What a gorgeous week we have had along the beautiful Emerald Coast of Florida. This was my Christmas present from Kurt - to come to Florida this week to visit my parents and enjoy some time at the beach. I brought my smocking along and found there isn't a more beautiful place to smock than at the beach.
I had originally planned to make pieced quilted coin purses for my mom, sister and grandmother. I was really excited about them, However, my 3 weeks of being down with pneumonia sort of got in the way of those. I ended up having to cheat. I found this cute prequilted fabric at JoAnns. It looks a lot like Vera Bradley fabric. I just used the prequilted fabric and seam binding and made cheater coin purses. I think they're still very pretty - even if I didn't quilt them myself.
This is 50 of the thimbles in my thimble collection. I have 7 or 8 more and another display case just like this one. I have wanted one of these display cases for YEARS. I started my thimble collection well over 10 years ago, and have collected a thimble of every touristy place I have been. I had housed them in various ways - shelves - shadow boxes, etc, but never had a real display case like this one - until yesterday. Jonathan drove by and saw that someone was throwing these out in their trash, so he got them for me. They're both in great condition and look so nice. Each one holds 50 thimbles, so my collection has plenty of room to grow in the 2nd display case. I love to look at my thimbles and go down memory lane of where each one came from and remember the special times associated with that thimble.
Remember those 20 t-shirts I was embroidering? Well, I got them all finished with a day to spare! The kids wore them for the first time when they did a sneak preview song in the worship service today. I think the shirts look pretty good. I had a great time embroidering them. It felt good to be useful to our church!
This has been a *very* busy day. I am in the midst of embroidering 20 t-shirts for the kid's choir at church. I decided to divide them up and do 4 t-shirts a day for 5 days. Today, I actually did 5 of them. :-) I also needed to make my ornaments for the Martha Pullen Fan Club ornament exchange. I dug out an old cape made of red velvet that I decided to recycle the fabric into my Christmas ornaments. I am making Santa's sacks. Anyway, while working with the pretty red velvet, I thought how nice it would be if Martha had a new Christmas dress.
I pulled out McCalls 9618 and made view C. It's a little big on Martha. I am not sure why. She is a little thinner than some 18" dolls, so I guess that is why. I embroidered a little snowman on the dress. It is just one of the designs preloaded onto my machine. It turned out pretty cute.
Oh, and while all this sewing was going on today, I also baked 4 dozen cookies - half of what I need for the cookie exchange at church tomorrow night. :-)
Kurt and I decided to get portraits done. We have wedding pictures, but we've never had any other professional pictures done. We were so pleasantly surprised with how they turned out. We went to Portrait Innovations to have them done. It was actually alot of fun!
My 17-year-old niece has always loved owls. It's hard to find things with an owl theme, but recently I was in my local Fabric Mart and stumbled upon this owl flannel. It was the only flannel in the whole store, and it just happened to have an owl theme! I decided it would make a perfect pillowcase, so that is what I made with it. It turned out pretty cute.
This is an x-ray of someone with right lower lobe pneumonia. It's not my x-ray, but it could be. Over two and a half weeks ago I began not feeling well and running a high fever. I was totally exhausted. My doctor first thought it was viral. However, when I got worse instead of better, I went to the ER. I arrived with a 103.2* temperature. An x-ray revealed that I had right lower lobe pneumonia. They began pumping me with two different antibiotics and fluids, and then sent me home with yet another antibiotic. It's been over two weeks now, and I still am not over it. My last x-ray earlier this week showed that the pneumonia was 80% cleared. They didn't want to put me on another antibiotic so they could see if my body would just fight it off. I will go back this Monday for another x-ray. It's been a struggle. I have so many things I want to do, but so little energy. I am determined to not overdo it though because I have been told that a relapse would be worse than the first illness, and I never want to be that sick again!!
This is the cover from the little booklets Timothy passed out as he went trick or treating last night. He was so cute. Before he left each house, he would give it to them and say, "Here, this is for you - it has Bible verses in it." The response was surprising. People were very sweet. I think the best part for me was to see how boldly he did it. If only we could all be that bold. He wasn't the least bit intimidated to give it to them. I was so proud of him.
This Halloween, Timothy is going to be none other than Timothy -- Timothy from the Bible that is. This is one of the first years in a long time that we haven't had a Halloween alternative to go to on Halloween night. Our church is doing a fall festival, but it will be Sunday night rather than Monday night.
So, we had to decide what to do. I came up with the idea of Tract or Treat. Timothy will go door to door, and not only will he be given candy, but he will give each family a cute little Pumpkin-themed tract. When else can you go door to door to pass out tract so easily? Timothy will be spreading the good news just like Timothy did in the Bible!
For the past 8 or 9 months, I've been playing around with other blogs -- trying to find my niche - but you know what? I've come back to my beginning. Nothing was more "me" than this blog. A lot has gone on over these past few months. I am no longer employed as a transcriptionist. That's a huge blessing. I am now a full-time mom. I cyberschool Hannah (11th grade) and Timothy (4th grade -- the school had him skip 3rd grade). After several years of searching, a few months ago, we found a church home that has blessed our socks off. In fact, my next sewing project is going to be baptismal robes for the church. It's good to be back blogging again. I've missed this creative outlet.
