Author Archives: Kerri

About Kerri

I am a fabric-sewing enthusiast. All of my art is created in the medium I know best, beautiful, luscious, fabulous fabric. I have an intuitive understanding of the relationships between color, texture and design combined with my passion for detail and devotion to technical mastery makes fabric the natural medium for my artistic expressions My primary sources of inspiration for my sewing include historic costume, the interplay between fashion trends and classical forms, a penchant for quality and excellence and the beautiful colors I see in nature.

LOOKING AHEAD TO CHRISTMAS #LOVESSHOPPINGFORGIRLS!!!

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LOOKING AHEAD TO CHRISTMAS #LOVESSHOPPINGFORGIRLS!!!

The holidays are just around the corner and shops are filled with adorable clothing for children of all ages.  As I come across things I like, I will share them with you here in the hope that they inspire you to find something lovely for your favorite Christmas angels.

Fashion, whether you’re 8 months or 80 years begins with finding one fabulous piece and building around it.    The moment I saw this classic red beret, I knew that was “it.”    I mean, who wouldn’t look adorable in it?!

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What next, but some fancy footwear… something seasonal and shiny, of course.

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Finding a dress to go was the easy part with so many choices available.  Soft and snuggly seems “just right” for most occasions.

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Paired with white tights and topped off with ribbons for her hair…. let the festivities begin!

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FABULOUS FURNITURE FINDS FOR FABRIC STORAGE

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FABULOUS FURNITURE FINDS FOR FABRIC STORAGE

I spotted a new store, NADEAU, at Washington Square and having an interest in interiors,  I stopped in to have a look round. Everywhere I looked I saw these fabulous cabinets that would be so perfect for fabric storage.  Imagine the shelves loaded up with colorful prints and giant thread spools showing through the glass providing a mix of utility and display.   I really like the red dresser which could also have many practical uses such as storing bolts of interfacing and notions, etc.   These pieces fun and visually interesting.   Any one of them would be a perfect complement to a dressed up sewing room.

Which one do you like best?

 

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… and, I love the orange chair. So fun!!!

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FABULOUS FASHION FINDS FOR FALL

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I was out today checking out the new fashions for fall and found some very fun shoes.  Would have snapped up this mustard jacket in an instant, but my size was not available.  Hmmm… maybe I should order it… as you can see, it goes with everything!

 

A JUST FOR FUN – Halloween Project.

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A JUST FOR FUN – Halloween Project.

I am not a serious quilter, but I do on occasion like to make little quilts for wall decoration.  Being that Halloween is just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to see what I could make from my left-over fabric scraps.  My goal was to create something interesting using only things that I had on-hand… without making additional purchases!

After sorting through my stash, I came up with this collection of possibilities.fullsizeoutput_ba9

Considering overall design, scale, color, etc., with size of pieces available, I selected the jack-o-latern motif fabric as the center-piece with coordinating strips for the sides to be sewn in a log cabin pattern.

fullsizeoutput_baaAfter assembling the pieces, I hand basted the decorative block to a piece of muslin to give added support for the embellishment to come.

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Then it was into the embroidering hoop for adding decorative features.

fullsizeoutput_bafI began by placing small orange and black beads on the bottom and top sections.  They are a little small and tend to get lost, in the photos I taken, but show quite well when examining the piece in person.

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More beads.IMG_6087

Next I added cross stitches and French knots to the skeleton fabric.

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And lastly, I  finished up with orange and green primitive stitches on the last side piece.

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I added a black border and chalked in guide lines for more primitive stitching to be added.

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Once the decorative block was embellish, I layered it over cotton batting and an orange contrasting fabric.

 

 

All additional stitching, such as the outlining on the jack-o-latern and more French knots were sewn through all layers to secure the sandwiched pieces.

 

 

After all the embellishing, I trimmed the excess fabric away and machine stitched the bias binding, also made from scraps, to the outside edge of the piece.

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The binding was applied to the front and then wrapped around to the back side and hand basted into position for a final stitching down.

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Special attention was paid to the mitered corners to help create nice and neat finished look.

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With matching thread, I used teeny tiny stitches to secure the  binding and corners into position.

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After the binding was completed, I pressed it lightly.  If desired, small plastic rings may be sewn in the top corners for hanging if desired.

This fun little project measures 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ and will be hanging in my work station between now and October 31st.

I hope you like it!

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Creative Solutions

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Unique Hand-Crafted Gifts

Learning to finger knit was my entre` into the realm of using yarn to create .  Knitting along with a variety of other creative pursuits was part of the cultural landscape I was born into … hands were always busy making interesting and beautiful things.  With that level of  industry and interest modeled before me,  it was most natural I, too, would learn to thread the needle.

I well remember the project in which I was allowed to use knitting needles for the first time; it was a yellow pot holder with a little loop knitted in one corner used for hanging.  From there I moved onto to slipper making; they had pompom embellished toes… in the same yellow yarn.    To this day, I could make those slippers in my sleep; I was so proud slip-sliding around the house in them.  I eventually moved on to knitting hats and mittens and sweaters, but that was long ago.    My knitting work was eventually was set aside to make way for my primary focus on sewing and tailoring.

