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Church Militant “To the Pillbox!”

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Always in search of new ways to artfully cover our heads to show deference to our Lord I have heard the cry “To the pillbox!” Today I would like to show you a link to a tutorial that you can easily follow as I have done to make your own pillbox hat.  Brenda Burton of Humble Bumble B gave an interview on a web program called Thread Bangers (2007)- they have tutorials on all kinds of crafty subjects.  Here is the link.

The first pillboxes I sewed were made of felt.  Recently I have made some using 100% cotton fabrics reinforced with interfacing.  I really like the versatility of this for color and seasonal transcendence. Here is Whistle in her pillbox after church.
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So how does it go together?  I modified the pattern slightly from the tutorial to be smaller for the little girls heads- I think it turned out to be a great size for all heads.  When you watch the video- Mrs. Burton gives an excellent and simple presentation on making the pattern.  I changed the dimensions on the oval to be 6.5 inches and 2.5 inches high.  My band is 9.5 inches long- both are cut on the fold. Here is an example:

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I then cut  the same pieces from the interfacing and iron them on to the wrong side of the fabric.

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Next I sew some 1/2 inch seam binding to the flat edge of the hat band.

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You can use any color you might have in the drawer as this part of the hat will not be seen when you wear it. I am using a serger here.  Not required- but it sure make the hat so nice and neat!  Then I iron the seam binding out flat.

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Fold the hat band right sides together and sew a 5/8″ seam-joining the ends together and then you are ready to pin it to the top of the hat.

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So line up the seam on one end of the oval and start pinning it around.

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I will sew this with the regular machine first and then give it a surged finish.

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Next I fold the seam binding to the inside and pin two short lengths of ribbon to each side so that you can catch a bobby pin that will hold the pillbox on your head.  In Mrs. Burton’s video she puts a hole in the felt-  I think with cotton you could do a couple of small button holes for your bobby pins- but I thought this was easier.

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Top stich around the top edge of the seam binding to finish the hat.

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All that is left is the embellishments.  We picked a selection of buttons to adorn the front of these pillboxes- you can keep them bare and then use a broach or other jewelry and change it up to match your outfits.  An artfully applied flower with a corsage pin can also make a good decoration that you don’t have to commit to.

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Here is Whistle’s finished pillbox.  She picked out the buttons and sewed them on herself.

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Here is Whistle and Bubble together with their custom pillbox hats-these are so feather weight- once you have them pinned on you don’t even remember they are on your head.

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Until you get to church and receive your first complement on your pillbox- and then you remember it is there.

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God Bless!


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Happy Birthday!

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October is a big month for birthdays around here. For the past 22 years we have celebrated four birthdays (our two oldest kids and my Dad and his Mom).  This year we will add the first birthday of our cutie pie, Squeak, and celebrate her great grandmother’s 95th birthday. Grandma has been an excellent seamstress all of her life making her family’s clothes, teaching her daughters and many, many grandchildren and great grandchildren the fine art of sewing.  Many a grand prize 4-H ribbon has been had under her tutelage and I have done much consulting with her on these bonnets over the past few months as I resurrect my sewing skills.   Here is grandma in a jacket that she made for herself just last year.  Incredible.

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Everything is quilted.  I love the fabrics she picked out.  I think she started in January thinking she would need the time to have it done for Easter… She was finished with the jacket before the end of the month.  Here is the back.

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We are having a big party for this wonderful lady and I am looking forward to seeing family and friends.  Birthdays are something I try to make special and I have always loved to spend some time on the cake.  This year I got inspired to spend a little time on the hat!  Check out this adorable birthday fascinator that I made for Squeak’s first birthday.

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I used pink “Its a girl” ribbon for the embellishments and the trim has adorable puff balls.  Here she is with her cake on the night of her party.

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I have been having problems with my camera and I think that some little fingers were messing with the resolution- but we have to make due.  Here is squeak and her hat close up.

