Category Archives: free patterns and designs

Easter ’18 Week

Vivian Rose at Oma’s house, decked out in her mother’s Rebecca’s Bow Dress.

 

I hope you all had a joyous Easter.  The Ferguson family had a fabulous week of Easter celebrations!  We saw both of our children with all four of our grandchildren, but not at the same time.   A good bit of sewing was done before and after their arrival.

Saturday we joined our son-in-law’s family for Easter dinner.   5 yo Vivian Rose was resplendent in her mother’s 35 yo Rebecca’s Bow Dress,  with her curls confined to elaborate, elegant French braids.

The original slip has been lost through the years so this white Imperial batiste slip was made.   Because it really can be worn as a dress, a bow was embroidered on the yoke.  To avoid it shadowing through the dress, it was stitched in a very pale pink and white.

 

The same yoke pattern was used with 1/2″ removed from the top half of the armscye.

 

Ever obliging 9 yo Alastair wore his bow tie made from the Little Boy Bowtie:the Quick and Easy Version pattern which I have used so often.

 

 

The color matched the green leaves in his sister’s fancyband.

 

The bows alternated with 3 vertical strips of lace.

 

I love this picture taken as Vivian was ready to put on her heirloom dress.  Alastair was proud that he was already dressed and ready for the egg hunt.

 

The bunny was tied at the top with a bow, but Vivian HAD to open it.

 

See the felt candy-filled bunny in Vivi’s hand?  That was such a fun little project.  I made 20 of these for the children at church, as well as for these two.  Vivian had a bunny filled basket and loved handing them out.  I so regret that I did not get a photo that or of all the pink, blue, yellow and white bunnies together.  They were a big hit with all the children.

The pattern is GG’s Designs Marshmallow Bunny Peekaboo Treat Bag.  This is her picture.  They are quick and easy, with a single 4″ bunny in the 4×4 frame,  two 4″ bunnies in the 5×7 frame or a single larger bunny in that same 5×7 frame.

 

Before dinner an after they were dressed for the occasion–Vivi in her sneakers and Alastair’s shirt tucked in– they were off to hunt eggs.

 

 

What a treat it was to see a family of sand hill cranes strolling on the far side of the property.

 

 

This towel was a hostess gift for Oma.  I meant for it to be a trial run of this darling Vintage Luxe Bunny from Hang to Dry Appliques, but ran out of time.  Sadly, that site was closed last year and had so many wonderful crazy patch designs like this.  I wish I had purchased more.  So Oma was given the first and only, so far,  version.  I’m eager to make more of these for next year.

 

 

Vivi came home with us because her preschool spring break was after Easter.  So she was able to attend a beautiful Easter service with us.  It was a special blessing for me to see this granddaughter wearing her mother’s dress.   Additionally, each of the pastor’s children wore heirloom clothes that I had made through the years.

 

 

 

Ella is wearing Rebecca’s 34 yo peach Swiss batiste dress, Vivi holding the bunny, Julie wearing Laurel’s Lace Dress and Little Brother wearing a tucked and pinstitched linen shirt above the handsome blue shorts his grandmother made for him.  What a joy it was to see the girls’ delight in their heirloom dresses.  Little Brother was cooperative but unimpressed.

Through Easter week the guys attended a Gator baseball game in Gainesville, we all had breakfast at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill at DeLeon Springs State Park. We dined and strolled through delightful DeLand where 14 yo Laurel, our own precious angel, posed in front of the angel wings, a favorite photo op in downtown.

 

 

I was up late Thursday night hemming new curtains for Laurel’s room.  Friday morning they packed up and flew back to NJ. We miss  them all already.

NANA FUN

When I suggested that Vivi remove her kiddie Fit Bit for church, she insisted, “No!  If I take it off I might not make my goal!”  She’s 5!!!!  It’s a whole new world for this old fashioned Nana.

 

2 Free Easter designs and Upcoming Easter ’18

free Bunny trio applique pattern Childrens 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.

 

Vivian Rose’s formal Easter dress that same year is one of the few with which I was mostly satisfied.  It is a modification of Rebecca’ Bow Dress, a pattern I designed many, many years ago for Martha Pullen and for my own 5 70 Rebecca.

 

 

Of course, I sewed for the boys as well.  This was a favorite of my younger grandson.

The shirt is Ginger Snaps Hudson’s Sunday Suit.

