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!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Finished UFO!

It's that time of the year, the winter months, to work on those Unfinished Objects. I worked on this wonderful shawl again while at Stitchin at the Beach 2020 in early January. It's a class I took from the EGA (Embroiderer's Guild of America) entitled "Flowers for a Fall Evening" by Kris Andrews that I've written about before. After getting back home I decided it was time to finish and get one more project out of that UFO box! Here are the final steps in this lovely, crewelwork shawl.

The last leaf which sits at the center back of the project in Appleton wools is worked in 402, 403 and 404. Long and short stitch is becoming easier for me to do, especially in wool.
The vein, in 407, covers up the void and completes the shading.

Chenille thread adds highlights and it's by The Thread Gatherer "Silken Chenille", SC060 Burnished Gold. It's variegated. (Check out their website for some gorgeous threads!) You have to work with short (12") lengths because it's fragile, using a chenille needle.
Here is the finished leaf Don't you think it's beautiful?
After pressing both the silk lining and the completed shawl it's time to pin the two right sides together. It's so long that I had to do it on the dining room table to support the fabric so it wouldn't stretch or distort. And I almost used every pin in the cup pincushion!
Next it was time to let it hang over the banister for a few days to rest.
After pressing the opening on the end to turn it through, I pinned and hand stitched it closed with a Ladder Stitch. You can't even see where it that stitch!
The last step was to topstitch all around the edge so that the lining doesn't peak out. Not an easy job because the two fabrics slide against each other. So I pressed and steamed it again around the edges with a press cloth. Starting at one end, I pinned in sequence from one end up to the other...lots of pins! 
The easiest way to get a consistent, even top stitch was to use my Narrow Edge Stitch Foot: the fabric rides against the black blade (it doesn't cut) and moving the machine needle over to the left the correct distance. It was much easier to stitch and it came out perfect!

So this UFO is completed.....
except I want to add a small hand-beaded black fringe on the short ends.  
That's for another day and blog post!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Christmas Needlework Memories

It's that time of year to get all the decorations out especially when the whole family is coming to our house for the holidays. As I brought them out I realized I have many Christmas pieces I've made through the years. It's a "History", so to speak, of Christmas needlework decorations.

The 1970's (or earlier):  Kits!! I had a crazy idea if I did one kit a year I could "build" our inventory. Now, we're talking felt appliqué and sequins...after all, it was the 70's!

Christmas card holder, wall hangings and the children's Christmas stockings....I was busy!

1980's:  Lots of counted cross stitch pictures and one pillow in gorgeous, warm colors and a little bit of gold sparkle.  Come gotta have sparkle for he holidays!

 I guess I was on a counted cross stitch roll for awhile.

1990's: I worked on two Christmas projects, both my own designs, both Crazy Patch, with all sorts of beads, silk ribbon embroidery and regular embroidery, while my husband was deployed in Bosnia and I was in living and working in Heidelberg.
 My Christmas Tree Skirt actually won an award in 1999 in Sew Beautiful magazine.
The table runner is based on the quilting Dresden Plate designs.
Last but not least, is a little counted cross stitch design using beautiful woven linen Zweigart band to lay out along a shelf. Again, stitched while in Germany waiting for my husband to come home from his deployment.
So many memories through the years. I hope you all have wonderful memories from your needlework adventures and creations. Merry Christmas and I wish you a safe and properous New Year!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Kitting for Classes

Oh my goodness, just when I think I can get ready for all the family to descend on us for the holidays I have to make kits. Kits for Stitchin' at the Beach 2020 in Myrtle Beach in early January. Lots of kits, lots of ordering supplies to include replacement printer cartridges to print out more patterns and instructions. It's always a "nut roll" but fun to do. I just have to get it all done so I can clean up the dining room - my assembly workroom - to get ready for Christmas. Here's a view of the Summertime Baby Dress class kits in pink and blue (the blue pictured below).

The line up on the table....21 kits in all with silk ribbons, entredeux, laces, Swiss insertions...lots of goodies to sew!  And don't forget the luscious Swiss batiste!

And there's always paperwork involved.

Counting Mother of Pearl buttons...

And boxes on the floor corralling the kits and extra supplies to take to class...

It's going to be a fun week in January teaching and selling embroidery and sewing supplies!