Sunday, September 29, 2013

Learning Something New

I have long wanted to make "Wee Care" gowns.  The idea constantly tugged at my heartstrings. "Wee Care" gowns  are smocked bishop-style gowns that are donated to local hospitals to clothe babies who die at birth or shortly after.
I will quote from  the Smocking Arts Guild of America website:
A social worker at one hospital stated, "We use them almost exclusively for babies that have died or are going to die. We're able to cover up a lot of the medical equipment with the gowns so that the parents get to see their baby looking great. Sometimes, the parents keep the gowns as a keepsake; sometimes, the babies are buried in them. I try to let the parents pick out which gown they want on their baby. Sometimes, it's the only parenting they get to do."

I imagine the parents, hearts broken, looking at their tiny sweet child.  In their minds the dreams of ballet classes and football games being swept away all too soon.  If in some small way I could do something to ease a bit of their pain....I simply must do it.
I have gathered supplies through out the past few years.  A pleater sits in my sewing room waiting for the first bit of fabric to be rolled through.  Soft shades of embroidery floss and floche  will be used to do the smocking stitches....which leads us to my new learning experience.

Smocking lessons!   Last week was my first lesson at The Smocking Shop, and it was so much fun!  We learned several stitches Outline, Stem, Cable and The Baby Wave.

Homework was to create a baby bonnet with our newly learned stitches.

There was a bit of unsmocking that went on in the beginning
and I did start out smocking on the wrong side...but with perseverance the stitches began to flow.
The bonnet was special, my first attempts at smocking, so it needed a special stand.  The stand is a candlestick, with a padded foam ball on top.  A bit of a vintage lace tablecloth and ribbon add a nice touch.
I have found other smocking inspiration:
Freda featured a smocked egg on a recent post.
When I left a comment she offered to share some
tips on creating the egg and mailed me on to look at
as I make my own.  Thank you Freda!
Another friend that is also a wealth of needlework inspiration is Deanna.  She recently purchased a smocking pleater and has been having the best time running fabrics through it and applying her beautiful needlework to the pleated fabric.  Thank you Deanna for your encouragement and inspiration.

Keep learning new things, listen to your heart and look for opportunities to help others....your cup will runneth over.

Love to all,

Monday, September 2, 2013

Gifts for Courtney

Wedding Bells rang this summer for a friend.  She asked me to create her garter and one for her to toss.

 A penny (for luck)  from the year of her birth was stitched into a small pocket behind the crystal heart. 

Courtney is a gifted musician and vocalist.  To hear her play the harp or sing is like listening to an angel.  When I saw this fabric at a quilt show,  with images of Brides and sheet music,  I knew it was perfect for Courtney and her special day.
 Brian Haggard's book "Embroidered Memories, provided all the inspiration for the stitching.

 Buttons  add a special touch.

 Adding the date will help Phillip not forget their anniversary!

 If you get a chance, check out the retreat Brian is hosting in early November.
 How wonderful to be able to sit side-by-side with Brian and learn his techniques!
 Courtney had a beautiful wedding and the garter she tossed, was proudly worn on the head of the young man that caught it....Let's just say, "A good time was had by all!"
Love to all,

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