So Three Years Went By

Yup, just like that.

A few things happened. We lost a grandchild and learned how profoundly one short life can touch other lives. We will never be the same.

After three years on the market, the warm and wonderful log home my husband built for us 20 years ago was purchased by an eager young couple with six children who had to move in NOW! We moved into a house trailer for the three long months it took to build the new house. The trailer smelled funny and we had it crammed to the ceilings, quite literally, but the new house turned out to be an empty-nester’s dream. We love it.

New house, new curtains, right?

It was fun to make the duvet cover on the left. We had a  small down comforter, perfect for toasty toes, but I couldn’t stand that it wasn’t the right color for our tranquil new blue/green/gold bedroom. I stash-busted everything in my scraps, appliquéd 3″ wide columns on a neutral base and highlighted design elements of the scraps with decorative stitches. Finally I machine-embroidered a bluebird of happiness on one of the columns on “my side” of the quilt and a pair of smug little owls on  one of “his side” columns.

 

Our guest room valances are lined in persimmon paisley. I just feel so happy in that room, especially when our daughter is home and staying in it or if we’ve got it filled with grandchildren.

What’s new with you?

 

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Bracelet Tutorial

Because She’s Loved

Ahem…Class, we will now make a bracelet.  No…Here’s my ver-r-r-y first tutorial and I know it’s just terrible. No…Friends and family, we are gathered here together. No..Oh, bother, here goes.

To make a simple fabric cuff pictured above, just sandwich two scraps of fabric wrong sides together, run a topstitch around the border and trim with pinking shears. Sew a big button on one side and a big buttonhole on the other.  Wear. Glow in the knowledge that you are loved, even if just by yourself.

Starting out with 10" widths, each of these is comfortable on my slightly large wrist.

However, if you would like to make a slightly more durable version to show another woman that she is loved, here are some guidelines. (As opposed to directions, which are to be followed to the letter.)

Why are we doing this? See Andrea’s post at http://www.thetraintocrazy.com/2013/02/more-bracelet-tutorials.html.

Cut out a 10″ X 2.5″ rectangle on paper. The slimmer “Loved”  bracelet was cut out of a 9″ by 1.75″ rectangle but when I tried to turn the fabric inside out I had to make use of a bodkin and some unladylike language.

Betty the Bodkin

Betty the Bodkin

I got that sucker turned but then I had to come up with another closure option because closing a bracelet with a small button and buttonhole seemed like poor design.  More on that later. Suffice to say I’ll be making my bracelets in the larger size, but you are free to follow your own inner bodkin.

Since I mostly sew garments, I would have cut out little rectangles all day and then used some bodkinesque language as I tried to center the embroidery on the bracelet. But instead of cutting the fabric around my rectangular pattern,  I followed my sewing teacher’s advice and ended up cutting the fabric around the embroidery. First, I  marked  the fabric where the embroidery would go.  Then I moved the paper down and did the same thing again.

But I did cut the backs of the bracelets and heavyweight embroidery stabilizer from the paper patterns.  (Okay, only the “Hope” bracelet has heavyweight stabilizer. )

Then I embroidered, conveyor belt style, since I was in this terribly efficient mode anyway. Embroider; lift presser foot, move to next spot. Embroider, lift presser foot, move to next spot. Then and only then did I cut out each rectangle around the pattern, centering the lettering appropriately. Thank you, Rose. I’ll be on time for class this week, really. Really.

BTW,  I created more “Hope” bracelets than I have pictured here. And I made the “Loved” bracelets yesterday. I hope you’re not too confused by the fact that I have two days of production pictures with directions for only one day. Imagine how I feel.

Each embroidered front was then sewn right sides together with a back cut from the 10″ X 2.5″ paper pattern. I sewed down the long sides and then turned inside out and pressed. I tucked the short sides to the inside and used Steam-A-Seam to hold them in place while I finished the closures. You could also topstitch. Or both.

I hope the recipients like color as much as I do! I used contrast backings for each  bracelet.  I embroidered the back of one  in lime green just because it was too boring in black and white.  Or because I have no taste whatsoever. I’ve never been entirely sure.

Bracelets 025

My “Hope” cuff with the navy blue backing sports a blue/lime green button hole and a lime green button to fasten at the wrist.  Because the “Loved” bracelet is skinnier, I used a ponytail elastic as a loop.  I tucked it inside the unfinished short end and machine tacked over it and finished with a yellow button on the other side.

So:

1. Make a paper pattern.

2. Cut out the backing and embroidery stabilizer from your pattern.

3. Mark your front fabric for embroidery, embroider it, then cut it out, centering the embroidery.

4. Sew the front and back at long side seams. Tuck short seams in on the end, press, use fabric glue, Steam-A-Seam or Stitch Witchery to hold the short side. And/or topstitch.

5. Put loop or buttonhole on one end of bracelet. Sew button on other end.

So if I can make up a bracelet you can, too. Sure would love to have a picture of it if you do!  Make one for yourself  and one for the “She’s Worth It Campaign.”

Power Bracelets