thought folded ruffles would be too thick. \
The smocking is black and has a few "hiccups" due to the fact that I smocked this in a dark roller skating rink while my boys were there with friends. It isn't noticeable though!

These are preemie size from Kathy Dykstra's Sweet Cheeks pattern. They are modeled on an 8lb reborn doll.

These are so summery! The next thing to figure out is what kind of a top would go well.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Smocked Bloomers in my Favorite Fabric!

These little smocked bloomers are quick and easy to make. I have made 3 already! This one is from Kathy Dykstra's new pattern: Sweet Cheeks. Size newborn from my favorite Fabric Finders Strawberry Lawn! I recently purchased 6 more yards of this, so felt I could justify using a little.

Here they are with optional, removable fabric bows. I just pin them on so you can have 2 looks. The smocking is very simple waves.

Here they are modeled on an 8lb newborn size doll. I need to come up with some sort of top that shows off the bloomers.

The back has an elastic casing. I meant to put ruffles on the back, but I just kept on sewing till it was too late!

Next up: I will show off my watermelon version!