Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Day @ Convention

Just a quick note after my first day of classes.

I have been doing hem stitching and pulling threads on linen for drawn thread work all day. We are making the most beautiful little baby dress!

This is the dress we are making. Tranquility.

When Wendy Schoen says to bring magnification for one of her classes, take it from me you need magnification! It is a two day class with homework. So tonight after we go out to eat I will be back in the hotel room working till bedtime.

The hotel here is connected to a very nice mall. We found the important stores yesterday.... Starbucks and the Godiva chocolate store.

Well I am heading over to another meeting then to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. ~janet

Monday, September 28, 2009

Heading to the Smocking Convention

I am heading to the SAGA - Smocking convention in the morning.

But first I need to head to the doctors office this afternoon. The gray gas/smoke from the airbags is making my asthma act up all week.

I have two garments going in the Design Show. Both will be published in Sew Beautiful sometime next year.

Needless to say my plans to drive to the convention have been cancelled since I hit Bambi's Dad last week. I could take my husband red pick up truck (farm truck) but I would have to take a step stool with me to get in and out of it. :-)

I will try to keep you updated on all the happenings at the convention. ~janet

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Yesterday I learned that I was received a Kreativ Blogger from Julia of

The "RULES" of this award are that I am to......1) tell you seven things that you don't already know about me. 2) I am to name seven other blogs to receive this award. 3)I am to leave a comment on each of the blogs I have nominated letting them know that I have given them an award. 4) I am to thank the blogger who gave me the award.

Okay let try the first one. Seven things you don't know about me.........

1. My younger sister use to tell my friends that I was adopted. She told them I was sensitive about this so don't mention it to her!

2. I have moved every 2-4 years my entire life. I had a hard time when we moved to this farm 14 years ago. I did not know how to stay in one place. I was use to waiting to clean behind the refrigerator only after the movers had loaded it on the truck.

3. I have flown in an F-16 twice.

4. I am allergic to peanuts.

5. I do not like the color orange especially burnt orange. Gig 'Em Aggies!

6. I live in a house that is suppose to be haunted. At first when I heard all the stories I figured they were connected to all the whiskey bottles I have found in the woods. I have seen something twice that I could not explain. So maybe its true.

7. My SIL and my husband' s Ex also have the same first name as me....Janet. And we have been introduced before as "the Janets".

I will have to work on the 7 other blogs to pass this award to.

Here are the first three.....

1. Sivje from

2. Gail Doane


And last a great big Thank You to Julia for giving me this award. I really appreciate it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Deer Slayer

Tuesday night my Ford Explorer became the Deer slayer. I took this picture of a 10 pointer from my kitchen window.

It is not the deer I hit. I only hit a 6 pointer. I know......only a 6 pointer! I don't get much sympathy around here. People are more amazed that this was the first deer I hit.

After I hit the deer, my idiot light came on saying...."Check the Right Headlamp". DUH!

The deer laid in the ditch for a few minutes then walked away.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When It rains,it pours!

Things around here are very hectic.

  • My daughter's softball team is in the final tournament.
  • An ivory insert (already smocked) turned white after I washed it.
  • I am leaving for the SAGA convention in a few days and I am not packed.
  • I hit a 6 point Buck on the way home tonight. Airbags deployed.

But looking on the bright side of things......

  • Softball season is almost over with!
  • I tea dyed the insert and the fabric is back to an ivory shade.
  • I am still leaving for the SAGA convention even if I am not packed.
  • No one was hurt in the deer strike except the deer and my car.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Smocked Christmas Wreath Tutorial Part 2

To make this Smocked Wreath you will need 2 pieces of light weight fabric for the front of the wreath that are 6 1/2" wide by the width of the fabric.

For the back of the wreath you will need 1 piece of fabric that is 5" wide by the width of the fabric. The back fabric can be the same fabric as the front of the wreath or you can use a novelty fabric or another fabric of your choice.

Cut or tear your three pieces of fabric.

Set aside your fabric back. We will deal with it after the wreath is smocked.

Take your two front pieces of fabric. Cut off the salvage of one side on each piece. Pin the fabrics together cut short side to cut short side.

Stitch fabric together using a ¼ inch seam allowance. Trim seams down to 1/8 inch then zig-zag the edge making a rolled edge seam. To make a zig zag rolled hem, the zig is on the fabric and the zag is off the fabric. Press seam.

The wreaths shown have a serged rolled hem on the outside edge. This is optional you can do a narrow hem or even add a trim. The choice is yours.

