Valentine Gifts-Quick and Easy

NOTE: 2 FREE designs!  Heart balloons at Embroidery Library and Lace Heart applique’ at GG Designs.  Links below.

Hooping the towel on the left through the check border was very difficult. Consequently, the towel on the right was hooped above the thicker hem. Much easier.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you might think it’s too late to make gifts.  But these quick and easy projects can be stitched in time, though you may have to ship them priority mail.  Just take a look.

I’ve always been a big fan of tea towels—no need to worry about the size or even getting the color right.  No matter what, anyone can dry dishes with your gift towel and frankly, the towel is less expensive than most greeting cards.  And no one needs to feel beholden.  I like that.

When I saw this high-flying free design at Embroidery Library, available in 4 sizes, I was on it.  I pulled out my prewashed stash of towels from All About Blanks and set to work for my friends, near and far.  I was very pleased with the results.  Embroidery was done on my Brother Dream Machine 2.

Another quick gift is this little pocketbook I made for my purse-loving 2.5 yo church granddaughter.

The sweet heart applique’ is another free design, in 6 sizes from GG designs,  The monogram B is from Brother PE-Design.  The heart was embroidered on my Brother Dream Machine.

Of course, tradition dictates that neither purse nor wallet nor any money carrying vessel shall be gifted without some token currency.  So Beatrice’s little purse was loaded with a little change for her Winnie the Pooh bank, some candy to share with her parents, a small handkerchief for which she sees no use now and a lollipop which she popped in her mouth immediately.

The very simple purse is included in this adorable pattern, though I’m sure there are others just as quick to make.

I’m not the only one who thinks tea towels make great gifts.  This painted towel was lovingly made by our younger grandson, the handsome boy pictured on the mugs we enjoy for drinking our coffee.  One of his other dedicated grandmothers, “NanNan,” always works with him and his younger sister to craft Christmas gifts for family members.  We treasure this one.

Tea towel Valentine gift made by our grandson a few years ago.

I’m sure any Valentine gifts you make, quick and easy or time consuming, will be appreciated for the love that you put into it.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Dear Readers!

 

Required disclaimer: I am a paid Brother Brand Ambassador.  Not required: I love my Brother machines!

 

 

 

Whimsy Dresses

Since renowned sewing expert, dear friend, and Children’s Corner pattern designer Lezette Thomason posted a comment on the Sew Classic facebook group about this dress, it seemed timely to rerun this again.  She also added a file to the group files.   If you are a member of that wonderfully helpful group, which discusses exclusively Children’s Corner patterns, you might want to check it out.~~~~~~~

I’m still reeling with ideas from Kari Mecca’s classes at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo ’15.  Fortunately, while there I had stocked up on spaghetti bias, so I was ready to go full steam ahead on this dress along with a matching one for an AG doll.

Kari’s books are treasures, so full of patterns and inspiration.  I purchased these books and am so glad to have them.

Sewing with Whimsy by Kari Mecca Paperback (9781878048523)

But back to the first dress she inspired……..

The ladybug button just tickled me. I was especially happy to find a tiny bug button for the doll dress.

sleeve2I started with a Simplicity pattern but wish I had found one without a yoke. NOTE:  CC Eleanor would have been perfect if it had been available at the time.   It left precious little room for the applique’ and I doubt the rick rack would have fit even if I had thought about it.  Also, I find the separation of bodice to skirt distracting, even with the coordinating lime green whipstitch piping.  Oh well.

dress back

I thought  of Elizabeth Travis Johnson’s admonishment to her students to put something interesting on garment backs. So I added a decorative button and an extra one at the bottom of the opening.  The top button should have been moved to the left so the back opening would close properly.

The doll dress was just as much fun, as I learned a few things about working in miniature.

Kit's dress is a little short, but that seems to be the style now.

Kit’s dress is a little short, but that seems to be the style now.

Kari often uses ribbon trim made from her Whimsy Sticks to outline the spaghetti bias.   I had no suitable ribbon (I’ll remedy that soon!) for the girl’s dress but even if I had some on hand, it would have been too large for the doll dress.

doll dress close

Notice that tiny, proportional ladybug button, about half the size of the one on the girl’s dress. It is just the right size.

