Category Archives: uncategorized

Beauty and the Beast Spa Wrap

 

This cute spa wrap isn’t green, but there is a bit of the color in the trim.

 

 

What a fun little project this is!  My older granddaughter loved her monogrammed wrap and  those I made for her Spatacular 8th birthday party guests.  There was also one for each girl’s American Girl doll (see that tutorial here).

Laurel would love one with the Beauty and the Beast design, available from iBroidery.com for Brother Disney embroidery machines.

She is our little drama queen, but not in a bad way.  Laurel has been performing in local stage productions since she was 7 and acting as narrator in Beauty was one of her favorite roles. Continue reading

Laughter

Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life.  Anon.

 

I just came across this old post and thought it bears repeating.  My life is great, rich and full of joy, and I hope yours is as well.  But laughter is good for everyone.  I hope this makes you a good chuckle.

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

This post has only the most tenuous link to sewing.  But some days tenuous is all I’ve got.

There has been a lot of illness among my elderly relatives and, sadly, a recent death.  But life goes on.   We accept as God’s blessing the merciful  death of one and  celebrate the recovery of another.

When my Uncle Richard, 92,  healthy and fit, stopped by my home after visiting his hospitalized sister, my sweet Aunt Aileen, his sadness and depression were palpable.  I steered the conversation to the past, leading him to talk about his career as a restaurantaeur.   He and his long-departed wife spent many years as owners, managers and sometimes cooks for this restaurant.

Ahhhhhhh, I thought. A true, funny restaurant story should give him some distraction and a good laugh.

So I told Uncle Richard……..

After teaching for seven full days at Martha Pullen’s school in Huntsville, Alabama, I was tired and eager to get home to Florida.  I’m like a long distance trucker on these road trips.  With 650 miles to travel alone, I make every infrequent stop count–1) gas, 2) bathroom and 3) food —then back on the road.

Somewhere near the Florida state line, I stopped at one of those huge truck stops that could pass as a mini-mall.  On one side was a sub shop and a sit down restaurant.  A turkey sub sounded good to me.

Directly inside the door was a sub sandwich counter and a few small tables.  To the left was the large dining room of the restaurant.  I waited at the unattended sub counter for a few minutes then went into the restaurant to see if I could get some help.   Two or three tables were occupied with diners, but no wait staff or attendants were visible.

Tick tock tick tock…….I don’t wait well.  But I called up all my patience and gave it a little longer, a total of 6 minutes from my arrival.  I had my gas and bathroom break but no lunch.  I needed to get on the road!

So stepped behind the counter, washed my hands, put on a pair of plastic gloves and started on my sandwich.  I had the roll sliced, the condiments slathered on and had just plopped the meat, cheese and veggies on the bread when a lady came out of the restaurant shrieking, “What do you think you are doing?!?!?!”

Very calmly, I replied, “I’m making a sandwich, of course.  Since no one was here to do it for me,  I assumed this was a self-service shop.”

“Well, it is not!!!!!”  She wrapped up my sandwich, I paid her and then sat down at a table by the entrance. The Shrieker disappeared into the sit-down restaurant’s dining room and through a pair of double doors at the back, practically in the next zip code.

Just a few minutes later, two HUGE biker guys came in–you know, with doo rags on their heads, sleeveless tee shirts, bulging arms, big ring of keys on their Levis belt loops, heavy boots.  They waited just a minute then asked me if anyone was there.

Then I thought, you just have to get your laughs when and where you can.

I said, “This place is self service.  I made my own sandwich.  Just leave your money by the cash register.”

As they clumped back behind the counter and picked out their bread, I picked up my sandwich and walked quickly to my car.  But I was laughing then and chuckled as I drove for the next 200 miles, picturing a continuation of the scenario I had left behind.  I’d love to have stayed to watch The Shrieker take on those tough guys and give them what-for.  But as they say, “Discretion is the greater part of valor,” though I’m not sure valor is what I was going for.   Clearly, in this situation, discretion was the wiser choice.

Hearing this story, Uncle Richard laughed, too.  As he guffawed and chortled some more, I could tell it had been a very long time since he had had anything to laugh about.  But that day, for a little while, he did.

This YouTube video of a baby will make you laugh…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPtuekvJdhs

Meanwhile, happy sewing.

Remorse, Fish, Family, and Fun

 

v-a-moxx

This is one of our three formerly feral cats, obviously no longer feral. They were a daily source of delight for 3 yo Vivian Rose and 7 yo Alastair.

 

Before the summer was over, our two younger grandchildren came  across the state for a week of Nana (and Granddad) camp.  As all grandparents know, it was a fabulous, memorable time for all, not the least of whom were their folks who were relieved of parental responsibilities for a week. How well I remember that special joy in years gone by.

In an effort to give this some sewing references, I must tell you that Vivian Rose’s suitcase was packed with nothing but Nana-made clothes.  I love my daughter for that–and a million other reasons.  Vivian wore her firefly outfit, the ever popular parade dress, her ABC shorts set, the CC Jane tricycle set and others.  More pictures should have been taken, but I was too wrapped up in the children to shoot more.

