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Online website offering monogrammed baby gifts including hooded towels, bibs, burp, and baby blankets.

Behind The Monogram Blog

Behind The Monogram is a collection of blog posts about monograms, embroidery, smocking, and anything else that seems interesting at the moment. Follow along and learn interesting facts and also have a little fun.

Welcome To My Town - Thomasville, Georgia

The Polka Dot Store

Happy Veteran's Day! If you have read my "about" section, you know The Polka Dot Store.com is run out of my home. Running The Polka Dot Store out of my home gives me flexible hours and more time to be creative. I love my life and where I live. Today, I would like to start a series of posts sharing with you the unique things about the town I live in. Welcome to Thomasville, Georgia!

So, where is Thomasville, GA?

(image found at http://www.city-data.com/city/Thomasville-Georgia.html)

As you can see from the map, Thomasville is located in southwest Georgia about 10 miles from the Florida state line. The closest cities to us are Tallahassee, Florida, Valdosta, Georgia, and Albany, Georgia.

One of the many things Thomasville is known for is  its annual Rose Festival and Flower Show that has been held in the Spring (April) for the past 93 years. Here is a

link to the 2015 Rose Festival

. The streets downtown are blocked off and there is a parade, dance, arts & crafts, flower show, etc.

(image found at http://ww4.hdnux.com/photos/03/14/35/837459/3/628x471.jpg)

This is just a little introduction to "my town". Now for a look at one of the things I have been working on this week for my Etsy Store,

Monogram Elegance

 :

A set of six (6) organic cotton washcloths with a cute pink owl applique. I would love to have your comments on the following question, "Should I also list this set on 

The Polka Dot Store website

 ?".

Hug a veteran today and tell them how much you appreciate their service!

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

The Polka Dot Store

As most of you probably realize, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Each year The Polka Dot Store gives 10% of our September sales to a charity that benefits children of this devastating disease. This year we will donate to the Make-A-Wish-Foundation. If you read my post from last year

2013

, you know one of my children is a leukemia survivor. Because of generous donors our whole family was flown to New York City. This meant people donated their sky miles for us. We were picked up by limousine and taken to our hotel in Times Square. Tickets were donated for Broadway plays, sightseeing, and places to eat. My son's wish was to go see a taping of The Emeril Legassee show for The Food Network. It was a blast! The smile on my son's face was priceless. Our ride to and from the show was another limousine ride. We felt like royalty. You can't imagine what this did for my son and our family's morale. These children and their families go through so much. It is so humbling and wonderful the sacrifices generous donors give so these sick children can experience a few moments of JOY! The staff at The Make-A-Wish Foundation worked very hard behind the scenes to make all this possible and we are so grateful.

Here are some pictures from the trip that hang on my son's wall in his home:

The lighting was bad when the pictures were taken but I wanted to share them with you anyway. Daniel was given a chef's jacket to wear at the show taping and Emeril signed it for him plus signed a cookbook.

I proudly display my gold ribbons during September and hope you do, too!

Appliqued Shirts

The Polka Dot Store

Wow, I didn't realize it has been so long since I posted. Well, no time like the present! It is the middle of August here in south Georgia and it was 91 degrees outside today! Let's just say it was hot and muggy. My grandson had a birthday party this past Saturday and my daughter wanted me to applique shirts to give for the present. She found a great deal on shirts and told me it was a construction theme birthday. After looking through my MANY designs, I realized I didn't have any construction designs. So off to my favorite online designers I went.

Planet Applique

has great designs and I found two there that I liked. The third design is a Bible verse design from

Applique Corner

. They have great designs for the Christian Faith. Here is a finished picture of all three shirts. Please excuse the quality of the picture, it was taken in terrible lighting.

Even though, I stayed up to 1:00am stitching the appliques, I think it was worth it. They turned out great!

On a lighter note, what do you do when you find a flaw in a towel and it is too late to send it back to the manufacturer? Why, monogram it for my grandson, of course! Isn't this frog character hooded towel adorable with his name on it?

