Tuesday, November 22, 2016


American Doll Fundraiser:
And the Winner is…
Beth was the lucky winner of our chapter's fundraiser this year! 
A special 'THANKS' goes to all of the families, friends and other generous donors who supported our efforts. Our service project of Wee Care Gowns donated to local hospitals for the Bereavement Programs is well funded.

Trena, chairperson of this year's fundraiser and Brenda, incoming President watch over Roberta, outgoing President as she pulls the winning ticket from the purple treasure box.

2nd place: Teresa is beyond delighted...

3rd place:
winning ticket was sold by member Terry and she will hand deliver those items.

Program: Handkerchief Wee Care Gowns

Joy presented a workshop on her design of Wee Care Gowns made from men's handkerchief. This project can also be located in SAGANews vol 37 issue 2 pg. 12-14.

Joy begins her lecture of how these sweet gowns came to be created. They can be machine embroidered, hand embroidered or smocked. The front, back and sleeves are pre-hemmed by the manufacturer of the handkerchief and by simply following her directions for cutting out the pattern; the seamstress needs only to sew 2 side seams and a neckline casing. 

The members, anxious to get started, listen attentively to the instructions. 

Joy shares that the hand or machine embroidery can be accomplished prior to or after the construction is completed. Below you can see she has hand embroidered a feather stitch using the handkerchief's pre-marked lines.

The example below indicates how perfect placement of the pattern pieces along the pre-hemmed kerchief allows for the center back rolled hem to also be finished for the seamstress.

Throughout the workshop, members were sewing, ironing and asking specific questions to Joy.

Program: SAGA Trunk Show
The 2016 Trunk Show featured items from the national organization's membership which displays a variety of smocking and heirloom sewing as well as 18 smocking variations from the Lacis Museum 'Fabric Manipulation and Beyond' exhibit. Are you aware there are approximately 20 different types of smocking? Bargello (2 forms), Diagonal, Background, Continental (center sampler in below picture, created by our own member, Roberta for the Lacis Museum), Italian, Reverse, Crossover, English/Geometric, Bulgarian, Flower/Canadian, Picture, Lattice and Lozenge (also known as North American Smocking but separate in their own right as well) Lace, Clamshell, Counterchange, Vertical, Free Form, Jigsaw, Template, Direct/French Smocking. You can visit the Lacis Museum and view the samplers on the website.http://www.lacismuseum.org click on 'previous exhibits', scroll down to 'smocking', then find 'smocking techniques slide show' and click through pictures.

Show and Share:

Susan has sewn a coordinating Christmas quilt pillow. What a stash of fabric she must have in her closet, under the bed or perhaps in the extra bedroom now that the kiddos are out of the house.

This precious day gown was made from 'Baby's Smocked Layette' by Old Fashioned Baby using striped Swiss dimity. The pattern includes the smocking design. Roberta shares that she added about 1 and 1/4 inches to the front pattern piece which gave her a few extra pleats, but didn't add that much fullness to the front panel.

Is there anything sweeter for a little girl than a bishop? Chery Williams' 'Baby Bishops' is perfect for any sewist, whether a beginner or a seasoned seamstress. Roberta used a Liberty lawn fabric, Elizabeth and an AS&E smocking design 'Beginnings'. The lace at the bottom adds such a dainty feminine effect. 

Another Creations by Michie, #138, made by Nikki. For this outfit she used a pale blue pique with ivory trim. She created her own smocking design to add that special touch. 

Move over Prince George, Deacon is about to make his first appearance and he will be wearing smocking!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Gail Doane Workshop
Gail's sample; our goal

The Midnight Oil Smockers hosted Gail Doane for a workshop featuring her fabulous ‘Jelly Roll Jacket’. The kit comes in multiple fabric choices and each member had a difficult time making up their minds.

First things first...all kits were handed out and each member began the process of cutting out the pattern pieces for their specific size.

Once that was completed, the batting needed to be cut into blocks to fit the front, back, sleeves, and yoke of the jacket. 

Now the ever daunting task of selecting the sequence of fabric strips to be sewn together for all of the various sections of the jacket. Gail discusses with Colleen some tips on the best method to begin the process.

As you can see, Leslye and Susan are pondering their selections, however Nikki appears to be quite delighted with hers.

After a quick break for lunch, the sewist set up their machines and get started...

Here is Ann sewing the selected strips to the blocks of batting which essentially 'quilts' the fabric in preparation for cutting out the front, back, sleeves and yoke pieces of the jacket.

Throughout the activity, Gail is called upon for her expertise. Here she helps Joanne decide strips for the jacket back while comparing what she has already placed on the front.

Above and below are some examples of how these strips of fabric come together to create a beautiful 'one of a kind' garment.

