My turn to present the Children’s Message at church came this week just in time for back-t0-school.
The children range in age from 4-10 so the message needed to be catchy to get their attention and brief enough to keep that attention. Additionally, there must be a meaningful message.
This bag and fabric was a gift to me from the Ghana mission team in thanks for the garments our sewing group made. The bright colors certainly caught the children’s attention.
With a large, colorful tote bag next to me, I mentioned that they had all begun a new school year. Then I asked what they learn at school. The answers were just as expected–math, reading, manners and to be kind (that was nice to hear).
They were curious about the bag but I said they would see what was in it later. It was a surprise. Darling tow-headed Reid, 4 yo, had snuggled up to me before the service began and sneaked a look in the bag. He shouted smugly, “I know what the surprise is!!!!” Continue reading
Posted in church projects, free patterns and designs, machine embroidery, school accessories
Tagged childrens sermons, classroom gifts, free designs, machine embroidery, party favors, pencil toppers, student gifts, Sunday school lessons
OFB Smocked layette dress pattern on white Imperial batiste.
At last Baby Bea’s church dress is finished. So many things I wish I had done differently, but it is done. The pattern is OFB Smocked Layette, made from white Imperial batiste.
I used this pattern with the little bit of smocking because I wanted to focus on the cross embroidered trim at the hemline. It would have looked better, I think, with short sleeves.
Because the cross embroidery is Swiss, I felt compelled to use Swiss for the other trims. Do you ever mix heirloom laces with Swiss on the same garment? I’d like to know your opinion on that.
The tiny Swiss trim at the neckline and smocked sleeves should be short enough to avoid irritating her delicate newborn skin. It has a built in entredeux stitch so I wove that with floss to add a little color higher on the daygown.
The cross trim at the hem was 6″ wide. After attaching it to the entredeux beading there just seemed to be too much blank space. So I removed it, trimmed the cross piece to 4″ and rejoined it to a new piece of entredeux beading, threaded with pink ribbon.
It still looked to plain so I added twin needle “shadow work” in pink on either side of the beading.
This is the first bonnet I have ever made with the ruffle behind the smocking. I’m not sure I like it, but Bea is so tiny, just now 7 lbs. that I thought the ruffle might obscure too much of her precious face.
The twin needle work was repeated on the back of the bonnet near the drawstring ribbon.
Posted in baby accessories, church projects, heirloom sewing, infant clothing, machine embroidery, smocking
Tagged Christian dress, cross embroidery, Custom Keepsakes Christening Gown 2, daygown, Old Fashioned Baby Shocked Layette, smocked daygown
Do you have more than one project in progress? I have stacks– some must be done NOW, some are handwork for when I watch tv with my husband, some are mindless chores like hemming for when I’m on the phone, some I put aside for one reason or another.
Still, in the midst of a looming deadline and other pressing matters, I took the time to embroider 6 hemstitched linen guest towels for upcoming baptisms at our church. I had customized the design sometime ago for a newly ordained pastor. So it was just a matter of hooping up my stash of linen guest towels and embroider them. It was so satisfying to stitch something simple and meaningful in the midst of all the sewing busy-ness.
You might recall my story that our church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground several years ago. Continue reading
These Lenten paraments were made at the request of our pastor for our River City Church of DeBary. The purple fabric reflects the liturgical color for this season.
The embroidery is another beauty from Windstar Embroidery Designs which has an enormous selection of spectacular liturgical designs. This one is offered in two sizes, the smaller for the side-hanging bookmarks and the larger for the pulpit scarf.
Additionally, the cross drape, seen on the far right, was included in the set. It is a 4 yards by 45″. The set was hung the day before Ash Wednesday.
I’ve been sewing for many, many years and created a variety of items from clothing to quilts to home dec. But none of this experience seemed helpful as I ventured into the world of stitching church paraments. There are so many things that go into making what looks like a simple project. Continue reading
Life at our house goes on at a breakneck pace, causing me to neglect posting as regularly as I would like. But my sewing room is a beehive of unreported activity, not all of it very interesting.
Wouldn’t you love to sew only creative, fun items? Does anyone get to do that? Check out an earlier ho-hum post for an interesting view of what constitutes fun sewing elsewhere, like “baju kurung, kebaya, punjabi suit.” Just how much fun would it be to sew a punjabi suit? More fun than I had with these projects.
But duty calls and I have a running list of ho-hum sewing which is in addition to routine mending. These ho-hums become occasions for which my sewing machines can actually save some money. While there is no creative satisfaction, there is the satisfaction of contributing to the family, being a helpmate to my dear husband, and satisfaction in proving that my Brother Dream Machine is more than just an expensive toy.
Mending pool leaf filter baskets….yawn…
5 banners in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation
Have you ever felt called to do something, regardless of the fact that you had little or almost no free time? And when the nagging feeling would not go away, you just rolled up your sleeves and got to it? There is a whole backstory to this endeavor at the end of the post. That story is not about sewing, but about the need to sew.
