Friday, December 31, 2010

Smocking in Arizona

What a surprise that Emma's mommy and daddy still wanted to hold and feed her occasionally during my visit!

This did give me time to smock a bonnet to match the dress that I had sent a few weeks ago.

And to smock a seafoam green bishop with white floss. Emma even cooperated while we set her up for a photo shoot.

Even if I couldn't hold her every minute, I was still in her presence and sometimes that is enough! :)

The smocking design for Emma's seafoam green bishop will be available on the next blog!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Sew Beautiful "White Issue"

Sew Beautiful's first "White Issue" is about to arrive and it is out of this world! It is full of inspiration and even includes several outfits for the boys.

I was thrilled that several of my submissions had been accepted and am always anxious to see how they were photographed. The first outfit is made by pattern #129 out of Martha's Classic Cotton. The fabric is a nice weight 100% cotton for a boy's bubble. The little belt is not included in the pattern, so I will be sure to post instructions on the blog in the near future.

The best surprise is when someone else has something in the magazine made by my pattern! The white and ecru dress made using pattern #127, was made by Joan Burden and is absolutely lovely. (I think that Emma may need one just like it!)

And at the bottom of the page, both outfits are made out of handkerchief linen and ecru lace, using pattern #112 for the Christening gown and pattern #111 for the bubble.

Hoping that your issue arrives soon!

Remember, this is the last week for the December Sale!!!!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Surprises

I did not expect to write a blog today, but so far today has been full of many surprises. The first surprise today was that Rex and I woke up to a white Christmas which is very unusual for North Alabama. It snowed all morning and was so pretty that we hardly mind that the Christmas plans for today were cancelled. Fortunately our big event was yesterday. But I am going ahead and making my cashew, cranberry chicken salad for the two of us and we have plans to watch "Muppet Christmas Carol" (one of my favorites) later. :)

This is the first time since the first year we were married that we have been alone in the house on Christmas morning and we have never spent the whole day alone! By this evening I might be having a "melt down" being the social butterfly that I am, but right now it feels good. So, it looks like this Christmas is a year of "firsts" in many ways. First time we are alone, first Christmas to have a grand baby and first year to open a very special gift.....

Anna and Jason gave us, Jason's parents, and Tim (#2 son) each a box of jelly beans to open. And they were blue. It is a boy, due in May!!!! There was a whole lot of screaming (of course that was me), laughing, hugging, and phone calls. Everyone in the family had guessed "boy" and I think that is what everyone was secretly hoping for. Having three older brothers, Anna will be a fantastic mommy for a boy and Jason will have that first son that all men dream of.

I might just go back in the living room where Rex is watching the military channel by the gas fireplace and work on the quilt for Anna's baby. Not a bad day at all.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas decorations is this framed family Christmas card from 1963. Not only do I love old photographs, it reminds me that there was a time in my life that nothing was expected of me during the holidays!

Because of Rex hurting his back and our trip to meet Emma, we never did get around to putting up the tree or sending out cards this year. And guess what, it still feels like Christmas! We will still be getting together with family and friends and we will see two of our four kids on Christmas. Anna will be telling us whether the baby is a boy or girl and I am looking forward to taking some time off from work and starting the quilting on her baby quilt while watching silly Christmas movies.

I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And most of all, take time to remember how truly blessed we all are.


"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Visit With Baby Emma

Rex and I were finally able to fly to Arizona and spend a week with baby Emma! I whole lot of rocking, feeding, snuggling, and admiring happened during the week. Emma is now almost 6 weeks old, weights close to 8 lbs. and is starting to act like a newborn.

During our visit we also enjoyed temperatures in the 70's

Sightseeing in Bisbee and Tombstone.

Beautiful views of the desert.

And time with Ben and Tiffany who we hadn't seen since last Christmas! Ben is our oldest son and Tiffany is the best daughter-in-law in the history of the world.

I even worked in a little shopping and bought a baby bracelet for Emma at my favorite shop in Tombstone.

Emma loved Grandda Rex! How were we able to stand to leave all of this behind and come home to Alabama where it was 32 degrees when we got off the plane?

