Kiss the Cook Dishtowel for Basic Machines

 

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and many readers have already mentioned that they are working of projects for the day that honors love.

Many, of course, are stitching special outfits for their children or grands.  One dear grandmother is making 35 gifts for her grandchildren’s classmates, some pencil toppers and the others toothbrush wraps.  I’ve never heard of toothbrush wraps and think it’s something I need to find out about.  Do you know anything about them?

Others are creating gifts for family and friends.  Since not everyone has an embroidery machine, I’m going to be adding blog projects, like this dishtowel, which require only a basic machine.

This was one of the many SM1738 machine samples assigned to me by Brother.   It is very basic, with only 17 stitches.  They include 3 straight stitches–short, medium and longer, 3 zig zags –short and narrow, medium and wider, and longer and much wider, a blind hem and a few others, a look at the video shows how much can be done without all the bells and whistles that owners of high end machines enjoy.  I made all of those samples on this machine, except the pillowcase which was made by someone else.

You all know I LOVE my Brother Dream Machine, but there is much that can be done on a basic model. It’s likely we all started out with a simple workhorse. The SM1738 is much like my first sewing machine, which as a bride, I used to make curtains and pillows for our first home in 1968.  I thought it was to-die-for and stitched miles and miles of seams.  I wish I had had some creative suggestions then!

To make this towel, I used: a plain white dishtowel, 1/2 yd. kiss fabric, 2/3 yd. red and 2/3 black rick rack, regular sewing thread and monofilament thread.

Here’s how:

  1.  Cut away hem on dishtowel, leaving a raw edge.
  2.  Join kiss fabric to raw edge with turntube/burrito hem technique.  The tutorial calls for just 1/4 yd. of hem fabric.  But without embroidery, I wanted a larger hem.   The finished hem will be seam’s width less than half the fabric.  A quarter yard will render a hem approximately 3 1/2″ wide and the 1/2 yd. piece used on this towel created a hem of approximately 8 1/2″.  Just suit yourself or use available scraps.
  3. Twist red and black rick rack together.
  4. Baste through the center of rick rack with monofilament thread.
  5. Free motion with monofilament and #60 needle over humps of rick rack.
  6. Fold ends to back and tack in place.
  7. Remove basting stitches in rick rack.

Of course, any print with any color combination of rick rack could be used to make a special dish towel.  Kiss the Cook or any other text could be quickly hand embroidered. If you are lucky enough to have an embroidery machine, the addition of text would be a breeze.

 

 

With any sewing machine, you can create fabulous items for your family and friends.

Coming up in future Basic Machine posts are

  • an heirloom pillow complete with shadow pintucks, inserted Swiss beading, a monogram and shell tucks
  • Minnie Mouse dresses
  • Elsa costume
  • fabric greeting card
  • cell phone case
  • and more

 

 

Bye Christmas ’17 and Frozen X 25

Not exactly a Griswold house, but it was enough to please us. And there is more in the back around the pool.  Bob really wanted to please the children with all the lights. Lighted reindeer are perched on the garage roof, 4 snowflakes hang in front of the breakfast porch, candles are in the windows and my sewing room on the right is lighted up like an airport runway.  Should have turned that off before Bob snapped this shot.

 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  Good friends, good times, good food, and good worship makes this time of year so special.  But Christmas ’17 is over.

The lights and tree are down, all decorations are packed away and our precious family have all returned to their far away homes.  It was a wonderful, joyous time, but now it’s seems very quiet in this house.  Several of us were sick at various times, but that didn’t keep us from having fun.

 

Gotcha gang ready for the next round. The dogs insisted on being in the middle of it all and were more help in the finding than the hiding.  Laurel is wearing her new Theater Geek hoodie and Vivian Rose is in her beloved leopard print tutu dress.  Sigh…

 

We went to church, ate turkey and pie, drank gallons of eggnog and played our family’s traditional holiday games.  ” Gotcha” is a favorite of all four grandchildren.

Basically, it’s just Hide and Seek in the dark, with the use of on-off head lamps.  When “It” finally finds someone in the dark, he yells “Gotcha” and we all race back to the center of the yard so as not to give up a good hiding place.