Instead, the doll dress applique’s were outlined with baby rick rack which I did have on hand.  Hmmm…woulda shoulda coulda used rick rack on the girl dress, which I did have on hand, but that idea came toooo late. Next time, I’ll do that.

The doll size was a bit small for applique leaves, so I just fray-checked the ends of baby rick rack and made them into leaves.

doll dress sleeve 2

So  this is what I have done for fun.  What are you up to?  Easter sewing updates?  I’ll post mine when they are finished.

 

 

 

7 Year Old’s Quilt

She finished her quilt! She was so proud. It looked a lot better after it was laundered and quilt baste was washed away. But we were too eager to get the photo to wait.  She had to return home shortly after this image was taken.

“Nana, I want to make a quilt,” my 7 year old granddaughter announced last summer. This statement was no noble urge to learn the womanly art of quilting.  Make no mistake,  cold, hard cash was her motivation.

Vivian Rose had listened quietly at a family gathering as the women reminisced around the kitchen table about county fairs in the past and the huge sums that my daughter (Vivian’s mother) and Vivian’s older cousin had earned in premium pay outs.  Their quilts had been the most fun and earned the most prize money. Vivian  was dazzled and convinced this was indeed her road to riches.

I explained to her that making a quilt was a big commitment of time, especially with her living across the state.  We could not get together very often and we would have to work long hours in blocks of  time.  “I can do it,” she declared with determination.  And she did!

When sewing a with a child, it’s important to remember that it is HER (or HIS) project, not yours.  It is hard to simply suggest and not insist when it comes to making design decisions.

QUILT DESIGN

My quick and easy plan was for a 15 block quilt, 5 rows of 3 blocks.  Each block would be 8″ finished, seam allowances would be 1/2″.

NOTE: Of course, I did all the rotary cutting.  No child should handle a rotary cutter. She did, however, do the ironing, with supervision.

Eight 12″ blocks were cut from solid white fabric for machine embroidery and seven 10″ blocks were cut from the cat prints Vivian had chosen. Knowing her lifelong obsession with cats, I had a hefty stash of cat fabrics on hand and a Covid shopping prohibition.  We had to make do with what was on hand.

She selected her favorite 7 cat prints with no concern for color coordination. Next, she proceeded to select 8 redwork cat machine embroidery designs from Embroidery Library’s Crafty Cats Redwork Design Pack in the 5 x 7 size.  I’m so grateful for on-line shopping! The 12″ blocks allowed for easy hooping with water soluble stabilizer.

She had done a good bit of machine embroidery before this so she breezed through the redwork blocks. Here she is joining a block to cat fabric.

 

After embroidery, the blocks were trimmed to 9″ and were sewn into rows with the cat print blocks.  They, too, were trummed to 9″.  Then the rows joined together.  TIP:  After laying out the blocks in rows, we found it helpful to take a picture with my phone.  Then sewing them together made it easier to do so without mistakes. 

Vivi was very particular and most of her corners met almost perfectly. There was no sashing, as the seams were covered with jumbo rickrack.  It seemed almost a shame to cover them.

 

 

A glue stick helped hold the rick rack in place, pins added extra security and the laser on my Brother Dream Machine was a great aid in guiding her stitching.

 

 

After the rick rack was applied,  the backing was prepared.  It was 2″ wider and longer than the finished quilt top, prewashed and pressed.

A quit label was embroidered and stitched to the backing.

 

 

The batting was placed on a firm flat surface and sprayed with quilt baste.  The quilt top was smoothed over it.

The backing was placed face down to the quilt top and pinned securely on all sides.  It was stitched around all sides, leaving an 8″ opening at the bottom to turn the quilt right side out.

After it was turned, the opening seam allowance was folded  under and the edges pressed.  Rick rack was applied to the perimeter, sealing the opening and creating an outer border.