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Well- the midnight oil got lit up and I have been on a run ever since.  I have to share with you my muse…

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Yes, Elizabeth Gaskell period mini-series from the BBC.  A dear friend turned me on to the whole thing.  My most favorite is Cranford. I just love everything about it.  AND the bonnets and hairstyles are just worth singing about.  So I have been up the last few nights- needless to say- and this is what I have come up with.
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These little birthday fascinators are what every little girl needs on her birthday to feel most special.  I found the cutest glittery pink elastic to hold the whole thing on- all the pieces are light as a feather so they are hardly a bother to the birthday girl.  Here is a cute one all in sparkly hearts and lace.

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It has a pink organza fan on a tulle background with a lace and satin yo-yo center all set off by a big, shimmering heart shaped button.  The pink heart lace is very sweet- and everything is set on a base of cotton fabric illustrated with lollipops and cupcakes.  Next I ran with the same theme as the gem I made for squeak and added a silk flower with a sparkly button center.  This one has the adorable puff ball trim that I need to go back to Hobby Lobby and buy a 100 yards of.

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The third one has a bit of the dramatic with this fantastic pink organza fan- also set on a tulle background.  It has a heart shaped button too.  Every time I look at this cute fascinator I think of the movie short of Puss in Boots The Three Diablos.  He goes to this princess who has lost the “Heart of Fire” ruby from her crown.  She says to Puss “My heart has been stolen.” and he says, “I am innocent, I have never seen you before in my life.”

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Finally my favorite birthday hat for babies and toddlers everywhere is a play on the traditional birthday hat shape.  This is a little shorter then the ones you buy.  It is also softer and lighter and just one hundred times more adorable.

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The fabric! The flower! The PUFF BALLS!!  Oh my goodness this is cute on- see our squeak modeling here.

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I can think of all kinds of possibilities here for customization for themed birthday parties.  Princesses, clowns, dinosaurs, elephants, blues, pinks and Fancy Nancy’s… Oh my.  All of these are up at our Etsy shop that you can get to by clicking here or by visiting our page Shop.  You can also contact me directly with an email to GloryBee@GloryBee.us .  I would love to work with you on your next birthday party to help you make it special for your precious blessing.

Squeak Montage

God Bless!


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My Cup Runneth Over…

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Some days the blessings of our Lord are like drinking from a fire hose!  I have certainly been feeling that way lately.  Getting our home school underway this fall has been good work-hard work-but aren’t we so blessed to be able to do that for our children.  Many countries it is not that way.  We have all run through the stomach flu in the past two weeks and that was trying- but aren’t we blessed to have over the counter remedies like Pedialite, Imodium, pre-moistened towlettes and a washing machine!  I thought I might give a prize to the kid who could throw up in a bucket the first time out- not down Mom’s back, the bed or the hallway.  I even succumbed to the flu- but God blessed me again and I lost seven pounds!  Amazing.  The end of summer is always a good time to count your blessings they are so abundant and most obvious- in the garden the tomatoes are numerous and ripe, the zucchini is enormous and an unlocked car just might find a few in the passenger’s seat…fruit to can, corn to freeze, relish, pickles, the bounty we are blessed with is overwhelming.  Even the petunias seem to revive as the hottest days have passed and put on one more show before frost.

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Quite frankly I think that nationally this is one of the scariest times we have ever faced. We have hopefully -however narrowly- avoided military action in Syria by walking a golden bridge paved by a former KGB Cornel and former avowed adversary of the United States.  We are sending military aid to Al Qaeda (known enemy) backed Syrian rebels with money borrowed from China-another communist country last I checked.  We are looking at the end of the federal budget in 17 days with a treasury department who has stopped counting the national debt as of May.  Not to mention the moral degradation of just about everything in popular culture, the killing of innocent children in the name of women’s health, the killing of old people in the name of mercy, and the systematic increase in surveillance, prying, spying, harassing, and other maleficence in the name of national security.  I am mentally, emotionally and all other sorts exhausted thinking about this looming destruction of everything we as true American citizens hold dear.  ‘So where is the blessing in that’ you ask?