Now that I am only working part-time, I have decided to start a SAGA chapter in my area. The nearest guild is an hour away, and on the only night of the week that doesn't work for me. I had considered starting a guild last year, but at that time I was still working full time, and there just weren't enough hours in the day to do it right.
I have been a part of SAGA chapters in both Indiana and Florida. I actually started the guild I belonged to in Florida, so I have experience in starting a guild, and it's really not that hard. I am now just trying to find members! If you or anyone you know lives in the Reading, PA are and like to smock or want to learn to smock, please let me know.
Today I found out that my birthday present is going to be a night-away to attend the Martha Pullen event in Maryland. I am not attending the whole retreat, but I will be attending the reception and seminar/fashion show on Thursday evening. I can't wait. I haven't seen Martha since an event on New Year's Day 2007.
I am really looking forward to my mini sewing retreat. I will get there a couple of hours before the seminar, and then won't check out until I absolutely have to the next day. I am going to bring a sewing/smocking/or quilting project to work on while I have some "me" time!!
At latest count, I have 103 issues of Sew Beautiful magazines. I have 18 duplicates.
I have spent my spare time over the past week going through each and every issue, putting them in chronological order, and then making my own personal index. I have listed each issue along with the smocking plates and any articles that I think I may want to refer back to in the future. It was a very long process, but it was a lot of fun to be reminded of all the amazing articles in Sew Beautiful. One thing that was very interesting to me was to see the changes that have taken place over the years. Sadly, smocking (particularly picture smocking) has become less and less featured. I am glad to have so many old back issues for the great smocking plates that they featured.
Tonight, I am going to go back and read an interesting article called "Know the Score Before You Smock" from the Summer 1991 issue. It's about entering your smocking into contests and how they are often judged. I am planning to have items to enter into this year's fair (August). It's never too early to start preparing.
Yesterday I got to embroider for the first time in a long time. Since getting a new lap top just before Christmas, I have not been able to use my Ultimate box to transfer designs because it has a serial port instead of a USB port. My sweet husband learned of my dilemma and immediately ordered me the right cable so I could do that. It arrived on Saturday and I got to embroider again. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, so I decided to make a free standing lace (FSL) bookmark. I couldn't find one that I liked, so I downloaded one that had a poem for mothers day (which is great for mother's day by the way), and then used Embird to edit it and put in my own verse.
I used variegated thread to do the border and it came out looking like multicolored flowers around the edge -- which was an extra bonus.
Anyway, I had a great time making this and it felt so good to be back in the driver's seat of my embroidery machine. I am going to make a few more bookmarks while I am in the bookmark groove this week. I want to find a different one to download that is not so feminine looking, and then make a bookmark for Timothy and Kurt - as well as one from this design for Hannah - probably with her name on it.
Boy is it coming down out there. This one caught PennDOT and the schools by surprise. Schools went on as scheduled because this started in between the time of high school and elementary school. I kept Timothy home. I didn't want to walk him to school in this, and the roads were getting pretty bad so I didn't want to drive him either.
It's a great day to do some sewing/quilting/smocking, embroidery or *something*, but I can't seem to come up with a thing to do.
I would love to do more machine embroidery, but my Vikant Ultimate Box has a serial port rather than a USB port. It was fine for years because I had a computer with a serial port. Now I don't, so I have not been able to use it for quite some time.
Hmm.... I have 2 hours and 20 minutes until I have to start working. Hmm.... what to do.... what to sew....
Nope - this definitely isn't Amish Country, but isn't it beautiful? We were blessed to be able to visit New York City this past Monday. It was an amazing experience as we had never been there before. We were able to go because we had won a trip through our church. We were picked up in a limo and driven to NYC for the day. It was an experience none of us will *ever* forget!!
We had lunch in Times Square at Hard Rock Cafe. We rode on the 3-story tall Ferris wheel in Toys R Us. We visited "Top of the Rock" (the observation decks at Rockefeller Center), Saks Fifth Avenue, the American Girl Store, and more. It was an incredible day!!
Yay!! The I Spy quilt went out in the mail today. I had a lot of fun with it. It is very simple - obviously nothing fancy, but I hope it helps this sweet little girl and her family.
Now that it's finished, I have to decide what to do next. I have several options. I have two quilts that are works in progress - still making blocks. One, I thought was a total wash, but figured out how to salvage it. The other is a disappearing 9-patch. I had been working on these quilts, but then didn't have anything to do with them once I was done, so I shelved them. I may go ahead and complete one of them so the next time I find a need, a quilt is ready to go.
Another option is to work on my I Love Lucy quilt - this one would be for myself. A while back I bought several prints of I Love Lucy chocolate factory fabric for $2 a yard. I have enough to make an interesting quilt. I pulled it out last night and think I know how I would go about it.
My other option - which can be done in conjunction with either of this is to make more quilted greeting cards. This is something I tossed around the idea of making to sell on etsy - or just to give as gifts - make sets of them.
Kurt and I went to Longwood Gardens today. It was just beautiful. We saw many gorgeous plants, but the one I wanted to share on my sewing blog was this one. I forgot the name of the plant, but I loved them because the leaves look like ribbons. The colors are great together too. This gives me an idea to use nature as my guide when mixing/blending colors for quilts and other sewing projects. I would have never thought to put these colors together, but they compliment each other so well.