Category Archives: embroidery blanks

Baptismal Towels

 

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.

 

 

As you can see, nothing remained.  The only survivors were three heavy brass collection plates.  They have been box framed under glass and hang in  the narthex of our rebuilt building.  A one word caption is inscribed on a plaque beneath each one–STILL    ON    FIRE.  But  now, for God.

In time, the church was rebuilt, but just with the basics.  None of the lovingly made linens and other niceties made by members in the 50 year church history survived.  One of my personal missions is to restock the church with lovingly made paraments, banners and linens.

At a recent baptism, it was clear that towels were needed.

I was reminded of my grandchildren’s desire to be baptized, after witnessing the sacrament administered to 5 adults.  For the children’s sermon, they were lined up on the floor for an up close view and a brief explanation.

In the car on the ride home from church there was discussion about the service. in a clear voice, 8 yo Laurel announced that she wanted to be baptized.  When Robert was asked if he, too, would like this, he replied, “Well, maybe but without so much water.”

A few months later they were baptized, with less, but sufficient water.

3 yo Alastair was not one to miss a photo op with his cousins

 

In the next few weeks there will be more baptisms at our new church.  Regardless of how much water is used, there will be towels to dry the holy water.

Now, to work toward that looming deadline.

What are you stitching?

 

 

Valentine Towel for Coach

 

This is Joy, my bubbly, enthusiastic, encouraging exercise coach at the Herbalife Nutrition Club in downtown DeLand.   When asked about her plans for upcoming Valentine’s Day, which fell on a day of our regular exercise class, Joy said that her guy, (a nurse) was working a double shift that day.  So the only celebration would be with her children.

This little tea towel certainly is no substitute for wine, roses, chocolate, and the man in her life, but it was a small reminder that others love and appreciate her.

 

heart balloons from Zundt designs, towel from All About Blanks

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Sewing Ho-Hum and Holy Holy

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.

HO-HUM SEWING

 

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…

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Precious Church Baby

flannel blanket for our newest church baby

 

Presenting a welcome gift to new babies at our church is a task I relish.  This purchased flannel blanket was embroidered for little Elise to wrap her in the warmth and the love of our congregation.  I do so love babies!

 

 

The text was arranged in Brother’s PE-Design.  The little angel cherubs are from Petite Designs, Brother’s card #20, one of my most often used collections. It is also available at ibroidery.com here.  The corner embroidery nestled perfectly in my Brother Quattro 8×8 hoop. Continue reading

More Harry Potter

Harry Potter Gryffindor crest on shirt and Hp golden snitch on shorts

 

Grandson Alastair, 8 yo, is still enchanted with the Harry Potter series.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, prior to HP, this 2nd grader was a good but unenthusiastic reader.  Now he can’t put the books down and is an excellent reader with a greatly enlarged vocabulary.  His college English major Nana couldn’t be more pleased.

 

reading Harry Potter while waiting for  his orthodontist appointment

 

So I’m feeding his literary enthusiasm with Hp embroidered items, like the Gryffindor crested shirt and the shorts with the prized golden snitch shown above.  The designs were all found on Etsy.

 

 

 

He was absolutely delighted with the 9 3/4 applique shirt I sent last week.

 

This  is Alastair modelling his shirt just moments after he opened the package. This design I arranged myself in my Brother PE-Design is free for the asking. Just leave your request in a comment below.

 

This black shirt  was also included in the package I sent today.  The Marauder’s Map embroidery really tickles me because I love the fun that comes with glow-in-the-dark thread.  The footprints are stitched in Superior’s NiteLite but I couldn’t wait until dark to take a picture of the glowing tracks.   You can use your imagination.

FYI:  from http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Marauder%27s_Map— “The Marauder’s Map is a magical document that reveals all of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Not only does it show every classroom, every hallway, and every corner of the castle, but it also shows every inch of the grounds, as well as all the secret passages that are hidden within its walls and the location of every person in the grounds, portrayed by a dot.”

 

 

I thought this sleeveless black tee was perfect for the bad boy image the design projects. It’s funny because our compliant,responsible,  obedient, well-behaved little guy is anything but a bad boy.  He can do a little role playing while wearing this.

 

 

He can do a little role playing while wearing this.

Just in:  Alastair playing the bad boy.

 

It’s really ridiculous that I spend so much time trying to get exactly the look that I want.  It’s likely that Alastair neither notices nor cares that the applique’ fabric is fussy cut to show the vintage compass.

