Wednesday, May 29, 2024

May and onward to June 2024….

 ~ warm welcome to all of you ~

As usual for me…
I’ve been busy! One thing I have incorporated into my life is:
Rest. My husband and I had our deck redone from scratch with laminate boards and railings, it was made larger and essentially it is an extension of our home. 
It has been the SINGLE BEST THING we have ever done for ourselves. We are out there all the time. 
Here’s a few photos of our recent time out there:

Oh my heavens I just adore it out there! So much so today I’m taking a break from my last finishing packages to rest my hands, suit up in my hand braces and stitch. 

Speaking of stitching, I’ve had one finish:
M Designs 
“Celtic Letter J”

Stitched on 28 count evenweave, using Classic Colorworks Belle Soie “Old Crow” 2/2

I believe he loved it! 
This is Joseph, Ellie’s boyfriend for his 23rd Birthday.
Aren’t they adorable?

That’s the only cross stitching really I’ve done. Other than that what have I been up to? 
Hours and hours of sewing on my goal of making my family line a Baptismal gown before Blueberry arrives.

I am so proud to say: 
Here it is: 
the underskirt:

It’s just simple with very soft vintage lace at the arms and neck and then larger vintage lace on the hem (it’s a bit scratchy, but this over all is 30 inches long, so baby won’t feel)
It buttons up the back (or will when I tackle that) 

Here is the gown itself:

It’s modeled after an early 1900’s “T yoke” gown because not only was the gown I baptized in that was made by my great grandmother made in the early 1900’s but I liked that the t yoke looked like a cross. 
So there it is, it features lace inserts, entredeux and more… it also buttons up in the back. Again I need to tackle that.

Here it is layered with the underskirt:

Can I just say: I am so pleased with how it turned out. I have NEVER had a sewing class, a heirloom sewing class, never been taught to sew at all. I have taught myself everything I know, and that isn’t much.

I began every sewing session with this simple prayer:
“Lord, guide my hands and mind as I try to make this gown to glorify you and bring souls to you through Baptism. Help me, I cannot do it without you. In Jesus name, Amen.”

I ended each sewing session with prayer: 
“Lord, I love you, thank you for helping me get this done, one bit at a time. Amen.”

Can I just say: I just sewed. I read the pattern instructions, didn’t understand half of it, would sit and slowly read it line by line, Sit and think about what that meant, then did what I thought and inferred the rest.

Giving it to God, and asking for help: I didn’t sew this gown the Lord did. I never had one moment’s problem. I just sewed. And if I had to use my seam ripper Iid so calmly and would rip it out and redo and it would come out perfect. Not one tear was shed over making this. Not one foul word uttered. I actually enjoyed the many hours I spent doing this. 

I was going to add some white work embroidery along the neckline, but I don’t know if I will do that to be honest. I sort of like the stark look of it. I’m waiting to see if I’m nudged to do so, God will tell me - just as he nudged me to make it when I had basically decided not to make my own and buy one. 

Well folks, that’s my life. Time is wasting and I have birds to watch and x’s to make. 

Until the next time….
Hugs and kisses in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Finishing Service.....

 Well folks...the time has come:


I am saddened to inform you, this morning, I had an appointment with my orthopedist. I am having severe pain in my hands and wrist. After many years of working as a finisher, it has come to the point that if I want to be able to do anything without pain in my hands and wrists I am going to have to stop aggravating them by continuous finishing. I am finishing the packages that have arrived here in my home already, and after those packages are finished, I will not be finishing for the public at all anymore. I do want you to know that I have many, many finishing tutorials out there and I am confident that I can teach you. Remember you can always do a “mock” finish by using muslin prior to doing it on your stitching.

My sincere apologies to inform you of this, it took a doctor scaring me about what my future may look like if I do not stop finishing to get me to make this move. I thank you for your interest in my business,

Vonna Pfeiffer

Saturday, March 16, 2024

March 2024.....

 ~ Many Greetings and a Warm Welcome to my Blog ~

another month has passed and let's go with what has been going on around here!

I framed myself Santa of the Forest by Lavender and Lace - Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum

Here he is in his frame I chose: 




We painted our living room in his honor: 




Valspar ~ American Restoration Color: Fairmont Suite Gold

We created a "gallery" wall of a large portion of my stitching AND bought new canvas prints of our family: 



Thought I'd show you my "Paula Vaughan" half bath: 




Untitled "Patriotic Room"...


Here's some stitching I've been working on recently: 


DMC 2/2 on Zweigart Platinum

Will look like this someday:

Started my next EPIC Santa: 


DMC 2/2 on 28 ct. Vintage Country Mocha

He will look like this someday: 


Worked on my Prairie Schooler Angel Project: 


Here it is to date: 


Would you like my charted "Gloria in Excelsis Deo"? 

Remember please: GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE! I'm not a "designer" but I took my time to chart for ME and I SHARE with you.

Started and finished this little gem: 



"Here Comes the Robins" by With Thy Needle and Thread on 32 count vintage country mocha called for colors. finished into a flatfold. Gifted to a dear friend that was going through a rough time. 

NOW....for the big project: 
My daughter, Katie, is pregnant. She is due in July. We do not know the sex. We will not be finding out. We are Catholic, so infant Baptism will happen. I and all my babies were Baptized in my Grandfather's Baptismal gown that my great-great Grandmother made before his birth. It is now 125 years old. Sometime after Ellie's Baptism the gown had to be retired. It had gotten tissue paper thin and it was close to ruin. So a relative who has possession of it, repaired it and framed it in a shadow box. My grandfather's lineage was German Catholic. He had 8 siblings and each of his siblings had children some of them up to 12. All of my mother's generation had a lot of children and were Baptized in the gown and all of my generation's children were Baptized in the gown. So there were many, many little babies dedicated to Christ in that beautiful, handsewn gown. 

It wasn't really "fancy" as it was made by a woman who had very little. Made of cotton and some lace it was a long 36 inch gown fall with a under skirt full slip. There are several sets of twins in my family line - my own being one of them. When twins were born to the family, one twin wore the gown and the other wore a white undershirt and the slip (as the slip was sleeveless.) It was beautiful and of course a true heirloom and family treasure. 

I want that for my lineage and future I decided I was going to make one like it as closely as I can to the original. Am I dressmaker? No. Have a sewn clothes before? Yes, limitedly...I made some scrub tops when I worked and a couple of just plain jumper dresses. That's the extent of my knowledge. 

I bought an Antique pattern that was fashioned on a dress from the early 1900's. I read and read. Researched. Watched videos. Read some more....

YESTERDAY....I decided enough was enough and I needed to just jump in. Following are photos I took over the last 24 hours. 


Practicing Whip and Roll lace hemming and some very poor attempts at embroidery: 


Showing I really liked my pin stitch I decided the top of the lace edge needed: 



Bullion Rosette with 12 perle DMC cotton


Bullion Rosette with 1 strand of DMC cotton:


Here they are in comparison:


Imagine a neckline of little rosettes: 


Shell Hemming: (this is all hand sewing)


So....Here's what I happened in the last 24 hours:
1. Got Started.
2. Realized I think I'm going to need more fabric because I'm likely going to make this thing 4 times over until I'm satisfied.
3. Bough a bolt of fabric - better safe than sorry.
4. Pre-washed and dried bolt of fabric.
5. Cut out the underskirt slip.
6. Started sewing.
7. Did French seams!
8. Started doing Shell hems.
9. Crying is cleansing.
10. More crying is even more cleansing.
11. Thought: why in the hell did I think I could do this?
12. Prayed.
14. Figured out rolled and whip hems with lace edge.
15. Wanted a more decorative pin stitch along the it!  (on scraps)
16. Took A LOT of notes.
17. Went to bed at 1 am.
18. Up at 6 am after dreaming about a better way to go about this.
19. Realized underskirt number one ispractice and I learned a lot. 
20. Practiced bullion stitch roses....12 pearl? 2 strands of DMC? Found 1 strand looks best....Imagine along the neckline of underskirt....
21. I'll begin again. And make it better!
22. I hope....

I have shared my progress with others online.....I try to ALWAYS be encouraging. I never give my opinions, unless asked. I KNOW I am not the first person to ever do this. I KNOW that I have much more sophisticated sewing machine than there was 40 years or even 100 years ago. I KNOW I am lucky that I have these tools at my disposal. I DO NOT think I know everything. AND if I have one more person tell me that they embroided the names of the babies that wore the gown they made...I AM GOING TO SCREAM! 

I know that people are trying to be helpful in most cases....but you all ever have a vision and you are trying to make THAT VISION a reality? I don't want someone else's vision or ideas. I have my own. One thing I am doing is creating a little drawstring bag that will house a journal that I will put all the details good and bad of my creating this heirloom. I will ask each child wearing the gown to have their name and parents name, date of birth and date of Baptism, name of church and priest Baptizing the baby to be put into the journal and kept with the gown. I have thought very hard about all of the details. 

In closing...
I had my 4th Chemical Peel, February I am the day of the 4th peel: 

here I am now....
not bad for a middle aged, chubby woman, I'll take it!


Thank you folks for sticking with me and being my friends! 
Thank you for your encouragement!
Thank you for your friendship!
Thank you for loving stitching and crafting as much as I do!

I'm going out to lunch....
 with a young church friend of mine that I sponsored during her RCIA journey. She's 26 and I'm sort of a mother figure to her. I am going to put all of this sewing aside, have a great time with my friend. Come back and TACKLE this gown again. 

Until Next Time....

Love in Stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Friday, February 02, 2024

I had to share….my BIG finish!


 “Santa of the Forest”
By: Lavender and Lace, Marilyn Levitt Imblum 
~ 50,000 stitches 
Measuring 15 x 18 inches
On 18 count natural raw linen
2/2 DMC and Kreinik 002HL

I am so proud! I have ordered the frame and a triple mat:

I wanted rich, classic and clean.
Everything should be here by February 15. Exciting!
Thank you for sharing my joy in this epic finish!

My next Santa project? 
From Treasures in Needlework Magazine  ~ Summer 1992 
“Santa’s List” 

This photo is a picture of my friend’s finish - Cathy Lundgren
Isn’t it beautiful?! 

~ to be started soon ~ 

Until Next Time…
Live in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx