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!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Introducing...The Elegance Christening Ensemble!

It's done! I'm so happy to get this finished. But first I have to tell you about the inspiration for this ensemble.

Last year at Sewing at the Beach an antique gown was raffled off as a fundraiser. It had scalloped, embroidered edging matched together down the dress front to the hem. When the gown was displayed the proverbial light bulb went off in my head about the matched edging, but I knew I wouldn't use it all the way down the front. So during 7 hour drive home I was figuring this design out in my head. Working the construction details....the gentle curve of the ruffle in front. The ribbon showing between the scallops. I couldn't wait to get home and start drawing out variations of sleeves, many details, so little time!

I also wanted to use some of the new techniques I learned while taking those Whitework courses from the Royal School of Needlework: the little eyelets and the Shadowwork on the Under Dress! The embroidered beading with the ribbon covers up the ruffled seam so delicately. Even the gathered sleeves have the beading and ribbon.

The neckline of the Under Dress has a touch of embroidery!
I love this's perfect for a Christening or Dedication.
I will offer the Elegance Christening Ensemble in pink and white (shown), in all white, and in ivory and white, as a kit and as a class/workshop. It's not posted on my website just yet. There are a few more details to work out but I just couldn't wait to share this with you!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Zucchini Pie

I like to make pies. They're so good, especially fruit ones. But savory pies are wonderful for a meal (and good for breakfast. too!). Here's a recipe for Zucchini Pie....really tasty and a good way to use up those zucchini from the garden. The recipe make 8 good-sized servings.

Here are the ingredients:
1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium), sliced thin
1 onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 14.5 ounce can organic fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 4.5 ounce can mushrooms, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
4 large eggs
1/2 cup grated good quality Parmesan cheese (not pictured)
1 cup diced, cooked ham
Double crust for 9- 9 1/2" pie

This pie is easy to make and oh-so-good! Place onions and butter into a large pot or frying pan and saute until onions
are just turning golden. Add the zucchini and stir. Add the diced tomatoes, mushrooms, ham, oregano, pepper, salt; stir. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if it starts to looks dry.

While the zucchini mixture is simmering, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make your pie crust, or prepare a refrigerated one to fit a 9 1/2" (ideally) pie pan, or use a 9" one. Line the pan with the bottom crust and set aside. Crack eggs into a small bowl and wisk; remove 1 tablespoon of scrambled eggs, put into small cup and set aside. Now add grated cheese to remaining eggs and stir.

When the zucchini mixture is cooked, pour into pie shell. Pour the egg mixture over the top and
spread around. Place top crust over, crimp edges 
together. Brush top crust with remaining 1 tablespoon of beaten egg and cut 4 slits in top for steam to escape. Place pie into preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. You may have to cover the crimped edges with foil for the last 10 minutes to keep them from browning too much. Remove pie from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

Here's a piece of the pie, ready to eat.
We enjoyed it last night with a mixed greens, Feta, dried cranberry and walnut salad and a tangy homemade honey mustard dressing. Half the pie was gone in a matter of minutes......

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Bonnet Relations

I've been writing about relating elements while designing and stitching my Elegance Christening Ensemble. The dictionary says an "ensemble" is a group of items viewed as a whole, a set of clothes chosen to harmonize when worn together. The bonnet has to harmonize with this christening gown....who doesn't love a beautiful bonnet on a baby, especially at a christening or dedication?

Anytime I make up a baby "ensemble" I include a bonnet. The bonnet design has to relate to the gown: the matched and embroidered Swiss edging is perfect because that's a 'front and center' motif.

The pattern is from one of my own (the Basic Yoke Baby Ensemble) but I won't use the the brim. Instead entredeux and gathered lace will go around the sides and front. The Swiss edging motif will go across the bonnet from ear to ear. The little circle in the back....hmm.....maybe a little embroidery?

The bonnet back circle needs some embroidery so the circle of eyelet flowers, vine and leaves is perfect for the circle center.  Some featherstitch will work with bullion rosebuds, too, since they're on the Under Dress. See how it looks before it's sewn into the bonnet?
The bonnet lining will be the same gorgeous pink batiste of the Under Dress. And of course, beautiful pink silk ribbons for the ties....I think it will look perfect with the gown.
Here's the bonnet back of the completed bonnet. It looks pretty over the pink lining.
And the finished bonnet on one of my bonnet stands with a view of one of our gardens with a pink hydrangea in the background. This will look so elegant on a little baby girl!