My grandson loves the character hood and the little triangle pockets for this hands. Really, the towel in way cuter than in the picture. You can find other adorable hooded towels at

The Polka Dot Store

Heirloom Easter Sewing

The Polka Dot Store

Welcome, it has been awhile since I've posted. Spring has been crazy busy! We celebrated Easter with family in Auburn, Alabama. Church, great food, and good company made for a perfect day. My grandson who is two loved finding hidden Easter eggs.

Several months before Easter, I planned and started working on two special outfits. The first outfit was for my grandson and I decided to make a cute sailor outfit. With fabric I had on hand and a pattern by Children's Corner called Michael I began my adventure. Since Max is only 2 1/2 years old, the colors pale blue and white seemed like  good choices. White royal twill was used for the shirt and blue satin ribbon was used to trim the collar. I started out trying to use bias tape and wasn't happy with the look so I switched to ribbon. The Michael pattern is a very easy to sew pattern and I have made countless outfits with it. The shorts have front pleats and an elastic back and were made out of blue pique. Mother of Pearl buttons were used to close the back of the shirt and a blue pique tie accented the front of the shirt. My daughter completed the outfit with knee high white socks and navy/white saddle oxford shoes. Adorable!

The second adventure was an adventure in heirloom sewing. If you have read previous posts, you know this type of sewing is one of my passions. Last summer a friend of mine became a grandmother to a beautiful little girl and we started planning her 2014 Easter outfit. Can I just say "Fun"! The little girl's mother decided on pink fabric and ecru lace. I used Child's Wedding Ring Dress by Chery Williams as a guide to make the dress.

Pink Swiss Bearissima Batiste by Bear Threads, LTD was the perfect choice for the fabric. Several different widths and styles of Bow Lace were used on the dress. I'm not sure where the lace was purchased. Here is a picture of the materials I selected for the dress.

The scallops on the collar and dress were attached accented with machine hemstitching and lace attached to it. I have an old hemstitch machine made in 1946 that is used to stitch the hemstitching. This is the only stitch this machine makes! Two needles and two bobbins are used to make the perfect stitch. Here is a picture of my machine.

Any hoo, here is the finished product and a picture of the precious little girl wearing the dress.

Entredeux beading, ribbon, and lace edge finished the sleeve edge. The outfit was completed with a double-faced satin pink hair bow.

Best of all,  a picture of the dress being worn by a precious little girl on Easter.

I had so much fun making these two outfits, I am sure I will be sewing on something new again soon.

Heirloom Sewing Inspiration

The Polka Dot Store

For some reason this time of year I get the "itch" to do some heirloom sewing. As you know if you've read my profile, I have been doing Heirloom Sewing by hand and machine for over 25 years. Yes, that makes me old but only in the way I look. LOL. Any way, I have a board on my personal Pinterest page called "Heirloom Sewing". As you can guess, I post beautiful pictures of garments that I love! I'm also noticing a trend. People are using ecru lace on their garments more and more instead of white lace. Both are beautiful but trends come and go. Below are some examples of pins from my board.

beautiful first communion dress Option #3
Tea dress

Note: These are not my pictures.

I think I'll make a daygown out of blue fabric and ecru lace. Next, I have to design how I want the daygown. I'll keep you posted on the fun! 

Childhood Cancer Awareness

The Polka Dot Store

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and 

The Polka Dot Store

will donate 10% of our sales to

American Cancer Society

. As many of you may already know, my oldest child was diagnosed with T-cell ALL (leukemia) when he was 16 years old. I am happy to say he is a healthy happy 30 year old man now. He has a great job and owns is own home. So, as you can probably guess, Childhood Cancer Awareness is very "near and dear" to my heart. When my son was diagnosed and going through treatment, you didn't hear much about childhood cancer and I am so thankful people are finally aware of this very traumatic time for a child and his/her family. The survival rates have increased which is wonderful but the treatment itself is very hard on a child. Seeing what these precious children endure will really touch your heart but, their attitudes and bravery will amaze you. There are many organizations that help the patient and their families during treatment. I thought you might like to know about a few that were/are very special to me and my family.

