Thursday, June 27, 2013

Inspiration: Color Trends

Color is one of my favorite things about summer.
I love the bright hues that appear mixed with the simple tons of white and tan.
And where is a better place to look for this season's trends other than Etsy?
Exactly.
So, I picked out my favorite items for each color from the Pantone Color Trend Chart.
 
Linen:
 
 
Grayed Jade:
 

Lemon Zest & Tender Shoots (Lime):
 
 

Nectarine:

African Violet:
 
 

Emerald:

Dusk Blue:
 

Poppy Red:
Flower Pillow from Bed Buggs

Monaco Blue:

Adorable Bow Tie from Lolly Lu Designs


Did you not just adore that toy sewing machine?
What is your favorite color for summer?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sewing in the Family.

Without a doubt my daughter is the center of attention in all that I do. Since the moment I knew I was pregnant I planned my day, my week, month and year around her. I try to care for her providing food, well-being, health, spiritual growth through our church and family, means to access education and moral teaching, ethics and manners (improving mine on the way).

The influence of my family in my daughter’s life is a great advantage in her development. My mother’s suggestions were at first a cause of headache and upset. But I learned that providing for my daughter all of the above aspects are wonderful but that was not enough to assure a good future. Giving her the gift of the arts is a shortcut to build in her strength, good feelings, culture, spiritual growth and much more.

In professional terms art:
  • Stimulates and develops the imagination and critical thinking, and refines cognitive and creative skills.
  • Has a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of children and has proven to help level the "learning field" across socio-economic boundaries.
  • Strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.
  • Develops a sense of craftsmanship, quality task performance, and goal-setting—skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
  • Teaches children life skills such as developing an informed perception; articulating a vision; learning to solve problems and make decisions; building self-confidence and self-discipline; developing the ability to imagine what might be; and accepting responsibility to complete tasks from start to finish.
  • Nurtures important values, including team-building skills; respecting alternative viewpoints; and appreciating and being aware of different cultures and traditions.
Source: Young Children and the Arts: Making Creative Connections, 1998

I was introduced to art as a way of playing in school and at home, so I found it quite easy to do the same with my child. Keeping her in the game I think is the challenge. I was told to analyze my child, and not to make decisions for her.

My mother also asked me to take my daughter to festivals, museums, art stores, and libraries. She says these are ways to let a child know what they like. I bought her a lot of supplies and tried different activities with her that I did not even enjoy and others in which I am successful but were challenging for her. I had to let her try several options, patiently supporting her own decisions and helping her organize her time, setting a schedule that in the end helped her become successful in her goals.
 
The most important tip I learned from my mother is, never strongly suggest, nor give a step-by-step formula to obtain results. Just show her my way of doing them, teach her the way to use the tools and elements and let her produce. There is not a perfect or imperfect product. That is just ART.

My mother welcomed us (all her daughters) in whatever she was working on, no matter the mess. Thank you, Mom, for your patience.

Here is something my daughter made while I was sewing this weekend. I told her I wanted to sew a couple of tops  in the same design for her and I. I took pictures to register the progress of my project in a journal.
 
 Here piece of my project
This is going to be a Key Ring Neck Top

 I did not ask her to sew or do anything at all; I took my sewing machine, fabric and tools out. I cleaned my area and started drawing on a piece of paper and then on the fabric. She began asking for materials to make a purse. She knows more about what scraps and fabrics I have than even I do! She drew a sketch on paper, selected the fabric she wanted to use and there she was making a mess in the living room with me.
 Here is my daughters project sketch and fabric.
 A picture for her journal book
Sewing her Project
 Helping me with the top


What are your experiences of creating with siblings, children or friends around you?
~ Gabby ~

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Inspiration: Beach House Decor

Isn't it wonderful going to a beautifully decorated vacation home?
There is something so relaxing and special about the little details.
 
Do you have a vacation home?
Here are a few decorations for the beach house that you could make yourself:
 Felt applique a fun shape onto an ordinary pillow. This anchor is great! You could even do a seashell, a flip flop, or even a seahorse!
 Think about freshening up the kitchen with a new color for the cabinets.
 Make textured ornaments using yarn or try gluing small objects like buttons or seashells onto a Styrofoam ball.
 Make fun quilts for the spare bedrooms. Don't you just love these fish scales?
 Give a new look to old furniture by painting it ombre.
 Decoupage an old map onto your chairs to make them more exciting. 
Aqua Dresser
If ombre seems too advanced or just is not quite your thing, how about a nice solid seafoam green?


Makes us want a vacation!

Do you bring your sewing along on your journeys?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day Survey Answers

The survey has ended and the results are in!
 
[Blogger Julie's super supportive husband wearing a dress shirt that Julie made for him.]
Visit the post she wrote about making this shirt: here!
 

