Free Brother MCS Design & Pink Baby Blanket

Swiss flannel daygown, bonnet and blanket for baby's homecoming

Swiss flannel daygown, bonnet and blanket for baby’s homecoming

NOTE:  The free design can only be used on Brother machines with the My Custom Stitch feature.  You must download the design and then import it to your machine via memory stick or floppy drive.  It cannot be opened on a computer or accessed any way other than through a Brother model which offers this feature.

It has been busy, busy, busy around here.  I’ve embroidered and framed more scripture verses for church, sewn a denim gored skirt for 9 yo Laurel from a fabulous pattern,   embroidered my son’s hiking back pack, altered his “thunderware” (YIKES!) and done a variety of other “utility” sewing projects.

 

This photo has been edited/darkened to better show detail.

This photo has been edited/darkened to better show detail.

While  trying to get some blogging done, I came across the forgotten post below in my draft folder.  Since two of my earlier posts on Brother’s  My Custom Stitch  feature,  Heart Swag Baby Shawl  and  T-Bonnet ,  there have been several inquiries asking about the zig zag feather stitch I created.  So once again, I am offering it to readers.  It can be saved to a memory stick or floppy disk or whatever device you use to transfer information to your sewing machine.  It is not a .pes hooped embroidery design.  This is done on the sewing side of the machine.

Swiss flannel bonnet, blanket and daygown for baby's homecoming

close up of zig zag feather stitch, worked with 30 wt. cotton thread

This  soft pink set was made for granddaughter Vivian Rose’s homecoming in January.  But she was a smaller newborn than our other three grandchildren so the size I chose was too big for her.  Now, 8 months later, the gown has been worn and outgrown.

 

This shows the feather stitch with greater contrast to better show detail.

This shows the feather stitch with greater contrast to better show detail.

Read on about this useful stitch and post your request for it in a comment.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Continue reading

Beach Portrait Dress

My beach portrait dress project was just posted at Brother’s blog Stitching Sewcial. This is a tutorial, complete with pictures and detailed instructions.

It’s a little late in  the season, but there was a change in servers or something so for more than 3 months there were no new posts.  Still, the Brother Ambassadors and writers kept sending in projects resulting in quite a backlog.

At last, my beach dress reached the head of the queue and is now posted.

Titled “Sea and Sand,” the Imperial batiste dress is white with white lace, like the foam of  crashing waves.  It is trimmed with ecru entredeux, ecru feather stitching,  and ecru pearl buttons, the color of  beach sand.

This was a fun, learning experience for me.  I’ve wanted to make a beach portrait dress ever since my dear friend Judy Day attended a Lezette Thomason school and made this dress for her granddaughter.

When the time to make one, I contacted Lezette.   Generous as always, she not only gave me permission to use the dress for inspiration but shared the notes for the beach dress class.

Of course, I modified the dress considerably and added at least one new technique.

One modification included adding tucks to the first tier of the skirt.  This added considerable construction time and if I were to make another, I think I would have left that tier simply gathered. Also, more tucks were added to the other two tiers.

You can see these as my granddaughter models the beach dress which is still too large for her.  I used CC Louise size 8, the same basic pattern I used for Vivi’s Cruise Dress made  18 months ago.  Her mother declared  that she wore a size 8 then and the dress was too large. I thought given 18 months of growth it would fit her now.  But in 18 months she only grew longer legs.   The armholes still gap. I plan to take an underarm tuck for a better fit.

The new technique was using the white edging for insertion.  Having many yards of this edging, including the matching wider edge which I could use for the hemline, I wanted to use it for insertion.  In a future blog, I will give detailed instructions on how this was achieved.

Vivi loved the dress and loved hamming it up for the camera as she modeled.  We were vacationing in the NC mountains in an area famous for its white squirrel population.  The ceramic squirrel is just a prop, a “resident” of the wonderful back deck where I spent a lot of time smocking.

Maybe next summer when the dress fits her better we can take a real beach portrait with this dress.  But isn’t she fun?

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

 

 

3rd Birthday Dress for Beatrice

This beloved, long-awaited baby girl will be 3 years old in a few days!  In celebration of the occasion I have made her birthday confection of batiste, lace, embroidery, feather stitches, ribbon and entredeux. As her official church Nana, I embraced this privilege.

This child is pure joy for her family and our entire church congregation.  We prayed so fervently for her safe delivery into the loving arms of her adoptive parents.  With her sparkling brown eyes and bouncing curls, she is all girl while at the same  rough and tumble.