It was during this past Christmas season that I had a challenging gift selection to make for someone special. I gave it good thought, but nothing seemed particularly fitting.   It was only after considering making a gift that I was knew I was on track as it is in the making of something that the true gift resides, the gift of time and thought and effort.  And so it was that I reached into my bag of tricks, dusted off my number 9’s and knitted a beautiful, one of a kind, Christmas scarf.

Considering her smile, I think she likes.

 Success!

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AND

I’m knitting again.  Since making this scarf I knitted two more and have yarn for number three and four.   I’ll keep you posted.

Creating Christmas Magic

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Creating Christmas Magic

!!The Festive Table!!

Having turned the corner on Thanksgiving, my thoughts move toward preparing the house for the Advent of Christmas.  There is nothing more charming to help set the stage for Christmas Day’s arrival than a welcoming wintery table replete with stars, snowmen, and candy cane stripes.  As we await the arrival of the holy day, set a festive table, light the candles and watch the glow in your children’s eyes as golden memories are in the making. December is a season of joy, wonder, hope, love and remembrance… take the time to savor each and all the gifts of the this special time of year. fullsizeoutput_5db

The Best Cranberry Chutney EVER!

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The Best Cranberry Chutney EVER!

Thanksgiving – 2016

Maybe you’ve had that cranberry “stuff” than comes in a can and decided that cranberry sauce wasn’t for you.  That was my experience, until some years ago I came across this absolute marvel of a recipe for cranberry chutney.  I’ve been making it for Thanksgiving ever since as a “must have” on my menu.  Try it, it’s easy, its delicious and it’s  not only good with turkey, but with chicken and pork, as well.  It is so good, in fact, that I can’t bear to keep it to myself and have decided to share the recipe with you.  Happy Thanksgiving and Bon Appetite!

Begin by washing and sorting a bag of fresh cranberries, 4 cups.

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Add a cup of golden raisins

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Add 2 cups of sugar.

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Add cinnamon and allspice to taste.  I like things spicy, so I add extra but a 1/4 tsp of allspice and 1 tsp of cinnamon should be adequate to start… spice it up from there.

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Drain pineapple, reserving juice,  and chop to desired texture.

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Chop fresh ginger using a pleasing amount.

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Add water to pineapple juice measuring to one cup.

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Add liquid and stir.

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Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.  Cook a bit longer for thicker consistency.

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The mixture will reduce down to a syrup that thickens as it cools.img_3879

Store in refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.  Serve cold or at room temperature as desired.

fullsizeoutput_5ab!!ENJOY!!

Projects Revisited

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From Start to Finish

IMG_3443I recently went through a box in my sewing room marked “winter projects.” The box contained the best of the best projects I salvaged during our sizing down move three years ago.  I have always found it difficult to start up work on old projects.  It is usually a lack of interest as whatever it was that got my creative juices flowing has long since dissipated and the prospect of picking up in the middle of an uninteresting project seems like work more than fun.  Fortunately, that was not the case with this piece.  It had been long enough that I had forgotten I had ever started this jacket.  The fact that I still loved the red quilted fabric was good and I still liked the striped douppioni… so far so good.    After studying the pattern and the pieces that were already cut, I decided I definitely needed a third piece to create additional interest.  So off to The Mill End Store I went with swatches in hand.

 It’s really quite remarkable that I was able to find a douppioni print that complemented the stripes so perfectly, but not without considerable effort.  I was in the store for at least two hours searching, searching, and searching again every piece of fabric at least five times.  I was finding nothing suitable and finally decided it was time to surrender.   Resigned to defeat, I headed for the exit pausing only to notice a silk display… and there it was.  It was exactly what I’d been looking for; the colors were right, the scale was right, it was perfection and obviously meant to be.   And so I begin the satisfying endeavor of resurrecting an old project to new life.    More to come…

Blue and White Porcelain Figurines

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Blue and White Porcelain Figurines

A Delightful Pair

I found  an ensemble of six porcelain figures resting on the shelf at Goodwill amongst the clutter.  These elegant figures looked so completely out of place in amongst the tat that only the coldest of hearts would not be moved by their reduced circumstances, for surely they had been members of a beloved collection of some  dear lady who had crossed over to the great beyond.  Once laying eyes upon them I knew it was my duty to perform a rescue and so it was that after meticulous inspection I chose two of the six to bring home.  It was indeed a hard decision, but I think these two make a particularly delightful pair.  I especially like the little bird on the lady’s dress and the gentleman kicking up his heel.  So lovely!

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More Things Blue and White

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Dressing A Table

I went to the beach yesterday to cool off from the heatwave we’ve been experiencing.  It was a lovely day with 70 degree weather and a gentle breeze.  On the way home I stopped into the local thrift store in Lincoln City and found this lovely vase with a bird motif, the perfect container for green gladiolus which are currently in season.  They make quite a statement!

Also on the table you will see a set of candlesticks which look possibly Scandinavian in design and a large platter which were also “finds” along the way.  They are atop a paisley print table runner I made to compliment my Blue Italian Spode dinnerware. IMG_2951