1. Does your husband/father/partner take any interest in or support your sewing/quilting/needlework?
He's my biggest fan!

2. Do you keep your fabric purchases a secret?
I flaunt them with overwhelming excitement!

3. Does your husband/father/partner wear or use items that you have made him? Does he ask you to make him anything?
He'll wear anything I make him as long as it fits.

4. What do you like to make your husband/father/partner?
Pajamas and robes

5. How does he get involved?
Gives his opinion on projects, fabric selections, and patterns and helps you set up a sewing room


6. If he doesn't get involved, how does he support you?
Brags about your work to friends and family


 
So many supportive men! 
Did you know you were so lucky?!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Inspiration: Sewing Kit Gift

Whenever a friend of mine gets married, I like to get them a special gift. I'm one of the few of my friends that sews and I know that many of them do not have sewing kits. You don't have to be a seamstress to have a sewing kit. Everyone will need to sew a button back on a shirt, everyone will have to fix a hole in their jeans and everyone will have to hem pants sometime in their life. 

The first time I gave a sewing kit as a gift, my friend graciously accepted. A few months later when we talked, she admitted that she thought she would never use it, but already had to fix a few items in her closet! I was very pleased that she was able to use it even when she thought she would not. From that point forward I decided that everyone should have a sewing kit! 
 


Here is a list of things I include in the kit: 

- Sewing Box (Available at many discount and craft supply stores.)
- Pack of Hand Needles (various sizes)
- Basic color thread (White, navy, black, tan)
- Pins
- A few basic buttons in a jar

As you can see, I select basic tools rather than some of the fancy notions that are available. Why spend the money on specialty notions if the person receiving them might not use them often, or even know what to do with them for that matter!

Is there anything I missed?
Comment below items you would include in the sewing kit!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Father's Day Survey

We want to hear about your favorite man and how he supports your favorite hobby, sewing!
Take a few minutes to fill out our quick survey about your husband, father, boyfriend, partner, friend, etc.
 
We will post the top answers on Father's day to honor our men!
 
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Inspiration: From Fabric Mart, to Church, to Jubilee Store

One day at work I was reminded of  a conversation I had with a friend about a group of ladies from our church that sew to help other people. I thought about the fabric scraps I was cutting and how they could help these ladies. I asked my boss for scraps for those ladies. I wanted to meet them and see what they do. I put some unused swatches in bags and left them in church the next Sunday.

Sometime later Mrs Janice Hess approached me. Janice and her husband (a former Pastor) are important members of the church, whom I admire. They selflessly lead activities and are always thinking how to help other people. She said: “Gabby, I just wanted to show you what we did with the swatches that you brought to church. I hope you would like it. It is to give away to the Jubilee Store” It was a beautiful comforter, I recognized the swatches and my mind started going over all of them, one by one reminding me their content, weave etc.  I was in awe of her work with those tiny swatches.

Did you ever give something and later the person who received transforms the item into something you would have never expected?

This are a few questions I asked Janice about her work with the swatches.

What was the inspiration for your project? 
 A few other ladies from different churches and I met at least 12 times within the year in a group called Tri-County Sewing Circle.  We met in my basement so the fabric and equipment are here all the time.  When we met, we read and discussed a passage from the Bible. We shared personal needs, laughed, cried, and prayed together.  So while we were working to benefit others, we also were being benefited.

I thoroughly enjoyed using fabric that otherwise might get thrown away. My motivation is to use these resources in a way that meets the genuine human need.  I follow the saying, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”  A comforter is different from a quilt in the way the two layers of fabric with batting in between are held together.  A comforter is knotted with crochet thread about 5 inches apart, whereas a quilt is done with finer thread making very small stitches often in a special design, which takes much, much longer to complete one item.

What is the destination for your project?  We deliver our finished comforters to the Mennonite Central Committee’s Material Resource Center at Ephrata.  Their slogan is “In the Name of Christ.”  Each shipping container is prayed over that it will arrive safely and bless the people who will receive the blankets, canned meat, school kits, hygiene kits, etc.

Do all your projects go to the same place?  From there they are shipped to war, violence, and/or disaster areas in Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc.  MCC representatives or organizations associated with MCC in those countries distribute the warm covers to the people, many who are refugees.  In the past we have given some comforters to fire but we generally give them to foreign relief.

Janice Hess and Gabriela Yeakley  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Inspiration: Summer Dresses

My favorite part of summer are the dresses. I love the simplicity and the way a dress can make you look pulled together and fabulous even when it is miserably hot and you just got off of the beach. (Or sweating in your car at a traffic light while imagining you were at the beach, which is more so the case for me.)
My favorite summer dresses are the ones you wear out at night to go to a nice restaurant on vacation.
What is your favorite summer dress?
 
 
Here are a few great picks from our handmade friends on Etsy: