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!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Retreat Projects

Getting ready for a retreat is fun for me. I dream about how much I'm going to get done on projects I've been wanting to do: projects for me or ones I'm developing for a class. Either way it's stress free sewing and stitching because I plan ahead of time. What planning, you say?

First I decide what projects are on the list. Then I gather each project's pieces together: thread, buttons, any notions I'll use in the construction, etc., and put it all in a big ziplock plastic bag. I cut the project out (if it's a pattern), mark all of the pieces (notches, dots and all) and remove every pin from each pattern piece (except one holding the pieces together) and put it all in that plastic bag. I use patterns I've already altered to my measurements...much faster to sew up! Then that bag goes into a large tote bag with every other project bag.

In goes the extra lighting, pad of paper, pencils, cords, extra feet and power strip for the machine...virtually anything I think I will need to just sit and sew. I take a variety of projects if I get tired of sewing at the machine so I can switch to smocking, embroidery...whatever I feel like doing.

So here's what I got done at the Chesapeake Treasures West River Retreat:
The fantastic Scissor Fob Tassel taught at the retreat by the renowned Barbara Meger, the owner and designer behind Classic Creations.

This beautiful blouse made from Liberty ("Bourton") Tana Lawn to go with a sweater I love. I purchased the fabric at The Sewing Boutique in Vicksburg, MS when I was there teaching.

Most of this blouse made from a gorgeous panel of Italian fabric from Farmhouse Fabrics....I had to finish the front placket, collar and buttons after I got home.
Notice the border design on the fabric: it had to be "fussy cut" to make the most of the gorgeous fabric. And I made use of the reversible damask design on the collar, sleeve cuffs and front placket.
Finished this Wee Care gown and matching bonnet (and started on another set). I used a size 12 pastel variegated pearl cotton for the smocking.
And I worked on an 18" doll bolero jacket to match a dress...but it's not ready to be photographed. I'll save that for another post. Preparing for and sewing at a retreat is all about getting the best use of my time and enjoying all the fun, laughter, food and friends!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sewing Retreats

I just returned from the Chesapeake Treasures (a chapter of the Smocking Arts Guild of America)
Sewing Retreat in Maryland. What a wonderful way to get projects started and finish others. I spent so much time sewing, talking, eating....way too much fun! I loved seeing what everyone else was working on, from beautiful hand stitched projects, to quilts, doll clothes, smocking, wee care much inspiration!

 The weather was overcast, foggy and rainy: the perfect weather for staying inside and sewing!
Barbara Meger, a SAGA National teacher, taught us her wonderful scissor fob tassel, made from #8 pearl cotton, metallic threads and beads. Look at the fabulous results. Thank you, Barbara! I see more scissor fob tassels in my future....

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Out of the Box

It's a good feeling to finish a project from the UFO that had apparently been in the making for...goodness....10 years. It was buried at the bottom, patterns, fabric, some partially completed, and most not done at all. This week I worked and worked and completed the whole thing (or what I thought was the whole thing). It's based on the Blue Work Quilt design from my great grandmother's Blue Work Quilt. But I did this one in color...a lot of color!

Here's the Tea Cozy. The back fabric is beautiful cherry clusters. The binding on the bottom is a deep green with black outlines of fruits.
I used seven different stranded cotton floss colors using two strands each time for the outline and stem stitch. I had a lot of "orts", those left over bits and pieces of thread that get on everything.
The napkins had to be hemmed on the machine. Then I decided to make placemats out of the lovely cherry fabric and bound the edges with the dark green fabric. Those are machine quilted, too. The table topper has smaller cherry motifs in each corner along with the big one in the center. The edges are also bound with the dark green fabric. 
Anyone for tea and cookies?