Are you smart, are you catty? Are you a Smarty Cat?!

Hello Friends, I hope you have had a good week.  My week went by all too quickly.  A quilt editor and I were just lamenting earlier today how we can’t believe it’s already Friday, because it didn’t seem like we had gotten enough accomplished…. but be that as it may I hope you have a lovely weekend!!

I got to play with a fun fabric line last fall for Windham Fabrics, Smarty Cats.  You can check out the fabrics here.

Cat Tales  – you can purchase this bed-sized kit here.  Click here for free pattern download.

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Faces All Around –  you can purchase this throw sized quilt kit here.  Click here for free pattern download.

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Smokey and Friends – you can purchase this crib/child size quilt kit here.

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The sweet people at Windham fabrics sent some Hot Dog Cool Cats fabrics for my “resident cat” (aka Miss Baby). She doesn’t necessarily want a cat (and we don’t have one), and is purr-fectly fine “being” the cat at our house.  So she goes around pretending to be a cat.  It all so compli-CAT-ted, hahahaha!  I had this P+S Oliver Ice Cream made for my house cat, by sewbeeitclothier.  Alison does great work.  Check out the self-covered-buttons!

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So, a question for you – cat or dog, or neither?

Thanks for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you next week.

My 2017 Line-up

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  HOPE (Windham Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  Bleecker Street (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Sheeps and Peeps (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Smarty Cats (Windham Fabrics)

Children’s Corner Laura in Windham’s Flora

Hello Friends, how fast this week has flown by, truly twinkling of an eye speed!   This is an overdue post.  I will be spending the rest of the year catching up on overdue posts… including my review on my Bernina machine.  Yes, I am still doing that.  Tentatively, it is scheduled for a day next week.  PLEASE, pretty please, do not give up on me just yet.

Earlier in the fall this year, I had a play outfit made for Miss Baby using Windham’s Flora fabrics!  We absolutely LOVE Flora.  The prints in the light colorway lend themselves to a fun and updated look for a little girl’s dress, but still maintain the traditional feel of the outfit. Click here to view the Flora fabrics, and find out what stores are stocking these fabrics.

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I did not construct the outfit.  I can’t quite sew garments to save my life.  So, I had it professionally made by Jackie in Alabama (THANKS, Jackie!!).  We used the Laura pattern from Children’s Corner, which makes classy patterns for little girls.  Here, you can see the slightly gathered neckline.  LOVE that effect!

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Miss Baby was really thrilled with the outfit! I like that we can easily pair it with a turtleneck or a long-sleeve T-shirt to extend the use of the outfit.

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Jackie did a lovely job on Laura.  She even piped the sleeve with the contrasting fabric.  I thought that was just so clever, not to mention it adds to the overall look.

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It’s always fun to dress my little on with what I like — Miss Baby is actually really easy on that front.  She is not quite concerned (yet!) with her looks.  So I have yet to experience the wardrobe battle… and some of you will tell me to just wait… :)

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I am actually smocking (trying to!) a dress front.  I will post pictures when I have made significant progress — probably next year after I get all the important posts out before the year ends. :)

I am totally changing subject here…

You would probably be interested to know that our Christmas tree decorating saga this year continues.  Click here if you aren’t aware of the tug of war happening at my house.  I think the tug of war has ceased for the season.  Miss Baby has found other more interesting Christmasy things to keep her occupied. :)  Since I have no pride, I have decided to show you a couple of pictures I snapped of our tree a few days ago, after the single file ball ornaments were “distributed” more evenly. :)  But notice those gaping holes where there are NO ornaments, haha.

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I guess we don’t have enough ornaments to go around… due to the “traffic jams” that are found in various spots of the tree where Miss Baby felt compelled to just cram in 4-5 ornaments on one tree sprig!  Actually, I spot 7 ornaments covering a minuscule area in the following picture.

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Really, at my 5’2 1/2″ eye level, there are a few nice looking spots, like this one.

