Life is indeed a stitch!
Berryhill Heirlooms and Susie Gay present techniques, heirloom sewing, hand embroidery and other musings. 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!

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Baby Slips

I'm working on another article for Classic Sewing Magazine, a cute baby dress with fine embroidery, lace insertions, entredeux and gathered lace. The lace insertion is stitched down the dress front thereby showing what is underneath the dress because its', well, LACE: open, airy, beautiful and very special. My hand shadow's through the laces.

 Now some folks may think it's crazy to put a slip on a baby. Why bother?? Well, let me give you some reasons.....

The slip fills in the area behind the lace. I've matched the slip color (white) to the lace and the center embroidered motif of the pink gingham dress. This is the dress with slip underneath it.

The slip fills out the dress, not like the old crinolines (heaven forbid!) but it does make the dress look prettier and shows the design(s) better. These dresses are the same pattern as the pink gingham one.

The slip covers up those patterned diapers! There's nothing more distracting to whomever is adoring the baby than to see those awful designs shadowing through the beautiful baby dress. In the photo below you can see the back placket showing through. Just imagine a patterned diaper: very distracting.

What type of slip is the best for each particular dress?  One that's made from the same pattern as the dress. It's easy to do: just eliminate the dress sleeves and use the same skirt and bodice patterns for the slip. Cut the seam allowance off around the armholes and neckline. Cut off enough of the skirt bottom to make sure it doesn't show beyond the finished dress skirt bottom. If lace, etc, is going to be added to the slip bottom, cut off a little more from the slip skirt pattern. Construct the slip in the same order as the dress. Use a hand shell stitch to finish the neckline and armholes.

     And there you have it: 
the perfect little slip for your perfect little baby dress.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Delectable Mountain Finish Line

 The Delectable Mountain Variation quilt top is finished: Yeah!

I pressed it thoroughly and bundled it up along with the backing (cut about 6" wider all around) and cotton batting and took it to the Long-armer Lori. We talked about designs and chose a slightly variegated off-white thread and I left 'my baby' with her. In a couple of weeks she called to say it was done. Oh My Gosh!!! She did an amazing job on the quilting: very detailed into every little piece of those Delectable Mountains and everywhere else in-between!!! I am so pleased and happy with the results. I darkened the photo to make it easier to see the stitching on the white fabric.

But now it's time to stitch the binding on. I chose a paisley fabric from my stash that is one of the blocks with a tan background that goes with the tan corner points of the Mountains. While waiting for the quilting to be done I prepared the on-grain binding: 2.5" strips sewn together, folded in half and pressed, then wound onto a blue plastic 'card' to stay neat. Sewing the binding to the pieced side was easy on my oldest Featherweight. 

A closeup of the quilting and binding being sewn on....

Then comes the 'hard part' but fun part since I know the quilt will be finished soon. The binding was pressed away from the quilt front, then folded over and pinned to the quilt back. Each corner was mitered as I stitched. 

My goal was to slip stitch one side a day thereby completely finishing the quilt in four days, but I managed to complete it in three days!

The completed Delectable Mountain Variation Quilt (my 5th full size quilt since Covid began)! I love the colors. Each fabric is a memory. Some were fabrics I used to make smocked Bishop dresses for my now-grown daughter. Others are from my Purse Reticule Class that I taught nationwide. Others are from Sewing Machine Mats (another one of my classes I taught) that I sewed as raffle baskets for Sewing at the Beach and Smocking Arts Guild National Conventions. So much fun to stitch after I figured out the written instructions's glitch, and I used up some of my stash: a win-win!

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Delectable Mountain Borders

It's a nice feeling to get all those 72 blocks sewn together. I'm pleased with the layout of the different colors. the work really gets going!  I have to make 178 of those darned small blocks...the two inch ones made out of two triangles. That's a lot of stitching and squaring them up. Forty on top and bottom, and 49 on each side. And that's after sewing on two-inch strips first.  

Luckily when cutting out the pieces for the notorious 8" blocks, the instructions had me cutting out extra small colored triangles. And there were more white ones ready, too. That makes the job easier. Here's a photo of the extra pieces...looks like another quilt could be in the works....

Flagging the little triangles into the blocks was the faster, easier way to stitch them up. In other words, stitching a long line of the blocks together and then cutting them apart: saves time and thread!
My 1935 Featherweight was handy for this, and for stitching the quilt top!

Here's one group stitched but not cut apart yet. Each little square has to be pressed open. 

Then I can arrange them into a border row, making sure the different colors are distributed nicely, before stitching them all together.

Next step will be to cut the 6" wide white borders and sew them on and the Delectable Mountain Variation quilt top is completed!!!