Well, we were coming home to this......Anna and Jason will be telling us on Christmas Eve whether their baby is a boy or a girl! I promised not to ask ahead of time and so far I have kept my promise.

*Don't forget the December sale!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Garment Size Tags

I had been on the lookout for garment size tags and finally found some at "Beth's Heirlooms!" I'm sure that the mommies will be happy that I can now stitch a real tag into a side seam. Beth did not have any Newborn tags available, so Emma's mommy knows that if it is tag less it is for now!

At a month old, Emma is just about ready for a newborn size. Emma's daddy skipped that size!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Of Course I Took Smocking!

I wouldn't want you to think for a minute that I could possibly travel to Arizona to meet baby Emma and not take some smocking along! Here is what I am packing, a mint bishop and a white bonnet to match a dress that I have already sent. These will be tucked away in my suitcase just in case Emma's parents decided that it is best if I not hold her every single moment for an entire week!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Is It Really Christmas?

This might be the first time in 33 years that Rex and I have not put up a Christmas tree! I say "might" because we really can't remember that far back, and have a sneaking suspicion that we skipped the year when I was 2 weeks late with baby #2 and had an active 2 year old in the house. This year Rex hurt his back the weekend designated for decorating (he is all better now) and I am too chicken to get up in the attic. I did get desperate and managed to get far enough up the steps that I could reach one box of ornaments while Rex held on to my ankle. I'm not sure what the ankle holding did except insure that if I fell it would be on him, but it did make me fill more secure. So the house is all decorated and it looks like Christmas except for the tree.

Besides, we have more important things to do like kiss on these! We are on our way tomorrow to visit baby Emma for the first time! With excitement like that, who needs a Christmas tree?


*Don't forget the December sale!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Bishop Dress for Emma

What have I been working on? A pink bishop dress for baby Emma. The dress is made from Imperial Batiste, buttons down the front and has lace on the sleeves and down the front placket.

Smocked with Ellen McCarn's "Amanda". One of my all time favorite smocking plates

I couldn't resist making matching panties and a little bonnet. The panties are from pattern #123 and the bonnet is from "Old Fashioned Baby".

While working on this outfit something seemed VERY familiar..... I finally remembered that I had made an almost identical dress for my niece 12 years ago! Some things are just worth repeating.


Friday, December 3, 2010

A Baby Shower Gift

Although I have know for months that I was going to need a baby shower gift, I was caught off guard when the invitation came in the mail! This is also one of those cases where the parents don't want to know whether baby is a boy or a girl ahead of time. So, the challenge was to make a gown suitable for either and a winter baby at that! I had enough Australian Cashmere Flannel left from Emma's gown and I always have plenty of gingham scraps on hand.

The gown is a variation of pattern #128 and goes together quickly. I made the gown and a matching blanket and then did the embroidery after all of the sewing was completed. The embroidered bunnies can be found in the "Heirloom Embroidery Book" and are done with a Back Stitch. The tutorial for adapting the gown can be found in a previous blog.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Sale!

All of December will be "Buy Two Get One Free Month!" The whole month, buy two patterns at the regular price and pick out an additional pattern or the "Embroidery Book" at no charge. You can let me know which free pattern or book you would like in the comment section of the order form.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Anna's Sewing Project

Since nearly all of Anna's friends are having babies, she is sewing a lot more often. As soon as she found out that Ben and Tiffany were adopting she asked if she could make the diaper bag. And then when baby Emma's due date was moved up a month Anna pulled out an old simple pattern for the bag. The bag is made out of green twill and a polka dot print and is machine embroidered with a monkey from "Bunny Cup" that happens to match the nursery. Since the bag was so easy, burp cloths and a toy Owl (also from "Bunny Cup") was added to the gift.

This is now Anna's "go to" gift for new babies.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

May your day be filled with family, friends, laughter, food, and thanks to God for all that he has provided!

And in our family we like to add, "May your day not be so overwhelming that you don't have time to watch for the Snoopy balloon in the Macy's parade!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Most Common Sewing Mishap

I thought that I would share my most common sewing mishap. It is.........getting those buttonholes straight! Don't you hate when the outfit is complete and one of the last steps is where your big mistake happens? I think I have finally solved this problem by marking a straight line the total length instead of just marking the buttonholes.