Carefully selected buttons were sewn by machine to each intersection and the ends of each length of rick rack.  They were secured in place with a glue stick.

TIP:  Just as when arranging the blocks before sewing,  the carefully selected buttons were photographed in place, section by section so they were visible as it was their time to be sewn in place.

 

She was just preparing to sew on buttons. I should have waited until she had sewn on a few. We had  repositioned the machine to the dining room so she had a big table to support the quilt but hadn’t  rotated it to be helpful.

 

Vivian learned so much while making this quilt, most importantly the satisfaction of a job well done, even though it took a long time, especially with  frequent canine interruptions.

 

 

And about that  plan that this quilt would be her road to riches?  That didn’t work out. Sadly, due to the pandemic, the county fair was cancelled for the first time since 1923.

She handled her disappointment very well.  I comforted her with news that now she had a great head start for next year, and now she has time to get more projects ready to enter.  So perhaps that road to riches beckons yet.  But there is more fun in the projects and the learning than the riches.  And more fun with Nana.  Yay!

Required disclaimer:  I am a paid Brother Brand Ambassador.  Not required:  I LOVE my Brother machines.

 

 

Christmas 2020

 

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.

This is our 46th Christmas in this house and it seems each one gets better as all of our dreams have come true.

Well, the Most Wonderful Time of the Year has come and gone and it was a glorious time. For at least a few days of the week both of our children and  their families were with us and the house was filled with laughter, music, good food, dogs, and chaos.

Since our son was about 10, the Noel proclamation has been mysteriously rearranged on the mantel with our boy neither pleading nor looking guilty, offering only an innocent smile.  Now his son Robert has taken up the gauntlet and another Noel has fallen victim to the prank.

We never know what the mantel or the mirror will proclaim.  Some days it’s NOLE or OLEO, though LEON seems to be favored–you just never know.  Some speculate that it’s  the work of the Elf on the Shelf.

Meanwhile, the piano seems to be playing non-stop, whether it be Ryan, Laurel or Robert at the keyboard, with only cookie breaks in the music.  When Ryan was a child, his job was to play after dinner as Rebecca and I cleaned the kitchen.   It made her want piano lessons.

My boy loves music as do his children.

Sweet, sweet memories.

It was to be a great puzzle. 11 yo Alastair grins at his success, while mama Rebecca holds well-behaved Mendel and Robert FINALLY gave in to have his picture taken.

We worked on a Christmas puzzle on the back porch in 80 degree weather.  Then in one brief, unsupervised moment, Sebastian, our 1 year old Pyrenees pup, nicknamed The White Devil,  pulled the unfinished puzzle off the table and chewed up several pieces.  Oh well.

Gingerbread houses were built and decorated, basketball was played in the driveway, football games were watched,  driving lessons were given to 15 yo Robert,  eggnog was chugged, stories were told, cats and dogs were played with and loved on, church was zoomed and life was merry at the Ferguson home.

Our dinner table was festive, set with the traditional Christmas menu.  Along with pumpkin pie, Laurel made a divine cranberry cake, with cream cheese frosting sprinkled with chopped walnuts, decorated with candied cranberries.

As expected, Vivian’s white lace Christmas dress was too big, so she wore cousin Laurel’s 10 yo black velveteen Sugar Plum Fairy Christmas dress which had been hanging in  the nursery closet waiting for her to grow into it.  Finally she did.  Brother Alastair was dashing, as usual, in his  holiday finery.

I wish I had taken more pictures, but I got so wrapped up in the wonder of it all.  My wish is that you all had a joyous Christmas and celebrated the reason of the season.

From our house to yours, I wish you a happy and healthy 2021.

 

 

2021 Christmas Dress..Oh Well

Are you all set for Christmas?  Cards sent, house decorated, gifts wrapped and sent, sewing finished?  Congratulations if you’ve answered yes to more than one of these questions.

My cards are sent and some house decorating is done, but my greatest accomplishment is finishing my granddaughter’s Christmas dress.

