Life is indeed a stitch!
Berryhill Heirlooms and Susie Gay present techniques, heirloom sewing, hand embroidery and other musings that you will enjoy and appreciate. Come and join in the fun with Susie, a Home Economist, and savor a little rest from your hectic day...and yes, it's a Degree she uses every day!

Friday, April 21, 2017

An Opportunity to Excel

I always look at mistakes, problems, supply frustrations or design challenges as "opportunities to excel".  Seems to make me feel better if I've made a blooper or can't figure my way out of a paper bag. It's particularly unnerving when I'm asked to teach a class, go to order the supplies and find something isn't available anymore.....
at any cost.....
never to be made again.

It happens more and more nowadays and forces me to either re-design something, or select different colors and make another sample. Such is the case with my Beaded Strawberry Scissor Case Class. Originally it was made with absolutely gorgeous pink and white 1/8" silk dupioni gingham. Just the right amount of pink to go with the Beaded Strawberry. But, alas, the darned pink gingham cannot be found anymore. It's not being made. And of course, I was asked to teach it as a class. I had a small amount of the pink gingham to make some of the kits but not all of them. No problem... just another opportunity to excel.

So the search commenced for another color of silk gingham. I found a beautiful green gingham from Silk Baron that fit the bill both in gingham size and color. Next I had to match cotton floss colors and found two DMC colors (#471 and #905) worked beautifully for the embroidery, cord and keyhole tassel.
I used a slightly yellow clear rainbow #11 glass bead for the tassel, too. Here's a photo of the result compared to the Original.
Pretty good opportunity to excel if I do say so myself. I think the ladies in the class will be pleased with their kit choices!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spring Reflections

It's that time of year: beautiful flowers, green grass, lovely butterflies and BIG bumble bees. Time to smell the flowers and admire their beauty, and watch the insects do their job floating from one flower to the next.
I like to take the time to also float from one book to the next: needlework books of all kinds. I ponder new projects, changes to old ones and improve my knowledge of needlework techniques and history. I recently won two silk ribbon books as a raffle prize at the SAGA Boston Stitch Party Retreat (thank you, Ingrid!!). And how wonderful, two that I didn't have in my collection. The Art of Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Judith Baker Montano, a preeminent silk ribbon artist and teacher.
It has a wonderful section on the background and history of silk ribbon work. Of course projects, stitch combinations, beautiful photographs and ideas abound. Good reading, lots of inspiration.

Satin and Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Lesley Turpin-Delport is another unusual ribbon book because the author uses satin ribbons for larger scale embroideries (as seen on the cover of the book). Perfect way to photograph the lovely peach roses on the book cover next to my big tulips!
There are shoes with satin roses (great for a bride), pillows with big roses on stems, but there are many projects with silk ribbon, too. Even an embroidered trinket box! There are instructions for working with satin ribbon to make the larger flowers and roses, along with stitch glossaries for "crewel" (what I call basic embroidery), and silk ribbon work. All in all, a very good read and an interesting resource to have on hand. A quick internet search reveals that both books are still available for sale.

So, on with my perusal of my books, antique ladies magazines and personal idea notebook...with beautiful Spring flowers to accompany my journey!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Easter Nightgowns Finished!

I absolutely love it when I get a project done! Especially if it's just in time for Easter. I was smocking on this pink nightgown while traveling to and fro from the SAGA Boston Stitch Party Retreat just a few days ago. I smocked in the airports and on the planes, at night in the hotel rooms....just to get them done in time to ship to the grandchildren.
This pretty pink nightgown is for our oldest granddaughter. The back is also smocked in a different, faster-to-smock design in the same colors (just like the yellow ones). She can wear either design as the front...whichever she chooses. The fabric is Imperial Batiste ( a cotton/poly blend) with a cotton/poly lace. Of course, there's a matching gown for her 18" doll with designs that mimic her gown, but in smaller scale. Both gowns are my patterns.
So the yellow nightgowns I wrote about earlier are for our younger granddaughter. These pink ones are the favorite color of our older one.
Now it's off to the Post Office to mail the gowns and some Easter candy to the grandchildren......and on to the next project!