Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

We wish you a very Happy New Year.

Sam is getting ready for bed in her smocked night gown  a Genine original pattern called Emily.  Again, this pattern has many variations including a variation for those that do not smock.   Genine also includes measurements you will need for using variations of different fabrics, including flannel which can be difficult to pleat without removing some of the bulk.

Sam wishes all her doll friends a very Happy New year as they model their new Genine originals.  I know all the new Christmas dolls look forward to having a wonderful new wardrobe.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Decorated Candle Holder

Have you spotted those pieces from chandleiers I am not sure what they are called. They fit under the light. I think they are so pretty, so when I ran across some at the Goodwill store I could not let them just sit there, there was only a couple of them but there had to be something I could do with them.   About the same time I spotted this candle holder sadly there was only one but I bought it anyhow.   Getting home I put the two together added a candle and have what I think is a very pretty candle holder.  The search is on for more pretty candle holders, maybe I can put together a set for a table setting.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Welcome to my sewing room

No, first of all you will not find a well decorated, right out of a magazine look here.  I debated with myself if I should even share this picture but this is me, this is what you will find most of the time if you were to drop by. I have gone online and have spent hours looking at all the beautiful sewing rooms personally I would be afraid of messing up some of those rooms.  Afraid I would not put the scissors back in the right spot.
You are welcome here anytime, I will pour you a cup of coffee and we will talk sewing.
I hope to share many ideas with you over the coming year, you might as well see where they are coming from.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sams Christmas

I was able to test this pattern for Genine, it is called Lucy and honestly my version does not do the pattern justice.  There is a smocked version of the dress and I can hardly wait to get started on it.  I used the plain version, so I could quickly test the pattern and used a Valentine fabric which actually ended up being a good fabric for a Christmas dress.

Sam is also ready for Valentines day.   What is strange at least to me is, Sam was a pretty neglected little dolly.  When the girls came over they would play with her a little but not much.  Now, that Sam is all dressed and has many clothes, the girls come in, say hello to her but never touch her.  I don't want her to seem off bounds, I do tell them it's fine that they play with her.  I am going to investigate further.

I do not want to forget to add Genine's link so you can find these wonderful patterns and also many more of the snowflakes Genine designed.  I had forgotten to do that on my last post.
Visit Genine 
More of the Lucy pattern
This is the smocked version that Genine made.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My snowflake

Genine (the doll lady) also digitizes machine embroidery, she is a very talented lady.  On Everythingsewing  forum, Genine shared with us a design we could use. It is a FSL- fleur de lis snowflake.  I have never done FSL before. I am new to machine embroidery but with Genine's excellent instructions I was able to make one. In fact I made a few, tied them on gifts as a little decoration and an extra present.

I think I am going to like machine embroidery now that I am learning a bit more about it.

New Year-New Start

I am behind in everything, blogging, sewing, decorating, well you name it and I am behind in getting it done or even in some cases I have not even started.   I will put all of that behind me and start fresh.
 The item that really put me way, way behind with any Christmas preparations this year was this stocking.  I bought the kit 10 years ago when I found out we were going to be blessed with a Granddaughter. I never got around to getting the stocking done.  This was the year it was finally going to be ready for Christmas and join the one I had made her brother.  After all how many times can you say, "next year"?

I have this little problem called procrastination.  As Christmas grew closer I realized I could no longer let the stocking go undone.  With only a few weeks left, I set up camp at the dining room table, and set about sewing on sequins and beads.   I took this picture before I was all done, knowing it would go down to the wire and I probably would not get a picture of it all done before it flew out the door.   I did get it finished but with a lesson learned.  So, my goal for the New Year, will be to --Do It Now!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Meet Genine

Doll clothes designer extraordinaire.  Genine resides in England and adds a European flair to many of her designs,  she also has a knack for translating the fashions we sew for our little girls into one for dolly too, so they can have matching outfits.
Genine designs for 18" dolls and gives excellent instructions to compensate for variations of different doll body measurements as not all 18" dolls have the same body size.