The white lace dress pattern included in the latest Classic Sewing magazine was   made for almost 8 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose.   It is lovely but was just waaaaay too big for her.  She is tiny, though her mother declared she wears a size 8 and I went with it. Big mistake. Even with the accurate and current measurements I had for her, the lace has some stretch.   I should have taken that into account. The silver lining for this disappointment is that now her Christmas dress for 2021 is already finished! I’ve never been ahead of the game like this!

Here she is with the shoulder seams falling off her shoulders, with her handsome 11 yo brother.  He’s had such a growth spurt that his mother just discovered that the only dark shoes that fit his newly enormous feet are his soccer cleats.  So that’s what he wore for this picture. Fortunately, the shoe laces match his vest.  With any luck, Amazon will deliver his new black dress shoes this week.

My two younger grandchildren in their Christmas clothes. It’s likely they will only be worn for at home Christmas dinner with grandparents in their bubble. But they will look spectacular, especially if Vivian has a monumental growth spurt or wears her soon-to-arrive Sugar Plum Fairy dress (see below).

 

Farmhouse Fabrics, as always, came through with the white lace fabric. I ordered a few hours after their on-line Gab and Gush featured this lace and at that time  there were only 6 yards left!  The ever-helpful staff matched up ribbon for the sash with the satiny rose slip fabric I chose.  The hairbow, also ordered on line,  was a perfect match.  Of course, I ordered 3 bows hoping one would match and it did!

Vivian Rose with her beloved rescue dog, Mendel.

This dress was relatively quick and easy to make, with 4-thread serged seams and a Swiss batiste bound neckline.  There was no hemming at the sleeves or on the skirt. In the Farmhouse Live video Sally suggested a crocheted thread loop at the shoulders, attached with a snap to secure the slip shoulders.  That was a great tip, especially when the dress turned out to be too big.  That slip would have fallen off the child’s shoulders and annoyed her all day. Another set of crocheted loops was added to the waistline for the optional ribbon sash.

The day after the fabric was ordered, Vivian was here to finish her quilt (a future post).  She loves plundering through my sewing room and the nursery closet where she came across cousin Laurel’s Christmas dress from 2010, just waiting for her to grow into it. That was the nutcracker themed Christmas before Vivi was born, when Laurel was the Sugar Plum Fairy, Robert was the Nutcracker and little Alastair was the Mouse King.

 

Surely, I  thought, Vivi is too small for this.  But she insisted she wanted to try it on. Lo and behold, it fit!   She desperately wanted that dress.  When I explained  that the fabric for the white lace dress, which she also desperately wanted, was already on its way, she replied, “Nana, a girl needs more than one Christmas dress!”  Who could argue with that, even during a pandemic.

But the beading on the bib was damaged and needed repair, so I could not send it home with her.  I put it off and finally mended the lace with 80 wt. Madeira thread.   The dress was sent to her priority mail a full week ago.  It still has not made it 150 miles across the state, but the poor USPS has been swamped this holiday season.  I expect it will arrive before Christmas and one of those other 2 hairbows will match the pink ribbon.

So I’m feeling pretty smug right now, knowing that my little granddaughter is all set for Christmas 2020 AND for Christmas 2021!  I bet not many sewist can feel that relaxed!

Meanwhile, I wish all of you dear readers a very merry Christmas and holiday season.  Also I wish you all a happy, healthy 2021!

 

 

Masked Santa Towel

 

The season of Christmas 2020 has been like no other.  With all our social limitations, the celebration of the reason for the season remains unchanged.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t acknowledge the uniqueness of this year’s holiday.

Dishtowels have long been a favorite small gift of mine.  It fits everyone, needs no interior decoration coordination, and implies no obligatory reciprocation.  It just conveys the message of caring at this season of love.

After an extensive search, I found just the design I was looking for here at Rivermill Embroidery. It comes in 4 sizes and a variety of formats. With the addition of the text, the applique’d masked Santa on a black bordered towel perfectly reflected my sentiments of the season. I’ve long been a fan and happy customer of AllAboutBlanks.com where I found  these towels.