That’s what pulled me from my busy-ness to make these five banners. Five hundred years ago on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenburg Castle Church in Germany. This launched the Reformation, the essence of which is expressed by the five “Solas” which are illustrated in the five banners.
One side of our sanctuary has 4 stained glass windows, in shades of blue and gold.
wall opposite the new banners
But the opposite wall is common to the Fellowship Hall so no windows could be installed. It was just blank, except for two lights and some electrical devices.
So what called me? Firstly, the blank wall which begged for some visible inspiration. Secondly, a gut feeling that I had to sew more for my church. We are commanded to share our talents, but I can’t sing so the choir was not an option. Sewing is my best gift and I had done some other sewing for the church. So sewing is what I needed to do.
As I rolled up my sleeves, our dynamic young pastor suggested that a banner for each of the 5 Solas would perfectly match his plan to preach one Sola on each of the 5 Sundays in October.
Okay, now I had a plan.
The Celtic “S” in Sola is from Martha Pullen’s Celtic Alphabet from the 2014 Internet Embroidery Club. The Bible is a design from Embroidery Library and the text, ” Thy word is truth.” is curved and abbreviated. The original cross was removed and replaced with a smaller one from my design library. The original design has 80.093 stitches! So I converted the Bible into an applique’ with ultrasuede. That reduced the stitch count to 60,000 which is still a lot of stitches. Those roses are very dense. The gold corners are from Urban Threads.
What a joy it was to make this stole for our young, exceptional pastor! He has the wisdom, powerful teaching and Biblical understanding of a much older, more experienced pastor. Our church is growing in leaps and bounds with his leadership.
Sunday in the pulpit he wears a suit and tie. A traditional black robe hangs in his closet, but he said he doesn’t wear it because without a stole he looks like a judge. Hmmmm…I thought, I could make one! How hard could it be? How long could it take?
Well, let me tell you this one was not hard but it did take a very long time. Operator error again. I made so many mistakes!
Whenever I take on a project unlike any I have made, I like to research the subject to get a comprehensive view of just what is involved. Google took me to a lot of blogs and sites for free patterns. Pinterest took me on that same route. Both have numerous free patterns, mostly labeled quick and easy. I didn’t want quick an easy. I wanted good. So I looked further. Continue reading
Big announcement coming in the next few days!
Ahhh…Easter dresses! Thanks to Annette Poole for this photo of two adorable girls in their finery. The checked dress is silk dupioni cut from Sew Beautiful’s Pascale pattern, size 3. I made a Pascale Christmas dress for granddaughter Laurel Cade when she was 9. That is one of my favorite patterns because it is so versatile. As a matter of fact, Maggie Bunch has a post on her blog dedicated to the versatility of Pascale. Check Maggie’s blog for variations and insight into Laura Jenkins Thompson’s excellent pattern.
There is something so sweet about checked silk dupioni. I think it’s a charming combination of the elegance of silk with the innocence and playfulness of gingham. With the smocking and excellent construction Annette has made a special heirloom. I love it. Continue reading
With the new school year about to begin, it seems appropriate to run this post again. These quick and easy pencil toppers will give your favorite students happy encouragement. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One of the things I love most about sewing is that it can be a useful tool when applied to almost any situation. It can solve so many problems–and I’m not just talking about a ripped out hem, or torn seam. This past week, the problem was my Sunday School lesson and the solution was these pencil toppers and an embroidery design.
The teacher instructions were to print out the memory verse on an index card for each child to use in class and take home. Even on colored cards this would be BO—RRRINNNNG. Instead, I pulled up the .pdf file from one of my favorite collections, Designs by JuJu’s Heavenly Inspirations 2 , which includes this scripture. Won’t that get more attention than a hand written index card?
With my wonderful, free, photo editing program Picasa, a frame was added and the verse was printed on card stock. On the back, other information was printed–the “bottom line,” and “basic truth” they could take from the story. The children went away with a shortened version of Cliff Notes for their lesson that day.
Thank you, JuJu, thank you Sewing!
Next the teacher’s guide suggested draping the room in Christmas lights as an indication of rejoicing. Continue reading
Sew busy! Lately, of course, I’ve spent a lot of time getting acquainted with my new Brother Dream Machine. But before my Dream came true, I was kept busy with several small but important machine embroidery projects, like this one.
The Scripture design is from Designs by Juju, in her collection Heavenly Inspirations 1. It was slightly modified to make room for the addition of the Bible design.
This was made for our 10 year old granddaughter, Laurel, who needed a bag to carry her sizable notebook and Bible to her weekly Communicant Class (read “confirmation”) at our church.
As you might expect, a monogram was added to the other side. The bag has seen heavy usage these past weeks.
Another quick project was a set of whimsical luncheon napkins. They coordinate with the Seaside Madeira Table Linens I stitched last summer.
Posted in accessories, bags, church projects, Disney, Disney projects, embroidery blanks, home dec, linen blanks, machine embroidery, Madeira applique
Tagged Bible tote bag, Disney slippers, embroidered napkins, napkins from dishtowels