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Well it brings me closer to God.  I am doing what I can for the world out there: I write my representatives, I blog, I Facebook, I tell my friends.  But when the sun is rising I am praising God for these blessings I enjoy. I am learning new things about food storage, I am learning how to educate my own children, I am strengthening their ties to Jesus, I am strengthening my ties to Jesus.  Because I am a practical person I will give you a link to a beautiful website: DivineOffice.org No matter your denomination you will love this site.  What a way to check in with the Lord all day long- only a few minutes at a time.  I am trying to shore up my foundations- so that my house is not built on sand.  I am drinking in as fast as I can from that fire hose that is pouring out God’s love and blessings to all of us-even those of us facing the worst adversity. Our suffering united with His- brings us closer together.  So what has all this got to do with bonnets?!

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Beautiful fabric of course!  I just got a wonderful box of quilting fabric from my Aunt Moonie!!!!  She opened up the spigot and yes, my cup has runneth over!  Look at the beauty, the possibilities…

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I am so excited to get back to the sewing machine and start on some beautiful fall and Christmas bonnets!  Now that school is underway the routine is getting established it is back to bonnet making.  Please keep your eyes out for what is coming next here at Glory Bee.  We will have some beautiful red velvet and white Christmas lovelies for your precious little ones. I hope that we can be at the Fair Grounds for the upcoming Christmas Trio and some of the other local Christmas bazars.  You can also see what is new in the coming weeks at our Etsy shop GloryBeeBonnets.

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I recently listened to a program on the radio (I wish I could remember which one) -the station is our local KHSS 100.7 FM and they were talking about- what does it mean when St. Paul says to “pray constantly” or “pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and most importantly how can we do that?  Well I think they said that St. Augustine said that when you conduct business honestly you glorify God, when you give an honest day’s work for a day’s pay you glorify God and in doing everyday things honestly and well for the glory of God you are making a prayer to God in everything you do.  When I was looking up that verse to share with you all- I read from the beginning of 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 and there St. Paul is encouraging them in their faith as I encourage you: But, since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of the faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us  so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with him.  Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. Rejoice Always, pray constantly. 1Thessalonians 5:8-11, 16-17

God bless you!


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Boys and Bonnets?

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Do boys wear bonnets? My husband says definitely “No.” I think they might. Surely until they are a year old Moms can sneak a bonnet over those “Oh so adorable” curls that they refuse to cut.  Boys need the sun kept out of their eyes too- and a bonnet is the perfect solution for little ones that need to lay down.  A boonie hat or a beach bucket hat on a baby less than six months old is impossible to keep on.  The bonnet however is flat on the back of their head- a thin and more manly tie keeps it securely in place.  I say, “What could be more practical then a bonnet for boys?”  Here is my first attempt.
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This bonnet is called “Danny’s Dinosaur”- Ode to a favorite book of my childhood.  I couldn’t resist the red rick-rack on the brim- depending on feedback from Moms  I might need to on future boys bonnets.  The ties are narrower than the girls bonnets.  Instead of floral embellisments I went for another felt applique like the cupcake bonnet.  Here I cut out a dinosaur/Godzilla character and embroidered details using a great book by Aimee Ray called Doodle Stitching The Motif Collection.  This book was lent to me by an a great and talented friend who has inspired me to embroider.  My maiden voyage here- I might have to find some extra patience somewhere so that my stiches are more even…
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I have just finished a second boys bonnet for a friend and this one is called Jonah and the Whale for most obvious reasons.
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When I was researching online how Jonah was being depicted as a children’s character I came across a really great site Laura Thoughts and she has a tutorial for these really cute “Quiet Books” that she has made for her children.  There is a Noah’s Ark, David and Goliath, and a super “Armor of God” felt book where you dress the little character in his spiritual armor.  Her Jonah is much better then mine. So, so cute- so make sure you check out her site.  When reading the Aimee Ray book I was enamored of this stitch where you make a running stitch and then weave in and out on the top of the prior stitch with a different color.  I thought how great this would be for his hair-it would give me another color for texture- and when I cut out the hair I made it larger than the face because I surmised that he might have a beard.  Now I am thinking that Jonah might be looking a little more like a lion than a man.
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I need also some instruction on how to make a curved line with my stitches as the whale’s spout is a little straight.  Well- Live and learn.
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I hope that my friend enjoys this bonnet for her little boy.  You can let me know what you think on our Facebook page for Glory Bee.  Friend us there and you will see links to all new posts from our blog displayed on our timeline. So- do boys wear bonnets?

