Saturday, July 23, 2016

Smooth Sailing

Applique work is proving quite pleasant.

It seemed barely a blink of an eye before I was done with my first piece and working 
to remove the basting stitches.

Piece #2 I decided to try out with a slight contrast.
A bit of fussy cutting within the vertical  band....

...did just the trick!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Uncharted Waters

The best thing so far about this new sewing adventure I'm on is that it gave me the perfect excuse to finally treat myself to some of these needles. They come highly recommended but honestly I think it was the cute little box that so attracted me to them.

And look what I found even cuter little storage tube.

Putting them to use for the first time was pure bliss!
I do believe with their assistance, applique work and I will become very good friends!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

This, That, and the Other



and the other!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ready, Set, Go!

The very first stitches....

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

First Things First

Back to the drawing board for a little planning!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Clearing the Deck

 Orders and prep work for September's doll show have pretty much
filled the summer agenda so far.

Most of it the same old same old, not that that's a bad thing.
I actually thrive on doing the same thing many times over. It's both relaxing and comforting. 
And, believe it or not, it's when most of my new ideas come to be.

Case in point....

I received an order for some of my little wooden houses.

Not quite the "same old" however as this batch was getting a gabled addition.

Along with a coat of green paint.
Yep, a Green Gables edition!

A handful of doll pincushions were also in production.

They worked up fairly quickly but gave enough quiet thinking time for my brain 
to wander back through my love of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Prince Edward Island, 
and finally the romance of coastal living.

By the time theses little goodies were ready to pack up 
and ship out on adventures of their own...

...I had assembled my summer reading collection, the contents of which I might add share not only a common coastal theme but each and every one has been previously read. 
I told you I enjoy repetition!

And all the while through I had been floating these bits and pieces on the back burner.

Stitch by stitch they came together into a scaled up version of Lily Red's cozy quilt.

It might have been ninety degrees out but I was determined 
to complete the bedding ensemble
with a soft wool blanket.

A little crochet edging extended my quiet time even more, 
until eventually....

...I had one, two the same!

But I had something else as well.

An idea had taken root.
At first I thought it would peter out, nothing more than a passing whim.
Yet over time the technical details began to fall in place.
The fabrics I fantisized about magically crossed my path.
And the perfect occasion for its creation arose.

Will it work?
Maybe not.
I'll never know if I don't try though.
Let's see what happens...

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Spark of Inspiration - Item # 4

I love everything about this book.

The story is delightful.
The illustrations are peaceful.
And it's messages....
the joy found in crafting, 
the importance of friendship, 
and the power of a smile....
the messages are magnificent!

It continually amazes me that a book so small in size can be so big in inspiration.

I first wrote about M. B. Goffstein's  Goldie the Dollmaker several years ago 
when I hosted it as book of the month for January. Of all the books I featured that year
this one definitely sparks the most joy for me when I hold it in my hands.

Goldie herself has become a friend of sorts.
I think about her when I craft my own little dolls.
During the construction,

the painting,

and especially when I gather a batch of completed lovies 
 together on the worktable.

I remember her with each Pick-a-Lily I make up...

...and with every petite Pinelope.

She even lent me a helping hand in my most recent project.
It's auction time at the preschool again and I wanted to donate something 
that had as much love put into it as I receive when I walk 
through those doors every day.

Another dear friend 
(from real life, not the pages of a book mind you)
clued me in on a delightful Moda panel by Stacy Iest Hsu.

It featured Little Red Riding Hood, an admiring wolf, and the sweetest 
color combinations you could ever hope to work with.

The makings for a mini quilt and pillow were also included 
to which I added a few extras of my own.

I made a few adaptations,

bestowed a few embellishments,

and in general mixed things up a bit.

Dressing Lil' Red was the most fun of all!
Two shiny buttons and a pom pom collar,

a cozy wood walking cape, 

and a tiny pair of red mary janes of which I myself am most envious.

Her quilt was reassembled as was....

a companion comforter for Mr. Wolf.

All could have been said and done except for the fact that I had some leftover 
scraps and a snippet of an idea I wanted to try out.

What if I made a teeny tiny Lil' Red?

She could have a flouncy skirt...

....and a pincushion of her very own.

Of course a cape would be required,

as would some bitty blossoms that Lil' Red could pick for grandma.
I'm pretty sure Goldie would approve...mostly because I had so much fun in the process!

The love of and attention to each action...
be it a cut of wood, a paint stroke, or a tiny stitch...
always brings peace of mind.

Sharing creations with others however...
that is pure joy!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Dolly's Bed and Lily Red - Spark Joy Items #2 and #3

 Once upon a time I imagined myself stitching up an army of aprons, 
fashioning more than a few frocks, 
and queuing up quite a number of quilts. 

I purchased a Featherweight 221 for sewing fine seams and soon after began  
collecting threads and fabrics in every color of the rainbow.

Rotary cutters.

and check!

 Unfortunately, while I could envisioned the piecing process,

...the completed projects,

...and even the way they would fit into my daily life, 
the actual practice of producing these creations was a struggle.

It wasn't the Featherweight, it ran like a dream.
Patterns and instruction books were readily available and my technical 
skills were able to perform the directions I found in them. I had every supply needed and 
an ever growing stash of fabric. Something, however, was definitely missing.

And then.....

...she arrived.
I named her Lily Red.

Measuring in at a mere four inches I would have never guessed what an enormous influence 
she would have on my creative aspirations.  

Suddenly the projects were practically creating themselves.
Aprons, frocks, and quilts were being produced, only on a much, much
smaller scale than I first imagined.

As I concentrated on outfitting Lily Red's world I soon discovered
a passion for hand sewing, a love of all things tiny, and a desire to be more
playful in the creative endeavours I took on.

I wanted to have fun.
And so I do!

 Except, unfortunately, when remnants of supplies from 
those long ago ambitions cross my path.
What a killjoy that is!

A stack of quilts by my hand will probably never reside in our linen closet 
so why do I still have yard after yard of fabric stashed away for the backings of them?
 A couple years ago I did start to scale back a bit...if I had eight yards of a print I would part 
with half, keeping the rest just in case I ever decided to make 
a frock or some such wearable with it. 

So while Lily Red and her little bed can stay, perhaps it's 
time to revisit my scale back process. The chances of me actually whipping 
up a dress or two in the near future are slim to none, especially if a zipper is involved. 
Putting zippers in makes me want to rip my hair out! 

...strange I've held onto a pile of zippers then isn't it?
They spark something but it certainly isn't joy!!!