 

v-bellppost-xx

With a goofy grin and a little chocolate cake still lingering on her mouth, Vivi wears a well-worn Children’s Corner Katina, made fir her mother 35 years ago. There is something to be said for polycotton. The dress and bloomers are in near perfect condition.

 

FISH

A highlight of  the week was a visit to our friends’ garden and koi ponds.  The day before our outing,  Alastair and Vivian Rose collaborated on a pair of koi dishtowels for their hosts.  Alastair actually did most of the embroidery, with Vivi pushing the needle threader, presser foot lever and start button occasionally.  They chose the threads and were quite proud of the results.

the children did the embroidery at my Dream Machine. Alastair is fascinated by the technology and Vivi loves to push the buttons--any buttons.

The children did the embroidery at my Dream Machine. Alastair is fascinated by the technology and Vivi loves to push the buttons–any buttons.

 

John and Susanna are the grandparents of Baby Shrek who surely found a world of delight at their home when he visited in September.

 

a-v-bamboo

 

Susanna led the trail through her jungle paradise.

Susanna led the trail past the koi pond and through her breathtaking garden.

 

After a short time, Vivian left the fish.  They were pretty, they swam, she moved on.  In her explorations, she discovered a quiet hideaway where Susanna likes to sit and read, though she seldom sits.  She and her husband John are always on the go, what with keeping up with the garden and ponds, doing church work, and being friends to all.

 

v-secret-garden

Vivi was awed by the wind chimes and a singing bird in a secluded nook in the garden.

Continue reading

BIG News!

ME news

 

Dear Readers,

I am so excited to share my big news with you— I have been invited to be a member of Brother’s new  Stitching Sewcial   blogger team.  Humbly, I join several expert celebrity sewists who have packed the blog with inspirational projects, tutorials and videos on topics from quilting, serging, sewing, embroidery, and more! On this site, I am in some pretty esteemed company!

Two of my projects are posted now, the first of which is the Ariel sleeping bag for 18″ dolls such as American Girl.  This would be a very popular accessory for youngsters who want comfort and style for their dolls.

 

Do you recognize my granddaughter's Kit wearing her smocked lace tape nightie?

Do you recognize my granddaughter’s Kit wearing Mollie’s Lace Tape Nightie?  Ariel’s name is embroidered on the pillow under Kit’s head.

 

The second project is a Zootopia themed knapsack.  It was such fun to read and familiarize myself with the movie. I needed to know something about this Disney cartoon delight to stitch.  Before the movie was released and after some research, I came up with a handy bag for the junior crime-stopping deputies of Zootopia’s police department.

The designs for each project are available at iBroidery.com.

These Stitching Sewcial assignments are helping me keep up with the grandchildren and what they are chattering about.  Do you know who Judy Fox is?  Officer Clawhauser? Chief Bogo?  Look them up.  The children will respect your in-the-moment savvy.  They will LOVE you if you make this knapsack for them.

Image #15 close--both ribbons through grommets

 

Each month another of my posts,  complete with a detailed tutorial, will appear as the machine embroidery post.  Working up projects and tutorials for Stitching Sewcial has keep me pretty busy for the last few months.  And I have loved every minute working on these Disney-themed assignments.

Please take a look at this new sewing venture.  If you have a moment and are so inclined I would reeeeeally appreciate any comments posted to Stitching Sewcial.

Rheeta’s Sweat Shop ’16

Rheeta

This is last year’s photo of Aunt Rheeta sewing on my beloved Brother Quattro. She is loving this year’s upgrade to The Dream Machine.

 

She was at it again.  My dear Aunt Rheeta arrived from frigid Indiana for a 2-week vacation in the warmth and sun of central Florida.  Unfortunately, she landed on a cold, rainy day and the weather hardly improved for the first week.  She  wore a polar fleece pullover every day so I did not take a picture of her at the sewing machine.  I’m pretty sure the Florida Bureau of Tourism blocks such photos from the internet.

We were so, sew busy!  After she expressed interest in touring historic DeBary Hall,  I said I would love to take her.  Then she decided that she would rather keep on sewing!  That’s my kinda gal!  Sew, we did!  In fact, we were so busy  that we didn’t take time for a current photo of her at my new Dream Machine which she loved immediately.

Aunt Rheeta arrived with her suitcase tightly packed with projects for us to work on. At the top of her priority list were a few graduation gifts for her granddaughter, a rising freshman at Texas A&M.

ATM

We didn’t worry about the wrinkles because the fleece was soon to be tightly packed in Rheeta’s suitcase. Time for a dryer tumble later.

Adriana will use this polar fleece throw at football games.  Rheeta made an identical fleece for Alexa, Adriana’s  older sister, a rising junior also at Texas A&M. That stadium blanket has seen 2 years of heavy wear. It’s likely this one will be just as useful.

