Category Archives: Nana fun

Finding Dory~Another Fun Disney Dress

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My step-by-step tutorial for this dress is posted at Brother’s Stitching Sewcial blog. Please take a look and leave a comment . I’d really appreciate your feedback.

 

It seems like forever since there has been a new post here, but My! Oh! My! have I been busy!  Highlights include time in NC with family, a week at home with 2 younger grands, including hurricane Vivian Rose (good news,  we have finally recovered. Whew!), several days of sewing with the two older grands and so much more.   It’s been a wonderful summer.

But I’m back in the saddle now and have a really fun little project to share with you.  I do believe this sweet child’s dress would qualify for the “Modern Projects for Old Fashioned Nanas” category.  Don’t you?

It started with this cute pattern

image-2-Dory-patt

and the Finding Dory machine embroidery designs at iBroidery.com.  The fabrics are a solid soft aqua Swiss cotton pique’ and a blue Disney Finding Dory quilting cotton. Continue reading

Alice Tea Linens Tutorial

image 1 panned set all shadowed

This child sized tea linen set features Alice in Wonderland characters.  With the heavenly scented Confederate Jasmine in full bloom on my front porch, a sweet tea party could be held, if only I had a few grandchildren in house.

 

Making this linen tea set was such a pleasure.  The project and accompanying tutorial were just posted on Brother’s Stitching Sewcial  blog.    This is especially timely with the recent release of Disney’s new movie, Alice through the Looking Glass. A whole new generation of children will meet the characters through this movie.

The tutorial includes .pdf downloads for the corner templates (a smaller one for the napkins and a larger one for the tablecloth).  It also includes a link to download the zig zag feather stitch which I created in My Custom Stitch,  available on many Brother machines.  I find this stitch useful for many projects–baby bonnets,   baby shawls,   blankets and more.

If your machine has this feature, you might want to download the zig zag feather even if you are not planning to whip up an Alice tea linen set.  Instructions for getting this stitch from the download to a memory stick to your machine are included in the tutorial.

When I began this project, my biggest challenge was to select the designs from  the 13 designs available at iBroidery.com.   Somehow, they would be have to be color coordinated with sweet Alice’s dress because the Madeira tablecloth corners just had to be blue.

 

 

Alice napkin close

 

Finally, I decided that the napkin corners would have to coordinate with its many colored embroidered characters. Continue reading

Straw Hats and Frog Pee

B hat stand

Rebecca’s hat

 

Embroidered straw hats seem to be turning up everywhere–at the beach, in the park, even at church.  Stitching them must be tricky, I thought.

But while shopping, I spotted two nice hats marked way down and thought, why not try?  If I ruin  them, the loss is small.  If they finish nicely–well, great!  Our daughter would like one.  She always wears a big hat when she hits the beach with the children and they go very often.   So with two hats taking up room  in my crowded sewing room, I thought it was time to have a go at it.

 

The monogram is from Loralie's Loralesque collection.

The monogram is from Loralie’s Loralesque collection.

 

Just an hour or two before Rebecca arrived with her two children and her good friend Zahra with her two, I decided the time had come.  (Remember Dr. Suess’s Marvin K Mooney?  “The time has come, the time is now, just go go go. I don’t care how.”  I read that book  at least 500 times to my son and can quote most of it verbatim even now.)

I recalled that there was a tutorial at Embroidery Library about embroidering on straw hats.  It’s a GREAT tute.  After reading through the comprehensive instructions, the hats met my Brother Dream Machine which performed flawlessly.  In a very short while, I had a hat ready for each of the young mothers. Continue reading

Free Bumble Bees and Blue Willow

Yesterday, after a reader requested the free bumblebee design from this 2010 post, as shown on the placemat and napkin.  For a closer look at the bee scroll down to the napkin.

As I reread the post, I found myself  enjoying the stroll down memory lane.  Only the grandchildren have changed, having grown older, taller, a bit wiser and even more delightful.  The designs are still available by posting your request in a comment at the end of this post.

In Florida Spring is just around the corner and I am ready for it.  We’ve had cold, cold weather this past week (48 this morning!!!) during my Aunt Rheeta’s visit.  She laughed when I commented that it couldn’t be much colder in Indiana.  So with spring approaching, I thought you might enjoy this post which shows off the best of Florida’s spring.

With the chill in the air, we are staying in, having a big time in the sewing room. Aunt Rheeta brought a stack of projects with her and we are busy stitching.  So this has been a busy, busy place for some time now.  I’ll post photos of her projects later.

Meanwhile, I hope you are all busy sewing for spring and staying warm in this especially bitter winter weather~~~~~~

Grandchildren, sewing, gardening, homeschooling……..life is good for this old fashioned Nana. It could only be better if my sweet little grandson Alastair and his parents  lived closer.

