Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smocking and Pleating

This week has been dedicated to smocking Clara's Dress and Top for her Easter Ensemble. It is a Gail Doane design. I have already finished the jacket. To pleat this fine fabric I used a special dowel from Farmhouse Fabrics. It has a magnet that holds the fabric taught when rolling it out. I used to have a friend help me so it is nice that I can do it on my own. I pleated 4pieces on Tuesday night and smocked them last night. Now they are ready to be sewn together. I must interject here that I forgot how much I love to smock. It is very peaceful to sit and watch your design appear before your eyes. My Sallie had around 30 Polly Flinder's dresses in the 1980's but at that time I didn't know how to smock. I am making up for lost time by smocking for my little ones now.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's - A Day Late

Today I am going to lunch with my dear neighbor Doris. As a treat I had wanted to make her a dish towel for Valentine's Day but time got away from me as usual. I was determined to finish my gift even if it was a day late. Now there are folks out there that think embroidery is easy. Yes you just set it up and change the threads. They don't realize that placement takes practice, stabilizers take knowledge, and, mostly, embroidery takes time. It took me all evening to embroider this darling towel. It has a squirrel appliqued on it holding a heart inscribed with "Nuts About You".. I need to go back and get some more supplies to make these ahead for next cute!

I am working on my PHD (Projects Half Done). I also finished a shirt for William (6). He loves airplanes and spends much spare time at the "airplane park" near BWI where he climbs as high as he can to watch the airplanes take off and land. So I found a design online that resembles a commercial airline and embroidered it on a piece of corduroy that I then attached to a knit shirt. It looks super! William is a bit tempermental about what he will wear so I have my fingers crossed that he will approve of this.

Till tomorrow...DaisySews

Monday, February 14, 2011

Barbara Moore Class

It has been an exciting last couple of days. I attended a Barbara Moore lecture/trunk show/hands-on class. The first day was really interesting learning about all the feet available for our machines and seeing them put to use. I can't wait to try out free motion sewing on my machine. It has always seemed scary but now I am brave! Barbara had lovely samples of her work... Beautiful jackets using multiple threads, girls' dresses with lots of lace, and home decor using other techniques which I am anxious to try.
Yesterday was the hands-on session. We were all making the heirloom dress. Mine would be for Eleanor. We got a good jump on it. The first part of the day was spent doing pintucks in the round, an interesting way to do them so they are continuous. Afterwards we cut the bodice and back out. Then came the lace tape. This has been around for awhile but is having a resurgence. To end the day we made a madeira skirt band for the bottom of the skirt. When I get it all together I will post the picture.

** It is now Monday morning. Yesterday I did try some different techniques. I am finishing my daughter Sallie's Christmas quilt. I needed to tack down some appliques on it but was dreading doing the ones with intricate turns because the quilt is bulky. Well, I decided to do the free motion on this and it worked great. I am almost done the top and ready to send it to the quilter. A good finish to the weekend!

Happy Valentine's Day to All!!  Daisy

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quilt Guild

If you ever wanted to have a good time, find a Quilt Guild in your area. This is the friendliest group of men and women (yes there are a number of men). I attended my first meeting last July and realized I needed to start quilting so I could join in with this group. I took my Bug Quilt last night for Show and Tell. I was very proud of my first quilt.
We had a guest speaker, Flavin Glover. If she ever comes to your town be sure to take her classes and go to her seminars. She loves what she does and is a vivacious speaker. She had an amazing number of quilts with her and she told us about each one. She uses log cabin quilts and creates scenes and wonderful geometric designs. Check out her website,
I will write more tonight but today I have to head out to a trunk show/seminar with Barbara Moore. Tomorrow is a hands-on class. She is an heirloom sewer. We will be making a beautiful linen dress with optional embroidery. So often the sizes are for little girls so when I saw they had a size 10, I opted for a dress for Eleanor. It will be perfect for Easter. Off I go...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ginger's Bug Quilt

January was spent taking an online quilt course with Jenny Doane. She is with the Missouri Star Quilt Company. It was fun to take a course at my leisure. I decided to make a crazy nine patch quilt. You take nine 5"x5" pieces of fabric and sew them together with three across and three down forming a block of nine charms. Then you press them and cut the now big block in half horizontally and then vertically. You will now have four cool blocks. I then laid them out on my living room floor so that no seams matched. Laying them on the floor made me work fast because I knew my family would revolt if they were there for long. Hence I finished the layout in a day and decided this quilt would be for Ginger, my 2.5 yr old granddaughter in Texas. After much thought I decided I needed to add something to give it a child's charm. I took random blocks and replaced them with embroidered designs of quickly became the bug quilt. Now it was perfect!
After sewing the top together, it came time to send it to the longarm quilter. I have some friends up the street who do longarm quilting so I headed to their place to see what I needed to do. I pieced the back together taking 9 fat quarters and doing with them what I had done with the small charms. Now we have a reversible quilt.

                        Here are some pictures of The Bug Quilt. 3rd down is the back of the quilt.

I decided to do a design of dragonflies for the overall quilting. It turned out beautifully! Then I did the border band attaching it by hand. Today I need to finish the label and then it is ready to send off.
Hopefully it will keep my dear little Ginger warm through the years and she will think of me when she cuddles up in it. Oh the joy of quilting!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A New Year 2011!

(Pictures above include Eleanor dancing with Uncle Bob, Eleanor with Daisy and Pops wearing the flowergirl dress designed by Daisy, the summer top for daughter Sallie, Baby Danny's quilt followed by a close up of the block with his info, and beautiful Clara in her christening gown.) 

Sorry I took a break from my blog. I am back in full force. I did a lot of sewing this last fall getting ready for Christmas. I took a great Gail Doane class on fine embroidery. I was surprised how much I liked the hand sewing. it is very peaceful to sit and sew. I finished the original out fit for Ginger. Hopefully she will wear it for Easter. I am now working on one with Pink details for Clara. The jacket is almost finished. So Cute!! A picture of that will follow shortly.

I have started quilting in earnest. I took an online quilt course with Jenny Doane and had to try out some of her ideas. Hence I finished my first single bed-sized quilt for Ginger. It is a crazy nine patch. Very easy to make except I substituted embroidered blocks here and there with bugs...hence the name...the Bug Quilt. I still have to make a label before I take it to Quilt Guild this Thursday for show and tell. I have signed up for an Eleanor Burns class in Columbia, SC in the exciting!

My big news is that at the end of March I will be headed to Alabama for the "Sewing for Baby" Licensing with Martha Pullen. I have always wanted to go to one of her schools. I hear they are a blast. I will tell you how it goes.

More pictures will be coming as I have been very busy sewing.
Just wanted to get back on track in the new year. Follow along as I continue with family stories and sewing tales. Till tomorrow...Daisy Sews