Friday, August 26, 2016

Sew Along
Dainty Diaper Set



The members enjoyed a day of sewing together as they completed a UFO from a class with Debbie Glenn held several years ago. 


About 15 members attended this event and were treated to a day of fun. We so appreciate 'Quilt Works Shop' http://www.quiltworkstexas.com
who allow us to use one or more of their classrooms. 

Here Leslye is sharing information with Julie, Karen, Barbara and Joy about how to do the precious scalloped edge along the hem and the shell stitch around the neckline and armhole curve.


Everyone loved the technique that Leslye shared on how she prefers to do French seams.



Leslye also shared directions on getting those tiny tucks just where you want them and not have a thread tail at the base of the tuck.

While many members were sewing away in the classroom, Trena was in the main room of the shop, selling raffle tickets for the chapter fund raiser.




Saturday, August 20, 2016

August Show and Share

Nikki is still on cloud 9 with expectations of a new grandson. She is sewing up a storm for this little wee one. Here she shares 3 new outfits for him. The yellow ducks embroidered on a ‘Creations by Michie #134’ done in a blue batiste is just too, too adorable.




Nikki copied an idea of threading embroidery floss through the holes of entredeaux she saw previously, on this ‘Baby’s First Daygown by Old Fashioned Baby’ made up in a soft Swiss flannel.





















The 3rd outfit she shared is a 2 piece ensemble from ‘Dream Baby by Petite Poche’ in a Swiss flannel.




























Trena embroidered a pillowcase of 100% cotton percale using a Kari Mecca Machine Embroidery design. She used a satin stitch to finish the curved edges of the pillowcase opening. 

Beautiful job!



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August Wee Care Workshop


The Midnight Oil Smockers’ members gather semi-annually to construct Wee Care Gowns in an assembly line type of structure. The co-chairs, Susanna and Ann, meet prior to the workshop and prepare several gowns in various stages of construction in order for all members to be able to immediately get hands-on with the task at hand. 

The first step is the cutting station. Here Leslye and Karen are cutting the gown front, back and sleeves.


The cut fabric is then handed over to the sewing station where Leda, Nikki and Marisol begin the process of seaming them together. After the sleeves have been inset, a member at the pressing station will press in a small hem at the neckline and pass the garment to those who are pleating. Here Trena, carefully pleats 1/2 space rows in each gown.


Each gown is placed in a bag, ribbon for the neckline and the hem are included with each gown along with the memo regarding the size of the gown. They are now ready for any member to take home and smock.

The workshops are a great opportunity for members to gather, find time to chat and still be productive. According to our chairman, we now have 50 completed gowns ready for smocking!


Thursday, August 11, 2016



That is how Beth feels whenever she enters her sewing room. The women of her family, past, present and future are reflected throughout this room. She has been gracious enough to share it with us so that we may sense that kindred spirit.

Let's start the tour...

As you step over the threshold and through the doggie gate, the impression of something special is evident.













On the right hand side wall, there is an atmosphere of unbelievable organizational skills; whether it is future ideas bagged in plastic, UFOs stacked neatly in clear see-through latched cases (she hates to admit how many of those she has stashed away) or patterns and sewing references in bins, Beth has easy access to whatever on which she hopes to work.
The back wall displays the first hint of past generations to future generations. The Raggedy Ann doll (and Andy) was sewn by her mother's paternal grandmother for her mother when she was just a toddler.  



Beth's children and hopeful future grandchildren are also present on this back wall. She rotates several finished outfits by season as part of the wall art. The above dresses are among some of her favorites. The summery sailor dress from Susan Stewart she calls "Rainbow Sherbet" as well as a peach batiste heirloom dress and complementary doll's dress of her own design hang at this time for all to view.

The Raggedy Ann has been restored and Beth is working on the Andy doll. Gazing at the dolls as Beth sews, she is touched by the love that was sewn into them. 


Moving around to the other side wall, there are several items that attest to Beth's family's love of needle art.
In the below shadow box is a baby dress made in 1920 by Beth’s great-grandmother (for whom she is named) for her only daughter. The photos included are of Beth’s grandmother (left) who wore it first in 1921 and Beth’s youngest daughter, Clara (right) wearing the dress in 1997.
What treasured memories!
Beth’s maternal grandmother did beautiful crewel work which is exhibited in the stitching hanging over the wing back chair. Her paternal grandmother’s perfect candlewick workmanship is unmistakable on the pillow.



On the back wall we begin to see some of Beth’s work in progress.

Here is a precious yoke dress that needed a slip…

She now sews almost exclusively on her Pfaff Creative 4.0 machine at home and loves the IDT (built in walking foot) and the auto presser foot lift. The lighter weight Pfaff Passport 2.0 is her travel companion for classes. In her sewing room she keeps her grandmother’s Sears Kenmore and her mother's 1960 Singer, she plays with them for quilt piecing.

Beth has her sewing tools orderly arranged in the rolling caddy, ready to be taken to any class workshop or tucked under her sewing desk.





Beth loved the opportunity to take classes at the ‘Martha Pullen Schools’ several times and attended the first ‘Sassy Southern Sewing’ retreat in San Antonio, TX last year.




Here is Beth in one of her favorite spots to do handwork, it has tons of natural light! The other spot she uses is her sitting room with her hubby at night as they enjoy watching TV together.

She started sewing when she was about 10 years old and was taught by her mother. Her first garment was a nightgown, as her mother considered that any mistake visible would only be seen by the wearee, Beth herself. Beth admits that sure enough, the bottom ruffle of the directional fabric was sewn on upside down. She recalls it with fond memories.

One of the reasons she loves being a member of the Midnight Oil Smockers chapter are the educational opportunities available throughout each year and spending time with other stitchers with similar interests. The mantra she continually strives toward...  
Done is Better than Perfect’.

Friday, August 5, 2016

SAGA Smock-Along


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            ARE YOU PARTICIPATING IN THE NEW CLASS?
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Several MOS members have signed up for the FREE correspondence course through SAGA.



Debbie,Tammy and Tawn met at 'The Quilt Room' in Huffman, TX to support each other as they began this project.

Debbie looks pretty intent on reading the directions while Tammy threads the needles of her pleater.





Looks like they are having fun already!















Lesson1, exercises I-IV completed!



If you have joined the over 300 SAGA members in this journey, please send me pictures...midnightsmockers@gmail.com

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Comic Strip

The needle art of smocking mentioned in a comic strip, how many people actually knew what the bride was talking about?



I did...



Sunday, July 24, 2016

Our Own Busy Member





























Joy, one of our many talented members here at Midnight Oil Smockers in Houston, TX has been 'Team Teaching' with Cindy Foose at Farmhouse Fabrics.  http://www.farmhousefabrics.com These two ladies are a perfect combination of artistry, expertise and techniques.

Joy, on the right, has a phenomenal aptitude for embroidery. You can visit her website  http://www.appliqueforkids.com 

Cindy Foose, has been traveling and teaching since 1987. She has recently been hosted by the Midnight Oil Chapter. You can read more about Cindy and her life by visiting the SAGA blog, posting of September 4, 2015. One of her newest ventures has been 'A Wink and a Nod' patterns http://shop.farmhousefabrics.com/stores_app/Browse_Item_Details_side.asp?Store_id=198&page_id=23&Item_ID=38870&Name=a-Wink-and-a-Nod-

Joy and Cindy obviously had a few minutes between the two classes they were teaching together and enjoyed the time by sharing information just between the two of them.




Isn't it fun to just sit and watch your machine do 'all' the work?