The addition of the text to the 4×4 applique’ required my 8×8″ Brother Quattro frame.  Another font or text could easily be arranged in a 5 x 7 frame.  Whatever.  I think it’s a perfect design and a lasting remembrance for this season.

If you would like the text “an unforgettable Christmas” sent in .pes format, just leave your request as a comment at the end of this post.

Wishing you all the real joy of this Christmas season.

Required disclaimer: I am a paid Brother Brand Ambassador.  Not required:  I LOVE my Brother machines.

 

 

 

 

Embroidered Christmas Cards

It’s been forever since a new post has been put up here at Janice Ferguson Sews and I can’t say just why.  Everyone thinks we should have so much time being pretty much shut down with the pandemic but I seem to be busier than ever! I did get a new hip and the therapy seemed to eat up all my energy and a huge amount of time.  And it did help.

But back to blogging…….these embroidered  holiday cards are my latest tutorial for Brother’s blog Stitching Sewcial and I LOVED making them.  Were it not for the drudgery of laundry, cooking, cleaning, and the weeds that NEVER stop growing in Florida, etc. I’d make a hundred!  They are so much fun!  Check out the how-to tutorial here.  

The tri-fold cards I ordered ordered are just wonderful  They came with a variety of colors with optional oval or rectangular shapes.  I highly recommend this vendor, though I have no connection other than that of a satisfied customer.

You might notice that there are two drawings on fabric by children (my grands) which were then placed over a thin layer of batting, free-motion outlined then stippled before inserted into tri-fold cards.  Details are in the Brother blog tutorial.

 

Alastair drew his dog and cat lover Vivian, of course, drew a cat.  It took a little creative text to pull it all together.  Some grandparents, I’m sure, will be delighted.

Trifold cards are not necessary.  Several cards were made with plain cardstock while others were made from larger, fancy cardstock from craft stores like Michaels.  Some were made with simple text on cardstock.

With the addition of felt, buttons, ribbon and whatever, you can just go crazy.

One of my favorite cards was made with this design from Embroidery Online’s  I Believe in Santa Collection.  This is a gorgeous set, marked down to $25, but each design is available individually for just $1.  Other designs include I Believe in Hope, In Harmony, In Giving, In Family and so much more.  Just a beautiful collection.

So these homemade cards are my recommendation for some lockdown holiday fun.  The recipients will love them and you will have a big time making them.

Merry Christmas to all!

P.S.  I’m looking forward to showing you granddaughter Vivian Rose in her Christmas dress, the white lace dress from Sew Classic.  Lovely as it is on a child, at least in the magazine, it hangs a little limp on a hangar so I am waiting for her to model it. When it arrived her mother said Vivi’s mouth was purple (she didn’t know why) and and the little urchin was dirty, dirty, dirty.  So trying it on her would have to wait.  I’m waiting.

What have you sewn for the holidays?

Required disclaimer:  I am a paid Brother Ambassador.  Not required:  I LOVE my Brother machines.

 

 

Fast and Fun Halloween Projects

With so many schools relegated to virtual on-line computer classes and Halloween activities being cancelled, it seems more important than ever for our children to have some fall festival fun.  These projects are fun to make and fun to share.

These darling pencil toppers were just sent to my younger grands to share with their classmates, by mailing them to their friends. Did you know that Halloween is the most popular secular holiday in the USA?  Just ask my grandchildren.  They are crazy for this time of year.  Last month, 6 yo Vivian Rose told me she was counting the days until Oct. 1 so she could start wearing her Halloween clothes.

This is a bit of a joke, as she is required to wear a uniform to school–when she went off to school.  But still she dresses for “class” at her computer desk at home.  So hairbows, headbands and pencil toppers are her extra Halloween expressions for the school day.

These pencil toppers from GG Designs  are just a joy to stitch out.  They come as a single design or “sorted” with four pumpkins or ghosts or bats in a single 4×4 hoop. I combined 2 sorted sets of pumpkins into a larger hoop, did another color sort and stitched 8 pencil toppers in just a few minutes.  This was repeated with the ghosts and then with the bats.  It takes longer to cut out the felt designs than it did the stitch them. Now the set is on sale for only $4.13.