Beatrice romps with her big dog and both of mine (weighing 100+ lbs).  She is friendly with the three family goats

and fearless with huge horses when she visits the stables. shhh..but just between you and me, she is a little frightened by teeny tree frogs!

She exudes personality and strength of character, even at her tender age. So this fluffy dress is perfect for fancy affairs and Sunday church where she sits quietly and prays with her little hands folded.  But denim overalls suit her just as well.

The birthday dress pattern is a modified version of Children’s Corner “Jodi” which was included in the pattern package with the Spring 2019 Classic Sewing magazine.  The bodice was lengthened to accommodate the antique Swiss beading above the gathered skirt.  It would have been much easier to use a dropped yoke pattern but I came up empty handed when I searched for size 3 in my drawer.

An embroidered monogram is centered with featherstitching and bordered with  Swiss beading, pink ribbon and Swiss embroidered insertion.

The skirt repeats the pattern of beading, Swiss insertion and featherstitching, edged with entredeux, woven with perle cotton and Swiss trim.

The fabric is white Imperial batiste lined with pink Imperial batiste. The lining is also edged with Swiss trim.

Sleeves are simply puffed and bound with Swiss beading, tied with ribbon.  Five rows of identical featherstitching run from shoulder to beading.

I can’t wait to see our curly-headed darling wearing this.

This was made on my beloved Brother Dream Machine 2.  Required:  I am a proud, paid Brother Brand Ambassador.  Not required:  I LOVE my Brother machines!

 

 

 

 

Bambi Play Set

This little pique’ playset features a sweet Bambi embroidery design built into Brother’s Dream 1 and Dream 2 machines, located in the Disney Tinkerbell menu.

 

I’ve always loved this design and thought Bonnie Blue’s Riley pattern was the perfect place for it to wear for spring and summer.

The ruffled back is especially charming.

The Riley capris were wider than I preferred so used Children’s Corner Parker’s Pants.  A ruffle was added to match the Riley top and the Bambi design was manipulated (with a LOT of effort) to place the floral design near the ruffle. Lime green piping was a nice accent between the ruffle and the body of the top and the capris.

This was such a pleasure to make, especially since it was for my almost 3 yo granddaughter. Doesn’t she look adorable wearing it?

More information and details about construction of this garment are posted here at Brother’s Stitching Sewcial blog.

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

 

DIY Get Well Card

Design from Embroidery Library but appears to be no longer available. Text added on PE-Design. This was stitched on my Brother Dream 2 machine.

Sending a get well card to an ailing friend is always a thoughtful and meaningful gesture.  Making a personalized card card is even more meaningful.

This was made for a dear friend who recently had shoulder replacement surgery.  the card opens to a personalized message on printer paper, cut out and attached to the card stock with double sided tape.

At a time when we are encouraged to stay home, making a get well, birthday, anniversary or thinking of you card is a wise alternative to making a trip to the store to purchase a ready made card.

There are so many ways to embroider cards–directly on card stock, on fabric which is stitched onto card stock or as shown above, onto felt which is stitched onto card stock.

They truly are fun and almost addictive to make.  I’ve stitched Christmas cards,

Valentines

and other get well cards, all which have been very well received.

All you need to get started is some card stock, rotary cutter, cutaway stabilizer and double sided tape. Instructions are detailed in an earlier blog post here.

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

 

 

 

Repeat: 2 Free Easter designs and Upcoming Easter ’18

I’m busy finishing up Easter dresses for my granddaughters, so once again I am repeating an old Easter post from years ago.  It’s not  too late for you to use the two free Easter designs.  Just post your request in the comment section and they will be e-mailed to you.

If I don’t get a follow up posted, I wish you all a very joyful Easter.  It’s such a beautiful, meaningful holiday.

 

free Bunny trio applique pattern Children’s Corner Callie

 

As usual, I am way behind with Easter sewing and sewing in general.  I thought this might be a good time to share some earlier Easter features–dresses and free designs.

This little chocolate bunny dress was made for my 15 month old granddaughter to wear to the church “bunny lunch and egg hunt.”  I was so pleased to finally have the perfect use for my small piece of brown bunny Liberty of London tana lawn.

When I could find no embroidery design that suited me, I bumbled through the digitizing process to create this beginner design.  It is yours for the asking by leaving a comment below.

The second free design is one I used on several Easter baskets.  The name, of course, is not included but the design itself is Easter eggs nestled in grass

For the free grass and eggs design just leave your request in the comment section below.

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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.

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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.