It is part of a fabric collection celebrating the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of the Americas. The print is of an antique map, much like the one  explorers used when–you know what’s coming—

“In 14 hundred and 92 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  October 12th they sighted land, And set their feet upon new sand.”

I wasted precious time searching unsuccessfully on-line for old map fabric, then studied all the tan fabrics in my stash, even checking the wrong side hoping to find an old parchment look.   My thoughts returned to an earlier post, How Good is Good Enough?     I was so pleased when I found just what I wanted right there on a shelf in my sewing room, a piece I had long since forgotten.

The footprints caused me no end of grief.  That thread does not like short stitches and each footprint has a multitude of tie off stitches at the beginning and end of both the foot and the heel.  For each of the first two footprints, I rethreaded at least 5 times after the thread broke.

I soon figured out that one or two tie offs was adequate, then advanced the design stitch by stitch until they were longer.  Still the back is messy and there were some thread breaks.   The design includes 18 footprints, 9 above and 9 below the text and map.  In frustration, I skipped the last two which would have completed the circle next to  “I”.    In retrospect, I would have had fewer problems if I had resized the footprints a bit larger.

Now I’m off to embroider more Crookshanks (Harry Potter) kitty cat shirts for Vivian Rose.  I had to include something in today’s package for her so an unphotographed Second Hand Rose pink smocked bishop dress was included.   But without a cat, rainbow or leopard skin component, I doubt she will wear it.

So what are you sewing for summer? for your children or grands?  I’d welcome the sight of some stitching other than Harry Potter.

 

 

Readers’ Easter Sewing

Big announcement coming in the next few days!

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Annette Poole

 

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

Easter Baskets and Free Grass Design

5 basketsA

OH DEAR!  I have just accidentally deleted a comment from “Janice” and I am so sorry!   (It’s purely coincidental that we have the same name.) March 29, 2017, Janice asked for the free design of Easter eggs and grass and I would like to get it to her.  Please, if you are Janice please resend your request.  Or of if you know a stitcher with that name, please give her this message.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After two full weeks of fun and sewing, my Aunt Rheeta just left for home in Indiana.  Her suitcase is stuffed to the limit with finished projects.  I’ll share details of those wonderful items in a future post.

With Easter just around the corner, this seemed like a good time to re-run this post and offer the free Easter grass design again. Take a look at the grass and eggs under Harry and Alastair’s names.  That is the free design.

To get the grass designs, just leave your request in the comment section below.

It also might give you some ideas for decorating your own baskets and other Easter projects. There is another Easter freebie rerun  in the queue so check back for that in the next few days.  I’ve got to get started on my grandchildren’s outfits!

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My struggle to break away from spring gardening was put to rest when two days of much needed, non-stop rain fell on Glenwood.  As it poured, I planned Vivian Rose’s size 2 Easter dress, pulled out all the goods needed and even did a little work on the fancyband.

In the midst of planning the granddaughters’ Easter finery, a huge, eagerly awaited box arrived with these 5  baskets.   That box changed my direction right then and there.  I had to get them personalized and out of my way.  They will be used at our church’s Bunny Lunch and egg hunt as well as on Easter morning.

 

Harry 1

 

One is for the 6 month old Harry, the long awaited first grandchild of a beloved friend.   The little guy won’t be hunting eggs this Easter, but his grandmother wanted him to have a special basket for his first Easter.

Harry’s basket was a challenge because my friend asked me to include a frog if possible.  I’m not sure that goofy amphibian passes for an “a” but I hope it is close enough.  After the Precious Boy Child blanket, I was focused on substituting an animal for a letter, hence the frog/a.   After it was finished, I wished I had just nestled a tiny frog in the grass.

Speaking of grass, I frequently use the greenery design used on Harry and Alastair’s baskets.  I think it might be equally useful for you readers.  Suzanne Sawko and I often discuss how we prefer embroidered figures to be anchored, somehow, to the ground or something else. Suzanne digitized the grass, which is best stitched with a fine machine embroidery thread such as DMC 50/2  or Mettler 60/2.  But regular 40 wt. thread also works.

 

Laurel2

 

The grass provides a great foundation for the addition of other elements. .  Each basket is embroidered with a combination of grass and other designs from here and there.

