Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Incredibly Cute Baby Quilts

I love seeing cute ideas and Hatched in Africa's latest newsletter has a wealth of them. from baby quilts to child grow charts and tote bags to haul baby stuff around, I'm sure you will find some great to fantastic, girly sweet to all boy quilts as well. Visit them today to see what they have.

Hatched in Africa has always been very good about giving out freebies, using on Fridays, so be sure to sign up for their newsletter.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Free Fruit Cameos Machine Embroidery Designs

As always, Embroidery Library delights us again with their free machine embroidery designs. This year they will be releasing a new fruit cameo for free every month for the whole year. That will be 12 designs. This month's cherry design comes in 5 sizes. Don't forget even if you don't have a machine that can use all the larger sizes yet, download them while they are free just in case some day you get a machine that can handle the size. Don't forget to sign up for the Embroidery Library newsletter so you know what is on sale and when you can get some freebies.

Don't forget to get this free design during January 2016 (available now) also. It comes in two sizes and is perfect for kitchen towels or aprons.

Happy New Year to all of you! Let's hope we all have plenty of time to be creative and sew this year.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Borders & Motifs

Here is another book review of a great book that I purchased for myself.

Borders & Motifs by Michaela Learner ISBN 9781844489091 Published by Search Press 2014 UK, Printed in China. 96 pages of text with color photographs of completed work and diagrams for color use, plus 32 pages of 84 iron on embroidery transfers. Softcover Book. From the Ready to Stitch Series.

This book has many lovely designs that are classic in that they should be as lovely now as in 20+ years if someone wants to use them. One thing I really did like about this book is that many of the samples were stitched in two ways with different colored threads and different stitches so you can get ideas for how you might want to use the designs themselves. I don't recall ever seeing this in an embroidery book before and I do think I would like to see it more often. The only designs which I'm not sure I personally like, are the ones with fairies in them as they look like a cross between cherubs and fairies. Just a bit strange to me. Please note that in this book there are no fonts to embroider.

One of the designs in this book I have seen the UK magazine Stitch, October/November 2015 Issue 97 page 20 being used as a design on a tote bag. Before purchasing this book, I had already flagged this project as a possibility to do. I could flag just about every design in this book as possibilities to make as well. If only my hands could hold up for the job!

If you like to embroider, are looking for project ideas, or just like to read and look at needlework books, this is a very good embroidery book. Seeing the designs embroidered in two sets of colors and stitches makes it even more likely that you will come up with more ideas of how to use the designs.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Just Listed! Star Dust Christmas Panel Fabric

At your wits end and need some quickie Christmas crafting ideas? I just found this great Christmas panel fabric by VIP fabrics. It has plenty of motifs for use on sweatshirts, totes, aprons, Christmas stockings and anything else you can think up. As usual with these panels the instructions are right there with the fabric. While you can't see it in the photo, the panel has glitter in selected areas of the motif for extra sparkle. You can purchase it here and as always quick shipping with delivery confirmation.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pillow Party Trunk Show Christmas Edition

Embroidery Library has lots more videos and tutorials so you can get some great ideas and learn how to use all your embroidery designs that you have collected. Don't have a machine that does machine embroider? Many times you can substitute applique, hand embroidery, decorative stitches, ribbons, lace, etc to perk up your projects.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Needing Donations of Embroidery Supplies for Congo Women

Since I started our pattern business, Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts, my heart has gone out to third world women that do not have the resources like we do to improve their lives and have respectable ways of earning a living to support their families. We have been donating 10% of our profits towards helping these women. One of the projects that we help support is one in the Congo, by way of Carma Nelson who has served as a Christian and Missionary Alliance missionary there for many years. While she is no longer assigned to Congo, she still helps coordinate this small project. This is a grass roots project that started maybe 6 years ago that I have helped when I can.

There is a lady in the Congo that is knowledgeable in embroidery who teaches the other women, who then can sell what they make to help support themselves. To help her and her students out, I have been sending packages of embroidery supplies; embroidery floss, embroidery fabric, hoops, needles and books and booklets on embroidery over the past few years.