Each pattern comes with several variations as you can see here with the Katya  pattern.

 I am honored to be a tester for Genine's patterns and Sam thanks her for letting her get off the shelf and being able to play again.

I have a special little girl that will be getting a new special friend for Christmas and she will come with lots of new clothes.
You can purchase Genine's patterns through her Etsy shop. new patterns are added often so keep checking back.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Something for fall

Sam wanted to show you the outfit she wore to the quilt show.  Our smocking group has a raffle each year for doll clothes and Sam did some modeling.  If you think I am having way to much fun sewing doll clothes you are right!!  
This top has a touch of smocking.  The perfect amount for leaning to smock.  The version can also be made without smocking.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Well, Hello Dolly

Hello, my name is Samantha, my friends call me Sam.  I used to have a little girl to play with but, as with all little girls she grew up.  I went to the shelf at grandma's house.  I have some stuffed animal friends that also got left behind, it's just not the same as having a little girl friend to play with.  I was pretty darn sad for awhile.
One day, grandma came and took me off the shelf. Where was I going?  What was going to happen to me?  I must confess I was pretty scared.
Grandma took me to her sewing room and gave me a new outfit.  Then she let me go outside and play.
I was so excited and happy.   It seems grandma, has found a designer of doll clothes and is enjoying playing with me.   I have been very busy modeling new clothes and playing with grandma.
She even took me to a quilt show, so I could model a new outfit.

Now, I know you will want to make new clothes for your dolly and I don't think you could find cuter clothes for doll's with a custom touch.  Oh, you don't have a doll?  Well, I bet your daughter or granddaughter does and what better way to share then making some doll clothes.  

You can find the patterns here

Friday, September 30, 2011


I realize I have been missing from the blogging scene and I am sorry about that.
Summer has just been so darn busy that writing just was not on my list of things to do.  We had two weddings within weeks of each other.   
I was able to visit Ohme garden again, a place I love but don't get to very often so I would love to share some of it's beauty with you.

I am also launching off on a new venture of sorts with my sewing so will be sharing that with you.  I hope it inspires you.

Take a walk with me along the path.  The perfect place to feel peace to renew your strengh and have a whole new outlook.

Friday, July 1, 2011

So clever

I am reposting this with permission.  I just thought this was so clever I had to share it.  Also, having the little ones grow and the fabric stash full of pieces that are now to small for a complete outfit, it really was a post that I needed to spark some creativity so I can use up those pieces in my stash.

I love the way Jerry’s mind works, from play clothes to heirloom sewing she just amazes me.  

In her own words I will let her lead you through this project. 

