Tuesday, August 10, 2010

poppy pouch

Another gift for the generous Poppy.
I spotted this ribbon at the Portsmouth Fabric Company. Check them out online or in person. It's one of the best fabric stores I've been in. When I told them this was to be a gift, they offered me the use of their sewing machines since I was on vacation. I passed due to time constraints, and it's a good thing I didn't know I'd have access to a machine ahead of time.
Once I had to have the ribbon I needed to search for some coordinating fabric. These are from the Kaffe Fassett collection.
The pattern was based on one of my Vera Bradley cosmetic bags. To make it a little easier I quilted the exterior fabric on fusible fleece. The zipper pull is made of beads from my stash.
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Monday, August 9, 2010

cushion for a cottage

A thank you gift for a generous hostess, who loaned us her lovely cottage for our vacation-

I'd intended to sew this up before we left and was going to leave it there for her to find when she arrived. The storms that knocked out our power before we left changed my plan.

The hankie was in my stash of vintage linens. Can you believe something so perfect was right here? I added a solid pink fabric and white piping from the stash as well.

After several attempts at putting the hankie on with monofilament thread and the machine, I gave up. The fabric was too delicate and it kept bunching up. I also wasn't happy with either a zig zag over the scallops or a straight line inside of them. The best solution was a simple whipstitch by hand with the monofilament. It's almost impossible to see how the hankie is attached and I was able to follow the scallops exactly.

Sadly, our hostess' time at the cottage is done for the summer. I think it might look cute on a screened-in suburban porch though.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

vacation day four

This is the end, I promise.
We headed back to the beach and spent the entire day there.
The kids met several other children who lived on the coast and knew all about what was living in the plants. We got there at low tide which was perfect for exploring.
All manner of critters were found. Crabs, shrimp, clams, mussels, snails.

And of course, there was much digging to be done.

You have no idea how hard it was to resist a little push after I took this picture.

That's it. No pictures of the 17 hour drive home. You're welcome.
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vacation day three

Ha, I'm like the relative with a captive audience and a boatload of slides!
Next up was Portland Head Lighthouse. Ominous sky. It rained just a bit before moving on.

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

vacation day two

Day two was spent in Portsmouth and Kittery, ME.

If you get a chance to go to Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth it's wonderful. There are homes representing eras in Portsmouth from the 1600's to the 1950's. Actresses representing the women of these households interact with the guests. Upon entering the garden of the governor's home, the girls met his wife. She invited them to join her while she weeded. She showed them how to use her special tools and let them go to work. I wish they'd spend that kind of time in our yard. I get about 5 minutes max. They sat and chatted with her for a good 15 minutes. Later she gave them a tour of her greenhouse and I'm now on the lookout for Venus flytraps and Sensitive plants to add to our own pots here at home.

We then headed to a Submarine museum. Guess who liked that place better?

Chris got claustrophobic within seconds. I had no idea just how cramped subs are. I was busy gasping for air. The smell of hydraulic fluids is overwhelming even after years of being decommissioned.

More tomorrow.

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family vacation day one

I promised these to family and friends ages ago. Sorry for the delay guys.
Our first day at the beach in NH.
Look mom, I found you a heart shaped rock!
Look mom, I found you seaweed!

Glenn spent most of his time exploring the rocks.

Who knew there was such a perfect example of the fossil record in NH?

More later.
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Friday, August 6, 2010

smock it to me

This block is headed to Sarah from Common Threads. She gave us three neutral fabrics and asked for texture and a pop of color from our own stash.
I immediately thought of origami and headed to the library to check out every book they had on folded fabric. As I passed over every project listed, I spotted this pattern for smocking in Folded Fabric Elegance by Rami Kim. I was in love. She has several more patterns, but I was drawn to the suggestion of basketweave in this one. I knew I wanted it to be the centerpiece of the block with very simple sashing in the other tones. The green (which looks far duller in the photo than in real life) is from my stash.
Here's the smocking before it's pressed:

And here's the back before pressing. You can see the 1/2" grid of dots I drew. Those are the basis of the technique. From there you follow some simple diagrams bringing the dots together. It's not difficult, just a bit time consuming with a lot of knotting between each stitch. Once I got going, I found a groove and soon didn't need the diagram.

I've got to find some other ways to use this technique. I think it'd look wonderful done in linen as a pocket on a dress or tunic.
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