What a sweet little gift this would be to a favorite elementary teacher to share with her in-house students.  There are so many who would be happy to receive these slightly spooky pencil toppers.

GG Designs Embroidery was the inspiration for another Halloween favorite which was sent to my grandchildren last Halloween.  This was digitized and also stitched for the children at church, making me one of  the more popular church Nanas!

As a paid Brother Ambassador (required disclosure), the project was posted at Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial and includes a step-by-step photo tutorial, as well as a FREE download of the file for the pumpkin.

There is still plenty of time to whip up these cuties.  For your children, grands, neighbors, church children or for nursing home patients, these pumpkin treat bags are sure to bring a smile.

 

Fun Bug Bag

 

Summer is not yet over, and for some of us, it seems it never will end! As entertaining the children becomes more and more challenging, sometimes just getting them out of the house for a while is a worthy goal.

Whip up this quick and easy bug bag and they will be kept busy prowling the bushes and grass. Make it plain or make it fancy.  Honestly, it takes longer to read the instructions than to make the basic bag.Whether the prey be creepy crawlies or fireflies, the adventure is a child’s version of a jungle safari.   Work this into a lesson into entomology and identify some of these yard beasties and it becomes an educational adventure.

This fiberglass screen wire teepee bag (the name suggested by its shape) is a perfect accessory and holding pen. Use insect designs from design library to embellish the outside. Your  Brother embroidery machine and most others will handle the screen wire effortlessly. The stand-alone butterfly swaying inside the bag will intrigue the children and send them racing out the door into nature.

Let’s make a bug bag!

Requirements:

    • sewing/embroidery machine
    • open toe foot, basic sewing foot
    • 4×4 or 5×7 frame to embroider more than one design in the same frame
    • Fiberglass screen wire: 18 x 26” for bag embroidery and another large piece for stitch rehearsal of each potential design.
    • Utility scissors for cutting screen wire and zipper
    • Notions: zipper at least 18” or with plastic teeth. Longer is fine. It will be cut to size during construction; 8-10” cord or ribbon; monofilament, sewing and embroidery thread, seam sealant
    • Extra heavy water-soluble stabilizer (wss)
    • Download both left and right files below and piece together.

layout template left and layout template right (request below in comments and they will be emailed to you)Preparation

1. Print pattern/design templates. It is broken into two parts because my scanner bed is too small for the entire template. Print both the left and right templates and tape them together.
2. Print template of each design you plan to use. If deemed appropriate, resize to be proportional to the bag.
3. Cut 18 x 26” screen wire. This large size makes hooping easier.
4. Tape completed template to white surface or pin to padded surface.

Note: It may be necessary to trace over the lines with a wide black marking pen for better visibility.

5. Center screen wire over template and tape or pin corners to hold in place.
6. Trace section placement lines onto screen wire with child’s “school” chalk. These lines show each section of the finished bag for suitable embroidery placement.

Note 1: To make the necessary marks, neither a sliver of soap, chalk marker or washout marker could be seen on the screen wire. Only white chalk, like that used on school black or green boards worked. Hmmm… were you ever in a classroom with a chalkboard? If so, you must be a grandmother like me.
Note 2: The screen wire will slip if not well secured when placed over the template. The red slashes show where it slipped and the line had to be redrawn after pinning it more securely to a padded surface.

7. Place templates of selected embroidery designs in chosen location within the section.

Note: It is helpful to take a picture with your phone so you can refer to it as you embroider.

8. Wind bobbin in each thread color used in the designs.

Embroidery

9. Select one or two designs to embroider on one large side and load into machine.
10. Hoop screen wire and heavy-duty water-soluble stabilizer (wss). Puckering occurred when the screen wire was simply basted to the wss.

NOTE:  If you are blessed with a Brother embroidery machine with a camera capability, detailed instructions are posted at Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial here.  Otherwise, proceed as you will.

