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. 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 

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

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?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

July Meeting

Christmas in July?

Even in Houston we can pretend to observe this idea of Christmas in July. Leslye had a sweet sachet featuring the shell hem edging by hand and a little Christmas themed hand embroidery. 

Can you see the delicate hand stitched shell hem?

Here are a few more of her sweet sachet bags. Some have soap and others have dried spices. This would make such a nice gift for a friend this Christmas.

Leslye begins the demonstration by talking the members through the first step of folding down the hem along the top edge before launching into the stitching.

There was much discussion about stitching the shell hem from right to left. It really helped to have Leslye turn around for the members to see exactly how she began.

Show and Share

Leslye brought along these garments to demonstrate how the shell hem stitch could be used on wearable items. This ‘Summer Clothes’ bubble by Old Fashioned Baby displays hand embroidery as well as the hand stitched shell hem technique. The diaper shirt by Wendy Schoen features shadow work embroidery with the shell hem stitch. 

This little number by Leslye is the ‘Lilly’ pattern by Trisha’s Treasures in a dainty printed cotton. She shared that she added 1/4 inch at the neck and legs as she didn’t use her serger to do construction. Doesn't the ribbon bow just pop out! You are always an inspiration of talent and ideas.

Roberta shares some time saving ideas with this adorable cool summer dress by 'Creation by Miche'. The embroidered collar was purchased from Farmhouse Fabrics saving her time and energy. The fabric for the yellow dress was imperial batiste in a delicate buttercream color.

Here is another time saving tip, let someone else do the smocking. The insert on this dress was purchased at our chapter's Midnight Madness Sale. She stated it was quite easy to just 'whip up' the dress as she had the fabric in her stash. She used a Martha Pullen pattern, Square Yoke Dress in a size 2.

Great JOB Teresa!

Joanne shares her 'very old' finished UFO with this Tartan cotton 'Lee' pattern by Children's corner. She designed the geometric smocking herself!  

Susan shares a cute 'Louise' pattern by Children's Corner in cotton featuring a machine embroidery initials for her great niece. She felt the dress was a little long so she plans to add another tuck. Don't you just love the barefoot look in this picture?

Beth shares her goal of finishing a UFO every month. Here is her start...a Wendy Schoen class project made in linen with machine embroidery. The pattern is 'Baby Butterflies' from Petite Poche and available on her website. The embroidery is Wendy Schoen's Machine Embroidery-Collection I.

Buttons ’n’ Bows
Children’s Corner Trunk Show

After a very informative meeting the members met in groups to have lunch and visit the our own local shop and enjoy the trunk show.

Debbie is holding the sample of 'Ruthie'. It appears she is discussing this pattern with Marge of Buttons 'n' Bows while Denise and Beth do a little shopping. 

Another cute sample is this cute  Laura pattern. The top can be made as a dress or top for summer crops or shorts.

The 'Emily' pattern is the perfect dress for the little older girls. It comes in sizes up to 12.

THANK YOU to Marge and Lisa for hosting this wonderful trunk show! And thanks to Children's Corner for permission to upload these dresses on our website.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Ready to be Inspired?

is hosting
 Children's Corner Trunk Show

If you have never seen this trunk show, you are in for a treat! Marge and Lisa are excited for everyone to come visit while these garments are on display. The show starts this Monday July 18th. For further information, visit their website or call the shop directly 281-497-0170…

Saturday, July 16, 2016

On the road again

Nikki’s First Visit
It’s Sew Heavenly

Nikki has a grandson due Christmas Eve and she is anxious to start smocking and sewing for him. She has asked any member or smocker to suggest patterns for her as she has never smocked for a boy. The smocking/heirloom shop 'It's Sew Heavenly' was having a wonderful sale so she and a few other members took a road trip to Youngsville, LA.

As you drive through the brick pillars standing on either side of the lane leading to this picturesque and charming shop, you are aware that this is a unique place. Here is Nikki (center) on the front steps of the shop with her traveling partners.

It didn't take long to start a stack (mountain in some cases) of fabric, lace, buttons, and patterns  as there are countless samples of ideas on every wall, atop each shelf and hanging from bolts of fabric for the needle artist to breathe into her soul.

Nikki was the biggest saver, among her travel buddies, due to the huge discount given during the sale. Can you see both of her pink bags simply bulging with her boundless inspirations and countless images of little precious garments?

After nearly 4 hours of touching fabrics, searching through pattern books, choosing buttons, considering other embellishments, chatting and sharing of ideas, Nikki took a moment to sit outside in a rocking chair (most likely practicing for her role as Grandmother to the newest addition to her family) and relax.

She already has plans to return this fall.

For more information about 'It's Sew Heavenly' visit their website:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Read All About It

Vaune Pierce 
featured on the cover of 
Threads Magazine

Have you  received your latest copy of Threads Magazine? 

Our own  wonderful teacher and friend Vaune Pierce has created a lovely sophisticated garment which graces the cover! Her article "Delicate Details" begins on page 40 of this issue. Don’t miss out, the magazine can be purchased at Barnes and Noble or Joann’s Fabric. She shares heirloom techniques, we all use for sewing our smocked garments, that can be used for adult sewing.

Congratulations Vaune!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sugar Land's Newest Quilt Store

The Midnight Oil Smockers evening meeting is held in the newest quilt shop, It Seams To Be Sew, located in Sugar Land.  Here are Nikki and Brenda from the last meeting visiting after the program. Lana Dunkerley, the studio owner has lots of wonderful examples to view.

The layout of her fabrics is pleasing to the eye and draws the visitor further into the surroundings, not wanting to miss any grouping. Samples of lovely quilts, cute sewing projects and precious smocking can be seen scattered throughout. Look at this darling smocked bubble and bonnet.  

As you continue down the aisle, the fabrics call out to you to become creative
It is hard not to reach out and touch everything as you take in the ambiance.

I know of one member who just had to have the fabric combination of this sweet summer jumper. It is a wise owner who has samples of the fabrics displayed in simple projects for even the beginner sewist.

All of the fabrics are perfectly arranged for the shopper to view.

Next time you are in Sugar Land, you will want to stop in, meet Lana and enjoy a little shopping. You can also go to