Monthly Archives: May 2015

European Vacation….

As you can guess, this post isn’t about sewing!  We’ve just returned from a 10 day European vacation.  My husband travels overseas regularly.  This time I went along.  He worked for the first couple days while I explored alone, then we had the rest of the time to do all the tourist things and enjoy a different culture.  It was a wonderful vacation and we had a great time exploring, getting (a little) lost, walking until we were I was exhausted, eating different foods, etc.  It was a fabulous way to celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary!!!


I’ll apologize right away and say that you’re just going to have to put up with the “tourist” pictures!  LOL!  We spent time in Prague as well as Vienna.  Both were cities with beautiful buildings, architecture, art, etc.  We visited a castles in both cities as well as a cathedral in Prague – it was built on the castle grounds.  Amazing!!!  The size and scale of these historical buildings leaves one speechless!

The first castle that we visited was the Prague castle.  It was built around 880 and includes the basilica of St. Vitus on the grounds, which was the main church of the castle.  It was quite a hike to get there from our hotel.  After a lengthy walk, we crossed the Charles Bridge – a historical bridge with 30 statues of religious figures and built in the 1350’s.  Pretty impressive.


From the Charles Bridge you can see the other area bridges, which are equally beautiful, but without all the statues.


From the bridge you can see the castle in the distance (the basilica towers can be seen).  Yep – we walked there!!!  It is a pretty walk, though all uphill, with cobblestone streets and shops and restaurants along the path as well as assorted street performers.



This is typical of so many of the streets.  I love the quaintness of the streets, shops and restaurants.  We noticed that the building colors were mostly in tans, peach, yellow/golds and light green colors, but no blues.  Wonder why?  Perhaps I only wonder this since I have such an affection for blue!




When you finally get to the castle, the view of the city is pretty spectacular!  I love all the orange tile roofs that you see all over Europe.



_DSF2249 The castle was pretty, but we didn’t really get a picture that shows it well since there was a lot of maintenance work being done on the outside.  However, there are lots of pictures of the basilica – I’ll limit it to a couple, just so you can see some of the magnificence of it.



The artwork, gold ironwork, paintings, sculptures, stained glass windows – everything – it is unbelievably beautiful.  One more picture, just so you can see the scale of the building – it is HUGE!!!  I don’t know how they managed such construction without the modern tools that we have.





We did not enjoy all the crowds at these tourist attractions.  But, there’s never a time that it is without tourists.  We toured many of the different buildings at the castle and saw many artifacts, saw the changing of the guards, the castle china and the beautiful sceptres and crowns with their Bohemian jewels.  Even with the crowds, I was glad that we had the opportunity to tour this site.  (my fitbit recorded 28,000+ steps and over 13 miles for that day!)

In Vienna we visited the Schönbrunn Palace as well as the Belvedere Palace.

The Belvedere Palace was a pretty structure and the grounds were beautiful, but the inside was basically an art museum. That wasn’t what I expected.  I like art, but room after room of art isn’t what I prefer to tour.  The grounds and fountains and gardens can be viewed without paying to get inside the buildings, which is probably what we should have done.




The Schönbrunn Palace reminded me very much of the Biltmore Estate here in NC and I really enjoyed seeing all the different rooms, which were furnished with the original things.  Again, the intricate designs and detailed workmanship of all of the rooms and furnishings were pretty amazing.  The landscaping and fountains were also magnificent.  Again, the grounds could all be viewed without paying for entrance into the buildings, but it is definitely worth seeing the building insides and doing a tour (along with the multitude of other tourists!).


The fountain and sculptures were beautiful and this one was no exception.  This one was of the god Neptune and the other mythical creatures surrounding him.


As we exited the gardens we saw this beautiful rose bush – with different colored roses growing from the same bush – I loved it!!!



I could share so many more pictures and stories about our trip, but will leave it to this.  If you’ve managed to read through this entire post, you’ve done really well.  It has nothing to do with sewing, but it sure was an adventure!  I did do a bit of smocking while on vacation, but more about that later….

Stay tuned – my next post will be about the fabulous fabric store that we found. I commissioned my husband to take plenty of pictures for me!  🙂  He got some great ones.

Hopefully I’ll get a bit of sewing done again now that I’m home.





A Summer Sewing Marathon!!!

