Martha’s Christmas Message 2013

“The simple art of applique has many stanch supporters; women who are indifferent to tedious embroideries or those too busy to yield the precious minutes of their hours find it the quickest way of putting color on clothes or linens. This design offers a wide variety of fruits and flowers-thoughtful flower faces, blue bells or graceful poppies, and a French basket full of flowers. The fruit motif is often useful for various household linens. Aprons or housedresses are more becoming with the touch of such flowers, particularly on pockets, and children’s clothes need their vivid color. The pocket motifs are used a great deal on children’s rompers or dresses. These designs may be worked in outline embroidery if one prefers.”

When putting in a zipper, I put fusible thread in the bobbin, then sew down both sides of the zipper ONLY (NO FABRIC OR GARMENT) ~ with the right side down, using large stitches to expose more “glue.” Then take the zipper and press it to the garment. Let it cool a few minutes. Then you never need pins to hold it down and it never shifts while doing the final top stitching. I hope this helps out some of your readers with this sometimes intimidating step.

When you want to reverse a smocking plate (example have a cow face east instead of west) copy the smocking plate on overhead film then simply flip over the overhead. Amazing – you have a reversed design! This is great to do on a front opening garment so that both pictures can face inward.



I have some gorgeous white slips in my collection of antique white clothes. Using the skirt which is already embellished is a great idea for the skirt of a christening dress. If the slip is long enough you might cut the bodices and sleeves from the top fabric. If the skirt is not long enough you might make the bodice from strips of lace sewn together. I suggest lining this type of bodice and sleeves with netting or orgndy to give I strength for the 100 or more years that this family heirloom will be worn. Remember that you can use new fabrics for the bodice even if it does not exactly match the bottom fabric of the skirt. I have so many gorgeous antique gowns with two completely different fabrics (usually the same color) where the mother or grandmother for some reason combined two fabrics. My guess would be on some that the top had a stain or rip which could not be repared to her satisfaction and she just put a new bodice on an old skirt. Or perhaps the designer wanted a different style bodice but wanted to use the gorgeous skirt of the older dress. Have fun and be creative when making your christening dresses. Be sure to embroider the complete family history into the slip, making it a treasure to be historically correct for your family down the road. Store it is acid free tissue paper or put it in a cotton pillowcase and lay it flat in a bottom drawer in a heated and air conditioned house.

One of my favorites from the MPC store to be digitally downloaded is Angel’s Whisper by Wendy Schoen.

ASE angels whisper

The directions and embroidery designs are in The Best of Australian Smocking and Embroidery which also has 8 full sized patterns within the special edition publication. This spectacular publication now available from MPC, ALSO has a beautiful dress (12 and 18 months and 2,3 years), a shirt and capris (3-6), another dress (2,4,6) a boys smocked shirt and pants (3,6,12 months), and a sundress (4,6,8), a pinafore, blouse and pantaloons( 3,4,5)

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There is the most adorable Little Prince smocked romper, beret and shoes that you have ever seen. The directions are in this book and the pattern is available for purchase to download from the MPC website.It is probably the cutest romper with blue gingham piping and blue smocking on white that you have ever seen. The little beret and shoes complete the outfit. I might add that finding a pattern for a beret is extremely hard and you really need to add this one to your collection.


Click the image to purchase


Personal Letter From Martha


Dear Sewing Family,

The blessed season of Christmas is here. Christmas Day is nearing. I have had the pleasure of seeing or talking with all of my children just this week. I am receiving gorgeous handmade Christmas ornaments from my precious fan club. I feel the love from each as I hang them on my tree. I look at the huge tree in my living room covered almost 100% with handmade ornaments that my friends have sent to me for many years. I spent lots of time just looking at them. All who come cannot believe the gorgeous handmade ornaments. They spell love to me. Actually all sewing spells love for me.


I truly love to sew and my New Year’s resolution is to begin making christening dresses for my unborn great grandchildren. This is “Figgy Sewing” since the only great grands I want right now are figments of my imagination. I love making christening dresses and baby clothes and I intend to start in January possibly using some of my antique laces I have collected over the years. I believe at MPC we have the world’s most beautiful christening dress patterns and embroideries to accompany them. We have beautiful laces and entredeux. I might suggest if you are ever going to sew baby clothes, and you are missing all the fun if you don’t, that you order books to put in your library with the patterns and directions. Styles never change concerning classic children’s clothing including christening dresses.


Grandmother’s Hope Chest available at Martha Pullen Co. online store


Sew Beautiful’s Best of Christening Gowns

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Anna Garrin’s Baptismal Gown

If you would like to learn some new techniques for heirloom sewing please join us at our February School of Art Fashion right here in Huntsville, Feb. 5-9, 2014. For 32 years we have been celebrating sewing right here. We have a place for you. Please call 1-800-547-4176 ext 4 to speak with Amy or Molina to register OR register on line HERE.