The

American Cancer Society

paid for all our stays at the

Ronald McDonald House

on Houston Mill Road in Atlanta. We were always met with a compassionate smile when we arrived and they did everything possible to make our stay as comfortable as possible. Since my son was treated at Egleston Childrens Hospital, now know as

Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston

, this location was very close and convenient. I can't say enough about the loving care my son received from the staff of doctors, nurses, and support staff at Egleston. They were the best. Last year during this time The Polka Dot Store donated to

Cure

. Cure funds extensive research for childhood cancer. At the time of my son's illness, they also provided supper one night a week to the families and patients of children being treatment on the cancer floor in the hospital. The volunteers were warm and welcoming to families who were going through such a stressful and unsure time.

Another great cause is the

Make-A-Wish

Foundation. They granted my son's wish to travel to New York City to meet a celebrity chef and see a taping of his show. They sent the whole family and we were treated like royalty. It was an experience and memory we will never forget.

I am so proud that the town I live in acknowledges Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Each year they hold a gold ribbon fundraiser for childhood cancer research by selling gold bows that are attached to the benches and trees on our downtown streets.

This picture was found in a great article that can be found

here

. I went downtown myself and took several photos. They are below.

So, visit

The Polka Dot Store

knowing a portion of your purchase goes to a very worthy cause.

The Polka Dot Store -

Where Blessings Happen Every Day!

Training Pants, Appliqued Gown, and Hens

The Polka Dot Store

On the weekends I try to put work aside and do some creative thinking. I've been wanting to do some more applique and decided to applique a name on a baby gown. The font is called Julia and I found it

here

.

So, what do you think?

My next project was one my daughter asked me to do. My grandson is about to turn two and is potty training. The disposable pull-ups are great but expensive. Plus, Max thinks he is a really big boy when he wears big boy underwear. Katy saw something somewhere - probably Pinterest- where a mom sewed a panel of PUL fabric over the center panel on the underwear. The PUL helps keep any accidents from getting on clothes, etc. PUL stands for

polyester/polyurethane laminate. According to the 

Fabric.com

,  polyurethane is laminated to a 70 denier interlock fabric. PUL has the following characteristics: washable, waterproof, breathable, stretches, hypoallergenic, made in the U.S.A., and is solvent laminated. 

I'll let you know if my daughter likes them and if they work well for her son.

Another ongoing project at our house is our chickens. We have one rooster, Ricky, and six hens. They are quite the characters. Last week the hens started laying eggs. We have gotten almost two dozen eggs so far. The picture below is some of the first eggs that were laid.

We have three varieties of hens so we have different size eggs. The chickens follow me everywhere! I was loading the car today and left the drivers door open. When I went to get in the car, this is what I found!

My life is definitely interesting! It's Monday and so time to get back to work. I hope all of you have a great week. Please stop in and do some shopping at

The Polka Dot Store

where "Blessings Happen Every Day".

New Baby and Sibling Gifts

The Polka Dot Store

Wow, I can't believe it has been almost a month since my last blog post. This week as I was catching up on orders, I started thinking about what my customers are ordering for gifts. When my youngest was born and someone would bring her a baby gift, my two toddlers would look anxiously to see if there was also a gift for them. I've noticed quite a few of my customers also send personalized backpacks to the sibling along with a gift for the baby. Here is a picture of one of the combinations ordered this week.

Cute isn't it? The hooded towel on the left is the Pink Alligator Everykid Towel by 3 Marthas and the backpack on the right is Dandy Pandy from Oak Patch Gifts. I would love to help you with your next gift purchase.

Summer Fun With Chalk Paint

The Polka Dot Store

If you have been on the 

website

or on the

Facebook Page

, then you know I am probably not at home. In fact, I am at my daughter's house helping her sell her house, move, have surgery, help with her 22 month old (a.k.a. playing with my grandson), and recover all while going through a divorce. During all the hassles and getting sick after her surgery we still managed to have one day of FUN! A friend of ours, Jennifer, over at Twists of Life Unique Thrift, has been doing some fabulous work with chalk paint and repurposed furniture. Plus, she gives lessons! My daughter and I decided to take a lesson before things got really crazy with the move. We fell in love with it.

For some reason, it didn't occur to me to take before pictures of the pieces we worked on or an after picture of the piece I worked on. Jennifer “loaned” me an antique desk chair to work on and she had me paint it in Barnyard Red. The color was gorgeous and I fell in love with it. Here is a picture of the chair and base before it was distressed:

Isn't it a fabulous color?

