Rheeta’s Visit ~Sweat Shop or Working Vacation?


Aunt Rheeta has fallen in love with my Brother Quattro.

What a fabulous time we have had with my dear Aunt Rheeta.  She and her little apricot poodle, Molly, visited us here in Florida to escape the bitter Indiana winter and do a little sewing.  As it happened, she did more than a little.  In fact, my sewing room was like a sweat shop.  She accomplished so much!  Having an in-house sewing buddy was such fun.

We worked together, with most of the design arrangement done by me and most of the sewing done by her.    She is no newcomer to machine embroidery, only new to my Brother Quattro which she loved.

Rheeta has several major projects under her belt, including a spectacular embroidered linen communion cloth for her church, an exquisitely embroidered Bible cover and more.

Her primary goal was to finish high school graduation gifts for her granddaughter Alexa, a rising freshman at Texas A & M.  Rheeta’s first project was the requisite college fleece throw in school colors.

Edges are finished with a 3-thread wide serge.

Edges are finished with a 3-thread wide serge.  We didn’t worry about the wrinkles as the blanket was soon be packed tightly into her over packed suitcase for the trip home to Indiana.


The embroidery is Applique Market’s College Double Applique Alphabet.  As you can see, Rheeta used only the outline.  I love this versatile collection which comes with letters in

Since her acceptance letter,  Alexa has dressed her 4 lb. dog in a tiny, maroon, Texas  A & M shirt.  Certainly, she will be pleased with this fleece blanket.


Rheeta's granddaughter is, indeed, Princess of Quite a Lot of Laundry!

Rheeta’s granddaughter is, indeed, Princess of Quite a Lot of Laundry!

The next project was a denim laundry bag for this lovely, ladylike  young lady who is, indeed, Princess of Quite a Lot of Laundry.  But she is not at all like this spoiled miss.


I enjoyed working up this design, beginning with the Princess of Quite a Lot  from Mary Engelbreit’s Studio Bernina collection.  To that design was added the text  “of Laundry,” Alexa’s monogram and a crown embellished with heat fix crystals.  The monogram font is Embroitique’s Beanie Alphabet.



So now she is all set to graduate high school and move on to the next chapter in her life.

ME graduation



Then, loving grandmother that she is, Rheeta did not want little sister Adriana to be left out so a similar one was made  from a heavy pink  twill.


pink bag


Since she was a little girl, Adriana has had a playful look of mischief in her eyes.  Placing her princess crown slightly askew just seemed appropriate for her impish personality.


Adriana's monogram with its crown at a rakish tilt

Adriana’s monogram with its crown at a rakish tilt


With her granddaughters’ projects completed, Rheeta made a set of dish towels for her daughter’s new home.  The redwork recipe designs are from Embroidery Library’s Spread the Love collection, but filled fruit designs have been added from various other sites.  The towels are my favorites from All About Blanks.  I keep a hefty supply on hand, washed and ironed, ready for embroidery.


apple buttergrape jellyraspberry presstrawberry jam-001


Finally, she was ready to make something for herself.  A beautiful set of 8 embroidered coasters was finished and packed before we thought about getting a photo.  After that a monogrammed tote bag was on the agenda.



The monogram is Embroitique’s Fancy Monogram 1, the frame is Planet Applique’s Kaleigh, minus the applique.


That was hard!  My Rebecca had given Rheeta one of her bargain totes. Rheeta wanted to monogram her bag, which presented a multitude of challenges for embroidery.  The tote cannot be taken apart so it must be hooped inside out, basted to sticky stabilizer and stitched in what amounts to a cave. Also, the bag is lined and the layers will shift without significant basting.


bag cave q

The Brother Quattro has a bright light over the needle as well as another over the bed.  That was a tremendous help.


bag cave


Can you see how hard it is to change threads?   A single color design was chosen,  though the basting was done in the color of the bag so that any lingering or trapped  basting stitches would show.


bag cave close


It would have been nice to drop the design a little lower, but it was too hard to work that much deeper into the bag cave.

So this is what Rheeta did on her “vacation.”  Though she enjoyed the gorgeous  weather,  she worked hard!  But we were regularly fortified with glasses of fresh squeezed Florida gold from our trees.




Aunt Rheeta is making the 14 hour drive home now, taking with her all of these finished projects, bags of fresh picked oranges from our grove and all of our love.


26 responses to “Rheeta’s Visit ~Sweat Shop or Working Vacation?

  1. Sounds like a wonderful time!! Nothing better than a nice long playdate with someone you love

  2. Whew! You have me worn out just reading about all of these projects! After reading about all of those great endeavors, I think I’ll take a nap and I hope you did too!

  3. Debby, we could have sewed round the clock. It was such a good time!

  4. Shirley, Aunt Rheeta was worn out before me. As a morning person, each day, she was in front of the machine by 7 a.m. As a night owl, I was there around midnight! We both could have used a nap but were having too much fun.

  5. What a very special time! Lovely work, lovely gifts. (I especially like the tipsied crown! lol).

  6. Bobette Laren

    You will always treasure this time spent with your Aunt. Loved all the projects, especially the tote bag.

  7. from SewForum: What beautiful projects and what a fun visit!

  8. Echo, I’m glad you like the tipsied crown. If you knew Adriana, you would know that it fits her perfectly, just as the properly placed crown fit Alexa.

  9. Bobette, that tote bag was a real challenge. But since I have about 12 of these in my stash, I’m glad we figured out how to embroider them.

  10. from Martha Pullen Forum: Way to go Aunt Rheeta!!! I especially love the laundry bag, although your tote is a close second. Can’t believe you’ve managed to embroider down inside that little cave lol! Everything turned out just lovely. Thanks for sharing : )

  11. from Martha Pullen Forum: Looks like you both had a wonderful and creative time!

  12. from Martha Pullen forum: So much work done! Love it all!

  13. from Martha Pullen forum: Love that off-center crown! Cutest design you worked up for the laundry bags. Great work, Aunt Rheeta!

  14. from SewForum: Such terrific projects. I am sure her granddaughter will love everything. I especially love the laundry bag!

  15. from Martha Pullen forum: All I can say is WOW, and keep up the good work Rheeta! You have truly discovered a talent and passion.

  16. from SewForum: Amazing job. That bag looks really hard to do.

  17. from SewForum: Great back to school projects!

  18. from Martha Pullen forum: Yikes…I must be the “old auntie” now too…

  19. from Martha Pullen forum: So much work done! Love it all!

  20. from Martha Pullen forum: What beautiful projects and what a fun visit!

  21. Your Aunt Rheeta is a beautiful and talented lady. You two are fortunate to have each other!

  22. Thank you, Sue. I surely do love her.

  23. from Martha Pullen forum: Well God Bless Aunty Rheeta – I love that denim laundry bag – my heart would have been in my mouth embroidering that purse – I just know I would be praying and holding my breath at the same time. I once did an umbrella for each of my sisters – I put that big design of Marilyn Monroe with the white skirt blowing for my sister Marilyn – did some shamrocks and her name for my sister Debbie and then it came to my own umbrella – I decided that I could live with it plain – there is not enough money to pay me to do another. Had the umbrella up on the back of a chair for support while I held it the whole time it was stitching – too much stress.

  24. Janet Gilbert

    Gig ’em Aggies! Love everything

  25. janiceferguson84951994

    from SewForum: Great projects! Gig em!

  26. from SewForum: these are all so nice!

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