Alex Schum on Facebook today shared that 6 military men were lost in combat today in the Middle East.  My heart is broken daily as I read about the lives being lost in war– about the men and women being injured-about the families and friends of these brave GIs and about the state of the world in general. I send you 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

I pray every day for our men and women serving in harm’s way and for their families. I pray for the families who have lost their loved ones. I pray for the men and women who have been injured and had their lives permanently changed. I pray for their families. I pray for our president and other leaders both in this country and in others that the correct decisions will be made, knowing full well that I have not a clue what should be done. I do know that God knows exactly what is happening. He gave full instructions on what to do if we want Him to heal our land. God, please bless America and our peace loving allies.

I pray for each of you this week knowing full well that some of you are having very difficult times. Please hang on to God because He is fully aware of your pain and He will carry you through the tragedies as well as the good times. I especially pray for those of you who have lost loved ones this week and for those who have received very bad news. I know many of you feel broken hearted this week. I send you Psalm 23:

“The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.”

During the most difficult times of my life, sewing has been very important in getting me through. During the happiest times of my life sewing has been there to enhance that joy. During the high stress times of my life sewing has been my very good friend to pull me back on a more even keel. I do thank God for the blessing of sewing and I do thank God for you, my sewing family. All of us at Martha Pullen Company thank you for your business, for your loyalty and for making it possible for us to bring you new products, new sewing events and new sewing excitement. Without God’s help and without your loving our products there would be no Martha Pullen Company. We thank you. Merry Christmas my beloved friends. Let’s be sure to remember the reason for the season.  Never forget that I will always love you.

May God Bless You,



Matthew 6:31-33

So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.



Mystery Meat
by Suzanne Crocker from her book Pig in a Taxi

(Suzanne and John Crocker –my son and his wife and four children-served the Lord as Southern Baptist Missionaries in Togo, West Africa and Benin for 10 years. This book shares some of their adventures in Africa. I have included this story especially at Christmas as we go to the grocery store to buy good things to cook for our celebrations. This privilege is not enjoyed by others in the world and reading this story again made me very thankful to live in America.)
“I like meat. All my life, our main meal usually involved meat of some kind in some form. It might just be a little hamburger in a casserole, but there was meat. When we moved to Natitingou, it became obvious that something was going to have to change.

Within a couple of days of our arrival, I drove around until I found the meat market. It was easy to find; I just followed the vultures. The building had vultures circling over head, quite a few perched on the roof, and some even hopping in the dirt looking for some tidbit left from the morning. The building looked like a jail in an old Western movie. It was a short, dark building with heavy metal doors and bars on the windows. There was no electricity and no refrigeration. The heavy doors and bars should have given me a clue that this town considered meat a pretty valuable commodity.

I showed up the next morning ready to purchase my meat. Unfortunately, by the time I got there a long line had formed. I waited and waited. I finally got up the counter and was told that they were out of meat. I could see meat right there on the counter, but they insisted it had already been sold. They told me to try again tomorrow. I decided that the next day I would get there really early.

The next morning I got there at daybreak and went to the meat market. I beat everyone there, even the butchers. I sat on the roots of a huge tree and watched the sunrise with my friends the buzzards. After a while a very old, rusty rattletrap of a pickup truck barreled up to the meat market. About half a dozen men hopped out with a beautiful sight-the carcass of a dead cow. They set to work with knives and machetes as a crowd of women gathered around. Bits of bone and gristle flew in the air to be snatched by the hovering vultures.

When the men had the meat carved into chunks, they carried it into the building to sell. I hurried inside only to be told, “just a moment.” Everyone else was able to buy their meat, but none was available for me. After a few days it became obvious that they simply were not going to sell me any meat, so I became creative. I sent the Ditamarri lady who helped me around the house to buy the meat for me. Guess What?” The market men said, “You work for that white lady, don’t you? No meat.” I even sent the yard worker, thinking they wouldn’t recognize him, but no luck.

Some time later we wanted to have a special party for the orphans in town. I asked them, “What would you like us to fix-spaghetti, rice or couscous?” Imagine my chagrin when they answered, “Meat. We don’t care what you fix with it, but we want meat.” I warned them not to get their hopes up but that I would try to get some meat.

The next morning with very low expectations I walked up to the meat counter. “I need twenty-five pounds of meat, please.” Now keep in mind that previously they wouldn’t sell me one or two pounds. I expected to be laughed out of the market. I watched in amazement as they cut up and weighed twenty-five pounds of boneless beef without any discussion. That night we had a huge celebration, and every single child had plenty of meat. I realized that God really does care about the “least of these,” even giving them the meat they had longed for.

What about you? Do you realize that all you have comes from God? You really don’t have to worry about what you will eat or what you will wear. God knows that you need these things, and he delights in providing them for his children. If he could give the orphans meat in that meatless town, surely he can meet your needs.

Missionary Prayer Point: Pray that missionaries would not live in fear but that they would confidently rely on God to meet all their needs. He really does care about material needs as well as spiritual ones.”


Recipe for the Week


Pineapple Cake

1 Angel Food cake mix ( not the two step, the one step box)
1 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple undrained

Just mix the dry cake mix and can of pineapple together. Bake in a 13×9 sprayed pan for 45 min at 350. You may have to adjust the time.