Monday, May 21, 2012

Endings and New Beginnings

Lots of stitching going on around here.
Back in January, my friend Vicki asked
me to join her in a project.  We will be
blogging about it soon, but here is a
little sneak peek.  The last of the little
quilts went into the mail to Vicki today.
My latest pendant, I love the
colors and it looks so pretty
with the “little green apples”.
Mr. Magpie had to cut a limb
out of an apple tree that was
laying on our 4 board fence.
He thought the apples would
be nice to use in a photo and
he was right!
The beginnings of my Schwalm Embroidery
work.  Luzine’s lovely book arrived Friday.
She sent the linen, needles and threads
for me to stitch a project from her new
book for left-handers.  I have begun reading
Basic Principles of Schwalm Whitework
and I am learning new things already.
  The stitch above is a Coral Stitch,
a new stitch for me.  Luzine’s instructions
are clearly written and there are photos
to serve as quick reminders,
so important when trying to form an
unfamiliar stitch. 
New beginnings and projects ending.
Love to all,

Saturday, May 19, 2012

First Opinions

Advice is great and
comments are too.
When you get advice in a comment,
 that is just icing on the cake.
While I was lamenting
 my saga of the hours
spent on my
Sweatshirt Jacket
in my last post.
Carol was busy
leaving me a comment
that could save me
precious time
and allow me to move
on to my next jacket!
Carol wrote:
So Cool!!
 Did you have to snip all
 the patches for them to fray?
 Are you hand or machine embroidering? 
 I can't wait to see this done.
xx. Carol

Yes Indeed, Carol!
I will be snipping and
machine embroidering!
Jacket 1, has turned
into a learning experience
all the way around.
Time to finish it
and move on!

Comments ....gotta love 'em!

Love to all,
(especially Carol)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sweatshirt Jacket Saga

Remember when I found
the Sweatshirt Jacket
and thought it
was expensive?

Now I know, that Jennifer
was not charging nearly
enough for her lovely jacket!

Hours of work have gone
into my jacket and
In my last post I was
ready to add the patches
to the sleeves.
Those were added, all
were basted down and I
stitched every patch
down with a zigzag
stitch with a 1/4" edge
left for fraying.
The front was cut open
and the binding attached
in the same manner as
the patches.
Today I will wash
the jacket and hope for
some major fraying action. 

Next I will begin
embroidering all
the areas not covered
by the patches.

Yes all those white
lines will have embroidery
added to them.

My way of making the
pattern my own...
My bright idea!

As I am dreaming of
Jacket #2 .......
I believe,
I may just have to
 follow the pattern. 

 Love to all,

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sweatshirt Jacket Update

Using a sweatshirt as a base you create

a jacket. The pattern suggests using 8

different fabrics to give a nice flow of

color and pattern.

The jacket I feel in love with, had a mixture

of soft pinks most being floral patterns.

My friend Margaret suggested that color

palette may be a bit washed out for me

so I went about looking for coral and

watermelon colors.

I knew I would make more than

one jacket so,

I continued my search and found

this purple palette of fabrics.

I decided to use the purple colorway

for the first “practice” jacket.

Remove the cuffs and hem

and lay your sweatshirt out

as flat as possible.

Cut random patches of fabric

to cover the sweatshirt and sew

them into place.

The front of the jacket was

where I began.

Of course, (being impetuous)

I went directly to the sewing

machine and firmly attached

the patches and even did some

free motion quilting over the top.

This was Mistake #1

I should have hand basted all

the patches down and looked

at the placement with a critical eye.

Mistake #2

My free motion quilting needs some

help….. I did buy a book on free motion

machine quilting, maybe I should read it!

This was the best looking patch,

“hot mess”, I’m telling you.

I had thoughts of making the

patches look random and possibly

doing some hand embroidery

motifs in the blank spots.

Not giving up, ( this is a learning

project) I continued with an arm

and the back.
To my eye this arrangement is better.

Gaps between all the patches where

I can do some hand embroidery, maybe a

chain stitch or running stitch.

Each patch will be stitched down with

a small zigzag stitch about 1/4”

from the edge. This 1/4” will fray in

the wash giving the jacket a softer look

and exposing the embroidery work.

(This is not the method Jennifer used

for making her stunning jacket, but I

felt the need to change the pattern a bit

to make it my own.)