To make the serged rolled edge first double to make sure the Right side of the fabric is UP. Otherwise the rolled edge hem will be rolling to the wrong side of the fabric.

Thread your serger with the thread of your choice. Set the serger to a rolled hem. If you have a differential feed on your serger if you set the differential feed to stretch the fabric while you are sewing the rolled edge you will have a denser stitch. When going over the joined seam hold the fabric taunt.

There may be a few little threads sticking up after you go over the joined seam. Don't worry. This can be fixed later.


Thread your pleater with 13 Full space rows of hand quilting thread. For this project I prefer Hand Quilting Thread over any other thread because it is stronger.

Your Pleating threads need to be extra long because you are pleating 90 inches of fabric.

Roll your fabric on to a dowel rod.

Here is a graph and a picture to show you the pleating spacing. We want about an 1 inch ruffle of unpleated fabric on the outside edge. Double check that the unpleated ruffle is on the serged rolled edge side. (been there, done that, don't want to do that again.)

After the wreath has been pleated, Unpick about 1/2 inch from each side.

Place your pleated wreath onto a blocking board or your ironing board. Pull up the pleating threads of the first two pleating thread to 12 inches. Tie off the first two inside rows with a double square knot.

Note: I know that some ladies smock a bishop dress with the fabric straight (not fanned out into a circle). The Straight Method of smocking a bishop does not work on this wreath.

Fan out the wreath onto your blocking board or ironing board. Tie off the rest of the pleating rows with a double square knot.

Here is the smocking plate for the Red wreath. It is clickable to make larger.

The usual restrictions apply to this smocking design. It is for personal use only. Do not sell the design or mass produce it. Also do not make changes to the design then claim it as your original design.

You can also use use any bishop smocking plate you want.

We are going to use 4 strands of embroidery floss when smocking this wreath. You want your smocking stitches to be visible.

Remember this wreath is an exercise in endurance. Think of it as smocking bishop dress for an elephant. :-)

To begin smocking this smocking design we are going to start in the very center of the pleated wreath.

Bring your threaded needle up one pleat to the left of the center seam on row 5. Stitch a cable stitch.

Continue following the graph.

After you have smocked several trellis stitches, look at your wreath. Can you see your stitches? If you can't see your stitches I recommend to increase your threads to 5 or 6 strands.

When you get to the end of the pleated wreath, Do Not tie off. Leave about a 3 inch tail.

To be continued............

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Smocked Christmas Wreath Tutorial Part 1

Well, I am a week later then what I had projected on started this smocked wreath. My apologies.

I should have anticipated my busy life getting in the way. Here is the link to my first post.

Today let me go over again with what you will need to make this smocked wreath.

These are the basic supplies. You will also need some polyester batting later on when we get to the construction.
I realized I did not add any embroidery floss into the group picture. You will need embroidery floss. :-)

The first thing you need to decide on is what fabric are you going to use. You will need a 1/2 yard of a light weight fabric that does not have a hard pattern.

The red wreath is made from red Imperial Micro Check.

Okay, what to see some of my mistakes? This was the first wreath I did.

I loved the Christmas print when I bought it but when I pleated it I had all these red blobs on it!

Did I get some different fabric and re-pleat it.........Noooooo! Of course not, I am too stubborn. So this is my Green Red Blob Wreath! :-)

I will give you the smocking design on the red wreath. But you can use any bishop smocking design. The GRB wreath is smocked with my smocking design "China Rose" which is in Sew Beautiful #109.

You will also need some sort of decorations for the wreath. But you can leave it plain and it will still be beautiful.

Now is the perfect time to look for decorations. I was at my local craft store and they had all their Christmas decorations out.

The red wreath had plastic Christmas lights. But you can also use miniature Christmas ornaments, Jingle Bells or Buttons. Use your imaginations and the sky's the limit.

These directions are not limited to just Christmas. You can use sports buttons or ceramic buttons and make your wreath something you can use year round.

I think the next one I make will be a Texas wreath. I saw some miniature Texas themed ornaments yesterday. I wonder if I can attach miniature Tabasco bottles? Hmmm.... I will have to think about that.

These are plastic ring that you will use for the back of the wreath. You will need 5 of them.

You will need one 10" metal craft ring. This is also know as a Macrame ring.

If you have children or grandchildren around I highly recommend you get more then one. This way you will not be hunting all over the house for your craft ring when you need it.

In my house these rings have been used for several Circus acts and races down the hall. :-)

Come back tomorrow (God willing and the creek don't rise) and we will start.