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!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Bullion Roses

I'm finishing up the fine embroidery on the second Elegance Christening Gown. Bullions are not's the mechanics that throws people off switching back and forth between left and right hand. Personally I think they're beautiful and versatile. They give embroidery a two-dimensional look. I prefer to use floche, but other threads work. The right needle is extremely important: use a milliner that's appropriate for the chosen thread. Here I'm using a #9 milliner with one strand of cloche. It's a stitch that I practice first on a doodle cloth, as you can see here against the finished ones of the Over Dress. Bullion Roses can be a little tricky because of placement around a circle.

This rose has two center bullions at 6 wraps each, then 4 more at 11 wraps each curving around the two center ones. I love this ecru Floche against the Swiss scalloped edging and the ecru silk satin ribbon!

The last row is 8 bullions at 12 wraps each done in white floche. The white highlights the ecru billions so nicely. These roses are so elegant, understated and beautiful!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Tortellini with Butternut Squash Sauce

It's getting cold outside. There's a fire in the fireplace and the leaves are falling. I see beautiful yellow, rusts and a few reds outside my kitchen windows and lots more to rake up in the yard!
Makes me think of warm, satisfying pasta dishes. Fall squashes are in the grocery stores and butternut squash is my favorite. It's a perfect paring with tortellini. This recipe mixes the squash with sautéed onions and spices.

Tortellini with Butternut Squash Sauce
1 package (12 ounce) spinach and cheese, or, tri-colored cheese tortellini
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage leaves, chopped
Pinch cayenne
Small pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked, mashed butternut squash
1 teaspoon "Better Than Bullion' chicken flavor mixed in 1 cup water
1 cup cooking water from tortellini pot
1/4 to 1/3 cup good quality grated Parmesan cheese

How you put it all together:

1. Melt butter and oil together in large frying pan. Add chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add garlic, cayenne, sage, pepper and nutmeg to onions and stir. Cook for 2 minutes.
3. While cooking rest of sauce fill large pot with salted water and bring to boil. Cook tortellini according to package directions.
4. Add squash pulp to onions, stir and continue cooking mixture. Add bullion mixed with water to squash mixture; stir. Add reserved pasta water to squash lizture a little at a time until a good consistency is achieved. At this point an immersion blender can be used to make a smooth sauce if preferred. I prefer the 'rustic' look of the sauce without the immersion blender.
5. Add parmesan cheese to sauce; stir to blend. Add drained tortellini to sauce; stir. Cook 1 minute more. Serve immediately with additional grated cheese. Serves 4.

Serve this with a really good salad and a really good glass of wine!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Making Emeries

I have to make 25 emery bags to go into the Purse Reticule kits. They will be this cone shape when put into the Emery Cover.

I make the bags so there isn't a mess in the classroom when I teach as it takes precious time away from important things. The supplies I need are: tightly woven cotton fabric bags, needles, scissors,
a bucket of Authentic Berryhill Heirlooms Emery, small funnel and a measuring device (a tablespoon in this case). And newspaper to cover the work surface. Since this is going to take a little time I've already put a meal in the crock pot to slow cook all day, my "Keeper Beef Stew".

To sew any Emery Bag: put wrong sides together of cut-out fabric, sew around the outer edges with a 1.5mm straight stitch on your machine and leave an opening. Turn right side out and press each one, and follow the rest of the instructions below. You can make them any shape you want.

When I have the supplies ready and my work area set up, I insert the little funnel into the opening of a bag and pour in the amount of emery powder needed, in this case slightly less than one tablespoon.
The needle is ready with a 30 weight cotton thread and knotted at the end. A tiny whip stitch is perfect and fast to close the opening.
This is a finished one.
I'm done with all 25 of these little Emery Bags so it's on to some much anticipated embroidery!