Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Next Girls In Stitches Night: February 26

Thursday February 26, 2009
6:30 - 9:30

Join us for a girl's night of fun and creativity.
Bring a snack, any project you may be working on,
or learn to create our demonstration project.

The Swing Into Spring Child's Apron
Skill Level: Beginner

(At a cost of $5.00 you will have the option to personalize
your apron with a machine embroidered name on the front.)

We're meeting at Mary Kelso's house in Mt. Juliet.
Directions will be e-mailed to those attending as well as a
demo project materials list for those interested.

Let us know if you're coming!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Baby Gifts

I purchased a new book recently and have already made and given away the first project from it. I don't want to plagiarize so I will not post the instructions to the project but I will show you my pictures and you can see why I recommend this book. It's called "Gifts For Baby" by Catherine Woram and has 30 simple projects that are just adorable. These little Mini Mary Janes, took me several hours but I couldn't give you an exact time because of the amount of interruptions I deal with. I will say it took longer than I expected, but it was not so long that I am discouraged from doing it again. I am confident that I will be faster then next go-round.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

As Requested

Child’s Valentine’s Goodie Bag Tutorial


2 pieces of felt fabric 9” wide x 18” tall

1 yard grosgrain ribbon (1” wide)

1 square of felt fabric

Embroidery floss

1. Take one piece of your 9x18 felt and fold in half, right sides together. It should now be 9” x 9”.

2. Using the fold as the bottom of the bag, sew up both sides, using a 1/4” seam allowance. This is the outside of your bag.

3. Do the same with the other 9x18 felt. This is the lining of your bag.

4. Take the corner of your bag and flatten it into a triangle. (Think line up side seam with center of bag bottom). Place bag in sewing machine with tip of triangle lined up with sewing plate. Stitch straight across the triangle.

5. Do the same to the other bottom corner of bag. When you turn bag right side out, you should now have a flat bottom to your bag.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 on the bag lining.

7. From your square of felt, cut a heart shape that will fit nicely centered on your bag.

8. Using embroidery floss, blanket stitch your heart to the front of your bag

9. With bag turned right side out and lining turned inside out, slip the bag inside of the lining. Now, your bag and your lining should have right sides touching each other.

10. Line up side seams and pin the sides together.

11. Cut your grosgrain ribbon in half. These will be your handles. You may choose to cut your handles even shorter if you’d like.

12. Line your first handle up between the bag and the bag lining. Make sure the “loop” of your handle is facing down between these layers and the ends of your handles are lined up with the top of the bag.

13. Pin your handle in place and pin the bag to the bag lining along that same side.

14. Repeat with other handle on other side of bag. Make sure that your handle lines up with the other handle you just pinned to the other side.

15. Starting just before the right side of your handle on one side of the bag, stitch bag, bag lining, and handles, going all the way around the bag until you’ve sewn over all four sections of handles. Stop before completing the full circle, as to leave you and opening for turning everything right side out again.

16. Turn everything right side out. Tuck your lining into your bag.

17. Folding in the raw edge on your opening along the top, top stitch around entire top of bag.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 13

We had a good time last night. There were 5 of us total and I was the only one not creating a bag from the demonstration project. Amber did a great job of running from machine to machine keeping everyone stitching and making progress. I was running from spot to spot trying to keep kids out of trouble and make sure everyone knew where the trash can and bathroom were. I did sit down a crochet a little and actually continued that course after the last of the guests were gone. It was nice to sit quietly by the fire, hot tea and a little bit of cake on the table beside me, crochet in hand and consider what went well and what could have been better.

One thing I really enjoyed was the fact that we set limits and didn't over emphasize the food. In the past I loved our meals, I loved how much time and attention people put into the dishes they brought and it became a focus of our meeting with themed food nights and lots of time spent around the buffet. I loved it, but I think we got less and less done the more we focused on it. I also put a time to begin and a time to end on the flyer. In the past we didn't set a limit and there were some nights we were in each other's living rooms late, late, late into the night. Last night everyone left around 9:00 and there was still time to clean up a few things and wind down before going to bed.

I wish that we could have handled the instruction time a little differently. I would have loved to be able to teach everyone the same step at the same time. Had everyone brought their own sewing machine that might have been possible. Some people do not yet have machines so there was a lot of back and forth and working around each other. It worked out, and Amber handles things like that without a problem, I am just a sucker for order and really had to step back and just be available to service my machine or answer sewing questions when I could. I had a great time doing that, and I guess what I'm really saying is, I could not have done what Amber did. Everyone seemed very happy with what they went home with and I have to say some of them were really cute.

Amber Dunn and her sister Ashleigh made large totes instead of the Valentine bag, It was the same thing just on a larger scale. They also opted for lining their bags which turned out very, very cute.

Karin and Amber Hunter made the project, as advertised, for their school age girls and they turned out very cute.

Amy was unable to make it at the last minute and asked that the step by step tutorial for making the bags be posted here. I will try to do that. I did take a few pictures but not nearly as many as I'd hoped. Thankfully the instructions are not difficult and between myself and Amber, I am sure that we can communicate the steps needed to complete the project.

It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to next month's meeting. As soon as we know what will be happening we will post here as well as send out an e-mail and e-flyer.

Monday, January 12, 2009


The Mt. Juliet Jo Ann store is offering scissor sharpening next Friday, January 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Regular scissors $5.00
Pinking shears $5.00

I know that's not the most exciting news but if you were thinking of buying new scissors to replace some dull ones...it will save you at least $20.00 on good sewing scissors. I know that other Jo Ann stores do this as well. If this location is not convenient to you, contact your local store to find out when they will offer this service.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Where It All Began...And Where It's All Going

In the late 90's Amber Hunter and I began working together at an accounting firm in Nashville. We found that our interests were remarkably similar and over the years we have bounced more ideas off of one another than can possibly be counted. Both of us having a creative side that seems to be impossible to repress, we forged a plan to put our whimsy to practical use. Amber expressed a desire to learn to sew from a pattern. She had learned to use a machine in the past and had done her share of projects but the wording and process of a pattern was still something she had to conquer. I had learned this skill from my mother and was more than happy to share my knowledge with her.

Amber has a need to share, she can keep little of what is worthy to herself, so she immediately invited others and labeled the little lesson time a "Sewing Party" just to make it more fun. If it's a party, there has to be food. If there's food, it's going to catch on...and it did. Soon we were meeting weekly at homes across Nashville, learning, creating, accomplishing and most importantly visiting. We made a whole lot more than just a skirt here or a quilt block there, we made lasting and impactful friendships.

The projects and the skills broadened. We became a group of various talents and skills, we welcomed knitting, crochet, embroidery, scrap-booking and even a spinning wheel showed up a few times. The interest in each other's projects was refreshing and the care for each other was contagious.

Through the years the various backgrounds and situations of each member evolved . . . whether it were a change of address or a change in family situation our girls have become more spread out and meeting regularly became increasingly difficult. Our base group of artists and crafters has spread into four or five counties and some of our young mothers now represent families of five and six. As the members of the group evolved, the gathering did as well in an effort to best accommodate everyone’s changing circumstances. First we went from a weekly meeting, to a bi-weekly meeting, then to a monthly meeting, to an every-so-often meeting, until sadly there was no meeting for nearly a year. The core creators of the gathering still exist (in neighboring counties now) and still have a strong desire to see the growth that comes in a group like this, and still have a passion for creative work and for teaching others new areas of creativity.

Amber and I have talked recently and wish to pursue the revival of our first goal which is to share information and teach one another the skills passed to us from our mothers, grandmothers and friends. We have regrouped and regenerated our desires to give what is worthy and be available to whoever wants to pick up a needle and thread and join us. We are enjoying the social aspect of having a "girls night" but putting all our efforts into making those nights productive. Any handwork of any kind is welcome, sewing machines will buzz, knitting needles will click and voices will mingle in the camaraderie of kindred spirits.

Our plan is to introduce new things and new people. We are not committing too, but rather hoping to bring a demonstration project to the table on a monthly basis. We are boosting our availability with a blog where announcements, pictures, tips and tricks and anything else we think of can be regularly published and viewed. We believe these monthly meetings have the potential to be a resource and a launching pad for women to not only release some creative energy but also to realize the limitless potential within them. Creativity is in all of us, some of us just haven't found our medium. We hope that when it's all said and done, the living, the learning and the laughter find us all Girls In Stitches.