Everything is Cuter with a Face

I love to embroider – it’s a quick pick up and go project that doesn’t require a lot of supplies or planning. In the midst of a busy life schedule and a never ending pile of sewing projects, I appreciate the nearly instant gratification embroidery provides. So this summer I’ve found myself grabbing a needle and floss again and again. I just need something *done* as I wade through a quilt and a fancy dress (organza. satin. circle skirts. It may never be finished). Introducing: my new kitchen buddies!

For a while now, I’ve been obsessed with the embroidery work of Mollie Johanson of Wild Olive. She draws the cutest sketches, then puts faces on them! Everything is cuter with a face. I’ve stalked her blog for a while and finally decided what I needed – new towels decorated with the “Baker’s Best Friends” sets.

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Coffee. My kitchen runs on coffee. Let’s be honest, some weeks my life runs on coffee.

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Timer. Equally adorable; equally necessary. I’m known for baking “by smell” – meaning, I run to the kitchen when I realize that wonderful smell floating through the house is food just nearly over cooked. Timers help, when I remember to set them. Don’t you love how ambivalent this little guy looks?!

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Mmmm eggs. I could go on and on about eggs. The eggs in the picture are from our sweet pet hens; we have 2 younger hens about to start laying in the next couple weeks. Yummy!

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Last for now – a hot pink mixer! A pink mixer is on my wish list for some day. Probably a long long time from now as my white one works perfectly well. She stitched up so happy! She must be making cookie dough or cake or something equally yummy.

I have a couple more dish towels and a couple more cute little designs traced off. But they’re heading to the “to do” pile for now until I get a couple of the bigger projects accomplished. Unless you know, I get bored and need a sweet little smile to get through the day.


Plain white bar mop towels from wal-mart

Coffee pot: http://wildolive.blogspot.com/2011/09/coffee-week-embroidery-patterns.html

Mixer and Timer: https://www.etsy.com/listing/62234839/bakers-best-tool-friends-kitchen?ref=listing-2

Eggs: Baker’s Best Ingredient Friends, not currently listed for sale

Gray Winter Days (PR&P, Winter Wonderland)

“I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood.” Bill Waterson, author of Calvin and Hobbs

Family Reunion Dress by Gabi Sunshine

Winter in Central Illinois is awful. It’s a very unpredictable season. What snow we get is beautiful, for a few few hours at least. And then it will get just warm enough to rain and turn everything to gross mud and slush. Even though the theme at Project Run and Play this week is “Winter Wonderland,” I decided to go more with our Winter Reality. I was up for a challenge: finding beauty and inspiration in the yuck of a midwest January.

Family Reunion Dress by Gabi Sunshine


“Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.” Willa Cather, My Antonia chapter 7

Family Reunion Dress by Gabi Sunshine

Our favorite outfits have layers. Our favorite boots wash off (mostly). We brave the outdoors anyway – because Spring is still a long ways off and we’ll all go crazy if we don’t go out and run for at least a few minutes. This week I made three layers: A gray knit slip, upcycled from an old pillowcase. A Family Reunion Dress from Oliver and S in quilter’s cotton. And a gray cardigan cut down from one of my old ones, misshapen from years of use.

Project Run and Play, Winter 2014

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” Carl Reiner, American actor, film director, producer, writer and comedian.

embroidery closeup on Family Reunion Dress by Gabi Sunshine

I bought the Family Reunion pattern for the tab. To me, it is just begging to be embroidered. I stitched this little snowflake in a steely blue floss, which picks up the hit of blue spattered in the background of the main print (it’s very subtle, you can just see it). I used a simple back stitch; the snowflake design is from Handsewn (a fantastic sewing book!). I didn’t get a picture of it but the buttons on the back of the dress are also stitched on using the blue floss. I love the hint of color in the midst of the gray – just like the few minutes of sunshine that  pop through the clouds. There’s nothing prettier than the clear, pale blue sky of winter.

Family Reunion Dress by Gabi Sunshine

“Every mile is two in winter.” George Herbert, English clergyman and poet

And every photo shoot is misery, at least if you ask the toddler! It’s ok sweetheart, we’re done now, and we can enjoy the best part of winter: snuggling on the couch in the early dark with a bowl of soup and a cup of tea. And spring will come soon enough.

Family Reunion Dress by Gabi Sunshine

This week’s inspiration image: taken by me last week when the weather randomly decided to be sub-zero temps for a couple days.



Be sure to check out the other sew along entries right here. Many of them are more “Wonderland” – ish, if you’re tired of gray!

Pumpkin and Acorns Embroidery Design {free!}

When the weather turns cool, I always want to do handwork. It just seems right to curl up on the couch watching TV and making something beautiful. Two years ago it was knitting. Last year I worked on hand quilting Grace’s baby quilt (which still isn’t done). This year is shaping up to be an embroidery year!

Yesterday I showed Grace’s Thanksgiving dress – rich chocolate brown accented with leaves and acorns. The skirt on the Birthday Party dress just begs for embellishment. So I embroidered it 🙂

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I knew exactly what I wanted, which can sometimes be a blessing. This time it was not – no where on the wide world of the internet, either free or paid for, could I find what I was looking for. Thankfully my husband uses Photoshop professionally, so I’ve been able to pick up a few tips here and there. Combining a couple coloring book pages (from Google images) and more time that I will admit to, I came up with this:


It’s so far from perfect! But all you need for embroidery are the basic lines anyway. Feel free to use this graphic in any way you desire. I’d love a link back to here though!

Use your favorite stitches to create the look you want. I used: stem stitch (outlining leaves and pumpkin), back stitch (outlining acorns), satin stitch (pumpkin stem), running stitch (inside leaves and pumpkin), and a made up long straight stitch for the acorn caps. spinI’m feeling like this will be the first of many embroidery projects this year. It’s very soothing and very portable – good in this busy holiday season. I did the leaves while watching the Doctor Who 50th at a friend’s house. Interested in embroidery? Interested in what I might make next? I have a pinterest board full of inspiration for you to check out!

Have a safe weekend!

Much to be thankful for

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. A time to pause and be with family and just be grateful for the abundance God has blessed us with.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. Psalm 95:2-3

Things like enough food to eat…

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The opportunity to share…

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Family time…

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Play and Laughter…

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spinAnd even working hard…

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So from us to you, Happy Thanksgiving! May this holiday season be peaceful and blessed 🙂

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Dress details:

  • Pattern: Birthday Party Dress from Lily Bird Studio; doll’s dress essentially free-handed.
  • Fabric: Seasonal quilter’s cotton; solid brown quilter’s cotton
  • Embroidery: By me – I will post details tomorrow.