A few days ago, the entire student body of Nana’s Homeschool–that would be Robert, 4, and Laurel, 5–chose to have lunch in the potting shed.  This is one of my favorite places, second only to my sewing room.

 

We made a big production of it, carrying out placemats, napkins, Blue Willow china and Laurel’s favorite cobalt blue “stem ware.”  The table was set and lunch was served.

antique roses near potting shed

 Here in central Florida, we are in that brief and uniquely enchanting time of year between air conditioning and heat.  So we’ve been eating outdoors often.

Citrus blossoms perfume the air, roses  bloom all around, a gentle breeze blows, birds sing and the lubber grasshoppers unleash their insatiable appetites on my amaryllis lilies.  Stomping the little beasties is Robert’s favorite outdoor sport.

Knockout and antique Florida cracker roses keep Rastus’ nose twitching as he walks this garden path.

This is also the roses’ favorite time of year.  When deep summer is upon them, they wilt and bloom less enthusiastically.  So they are especially lovely right now.  Forgive my boasting and allow Edward Lear to speak for me:

  • And if you voz to see my roziz
  • As is a boon to all men’s noziz–
  • You’d fall upon your back and scream-
  • `O Lawk! O crikey! It’s a dream!`
  • Edward Lear, 1885

antique rose and lime sweet potato vine cuttings

When I am not teaching the children or preparing lesson plans, I am busy during the day gardening with Bob and sewing by night.  With all the freeze damage, we had more to do than usual.  Many of the plants I use extensively, like the lime green and purple sweet potato vines, have been unavailable until just this week.

Only a few hanging baskets were for sale, so I have whacked them into cuttings.  I’ll have plenty already planted before individual plants are available at the garden centers.

But back to lunch and sewing…….because the bees are buzzing incessantly in the nearby 20’ viburnum hedge which is in full bloom, I thought the use of this bumblebee luncheon set would be timely. The linens put the children on their best behavior and motivated Laurel to recite one of her memory pieces,

The Whole Duty of Children,  Robert Louis Stevenson,                                  A Child’s Garden of Verses

  • A child should always say what’s true  
  • And speak when he is spoken to,
  • And behave mannerly at table;
  • At least as far as he is able.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After we talked about “mannerly”  and as they ate, I read to them from the Blue Willow book.  For the past 20 years or so, I’ve used Blue Willow dishes  for everyday.   The story interested them because of the dishes and our recent, though superficial, study of the  Orient.

Then cookies were served and, as was so often stated in the society page of our small town paper, a good time was had by all.

The placemats and napkins were embroidered with designs from Fil Tire’ and Fancywork Elements, a collection by Suzanne Sawko and me. The hive uses a piece of fil tire’ for the appliqué fabric.

The tiny bumblebees from Charleen Madsen are just the right size for the hive and rose. With Charleen’s permission, I have offered this design to readers before and do so again.  Just post your request in the comments and I will send it out to you.

Machine wing needle entredeux traces the flight path of the bees, ending at an enlarged web rose from the same collection.

The entredeux path on the placemat matches up with the path on the napkin, ending at the rose. Once the napkin is removed, another shows on the placemat.

Spring in Florida is a glorious time. For as long as the weather holds up, we are lunching at the patio table by the pool, on the picnic table on the back porch, on the glass top table on the breakfast porch.

Next week, if all goes according to plan, we will lunch in the tree house.

It is equipped with a basket on a rope which is dropped down and loaded with snacks or drink, as the occupants request.

For that dining experience, the menu necessarily will be simple, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, cookies and  juice boxes, served on an old quilt. Still, we will behave mannerly, as least as far as we are able. Life with grandchildren is so much fun!

 

 

Halloween Bedtime

The Ninja pumpkin design is from XXXand the witch -costumed koala is from an old Amazing Designs collection, Seasonal Daisy Kingdom.

Alastair’s pillowcase design is Embroidery Boutique’s Ninja Pumpkin design. Vivian Rose’s little witch -costumed koala is from an old Amazing Designs collection, Seasonal Daisy Kingdom.  The moon and stars were added.

 

Soooo busy!  I thought my “golden years” were supposed to be leisurely!  But they are not and I am not complaining about my full, rich, active life.  Still, a little leisure would be nice.

I know I have promised Part 2 of my post on lace tape, but that has been pushed to the back burner, due to new family demands and responsibilities.  I’m sorry about that but it will be posted as soon as I can get to it.

Aside from all the must-do’s I managed to squeeze out these Halloween pillowcases for my two younger grandchildren.   6 yo Alastair who is a big time Ninja fan, and Vivian Rose, 2.5 yo is delighted with anything.

