Friendship Offerings

“All who would win joy, must share it; happiness was born a twin.”  Lord Byron

This quotes really speaks to  the history of my 20 year friendship with Suzanne. She has always shared her joys and mine with equal enthusiasm .  Of  course, there were the occasional shared sorrows, but our charmed lives have seen precious little of that.  So when her son’s first child was on his way, we shared her joy.

For someone who sews, happiness is often expressed in a needlework project. With a daughter-in-law who loves all things heirloom, Suzanne knew this baby’s mother would appreciate a monogrammed smocked outfit. I got started right away.

Again, I used one of the ready-to-smock bubbles and smocked it with Ellen McCarn’s monogram leaflet. One of the best features of this design is that the height of the letters can be adjusted to almost any size. The 3-month bubbles have only 6 pleating threads, so that requires a short design.

Just as it is wise to match ribbon to embroidery floss before beginning a project with ribbon, I always match up DMC cotton thread with the floss used for smocking. Either 50 wt. or my treasured and no longer available, 30 wt. thread in a matching color offers you opportunities to embellish, even if that is not in your original plan.

For this bubble, the straight stitches on the sleeve hem were removed and replaced with a L.4 straight stitch.  Blue floss was then whipped over each stitch.  This same embellishment was repeated on the collar. The “utility” plastic buttons were replaced with mother-of pearl, sewn in place with blue DMC thread matching the embroidery floss.

Swiss flannel, one of my all time favorite fabrics, was used for the blanket. The antique carriage design was digitized by Suzanne and appears in several earlier posts, as well as in Creative Needle  magazine and on one of the cd collections we did together, Fil Tire’ and Fancywork Elements.

The edging is another favorite of mine, an English lace I call The Chameleon available in The Store).  It is a tiny galoon, with slightly scalloped edges on either side.  However, it serves beautifully as an insertion or an edging.  With the holes running parallel to the edges, it looks like entredeux, but with a finished edge.  It is especially nice for boys because it is so tailored.

Making these two items for Suzanne’s grandson was not a big thing, but as this anonymous quote says, “Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things. “

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