Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Sewing and Stitchery Expo...Part 1

         Puyallup, 2013,
         Here I Come!!!

     The Sewing and Stitchery Expo starts Thursday, Feb.27th. If you ever have the chance to attend, DO IT!  It is a sewer's dream!

     I drive to Washington and you never can tell what the weather is going to be like, and if it going to snow.  It is about a 16 hour drive (one long day if I leave early), and since I never know if the weather will slow me down.
      My suburban is stuffed like a sardine can, down to the passenger seat!

     I have a bagful of books on CD from the library, and I am ready to go.

     16 hours and 2 books later, I arrive at the hotel.  No snow, no rain, and the weather is actually 'warm' for here, for this time of year (50's).

     Now it is unloading time.  I checked in to my empty booth - an empty canvas.

     First come the shelves...............
     Then bags and suitcases............

Mix with 4 hours and tah dah!

     Treadleart is the booth to my right...........
     Islander Sewing Systems is the booth to my left.
And here it is!  I am back to my hotel, and I just had a bowl of chicken noodle soup (drizzly outside - perfect night for soup).  I am going to finish folding and putting together my 'Fat' fat quarters of gingham (18"x30" instead of 18"x22"), which will also be in my next newsletter, which I am also working on.  I will be going to pick up Tawn Hunka and Susanne Brisach from the airport in a bit - they are staying with me and will help me in my booth while I am teaching.  Hopefully, they will be taking some classes and I can be a student vicariously through them!
     I will be posting again - I am going to try to go around and take pictures of some of the booths.  You can not make it through the whole thing in a day - if you really look, it is hard to do it in 2, and that is wothout taking any of the classes that are going on throughout the day.  Sewing (adult, children, home dec), quilting, patterns, fabric (Vogue Fabrics from Chicago is here, as well as a couple of booths that have great woolens, and Pendleton, of course), trims, dolls, all the major sewing machine companies, sewing notions, Nancy Zieman, Sandra Betzina............and the list goes on!  It is a great place to get your creative juices going!
I have to get back to work..............
Happy Stitching,


Monday, February 18, 2013

Stitching Serenity 13 in Santa Barbara, CA!

Santa Barbara, here we come!

     'Berry Good Smockers (my group) has announced its program for Stitching Serenity 13, in Santa Barbara, CA, June 28-30, 2013, with an option to stay over an extra day, July 1!

     Yours truly will be the teacher this year!  We will be doing the Roses are Red Embroidered Tote for the first class.

     It has bullions embroidered on the pockets, a really neat leather handle, and is made to fit the Handy Caddy, so you can pop it in the tote and away you go!
     The second class we will be doing is Embroidery of Madeira.  I will be showing pictures taken on the 2 trips I have made to the island, and then we will learn the different techniques that makes embroidery Madeira Embroidery! 
 This is a notebook class, so you will have a nice reference for the different techniques when you leave!
If you want more information, you can email me at
and I will email you a flier!  Hope to see you there!
Happy Stitching,

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Monday - Wash Day!

A Recipe for you...........

     I know this has been in my newsletter before, but I am posting this to pinterest, and the easiest way for me to get it there is from my blog!  This recipe was shared by Nancy Balance at convention a few years ago and makes a wonderful laundry detergent.  It uses Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda!, Borax All Natural Laundry Booster, and Fels-Naptha soap.

The proportions are
1 Bar of Fels-Naptha
1/2 cup Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax

I usually make a bunch at a time (6 or 8 bars worth), so I only have to do this twice a year. (Remember that I am almost an empty nester, so not as many clothes to wash!).

You want to get the moisture out of the Fels Naptha, so I unwrap the bars, slice the bars into thirds and then microwave it, 30 seconds at a time, for 3 or 4 minutes.  I let them rest a bit between each 30 second blast.  The soap will kind of start to puff up. 

***It has a strong smell - I actually have an old microwave that someone was getting rid of that I use for this, but if you have a built in, just keep the vent on.***

Once that is done, take it outside (I put mine in the garage, and let it sit until it is cooled off.  Then I run it through a food processor to make fine crumbs. 

Once that is finished, I add the Super Washing Soda and the Borax and I keep mine either in a ziploc bag or an old plastic container with a lid.

Use 2 Tablespoons per load.  If you have a high Efficiency washer, only use 1 teaspoon per load.  You do NOT have to use a fabric softener with this detergent!

    For this load, I used 8 bars of F-N (.97*8=$7.76), 4 cups of Super Washing Soda (about 1/3 of a box at $3.28=$1.10) and 4 cups of Borax (again, about 1/3 of a box at $3.38=$1.13) for a total of $9.90.  Since I only use 2 Tablespoons per load and no fabric softener, this is an economical solution, although that does not factor in my time.  I do like the way it cleans, and I like not having to put the fabric softener in.

Try it and you may just find yourself hooked!

Happy Stitching,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

            Happy Valentine's Day
                     to you all!

