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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Don't You Just Love a Bargain??

Great deals have been finding me lately! First, there was my Quilt Guild's annual potluck and auction. Members donate fabric, books, patterns, and even projects that we no longer want. Everyone bids on the items they want and all the money goes right back to our Guild. I bought several wonderful items, including 2 yards of Liberty of London Tana Lawn for $5 and a machine embroidery CD for pillowcase belles for $3. The thing I am the most excited about, though, is a bag of cut and partially sewn Leaf quilt blocks in Fall colors. Price? Only $5!!
 6 of the blocks are already sewn, but there are about 40 altogether!! The next picture shows all the parts, which I haven't even had time to sort through yet. These are 12" squares, so I'm wondering what size quilt the original owner intended to make? Maybe King size? I'm thinking of sashing the blocks and making 2 twin size quilts from them. 
Then my kids and I went to a yard sale, just around the corner.
Rosie quickly spotted this sewing machine. Katie already has a basic machine, but Rosie didn't have one yet. She wanted to get this one. How could I say no, when the price was...$5?? And it works!! We brought it home to check it out and it works perfectly and even has all its feet and owner's manual! I almost felt bad paying the lady, but she was just glad to get rid of things because they are moving. What's the best sewing deal you've found? Leave a comment, please! I haven't heard from anyone in awhile; are you still reading?? I've noticed that comment forms sometimes don't allow me to post. I'm working on getting an email address for this blog soon. Have a great day!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Udderly Cute!

 This little cow button-on suit is one of my favorite outfits that I've made for my boys. The pattern is "Wright" by Children's Corner. It is size 6 months and is so cute with the puffy button-on pants over chubby thighs.
I love the look of picture smocking, but not the amount of time it takes, so I made one cow on this suit. It is a variation of Udder Perfection by Little Memories.
The shirt is Imperial Broadcloth and the pants are a black/white check rayon that I bought at a discount store. It is really soft. I have pictures of Petey and Davy in this suit and in a few months, Andy will be big enough to wear it too! Hope you enjoyed seeing it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sassy Snail Sun Suit

 This little snail sun suit and matching burp cloth is a gift I made for a friend who had a July baby. The fabric is 100% cotton seersucker and the pattern is one of the "big 4" retro remakes from the 50's. The applique is from Embroidery Boutique. I had fun making this. It was quick and easy and I think it turned out very cute!
I wanted to make a matching burp rag, so I started with a plain cloth diaper and added a border from matching fabrics and a saying, which was a freebie on Sewforum. (You must be a member to see this link).
I like the way this set turned out and think it made a great gift for a little summer baby boy. When you see the 2 pieces together, you realize how tiny the little sun suit is!
I hope you enjoyed seeing it. Thank you if you have become a Follower! It encourages me to keep writing and sewing! Please leave a comment; it's great to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Scarecrow Smorgasbord

This week has been extremely busy with the kids' school work, activities, and other stuff. All week, I've been running into scarecrow-themed items that I thought would be fun to share. This adorable scarecrow shirt and overalls was made by my super-talented friend Sally. I always say, "if there's a craft, I have probably tried it." Sally is the epitome of this. She does all kinds of sewing, as well as food-crafting, miniatures, papercrafts, and much more. This outfit is the Collars, Etc. "Will" pattern.
The shirt has a little pleated area perfect to showcase a little picture smocking.
The overalls are soft corduroy, perfect for the Fall weather coming soon.
Sally also made this beautiful scherenschnitte featuring a scarecrow and all sorts of Fall motifs. If you haven't read my post on bedjackets, you can see an adorable bunny also made by Sally, here.
Katie bought this cupcake for Davy at a local bakery. I tried a bite, so I know it tasted as good as it looks!
Here's a fun scarecrow at a pumpkin farm!
I hope you enjoyed today's scarecrow inspiration. I have several projects I want to do, as soon as I find a little free time. I love to read your comments, so please leave one if you like!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Friendship & Quilting

This quilt is very special. Last year, my Quilt Guild had a "Row Robin" program. We were put onto groups of 6 ladies. Each chose a selection of fabrics that she liked and a theme for her quilt. I chose these Fall calicoes by Moda and my theme was "Heart of the Home". We had to decide on a width for our rows and stitch the first one. I made the row of houses to start.
Then we put all of our fabric and the first row in a bag and swapped. Once a month, the bags would be passed to the next person in the group. Everyone at the meeting (except the person whose quilt it was) got to see all the rows so far. We didn't get to see all the rows for our own quilt until 6 months had passed and the quilts were done. For that meeting, all 6 rows would be set up on a design wall and we would come back in the room and see everything at once. It was amazing the variety of quilts and how beautiful they all were! Here are some of the others I worked on:
I made the flip-flop row on this beach-themed quilt. I used ribbon for the part across the foot and it looked great.
I did the colorwash row on this "Harvest Blessings" quilt. This friend started her row at a retreat we were at together, so I knew what to expect on this one!
This blue and white star quilt got a row of friendship stars from me.
I had fun making leaves for this Halloween quilt.
This Egyptian quilt was a challenge for me, since it's not my usual style. But that was good, because it made me try something I had never done before. I made kaleidoscope blocks from a large-scale print. It is the second row from the top and all 4 kaleidoscopes are from just one fabric.

I just found out that our Guild will be doing another Row Robin this year. I will definitely participate! Now, if I can just get last year's quilted first...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Apple Crisp- Welcome Fall!