My daughter inherited my bedroom set from when I was a little girl. She decided to take the night stand to work on. For those of you who are not as old as I am, this is a white french provincial bedroom set by Bassett. You will just have to imagine it in white since I neglected to take a before pic. Here is the back of the piece after two coats of paint:

The color is Burlap and the edges were distressed. Can I just say, “Distressing is fun!”. Here is a pic of the finished piece.

She did a great job! After she recovers from all that has been going on, she plans to paint the dresser, desk, head and foot board that go with the set. My mind has been working overtime on thinking about things I can use chalk paint on and distress. By the way, Jennifer sells the paint in her shop.

Not only is Twists of Life Unique Thrift a great thrift shop but they also do an auction every Wednesday night. On Wednesday mornings, Jennifer posts pictures of items being auctioned that night. Check out the Facebook page for Blue Chicken Auction! If you are in the Dallas, Georgia area, be sure to visit the store and her auctions. Thank you Jennifer for teaching us such a fun thing to do!

You can find Twists of Life Unique Thrift at 503 Memorial Dr., Dallas, GA. Check out her store Facebook Page 

here

  and her auction Facebook Page

here

.

New Applique Designs

The Polka Dot Store

The world of applique designs has really exploded in the last year or so. There are tons of great new digitizers coming up with super cute designs and I can't wait to start stitching some out for you. I've recently purchased designs from 

Applique Cafe

and 

Applique Corner  .

I would love to know what you like about applique and what you would like to see them stitched on. I'm so excited about this and will post pictures when I get some of them stitched out. In the meantime, I'll post a picture of  "fred" bringing his new baby gossling to the bird feeder for the first time. Cute!

There are now over 500 Likes our Facebook Page so be on the look out for another give away soon! Have you shared our Facebook Page? Please like and share our page. The more "likes" we have, the larger the give away will be.

The Polka Dot Store Facebook Page

Have a great weekend!

Long Time Since Last Post

The Polka Dot Store

Wow, where have the last few months gone? Life here in south Georgia has been crazy busy. Between family and working on the website, I feel like I've hardly had time to do anything else. That said, I want to show you  pictures of some things I have been able to squeeze in time monogram for friends and family. The first picture shows some of the very popular sun hats that are the craze right now.

A friend of mine is having a new grandbaby and they are not telling the name until after the little one arrives. I really wanted to try out a new design I purchased and this is how it turned out.

Another thing that is really popular right now are T-Shirt Pockets. I experimented on some t-shirts for myself and they turned out kind of cute!

The orange and white shirt pockets use Empire font. On the tan shirt pocket the Victor font was stitched on the pocket and Octagonal font was used on the coral shirt. Pretty good for my first attempts, don't you think?

Lastly, I needed new pillows for my sofa..........................I wanted things to look good for a meeting I was having at my house, so I made some out of burlap.

Well, that is what I have been up to lately. Now I need to get back to working on orders. New items have been added to the website so please go on over to

The Polka Dot Store

  and pick out something adorable!

The Grandchildren Are Coming..................

The Polka Dot Store

With it being spring break time here in the south, that means....................the grandchildren are coming for a visit. They were out for spring break on different weeks

so we were lucky enough to have the 18 month old for two weeks.  Back several months ago I decided I wanted to move the 11 year old into a different room and redo it for him. So I have been collecting everything for the room and then started working on it. My husband and daughter helped me put the finishing touches on the room last week so it would be ready for Logan when he arrived. I apologize in advance for the lousy lighting in the pictures!

This is a picture of the finished room:

The drapes are actually shower curtains that I found online at

West Elm

. They are exactly what I was looking for. Because they are only 72 inches tall, hanging them with rope was the perfect solution.  I found the light tan bed skirts online at

Overstock.com

.  Because the bed in the center has drawers underneath the mattress, there was no need to skirt that bed. I appliqued Logan's pillowcase with his name in El Paso Font. He loved it.