 

Last year, 4 yo Vivian Rose wore a pink Swiss voile bishop with an antique lace cherub medallion in the skirt.  She loved it, in spite of the absence of cats, rainbows, or leopard skin print.

 

 

 

This year will be special for me, my daughter and Vivian Rose.  She will wear her mother’s 35 yo Rebecca’s Bow Dress.  I’m just finishing the slip. The original has gone missing in these many years.  Alastair, bless his heart, will patiently endure wearing a coordinating bow tie, as he has in years past.

 

 

We’re looking forward to a joyous Easter celebration with both of our children and their families with our 4 precious grandchildren.

I wish you all a wonderful and meaningful Easter this year.

 

 

 

Quilted Bed Foot Warmer and Free Design

 

No one likes cold feet–not at a wedding nor in bed.

There are many ways to keep your toes warm, like this.  Who wouldn’t love that?  But you need a lot of puppies.

 

 

Or you could do this:

 

There are risks with this method. Mildred “Mimi” Turner almost burned down our hotel (and her feet) when we were teaching in Australia’s cold Blue Mountains.

 

This quilted foot warmer is risk free, readily available, pretty, and fun to make.  It is also my latest project for Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial, for which I am a paid sewing specialist (this is a required disclosure).  The blog post includes a FREE download link for the quilting design used for the spaghetti bias Celtic knot in the center of each square.  But more about the special use of that later.

 

The design measures 7.76 x 7.87″.

Continue reading

Valentine Free Fil Tire’ Heart

 

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I am again offering this free fil tire’ heart design.  There are many new readers who might enjoy this and some older readers who might have missed it.  The design is so suitable for this holiday celebrating love.  And what says love better than a heart?

I so appreciate the support and encouragement you dear readers have given me  through the years.  For the some time now I have been extraordinarily busy and posts have been few and far between. And yet you still stop by to read my infrequent chats. I thank you for that.

For this day celebrating love, I am offering this free machine embroidered fil tire’ heart, along with wishes for love each day.  Just leave your request for the design as a comment at the bottom of this post.
Continue reading

Two-Holiday Reversible Jumper

Same garment, two holidays.  The Halloween jumper reversed to become a Thanksgiving jumper.  Sorry, but the orange gingham hem on the Halloween dress does not show up well.

 

Have you ever heard anyone say that they have too much time to sew?  We all seem to have more projects in the queue than time will allow.  Here’s a tip–sew a reversible two holiday garment such as this.  It’s like a BOGO–buy one get one free.

 

Black pique fabric is trimmed with an orange gingham scalloped hemline. It is trimmed with purple spaghetti bias and an orange button at the peak of each scallop.

 

The reversible jumper is a project I did for Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial.  There you will find step-by-step instructions for this slick technique which I first learned  from guru Louise Baird’s excellent directions in Applique, Martha’s Favorites.  Only 4″ of handsewing is required for the entire garment!

 

This book includes a pattern for a nearly identical jumper as well as a boy’s Jon-Jon.

 

 

The Halloween scalloped hemline border was simply sewn with raw edges to the black pique’ dress.  The top edge is covered with purple spaghetti bias and an orange button at each peak.  The bottom raw edge is later enclosed in the seam which joins the two garments. 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.

 

 

Free Harry Potter Design

free applique’ design 9 3/4, the train platform where students board the Hogwarts Express.  Request the designs by leaving a comment at the end of this post.

LEAVE YOUR REQUEST FOR THIS DESIGN AND THE SLEEVE TEXT IN A COMMENT AT THE END OF THIS POST.

Our daughter and her family recently spent the day at Universal Studio’s Harry Potter World in Orlando.  What a grand time they had!

 

“I don’t want to share with my sister.” “Ok, Daddy can drink it.” “I want to share with my sister.”

 

It’s no surprise that Alastair would be so smitten with Harry Potter.  Both of his parents are rabid readers and great fans of the books and movies.   Before Alastair, their first child, was born they asked me to sew a Harry Potter themed nursery for him.

The Harry Potter  books have had such a great impact on 2nd grader Alastair, 8.  Before he began the Harry series, he was a good reader but he did not enjoy it.  Every night as he sat down to read for the required 20 minutes, he dreaded it.  Once he began reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, he couldn’t wait for reading time, finishing hoework and chores quickly to have extra time.  He read on the school bus, at the orthodontist office, and at every possible opportunity.