Red, "White" and Blue for MK**

I bought these floral coordinates at Continental two summers ago when they were clearing out their summer fabrics. I bought exactly one yard of each. :roll: Since I didn't really have a plan in mind when I bought the fabrics, and since I am now making size 8s for MK, I had to really be creative in using them!! (read....figure out how the heck I was going to get an outfit done using them. :rotflo: ). I had bought a cute new pattern at Continental a month or so ago, but darn if it didn't take 1 3/4 yds of one fabric and 7/8 yd of another....just for the top/dress. So I put on my thinking cap to see if I could approximate that design and used my Chery Williams basic bishop pattern in size 8 and cut the one yard of the "white" ground floral into a bishop front and back after tearing it in half. That gave me an 18" top, which will be shorter than most I do for her now. But since it is loosey-goosey, I think that will allow it to be cool and comfy to wear. I used the angel sleeve pattern to start the contrasting ruffle and cut the sleeve portions, then laid that down on both the front and back and drew a line the length of the sleeve all across both the front and back dress pattern pieces; then I cut pieces of the contrast corresponding to those pattern markings, giving me a ruffle to go all around the top. I seamed the pieces together, then ran some bias tape on the sleeve section tops only so that when I sewed the ruffle to the dress and flipped it over to the front (sewed right side of ruffle to wrong side of dress), I could press the bias tape down and have enough room to sew a 1/2" casing all around to run the elastic through. Did you get that? :rotflo: :rotflo: :rotflo: I simply serged around the bottom of the top and pressed that under and top stitched around with my 4.0 double needle. I used CC Sara's Skort for the little bottom. So it is a skirt with shorts attached at the waist. I found that little red pin dot fabric at Hancock's yesterday and didn't know at that point exactly what I was going to make to go with the top, so I only bought 3/4 yard. :P Last night I thought a little skirt would be cute, so I got that pattern out and used my remaining small floral to make the shorts. Instead of lining the skort, I chose to cut my scraps into bias strips to bind the bottom and trimmed it with delft blue rick-rack. Sure wish I had another pack of it. I would have loved to have added the same color rick-rack to the bottom of the ruffle edge. :roll: I then fussy cut three of the dominant shapes from the "white" background floral and fused them to the skirt off center toward the right side and then appliquéd them the old fashioned way on my sewing machine. To me this looks like a "big girl" outfit....and that's a little sad. :(

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bonnet by Betty

I hope you enjoy this bonnet. 

Baby Bonnet

by Betty


    a. From fabric that looks the same on both sides cut a 13"X 45"piece. Remove selvage.

    b. Fold up and press 4" on long edge for front and 2" for back of bonnet.

    c. Open up and sew machine scallops on right side of fabric (both long ends) Do not worry about
    perfect scallops at the ends, they will be turned up and not show. Trim scallops, fold back up
    on pressed lines and baste before pleating..

    d. On 2" turn up, pleat five (5) 1/2 space rows for back starting first row 3/8" from folded edge.
    On 4" turn up, pleat eleven (11) 1/2 space rows for front, starting first row 3/8" from folded edge.

2. Using graft for neck cut out, make pattern or mark directly onto the two short ends of pleated
fabric and cut. Ignore pleating threads throughout and cut off


    a. French seam the back of bonnet.

    b. Machine scallops around neck edge, trim scallops. Again, don't worry about corners.


    a. Using a tapertry needle and dental floss or strong thread doubled, make a hole next to the back seam and take thread all the way around exiting on the other side of the seam. Pull up snug, tie off and use Fray Check on the knot.
    Pick pleating threads out at back seam and tie each row snug enough to lay flat.

    b. Cable on rows 1 and 3. Baby waves in between. Pull out pleating threads.


    a. Pick out pleating threads on bonnet front, pull up and tie off (no special length)for easy smocking.
    b. Smock rows 2 and 9 as cable. Fill in with 1/2 space baby waves or design of your choice. Remove
    pleating threads.
    c. Turn up front corners to right side and attach ribbons over them, making a loop or something cute.
    Smaller ribbon bow sewed to back circle .

6. I made a few changes to the instructions found in Creative Needle Nov./Dec. 1992 by Nancy Marx.
Nancy also showed one with lace that I will show you soon with directions and also one with eyelet
that would be cute for Easter maybe?

Noah modeling Granny's bonnet for her.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Conrad Rose Home

This wonderful old home has sat vacant and for sale for years.  Why?  I think it is because no one has a vision for it.  I have a vision, just no funds to pull it off.  With a few investors and my dream, this magnificent mansion could come back to life.


What is my vision?   Well, it’s not more empty office space as has been suggested by some.  I mean how many empty office spaces does one city need?   Also what dull thinking, how come every time an old building is vacant all anyone can think of is ‘office space’?  Especially in a town full to over flowing with empty office space.  That just seems to be a sore spot with me. But then I digress.

