Category Archives: Madeira applique

Fun Halloween Projects and Lessons Learned

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Check the UPDATE below. The ghost and skull glow in the dark.  Happy Halloween towel V.2 below is a great improvement.

 

NEWS FLASH–Urban Threads is running a sale on their designs especially designed for glow-in-the-dark threads–$1.29 each with a neat bonus set that comes with a purchase of $10 or more.  That’s just 8 designs.  I finished these towels just about an hour before I found out about this sale.  I had spent a lot of time searching my design library for files that would be suitable for glow-in-the-dark. Oh well.  Children are crazy about this stuff.  I  look forward to stitching my new designs for the older grands.

A package of fun Halloween items will go out in tomorrow’s mail to my two younger grandchildren.  A fingertip towel for each child should make them smile.  When the children were here a few weeks ago, they were so pleased to have embroidered personalized towels for their bathrooms.

Three year old Vivian Rose is infatuated with cats so the cat and hat towel is for her.  Seven year old Alastair was equally infatuated with glow-in-the-dark threads when he discovered them during that same visit.  So that is the fun factor on his towel.

It looks pretty ho-hum until the lights are out.

 

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Be sure to check the UPDATE below if you haven’t already.

 

LESSON LEARNED:  When dealing with glow-in-the-dark, areas outside the glow are best stitched in regular colored thread.  The ghost mouth and nose were stitched with orange thread. That looks good.  I mistakenly thought that having the ghost and skull eyes glow in a different color would give a great effect.  Wrong.  It would have been so much nicer with the lights on or off if I had used black or orange thread for those features.  Live and learn.

UPDATE: After this post was written,  I couldn’t live with the Happy Halloween towel.  I knew the fix would be easy.  So the towel was rehooped and the scan feature on my Dream Machine was engaged.  After the embroidered towel was scanned, the original design was opened.  As it appeared on the screen, I dragged it over the existing design with the stylus.

After scrolling through the first few colors, I came to the skull eyes and then the ghost nose.  They were re-embroidered with black thread.

 

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The fix took less than 3 minutes and towel looks much better in daylight— even better in the dark.

 

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Restitching those elements of the design in black was a huge improvement.

Even more was learned on the next project, a pumpkin door hanger.

 

Fun project! Pumpkin Door Hanger from Hang To Dry. The applique' font and the text were from Brother's PE-NEXT editing program.

What a fun project! Pumpkin Door Hanger from Hang To Dry. The applique’ font and the text were from Brother’s PE-NEXT editing program.

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Whispering Daydreams–New Fabric!

Violette Bleues pattern by Petite Poche. Whispering Daydreams ultra-lawn fabric from Spoonflower.

 

I love fabric, you love fabric, we all love fabric.  But with experience we become more selective about what we choose to sew.  Of course, everyone appreciates the beauty of Swiss batiste, linen, silk, Liberty of London tana lawn, Swiss pique’ and more.  Most sewists praise Michael Miller, Tula Pink and easy care Imperial.  But now I have a new love.

Even though I’ve been on a fabric starvation diet, Nancy Lee Moran’s hand drawn fairytale toile, Whispering Daydreams,  had me from hello. I can hear it whisper…”shhh… Pippi Longstocking’s gone heirloom!”

Seeing that scrappy, pigtailed girl and her fantasy companions portrayed so delicately just delighted me.  The print is pure innocence and set me to daydreaming.  Teamed up with the tiny, fancy dot, also available from Spoonflower,  garments for 3 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose danced like visions of sugarplums in my head.

Available in lavender or blue, in three sizes, and in an array of fabric choices, the smallest blue Whispering Daydreams‘ ultra-lawn was my choice. CORRECTION:  The MINIATURE size (2″ figures) was  used.  Of course, I couldn’t wait to lay hands on it.  When I opened the package, I was not disappointed.  It truly is a fine lawn. Continue reading

Penny for Vivi

Penny by Petite Poche (Wendy Schoen), size 3, is ready to be shipped to granddaughter Vivian.

Penny by Petite Poche (Wendy Schoen), size 3, is ready to be shipped to granddaughter Vivian.

 

This little summer dress is finally finished.  It’s progress was interrupted by a variety of issues, all outside the sewing room, but now  Penny  has been removed from my UFO list.

 

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I have always loved this pattern and finally got around to making it.

 

nNBst-CloKs-pdtFX-WSPennyI always favor projects with Madeira applique’ and to my eye the best feature is the bodice back.  But I doubt I could convince 3 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose to walk backwards to show it to best advantage.  Then again, she is usually on the run, so I guess the front and back have equal opportunity to be viewed. Continue reading

Sewing Non-Stop

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

The embroidery and gingham made this a more casual setting than the hemstitched linen napkins shown here.

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Seaside Madeira Table Linens

placemat

 

Making these  table linens was a nice break from sewing for my granddaughters. Fine white linen is paired with lime green and embroidered with a fun blue fish.  This color combination reminds me of the beach, just 30 miles away.

Sitting on the screened breakfast porch, looking out over our front yard with this table setting made me just as happy that I was not roasting on Daytona Beach and scanning the waterfront for sharks.  It’s very peaceful on my porch.  I enjoy pulling out dishes and napkins that coordinate with the setting.

