Free Bumble Bees and Blue Willow

Yesterday, after a reader requested the free bumblebee design from this 2010 post,  I found myself reading it again and enjoying the stroll down memory lane.  Only the grandchildren have changed, having grown older, taller, a bit wiser and even more delightful.  The designs are still available if requested in a comment at the end of this post.

In Florida Spring is just around the corner and I am ready for it.  We’ve had cold, cold weather this past week (48 this morning!!!) during my Aunt Rheeta’s visit.  She laughed when I commented that it couldn’t be much colder in Indiana.  So with spring approaching, I thought you might enjoy this post which shows off the best of Florida’s spring.

With the chill in the air, we are staying in, having a big time in the sewing room. Aunt Rheeta brought a stack of projects with her and we are busy stitching.  So this has been a busy, busy place for some time now.  I’ll post photos of her projects later.

Meanwhile, I hope you are all busy sewing for spring and staying warm in this especially bitter winter weather~~~~~~

Grandchildren, sewing, gardening, homeschooling……..life is good for this old fashioned Nana. It could only be better if my sweet little grandson Alastair and his parents  lived closer.

A few days ago, the entire student body of Nana’s Homeschool–that would be Robert, 4, and Laurel, 5–chose to have lunch in the potting shed.  This is one of my favorite places, second only to my sewing room.

 

We made a big production of it, carrying out placemats, napkins, Blue Willow china and Laurel’s favorite cobalt blue “stem ware.”  The table was set and lunch was served. Continue reading

Catching Up

My-Oh-My!  It has been so long since I have posted but life surely can get in the way.  Sewing has been going on, but with lots of interruptions and delays.

 

Children's Corner Jenni Leigh, worn hard and outgrown by Vivian Rose

Children’s Corner Jenni Leigh, worn hard and outgrown fast by Vivian Rose

Similar to this, the first Children on Parade dress I made for granddaughter Vivian Rose, another is is nearly finished.  It just needs the aqua gingham covered  buttons, which should arrive tomorrow.

This is such a delightful fabric, just perfect, I thought, for Vivian Rose’s 3rd birthday party this weekend.

The dress pictured was one of my daughter’s absolute favorites for Vivi, and true to my directive, she let the child wear it everywhere–playground, preschool, play dates, whatever.  When Rebecca handed it back to me I thought this rag should just be thrown out.  But I took it to a dry cleaner who worked a miracle, getting out most of the stains.  Vivian is a very active little whirlwind and her clothes reflect her love of dirt.  After being cleaned, the dress isn’t pristine but I think it’s decent enough to be passed on to another little girl for general play.

When cutting out that dress, I moved heaven and earth trying to match the border print at the front and side seams.  I was unsuccessful.  So an alternative pattern was chosen, Children’s Corner Carol.  Hopefully, pictures will be posted soon with Vivi modeling the dress at her party.

The other project I have worked on is Petite Poche’s Penny, by Wendy Schoen.

Penny patt

I have loved that pattern for so long and finally just decided to “git ‘er done.”  It’s not done yet, but will be soon.

The pattern includes an especially pretty hand embroidery design but I had no time for that.  The design shown is from Custom Keepsakes Christening 2 Collection, which, like all Kathy Harrison’s designs, is spectacular.

 

Penny yoke

The pinstitch around the bodice scallops are finished.  Those scallops are small and take almost non-stop pivoting.  I was so grateful for the knee life on my Brother Dream Machine.

White Swiss pique is combined with Liberty of London and hot pink gingham piping.  All that remains is to pinstitch the skirt scallops, attach the skirt and put in 3 buttons and buttonholes.  I can’t wait to get it finished.

 

DSC01660

We’ve spent most of the month at dr. appointments.  I’ve had cataract surgery—WOW!  That was a non-event, about as stressful as waiting in a short grocery line. No pain whatsoever and now I can see!  My second eye will be done next week.  My husband has had some cardiac problems so we’ve been back and forth to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.  I’ve got a broken bone in my foot necessitating podiatrist appointments, orthodic fittings, etc.  So I’ve been way behind with blogging.

Hopefully,  blog posts will appear more regularly.  Please don’t give up on me!  I need to know someone reads this stuff….or not.

So what are you sewing? Valentine projects?  I’d love to hear about them.

For Sleepovers, Road Trips, and Movin’ On

NOTE:  I don’t know why this post won’t allow me to insert spaces properly.  I’ve tried and tried but have just given up.  It is what it is.
Children need luggage for lots of reasons and pretty baggage can make any adventure a more exciting.  When our son was 5 yo, he announced that he was going to run away.  When questioned about his plans, he replied  that he would be leaving “in Nannie’s Winnebago.”  He had a few things packed in a paper sack and might have been more motivated to  venture out into the world if he had nicer gear.

For Christmas a few years ago, Judy Day gave each of her granddaughters a set of  personalized luggage, though not to encourage  “movin’ on,” like the distraught little girl in this You Tube video .

 

YouTube Preview Image

Judy embroidered this trolley luggage as well as the  garment bag below.

