I wanted to show you Amanda's latest applique project.
It's Sweet Cherries by Fig Tree Quilts.
You can find the kits here
But just like summer fruit
our kits won't last forever.
Encourage one another,
Many of you have asked how Jeff is doing so I wanted to give you a little update.
His condition has stabilized since he has returned home from the hospital. He gets breathing treatments every four hours along with a nutritional supplement and his medications. He loves getting out with the family and has the assistance of a lightweight wheelchair on trips that might require a lot of walking. He delights in being with his boys. It's so cute to see them interact with him, coming up and giving him a hug or a playful tease. Cherene is amazing. Loving and patient.
This week Jeff volunteered for a clinical trial for a new ALS drug. When Cherene told me what it entailed I asked if they really wanted to go to all that trouble for a drug that came too late to help him. She said Jeff understood that it wouldn't help him but he really wanted to participate in the trial in case it someday might help someone else.
I remember just after Jeff started working for Genentech I asked him what he liked best about his new job. I expected him to tell me it was the 401K or the stock options or maybe the generous expense account. I'll never forget his answer. He said he loved his job as a pharmaceutical rep because he had the chance to change peoples lives.
Seems he's still jumping at the chance to do that.
Next week we have the whole family together at the beach house. Our youngest son and his family are coming from Kansas and Jeff, Cherene and the boys are driving down from the bay area. It's always fun and crazy when the cousins all get together. I know this will be a trip we will all remember for a long, long time.
Encourage one another,
What's that you hear?
Why it's me. Tooting my own horn.
I haven't been this excited since Ralph Lauren looked me in the eye and said hello .
OMG. I'm on Pioneer Woman's blog!!
She liked my water photo of Michael.
She liked it.
Ain't it sweet?
Yeah. Except my photo wasn't selected.
This is the post I had prepared for when Pioneer Woman picked my photo out of the more than 101,000 photos submitted to her blog for a recent contest. My disappointment wasn't in not being selected. My disappointment was in me not getting to post my reaction. The Mikey thing. Clever don'tyathink? (There's that honk again).
So as not to let a good post go to waste I'm posting my reaction to winning not winning anyway.
Hey. It's my blog and I can do whatever I want.
So here's Mikey. Grandchild number three. Born on our anniversary eight years ago.
Gorgeous isn't he? The sweetest boy with a heart of gold and an appetite bigger than the state of Kansas.
Grammie loves you Mikey.
Encourage one another,
PS: I obviously didn't write this very well because you guys are congratulating me for something I didn't win. I DID NOT GET MY PHOTO ON PW"S BLOG so knock it off.
I need to apologize for the photos in this post. I think I got too excited about playing with all of the color possibilities. I should have bought one color of towel and stuck with it. I hope you can follow this hodge podge of colored samples.
Hooded towels make terrific, practical gifts for newborns as well as older kids and can be used for the bath, beach or pool. Since they are inexpensive and super fast to make they are the perfect gift for children of all ages.
I have a personal fondness for these towels as it was my "job" to bathe my granddaughter whenever I visited her as a baby. Is there anything sweeter than the smell of a freshly bathed baby wrapped in a soft hooded towel?
So recently when grandmother to be Linda asked us how to make them I felt it my grandmotherly duty to post these instructions so she too could share in the tradition and create some memories of her own.
Here's what you'll need:
For each hooded towel you will need one bath towel and a half of one hand towel. So if you're smart you will buy two bath towels and one matching hand towel. You know. Since you can't buy a half a hand towel. That way you'll end up with two whole finished hooded towels.
You'll also need 3/4 to 1 1/2 yards of ric rac
and 1/8 to 1/4 yard of coordinating fabric.
Prewash everything before beginning.
Here are the two items that will make you look like a rock star. When your friends marvel at your perfectly straight stitches promise you will simply smile sweetly and say, "Thank you". Repeat after me: "I will not say it was just the thread and the foot". (Even though it is pretty much just the thread and the foot).
We've talked about this invisible thread before. For this project I use it in the bobbin as well as on top. It eliminates the need to change threads to match your towels and fabrics. You can sew lots of towels in many colors without ever changing threads. Such a time saver.
The foot is an edge stitch foot and is available for most machines. On a Bernina it's #10. What's so cool about an edge stitch foot is that the metal blade there in the center of the foot (see arrow below) rides right along the edge of the fabric that you're sewing to the towel. No need to try and see where the needle is, just keep your eye on the blade and keep it going along the edge of the fabric. You will need to move your needle position two positions to the left of center when top stitching. With this foot your stitches will be straight as arrows. Think of it as training wheels for your sewing machine. A great foot for teaching kids to sew too.
I'll show you more about this foot in a minute.
First you need to cut your hand towel in half.
Then fold one of the pieces in half with right sides together so it looks like this.
Remember you will get two hoods from one hand towel.
Next sew or serge across the top of your folded towel through both thicknesses and down into the fold about two inches. This eliminates points on the hood and keeps your kids from looking like little KKK members. You will use a regular sewing foot for this part if you are using a sewing machine. If you don't have a serger, trim your seam then go back over your seam with a zig zag stitch.
(In this next photo I put the serged hood on top of the other half of the hand towel so you can see how I serged and cut it).
Are you all totally confused by now?
And now a word from our sponsor:
Can we talk about sergers here people? If all you ever made with a serger was these towels it would be so worth it. Sergers cut and overlock the seams in one fell swoop. So quick, easy and professional looking. If you own a serger and never use it, get it out and use it. You'll thank me. (If your serger needs threading and servicing see me. If you want to buy a serger see me).