Gail frequently gathered the members together while she shared tips and techniques to get the best construction results for the jacket. She had several examples of each step of the process which she shared with us as we continue in our tasks.

As you can see from these pictures of the table tops, sewists are not necessarily tidy while sewing...

but there is always a method to our madness.

Look, there is still smiles on everyone's face even after 2 days of sewing. 

We are all on a different step in the process, but we all have the same goal; a completed jacket. Looking forward to seeing them!

As mentioned above, Gail always shares her tips and techniques with the class. Today's special 'favorite find' for a new sewing tool was the Fiskars folding ruler.

Here is a youtube that discusses this tool.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Member’s Pursuits

The members of Midnight Oil Smockers take to heart the tag line of our national organization...
It's not just smocking! Heirloom Sewing & Quilting, Embroidery, Silk Ribbon, Drawn Thread, Appliqué, Doll Dressing, and more!

Just this past weekend two of the members attended a weekend workshop at 'The Quilt Room' located in Huffman, TX.

Here is Julie holding up a finished 'Tool Tote' example of the class presented by Barbara Hupy. The one she is furiously sewing on is placed the table by her machine. 

Leda, who also attended, was working hard on finishing up her project. Doesn't some of her fabric look familiar?

We all look forward to seeing these finished totes at the next MOS meeting for 'Show and Share'.

For more information about 'The Quilt Room', visit their website:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Show and Share 
Evening Meeting

One of the new members brought several items for the October meeting.

This precious yellow day gown made from handkerchief linen features antique tatting and buttons. The pattern used is  Pricillas' Layette from ‘The Old Fashioned Baby’ by Jeannie Baumeister. 

Stuart shares this white day gown was sewn mostly by hand. She used nelona batiste, her special antique buttons and the same pattern.

To create this sweet bishop, Stuart paired Liberty of London fabric purchased at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco with the ‘Easy Bishops and Bonnets’ by Cynthia Finnerty smocking plate to Yvonne Denise’s pattern ‘Sarah’. What a perfect combination or fabric, pattern and design. Once again the antique tatting added just the right touch of daintiness.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October Meeting 

Show and Share

Susan presented a very informative program on how to make you own “Sewing Machine Mat”. Here she is with the one she made for herself. 

After supplying each member a handout with detailed directions, she walked through the process step by step with an example.

Cut out your main piece and pocket from pre quilted fabric or quilt you own fabric. Place the main piece on the table to ensure that it does not extend too much past the table that it interferes with your legs and becomes annoying while sewing.

After sewing the binding onto the pocket piece, it will be attached to the main piece. At this time, consider what you will want to place in the different sections of the pocket and sew vertical lines on the pocket to create individual smaller pocket sections.

Susan adds a special piece of fabric or binding to the right side of her mat before attaching the edge binding. She then tethers her scissors in place.
Now sew the binding all the way around the entire quilt. Susan suggests that you use a decorative stitch to add a bit of your own personality to the mat.

Roberta always inspires with her creations. This is CC pattern 'Lee' made in a floral print from Fabric Finders featuring burgundy corduroy collar and cuffs. The smocking design is 'Elizabeth' from Creative Needle May/June 2002.

This sweet 'Lucy' by CC was sewn with a red pique. The blouse is from the CC pattern 'Mary De'. She used a purchased insert. She shares that the insert guide threads have been removed and it takes a bit of patience to align all the stitching and the pattern to ensure it is even across the yoke.

This precious 'Lee' from CC is the perfect pattern with which to use a purchased inserts. She made a few adaptions to the pattern; using eyelet at the neckline rather than the collar and coordinating the sleeves with the same eyelet.

Trena brought some handmade pattern/fabric weights to show. She found this very cute Halloween fabric at Wal-Mart and used the familiar 'Frannie' pattern from CC. Set off the fabric with a perfect combination of orange with black polkadot collar trimmed with tiny black and white gingham check piping. What lucky little girl will wear this?

Debbie made this little boy one piece as the "coming home from the hospital" outfit for her newest grandson.

She used the Miche Mooney pattern #104 in the newborn size. The pastel blue broadcloth was monogramed in white.

Cathy also shared this lovely Chery Williams Basic Yoke dress. The inspiration for this dress was Strawberry Thieves from AS&E #41.

Teresa shows off her latest creation from AS&E issue 50. This sweet pink and blue fabric made a beautiful example of the Isabella pattern.

Brenda is so excited about these quilts that she constructed using fabrics from her stash! What a stash she must have...The above design is a variation of Flying Geese done in Halloween fabric. The quilt below is called Now and Later, also from Halloween fabrics.
Beautiful work!

And last but definitely not least is the group photo of those members who completed their Dainty Diaper Set by Debbie Glenn. Thank you Leslye for spear-heading this sew-a-long that encouraged so many to accomplish great things!