The really fun feature of her pillowcase is the moon and stars, in the sky and on the witch robe.  After the success of her firefly dress with glow-in-the dark lightning bugs, I invested in several spools of glowing thread. It offers so many creative opportunities!!!! Continue reading

Mountain Getaway

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Vivian and Alastair enjoying the playground behind the Candy Barrel in Valle Crucis, NC. Vivi’s mop of curls has been cut to keep her cool during the hot summer. But she’ll be a curly top again in no time at all.  Vivian is wearing her firefly outfit.

 

North Carolina is my second favorite state. We’ve just returned from an absolutely wonderful week in the mountains with our two younger grandchildren and their parents.

 

Chap fam

Our Rebecca, Alastair, Vivian Rose and Harvey.  FYI, that is a lollipop/powdered sugar concoction in Vivi’s hand, not a pacifier.  They are sitting at the delivery door at the Candy Barrel. 

  Continue reading

Keychain Tutorial Posted ~ New Hints

 

pack pals for Alastair and his friends

Pack pals/ keychains for Alastair and his friends. I’m pleased to report that my keychain tutorial is posted at Brother’s website.  Any of these links will take you there.

 

I’m pleased to report that my keychain tutorial is now posted at Brother’s website.  Any of the links at the end of this post will take you there.

Apparently, I was not very clear about the felt.   A reader wrote with some questions,  asking if she needed to buy from a bolt.  My answers/comments are:

 I just buy the felt sheets at WalMart, JoAnn’s or Michaels.  They are 9×12″ or 12 x 18″.  The smaller soft ones run about  $.25 each and the larger stiff ones about $.59.   Of course, you could use some by-the-yard felt, but I don’t think that comes in the stiff weight. 

When I first got on this jag, I used soft for both with a cutaway stabilizer for the first hooping.  But then I could not get rid of the stabilizer beyond the outline and had to color it with a sharpie.  Still, the keychain was too floppy to suit me.  So I went with the stiff stuff. 

You can use stiff for both layers, but with my stiff hands, it is hard to cut through two layers of that. Now I always use stiff for the top but when I can’t find matching colored soft felt, I use stiff for both.

When I first heard about these keychains, I too was puzzled about their attachment to the backpacks.  I discovered that they just loop over the hanger loop  with the embroidered piece slipping through the loop or over the wider shoulder strap.   That is why you need such a long loop.  I’m guessing backpack straps are about 2″ wide, so that uses up 4″ of the ribbon loop.  Then the embroidery has to fit through the remaining opening.

 

Maddie n Elsa

 

A second tutorial for other machines was to be posted at this time.   But a wicked case of bronchitis and life in general got in the way.  I expect you know how that happens.  But it will be posted soon.

NANA FUN Continue reading

Whimsy Dresses

Inspired by Kari Mecca's Whimsy classes. Sorry for the boring picture but it was raining outside and this was the best I could do.

Inspired by Kari Mecca’s Whimsy classes. Sorry for the boring picture but it was raining outside and this was the best I could do.

 

I’m still reeling with ideas from Kari Mecca’s classes at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo ’15.  Fortunately, while there I had stocked up on spaghetti bias, so I was ready to go full steam ahead on this dress and a matching one for and AG doll.

 

dress bodice

The ladybug button just tickled me. I was especially happy to find a tiny bug button for the doll dress.

 

 

sleeve2

I started with a Simplicity pattern but wish I had found one without a yoke.  It left precious little room for the applique’ and I doubt the rick rack would have fit even if I had thought about it.  Also, I find the separation of bodice to skirt distracting, even with the coordinating lime green whipstitch piping.  Oh well. Continue reading

Only for the Love of Grandchildren

Apparently,  there is no limit to what we will do for our children or grandchildren.

 

Pokemon ninja headbandss

 

I can’t believe I’ve just made 43 Pokemon Ninja headband birthday party favors for sweet grandson Alastair.  That’s LOVE!!!

Now 6 years old, he and most of his friends are  smitten with Pokemon characters. The headbands are embroidered with four of the all-important “energy symbols.”

 

party ninjas

Alastair is the little guy standing with his hands in his pockets.

Continue reading

Happy Valentines Day Celebrations

I hope your Valentine’s Day was filled with

LOVE

Our family had wonderful celebrations, both at our home with the older two grands and across the state where our littlest darlings live.

The younger ones marked the occasion in their own special way.  While she prepared things to take to the school Valentine party, Rebecca asked her 5 yo Alastair to sit with his sister, 2 yo Vivian Rose, and to please make sure she didn’t leave the table with the markers.

“No problem, Mom,” said Big Brother.

 

VR and A

True to his word, she never left the table with the markers.

 

At school on the big day, Alastair spent a whole dollar to have a carnation delivered to the darling girl who sits next to him in kindergarten.  According to his mother, who volunteers in his classroom every week, this little gal runs and wrestles and roughhouses with the boys.  Many are as smitten as Alastair.

 

A carnation

When he was a toddler, it was obvious that he would be a charmer.  For that Valentine’s Day, I embroidered this shirt for him. Continue reading