Now, back to our regularly scheduled program:
Next cut the fabric for your trim 3" x 44"
You will need one strip to go across the front of the hood and a total of three strips if you want them to go down the front of each side of the towel like this.
The next step is to fold back and press 1/4" along each side of your strips.
With your two secret weapons, your edge stitch foot and clear thread top and bottom attach the ric rac along the edge of the right side of the hood. Let the ric rac stick out over the edge of the towel a bit.
Now add the strip of fabric right on top of the seam where you sewed the ric rac.
Sew the other side. Ric rac is optional here.
Don't worry about the ends, we'll cut those off in a minute.
This is where the sizing comes in. In the photo below you can see that I cut off some of the green hood to make it smaller. How big you make your hood is completely up to you. Don't make them too small though because kids use these for years and years.
I always cut the bulky binding off the bottom of the hood and serge or zig zag the cut edge. (See that binding in the above photo? Get rid of that because it's hard to sew through).
Find the center of the hood and your towel and mark with a pin.
Pin the two together, matching the pins and overlapping the towel over the hood.
With the edge stitch foot sew with needle position to the left and let blade of foot follow the edge of the towel.
Be sure to reinforce the ends where the two towels are joined as these are stress points that will take a lot of wear and tear.
You can add a name or monogram if you'd like
and a cute bath toy.
Part of the cuteness factor here is the way they are folded so here ya go:
Tie with a pretty ribbon and add a bath toy.
If you attended Bernina Club last week you were witness to my bitching and moaning concern about the lack of great precut stencils out there.
Thursday afternoon as I was once again lamenting the lack of stencil selection with a customer a light bulb came on. (I know. Many of you, like me thought my bulb was completely burned out - seems it just has an intermittent short).
Why hadn't I thought of this sooner? You know. BEFORE I did my presentation for Bernina Club?
As I explained to the attendees I am basically lazy. I could cut my own stencils (and heaven knows I have cut my share in the past) but cutting intricate designs with an Exacto knife can not only be dangerous but time consuming and tedious. And those heat cutters? Forgetaboutit.
What never occurred to me until now is that I could get my sewing machine to cut the stencils for me.
Duh. (It's my job to know these things for heaven sake!).
We sell this most incredible software called CutWork
that cuts everything from paper to fabric to cardboard to tin. Certainly it could handle Mylar.
So after a quick consult with my computer/software expert AKA Amanda, I gathered some appropriate fabrics to scan and Amanda sent them to the software and then to the sewing machine to do the work.
OMG. Imagine the possibilities here people. Scan an image and voila. Presto. Cutto. Instant stencils. (Me here doing the happy dance).
I'm thinking cutters like Cricut and the like should work too. Don't know, but if you own one you might want to give it a try - you know if you actually want to make stencils.
So anyway. Here's the result of our first attempt.
became this stencil.
I think I may have something here.
Encourage one another,
I had something exciting to show you but Bill forgot to stop by Strawberry Patches on the way to Ventura to get it so it will have to wait until next week.
Did I ever tell you that I only knew Bill six months before I married him?
It was the sixties and everyone thought I was pregnant. I wasn't. Just madly in love. Still am. Even though he forgot your surprise.
He offered to drive back to Bakersfield to get it. I said, "No way"! Hope he doesn't read this or he will go back.
Right after he gets back from getting my tire fixed. I have a huge nail in the rear tire. I'm actually quite proud of myself for noticing. You know. My flat tire and all. I never notice those things. Bill said he was proud of me too. He didn't even complain that he is spending his Saturday morning at the Goodyear tire store. Can you see why I love him?
I'm working on a Tutorial Tuesday post this weekend. It cracks me up how the simplest of creative projects gets me going. My last Tutorial Tuesday post cost me a whole nights sleep, I was so excited. That and the triple latte I had at four o'clock. Can't be doing that again anytime soon.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Encourage one another,
Added three hours later: Well, one thing I can say is that after
forty two and a half years of knowing Bill, I know Bill. He is on his
way to Gorman to met one of his employees who is bringing the stuff from
Strawberry Patches that Bill forgot. I told him not to worry about it.
He insisted. He is such a man of his word. When he says he'll do
something, he does it. Even when it means traveling three hours on his
day off. I think I'd better let him win at Scrabble tonight!
I guess you could say that lately I've been just a bit obsessed with burlap. (Annette and Amanda might say that's an understatement).
Burlap isn't just for bare root roses anymore.
We found a wonderful source for burlap while at market and I was literally giddy with delight over the sewing possibilities.
Burlap does have some, shall we say, unique characteristics. It's a primitive cloth with interesting texture and a distinctive ...um...aroma.
So if you'd like to know how to avoid this
while making it soft, supple and odor free then turning lowly burlap into this
I invite you to join us for Bernina Club. It's a fun time of sharing for everyone whether you own a Bernina sewing machine or not. And it's FREE!
We'll be demonstrating stenciling as well as showing you how we made our pillows, ruffles, table runners and bags.
Hope you can join us!
Encourage one another,
Just click on "Bernina Club" for times and dates.
For readers outside of the Bakersfield area, I will be happy to share some instructions in future posts if you're interested. Just let me know what you want to know and I'll ask Annette and get back to you.
Probably one of the coolest things we found at market was this.
It looks like a wallet from the outside
with a pocket on the back for club cards.
But look what's on the inside.
That whole bag folds up to fit inside the wallet so you can throw it in your handbag so it's always handy.
For stuff like groceries and fabric.
Encourage one another,