Friday, January 25, 2013

Vintage doily name plate

I have a little collection of embroidered doilys stashed away for a rainy day and when a friend of mine recently had a baby I picked out one of my favourites to embroider her new daughters name on it.

Here's the drill if you want to have a go at one of these yourself.  You need:

  • One lovely doily
  • A wooden embroidery hoop (mine was a 15cm one)
  • Embroidery floss
  • Computer and printer
  • Scissors, needle, sharpened lead pencil

First give the doily a good press with your iron so its starting off nice and flat and crisp.  Next, print out the name you wish to use in a font that you like from your computer. I chose Palace Script MT font and printed it at size 120 (from Microsoft Word).  Place the doily over the name printed on the paper, centering the name as you like depending on the embroidery designs on your doily.  You might like to use a light box or a window here to help you see through the doily fabric, but I found I didn't need one.

Take a well sharpened lead pencil, or one of those disappearing fabric markers if you like and trace carefully over the name.  Then take your embroidery hoop and centre the doily inside the hoop, make sure the metal hoop tightener is at the top of your work, this will be where you hang it from when you are finished. Tighten the hoop.  Now you are ready for the embroidering.

After looking through the purple and pink threads I had in my embroidery box I chose a light purple.  
I used a simple back stitch.

 Once you are done with the embroidery, tidy the ends up on the reverse side by trimming them and then trim the edges of the doily close to the hoop frame.

Tada!  You are done.  Hang on a nail or pin board pin using the metal hoop tightener.  
Simple and sweet.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Scraps, strips and summer

Being the start of the new year and everything I have rolled up my sleeves and cleaned out my fabric cupboard.  I've given it a good tidying and sorted things into new and vintage, plains and patterns, dressmaking and quilting, fat quarters and large quantities.

And scraps.  My scrap bag is full to overflowing.

My last serious clean out of scraps was the year before last, a large bag going to the kindergarten for craft activities.  This time I'm keeping them for myself.  I've picked out the blues (got lots of them, I must like blue), greens, yellows, pinks, purples, and creams to work with, I've left the heavy weight fabrics, the denim cottons, anything too sheer like voile or lawn and anything red or black in the scrap bag (and even that takes up plenty of room in the bag). 

 I'm now attacking the scraps with my rotary cutter, slicing them into strips of all sorts of widths and lengths and sewing them into quilt blocks using the method I found here.

After trimming up the strips as I sew them together I am left with the teeniest tiny little squares and rectangles of fabric.  Should I now throw these away....?

I made eight blocks of about 20 x 20cm in a concentrated afternoon sewing effort.  I'm not sure how many blocks in total I will have at the end of this exercise but its certainly something fun and easy to work at over the warm summer days and evenings we are having.  We'll see where this project takes me over the coming weeks.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Holiday escapism

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Our little family escaped to the beach on the Sunshine Coast for the Christmas holiday this year.  We loaded the car and headed north for the two hour drive, what a great time we had.

There was sun, salt, sand and sunscreen, swimming in the pool and at the beach, kayaking, bike riding, sunset walks, fish and chips, cold chicken and salads, sweet things to eat, summer fruits...and of course Santa found the boys and their new mummy made Santa sacks.

I think Mum and Dad might have liked a little more downtime on their holiday, but in a way it was nice to be physically exhausted at the end of the day and then have very little to do but enjoy the evening breezes and sea scent.  Technology was turned off, even the mobiles ran flat.

The little boy dipped his toes in the ocean for the first time, and the big boy honed his body boarding skills.  For a kid that once was afraid of the waves at the beach we now can't get him out of the water!

Thanks for sticking around and reading and leaving your comments and kind words over 2012. I've been less present in this space than I would have liked to be, I've done less sewing than I would have liked to as well, but I hope it's just a stage that will pass.  I'm looking forward to 2013 and all that it may bring!


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