Once when we reassembled, we noted Harvey’s absence.  Vivi announced that he was in the house.  “See, Daddy’s in the kitchen!”  And sure enough, there was Harvey clearly visible through the window, probably eating a cookie.  Nothing gets by that girl. Continue reading

Christmas Cat Dress

 

CC Lucy embroidered with a darling cat Christmas tree from Apex Embroidery

 

It’s rush, rush, rush around here and, except for you amazingly organized ladies,  I expect we are all scurrying around with Christmas preparations.

This season has been especially busy for me as I am working on an heirloom project for Brother’s Stitching Sewcial blog.  Hurrah!  But I only had time to make a simple CC Lucy Christmas dress for 4 yo Vivian Rose.  And of course, a matching bow tie for big brother Alastair.

 

 

I was tickled pink to find the cat Christmas tree in the huge and wonderful Apex Embroidery catalogue.  Of course, cat-lover Vivian was delighted when the package arrived. Continue reading

Maggie B’s Kitty Cat Ode to Joy

Maggie B’s Ode to Joy dress

 

My 4 yo granddaughter and I really love this Ode to Joy pattern by Maggie B.  It is offered to students in her on-line class with excellent directions and a multitude of step-by-step instructional pictures.  Our little dynamo is always on the go, in a hurry to get wherever and impatient with fussy button closures.  She’s a gal who has places to go, people to see, and things to do.  So just get on with getting dressed!

One of the best features of this little frock is that it simply pulls over the head like a tee shirt  No buttons, no buttonholes.

 

As you can clearly see, the neck binding is loosey goosey. It IS important to use the correct size elastic and worth a trip to the store if you don’t have it on hand. Lesson learned.

 

With it’s pop-over style and comfy fit, Ode to Joy is a favorite of our Vivian Rose.  The cat print is an added bonus, making it a very popular wardrobe choice. Continue reading

Precious Church Baby

flannel blanket for our newest church baby

 

Presenting a welcome gift to new babies at our church is a task I relish.  This purchased flannel blanket was embroidered for little Elise to wrap her in the warmth and the love of our congregation.  I do so love babies!

 

 

The text was arranged in Brother’s PE-Design.  The little angel cherubs are from Petite Designs, Brother’s card #20, one of my most often used collections. It is also available at ibroidery.com here.  The corner embroidery nestled perfectly in my Brother Quattro 8×8 hoop. Continue reading

Thanksgiving Table Runner

 

Yes, I know Thanksgiving is over but life has been hectic around here.  I’m waaaaay behind!  But this could easily be made as a Christmas runner.  Keep that in mind.

This table runner was made for Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial.  It included two of my favorite sewing techniques, hemstitching and machine embroidery. A detailed photo tutorial is posted here http://blog.brothersews.com/home-decor/thanksgiving-table-runner/

The hem of the pale sage linen was mitred and then hemstitched.  I just love hemstitching.  It gives such an elegant finish to just about anything.  My Brother Dream Machine (and all of my earlier Brother machines) executes this technique flawlessly.  This linen was fairly heavy so I used a large wing needle.

The embroidery design from ibroidery.com is so nice for the end of a runner.  Only the colors gave it an autumn look and it stitches out perfectly. With other color and different seasonal text it could used again and again.

 

 

The opposite end read Thankful.

 

The companion embroidery was mirrored along the outer edges of the center, leaving room for a center piece.

Continue reading

Christmas Quilt–Disney Stippled

 

Surely you know that Christmas is just around the corner. In anticipation of the holiday and all the joy that goes with it, this quilt was made.  Quilting, machine embroidery, and stippling combined to make a quilt with which I was almost entirely pleased.  I regretted running out of time before I quilted the green gingham squares along the edges and they waffled.

As a “Brother paid expert consultant”, my assignment was to use the new Disney Mickey and Friends Christmas designs in a Dream Machine project.  As you can see, I chose to make a quilt.

Detailed and photo illustrated instructions are posted here at Stitching Sewcial.

 

 

Six of the new Disney designs were chosen, each of which would fit in the 4×4 frame.  For the other blocks mini designs were chosen so as not to compete with the new Mickey and Friends Christmas embroideries.

 

This is the center block, stippled and in place.