At this point I’m asking for your help as well if this strikes a chord in your heart as well. The teacher needs more 6-strand cotton thread/floss especially in pinks and browns but any color would help. Also I’m sure that embroidery needles for hand embroidery and embroidery fabric would help, even those little embroidery scissors so each woman can have her own pair for when she works at her own home. If you used to do embroidery and gave up on a project and still have the floss, we can use it. Not sure if you should send a tangled bunch of floss. Sure go ahead. David loves untangling when he is resting as do I. So don’t let things like that go to waste, and you can feel good about recycling and helping others directly. Any embroidery supplies you may have but no longer plan to use are welcome. Put them to work in the hands of women that can earn a living by using them. If you live in the North East, PA area and can drop any donations off at my house, I would appreciate it as would Carma and the ladies in the Congo. If you aren’t close by but would like to help, You can mail me the supplies (please email me at gailete@hotmail.com for my address). Or you can make a donation of cash by way of https://paypal.me/GailRodgers to the project and I will buy the supplies with my trusty shopping helper, Steve. I want to send the parcel to Carma by way of her mother on Monday, November 16, 2015. If you don’t have time to get something out by then, no worries. I constantly collect for this project and then send the supplies when Carma lets me know that we should have transport of them to the Congo. Their mail service can’t be used as it isn’t trustworthy.

This is not an official charity, so I can’t send out receipts for tax purposes. I have found that I like donating to a project where I know every penny or thread strand will get to where it can be used and this is the case here. 100% of all donations will be sent as supplies to the Congo.

Thank you so much for your support for this worthwhile project.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Gingham Aprons of the '40s & '50s by Judy Florence

This is a copy of a review that I also posted to Amazon. I received this book as a birthday present from my incredibly long Amazon wish list and was very happy to get it.

I enjoyed reading the book very much and loved seeing the many close up photo details although I am stumped in why these aprons look so pristine! I am an apron wearer and I make my own aprons and most of them with use would never make it to a collection of 'Aprons of the 1980's to 2020's'. They are pretty mucked up within a five to ten year span, but then that is the whole point of an apron isn't it? I can see that some of the apron would have been set aside for good, or like my Christmas apron only for certain special occasions.

Most of the aprons in the book were homemade using machines, while some were completely sewn by hand. The worse looking aprons were made in factories and it certainly shows the difference between tender loving care when sewing and seeing just how many you can whip up in a day when being paid via piecework.

While it was nice to see some approximate values on the aprons, you have to remember that the book was published in 2003 and with the plethora of on line selling venues available since that point, those values are most likely highly inaccurate at this point. My favorite thing was seeing how the makers worked all sorts of rick rack into the aprons as well as embroidery and 'Chicken Scratch' embroidery. I have all sorts of vintage rick rack that I have acquired at my local thrift store and it was good to see the different and attractive ways I can use it. It is obvious though, that the ladies of long ago who made these aprons had no access to Pinterest and its many ideas and links to websites that showed some magnificent ways of doing Chicken Scratch embroidery! If they had they would have really gone to town with Chicken Scratch! It seems that the more ideas spread on Pinterest the more people are trying to out do each other.

All together a very interesting book to those that love aprons, embroidery, rick rack, vintage sewing and/or vintage garments. It is about research and study and has no instructions for making any of the aprons although it does reference a few vintage apron patterns as well as embroidery transfer patterns. The author does have a legible photo of a vintage apron pattern instructions in the book and you should be able to follow them if you like since there are no tissue patterns involved and it even includes two different charts for doing counted cross stitch to embellish the apron. For more apron patterns, you should be able to find both current and vintage as well as vintage pattern reprints on sewing pattern selling sites including mine at Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts. Since reading this book, I have put the author's other book; Aprons of the Mid-20th Century: To Serve and Protect (A Schiffer Book for Designers and Collectors)on my Wish List.