God Bless You!

 


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Quintet of Bonnets

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I am on a roll making these beautiful bonnets- they are like a Mommy addiction. As soon as I have a favorite I find another outfit that doesn’t have a hat to coordinate! These five bonnets featured here are ones I made for a customer to choose from.  She didn’t have a color pallet she was looking for so I made a variety and she chose two!

Here is the first one I am calling Apricots and Old Lace.
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It has the same ‘dotted swiss’ like apricot colored vintage fabric as the Aplets and Cotlets Bonnet I did earlier this month, however I used a repurposed lace that my daughter had picked up from Goodwill.  This lace from this dress has had nine lives- we have used it on three projects that I can remember- all beautiful.  The interior fabric and rear panel of the bonnet are apricot colored gingham.
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The contrasting band and ties are a cream colored eyelet.  This fabric is another vintage piece and just works great here.
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For the flowers I again used the same type of flower as I had on the Aplets and Cotlets Bonnet.  I used pearl buttons for the centers with a tulle and ribbon background.
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Here is the second of the five bonnets and I am calling this one Southern Lemonade.  I don’t know if there is such a thing- but this bonnet is so lemony and refreshing with the blue accents and a belle of the ball sort of feel to it.
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The lace is a delicate nylon lace and the big lemony flower is handmade from yellow organza.  I do a soft gather of the organza on the serger.  The fabric is cut about four inches wide and I fold it over and feed it into the serger.  Then I wrap the fabric round and round into a rose.  I found the best instruction online with a ribbon rose tutorial on YouTube here.  I don’t use hot glue- I sew the rose as I go letting the needle and thread dangle as I am folding.  That way the rose should not come undone (in a perfect world) if the baby happens to get ahold of the bonnet and start chewing on the flowers.
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The fabric is another piece of vintage yellow gingham from my magical treasure trove of fabric and the contrast is one of the beautiful quilt fat quarters that I received from my sister just the other day.  You can see all the colors I have to choose from in that post Christmas in July.  I used a large check print for the outside and a smaller gingham check of the same color on the inside.  The blue gingham yo-yo has a repurposed fabric covered button in the center.  Everything is set on a tulle back ground with this really pretty green ribbon that you will see I couldn’t put enough on in the next bonnet too.
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The third bonnet is a sister to Southern Lemonade- and it is called the Blue Eyed Susan.
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The fabric is vintage blue gingham and the contrast is more of the fat quarters shared by my sister.  The charm of this bonnet is the big blue organza rose and those two Blue Eyed Susan flowers.  Again I used a silk flower- taking apart the flowers I added a blue puff ball for the center.  Everything is hand sewn onto the hat so that it is secure.
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The fourth bonnet is called Strawberries and Cream.  The vintage pink poke-a-dot fabric reminds me of strawberry cream pie.
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The flower is a silk that has been reconfigured and is embellished with a tiny dragonfly charm.  I also have a pink gingham yo-yo with button center all set on top of a tulle and green ribbon background.
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The interior is pink gingham and the contrasting band and tie is a beautiful green print quilt fat.  I think I finally am getting the hang of constructing these bonnets.  I am one of those sewers that is always putting the zipper in backwards.  I have a hard time visualizing that when I pin this here and sew it there and turn it inside out that this is what is going to happen.  Anybody relate to that?  So I am always having to rip out a seam- especially in the corners where the ties attach to the hat.  But for this run I did it without a hitch- so 20 bonnets makes perfect?
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So finally here is bonnet number five- I saved it for last because it is my favorite of the five.  I couldn’t even come up with a name because it is so cute.  Purple is one of my favorite colors and the puff balls and the yo-yo’s and the butterfly….
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The fabric is purple gingham and seersucker!  The yo-yos are a purple gingham with an eyelet yo-yo on top-all sitting on a tulle and ribbon background.
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That is just too adorable.  Like a sugary doughnut with maple frosting and chocolate drizzle and sprinkles and bacon! So much but so good.  The interior fabric is a cute purple flower print on white background and the contrasting band and ties are another quilt fat in a darker purple print.
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Well the customer that I made this Bonnet Quintet for picked this purple bonnet for her precious little girl and chose the Apricot and Old Lace for her sister-in-law.  I have the remaining three available.  If you are interested please click on the contact page and drop me a line.  All are a size small which is a 18″ head circumference.  My squeak has been wearing the size small for a while and at the time of this posting she is two days away from being 10 months old.  The bonnets I am making for her now are a medium or 19″ but she still fits her size small bonnets. In fact here she is with her big brother wearing the first bonnet I ever made while on vacation this summer at Twin Lakes.
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Thank you for sharing your time with me.  I enjoy floating these creations out there for everyone to enjoy.  By the way this picture is of my oldest (age 23) and my youngest (almost 10 months).  Isn’t it amazing all the things we find ourselves doing in a span of years like that. Glory to God in the highest!