Then Rheeta embroidered dishtowels.  As Adriana will be sharing an apartment with hometown friends, these instructive kitchen linens will be  loving reminders from her grandmother. Each of these dishtowel designs are from OESD’s  Hand Lettered Sayings  collection.

 

Adriana could learn to cook and eat few of the staples of a college student's diet.

The suggestion is that it’s possible for Adriana to learn to cook, improving the standard college student menu. And she will surely achieve some things that seem impossible.  That’s what her Meemaw is telling her.

Continue reading

Parade Dress #2

Children's Corner Carol in ,Michael Miller's Children on Parade fabric

Children’s Corner Carol in ,Michael Miller’s Children on Parade fabric

 

Few fabrics have inspired so many garment interpretations as Michael Miller’s Children on Parade.  The variety of dresses stitched with this fabric is almost countless. My own Parade Inspirations folder has more than 2 dozen adorable dresses.

CheryleCole-Bennet’s irresistible CC Jenni Leigh caused a run on that fabric across the country.  I personally saw Fabric.com’s supply fall from 480 yds to almost nothing in less than 10 days.  Then they restocked.  Meanwhile, shops nationwide saw the same buying frenzy.

My first Parade dress  for my then 18 month granddaughter, Vivian Rose, was a fiasco requiring two posts for me to exhaust my need to vent.  Read it and weep, or at least feel a little sympathy for this obsessed Nana.  It was a shameless but poor copy of Cheryle’s Jenni Leigh.

back 2

The light aqua piping and gingham covered buttons are from Farmhouse Fabrics.

I found CC Carol to be a much easier pattern for a border fabric.  Jenni Leigh looks best with the pattern matching at the diagonal front.  This was a huge challenge.  My goals for Carol were just to have no half bodies disappear into the center pleat and to make an attempt to match the pattern at the center back.  The sides were just as the fabric rolled.

 

Vivi bounce house

 

So now I have used up a few more yards of Children on Parade.  And I’m still not tired of it. And neither is Vivian Rose, our 3 yo uncooperative model.

 

IMG_5915

What have you been up to?

SOS Urgent Need for twin Wee Care Gowns

Heartfelt thanks to Jamie who has gowns on hand and ready to ship today!  The sewing community is so caring and especially loving in a time of need like this.  Thanks to all who make these gowns for little heaven-bound angels.

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

I am away from home and just received a plea for wee care gowns. A friend of reader Sarah has just lost twin babies at 20 weeks. If anyone can provide 2 burial gowns and the comfort they would offer please leave a comment or send e-mail to me at NC cabin@aol.com. I will put you in touch with Sarah. What a heartbreaking loss.

 

 

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

All About Lace Tape~Part 1

Lately, there have been considerable discussions and questions about lace tape, its origin and uses.  The history is quite interesting, as its development involved a salvage warehouse and an unraveled sweater for my Rebecca and midnight transatlantic phone calls. That was in 1987 when I first brought this product to the heirloom sewing public.

Most of this history is detailed in this post.  Because lace tape is one of my favorite sewing products, I’d like to share some applications and techniques.  For many years I taught a 6-hour class around the country.  So there is a lot of material on the subject, too much for one post.  Lace tape can be used for shadow applique’, colored entredeux, colored shark’s teeth, tiny piping and so much more. So stay turned for details.  A few future posts will feature projects with detailed directions.

ABOUT LACE TAPE

Approximately 3/8″ wide and available in a rainbow of colors, lace tape is a loosely woven 100% cotton trim.  It has a gathering thread on each side and is wonderful for lace shaping.  It also can add a bit of color to an heirloom project.

lt 2 examplesrecol

Now there are two varieties of lace tape:  Japanese and Swiss.  The lace tape shown above and used on each of the items pictured below is Japanese.

USES

1.  for lace insertion substitute joined to lace edging or other insertion

MollyLTgownsmockingxx

Peach lace tape was joined to lace edging and then stitched to flat bishop before smocking. See Molly’s Lace Tape Nightie for more pictures and information.

 

preparation:  Like heirloom trims, lace tape is easier to work with after being starched and pressed, unless it is being shaped.  Use the finest thread, preferably 80/2 Madeira Cotona,  and  the smallest needle appropriate to the thread size.

technique:  Butt lace tape to lace.  Zig zag the two pieces together with an approximate stitch setting of W 1.5-2.0, depending on width of lace header, L .8-1.0 edging.  NOTE: An edge joining foot makes this much easier.

 

1-lt to lionsxx

Lace tape joined to Aesop’s Fables Binche lace.

Continue reading

Free Ghee’s Webinar!

Wow!  A free webinar from Linda McGehee July 28th, 8 p.m. Central time.  Her classes are always exciting, full of inspiration and fun, new techniques.   I expect this will be true to form.

I’ve attended Linda’s classes at the Lakeland Original Sewing and Quilt Expo as well as here in central Florida.  They were all fabulous.  To be able to sit at home and view Linda’s magic for free is pretty wonderful.

So sign up.  It’s free! Continue reading