He even reads to his beloved NanNan when he visits her.  Of course, his wand is at hand.

 

Alastair and his beloved NanNan

 

His reading comprehension, speed,  vocabulary,  and spelling skills have sky rocketed.  He is just finishing book 6 and can’t wait to move on to book 7.

At Universal, Alastair bought his very own Hogwarts robe.  Just where he plans to wear it outside Harry Potter World I can’t guess.  But he loves it.

Continue reading

How good is good enough?

children with their teepee bags at my grandson’s 8th birthday party

 

This is a question I have struggle with frequently.  Does EVERY project require or deserve perfection?

Most recently, my struggle focused on the party favor bags for my grandson’s 8th birthday.  The party had a sports theme, with a football pinata and soccer field cake.  My contribution to the festivities was 12 teepee bags  (click here for the post with the free pattern) 3 each  from football, baseball, basketball and soccer novelty fabrics.  After enjoying the bounce house and the girls swapping clothes and changing again and again with the garments in the dress up box,  the bags were stuffed by the children with the spilled contents of the smashed pinata.

Like most of you readers, I am very, very busy.    But I am also very, very fussy about my sewing.  Often I ask myself, is it better to sew more with a few imperfections or better to sew less and get my projects as close to perfect as possible?  In fact, I rarely achieve results even close to perfect.

I wrestled with this question when making the quick and easy bags , which take 10 minutes each without finishing touches.  Two of these touches include topstitching the zipper, finishing the seams and trimming stray whiskers from the seams. Ultimately, taking time to cut out and make each bag unique (who wants mass produced?) with different colored zippers and handle loops, winding different colored bobbins and changing threads, I spent about 20 minutes each.  But was it worth it?

 

Do the seams really need to be finished for a candy bag? Must the stray thread be trimmed?.

 

In search of the answer, I did not sit in my Adirondack chair under a freshly leafed oak tree on a sunny Florida spring afternoon.   Remember, I am very busy. Oops, I think I already mentioned that…  Instead I contemplated the quotes  below while folding laundry, feeding the cats and scouring the kitchen sink.

Confucius said, “”Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”  Hmmmm….

But Aristotle said,  “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”  I have an abundance of pleasure in the job, but I don’t get perfection.  Hmmmmm…

Plato really muddied the waters with his declaration, “Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.”  Hmmm…again and again.

Then, many quotes addressed the subject of excellence along with perfection.

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” ~ Pat Riley

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” ~ Aristotle

Ultimately, it was the wisdom of a football legend who spoke to my heart.

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” ~ Vince Lombardi

As you can see from the photo of the single soccer teepee bag, the seams were finished, the zipper was  topstitched,  and finally the stray threads. were trimmed.  I’m not sure it was the wisest expenditure of my time, but I couldn’t help myself.   I’ve decided that I am in search of excellence in all I sew rather than demanding or expecting perfection.  Whew!  That’s a relief!

So what would you do?

 

 

 

Christmas Tidbits

Truly, this is the most wonderful time of the year.  And it’s just around the corner.

Meanwhile, the black velveteen for Vivian Rose’s Christmas dress (because black is this child’s best hope for an all-day appearance of cleanliness) is still in the package from Farmhouse Fabrics.    I’m still returning china, laundering and pressing 140 dinner napkins while recovering from Thanksgiving.  We were deeply involved in a fabulous almost family wedding Thanksgiving weekend.  FYI, the groom is almost family–there was nothing” almost” about the wedding!  That’s what the 140 dinner napkins were all about.

For 5 days of Thanksgiving and 5 days with so much for which to be thankful,   our house was filled with the families of both of our children, including all 4 of our precious grands.  It was a glorious time, but exhausting with the wedding thrown in there.

But back to Christmas……

Tidbit #1:  Do you all know about Jacquie Lawson‘s electronic greeting cards?  They are just spectacular.  For a small fee you have unlimited access to cards all year long. I share this with you now because of the advent calendar she offers each year.  Members, for a very small fee (as little as $2 each for 10 or more) can give a daily magical electronic Christmas experience to children or anyone.

This year there are two versions, a Victorian Christmas

 

This year's Jacquie Lawson electronic Victorian Advent Calendar

This year’s Jacquie Lawson electronic Victorian Advent Calendar

 

and a Seaside Advent calendar. 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.