Today I am sharing my recipe for apple crisp.
Apple crisp is a special dish for me because my husband and I got married in New England in October, which is a beautiful time of year, when the leaves make a beautiful show. Our reception was in a building from 1796 with lots of wood and a pond with ducks. (Of course, we never order duck when dining there!) The restaurant served a delicious apple crisp for the dessert (besides the wedding cake-my other favorite!).
You'll need:
5 large or 7 small Apples
3/4 cup Old Fashioned Oats
3/4 cup All-purpose Flour
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground Cloves
1 stick Butter, very soft
1/4 cup Apple Cider or Juice
Peel the apples. I use this handy-dandy machine that peels, cores, and slices all at once. The kids love running it for me! They've been taking apples to school this way all week.
It makes the apples spiral sliced, like a giant apple spring.
Arrange the apple slices in an 8 or 9 inch round or square pan.
Mix the dry ingredients, then stir in the butter till you have a nice, crumbly topping.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples.
Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes. Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An Awesome Apple Adventure

 We went apple picking yesterday at a local farm. The apples are big and plentiful this year. See how tiny Andy's hands are on one of these giant apples?
 There were also fields of beautiful sunflowers.
In a short time, we picked 3 large bags of apples. Good thing they had wagons to get them to the car!
The reason we picked so many is that my Mom is running a luncheon on Sunday for the aunts, cousins, and cousin's children to meet Andy. Katie and Rosie have been helping her get ready. They made these apple crisp "kits" for favors at the party.
They have a ceramic pie plate, apples, and a mix the girls made for topping. The mix is in a plastic bag inside these pretty fabric bags the girls made. A tag with directions is tied on with a ribbon. Here's a close-up of the pretty tags:
These kits would make nice gifts for teachers, co-workers, or neighbors. Check back tomorrow for the recipe and a picture of the finished crisp.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Daygown Modeled

Here is my sweet little Andy wearing the bunny daygown. I love it!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Every Stitch by Hand...

Bunny Shadow work on Hand Stitched Daygown

Today I finished the hand sewn daygown in the OFB daygown sew-along. I had so much fun making this and I LOVE the way it turned out! Jeannie's lessons were great; almost as good as taking a class in person. I learned some new techniques and re-discovered the pleasure of hand-sewing, which I haven't done as much of since having children. The only thing I did differently from her directions was the embroidery. I have several lacy, fluffy daygowns and I wanted this one to be really boyish. I searched my old magazines and found this sweet bunny design in the Nov/Dec 2003 Creative Needle. I haven't done shadow work in years, but it came right back to me. I used DMC floss for the embroidery, which also has stem stitch, lazy daisies, and French knots.
Back view of the daygown

I love the pleats on the sleeves and chose tatting to complement the tailored look. I'm very proud of how the inside looks almost as good as the outside.
Inside view: back of shadow work, French seams, entredeux finish

The completed daygown!

I already tried it on Andy and he looks so sweet. Daygowns are perfect for baby photos. I had a great time participating in this Sew Along and hope Jeannie will do another one soon!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Black Floral Dress

Last summer, I had to make a dress for Rosie to wear to a funeral for her friend's dad. I wanted something appropriate for a 9-year-old, but in a subdued color. I found this black floral calico and thought it would be suitable. I used Maggie's Classics Basic A-line pattern and added several small tucks to the front yoke, though they are hard to see. I have many of Maggie's patterns and I think they are great. The artwork does not do justice to how nice they turn out. The pieces always fit together well and they come in a nice range of sizes. I have made several of her bubbles and boys' suits, which I will share in another post.

I just have to stitch the hem for my OFB Daygown Sew Along! I hope to share the finished gown tomorrow. It is really cute!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Everything Old is New Again - White Wednesday

Today I am sharing some pillowcases that I embroidered. These bluebird pillowcases were for a Yankee Swap.
I stitched these on my embroidery machine, using designs from Juli at Sew Weird. Her vintage embroideries are my favorites, because I think they look the closest to hand embroidery. I believe she works from vintage transfers and everything I have made with her designs has turned out well.
This floral basket set was made for one of my daughters. I worked on these on a weekend sewing retreat with my Quilt Guild. Most of the ladies had never seen an embroidery machine and were fascinated at how it stitched with very little operator input. They thought it was really funny that I was piecing a quilt on one machine while running embroideries on the other!

The last set is actually on light blue pillowcases. It is another floral basket design. These pillowcases were a gift for my Mom. She remembers doing embroidery similar to this when she was a girl. The design was stamped on the pillowcases for her to stitch.
Everyone who has received these as gifts loved them. Now, I just need to find time to make some for myself!

Linking to White Wednesday at Faded Charm.

Thanks to all who have become Followers or left comments; you really make my day when I see your message in my inbox!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bedjackets, Large and Small

Bed jacket over nightgown; soft and cozy!

While pregnant with Andy I enjoyed making several baby outfits, blankets, and quilts. It was fun to think about the baby while stitching tiny clothes. I also made something for myself: a pink chenille bed jacket. I had always thought they were a practical garment. I often read, watch TV, or do a little hand sewing at night and I hate to be chilly in the winter. I also thought it would be cozy for the middle of the night feedings. I wasn't sure if I should make something light and pretty, maybe with some smocking, or something warm and cozy. Comfort won, so I bought some pink cotton chenille. I knew I was having a boy, but I had made so many blue things already and pink is one of my favorite colors, so I went with it. I used a vintage pattern from the 1940s.

The vintage 1940s pattern I used
I decided to put a monogram on the front, which turned out to be the hardest part of the whole project. I used an embossed background to made a flat place on the chenille on which to stitch the monogram. The construction was easy after that! I used pink flannel for the facings to reduce bulk. It is a perfect fit and I am looking forward to using it more often now that Fall weather is arriving!