13.  After embroidery, do not remove wss.14. Continue hooping and embroidering each section. The wss is still in place on the back. Do NOT embroider the ladybugs now.

Note: To create the illusion of the ladybugs trailing up the green zipper they must be embroidered after the zipper insertion.

Construction

Insert the zipper in this unorthodox manner, stitched flat on the top side of the screen wire. This is done so the ladybugs could be embroidered along the zipper edge.

15. Attach open toe foot. The zipper is placed on top of the screen wire.
16. Open the zipper, place the top of the tape at the top of the bag’s marked cutting, right side up with the teeth at the edge of the left marked bag side.

17. Straight stitch 1/8-1/4” from zipper teeth, with open toe foot positioned along the edge of the teeth. Needle position is in far right.
18. Open the zipper as far as possible. Repeat on the opposite side. WSS is still in place.
19. Stitch ‘grass’ for ladybugs’ home. On my Dream Machine that was  stitch #7-12, width 6.5, length 4.0.  Or select a similar stitch.

    • Return to Embroidery

      20. Open ladybugs design. Hoop with zipper near center of frame. Position design. Embroider.

21. Hoop 2 layers of wss in 4×4 frame. Embroider butterfly. This one was resized up to 2.56 x 2.55”. Be sure to use matching thread in the bobbin.

22. Remove as much wss as possible then soak in tepid water until the edges are clean. What remains between the layers will give the free flying butterfly stability. Pat with paper towels to help it dry.
When almost dry, shape it with wings spread as if to fly. The antennae are just loose threads. Applying a bit of seam sealant gives them some body.

Return to Construction

23. Cut screen wire to 8×16”, along marked chalk lines but do not cut zipper. Best to remeasure for exact sizing. Leave zipper open to its greatest length.
24. Remove as much wss as possible. Trim screen wire and wss from teeth edges to first line of stitching.

25. Immerse bag in tepid water to dissolve wss.
26. Lie flat on a towel and roll the towel around it, like a burrito. Squeeze out excess moisture and hang to dry. If you are in a rush, a blow dryer speeds up the process of drying the zipper tape.

27. Stitch a folded 8-10” cord or grosgrain ribbon to the top edge within the ¼” seam allowance. The loop should hang down with raw edges extended a little beyond the seam allowance. This creates a loop handle.

28. Close zipper a few inches above the bottom raw edge. Fold the bag inside out with the closed zipper in the center of the seam line. Stitch with ¼” seam allowance right over zipper.

29. Cut excess zipper-finally! Use utility scissors.

30. Fold top in half with zipper at one side. Begin stitching at zipper just above the first tooth. Back stitch for reinforcement. Angle up to ¼” seam line. The open toe foot gives best visibility for those first stitches.

30. Fold top in half with zipper at one side. Begin stitching at zipper just above the first tooth. Back stitch for reinforcement. Angle up to ¼” seam line. The open toe foot gives best visibility for those first stitches.

Does this make you want to hunt bugs or to sew a bug bag?

 

Pooh’s Book Pillow

Hello-0-0-0!  If there are any readers left out there, I’m still here!  Neither the virus nor lethargy has kept me quiet, just the hurry-up of life, even while in lockdown!

This is a fun little project that was done for precious little Beatrice, #1 fan of Winnie the Pooh.

The book pillow was also done for Brother’s Stitching Sewcial blog to celebrate Pooh’s birthday, hence the included book.  Finding that little paperback required  determination and skills worthy of Sherlock Holmes,  but I was driven once I knew such a publication existed, though long out of print.

Book pillows have surged in popularity and not just for children.  Who wouldn’t want to curl up with a good book and a soft pillow?  With the recent stay at home call, this is a soothing antidote to what might be seen as isolation.

Why not make one today, for a child, for a friend, for a shut in, for yourself, for anyone! The instructions are for the Winnie the Pooh pillow shown, but any fabric, any embroidery design may be substituted.

NOTE:  This pillow was made on my Brother Dream Machine.  Some instructions are specific to that.  Greater details can be found on Brother’s blog Stitching Sewcial here. Continue reading