Monday, July 25, 2011

Pillowcases for Charity - Conkerr Cancer

One of my jobs for the weekend was to sew pillowcases for Conkerr Cancer. A co-worker of mine got people at our company to donate fabric, and got a few of us signed up to sew the pillowcases. I used a great, super simple, quick to sew up pattern from the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge website called "Roll it Up". There are loads of great free patterns there.

The first two I made are exactly the same...

Now all the rest have been washed, just need to start cutting.

The challenge with donated fabric is that you don't always have stuff that goes well together. And this charity is specifically for children, so we want as bright and cheery fabric as possible.

Conkerr Cancer commits to keep the donated cases in the local community where the donations came from. Unfortunately, we don't get to see them actually go directly to the hospital, but for what we sew, they will likely end up at CT Children's Medical Center. It makes a huge difference to me to know that the sewing will go to kids in my own community.

I'll show you the rest as soon as I get them done!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baby steps back into embroidery & welovefrenchknots

Somewhere around a year ago, I began to notice embroidery making a serious "comeback" as sewing becomes more and more popular and mainstream again. I saw patterns for skirts, or children's clothes, embellished with some small amounts of embroidery. Then there were quilt patterns with embroidery on them. And then, full on embroidery patterns seemed to be everywhere all of a sudden.

Then my friend Bari texted me about a great new idea she had for a new blog, guess what...all about embroidery! That was it, I decided I had to give it a try. The cool thing is, I had done a ton of stitchwork of various kids as a kid. I LOVED cross stitch, and for years worked on project after project. Like so many things, when I became a teenager, it wasn't "cool" enough, so I stopped.

I was a bit intimidated, but I got some gorgeous floss from Bari's shop, some cloth, a cheap hoop, and some needles at Joann (ack!) and then I hunted around for something easy to start with. Here's what I chose.

I found some great, easy, BASIC, but cute iron on patterns at SewMamaSew, and chose this Aunt Martha's to start with.

The directions were clear, and the transfer worked super well. It was easy and took maybe a total of 5 minutes, including heating up my iron!

Here it first "project" on the second stage of my embroidery life. I used only a split stitch, but by the time I was done I was feeling much more comfortable and confident enough to try other stitches.

Here's the back of my work. Not great, but not horribly messy. Again, I'm sure this will improve with practice.

One universal recommendation was to get this book. I got mine on Amazon here. I am so looking forward to my next project!

To see more about my friend Bari's new endeavor, head over to She's got videos up already and it looks to be a super fun and exciting blog.