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, February 18, 2021

Cornflower Scissor Sheath Finished!

I was kind of dreading finishing this scissor sheath because it had a new stitch on it that I don't believe I'd ever used before (at least not as an edging): the Corded Coral Stitch. And the fabric, silk duchess satin, can be very tricky to work with: it shows everything and can ravel quickly. All other pieces were cut out and prepared so I worked on the finishing steps a little each day.

 The Corded Coral Stitch was worked across the top of the embroidered piece (after being stitched to the lining) working from right to left using seven strands of black silk thread as cord, and two black strands for the coral you're balancing keeping the 'cord' taut, and coral threads slightly taut while you make each coral stitch at a small, consistent distance around the top of the piece. Interesting.....but I did it! 

The fun got better putting the prepared front and back together. Using sewing thread and tiny stitches (remembering the corded coral stitch had to cover them) I stitched the pieces together. Okay, done.

Then more fun: the rest of the Coral Stitch around the outside of the scissor case starting at the right side of the case at the front and back join. I hid the thread knot down in the case, a bit of a trick. Same number of threads, but at the other side join I had to add two more strands to the coral stitch threads (to make a total of four), again hiding the knot of these two down in the case. On around the bottom of the case and back up to the beginning, again surreptitiously hiding the knot inside. I was glad to finish this part of the instructions!

I made a short cord (pearl cotton) using my Spinster and attached it carefully to the case top using some of the matching silk thread. Whew! Done!! Here's the final result that I'm pretty pleased with:

Now on to the matching Pin Ball that's the second part of the kit.

Friday, February 12, 2021

My IKEA Drawers

I had a request from a good friend about what I store in the six drawers of my Ikea Alex wide drawer unit on casters. I have to say having this organization (compared to the haphazard storage before renovating my sewing room) has greatly increased my efficiency! It's so easy now to grab or put away notions, floss, scissors, etc., while working on a project. I feel "professional" working at my L-shaped desk with all my necessary tools...well almost all...right at hand. But we stitchers and sewers know you can't possibly put it all in one drawer unit!!

First off, the top of the 6-drawer unit:

Filled with a lovely box in the back that's made from an old measuring yardstick filled with notepads, sachet, glass cleaner and my 'dead needle' storage.  Check out the old phone!! We keep a 'landline' because hurricanes cut out cell phone usage. There's a pile of stuff, the cup pencil holder, coaster, notepad and of course my wonderful Sunbeam light from the Dollar Store, a gift that I use all the time.

Drawer One: 

Arguably the most used drawer of all. The six Dollar Tree 9" white trays hold from right to left (1) 6" rulers of various sorts, point turners, hex wrenches (for IKEA furniture), (2) All manner of markers pencils and pens, (3) Stilettos, awls, seam rippers, small screw driver, (4) needles and needle threaders, (5) sewing gloves, sewing bandages, clips of various types, (5) all manner of pattern weights. The drawer front has lots of clear rulers, my Simflex Sewing Gauge, two piping tools, stapler and box of bobbins.

Drawer Two:

(1) Right 9" tray has different erasers, pencil lead refills, pencil sharpeners, (2) 13" Dollar Tree tray has boxes of pins and sewing machine needles. The pretty black trimmed case is my Machine Needle Case that carries my "working" sewing machine needle cases of all sizes. The strawberry case is my working sewing needle book (one of many.....). I store all of my Pfaff sewing machine manuals here along with the blue box that has machine feet and other Pfaff things. Various clear tapes, labels, two small boxes of bee's wax and smocking row counting devices fill out the rest of the space.

Drawer Three:

I purchased two black velvet lined jewelry trays (available at some craft stores in the bead sections) for scissors. Lots of scissors, and some of them aren't pictured because they're with kits I'm working on. Then there are the beautiful scissor cases and scissor fobs of different types, some gifted to me. On the right are pink scissors in a cute case, again a special gift. In front of that is my DOVO set in black leather, along with a very long pair of hemostat clamps in the back right. The very front has a beautiful white/silver chatalaine (another treasured gift) and two more scissor cases with matching pincushion/needle book.

Drawer Four:

Four long 13" trays. from right to left, (1) various notions for pocket shaping, a Quick Pleater set, and a double tracing wheel. (2) Tape makers in all sizes, and a selection of tapes (Seams Great, Stitch Witchery, Stay get the idea),  (3) Glues, (4) clamp-on magnifier.

Drawer front has homemade clamps, a Dollar Tree clear box filled with snaps, hooks and eyes with Steam a Seam under that. Usually there is a folding light with cord but it's in use in another room. The lovely green basket (another wonderful gift) holds my camera and behind that is a pouch for computer and phone cables when traveling.

Drawer Five:

Well, this is self-explanatory with all the colors of DMC cotton floss in the long trays, stored by color group. In front are two of my Spinsters (for making cord), some new floss I ordered that I haven't tried yet and a bag of the DMC Coloris variegated floss.  Underneath it all is my DMC Color Guide along with print outs of the color names, and other brand conversion charts to DMC colors. Of course, this is only the cotton floss....there are boxes of silk floss, silk ribbon, floche and specialty cords and flosses in my bookcase: you can never have enough threads and colors to work with!

Drawer Six:

Left side has what I call my idea notebooks where I write and draw out designs and projects. Then there's a pile of magazines that have my published articles in them. On the right is an old box filled with various mother of pearl buttons, antique and otherwise.

Could any of this change? Yes, the organization must fit the need as the need evolves. I still have some notions in drawers in the closet and I may change some things around but it all works for me now. I hope you've enjoyed a peak into my drawers!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Seduction 2

 I finished my Altoids tin sewing kit....the design from EGA that seduced me with it's usefulness and embroidery. 

Stitches used were: outline, stem, lazy daisy, bullion, french knot and fly stitch. After finishing the embroidery I sewed on the pearls one by one.

When that was completed the top was cut out along the pattern lines and I ran a gathering thread around the circumference. 

The plastic piece (cut to fit from plastic packaging I had saved) was covered in batting. Then the batting side was laid down against the wrong side of the embroidered top and laced.

I "tricked" out the inside with two elasticized ribbons to hold scissors and needle packets. I added a tiny wool felt needle book (all sewn on by machine) on the inside lid. I used padding on the inside lid and bottom.

Then I hot-glued the top and bottom into the tin. Then the embroidered top was hot-glued in place. Next came a piece of trim with the join covered with a small mother of pearl heart-shaped button. Easy!! 

But the padding caused a little problem: the tin was hard to close and the tin's hinges gave me some problems. So I would suggest if you want to make one for fun, don't add two layers of fiberfill batting like I did in top and bottom, use only one! Or maybe one layer of thin cotton batting. 

All in all, I love my little sewing kit tin. I'm tempted to make more when I empty the Altoid tin that's in my car!!