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And this one…

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So — our tree decided to fan out significantly more 2 weeks after we brought it home.  We normally let the tree rest for at least 36 hours for it to relax before doing anything to it. Apparently, 36 hours isn’t quite doing the job this year. So, now we have very noticeable gaping holes with nothing to cover the holes up.  SO… tonight, LATE tonight, I think I will attempt to re-do everything. My husband muses whether the revamp will go unnoticed.  If you are up late tonight, think of me while I am re-decorating my tree, and we can share a chuckle together. :)  Or what’s even better, you can come over and tell me where to place my ornaments, hahaha!

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Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Learn to Machine Quilt offer cards now available!

Hello Friends!   I hope you have had a lovely Fall!  We have had some glorious as well as wet days.  You remembered the foxy jumper I showed you last week?  Miss Baby modeled the jumper at a recent event.

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I want to also show you these postcards about my Learn to Machine quilt class that just came in the mail today.  Click here to read more about the class.  Click here and here to view students’ class sample.

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These postcards have on them a $5 off offer code that is good through 12/31/2014.  They are available for distribution at your quilting group or quilt guild or quilt shop at no cost to you!  If you would like to have them at your quilt group meeting, please email me your mailing address and the number you need at wendy2@wendysheppard.net.   Also, please write “postcards” in the subject line.  I will get them mailed to you!

Meanwhile, have you checked out the behind-the-scenes thoughts that shaped my book Recreating Antique Quilts hereDon’t forget to enter the giveaway while you are there.

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For the FIRST time in months, I am able to say I won’t be feeling guilty for sleeping more than 4-5 hours a night!  So, you know I am going to sleep well tonight.  I have still a lot to do, to be sure, but at least I think I will be able to put in a good night rest tonight before tackling what’s next on my list!

Have a great weekend, my Dear Friends — and goodnight!

Growing up with Lucy!

What is girlhood without jumpers for a little girl, right?  Miss Baby has had various jumper outfits, and the “Lucy” versions have been my favorites.   Miss Baby’s Lucy’s are all made using Children’s Corner’s Lucy pattern.

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Here are the Lucy’s Miss Baby has had through the years since she was about 9 months old.

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And here is the LATEST Lucy!  Dear Friend Annelle did a marvelous job making the jumper.  We are foxy fans in the Ivory Spring household. So, I was more than just a little tickled when Benartex sent me these Feeling Foxy fabrics to play with.  I ended up sending the fabrics to Annelle to have her make another (!) Lucy for Miss Baby.

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The jumper front is cut from the panel print in the collection – there was not piecing or applique involved.  Isn’t the fabric just the cutest?

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Annelle monograms always look great!

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I purchased a foxy hair bow to go with the outfit.

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We recently bought Cinnabar, the One o’clock Fox.  This book was out of print, but was back to circulation only very recently.  It is a story about General George Washington’s estate and its surrounding area, told from a fox’s point of view.  It is a fun local interest read for our family. Miss Baby absolutely loves Cinnabar!  In case you wish you purchase the book, you can get the book here.

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I hope you have enjoyed Miss Baby’s latest fall outfit this year.

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But wait, there’s more…. I just need to show you the back of the jumper before I leave, done in the “Fox Hole” fabric from the same fabric line.

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Thank you for stopping by, Dear Friends.  I shall catch up with you later when I am able to do so!  Meanwhile, get those Feeling Foxy fabrics while they are still current.

Awwwwww ALERT!

Did you go awwwww seeing these cutie booties?!  What do you think?

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No, it is not an encrypted message indicating Miss Baby will be having a sibling. Mom here is a tad old for that to happen!  The reason I am sharing these cutie booties with you is because my sister had made these cuties for a friend of hers.  I asked if I could share the pictures with you, and she said yes.   While there’s not a sibling for Miss Baby is sight, seeing these booties does make me wish Miss Baby to be that tiny and baby-ish again!

Besides quilts, do you make anything else to bless a new life?

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a lovely day!!

 

Smocked Bishop: First Day of School

Hello Friends, some of you guessed correctly the “big plan” I had for this smocked bishop.  I wanted to have this done in time for Miss Baby’s first day of school.

