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, July 19, 2018

RSN Whitework Button

I've brought out one of my Royal School of Needlework (RSN) class projects to work on: the Whitework Button "Scabiosa", designed and taught by the preeminent teacher, Jenny Adin-Christie. It would be so lovely to finish and wear it. The class bag was hanging on a door knob in my sewing room for way too long, neglected and ignored. Sigh....
I figured I would work every day on it and try to get one technique or section done each day. A lofty ambition, but sort of doable. The idea was to get myself working on it on a regular basis. Part of most techniques were done in class, but I still have a lot to do.

Here's what I've accomplished so far:  I finished the Beading (that little ring of holes around the center) and the four single eyelets also in the center (some of which you can see in the photo below). Then I stitched on the circle of pearls. In between the pearls and eyelets I laid down two layers of padding, basically a satin stitch in Floche, each in a different direction. Then a layer of French knots, some one wrap and others two wraps, to develop some contouring in the flower center.

Then it was on to starting the Slanted Satin Stitch Petals, two of which were already done in class that you can see above. I had to outline each petal half with split backstitch to create a wall for the next step: padding. You can see the padding completed (but not satin stitched yet) in the photo above.
Tomorrow I will tackle the padding in the five petals that are left, and the next day I will do the satin stitches over the padding. I can't wait to finish this project!!



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fagoting Stitches

I'm preparing to teach a SAGA Stitches Christmas Ornament (Program 4) to my SAGA Chapter, the Colonial Cablers. This one is "Surface Honeycomb Ornament with Faggoting". Yes, I know I've spelled "fagoting" with either one or two t's. Reference books differ on the spelling. Anyway, I finished the class sample, a pretty one with fagoting done in gold metallic thread against green fabric and white smocking. The gold thread is woven in and out of the white diagonal surface honeycomb stitch. You can see it clearly here.

I then realized some members may not have ever seen fagoting done the "normal" way between two pieces of fabric, lace or ribbon. And I had a UFO (unfinished object) that was a class I took years ago for the very same technique. I pulled the kit out and went to work. This class was designed and taught by a good friend, Kathy Awender (with a link to her lovely pincushion kit on the SAGA website).

I worked the pink floche fagoting stitches on graph paper to keep the correct distance between the laces or ribbons as instructed in the kit.
Here's a closeup of the finished bonnet on a stand. Each fagoting stitch row is a different stitch: Basic Fagoting stitch (an open Cretan insertion stitch), Twisted Insertion, Buttonhole Insertion, Knotted Insertion; and Laced Insertion (in white and pink floche at the bonnet back).
And the last photo with my lovely geraniums..picks up the pink in the bonnet.
Now I'll have a good example of "normal" fagoting for the ornament class next week!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Bath Bomb Bag

I learned about bath bombs from my granddaughters. They love them. They arrived with bath bombs in their luggage...wonder what TSA thought about those! Of course, I had some ready for them so they could take long soaks in the jetted tub.

But my younger granddaughter, Vivian, wanted to make a bath bomb bag....say what? 
She had it all drawn out for Grandma to help her sew it up, her "Bath Bomb Holder Plan".

She had drawn the bag with a liner inside with elastic around the top of the liner to hold the bath bomb. Her biggest bath bomb is pictured, a full 10" around. But I had the perfect fabric for the liner: white sparkle organza. The outer bag was made from polished cotton, embroidered on the embroidery machine with a floral design she liked. She picked the rayon thread colors (peaches, blue-green and green) and stitched it out herself.

Here she is pinning the circular edge of the inner bag so she can sew a casing for the elastic. She was very emphatic the inner bag be sewn to the bottom of the cotton bag in a circle. She had to keep the cotton bag out of the way while pinning.
The last step was sewing up the outer bag and putting the pale turquoise ribbon through the casing so she can draw up the bag. She was very pleased with her project!