     I hope you all are enjoying Valentine's Day today!  I had a lovely pre-Valentine's Day present yesterday - a visit with Beverley Sheldrick!  She emailed me several weeks ago and let me know that she was going to have a long layover at LAX on the 13th, and if I wasn't busy...........!  I told her she couldn't see me, but that I was doing the happy dance on my end!  It has been a few years since I have seen her (she taught for our Santa Barbara Stitching Serenity the last time she was here in the States), so of course I was happy as a clam that I was going to get to see her. 
     She had been in Huntsville, teaching at the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion.  The school was over Sunday, so she went to Atlanta for a couple of days with her friend, Toni, and then started her trip home yesterday.  I picked her up from the airport and then we went to Chalet Edelweiss for lunch.  We met up with Catherine Ljungquist, who was down here from the Bay area, along with Joanne Paine and Vicki Young, who are from the Sandcastle SAGA chapter.  We were just like a bunch of schoolgirls, chatting and enjoying our lunches!
     Once we parted company with them, we went to Starbucks for a latte and then next few hours seemed to fly by.  Isn't it wonderful how you can not see dear friends for months or years, but when you do see them, you can pick up right where you left off, just like it has only been a few days since you last saw them?  That is one of the things that I so enjoy about all of my stitching friends.  So many of you I see once a year - at SAGA convention, in Arlington at the Martha's market, at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo, etc. - and when I do see you, it is as if our last conversaion was last week!
     I took Beverley to the airport for her evening flight.  She was there in plenty of time to get settled.  Once the plane took off, she was going to eat her dinner and then go to sleep.  Her flight was 13 1/2 hours - she is a trooper!  I am so thankful that I got to see her.  She is as lovely and gracious as always - I told her I want to be her when I grow up!  She is home today - what a nice Valentine's Day for her - home again!

     I thought that I'd share this picture with you.  I pulled out my red pinstripe teaset (I usually have my pink set out) and used my heart shaped mini cake pans to make heart shaped brownies.  A Valentine's Day treat for my favorite little kids.  I can wait to be a Grandma, but when the time comes, boy am I going to have fun!

     I also just got this picture from one of my friends - I made this outfit for her granddaughter and it is perfect for Valentine's Day!

  I am off to run errands and I have an ASG meeting tonight.  I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Happy Stitching,

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Doll Show finds...........

        Irene's Treasures!

    I just got back from our Snata Barbara Sewing retreat - much needed, and much appreciated!  There were 8 of us (including 3 from the Bay Area) that stitched and sewed and gabbed, and of course, watched the Super Bowl at one point or another!
     Iren Thomas brought some treasures that she found at a doll show that she had gone to and graciously allowed me to take pictures to share!
      First up is a beautiful bonnet - lace on the bottom and a turn back brim.  the bonnet has some gorgeous featherstitch!

     This a closer view of the featherstitch. Irene says when she goes to the doll shows, she takes her time and hunts through the boxes on the booths, as you never know what you are going to find. 

          A better view of the bullion flowers.  I believe this bonnet was a bargain at just a couple of dollars.  Sometimes patience and perseverence pays off!

     More featherstitch on the crown of the bonnet!

     This is a cute little trim - tiny rikrak is rolled and whipped to the edge of a strip of fabric (looked like a batiste to me).  She found a card of about 2-3 yards of this.

     This baby gown has embroidery aroung the bottom of the skirt - looks like it machine made, but from the turn of the century.  Not al lot going on at the neckline, but the bottom of the skirt is gorgeous!

     Little embroidered flowers dot the skirt.

     Close up of the embroidery motif - granitos, eyelets, padded satin stitch.

     Last but not least, a little dress - looks like about a size 12 - 18 months.  It has smocking across the front, and the collar has a piexe of ruffle that is rolled and whipped to the edge of the collar.  Very interesteing technique!

     Hope you are enjoying some stitching time!  For those of you in the Northeast, stay warm and dry!  Annie has been sending pictures - she and her friend went out and made snow angels yesterday.  The webcam at March square is on the top of her building, so we are watching!

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Christmas in........January???

     It's not what your are thinking!

     As  I was winding up my decorations, and winding down from the Christmas holidays, an innocent little email appeared in my box.......introducing 2013 Christmas fabrics!  This, as I am shaking my head at all of the Valentine's decorations and candy that were on the shelf at the store, as I was picking though the Christmas clearance!

     Not that I am promoting the early arrival of Christmas - remember that if you are sewing Chritmas-themed things, you start planning in summer, even if you don't get around to sewing them until much later! 
     The big textile trade shows are right around the corner, where most of the shops will be placing their orders.  The LA Textile show is in a couple of weeks, at the end of February!

     I like the LA Textile Show - it is nice and convenient, almost in my own back yard!  It is only an hour away, with no traffic, and I get to see some of my vendors that I usually only talk on the phone with.  Unfortunately I will be in Puyallup at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo during the Textile Show this year, so I will miss the spring show.  Hopefully, I will be here in the fall!

     The Textile Show in Las Vegas is in March and I am hoping to make that one - not quite in my back yard, more like a hop, skip, and a jump!

     The new fabrics that are being shown now are for delivery in June-ish timeframe, plenty of time to see, think, and sew!  This line of fabrics is from Studio E.  One of the thinks that I really like about this line is the particular shade of red that they use.

     The reds are not too bright or too dark, but they are Just Right!  Along the lines of a 321 Red from DMC.  Many of the patterns come in white or red or black background and there is even a snow pattern, for a winter (instead of Christmas) look.

     Just thought I would give you a sneak at the fabrics to come!  I will post more of them as I see them!

I just got back from a stitching weekend in Santa Barbara - lovely as always!  Irene Thomas brought her doll show finds - I took some pictures and will post them later this week!

Happy Stitching!