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So it was a joint labor of love between myself and dear friend Annelle, mixed in with lots of prayer for the Miss.  I did the smocking, and Annelle expertly did the garment construction.  But there is a third person involved in this labor of love – it was Linda who gifted us with the pleated front that eventually became the dress.  Thanks again, Linda!

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I just love the yellow gingham dear Annelle used for the neck and sleeve bands.  The yellow gingham gave just the right casual touch, without compromising the classic smocked bishop style.

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I am sure I hadn’t blocked my neckline perfectly round prior to smocking, but I do want to show you what the smocking looks like if you fan out the dress.  Ideally, the neckline would be perfectly round.  But as Miss Baby would be quick to remind you — her Mom isn’t perfect.  So, please forgive me for the slightly skewed and wonky neckline.

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Fortunately, the not-perfectly-round neckline didn’t seem to matter when the bishop was put on Miss Baby.

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I think a great time was had by all on the first day of school.  The house was strangely quiet for a couple of hours after we dropped off Miss Baby at school.  I kept expecting to hear “Mom, could you please get me some milk?” etc…

If you have known me since my pre-Miss Baby days, you know this is a milestone for my little family.  Thank you all, whether or not if you have known me pre or post Miss Baby, for your ever encouraging support!  Love to you all.

Thanks for stopping by.  If all goes well, I hope to share with you a cover quilt tomorrow.

p.s.  We did finally find the Pentel white erasers!  Thanks to those who had written and asked, and especially those who had offered to send me some.  You are the sweetest bunch.  You do know that, don’t you?

Windowpane Bishop: Smocking Finished

Hello Friends,  I love stitching before the sun comes up in the morning.  I  enjoy the quietness.  I finished smocking Miss Baby’s windowpane bishop this morning at about 5am.

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I am really loving the scalloped “windowpanes.”  In case you are wondering, the smocking plate I used and modified is called “Windowpane Bishop” by The Children’s Corner, Inc.

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I have a rather special purpose for this bishop.  I will share with you once everything falls in place.

Thanks for stopping by.  I have got to get a few things done before mid-week is upon us.

Hugs to you all!

Baubles, Baubles: Sneak Peek #2

Happy Friday, Everyone!  This week has gone by just as quickly as all my normal weeks.  I have been doing mostly behind-the-scenes stuff in order for my quilts to happen!  So I don’t really have too much to show for, but here is a snapshot showing my Baubles, Baubles quilt being quilted.

And before I go, here is a progress picture of the smocking on Miss Baby’s “Marbled Paper” dress.  I am not sure I like smocking 5 and 11-step trellis, but it’s too late for me to change the smocking plate now.  So, I shall just stick with it:

If all things go well, I will be getting a pair of linen cupboards this weekend to store my fabrics!  I am super super excited!!!   I hope to have pictures to show you next week.

Have a great weekend, Friends!  See you Monday.

Smocked Angel-sleeve Bishop: Marbled Paper

I started smocking a new dress for Miss Baby over last weekend. I am only wanting the smocking to add a bit of texture to the fabric print, thus the color scheme of the smocking is subdued instead of bold and loud.

The fabric is Woodrow Studio’s (UK) Marbled Alchemy collection.  The print is licensed by Cockerell Papers, the oldest established marbler in the UK.

Doing a bit of trolling in the internet, I found the marbled pattern is called “Peacock” according to the Decorated and Decorative Paper Collection of University of Washington.  Hmmm… the pattern is definitely a candidate to be interpreted as quilting motif, but I digress.

Paper marbling is quite an interesting art form.  If you are intrigued by it as I was, Wikipedia has an interesting write-up on the history of paper marbling.    Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a fantastic day!

Another smocked wrap-around sundress for Miss Baby

I showed you Miss Baby’s Petite Flowers sundress a couple of weeks ago, and the “saga” associated with the dress!