I’ve been sewing non-stop since last Thursday.  Whew!    Our 2 daughters’ families with the grandchildren will be heading for the beach for the first 2 weeks in June.  It was decided that Liam is just a little too “fluffy” to wear jon-jons comfortably – they are kind of like girdles around the middle (hahaha!!!), so after seeing how cute the salamander bubble was on him, it was decided that he needed some more bubbles.  You know I love to hear that!!!  I immediately  went down to the sewing room and began planning, cutting and sewing.  Of course, I went to my “go to” patterns because they are very fast to make.  I’ve made so many of these, I don’t even need to think!  The dresses are all Children’s Corner “Lucy“.  The bubbles are Children’s Corner “Taylor“.

I have such sweet memories of making our children and their cousins matching outfits when we went to visit at grandma and grandpa’s farm, so this would just follow that tradition.

On my trip to Florida earlier this year, I found this whale fabric and decided it would be perfect for the little girls.  They loved their whale dresses last year.  The whale patch embroidery design on the dresses is from Embroidery Boutique and the whale design on the bubble is from Sew Many Designs.  Love them both!

Eva and Ella were over today wearing their new whale dresses.  Sadly, I had one very reluctant model (who I still think is cute!).

When I saw this fabric from Chez Ami at their closing sale, I had to have it. It is perfect for brother sister outfits! It is a plisse, so wrinkles are good. 🙂 The Octopus embroidery design is from Appliquémomma. I’m glad that I stitched the bubble first. Though the eyes are fine for a boy, I wanted something more “girly” for the girl dresses, so I edited the design and added pretty eyes from some other design that was in my files. Sadly, I have no clue where the eyes came from. LOL!I was thrilled when I realized that I could also get 2 dresses for the sisters out of the 2 yard cut!  Score!!!

Livvy looked cute in hers, even with an ear infection.  She wasn’t excited about posing.  I still think she’s adorable!

The next brother sister set is light aqua seersucker.  The nautical font is from Embroidery Boutique.  I added their names, but from another font file and have no clue which one.  I have so many embroidery designs that if I don’t write myself a note, I cannot remember.

Liam is so happy to have some room to move around in these bubbles!

Is there anything cuter than that?

Next up are the crab outfits.  They are made of gingham seersucker. I was getting tired of stitching all the same designs, so I mixed it up a bit!  The crabs on the brother sister outfits are from Designs by Juju.  The crab on the bigger dress at the bottom is from Bunnycup and the crab on the smaller dress is from Sew Many Designs (though I left off the sailor hat).

And yesterday I received this adorable picture of Eva sitting by the pool watching Ella at swim practice!  How cute is that???  The hat is from the out of print Children’s Corner pattern, “Emily Ann”.  The size 4-5-6 seemed to fit her perfectly.  I did extend the brim 1″ for more protection from the sun.

I had plans today to make the last 2 dresses for sisters – they didn’t have a “match” to the aqua stripe, however, I just ran out of steam this morning and had all the sweet little ones and their moms over this afternoon.  So, it was a no sewing day.  I’m fine with that!  There’s plenty of time later.

Needless to say, 14 outfits in one week might be a new record for me!  But, they sure will look cute together at the beach!!!

Now, for a bit of nostalgia – here’s the grandchildren’s moms with their 2 cousins in their matching smocked outfits.  🙂

What have you been sewing for summer?

Pink and Yellow Perfection

Well, maybe not exactly perfection, but this sweet smocking design looked just perfect to me!!!  I had such a lovely time coming up with the design and then smocking it!

I will be teaching a beginning smocking class at Mary Jo’s Cloth Store in Gastonia, NC in September and needed to come up with a simple, beginning smocking design for the students.  So, the graph was completed, insert smocked, but then – well, it was just so unexciting to have a plain insert.  LOL!  I couldn’t help myself, I had to do something with it.

I have always loved the Baby Jumper Jacks pattern by Debbie Glenn, but wanted a larger size, so out came the drafting paper, pencils, rulers, etc. and I managed to get something close to her cute pattern.

I certainly think that having a finished project goes a lot further for gaining interest than just offering a smocked piece of fabric, right?  I hope so!

That’s what I’ve been stitching this week.  What a delight to be able to stitch and create such a summery concoction while enjoying our Carolina spring weather!!!

Are you ready for spring and summer?  I hope you’ve been able to create some pretty clothes for the warmer weather as well.  🙂

Keep on stitching…..