Back to my dream which is pure fantasy.  I can see it as a B&B . It’s location in the down town is perfect.  Conrad Rose built this home for his family in 1906,  he  had a great  input into the building of this valley.  An orchardist who tackled the dry condition of this valley to plant and nurture fruit trees and to supply other farmers with the equipment needed to also farm with success.

The home sits across the street for memorial park, so how fitting it be a memorial to the valley.  To Conrad Rose and others.  To me, it’s time to bring it back to life.

I picture afternoon teas and a chance to educate the youth of the valley as to what life was like in the 1900’s.  A place where people can just take the time to go back in time so it will never be forgotten.

I could go on for hours, just ask anyone in my family.  The possibilities are endless.

Any investors out there?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fun sun dress

I had the honor of testing a pattern for My Treasured Heirlooms.   It is a wonderful fun and easy pattern and lends it's self to tons of different types of fabric.  The first fabric that came to mind for me was a crinkle cotton but when I reached into my stash my hand landed on this pink gingham fabric.  I do not remember where it came from and the way the fabric feels it has to be a polyester, but perfect for a summer frock.

I do notice I need to adjust the straps a little better for her.

You could also make this pattern a short top, which I think would be darling.   
I used an invisable zipper in the back but the pattern also comes with a shirred option.  

Also offered with this pattern is options of smocking plates.   I changed one plate a little and added a few more roses.
I think you will really enjoy this pattern and all the options it offers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Don’t click on that leaf

If any of you have visited you know what I mean by leaf clicking. It all started very innocent for me, as most of the work on my fathers side of the family was done and my mothers side had been done.   What was left? I guess until we start digging we just have no idea how big our family really is and the search has been long and sometimes frustrating.  After all it has taken up sewing and blogging time.

I decided one day to search for my fathers mother, that should not be to hard I had a few facts to go on and they advertise that you don’t need to know what you are searching for you just need to start.   I didn’t know grandma’s maiden name when I started.  I know it seems like I should have at least known grandma’s maiden name but I didn’t.   This is the mother to my father, so you would think someone had gone down that road before but I guess not as any information has been hard to come by.

I did find some fascinating facts about my fathers family.  I knew the names on the chart but coming across pictures such as these, really bring the history to life.  The first Jonathan Gillam was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania in the year 1753. He had fifteen living children in his will.

jonathan gillam cabin  This is Jonathan Gillam’s cabin.  I have a cousin that actually has been to this cabin.  There is also records stating that the family gravesite is located by a river close to the cabin marked by stones.

jonathanand mary

This the the head stone of John and his wife Mary.   This is my grandparent’s, and I can’t think right now how many greats to add to that.  There are stories of the revolutionary war and the civil war, all very fascinating. I think I also mentioned very time consuming. 

Back to grandma (see I told you I get sidetracked)  so far I have found out her maiden name was McBride or MacBride depending on where you are reading.  Her father was born either in Canada or Pennsylvania and her mother was born in Pennsylvania ( I think).

I have not been able to move beyond that information.  I hope I can find the family and put as much together as I can for the grandkids. I know they don’t care now, but someday they will.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blogs-A good topic

You know how you start talking about one topic and soon you realize the topic has completely change as if in mid sentence?  Exactly what just happened on a topic posted on the ES forum.  The topic started as a question by one of the members that had just spent time looking at lovelies posted in the gallery, she noticed that a lot of the names of members who had posted the pictures do not appear to now be members, so she wondered where they went.    So now, where does blogging come in?    Well one member suggested maybe more of them had moved to blogging and were not spending the time on forums.  
That really got the ball rolling.  What members now have blogs?  The pitfalls and blessings that come from haveing a blog.  It really made me take a new look at blogging, I started so I could share my passion for sewing and anything beautiful. 

Some blog to promote their business, some to share their passions,  friendship's are formed because we have the same interest or have gone through the same ordeal.  Some blogs seem to just show how to make things or do things, others seem more personal and you get to know a person you would never have met if it were not for this person sharing themselves.

