I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Lavender, Lemon Balm, Bergamot

Hello, friends! Do your closets smell delightful?[ Or are you like my mom, always with the closet doors ajar to avoid the odd musty smell of stored linens and clothes?]

I have the answer! LOL, I have been working on a lot of lavender herb sachet hearts for the past week, and as I sew I imagine-audition  copy to use when I post the sachets in my etsy shop.

Mo and the big lavender bush
The hearts are always fun to make! But not something I can just churn out in bulk*. Each heart is carefully designed, each is different. I start by sorting through the special shelf  in my fabric storage area, a shelf devoted to not-quilt projects. There I keep white and  ecru linen fabric, embroidered tea towels, antique fabric, white cutwork dresser scarves and tablecloths, remnants of quilts, ribbons and lace. I sort though, refolding and considering, choose a special few.

 I cut the hearts by hand individually. Sometimes I make a cardstock pattern [old birthday cards or the paper from Joann's fat quarters], but sometimes I cut the hearts freehand. I group the hearts by color, so I can re-thread my sewing machine as little as possible. There. that's a good start, for now, I think, and walk away.

The following day I steam the hearts, then I load them on my tin star tray and Mo and I go outside for trimming, turning and stuffing day.

 Mo likes to supervise. The deck is his outdoor world, he loves it there.

The turning part is tedious, everything must be clipped, poked and prodded and pressed just so. Back outside I do the messy task of filling each heart with herbs, in this case my current blend of lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena; lavender essential oil and bergamot oil.

I collect these large old silver plate serving spoons, fun two dollar flea market finds. Each heart gets two or more scoops of herbs, then a bit of additional polyfil or cotton batting. I sometimes meka all herb sachets but I truly prefer the addition of the fluff, it keeps the hearts' pretty shape and helps guard against the herbs retaining too much moisture from the air.

The next step, each heart is sewed closed by hand, using the ''ladder stitch'', invisible and strong. A bit of a press and I close the workroom door for the night.

When I return I dig out ribbons and strings, fire up the hot glue gun. I pour out Mason jars-full of mother of pearl buttons/ vintage fancy buttons, pawing through them imagining how they will add to each design. Often I will dye ribbons or lace to fit my vision.

Oooh. Pretty!

Then--photo day. I am struggling with my only camera, in my dying old iPhone. Today Mo was extra helpful. Every time I set up a backdrop or moved a chair he plonked himself down center stage.

He was so happy to be outside that he ignored the fog and driplets of rain showers, watching my every move. (But afterward, when I set the old quilt I was using as a white background on his chair in the sun, he was sulky and refused to go there, choosing an empty chair instead.

Next I'll package each set or single heart in its own little cello bag, often tied with ribbon, lace, raffia, embellished with buttons, shells, seaglass. I think the fun of making the hearts is playing with all my flea treasures! I love sorting through buttons. I am thinking the very Fall hearts in this group may get an acorn or a silk autumn leaf on their bow.

And I almost always ship in recycled/ reused boxes. So if your box is oddly large or obviously reused [though clean and perfect!] you'll know why; I am giving the box a second journey, a longer life.

Tomorrow I plan to start a group of square tiny pillow sachets. Honey colored silk with embroidered honey bees! And  a sweet woodland print in sepia. I am dying to instead work on 1880  quilt, the fabric auditions are calling me. And a nice woman on FB gave me the instructions for the original zigzag setting. So kind.

The other good news is that  this month's SG Album block HERE is very charming and interesting, though again, Mary Todd [Lincoln] is not the most charismatic woman in history.

It's a windy foggy evening right now. Mo is hiding, hoping to avoid his bedtime walk. We may get a chilly night soon! I think...Saturday?



gone to the beach.....

* I do take custom orders for larger quantities of hearts, sometimes assorted, sometimes all the same. People love them for wedding shower/ baby shower favors, party favors, gifts to groups of friends etc.