June 6, 2013

A Child of Spring

I know a little maiden,
She is very fair and sweet,
As she trips among the grasses
That kiss her dainty feet;
Her arms are full of flowers,
The snow-drops, pure and white,
Timid blue-eyed violets,
And daffodillies bright.

by Ellen Robena Field

The bonnet from our Toddler Coat and Bonnet pattern was used for the sun bonnet.  I reduced the brim by 1" at center front, tapering it toward the sides.  

The flowers were created with a 6" - 7" length of ribbon or lace.  Hand stitch long, gathering stitches along one long side.  Gently pull together and hand stitch in center to keep the flower shape.  

To make it easier, I created several flowers from lace and a variety of silk satin ribbons.  I then randomly placed the flowers on the bonnet in different arrangements.  I arranged and re-arranged until the design made my happy.  

The flowers were then pinned into position. Colorful French knots were worked to hold the flowers in place.  Beads (or buttons) made nice flower centers.  

Add simple leaves to complete the bonnet.

Add a few flowers on the bloomers...

Add more flowers on the skirt along a lacy hillside....  

Stitch on a few leaves using a stem stitch and french knots.  
I used Madeira silk floss for all the embroidery.  It is easy to work with and not too, too fine - so only 2 threads were used here.
The pink dimity fabric and French lace are from Bear Threads. 

The Karen Faylor Company Kensington pattern was used for the dress.  The bonnet from our Toddler Coat and Bonnet pattern was used for the bonnet and the bloomers are from our Savannah.  You can find our patterns on our website or at your favorite stores.  
You can find Madeira silk embroidery thread at The Pattern Outlet.


June 1, 2012

Another Day...

Q:  What's more beautiful than a sunny day on the Washington coast?

A:  A RAINY day on the Washington coast.

May 30, 2012

New week. New beach.

I love the beach on Semiahmoo Bay.

Little surprises everywhere.



And color.

Enjoy the day.  
Find beauty.  
Make art.  
Be inspired.

May 26, 2012

Inspired by the beach

I love the Washington coast...

Sitting in the fresh air inspires me.  Talking with friends, reading, or sipping coffee while planning the day.

There is art and beauty in the simplest things.



November 1, 2011

Inspired by Shape and Texture

It was a beautiful morning.  The sun was shining.  Oscar the Golden Retriever wanted to play outside.  And I needed inspiration.  Again.

Fall is my favorite season and a fading fall garden is filled with non-floral beauty.

 Spores on stately ferns.

The sweetness of the last of the blackberries.

The smooth drupe of the Japanese Snowdrop tree and a sky of extraordinary blue.

 Amazing technicolor leaves.

 And Oscar the Golden Retriever. (I think he is looking for his favorite stick.)

What inspires you?

August 31, 2011

Venice Button Jumper

This little jumper was created from our Venice Chemise and Capri pattern (more details on how that was done next time).  

The dark olive corduroy and vintage-look buttons are nice for fall and school and cooler weather fun times.

  To begin, I sewed up one side seam of the skirt, placed the long skirt piece on my work surface, dumped out the buttons and started playing. 

I tried wavy lines of buttons, pointy lines of buttons, shapes and random button scatterings. 

After each new attempt I would walk away and come back as though viewing it for the first time.  (My design instructor called this "sampling".)  Sometimes I'd leave a design for a few hours.  Being able to view your design from a distance is helpful, as well, as this is generally how it will be viewed by others.  Because the buttons were just laying on the fabric and were not attached, the best I could do was kind of a side view from across the room.

I tried lots of designs before settling on the button "flowers" on the skirt.

I glued them down with a washable fabric glue and began the task of sewing each button to the jumper.

Since I was using 5 different color buttons, I chose the same 5 colors for thread.

Never matching the thread color to the button color I began stitching.  Sometimes I used two colors of thread on one button.  I stitched the buttons on differently, as well. 

Sometimes with an "x".

Or two bars.

Or one bar.

Keep in mind that buttons have two right sides.  The right side and the other right side.

The point was to be creative and have fun.

So today we re-purposed a pattern and found a use for a lot of random buttons.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

August 9, 2011


What inspires you?

Whether we work in fabric, paper or yarn - ideas for the next project are all around us. 

Finding inspiration in nature is one of the most readily available and easiest for me.  Flowers, leaves, bugs or the colors of a sunrise all push me to study further.  I also find inspiration in magazines.  I go through my favorites tearing out pages of anything that interests me.  Sometimes it's just the colors on the page that make my heart be faster.

This is a page from my sketchbook that was inspired by a magazine ad. 

One of my artist friends always carry a camera with her and has created some amazing artwork inspired by buildings and the sun reflecting off the windows.  Another artist friend  has done some wonderful pieces inspired by bridges. 

Each artist's view of the world is unique.  No one sees flowers or leaves the way you do or can interpret their beauty in their work the same way you do.

So tell me, what inspires you?