Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Smocked Doll Dress Progress & SAGA Stories

Whew - it's been a busy week.  School started for us yesterday.  Last week was a hustle and bustle to make sure everyone was ready for the big day.  However, interspersed in the busy-ness, I was able to start working on my smocked doll dress that I plan to enter in the fair in two weeks.  Now that we are getting into a routine/schedule, I don't think I'll have any trouble finishing it. 

In fact, I plan to have the smocking finished before this weekend, so I can construct the dress this weekend.  I am presently in a run of working 17 out of 19 days -- and 12 in a row.  This run will end on Friday and then I will have a 3-day weekend!!  I plan to finish up the doll dress and start on my smocked fall purse!!

Also, now that the kids are back in school, it will be easier to publish my podcast.  I plan to publish one this week on my lunch break.  This pod cast will focus on SAGA - the history of the organization, the benefits of membership, and some of your experiences from being a part of SAGA.  If you are a member of SAGA and would like to share a tidbit of what it has meant to you, please send me an e-mail at SewBlessedInAmishCountry@hotmail.com.  I'd love to hear from you and share your story with our podcast listeners. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Plan C

As I posted a few days ago, my smocked Christmas  ball was a fiasco.  However, I refused to let a smocked piece go to waste, so I bought even smaller Styrofoam balls yesterday to see if I could salvage it.  Well, that didn't work either.  So, being the stubborn person that I am, I decided there must be something I could do, and this is what I came up with.  I will attach a ribbon in the corner so it can be hung on the tree.  In fact, I will get 2 ornaments out of the smocked piece that was supposed to be for just one smocked ball.   That being said, I am not completely happy with it.  As I shared in my podcast last week, geometric smocking is just not my "thing".  I had to do geometric in order to make a smocked ball, but now, if I am doing this type of ornament, I can do pictures!!!!  Now *that* is exciting to me.

My next project will be a new doll dress for Martha and also for my fair entry.  I am going to use some sheet music print fabric (it's a very small scale) and then add a smocked insert of smocked music notes.  I wanted to start on that last night, but I didn't want to leave the smocked Christmas ball fiasco as it was -- I had to finish that first, but now that it's done, I can move on to my doll dress.

Monday, August 23, 2010

If At First You Don't Succeed.....

I finished the smocking on my smocked Christmas ball this weekend and attempted to put it all together.  However, it didn't work!  My Styrofoam ball was too big, and one of my top gathering threads broke as I was trying to force it to work.  So... now I have a geometric Christmas-colors smocked piece.  I am not giving up though.  I am going to be creative and figure out another way to make something out of this.  I have a couple of ideas, but I will have to see if they work out before I share them.

The Martha Pullen Fan Club has been a buzz about the new Sew Beautiful.  I am very eager to get my own copy.  I would love to do another review of it.  I checked Barnes & Nobles last night, and they didn't have it in yet.  I am thinking of calling JoAnn Fabrics to see if they have it in yet. 

Well, I must get back to my real job (transcription), but in between medical reports, my gears will be shifting and spinning to think of a creative way to salvage my smocked piece.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Tonight I officially rejoined SAGA -- the Smocking Arts Guild of America.  As I mentioned on my podcast this week, there are not any local chapters near me, but I am going to join the WEB smockers guild.  I tried to attend their August cyber meeting, but we had some problems with me getting connected to them.  However, they are kindly going to be working with me this weekend to make sure I am all set up to join them for their September meeting.

I am excited about being a part of SAGA again.  It's a great group, and their quarterly newsletter is a wonderful resource for smockers of all skill levels.  I am even thinking of joining their Artisan program to fine tune my skills. 

Who knows.... maybe one day I will a smocking guild again.  I had a great time with the one I started in Florida.  If you happen to live in the Berks County area in Pennsylvania and are interested in being a part of a local smocking guild, please let me know.   I'm not in a hurry to start a guild, but if I find enough people interested, I would certainly considering getting a guild established here.

Tonight I will finish the smocking on my first Christmas ornament for the Martha Pullen Fan Club ornament exchange, and tomorrow I will put it together.  I am off tomorrow because I work Saturday, so that gives me some time to finish it up and hopefully even pleat another piece to get to work on ornament #2.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Smocking Bee Episode #1

That was so much fun!!  I forgot how much fun it was to publish a podcast.  I had a blast.  The time just flew and I actually had to rush at the end and didn't get to cover everything I hoped to cover, but that's okay because I can always cover more next episode.  I had originally thought this would be a biweekly podcasts, but I had so much fun, I think it's going to have to be a weekly podcast.

Now, for those of you who are wondering what "The Smocking Bee" is all about, let me explain.  I am a lone smocker.  I live in the northeast, and smocking is virtually unheard of here.  I miss being part of a smocking guild and spending time with other smockers.  I created this podcast, blog/website as a way to bring back something similar to an old fashioned quilting bee.

My weekly podcast will feature you -- my fellow smockers.  It's not just going to be about me and what I'm smocking, but rather it's going to be a podcast for a community of smockers.  I want to know what you're smocking.  I want to know how/when/why you began smocking.  Please e-mail me (by clicking the link in my profile) or post a comment on my blog and share your smocking story with me, and I will share it in an upcoming episode of "The Smocking Bee".

This first episode featured a review of the latest Sew Beautiful episode.  That was fun to do.  Future episodes will feature other magazine reviews, website reviews (both commercial and personal), book reviews, project ideas, and of course, The BUZZZZ where I will be sharing about what *you* are smocking.

I hope you enjoy this first episode and please come back to future episodes.  You can also subscribe to "The Smocking Bee" via Itunes.  The most recent issue may not be uploaded to Itunes for a day or two after it is uploaded here - that's how Itunes works.

Hope to hear from you soon -- in the meantime....

Happy Smocking,