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Works of Heart - The Rewards of Sewing with Family

I don't belong to a quilt guild, but what I do belong to is a great family who share my interest for sewing!

Hankies Aren't Just for Wiping Your Nose or Tears - They Can be a Work of Art and Sign of Love

It's always so hard to find gifts for my mom and dad.  They have everything they want/need and if not, they just go buy it.  They also come from the mindset that you don't need much in life.  They appreciate the gift of time way more than any bought gift these days!!!
Therefore, I try to visit them as often as possible with the realization that I won't always have that opportunity.  So this year for Christmas, I gave mom an apron - you can read all about the apron - here and I gave dad some hankies.
To some hankies might be like giving someone underwear, but its something dad uses on a daily basis and he likes practical gifts.    Mom uses her apron daily and I wanted to give dad something he would use daily as well.
I didn't want to give him just some ordinary hankies - I wanted them to 
be special so I embroidered some special items on them.

A hunting we will go because dad got his 1st deer hunting with me and I got my 1st buck with him.  He was giddy like a little kid and over the moon and back - something I will never forget and cherish the memory forever.  We still go hunting together or simply go out and listen to turkey's gobble even though he has a hard time hearing them.  

Hammer & Nails because dad was a carpenter and he is always helping to fix things for everyone.  He's going to be 90 this year and still going strong but tends to play more of a supervisory/consultative role these days which is still tremendously beneficial.

The dove because that's my trade mark and anything I put it on means that I love You Forever and Always!!!

Now I'm getting all soppy writing this and wish I had one of those hankies!!!  

How to Improve a Sewing Pattern - Inspiration From the Heart

Customize + Confidence = Success
(our mantra for today...hehehe) 
The second version of our Memory Apron as an easy sewing project was also an inspired piece. Creating an easy sewing project perfect for a gift - an apron is very special for the chef in your life!  
Since we had completed  apron prior using the same McCall's Pattern we'd mention the steps that make a second time around project easier or how to modify with confidence your next sewing project. 

First, you can easily customize a second time around pattern!  We definitely wanted shorter wrap around strings and a little less width than what the pattern called for. We also customized a bottom trim panel as well.  

You can see the added heart details with poems, words of affirmation, a special signature bring this Memory Apron to life.  May not be with recipes, but how the love of cooking was passed down through this easy sewing project. 

This version didn't have any custom printed fabric but we took into account what our receiver would like. 

Second, confidence leads to unique or new solutions.  Cutting, designing and preparing for a second run of a pattern tends to go much smoother and more quickly.  
You already know the order of steps and may have even figured out how to combine or work through steps in a way that better suits yours needs as a sewer/artist.    

Karen added her special label/signature to a heart pocket - you can read all about its meaning and more about quilt labels - here. 

Confidence with patterns also can lead to confidence with new fabrics as well.  Once you have made a pattern with cotton you might want to try different cotton blends, linen, etc.. that can add to appeal but maybe were too intimidating to start a sewing project with. 

Proud recipients of their new gifts.  This really is grandma "smiling" as her old apron would not even come clean after washing.  Growing up with it for many years it has lived through its share of meals. Grandma is not the most sentimental of people.

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