Easy Kid’s Apron

The School of Sewing is a book I return to again and again since being recommended it by my seamstress aunt. A lot of people are worried about using a sewing machine, and I was no exception. The School of Sewing helped demystify my machine and got me comfortable using a variety of sewing schools. It’s a great book for those looking for a book to help them with beginning sewing. The apron, project three, is a great one and well fitting.

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Pattern Source: The School of Sewing    

 

This is the child’s size and is a gift for a friend. The dinosaur fabric is Lizzy House’s Natural History for Andover fabrics. Lizzy House is one of my favorite fabric designers. She is playful and vibrant and sweet. These are great prints to work with.

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Fabric: Natural History

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I picked solids for the rest of the apron because it seemed to balance out the print. This apron is for a boy, and I wanted it to have a more stark appearance. The apron is already on its way in the mail to the recipient and I couldn’t be happier. Making a gift for another has always been such a pleasant experience for me.

How have you been sharpening your sewing skills? Thanks for stopping by!

 

T-Shirt Top with Applique

Two summers ago I took Alabama Chanin’s Studio Week. It was an amazing experience and helped me understand a lot about garment construction and the make up of fabric and a pattern. I’ve made a dress, circle skirt, and a pin cushion since that time. Ideally my entire wardrobe would be handmade Albama Chanin, and I’m working on that! Whenever I wear the baby-doll dress people stop to ask about it and are shocked to learn that I made it.

At the workshop I also cut out a long-sleeved t-shirt top in a dark blue cotton jersey. Like all items cut and set aside I planned on finishing this top a long time ago, but now I am grateful for the time. I hadn’t learned how to applique yet, and I really wanted to applique a panel of this top.

The other week I caught the flu like many others and was laid out in bed. Luckily this shirt was all handwork! I used blanket and straight stitches. The fabric is Alabama Chanin’s cotton. IMG_5417.jpgIMG_5399.jpgIMG_5409.jpg

The shirt is incredibly soft and form fitting. I love the sense of accomplishment I have each time I make a garment, especially a hand sewn one! Have you made any of Alabama Chanin’s garments?

 

Berry Smoothie Recipe

Winter does not deter us from smoothies. Saving fruit in the freezer is helpful for us, because we have a short berry season, but we don’t always have a local stock of fruit, and often buy from the store. Are smoothies drinkable ice cream? Possibly!  IMG_5374.jpg

Berry Smoothie Recipe

  • 1 cup berries (I love raspberries and blueberries)
  • 2 bananas
  • splash of water, coconut water, almond milk, apple juice, or anything else you might like. More watery liquid will make the smoothie more liquid.
  • Yogurt
  • 1 TBS of chia seed (for fiber and great texture)

We use this as a base recipe and add from there. Have fun and please share any smoothies you like to make!

Tiny Cards & Applique Arcs

Valentine’s Day is fun. This is a sweet time of year, and I love to send out cards. For previous Valentine’s Days I’ve sent out postcards, embroidered hearts, glitter cards (and those turned in to glitter bombs after being processed through the mail!), and now these old school grade school valentines I found about a year and a half ago when helping a relative move.

These sweet animal cards were perfect. Time has been a bit crunched the past two weeks, but I still wanted to send out cards.

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The other evening I sat down with some Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache in Gold and set to drawing. It’s been about eight months since I used a calligraphy pen and nib, so there were some rusty moments and valentines were limited, but I was able to ease up on the amount of pressure my fingers wanted to apply to the pen and the cards turned out cute. The sun came out just as I was taking pictures, and the gold really sparkles.

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How and why colors coming together are constantly on my mind. I want to tell a story with each piece I make, and it should not be a story that leaves one wondering why it was created. The story should be steady enough to enter and fresh enough to the eye each time that one keeps returning; I’m thinking a lot about it! After trying many other combinations, these two were my final contenders.

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Chain-piecing was one of my favorite skills I learned in beginner quilting. The product makes me want to hang garlands all around the house.

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A new sewing machine is close to being a part of my life, but I still love my little Janome. It is doing a great job sewing up those seams!

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I decided to nestle the clouds between the solid purple and blue Arcs to give this more of a sunrise feeling. Catching the sunrise everyday is one of the most amazing times of the day, and the sun pushes the pinks, purples, and dark reds against the blue sky. With this much print, I felt it was important to create a balance within the already chosen colors, and then find the most cohesive union between these rows. I’ve been contemplating a border the entire week and have yet to settle on any one idea.

Any tips on how you decide on borders?

Happy Valentine’s Day! What are you doing to mark the day?

Applique Today

This is my first time using one of Lori Smith’s applique patterns. The directions are simple and well numbered. I was introduced to her work through the applique class I’m taking at the LQS. It is a great pattern to learn many of the skills needed in applique…as I’m finding out! IMG_5265.jpg

The pattern encourages scrap usage and to date I haven’t used any new fabric. We used bias bars to make the stems and these helped make the stems bendy, easier to apply on. Glue was recommended to keep the stems in place, but since I am on the go and recently learned the joys of basting, I decided to baste the stems on. I’m saving most of my pennies, and glue feels like something I could run to pick up if I was screaming for it, but am glad not to buy right now!

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To make circles close to perfect (mine aren’t perfect!) we utilized Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circles. The O-ring to hold all the circles is included, and I love that! Not only are my circles better than anticipated, but each one looks like a sweet little flower while awaiting application.

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I worked on Carolyn Friedlander’s Arcs all week. What I appreciate about this pattern is how dynamic the arcs are despite being a simple shape. I learned a lot about tucking under and securing corners.

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This is all scrap fabric I had from other projects. The raspberry fabric in the middle row almost had me cutting out new arcs, but I decided to roll with it. This project still has a lot more to be added, and the colors can be balanced. Thread color is going to be crucial.

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Other exciting things have been going on here too. I’ve been drawing a lot and am thinking about ordering some supplies to make printed fabric by hand. Any tips? Has any one worked on making fabric?

What are you working on?

Greeting Card Tutorial: Embroidery!

A thank you to all that have stopped by & looked, liked, commented, or a combination of all three. Deciding to start a blog wasn’t easy for me due to introversion, but that was a feeling I pushed aside to forge ahead.

The way I typically thank those in my life is through a greeting card. With the internet being my platform here, I thought it best to provide a greeting card tutorial. The embroidery greeting card first came in to my life in the form of tiny hearts I cut out. I embroidered my friends’ initials or names in the hearts. Many of the tiny hearts were cut  without a thought about templates and I hadn’t learned back-stitch yet (my favorite right now)! This is the sophisticated version, using calligraphy style script, of those sweet little hearts. The embroidery greeting cards don’t take much time, but make a big impact on the recipients!

Materials:

  • Card-stock or any type of paper you would like to use for a card. Firm is better here.
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Embroidery Thread
  • General Purpose Thread
  • Pencil & Eraser
  • Scissors

1.  Measure the paper to to size of card you would like. Here I cut the paper down to 6 1/2″ x 11″.

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2.  Fold the paper in half hamburger style. I used my fingers to set the crease.

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3.  Free hand draw what you might like on the card. Typically I write “Happy Birthday, _____!”, or if for a couple I draw both their names with a heart in-between. Don’t worry about using fancy script, because everything looks beautiful once embroidered.

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4.  Poke holes in the card every couple of millimeters or centimeters. The closer the holes are the more likely of a collapse of the card-stock between the spaces. The further apart the holes the larger the stitches will be and this will make the card faster to complete. A variety of stitch lengths are used in the making of this tutorial for demonstration.

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5. Pick your colors and embroider! I like to use french knots for periods. The thread may feel bulky and stiff, but this is because paper is a more firm fiber than cloth overall!

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6. I prefer to hide the knots inside the card, but if you are feeling bold you may leave them on the outside of the card.

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7. The corners have to be secured since the card will not close flat on its own. I used general purpose thread to anchor each corner with an X, but you could as easily use embroidery thread. I tied the knots to the back of the card.

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8. Admire & fill out your card to send away. Or you might use the card as a wall hanging for your inspiration board.

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Thank you for reading & I hope everyone has a lovely week. Please feel free to share any made embroidery cards!