Now, the reason for following or not to follow seem to be different.  Leaving a comment is difficult for some as they feel there is little opportunity for interaction, other then leaving the comment to which the blogger rarely responds.

I enjoyed our conversation about blogging and being on a forum format, being able to respond to each other in 'real' time was something I also enjoyed.    I hope I learned a lot, I have rethought the blogging thing and know I will never have a huge blog, I will just enjoy the people I meet through blogging.  I know there are many, many blogs that share sewing but we each have a little bit different way of doing something and if I can follow someone through a process of their sewing I will learn something new.

So there are a few thoughts about blogging. I would love to hear your thoughts.   Maybe, tell why you blog.  What do you like about it, what do you not like.                                                                 

Friday, May 13, 2011

baby Quilt

How to Make a Tied Baby Quilt
An Easy Beginner Project

By MightyNancy

You’ll need:
1 ¼ yards “top” fabric (45” square, more or less)
1 ¼ yards “bottom” fabric
45” square of batting – loft is your choice
5 yards trim of your choice – I like rickrack or ruffled eyelet
yarn for tying the quilt
yarn needle
sewing machine
hand sewing needle
quilt basting pins (these are just 2”-2 ½” safety pins) – about 40
straight pins
tailor’s chalk (regular chalk works, too)

Fabric widths vary a bit, and the ladies at the cutting table are human. Lay your two pieces of fabric out one on top of the other to ensure they’re the same size. Trim up as necessary. Set the bottom piece aside when you’re done.

With the sewing machine, sew trim to quilt top about ½” from the edge of the fabric. The trim edge that is supposed to show goes toward the inside of the square. Run ends of trim off the edge of the fabric. Later this will hide in the seam.

Now you’ll make a quilt sandwich. Start with your bottom fabric facedown, then batting, then top fabric face up.

Starting in the middle, baste with the quilt pins. Smooth the fabric as you work. I do this on the floor – my kingdom for a big table! Try to have your pins all “face” the same direction; this will be helpful in the next step.

You’re almost ready to tie! Your batting package will tell you how far apart to tie – generally 4-6” is the rule (samples are tied every 4.5”). If your top fabric has an even pattern to it, you can use it to space your ties. If not, you have some options. In the sample quilts, the bottom fabric had a grid pattern. I laid the basted quilt out bottom up, and used straight pins to mark the grid. On the top side, I marked each pin with tailor’s chalk and then removed the pins. Helpful hint: have your marking pins run in a different direction from your basting pins so you’ll know which are marks and which are basting!

Thread your yarn needle with a long piece of yarn. Pull the yarn through the eye of the needle until the cut ends are even. I start with about five yards. If you find this too cumbersome, you can use shorter lengths and just rethread more frequently. Do not knot the end.

Stitch, picking up your marked spots, leaving a 5” tail on the first stitch. Each stitch should take up about ¼”. Leave a tiny bit of slack between each stitch – you don’t want it taut, especially if your stitches are close together.

Keep stitching until you’re done! Having all your stitches run in the same direction gives you a more uniform look.

Snip between stitches. Take out the basting pins.

Tie each pair of yarn tails into square knots. Remember “Right over left and left over right!” Granny knots will come undone in the laundry.

Trim tails to a pleasing length.

Trim the batting just inside the stitch line of the trim

Woohoo, almost done! We’re ready to finish the edge! You have options. My favorite look is to turn the edges in (just flop ‘em under, wrapping the bottom fabric over the edge of the batting) and blindstitch by hand.

You can also turn the edges in, pin, and topstitch with the machine (much quicker, but it’s easy for it to go wonky on ya).

If you prefer a bound edge, skip the trimming step at the beginning and bind the quilt with a coordinating fabric (directions can be found in quilting books or online). This quilt is tied with variegated yarn (fun!) and bound with a coordinating plaid.

Voilá! A darling handmade quilt! They make great baby shower gifts.