 

A 1

I am so pleased to have these finished–well, I think I am finished.   Almost 9 yo grandson Robert has yet to declare his preference for a plain basket, basket with an unembellished liner or basket with embroidery like his sister’s and cousins’.  To proceed without his input might, in the end,  would be a waste of time and a waste of a cute Easter basket.  The blue one is in reserve while he deliberates.

 

Vivian 1

Font is Jazz from Five Star Fonts.

 

The bunny design on Vivian Rose’s basket is from Bernina’s Warm Wishes from Ingrid collection.   It had to be rearranged somewhat to accommodate Vivian’s name but I was pleased to be able to use it again.  The lettering for her name is from Five Star Fonts Jazz alphabet.

So  the children have Easter baskets, but still no Easter outfits.  Back to the sewing room.

I’d love to see your Easter projects.

 

 

8000 Paper Plates and Thankfullness-giving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and so is tomorrow’s arrival of my grandchildren.  I love, love, love this time with them,  but not much else will get done.  So in advance of Thanksgiving Day, 2015, I am reposting memories from a few years ago.

 

thanx buffet guys

See that little hand reaching for a sample?

 

This was a wonderful Thanksgiving day. As in several past years, we celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends across the state, at the home of our son-in-law’s mother.  Always the gracious hostess and host and always fabulous cooks, Carol and her husband, Alan, prepare most of the traditional food.  The menu included roast turkey and pork loin, mashed potatoes, two gravies, and several sides, while the extended family guests bring desserts and more sides.     The desserts filled the entire table in the breakfast room.  With the exception of yours truly and my daughter (who studied the culinary arts from me), they are all fabulous cooks.

 

thanx towels 2cr

 

Late Wednesday night after my lemon pound cake was baked and my other dishes were prepped– stuffed baked pumpkin,  garlic green beans and corn pudding–I sewed.  Embroidered dishtowels are my standard Thanksgiving day hostess gift. The brown gingham-bordered towels are from AllAboutBlanks and the designs are a combination of files.  The fall leaf spray is from  Kreations by Kara Autumn Wreaths (a GORGEOUS collection)  and the text and pumpkins were added with my Brother PE-Design. Continue reading

Thanks to Blanks–Quick Gifts

From ho-hum plain to sweet with the help of machine embroidery and spaghetti bias.

From ho-hum plain to sweet with the help of machine embroidery and spaghetti bias.

 

Lately, I’ve been in need of a variety of really fast projects, for a baby, a bride, a guy, a little girl and a young lady.  I know of nothing faster than starting with ready-made blank items.

I started with the baby gift.  Years ago I bought several of these blank bibs, bonnets and caps made of Aida cloth or with Aida cloth inserts.   You know how a technique strikes you suddenly.  Machine embroidered cross stitch–yup!

 

plain aida bibs

The plan was to embroider all of these bibs, bonnets and baby baseball caps.   But that didn’t happen.  Oh, I did embroider several for the pregnancy center our church supports.  But I sold most of them for a pittance.

When the needs rolled in for these in-a-New York-minute projects,  only one plain white one bib was left, though I’d rather have had one with blue gingham binding.  Why does it always happen that you have things lying around for years, then once they are gone you need them ASAP?  Who knows?

Even with the cross stitch embroidery, the white bib was boring.  So I pulled out some spaghetti bias from my stash and stitched it right on top of the white bias binding.  I was generally pleased with this little gift.

It seems to me that cotton thread makes machine cross stitch look more like hand stitching.  So the bib was stitched with 50 wt. DMC machine embroidery thread.  I really like that thread.

Then I moved on to something for the bride.  A new but vintage handkerchief from my collection was just what I needed for a second project.   The linen, hand crocheted edging and hemstitching fit the bill for “something old, something new, something borrowed (well, it COULD be loaned), and something blue.”  This was reeeeeally fast. Continue reading

Inside Out Tanks

Bingbon, a favorite character

Bingbong, a favorite Pixar Inside Out character

 

Have you seen the new Pixar movie, Inside Out?    It offers some insight if you are trying to figure out just what children are feeling.

 

Joy is a happy gal.

Joy is the happy gal on the flip side of Bingbong.

 

The shirt embroideries are Brother’s  Inside Out designs.  It was June Mellinger’s creative idea to embroider two off-the-rack tanks and stitch them together .  This makes one embroidered tank top,  making it reversible— or wearable “inside out.”   With this inspiration I embroidered 6 tanks and ended up with 3 reversible tops. Continue reading