Well, here is another one with sort of a saga story.  Like Petite Flowers, this is another one pulled out from the “still a long way off” pile that Miss Baby wore to church last Sunday.  And like Petite Flowers, this sundress is exactly the same style, just different smocking on the front.  Honestly, I don’t remember the reason for the same exact style for the dresses.

I took with my sister years ago at a supermarket’s fabric section in Southeast Asia, and learned only how to somewhat smock regular cable stitches and a bit of trellis.  And after I returned to the States, I picked this design to smock for my first real dress!  Okay, so, I have a knack of picking out tedious designs — it’s in my blood, and I can’t do anything about it!  HELP!

There are 100 bullion roses in this design.  And I duly worked on all of them over the course of many many months!  Although I am thoroughly thrilled with the effect of bullion roses, I do not like working on them one tiny bit.   Completing the smocking for this dress was certainly a test of endurance for me.

Now the upside of this saga is that I won a blue ribbon and was paid $6 (hahaha!) in the local county fair for best smocking or some award.  My husband teased me about all that work, and I was paid $6.  :)

Jokes aside, there is no sweeter feeling than to see Miss Baby in a dress made just for her.  Looking back, I think of the prayers offered up on Miss Baby’s behalf while I was working on the dress, and years before she was even in the picture.  I recorded some of those prayers in my prayer journal, and need to flip and see how the prayers have been answered.

That’s it for now!  I am hoping to finish my Sweet Scoop quilt later this evening – so I’d better run!

 

Smocked Wrap Around Sundress: Petite Flower (AS&E 63)

Good day, dear Friends!  Some of you had written me weeks ago and asked if I was working on an Easter dress for Miss Baby.  The answer is I had every intention to do so after our return from the trip to Asia, but I ended up working A LOT after being gone for a month.  Long story cut short, my initially planned Easter dress didn’t happen.  But…. enter Petite Flower!  Sorry I am not able to take a more crisp-er picture of the dress.  Sometimes it’s hard to take pictures of small print fabrics. Hopefully you will get a better idea what the dress looks like in the subsequent pictures.

I got a bit emotional over Easter weekend seeing Miss Baby wear Petite Flower to church.  You see, I had smocked that dress way back in 2004/2005!  The notion of children was still faraway for me then,  and I definitely didn’t expect (thought I was hoping I would) to eventually have a daughter that would wear the dress.  And yet, there she was, telling me on Easter morning “Beanniful tress, Mom” as I put the dress one her.

When Miss Baby was born, the dress was put away in the “still a long way off” pile with the other pieces of clothing that are of larger size.  When the intended Easter dress didn’t materialize this year, I suddenly realized we might have something in the “still a long way off” pile that might work — and Petite Flower fit Miss Baby perfectly!

The dress is an exact replica of Petite Flower from Australian Smocking and Embroidery Issue 63.  She was most impressed with the “tracks”  (i.e. railroad tracks) I have smocked.  I have never looked at the smocked columns as tracks, but I do have a daughter who has engineering bent!

Thinking back on the years that had gone by, I am again grateful for the encouragement I have received along my sewing journey.  Back in 2005, I had no idea how to hem a dress.  Great friend Annelle came along and did the hemming for me.

I re-dedicated myself as a mother over the weekend after realizing just how fast my little Miss Baby is growing!  I am starting a new smocked bishop for her today.  Will show you pictures when I have had some substantial work done on it.

Thanks for stopping by!  I will catch up with later – I am also starting a new quilt today.  Anyone care to come by and babysit while I work?

(Last) Year in Review #6: Miss Baby’s dresses

You can see for yourself I didn’t do as well in sewing for Miss Baby in 2011 as I did completing quilts for magazines.  I am really  going to strive to do better this year!

Please click on the links to see more pictures of individual outfits.

1.  Monogram (Limoges) Smocked Bishop

2.  You are my sunshine play outfit

3.  Zoo play outfit

4.  Candy Corn Fall Jumper

5.  Woodrow Studio’s “The Magic of Christmas” Bishop

6.  Boughs of Holly Smocked Bishop

Which is your favorite?