May 24, 2016

Taylor's Blessing Day

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Introducing Taylor Evans, she's 3 months old and it's her special day!

She's such a happy baby :)

I finished Taylor's bonnet on the drive to Utah, and forgot to get a detailed photograph of it.
It sure makes her look like an old fashioned baby.
The bonnet is smocked, and I attached silk satin ribbon and embroidered a buillon rose on each side where the ribbon attaches to the bonnet.

We went to our son's home early so we could dress Taylor and take lots of photos :)

Taylor is our twelfth grandchild :)

My husband and I with Taylor's two older sisters.
Reagan is 5 l/2 and Paisley just turned 2.

Our son Jordan and our daughter in law Kimalee and their three beautiful daughters.

My husband Ricky and I, and our 13 grandchildren!
Our daughter Rebecca is in the photo, holding Jacob, our newest grandson.
He was born 8 weeks early, and was in the hospital for 5 weeks.
He just came home and is swaddled in the purple wrap.

This is our whole family, minus our daughter and her husband who live in Tampa.
Pictured are 5 of our children and their spouses.  
Our youngest son Sean (middle row on the right) isn't married yet, but he's engaged to Kari, a beautiful young lady from Costa Rica.

These 4 little girls were all born within a 7 month period.
That was so much fun!!!
On the left is Reagan, she will be 6 in November.
Next, is Charlotte, she just turned 6 in April.
Neo is in the lavender top, she will be 6 in October.
On the right is Maisie, she will be 6 in July.
You can see all of their blessing gowns and photos of babies in my previous post :)

We had a wonderful time with our family, we were able to spend some time with all of them (except Vanessa in Tampa), there's nothing I enjoy more!!!
I'll have some sewing to show you next week :)

May 16, 2016

Taylor's Heirloom Blessing Gown

Taylor Evans Horst is our 12th grandchild, our 10th granddaughter.
She was born on February 18, my father's birthday.
This is the first time I met Taylor, and she gave me a big smile!
She was 2 months old :)

It's time to design her gown, her blessing day is May 22.
First, I pleated her little bonnet.
These are the pleating instructions and some of my scrap lace.

My husband constructed this board with thread holder, about 20 years ago.
Some of the pegs have broken off in our moves.
I only use quilting thread, because it's stronger and it's a real nuisance if one of the threads break!
You have to take everything apart, all threads out and start all over.

The pleater needles have curves in them so that they fit around the rods.

Taylor is tall and chubby, so I'm making the gown in size 12 months.
Usually I make them 6 months, but it's okay to have them larger.

I was making all the mathematical measurements for the pin tucks.

I made 3 sections of 7 - l/4" pin tucks.

 The lace with the holes is called entredeux, that means between two in French.
I use the zig zag stitch and set the length so that the needle goes through each of the holes, and only bites the heading of the lace.

All of the lace should be sandwiched between 2 pieces of entredeux.

I attached the wide hem lace with entredeux also.
That's what gives it an heirloom look, along with the Swiss, English and French laces.

I used leftover lace that I used in Taylor's older sister, Paisley's dress. (Paisley will be 2 on May 18)
I made a fancy band on Paisley's dress and couldn't throw away the leftover lace (I miscalculated!).
Each piece of lace is sewn together, including the entredeux!

Voila, here is the finished gown!

A closeup of the laces.
The lace on the bottom is called Swiss lace, it's a type of eyelet.

I used the same wide French lace on the sleeve that I used on the hem.
French and English lace is 100% cotton and the top of the lace has some little threads that you can pull to gather the lace.

I used mother of pearl buttons.

I attached the lace to the neck with entredeux.

This is the yoke of the slip, with some shadow embroidery and bullion stitches.

This is the slip.
A princess can't wear a gown on her special day without a slip!

Each dress that I make for my special granddaughters, is always a little different.

I embroider the child's initials on the back hem of her dress.
Taylor Evans Horst
The Last initial goes in the middle.
The idea is that each child will pass the gown to her daughter and they will embroider the baby's initials next to their own.
If the dress is passed down for many generations, it should have embroidered initials going all around the hem!

I couldn't get very low with the initials on this gown, because of all the pin tucks and lace.
I used Victorian batiste for this gown, from Martha Pullen.

If you want to see previous blessing gowns I've made, here are the links...
Paisley Louise, Taylor's sister 

I haven't finished smocking Taylor's bonnet, so I'll show you photos  when I post about her blessing day.
Here's a cute collage of the babies in their blessing outfits, that I made when we just had 9 grandchildren!

Thanks for holding out until the end, there were a lot of photos!

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May 2, 2016

My Life

I have been really busy lately and haven't been able to get much sewing done, so I'll tell you a little about what's been going on...
I made an emergency trip to be with my daughter, Rebecca.
Her water broke, and she was 32 weeks, her labor didn't start, and the doctors wanted little baby to wait for two weeks to make his appearance!
My daughter lasted for 6 days in the hospital.....
I was spending the night with her in the hospital because her husband had to get up super early for work.
She went into labor at about 1:30, and the contractions weren't even regular.  
Baby Jacob Uziel made his appearance at 2:15 am, April 8.
I was able to witness his birth, and his dad didn't even make it in time.....he just missed it....
I don't think I was able to help much because everything happened so fast!
Jacob weighed 4 lbs 15 oz, and never needed oxygen.
He's our 13th grandchild, and third grandson!
Isn't he adorable?

This is the latest photo that I received, I don't know if he's off his feeding tube yet, but he has to learn to suck, swallow and breathe at the same time before he can come home :)

I looked after his older brother Benjamin, who's 3 l/2.

That includes his mischievous and genius 5 year old sister, Maisie!

I was able to spend Charlotte's (Lindsay and Jeremy's little girl) 6th birthday with her....she wanted to get her ears pierced so badly, but was so nervous!!!

When it was all done and over, she was so happy with her new Elsa earrings!!!
She wanted to go on a date with her parents, to dinner and a movie.
Charlotte invited me to go along also, I had a fabulous time, and felt very special to be included :)

I was able to meet my new granddaughter, Taylor Evans.
She's our 12th grandchild, our tenth granddaughter.
What a doll, she even smiled for me :)
I think we may have known each other in the preexistence because she acted like she already knew me!
Sigh......she's beautiful!

While visiting with Taylor and her family (Jordan and Kim), these cousins got to hang out with each other.

My daughter Lindsay, and my son Jordan, and me!

I was thrilled beyond belief to be able to attend Kennedy's musical theater performance.
She was awesome as she sang her solo for Edelweiss, I was so proud of her!

My youngest son Sean is engaged to Kari, who made the trip home with me.
We toured Sacramento, San Francisco, and did lots of fun things together.
 I was sad to say goodbye to her...
I'm looking forward to their wedding.
We don't have a date yet, because Kari is from Costa Rica and they are waiting for their fiancĂ© visa to be approved.
We hope that the date might be in July, that's a fabulous month to get married!

I have been playing catch up since I've been home.
I hope you've enjoyed this little peek into my life, I'll have some sewing to show you next week :)
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Apr 25, 2016

Freddy Moran's visit to Sacramento

I was lucky enough to take a class from the famous artist/quilter, Freddy Moran, Saturday in Sacramento.
I invited my friend Natalie to go with me, and that made the day even better :)
This is the house that Freddy built :)
She doesn't measure, at least hardly ever, and she doesn't consider herself a sewer either.

Here's my freehand house on the left, along with one of my trees on the right.
Freddy says that if something doesn't fit, add some more fabric to make it fit, and the extra fabric also adds some interest.

Freddy and me:)
Freddy has a degree in Fine Arts, raised a family of 5 boys (6 if you count her husband), and she says she was very successful at that because they are all grown up and all have jobs, lol!
Freddy started her career with textile arts when she was 60, she's 80 something now.

Here's my little house and a wonky star and a tree that I made in class Saturday.

This is one of my favorite quilts of Freddy's.  
The buildings come off the sides, and it isn't bound.
Freddy creates a background, often from flannel, because fabric sticks really well to it.
She then creates her masterpiece by laying fabric on top and gluing them on with a purple glue stick that dries clear.
She takes the finished quilt to the quilter (that hasn't been sewn or appliqued) and she tells Carol, "if  any piece falls off, just stick it back on where you think it looks good!"

 This is a close up of one of her small quilts.
The background is sewn together, and she cuts fabric or images on fabric (flowers) and glues them onto the background.
Freddy loves the living dead too, hence the skulls.

Freddy said that she has never bought a piece of muslin and never will.
She takes great care in producing pretty backs for her quilts.
Alexander Henry fabrics are very beautiful and interesting, and Berkeley, California, has a Crate and Barrel outlet where they sell Marimekko fabric for $5.95 / yard.
Freddy buys a lot of her backs there.

Another favorite of mine is this cow quilt!
Freddy has lots of "parts".
That's fabric that she she has cut into shapes, she has them in containers separated by color.
She grabs those "parts" and places them until she likes the arrangement, then  glues them down and lets her Carol, her quilter, machine quilt them in place.
Did you notice that the cow's tail is three dimensional?

 This is the bag of the cow quilt.

This is a close up of the machine quilting, where you can imagine the pieces being attached to the flannel background, by machine quilting.

During the day, we had our sewing class, and in the evening, we had a talk and trunk show by Freddy.
It was great!
Notice the stack of quilts?
I didn't count, but there were 30 or more.

Freddy said that she collaborates with her friend Gwen Marston.
Together, they make about 30 quilts a year, not including the machine quilting.
Freddy and Gwen can make a quilt a day, with their combined creative genius!!!

Freddy's "parts department" also includes little blocks that have been put together, otherwise known as orphan blocks.
She uses the parts for her quilts.
Another favorite quilt of mine that she made is called "Parts Department".
It's a kaleidoscope quilt with lots of little girls holding hands, pinwheels and much much more.
It's really cute! (I couldn't find a photo of it)

Freddy told us that she takes all her fabric out and refolds it every 3 months, so that she knows what she has.
What a great idea!!!

Here are my little blocks that I sped through!

The wonkier the better, it adds a lot of interest.

You don't trim until you figure out if you want your quilt to have horizontal or vertical rows, or if you are going to make a kaleidoscope quilt.

Freddy loved this background fabric!

I think this block is too matchy matchy, but if I put it with crazy, wonky blocks, it will add interest.

Isn't this the cutest photo?  
I took it off the internet, it looks like a self portrait.
Freddy's vests that she often wears are made by an artist in Berkeley, and are made from quilts.

The biggest thing I learned from Freddy, is don't be hard on yourself, or critical about your work.
Never show anyone your quilting mistakes, they will never notice them anyway.
Be crazy and try new things in quilting.
You don't have to follow everyone else's rules, make your own.
I am still talking about quilting, lol!
This quilt is called "Little House in the Big Woods".
Do you see the little house in there?
This is the quilt that Freddy built, and I am going to make my own version of it.....someday.....

Freddy signed my book, and do you know what she wrote?
"Red is a neutral."
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