In this picture you can see the copper rods my husband made out of copper pipe that he found at Lowe's. He and my son had to cut the pipe and piece it together to get the length I needed. This is a large set of windows and I couldn't find much less afford custom made rods to fit. I used the buttonholes in the shower curtains to run the rope through and hang on the rod. Pretty cute, right? On the wall you can see the "turners" that we attached with the same type rope we used on the drapes. I found the "turners" at

Scott's Antique Market

in Atlanta. Cool, right?

My daughter and I went shopping while she was here and we found this cool rope lamp at T.J. Max. Honestly, I can't remember where we found the long leg bird but I had to purchase it. We have a bird that looks just like it on our pond.

Lastly, I just had to include my curious cat, Toby, checking out the room redo and making sure he can still see the birds on the feeders below.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of the room redo. It is finally finished and I love it.

Just Monogramming Away

The Polka Dot Store

Wow, sorry it has been so long since I last posted. Things have really been busy here at Granny's Attic and The Polka Dot Store.com. Most of the merchandise ordered at Gift Market in January has arrived. Orders have been great. Thank you new customers and lots of thanks to returning customers. Ya'll are the best!

Here is a display of the new Everykid Towels by 3 Marthas:

I really like the new designs! Left to right - Baby Birdie, Blue Froggie Friend,  Pink Froggie Friend, New Truck, Pink Whale Waves, Blue Whale Waves, Pink Gingham Elephant, Pink Colorful Crab, and the new Football Design.

3 Marthas has started offering bloomers for little girls and of course, I want to offer them to you! Below is an example of some of the bloomers:

Are they adorable?

This afternoon I had the pleasure of attending a baby shower for a dear friend's daughter. It was so much fun. I had the best time selecting what I wanted to give the mother-to-be. Below is a picture of the gift before I wrapped it.

I custom made the blanket to include with the gift. It is made with swiss flannel fabric, lined with china silk, edge hemstitched with tatting added, and a beautiful cross embroidery. The rest of the gift package included the Cross Bubble by Mud Pie, Cross Keepsake Box by Mud Pie, Cross Bib and Burp Cloth by Granny's Attic, Boy Diaper Cover by Granny's Attic, Blessings Snuggler by Bearington Baby, and Cross Artwork by Mud Pie.

Like I said, this past month has been busy and fun. Please visit

The Polka Dot Store

where

Blessing Happen Every Day.

Great Idea For Personalized Bib

The Polka Dot Store

Recently, a customer emailed saying she needed an order processed quickly because she wanted to use it for a birthday party. I thought, "What a great idea!". She was planning to use the personalized bib on a stuffed bear as the centerpiece on the party table. Immediately, ideas started popping into my brain and I started visualizing  this as the centerpiece at a baby shower or the main part of a gift basket. Fun! The next time I had an order for a personalized bib, I put it on a bear and took a picture to show you. Below, you will see our Pink Minky Bib by Mud Pie on our Bliss Bear by Melissa & Doug.

Adorable! The bib is stitched in Font 23 in hot pink thread. I think Mrs. Bear looks stunning in her personalized bib and is ready for any occasion.

Personalized Leg Warmers

The Polka Dot Store

As many of you know, I purchased a new 6 needle embroidery machine back in the fall. Since then I have been "collecting" different frames for the machine. As with most things, the right accessories produce the best results. While my grandson  -yes, I said grandson. I may be older in age but not in spirit- was here a few weeks ago, he was playing with inventory as I was trying to count inventory. He loved pulling the legwarmers out of the basket.

As I was putting them back in the basket, Max and I decided he needed a pair of the Fire Truck LegWarmers by BabyLegs and it would look cute to try to stitch his name on them

. Here is the result:

I think they look really cute so this option will be added to the website soon!Let me know what you think! 

 

Hair Bow Project For My Niece

The Polka Dot Store

It took me a while but I finally finished a set of monogrammed

hai

r

bows for my n

iece.

Since I've been making hair bows for a LONG time, you would think this would be a

easy for me. It was always easy for

me to make

bows out of double face satin ribbon but I was having a hard time getting my

bows made with grosgrain ribbon

to look perfect.

