Sunday, April 3, 2011

3 days of sewing bliss - part 1

If you read my last post, then you are probably anxiously awaiting my report from my 3-days of sewing bliss with Gail Doane! First of all, I must say that the Sew Many Things SAGA (Smocking Arts Guild of America) Chapter in Franklin, TN is by-far the best and most organized SAGA chapter I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of! Their class choice and organization, not to mention the friendliness of the group, made this one of the top on my list of sewing workshops I have ever attended! Delicious lunches were provided to us each day, saving us valuable time! So what did I learn? Well, I learned more than I could ever share in my Sewing Journal, and some silly things that I will never share - after all I do have to protect those who think they are the innocent, so "what happens in sewing workshops, stays in sewing workshops" - haha! I will mention tho that I did get quite a kick out of the continual tee-hee's (or maybe tee-hee-haws) about "Mule Day", which is an annual event in the town I live in - you can read a past journal entry about that HERE, but don't forget to come back and keep reading!
There is nothing like a sewing workshop where you can kick off your flip-flops and get down to some serious sewing!
ummm, yes, those are my feet and
it really does help to dig your toes into
the carpet when there is some serious
hand-embroidery going on!
If you ever get the chance to take a class with Gail Doane, I can't emphasize enough to do whatever it takes to be a part of it! She is an excellent teacher and makes a class fun to learn. We learned some amazing techniques and everything I learned I will use in other sewing projects, not just with our class project. 
Day 1, we learned some cool techniques for making and applying beautiful bias binding.

Gail has a very unique technique of making and attaching binding and I would suggest that if you can't get to one of her classes, to purchase one of her books, which gives step-by-step, easy-to-understand instructions.
Speaking of instructions and organization - Gail had all our class supplies so well-organized! I have to admit, that I can be a really sloppy sewer, as far as my stuff is everywhere, so it's much appreciated when my supplies are all neatly organized in a nice kit!
Also on Day 1, we learned to make cast-on flowers. I have never done cast-ons before, or I guess I should say, I have never done them the correct way! With Gail's excellent step-by-step instructions and pictures, I was able to quickly learn how to make these beautiful & fun cast-on flowers using different types of floss to achieve different sizes flowers!

On Day 2, we spent the entire day learning the many different flowers, leaves and butterflies for our project "Sweet Baby Jane".

We used a circle template and a water soluble marker to draw all our flowers onto the pockets and hat of  our project.
Once again, Gail gave excellent and easy to understand instructions, It was so helpful when she had us circle around her in groups as she showed us how to do each and every stitch for the many different types of flowers!

Our homework for that nite was to complete the hand embroidery for at least one pocket for "Sweet Baby Jane" and get our pattern parts cut out in the size desired. Being the over-achiever I tend to be, my personal goal was to finish the hand-embroidery on not one, but both my pockets and hat.....I found out that was much easier said, than done! I did manage to finish the embroidery on both of my pockets tho!

As you might imagine, these take an unbelievable amount of time to make, but ohhh-sooooo worth it! As with anything new - the more you practice, the easier it gets. I really love creating these fun little flowers!
In a few days I will share Day 3 with you along with "sew" much more! Hopefully by then I will have at least a portion of my "Sweet Baby Jane" completed to share too!
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Sew Shine said...


This sounds awesome!! Wish I could have been there! Will look into her books though! Thanks for the tip! I can't wait to see the finished project!


Sew Shine said...


This sounds awesome!! Wish I could have been there! Will look into her books though! Thanks for the tip! I can't wait to see the finished project!


Sue said...

That sounds like you had a wonderful workshop experience. Your work is very beautiful to me so it's hard to understand that you would need further training, but I am sure you enjoyed yourself:)

Goosegirl said...

Woe Laurie!! You learned such great techniques!! I am dying to take one of Gail's classes. She is going to be at the SAGA convention in Anaheim in October and I get to go! You should come out and room with me! PLEASE!!!

Thanks for posting your gorgeous pics. I am glad you had a wonderful time. I can't wait to see more!

Robin Hart said...

Gail taught that class here at the lodge for the first time last summer. It was great fun. I need to get on her list for next summer... this year she was full when I had time to put on classes. She is teaching several places nearby in CA this year, but so far mostly classes I have taken..

Elsie said...

Hi Laurie~ I just found your blog and it is awesome. Here in Louisiana where I live there are no classes, you just have to teach yourself. Your blog helps soooo much. Thanks for sharing.

CAS said...

Complete adorableness, plain and simple! I have a couple of little "grand" munchkins that these would be perfect for.

kelly said...

These are beautiful. Sounds like so much fun.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

I agree!!! What an amazing time! Looks like you were quite comfy in your bare toes as you created those adorable embroidery flowers. I can just imagine you working to get as many flowers done as you can :o)
Thank you for sharing about her books, will need to check them out.

How often does this SAGA chapter hold workshops like this? (We lived in Clarksville, TN and would go to Franklin to check out the antique malls....there's the possibility of moving back to the Ft Campbell,KY/Clarksville, TN area some time.)

Blessings & Aloha!


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