God Bless You!


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It’s A Cupcake Party!

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I have been on a roll making ten bonnets in all and a few baby fascinators in the last three weeks.  All this flurry of activity due to an interest of some lovely Moms at swim lessons.  Someone said, “Do you make those bonnets?” Then they said, “Do you sell them?”  A tentative “yes” and I am off and running.  Here is a picture of the bonnet that I came up with for this wonderful Mom who posed the question.

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The fabric is all seersucker- an adorable print with candy and cupcakes and the contrast is a beautiful bright pink. My oldest daughter (and art director and partner here at Glory Bee) cut out the cupcake from felt for me and I embroidered it to the hat and added the seed bead sugar with the puff ball cherry on top.

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This bonnet is just SO CUTE!! I started here adding tulle to highlight the embellishments and as you will see with future posts that I am continuing to think that looks great. Here is the detail on the rick rack brim trim.

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I am celebrating with this cupcake bonnet the grand opening of my shop GloryBeeBonnets on Etsy this week.  Please check it out or friend us on Facebook at our Glory Bee page.  You can contact me directly at glorybee@glorybee.us or on our contact page.  The bonnets listed there are just a beginning.  I am happy to fulfill a custom order for a baptism or special occasion- or you might find a dress that is delightful and we can work to match the colors for a beautiful bonnet.  The more I make them the more I just love them.  They are a fitting crown for these little blessings we receive from our Lord and Creator.

God Bless!


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Christmas In July

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Oh joy! I love packages and I received a wonderful one today.

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When I zipped open the top the stacks of quilt fats just kept coming out!  The colors, the patterns, the possibilities….

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What an unexpected surprise!  My sister did call me and tell me that she had found a shopping cart of stacks of fats on sale for $3.00 each and picked some up for me- but WOW! So many- my cup runneth over.

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It was just like Christmas- in July.  Thank you sister!

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God Bless You!


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Aplets & Cottlets

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Here is my latest sweet treat that I am calling Aplets & Cotlets. Now that I have confirmed the spelling of the famous fruit candy from Liberty Orchards I am thinking I should rename that bonnet- apples and apricots… Wow I didn’t know they left out a ‘p’ in apple that has really got me confused.  Anyway the candy is sweet and so is this new bonnet.  Here is Squeak modeling in the garden and she has discovered the solar light stake nearby the blanket- it would come in handy as we fended off the crawly bugs while taking our pictures…
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This is the first time that I have used flowers that I didn’t make myself on a bonnet.  I pull them all apart- taking the plastic forms out of the centers and then arrange them in a pleasing configuration and applied a really cute button and some pony beads for a wonderful effect.
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The fabric is vintage hand-me-downs from my stepmother’s mom.  Beautifully repurposed here for Squeak. Here is a last picture of this adorable bonnet the perfect color combination for summer.
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God Bless you!


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Old Straw Hat Update

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Recently Whistle celebrated her birthday and from her big sister she received a beautiful hat box (a future post) full of lovingly worn hats from Goodwill and St. Vincent’s.  Also included were some dollar store silk flowers to embellish with- a great gift idea to be sure.  So here is our Saturday afternoon hat project.

First I took at piece of vintage ‘dotted Swiss’ and sewed a hat band.  I knotted it around the hat and then secured the ends and the opposite side with my Trinity Tack Stitch. The Trinity Tack Stitch is when I take double thread make one stitch for each person of the blessed Trinity-saying “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”  For the “Amen” I tie it off with a double knot.
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Then Whistle selected some flowers and we removed the plastic middles.  Restack them in order and then make a Trinity Tack Stitch in the middle- while the thread is still in the flower tack it to the hat.
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Here is the finished hat:
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I think the red punch mustache is really what makes the hat-she is beautiful.
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Here is a closer detail- I think this took me 30 minutes total to put together.  Whistle wore it Sunday to church.
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In conclusion I want to say that the Lord calls us to pray without ceasing.  The Trinity Tack Stitch is one of many things that I have created so that every hour of everyday I acknowledge my heavenly Father- so that He is ever present in my mind and all the little things I do for love of my family, friends and for love of Him is dedicated to Him.  In eating, in drinking, in all that you do, do everything as for God’s glory. 1 Corinthians 10:31


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Kentucky Derby Delight

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My Mom needed a Kentucky Derby inspired hat for last weekend and here is what I came up with.  She brought the hat:
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I needed some inspiration- so after a Bing search I went here to Lady Diane Hats for a look at some very beautiful and traditional Kentucky Derby hats.

So I decided to go with black and white- I had some silver satin so that was going to be the color for the giant rose that would be the center piece of the hat.  My Mom dresses with her husband’s eye in mind and one of his favorite colors is silver or grey.  So to get started I took some white organza and serged a rolled scarf hem.
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This organza would serve as the hat band and a separate piece would make the bow.
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Here is my first attempt at the bow- in the final equation- which I did not take a picture of… I went with a simpler bow without a center knot and it turned out much better.IMG_8375

I added a fan of white tulle for texture.
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Now to work on the flower.  I decided that the inspiration flowers were big- so I cut 28 petals to make this satin rose.  I got the instruction on this type of rose construction from a great website called Fun with Fleece.  I have made many of the projects on her website- in fact my Christmas stockings are from her patterns.  Each petal is sealed over a candle and they ruffle up as you heat them to make them just so beautiful.
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I sewed the flower together in two parts because there were so many petals.
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I needed something sparkly either in the center of the flower or somewhere on the hat- so I got into the jewelry box and here were some of my options.
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I settled on an old favorite from my misspent 80’s youth- its pin back had broken long ago but it is still beautiful.
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So now all that is left is to sew everything together.  I used regular needles and thread- but next time I am breaking the seal on this upholstery needle set that I bought and using that (for some reason I am saving it in the package for some natural disaster- when I have to reupholster my couch by hand or something?). You definitely need a thimble too as you work your needle thought the material of the hat and all the thicknesses of the flower.  Here it is all finished.  The feathers are courtesy of our very own bossy gallito.
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And here it is on my beautiful Mom before the event-
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And here she is at the event- a complete success!
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