Friday, December 28, 2007

My First A-Line Dress!!

One of my Christmas gifts was Martha Pullen's Applique book, which has the pattern for her reversible A-Line dress. (Kristen, it also has a pattern for a boy's one piece suit, aka jon-jon, so we should be good to go!)
Kathy not only bought the book, but had already traced the pattern for a size 4 dress and bought fabric so we could get started right away. The construction of the dress went quickly without complications. Probably the most tedious part was sewing on the buttons (8 total: 2 on each side of each strap), and thankfully Kathy volunteered to do that while I moved on to another project. :)
The first embroidery design we stitched on Kathy's swanky Brother embroidery machine was the monogram applique patch. I used a monogram freebie posted on Sew Forum and used the oval envelop in Embird to make it circular looking. The circle applique design came from My Embroidery Haven's yahoo group.

The second embroidery design was an applique butterfly from

I was thrilled with how this dress turned out. And even more I love that it is two dresses in one!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ordered hooded towel

Hey, I just remembered that I can post this now!
Early in December I made a hooded toddler towel that Stephanie had ordered for Siena, the daughter of mutual friends.

Before making this towel I attended a huge craft show where someone was selling hooded towels like these. They had figured out a great way to fold them so that the hood was visible, so I stole that idea. Fold in half lengthwise, roll toward the center and place hood on top. Makes for a nice presentation.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, Dad!

Now, my dad's primary gift is a nice tool for his grill. But I had to embroider something for him! So I made a gag gift. If you are easily offended, feel free to ignore this post. :)

This idea was not original to me. It has become quite the craze with stitchers on Sew Forum. Yes, I actually stitched on toilet paper. A member of SF posted a great tutorial which I followed. The red work design was posted on SF for a short time (no longer available) and I added the text with Embird Alphabet #22.
Ready for a chuckle? Remember, you've been warned...
Dad's gift

Merry Christmas to our moms...

I opted to make our moms casserole carriers for Christmas. I got two pairs of quilted place mats from Wal-Mart. After stitching the embroidery designs, I added a buttonhole & button and stitched around 3 sides. They will serve as a decorative carrier to potlucks, an identifier for who made the yummy dish, and used as a hot pad underneath the pan as it's being served. They can accommodate up to a covered 9"x13" pan.

First up is my mom's. The design is from a set I got for free from Artistic Thread Works called Daily-Chore-Sticks Embroidery Design Set. The checkered border is a freebie from Embroidery Garden. I added the text with Embird Alphabet #17.

Kathy's design was also from ATW, a free sample of the Stick-Kitchen-Mice Embroidery Design Set.

Harold, you're gonna love this, AND I MEAN IT!


After successfully making several inserts for the Dollar Tree mugs, I decided to make one for my father-in-law Harold, but using the nice clear travel mugs available at Target. I found great fabric that looks like steam swirls on coffee-colored background. I searched Sew Forum for a design to go with my text "Harold's Starter Fluid" and found a car themed design that stitched perfectly. I was tickled pink. UNTIL I tried to put the insert in the silly cup. I had read from several other crafters that it was difficult to do with this mug, but it was nearly impossible!! It took me well over an hour. I was determined to get it in, but at 12:15AM I had to give up and finish the next morning. It was a battle of wills between me and the cup, and I won, but with casualties. The strategy that eventually worked (slowly but surely) was to use straight pins to push the embroidery under the lip of the clear plastic. I broke at least 7 straight pins doing it, and my index finger was sore for days! Once I healed, I determined it was worth the effort. And I'm pretty confident his enthusiasm this morning was genuine!

Merry Christmas, Amy!

As previously mentioned, my sister-in-law Amy has been making woven headbands this year. The amount that she has made and kept for herself has grown. In September a member of Sew Forum posted a hairbow holder she had made, and I decided to extend her idea to make a headband holder for Amy for Christmas.

Each ribbon has 12 slots to slip a headband through, so it can accommodate 48. I used 1.5" wide ribbon. I doubled the ribbon up and stitched across it every 2" to create little pockets to slip the headbands through. So for this particular holder I cut four pieces of ribbon about 52" long. Doubled it up and sewed 12 seams every 2". That created 48 pockets for headbands.
For the top, I cut a piece of foam board 8"x24" and glued batting over it. I cut my fabric 10"x26" and did the embroidery. I added the text with Embird Alphabet #17. My only regret is that I wish I had used the dark purple thread for "headbands" too. Oh well... I didn't have enough time last night to start over. The applique flower was a freebie on Sew Forum and stitched beautifully.

Once that was done, I glued the fabric down to the back of the foam board. Then I attached the ribbons at the 3", 9", 15" and 21" marks. For the top hangers I attached loops of ribbons at the 6" and 18" marks. Then I covered another piece of cardboard with fabric and glued it over the back to cover all the mess. I used Tacky Glue, and only time will tell if it will hold up...
We also bought her a curtain rod/quilt holder for her to hang it from. The headbands overlap, so it doesn't hang flat. It really needs to be away from the wall to accommodate for that.
Amy is hard to buy for, so I was really excited when I thought of this idea. She liked it, so it was a successful Christmas gift!

Merry Christmas, Brice!

Brice, my nearly 20-year old brother, is into music and Celtic stuff. I had nothing appropriate in my design stash, but thanks to lovely designers on Sew Forum, I found a couple to use relatively quickly!
First is a travel mug insert. I used a tribal cross design and added his name with Embird Alphabet #33 (using an envelope to make it slanted). It was perfect -- he loved it!

Second is a can koozie (ignore the Princess sippy cup... can you believe there isn't a pop can in our home??). I added his name with Embird Alphabet #2 (again in an envelope) to the guitar design.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas, Carlin!

Carlin is saving up for a new prosumer video camera. He's recently done some freelance jobs and ebay auctions to jump start this process, and is calling the fund his "camera dog". So my gift to him for Christmas was going to the bank to officially set up a saving account, and depositing extra money to get him to 25% down. To present this to him, I made this holder for the deposit book:

The card holder design came from Embroidery Garden (it's technically a Weigh In Book Holder). The design of the man with a camera was a freebie. I added the text with Embird Alphabet #2. Someday soon that will be Carlin Trammel running with a new video camera!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Snowflake Ornaments

After our staff party Friday, Cherri decided she had to have a name snowflake like the one I made for Mr. Mullinax. And then she decided she had to have one to give as a gift, too! :) Here they are...


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Our Matching Christmas Outfits


This weekend I finally got my shirt and Annaliese's dress done for Christmas. There are so many neat designs to choose from and so many other things to accomplish... that and the 80 degree heat we've been experiencing made it hard to motivate myself to make a long sleeved shirt and dress. But I got them accomplished, just in time for the cold front to hit this morning! The design I settled on is an applique Christmas tree with gifts from Pegboard Crafts.
Thursday night I found the perfect fabric for the tree (a fat quarter at Jo-Anns), and all the fabrics for the gifts were scraps from my stash. Annaliese's stitched out PERFECTLY, I used the small design on her dress (a long sleeve lettuce-edged dress from Dharma Trading).

I used the medium-sized design on my shirt. There are a few places where the satin stitches don't cover the tack-down stitches, but I'm confident that was my fault. I was in a hurry and I think my shirt shifted ever so slightly in the hoop as I was trimming the fabrics. It's only noticeable up close, and later on I may try to find a way to hide it even better. Maybe after the holidays are over I'll stitch around the fabrics with my invisible thread and pick out the tack-down stitches... But there is no time for that now! I'm stitching Christmas gifts as I type.

By the way, for my faithful readers, don't expect many more posts until Christmas afternoon. I am all done with orders (with the possible exception of a couple small things). Everything else I'll be making this week will be gifts for family. So if you don't hear from me again before then, Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Monogrammed Stockings

Terri asked if I could add Selena and Reanna's names to their Christmas stockings while they are in town this weekend. These cute stockings were purchased at Hobby Lobby (NOT in Tallahassee, since we don't have one...sigh...) I used Embird Alphabet #33 and each girl picked out the thread color for their name. The side seam was easy to pick out, so we did that to make them easier to embroider. The top of the stocking is a satin with some loose-scrunchy-translucent material, but thanks to some solvy on top, monogramming went without a hitch. It's hard to photograph though because of the reflective nature of the material...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Key Chains for Staff


As a small Christmas gift, I made key chains for the staff members at preschool, plus a couple extras. Now that I've made about 50 of them this year, I've gotten it down to a pretty quick and consistent process. It's fun to pick ribbon and threads. It seemed everyone enjoyed the combination I selected...

Order for Good Samaritan Church

In November when I did the booth at Southwood, I met a couple pastors of the Good Samaritan congregation that meets down there. They were very interested in the crayon rolls and ordered fifty of them to put in their children's activity bags. I went on a search locally for Bible related fabric, and found that to be quite a challenge! I couldn't find any Noah's Ark fabric, or even appropriate nativity fabric this time of year. After consulting with Betsy, we settled on one that had cute phrases and a couple prints that had animals -- not Noah's Ark, but certainly God's creation. They turned out really cute!

And here are close-up shots for each fabric set:

My machine has been working overtime... would you believe I bought most of the fabric Tuesday morning?

In addition to the crayon rolls, they also ordered 25 pacifier clips with "Jesus Loves Me" ribbon (like these)to use as gifts for new babies.

It was a pleasure to fill this order, and I hope they are a blessing to the children who will discover them in their activity bags just before Christmas!

Snowflake Ornament

We are having our staff Christmas party tomorrow, and part of the festivities includes an ornament gift exchange. I drew Bob Mullinax's name (he's the elder at Timberlane who is always in the building during preschool hours). Here's what I made:

On the surface this may look like simply a pretty snowflake. But look carefully:

It's his last name!! Now this idea is not original with me, but I did create this particular design. I asked Kathy to digitize Mullinax in a script font, and then I reflected and rotated appropriately to make the snowflake. I found this fabulous blue swirly glittery fabric in my scraps -- it makes me think of a wintery wind blowing, not that anyone around here knows what that looks/feels like!
I'm so pleased with how it turned out and can't wait to see everyone's expression as they discover the hidden design element!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Merry Christmas, Mrs. Cindy!

Annaliese gave this towel to her preschool teacher for Christmas:

The Christmas Tree design came from Sew Forum, and I added the text with Embird Alphabet #22.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Annaliese's Christmas Purse

Here's another idea I got from fellow members of -- a purse made from a Santa Hat!

It sounds pretty simple: cut the bottom half off and use that as the "closure", add handles and a lining. BUT this stuff is not easy to sew with! And trying to stitch across 3 layers of it was nearly impossible. I had to use my embroidery foot and feed it through myself. It was even too thick for my walking foot! It's one of the sloppiest things I've made, but thankfully it's all hidden underneath the white cuff. AND it's for a 3-year old... ;) I made this after Annaliese went to bed. I can't wait to give it to her tomorrow! I'll post pictures of her with it then.

UPDATE: When Annaliese saw it, she said, "OOOHHHH, it's so cute!" She liked it and got several compliments on it at church.

Adding Monogram to Purchased Set

Ginny bought this cute bag and blanket set for her granddaughter, and asked me to monogram it. She didn't want the back of the embroidery to show on the reverse side, so I embroidered her name on an applique patch.

To be honest, I wasn't immediately sure how I was going to add the monogram and make it look nice. An idea hit me late one night as I was about to fall asleep, and it worked beautifully! Here's how I did it...
I took an oval applique design and removed the last step of satin stitches. I used the first placement stitch as my tack-down stitch for the fabric, which I centered in my hoop. Next I stitched Roberta's name in the center of the oval. Then I laid a piece of fusible interfacing (fusible side down) on top of the embroidery and used the second tack-down stitch to secure it. I removed it from the hoop, trimmed to a quarter inch, cut a slit in the interfacing and inverted the patch. What I had was a fabric oval with finished edges, and a back ready to iron down to the bag or blanket. I ironed it in place and then sewed it down -- I used a blanket stitch (by machine) on the blanket and hand stitched it on the bag.

Personalized Travel Mugs

Following the craze that has hit, I've tried my hand at personalized travel mugs. This particular batch was purchased at Dollar Tree. They are only 11 oz, so they work pretty well for kids. I first made one for Annaliese. The large monogram was a freebie on SewForum, and I added her name with Embird Alphabet #17.

I decided I wanted another family to experiment with the cups before I started offering them, so I made a couple for Kylie and Kenzie. They were a thank you gift for hosting Thanksgiving, and then all our girls took them to Wild Adventures together.

Then today Annaliese attended a joint birthday party for three of her little friends, so we took personalized mugs for each of them:

Ethan's monogram was also a freebie on Sew Forum. I enjoyed using variegated thread on each of them for the outline of the large letter and all the little embellishments -- it added an extra layer of interest!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Gift for Nursing School Graduate

Dan and Sue's daughter is graduating from nursing school next weekend, so Sue asked me to make a couple shirts for her. By following links on my blog, Sue found a couple adorable nursing designs on Pegboard Crafts. First up is this cute applique design:

(My close-up shot was over exposed, but it sure is cute!)

Next I put this nurse angel on a purple shirt for her daughter...

...and I made a matching shirt for Sue. I added the text with Embird Alphabet #33.

Sue has promised modeled pictures after graduation!

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Four Trammel Christmas Outfit

Grandma Kathy made the shirt, Aunt Amy made the headband, I embellished the pants and Annaliese gets to wear it! :)

The Christmas Moose design came from Sew Many Designs. Kathy stitched the applique design on a red shirt and sent it to us in the mail with the headband. Kathy and I both looked high and low for a cute pair of leggings to go with it, but all we settled on were solid red. Once I saw the shirt in person, I realized that Annaliese had a pair of tan colored pants that matched the moose perfectly, but it had pink flowers embroidered on it:

Since these pants were hand-me-downs and are on the brink of being too small, I tried my hand at embellishing pants. I embroidered the strand of lights design (from Embroidery Library) on red fabric and then stitched them onto the pants for form a patch. I left the edges raw and pulled out threads to make it fray. It turned out cuter than I expected!

The headband, which I need to get a better picture of, has reindeers and Christmas lights, so it's matches really well!





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