I have a 12" quilter's ruler that I found works well for this. You wouldn't believe how having the whole line drawn helps me keep the buttonhole attachment straight!

This is such a simple step that it seems silly, but that is how sewing is, it is the little details that often trip us up!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Sewing

Since Thanksgiving is next week, it is probably time to get serious about Christmas sewing! Here are a few ideas if you have got caught by surprise and need something that isn't too time consuming. The first picture is of the gown that I did for Emma. It is made from pattern #128 from Australian Cashmere Flannel and is trimmed with red micro gingham. Both fabric's were purchased from Baltazor's.

This is the best quality flannel that I have found and is perfect for a little one who will still be wearing a newborn size for her first Christmas.
It has already been mention that Emma would look good in this next year! Made from pattern #104, this would be a sweet and simple dress for a toddler.

Of course I would never leave the boys out. This bubble, made from pattern #129, got a lot of attention last year when I featured it on the blog.

Also featured last year, this gown made from pattern #119, would look great on a new baby boy who needs something a little warmer.

Good luck with your Christmas sewing. I would love to hear if you are finished, in the midst, or have just now figured out that Christmas is really coming again this year!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Baby Emma Is Finally Going Home!

I can't tell you what it did to my heart last week when I opened the email with this picture of baby Emma and realized that the hands holding her belong to our oldest baby. The final adoption papers were signed today and they are now on their way back to Arizona to start their new life as a family. Rex and I will be going for a visit when she turns a month old. What a long wait it is!

So what is an anxious first time grandmother to do? Sew of course! Since Emma is so tiny, I seem to be interested in simple designs right now. I had just enough scraps of lace and Imperial Batiste for a pale blue daygown. I used pattern #125 and added a few tiny tucks and an embroidery design from a vintage pattern.

A simple neck band and delicate ecru embroidery using one strand of DMC floss. I started the embroidery while in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, so once again I have a unique memory of working on the gown while waiting for Emma's due date to arrive.

More embroidery at the bottom complete the dainty look of the gown.

We have appreciated all of the prayers and the adoption that you have shared with us during the last few weeks. Adopted babies are truly special gifts from God.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaching in Baton Rouge and New Orleans

Although I haven't even met baby Emma yet, she has still managed to interrupt life which is why I am just now blogging about our trip to Louisiana! I had the opportunity to teach classes for the local Embroidery Guilds in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

I love teaching groups of ladies who have know each other for years. They have a history together and are comfortable enough to laugh and have a really good time!

We also managed to work in some serious sewing!

They also made sure that Anna and I had time to do some sightseeing, ate at their favorite restaurant, and even provided boiled eggs in the morning when morning sickness crept up on Anna!

We even had a friend (thank you Merle) who I met at Martha Pullen School, take us on a fabulous tour of the French Quarter! As a former tour director she gave us a fantastic historic tour. And here is the funniest thing that happened on our trip.....look carefully at the above picture, see the tall guy standing behind the other two? While we were eating at an outdoor cafe' they were setting up to film a Capital One commercial and that is one of the vikings! There was even a live alligator involved, but we couldn't get the camera out fast enough.

I would like to thank all of the ladies who extended true southern hospitality to us and made our trip not only a wonderful teaching experience, but a mother/daughter vacation that we will never forget!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

A White Daygown For Emma

This is the little daygown that I quickly made after receiving the e-mail that little Emma would only weigh about 5 lbs.! Rex, was out of town, so I could stay up as late as I wanted sewing and could start early again Saturday morning.

I used pattern #128 (one of my personal favorites) and pulled out the white Imperial batiste and a little lace. Using the newborn size, I took slightly larger seams to size it down a little. I cut out the gown and put in the tucks that night and then had to quit because my eyes stopped focusing! It was a nice surprise the next morning to see that my tucks were straight after all.

I completed the construction Saturday morning and added the white embroidery at the bottom. This is a very simple gown because I want the focus on baby, not what she is wearing for her first outing!



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