Linen is one of my favorite fabrics and Madeira applique’ is one of my favorite sewing techniques.  Add pinstitching and embroidery–well, just let me tell you I was having a big time!  I never once missed lace or a girlie  angle.  If there is any interest, I would be happy to put up a Madeira applique tutorial.  Let me know if you would find that helpful. Continue reading

First Birthday Dress~Finished

UPDATE:  And look at it now.

Viv "eating"Aunt Peggy's  chocolate pudding.  Surely a some got in her mouth.

Viv “eating”Aunt Peggy’s chocolate pudding. Surely a some got in her mouth.

first birthday dress for Minnie fan

first birthday dress for Minnie fan

 

Our precious granddaughter Vivian Rose recently celebrated her first birthday with family and friends at a party in her own back yard.

 

Cousins Laurel and Alastair

Cousins Laurel and Alastair

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Once-in-a-lifetime Estate Sale Shopping Spree

“Almost 20 years ago, they  (the lace portraits shown below) were purchased at an estate sale,  where they were pinned to a sheet of cardboard.  If any interest is expressed, I’ll write a post about that once-in-a-lifetime textile shopping spree.  Occasionally, I still dream about it!” 

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This quote is from an earlier post about these antique lace portraits. Readers did ask for the story.  So let me tell you………

This was the most amazing estate sale I had ever seen, or ever will again.  It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime shopping opportunity to acquire beautiful things.

First, a few details about one of my finds at that sale, a set of 6 placemats and napkins with a matching table runner.

 

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Shadow embroidered placemat with surface embroidery and hemstitching.

 

The shadow embroidery on this luncheon set is absolutely flawless.  Worked in two shades of blue, the stitches are so tiny and so regularly spaced that it’s hard to believe this is handwork.

 

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The surface embroidery is equally remarkable.

 

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The set of six placemats and napkins includes a table runner.  With my Blue Willow china,  it makes a pretty setting for lunch.  For tea, flow blue cups are elegant.  My 7 yo granddaughter Laurel and I enjoy having tea on the breakfast porch with these cups.  Robert, 6, sometimes joins us but prefers a no-nonsense Gator mug.

 

blue flow cup stand

 

So here is the story about how this all came about.  My mother’s friend, Marybelle, had a daughter who did estate sales and auctions in New England.  She didn’t liquidate little Ma & Pa farms or cottages but rather huge estates with names like Rockefeller or DuPont.  Mind you, I don’t know the surnames, but the implication was that they were of this status, rich and/or famous.

 

Suzanne bought these, then duplicated the technique. The article is featured in Creative Needle magazine.

 

The story goes that the 4 or 5 adult children had already stripped the house of  everything that interested them, which apparently was the bulk of the mansion’s  contents.   Then, at the auction, more than $5 million worth of items were sold.  The leftovers were sent to Marybelle, a well-connected Southern lady, who was to offer them to her friends.  Fortunately for me, my mother was one of her friends. Continue reading

Blossom Basket Blouse

blossom basket blouse

 

I hope 2012 is off to a good start for all of you.  For us, the new year was kicked off in the midst of chaos rather than the cozy family gathering we had planned for our Christmas #2 celebration.

First our pilot son was called away for a last minute flight to Denver. Then after the bonfire and s’mores, the grandchildren’s plans for a loud welcome to the new year were foiled by 6 year-old Robert’s battle with croup and Laurel’s virus.

Finally, after unsuccessfully trying to soothe his cough with the cold air humidifier, my son-in-law and I left at 2 a.m. and drove 40 minutes each way to Robert’s home to retrieve his croup medicine.   The remaining adults tended to Robert and Laurel. Being on the roads at that time was a little worrisome, but we arrived home safely.

The best part of the new year was that our daughter and her family were here for a whole week.  However, this left me not a free moment as 2 year-old Alastair claimed my undivided attention. I loved every minute of it, but there was no time for blog writing, sewing or picture taking. Consequently…

For Faded Charm’s  White Wednesday, this is a rerun of an earlier post. I hope you find a tidbit or two that interest you.
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Madeira Applique’ Hem Pillowcases

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A pair of these pillowcases were stitched for my daughter’s birthday, which is this week.  She loves pretty linens and monograms, just like her mother, so this pair of pillow slips should please her.

The “C” monogram is from Martha Pullen’s  2002 Embroidery Club  collection.  I chose this style  because of its angular lines, a nice contrast to all the swirls of the embroidery below.  Years ago, I attended a quilting workshop at which the instructor casually threw out this tip.  She mentioned that when piecing with geometric shapes, she likes to quilt with curves.  Conversely, she thought that curved pieces look best with rectolinear quilting.  I’ve never regretted following her advice for quilts and frequently have applied it to embroidery designs. Continue reading

Iris Tea Linens

Earl Grey tea and banana bread served in the potting shed

Earl Grey tea and banana bread served in the potting shed

 

This set of  six linen napkins and placemats is so beautiful that using them, either to  pamper myself or entertain special friends, always makes me appreciative of the needleworker’s skill.  They were purchased from an estate sale and were estimated to be vintage 1940.

By virtue of my friend Suzanne Sawko’s definition  of “antique” as something that is older than she is, I declare these linens to be the real deal.  But using Suzanne’s standard has made it harder and harder for me to find genuine antiques!

 

Iris Linen placematcorner

placemat corner

 

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