 

Continue reading

Two-Holiday Reversible Jumper

Same garment, two holidays.  The Halloween jumper reversed to become a Thanksgiving jumper.  Sorry, but the orange gingham hem on the Halloween dress does not show up well.

 

Have you ever heard anyone say that they have too much time to sew?  We all seem to have more projects in the queue than time will allow.  Here’s a tip–sew a reversible two holiday garment such as this.  It’s like a BOGO–buy one get one free.

 

Black pique fabric is trimmed with an orange gingham scalloped hemline. It is trimmed with purple spaghetti bias and an orange button at the peak of each scallop.

 

The reversible jumper is a project I did for Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial.  There you will find step-by-step instructions for this slick technique which I first learned  from guru Louise Baird’s excellent directions in Applique, Martha’s Favorites.  Only 4″ of handsewing is required for the entire garment!

 

This book includes a pattern for a nearly identical jumper as well as a boy’s Jon-Jon.

 

 

The Halloween scalloped hemline border was simply sewn with raw edges to the black pique’ dress.  The top edge is covered with purple spaghetti bias and an orange button at each peak.  The bottom raw edge is later enclosed in the seam which joins the two garments. Continue reading

Feeling the Need

5 banners in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

 

Have you ever felt called to do something, regardless of the fact that you had little or almost no free time?  And when the nagging feeling would not go away, you just rolled up your sleeves and got to it?  There is a whole backstory to this endeavor at the end of the post.  That story is not about sewing, but about the need  to sew.

That’s what pulled me from my busy-ness to make these five banners.  Five hundred years ago on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the  door of the Wittenburg Castle Church in Germany.  This launched the Reformation, the essence of which is expressed by the five “Solas”  which are illustrated in the five banners.

One side of our sanctuary has 4 stained glass windows, in shades of blue and gold.

 

wall opposite the new banners

 

But the opposite wall is common to the Fellowship Hall so no windows could be installed.  It was just blank, except for two lights and some electrical devices.

So what called me?  Firstly, the blank wall which begged for some visible inspiration.  Secondly, a gut feeling that I had to sew more for my church.  We are commanded to share our talents, but I can’t sing so the choir was not an option.  Sewing is my best gift and I had done some other sewing for the church.  So sewing is what I needed to do.

As I rolled up my sleeves, our dynamic young pastor suggested that a banner for each of the 5 Solas would perfectly match his plan to preach one Sola on each of the 5 Sundays in October.

Okay, now I had a plan.

 

The Celtic “S” in Sola is from Martha Pullen’s  Celtic Alphabet from the 2014 Internet Embroidery Club.  The Bible is a design from Embroidery Library and the text, ” Thy word is truth.”  is curved and abbreviated.  The original cross was removed and replaced with a smaller one from my design library. The original design has 80.093 stitches!  So I converted the Bible into an applique’ with ultrasuede.  That  reduced the stitch count to 60,000 which is still a lot of stitches.  Those roses are very dense.  The gold corners are from Urban Threads.

Continue reading

Halloween Dreaming

 

My grandchildren love holiday pillowcases.  This set was made for 4 yo Vivian Rose, who loves cats.  I knew she would appreciate the addition of the witch cat to the Happy Halloween design.   Both designs are from the delightful ADP 89 Patrick Lose Happy Halloween collection.

Though her family pet is an 18 yo Ragdoll cat who does little but sleep the day away, this child has an unusual and firm fixation on felines.  Last year at Thanksgiving, as always, each family member at the table offered thanks for those things for which they were most grateful.  Three year old Vivian said, “Kittens.”  When asked was there anything else, she said, “Cats.”  pressed further, her 3rd and last reply was, “Big cats. More more turkey please.”

Along with the pillowcases, I included a sweet birthday card with three adorable kittens.  The card was modified to read “Happy Birthday Halloween.”

She loved her new pillowcases but I think the cat card pleased her more.

Here she is wearing her signature bedtime fashion, nestled in the pillows and holding her cat card.

The sleepwear is from her future Vivian’s Secret fashion line. And yet I continue to smock and sew heirloom clothes for her, hoping for a change in her personal style choices.

 

There is so much puckering in the embroidery!  Every time I embroider on polycotton, regardless of how much starch and stabilizer I use, it puckers.  Do you have any suggestions?