Today, I will cover the other arm

and read a bit of the free motion



I made a cute pendant and earrings,

from quilting cotton,

with embroidery

to enhance the pattern.
One last thing, look at this

sweet pillow cover I found

at one of the vendor booths

in Paducah.

I can already see it,

as a boho bag flap!

Love to all,


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Left Handed Stitching

Mary Corbet recently announced an exciting opportunity.
Luzine Happel has rewritten her book
especially for the left handed stitcher.
The opportunity was for 3 left handed stitchers
to stitch a Schwalm Embroidery project and to offer
feedback on Luzine's instructions.
I am a left handed stitcher and I love to learn
new stitching techniques.  What a wonderful
opportunity this would be, so of course I 
added my name to the list of interested

This morning Mary announced the names
of those who would be stitching the project.

Winnie van Vegchel
Yvette Stanton
Mosaic Magpie (Deb)

I was one of the stitchers....... I was filled
with joy and fear at the very same
moment!  Joy, to have the opportunity
and fear, what if my stitching
is not up to par? 

Suz was one of the first to email
me with congratulations.  In my
reply to her, I shared those self doubts,
 along with the joy I was feeling.
Suz wrote back, words of encouragement,
letting  me know she would be eager
to see the completed project.  
She believed in me.

 Then, I reread Mary's post. 
 Luzine did not want someone
that already knew Schwalm embroidery,
she wanted someone like me.  Someone
that was willing to learn, think about the
instruction being presented and to offer
an honest opinion. I could, do that!

Thank you Luzine, for this opportunity.
Thank you Mary, for being such a great
resource/promoter for all things related
 to embroidery.

I have thought about my feelings upon learning
I would be stitching for Luzine. 
 How fear could have stopped me
 from participating
 in this wonderful opportunity. 
 What a shame it would be,
 to not see what I could have learned,
 or to let this chance slip away
 as I listened to self doubt. 

 Thanks again, Suz
 for the encouragement
and for being a friend.

Love to all,

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The First Saturday In May

The first Saturday in May,
the day all eyes are on the Kentucky Derby.
Aka  "The Run For The Roses" or "The Greatest
Two Minutes In Sports"  it's the first leg,
of the 3 races that make up the Triple Crown.
The Kentucky Derby is the longest continuously
held sporting event in the United States .
The Derby is not only about the horses,
it's also about the hats and Mint Juleps.
The hats are amazing and a must have accessory.
 I just did an ebay search
typing in Kentucky Derby Hat, 1,214 results!
There is an exhibit in the Kentucky Derby
Museum featuring Derby hats.
Here are a few:


With a hat on your head the next thing you need is a drink in your hand.

We even have collectable glasses for the Mint Juleps! For those that can't make it to the race, Chef Jo-Jo shares recipes for the legendary Kentucky Derby Mint Julep and his famous Churchill Downs Barbeque Shrimp & Grits.
Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Serves 6-8 people
  • 2 cups - sugar
  • 2 cups - water
  • 16 oz - Kentucky bourbon, 2 per mint julep
  • Crushed ice
  • 10 sprigs fresh mint
  • 8 mint julep glasses
Chef Jo-Jo's Notes: Combine water and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil to make simple syrup. Boil for 5 minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with 2 sprigs of fresh mint and refrigerate overnight. To make your mint julep, start by filling each mint julep glass with crushed ice. Add 1 tablespoon of the mint flavored simple syrup then 2 ounces of Kentucky bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Sip and enjoy!

Now let's talk horses:
 I have been told you either like horses or don't.  I would not give you a nickel for a horse, so I guess I am in the "don't like" half, but I do like one I would love to see win the Kentucky Derby.

What a beautiful horse!
Look at those colors,

He is almost white, my grandmother
always said a white horse was special,
lucky.  She always did a little thing with
her fist and an open palm, 3 times,
whenever she saw a white horse.
I wish I had paid more attention
to what she was doing, I could
do it now to give Hansen a bit of luck.

I just re-read this post.
Take moment to
scroll back up to the Derby Glass
and then look again at
Hansen's Jockey Silks,
both have a blue and yellow
diamond motif! 
Could be a sign!?!?

Now, I am off to find my hat, mix up some
Juleps and wait for the big race!
Go! Hansen!!!!
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