After looking at online videos and talking to

a

friend of mine, I think I have mastered the technique. My friend, Beth,

has always been very generous to share her wealth of info

rmation and you can find her great creatio

ns in her Etsy store

here .

My niece loves her new hair bows.

Hopefully, I can get her mom to send me a picture soon to post with my precious n

iece we

aring one of her bows!

Appliqued Shirts

The Polka Dot Store

A few weeks ago I mentioned trying to applique on some shirts for my cute little grandson. They turned out great and I thought I would share them with you. I stitched on three shirts for him. Here they are:

The blue shirt has a cute cow face applique that I found at 

Planet Applique

 . Turned out cute, didn't it?

Max wore this cute pumpkin shirt a lot during the month of October. I would let me wear it during the month of November, also but that is up to his mama :). This applique design was found at 

Applique Cafe

 .

Max decided the spider shirt is his favorite. His dad has been teaching him "Itsy Bitsy Spider" so I knew Max would like this shirt. The applique design used for this shirt was also found at Applique Cafe . All fabrics used were just in my "stash" of fabric.

This is what the inside of the shirts look like. The white fabric covering the design is called "comfort cover" and I purchase it at 

Sewing Machine.com

 . It is super soft and keeps the stitching from irritating the skin. The last picture shows a bloomer I stitched for a friend of mine as a surprise for her granddaughter. I hope you like it!

Leave a comment and let me know if you like the shirts and the bloomer. Have a great weekend!

Dawn

Recent Monograms

The Polka Dot Store

Happy Wednesday! I couple of days ago a customer emailed and asked me to send pictures of 3 Marthas Products that had been monogrammed. Thus, the idea for this blog post was formed. First, let me say I am blessed with wonderful customers. Yea! Second, let me share with you the view I get to look at every morning before I start work.

Pretty good way to start my morning, don't you think? The barn is not ours but the view is free. :)

O.K., on to the monograms. Really, I consider this personalized since they are not 3-Letter Monograms but does it really matter? Nah!

This is a group of 3 Marthas burp cloths each stitched with a different font. Pretty cute and good selections by my customer.

Next, is a group of 3 Marthas bibs. Two of them are Jolly Blue Giraffe stitched in orange thread. The third bib is Baseball stitched in red thread.

This sweet set is from the Jolly Pink Giraffe collection by 3 Marthas. The burp on the left is stitched in the Fishtail Monogram in medium pink thread and the burp on the right is stitched in font 23 in medium pink thread. I think they look adorable and so sweet for a newborn little girl.

In the next two pictures, you will see recent monogrammed items not from the 3 Marthas collection but I thought you might be interested in seeing them.

This is the Blue Lollipop Infant Hat by Little Giraffe monogrammed in the jester font in medium blue.

Some people call this a bodysuit, others call it a onesie, or creeper. Whatever you call it, it is really cute stitched in the Diamond Block font in light blue.

After a busy afternoon monogramming, I think I will take some time tonight to applique some shirts for my grandson. If  the pictures turn out well, that will be another blog post. Until then, I'll close with a pictures from a plant in our yard. There is no doubt I am not a professional photographer but these pictures makes my smile. I hope you have enjoyed this post.

The Surprise

The Polka Dot Store

On Facebook this week I mentioned that I would be revealing a surprise. Here at The Polka Dot Store.com, monogrammed is not outsourced. It is done in-house. Last weekend my husband and I added a new piece of equipment to the store. We purchased a new 6 needle PR 650 Brother embroidery machine! It is incredible and I am having so much fun with it! Here is a picture of our new "baby"...........

New hoops should arrive tomorrow and I can't wait to play with them. The folks at 

www.sewingmachine.com

 are really great to work with.

Here is an order I personalized with the new machine..........

Doesn't it look great! The stitching looks so much better. I loved my other machines but I think I wore them out :).

New 3 Marthas Burps

The Polka Dot Store

Hi Everyone!

I have been busy taking and getting descriptions ready to add new products to the website. Below are three new burps we are adding from 3 Marthas.

Isn't the new angel design adorable! The elephant design is a favorite of mine and the gingham one is also available in pink. Here are the two new hippo designs we have already added:

The can be found 

here

. Have a great Labor Day Weekend and happy shopping!