 

Judy gave these details of the projects:

 

The lettering on the pink gingham luggage was created in BabyLock LetterWorks.  The garment bags were a snap to embroider. 

 

 
 Both the garment bag and the luggage were stitched on my BabyLock BMP8. The garment bag was floated over the embroidery hoop and basted to the stabilizer. 
The luggage was stitched with the same stitch file as the garment bag.  Adhesive stabilizer was hooped with the lid of the luggage placed on it.  It took 2 people to hold the luggage and move with the hoop as it moved.  The luggage is not heavy, but after trying to keep it level and move as the machine moved, the decision was made to embroider Kennedy’s name on ribbon and attach it by hand to her luggage.~~~~~~~~~~~
That’s a good solution for larger, tough to handle projects.  Judy always has such great projects.
The overnight-to-Nana’s luggage we gave granddaughter Laurel a few years ago has just worn out. I have to admit that this worn out little trolley tote is a sweet reminder of just how many overnights we have enjoyed with her.
But she needs another one and I am looking at Judy’s projects for guidance.  Now, I just have to find something suitable to embroider.
Thanks, Judy!

 

Star Wars Pillow~Challenges and Solutions

Star Wars pillowwith ultrasuede flange

Star Wars pillow with ultrasuede flange

 

I was charged with the task of making a Star Wars pillow. How hard could it be, I wondered?   Granted, I wanted it to be more than two pieces of Star Wars fabric sewn together and stuffed.  But my. oh. my, this was a challenge.

A gray ultrasuede flange seemed like a good idea–a coordinating color and a different texture. Not wanting to mitre corners and seam the ultrasuede, I decided to press under the perimeter of one piece of Star Wars fabric.  That was edge stitched to the center of the gray, which had already been zig zag trimmed with my decorative rotary blade.

Next, I removed the ultrasuede that fell inside the pillow top.  A pillow form was placed on top of the flange and blue print.  Then I placed the pillow back with raw edges pressed under on top of the pillow form.   Very slowly, the back was  stitched the front, taking care to match up the stitching lines.

Careful as I was, some of the stitches showed on the ultrasuede.  I should have made the second piece a bit smaller, so all the stitches would fall within the blue Star Wars fabric.

To cover the stitches a wide silver cord was nestled between the flange and the print.   Stitched in place with monofilament thead, the cord was tediously and slowly joined to the blue.   All the stitching on the back fell within the Star Wars fabric. Whew!

The cord was wired, so the ends could be shaped to stand away from the pillow.  Of course, the fibers wanted to unravel, so I wrapped each end with several rounds of gray quilting thread.

Overall, I was pleased with the result—well, as pleased as an unenthusiastic Star Wars fan can be.

Have you made any Star Wars projects?

Three More Stockings

Rob Allx

The “R” is from Anita Goodesign’s Autumn Monogram collection. The other letters are from my carelessly unidentified folder called Old Font.

 

The joy of Christmas lasts all year long, but the time for its decorations and  trappings is about over.  So before December 25 is too far in the past,   I want to share two more stockings.  As these were embroidered for my friend Zahra,  I learned a few more things.  Keep in mind that at times I’m a rather slow learner, so these little problem solvers may not be news to you.  The techniques I discovered while working on Zahra’s stocking and were included in the post 2 AHA! Moments and 1 Stocking.

Do you learn something new on nearly every sewing project?  I surely do, though sometimes I wonder if the new technique hadn’t been learned before and long since forgotten. Continue reading

Christmas ’15

V face on

Vivian Rose, almost 3yo, on Christmas Day in her CC Betsy

I hope December 25th was fabulous for each of you.     I was so overwhelmed with preparations that there wasn’t a spare a moment to say merry Christmas.   So now I’m sending belated but heartfelt holiday wishes to you. If you just want to know about the Christmas sewing, scroll on down past all my happy holiday family prattle to interesting features.

Christmas 2015 was almost picture perfect for the Ferguson Family.  We missed our pilot son who was called to fly off into the wild blue yonder.

At a church event, Vivian Rose wore last year’s Swiss flannel smocked bishop.  The pattern is Betsy by Children’s Corner.

 

VR SA tree cr

Bishops fit for so long.  That’s just one more reason to love them. Christmas Eve, a huge group of family and friends enjoyed a delicious dinner of shrimp gumbo and barbequed ribs at the home of our son-in-law’s mother and husband.  They are excellent cooks!  We ate and laughed and had a big time there.

Grandchildren Vivian and Alastair played and delighted us all. Christmas Day most of the same group and a few others gathered at the home of our super organized daughter and her computer genius/gourmet cook husband. Son Ryan had to leave early for the airport after opening gifts and celebrating with his family.  But the children and their mother joined us across the state after he left.

 

A santa hat V shin guard

From the moment she unwrapped them, Vivian wore her new shin guards and soccer cleats most of the day, declaring again and again, “I’m ready for soccer!”

 

Vivian was thrilled with her pink shin guards, pink soccer ball and orange “cleats.”   She pranced around showing them off to everyone, saying, “I’m ready for soccer!”  She wants to do everything her big brother does. Continue reading

Star Wars Cape and Vader’s Wedding Death March

 

cape all2x

Are your friends and family as Star Wars star struck as mine?  I was so busy with projects inspired by The Force Awakens  that I have gotten a very late start on grandchildren’s Christmas clothes. For a number of reasons, the dress for 3 yo Vivian Rose and bow tie for 6 yo Alastair are not specifically Christmas, so they can still be worn after their December 24th delivery.  The next post will  include photos and details of the “holiday” clothes.

But back to Star Wars. This super hero cape was posted some time ago for a few hours, until I discovered that I had accidentally added the watermark for granddaughter Laurel’s SewAmazingGifts Etsy store.  So the post was removed.  But I cannot remove the watermark, which is the point of a watermark, I guess. So I am now  reposting it.

Though my blog is titled Janice Ferguson Sews, Modern Projects for Old Fashioned Nanas, this modern project is not my style.  But Star Wars is a hot topic now, as Star Wars fans eagerly await the the Dec. 18 release of The Force Awakens movie.  These fans include boys and young men (and some not so young)  in my family.

With that in mind, I’m on a Star Wars roll which began with this cape.  I choked a little, working on fabric soooooo far from Swiss batiste, though  the quilting cotton is very nice quality. The trims and embellishments–plastic buttons and metal snaps–are 180 degrees from the heirloom laces and MOP buttons which I prefer.  But I stitched my way through, anticipating the grins on fan faces.

The free pattern is from Nancy’s Notions.  It’s quick and can easily be embellished as much or as little as you like. Nancy offers so many free projects and, of course, wonderful products for sale. Continue reading

Star Wars and Sunsets

 

A Star Wars apron made and monogrammed for a friend.

A red-lined Star Wars apron made and monogrammed for a friend.

 

Star Wars fans are so excited about the opening of  The Force Awakens movie.   Well aware of that marketing opportunity, 11 yo granddaughter Laurel has been busy stocking Star Wars items in her Etsy store, SewAmazingGifts.  

 

3 buttonsWM

Fabric covered buttons have either a pin or rubber band back for ponytail or flip flops. She is selling them for $3 each at her Etsy shop.

 

Today was a Star Wars marathon. We worked together in the sewing room as she made samples and filled orders.  First she finished the apron she started last week.  It just warms my heart to I see her comfortably and happily stitching away on my Brother Dream Machine.   Seeing her progress through the years makes this Nana so proud.

I pressed fabric while she sewed and covered the buttons.  We were so busy that I forgot to take a picture of Laurel at work.

The pins and ponytail buttons were made with Hope Yoder’s fabulous Button Cover Machine.  It’s such a great addition to my sewing room–it’s quick, fun and offers so many opportunities for creative gifts.

 

Hope with her button machine,

Hope shows her button machine and samples at her Sewing At The Beach booth.

Continue reading

SOS Urgent Need for twin Wee Care Gowns

Heartfelt thanks to Jamie who has gowns on hand and ready to ship today!  The sewing community is so caring and especially loving in a time of need like this.  Thanks to all who make these gowns for little heaven-bound angels.

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I am away from home and just received a plea for wee care gowns. A friend of reader Sarah has just lost twin babies at 20 weeks. If anyone can provide 2 burial gowns and the comfort they would offer please leave a comment or send e-mail to me at NC cabin@aol.com. I will put you in touch with Sarah. What a heartbreaking loss.

 

 

Hinshaw Shadow Work Collection for Sale!

shadow embroidery by machine from Suzanne Hinshaw's Charming Embellishments collection

shadow embroidery by machine from Suzanne Hinshaw’s Charming Embellishments design collection

 

Heads up, Ladies!  Jan just shared a link to an Ebay auction of Suzanne Hinshaw’s Charming Embellishments    shadow work by machine embroidery collection.  The opening bid is $100.

The description reads:  Wow – hard to find Suzanne Hinshaw’s Shadow work by machine. Charming embellishments. New in package, I opened it to photo for listing. It states that it is for Husqvarna Viking machines. Not sure if the format works on other machines. Stated on floppy disk Hus/.Shv format Designer One.

This great package includes the floppy disk, book, and placement guides. It has 25 shadow work by machine designs. Cherries, poppies, Happy Birthday and Holiday Christmas and Hanukkah. Copyright 2000.

Free Priority shipping for winning bidder.

But around 2003 at Martha Pullen’s School of Art Fashion in Huntsville, I helped Suzanne in her booth at the teacher selling night.    The price of each collection was $125.

Designs from this set were used on a Christmas collar for my granddaughter.  Several of the other designs were used for more projects.

If you’ve been looking for any Hinshaw designs, this is one opportunity.  But be cautious.  I won the Ebay auction for the only collection I do not have, her Ladies and Babies collection.   It was a plagerized copy that soneone had color sorted so it wouldn’t work.  A full refund was given.

The fact that this set comes with the book and templates makes it seem legitimate.

So there you have it. I know nothing more about this auction than the description I have copied and pasted so you won’t find Janice Ferguson’s Good Sewing Stamp of Approval.   I hope one of you ends up with this great Hinshaw collection.

Thanks, Jan, for letting us know about this.