Monday, November 24, 2014

What's in a Name- Midnight Oil Smockers

The largest refining of crude oil in the US is Exxon/Mobil located just outside of Houston in Baytown situated along the Houston Ship Channel.

The name “Midnight Oil Smockers” was chosen by our founding group because with young families the members seemed to do most of their smocking late at night, burning the midnight oil.

The logo, an oil lamp, represents the heritage of grandmothers and great-grandmothers who stitched by lamplight after the day’s work was done.

Thanks to Tawn Hunka for the orgins of her chapters name. Let us know about the origins of your chapters name. Email me at


Friday, November 21, 2014

Stash and Storage

Following on from ‘Where SAGA Members Actually Sew’, we’d love to see your Stash and Storage!

Take a photo of your Stash as it is (don’t tidy it!) and Storage of your sewing notions, buttons, fabric etc. and email them to

We can all benefit from other people’s ideas, so even if your storage solution isn’t perfect, it may help someone else organize theirs! Let’s see how many ways there actually are to store lace, thread, ribbon and buttons!
Here's one to get us started (and no, it isn't my stash!)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mystery Smock Along Clue 3

Clue 3: We are going to stitch a Cable Trellis combination this week. Beginning on Row 3, pleat one, just under the pleating thread, stitch a Triple Crown: up cable, down cable, up cable.


Travel down to Row 3 ¼.

Travel down to Row 3 ½

Stitch a Down cable at Row 3 ½.

Travel up to Row 3 ¼.

Travel up to Row 3 and repeat the sequence from the beginning.

Stitch a mirror image beginning on Row 9, pleat one, just above the pleating thread, stitch a down cable, up cable, down cable, travel a ¼ step up to Row 8 ¾, travel ¼ step up to Row 8 ½, stitch an up cable on Row 8 ½, travel down to Row 8 ¾, travel down to Row 9 and repeat the sequence.

Bead options: You have two options for beads on this clue. First you can place a bead on each of the horizontal stitches on Row 3 ½ and Row 8 ½. Alternatively, you can place three beads on the first Triple Crown on Row 3, skip the next Triple Crown (remember I said this is a 16 stitch repeat) and continuing across the row, beading every other Triple Crown.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wes visits Thimbleberry

Thimbleberry chapter of SAGA meet the first Tuesday of the month at a church in Fairfield, Connecticut. The November programme is always a Christmas ornament and is lead by a chapter member. So Wes went along to visit the chapter members.

This years ornament was from an old issue of SAGANews (before my time) and was the winner in a SAGA 2000 ornament contest. Barbara Ellis' design, 'Blended Curves', is an intermediate project. What our programme leader, Lisa Hawkes (SAGA President) had not anticipated was that the chart in the magazine was graphed wrongly, so she had to take time to redraw the erronious area for us-wonderful!

But then, working from the directions form the magazine, a couple of other errors were found in the written text, but between us we finally worked it all out and there should be a couple of completed ornaments to see at our next meeting!

The design is very pretty and everyone picked different colours to smock with, but we all agreed a colour photo of the original design would have been a great help!

I encourage you to look back over past issues of SAGANews for projects you can use for chapter programmes. Either thumb through your own copies or visit the SAGA website where many back issues are archived in the Member's Only' area.

And I apologise ahead of time for any errors you might find, but it is all part of the learning curve!
This is my ornament-A work in progress!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Coming to your mail box......

SAGANews Volume 35 Issue 4 is in the mail and on it's way to you!

This issue contains information about the Smock Across America Las Vegas Retreat as well as a wonderful lace smocking design, a Christmas bishop  and some cute angels to embroider!
As always we'd love to know if you have received your copy and if you enjoyed it!

Monday, November 10, 2014

What's in a Name?

I live in Connecticut, the Constitution State. There are no heirloom sewing shops nearby, just JoAnn Fabrics, Michaels and Hobby Lobby. We do have a few quilt fabric, needlepoint and knitting stores, but these are few and far between.

But we do have the Thimble Islands!

The Thimble Islands is an archipelago consisting of small islands in Long Island Sound, located in and around the harbor of Stony Creek in the southeast corner of Branford, Connecticut.

Map of the Thimble Islands
The archipelago of islands made up of Stony Creek pink granite bedrock were once the tops of hills prior to the last ice age. As a result, the Thimble Islands are much more stable than most other islands in Long Island Sound, which are terminal moraines of rubble deposited by retreating glaciers

Known to the Mattabeseck Indians as Kuttomquosh, "the beautiful sea rocks,

The first European to discover the islands was Adrian Block in 1614. Legend says that Captain Kidd buried his treasure here, causing intermittent interest among treasure hunters who believe they have unearthed a clue to its location, although more interest is generally paid to Gardiners Island, 30 miles away.
Although they are said to be named for the thimbleberry, a relative of the black raspberry, that plant is seldom seen in the area, and is more frequent in northern New England. Other species of blackberry and raspberry, however, are sometimes referred to by residents of the area as thimbleberries.
cap, plant, black cap,

And I belong to Thimbleberry Chapter of SAGA, which is named for the thimbleberry bush.

Do you know how your chapter name came about? It is a fun thing to research-let me know what you discover!

Friday, November 7, 2014

More Smock Across America

                                        Lori Popelka smocked on Orange Beach, Alabama.

Where will our next Smock Across America photo come from?
Email your photos to