Monday, March 2, 2015

You can almost hear the flowers growing...not!

(in my best, least sarcastic Disney singing voice) 
"Do you want to build a snowman?"
No!  I don't want to build a stupid snowman!
I want to build a sandcastle, on the beach, in the sun, where there is no snow!
Instead of temps in the 80's and the beach, we woke up yesterday morning to about 7 or 8 more inches of snow.
On a sunnier, happier note, I was able to spend some time working with the salvaged corners of the embroidered feedsack.
Carole saw "Down from London" printed on the "back".  Thanks Carole for the super sleuthing!  Makes me wonder so many things: what was in the sack? where did it really come from? how old was it? who got the idea to use it for a tablecloth? where did she live?  did she have children? how many? how did it end up at an antique mall?
KT gifted me some Erin McMorris Wildwood scraps several years ago.  They make appearances here and there, but are mostly hoarded for special projects.  Don't they look fabulous next to the embroidered corners?  The gifted scraps measured 2 1/2" square, so I just went with easy math to build my table runner.  We have an oblong table and I wanted a spring themed one that was longer on one side than the other.  It measures out at 24" x 20".  My family doesn't like to have big table runners that have to be pushed out of the way, so this is a great size!
There are some blue scraps from a Moda line and Kaffe Fassett thrown in there to make the blue pop.
Once I sewed the scraps, middle and corners together, I used a thin cotton batting and some large hand stitching to outline the embroidered corners.  Took a page from Dolly's book and quilted circles...but not on the embroidery.
I love this technique!  I used my walking foot and it lays so flat and has such an amazing look!  Definitely be doing this again.  The look is so peaceful and soft!  Thanks Dolly!
Also managed to add seven new Granny Square blocks to the pile and chose a sashing using alternating neutral fabrics with pink and blue scraps.  I found this sashing idea in a quilt magazine and the pattern looks better when it's all finished.  I'm loving the way it looks so far. 
Now if I can just keep a naughty Gizmo from using it as a Slip-N-Slide!
Well, even if she won't behave, she will sit on my lap and enjoy linky parties!
Come on.  Let's all go!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Spring Posies

A Merry Heart Invites Sunshine
 Here we are again.  Under a white, snowey blanket.  But as Mom and I merrily tell each other, "Hey!  The sun is shining!"
2" x 2" layout 
Finished pillow.
A soft place to dream of the beach!
Found a rare treasure last weekend out having "me" time.  Not a lot of that happens here since we homeschool.  Spent a few stolen minutes at a local antique mall perusing, peeping, searching, pawing through baskets and boxes of fabric and came upon this feedsack repurposed as a square tablecloth fringed with pink crochet.  Again, a "cutter" piece with stains and holes.
In the 1800's, cotton sacks were used as containers for farm and food products.  These sacks had labels or logos printed on them.  Frugal American women would take these sacks and remove the labels and logos using soaks in kerosene, Fels-Naptha soap and bleach or by rubbing them with unsalted lard and giving them a wash with lye soap.  Voila!  Cotton fabric now ready to be used for a variety of purposes from underwear to quilts and embroidery!
On the "front" of my find, you can still see the print of when it was being used for its original purpose.  At the bottom of the picture, you can see where the print has faded or someone had tried to remove the label.  At the top, you can plainly see the word "One" and other letters. 
Another shot where I can clearly make out "ASSOCIATION",  "ABUNDANT" and the rest was blurry.  Can you read it?
On the "back" side, in each corner, were these bright, happy, vibrant baskets of posies!
Someone took some time to prepare the feedsack, trace the pattern and then choose colors and thread to make a beautiful tablecloth for their family to enjoy.  I picture a mother of many, hands already busy through the each ordered day...
...and spending a little time each day working on this lovely to brighten up her corner of the world.
Some careful cutting and I have removed the four, embroidered corners so they're ready to be repurposed into something new!
What were you up to?
Link your blog to the parties below and let us all see!



Monday, February 16, 2015

Repurposing Vintage Linens and Quilt Blocks

"My soul is fed with needle and thread."
I hope your souls found nourishment last week doing something you love!

One of my favorite things to do is go antiquing with the hubs.  Finding soft, beautiful, vintage linens in need of saving is another.  This Grandmother's Flower Garden block came from a "cutter" basket at a small shop last summer.  According to A Linen Collector's Dictionary (Part I), a "cutter" is a "textile which has sufficient damage as to render it unsuitable for its original purpose. Cutters, usually available at a much lower price, are often used as fabric for sewing and craft projects."
This is the back side.  Tiny, tiny hand stitches!  The edges were fraying and I was afraid the integrity of the block size would be lost if I didn't somehow stabilize them.
So, using my Hexagon Ruler, I measured the original hexagons at 2 1/2" unfinished and cut out enough to "frame" the block.
(leaving 1/4" unsewn)
This is where a being able to manage a good "Y" seam came in handy.  In a "Y" seam, three pieces of fabric need to be sewn together in the shape of a "Y".  This usually involves sewing to within 1/4" of an edge to allow another piece of fabric to be added.
Fresh Lemons has a really good tutorial and you can find videos on YouTube showing you this technique.
And this is where I am now.  New, white fabric sewn on to stabilize the fraying edges of this beautiful block.  Not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I won't be afraid to put it in the vintage tote again to store away for a future project.
See the quilt behind?  That's my Scrappy Trip Around the World I've been working on.  I managed to piece three new blocks for it last week after cutting out and piecing the scraps for my Shoreline Pillow Project.
My Siamese, Tundra, is helping decide where to add the new blocks in.
This is Option 1.
And Option II.  Which he didn't like and walked off shot to let me know.
Linking up with
for some more nourishment via eye candy!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
Theodore Hesburgh
Valentine's Days are special because of my husband and my family.  We celebrated our oldest's birthday Saturday.  He turned 23 last week.  I keep looking at pictures of the boys I have out around the house.  Pictures of them as babies, toddlers and teenaged boys.  Such sweetie pies!  
"All because two people fell in love." 
Hubs and I celebrate 25 years of marriage in 2015.  My boys have had a good role model as they have grown up.  I love my man!  I look at him and think of all the memories we've made, the hard--incredibly hard--times we've gone through and made it through together.
Very thankful.
Because he has shown his children, in many, many much he loves me! 
This week I finished up a project I started last year during Soccer Season.  I try to crochet one blanket a year through practices and games.  Just a simple single chain (so I don't have to worry about losing count, missing stitches or messing up a pattern) of some gorgeous ocean blues.  It's a respectable lap size throw and the tightness of the stitch makes it very warm!
Also got to whip this pillow together on the quick.  Our living room will be seeing some changes as soon as warmer winds blow our way and I'm slowly adding new things in to help inspire and encourage me to get my painting groove on quick!
Another "M".  This time just appliqued and zig-zag stitched down on some happy, beachy blue.
I was crushing on this pillow too.  After our Christmas trip to Gulf Shores, I really want to bring the beach feeling of peace, relaxation and fun back to our house.
Out came oceany blue and sandy neutral scraps.
I love it!  Lots of neutral scraps from KT this last time.  Thank you friend!  Deciding to use a vintage sheet of whites and blues to be the "wave" breaking on the "sand". 
A little bit later, and this sweet, little shore bird has a place to strut his stuff for now.
Linking up with

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What a Week!


I'm a Little Snowman
short and fat.
Here is my scarf,
and here is my hat.
When the sun comes out,
I melt away.
But when it's cold,
I'm here to stay!

Here in Indiana, the snowmen are having a ball!  Snow, freezing rain, wind...pretty much sums up half of the country right now doesn't it!

Perfect weather to stay indoors and finish up some projects.
Last week I was working on a pillow for the hubster:
It began from a small piece of stitchery found after about twenty years of forgotten-ness.  A little creative repurposing
it joined some of the others I've made on the couch in the living room for a quick picture.  Don't worry though, the hubs quickly claimed it!  He likes to surf on his tablet at night before going to bed and wanted a pillow to help prop up his back.   
This week, I also had my first cold of the season.
Another good reason to not venture out into the cold and snow.
Happy scraps and a couple of snippets of leftover lovelies repurposed into bookmarks for some of the special women in my life.
On the left, this was a flower my great-grandma stitched.  It seemed only appropriate this bookmark go to my mom.  My MIL loves blue and what better than a blue bird of happiness for her.  The red (love) was gifted to my new daughter by marriage and the purple bookmark was given to our middle son's sweet girlfriend.  Different women with different and unique strengths...but all share the common joy of reading!
And for me?  I love reading too!  Back to the vintage linens tote where I spied this little cutie.  In spite of frayed edges and stains,
it's a cheerful way to mark my progress through a book.
Another way to add some cheer and inspiration to your day is to head on over to these blogs:
Leaving you with a picture which sort of summed up the week.  I'm sewing down this row of the quilt, contrary to the directional arrow I marked for myself.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Love Across the Years

This week I managed to do some cleaning in the stash area and found a stitching piece from about twenty years and three houses ago.  I wanted to make something handmade (lots of love, but not a lot of money) for the hubs for Valentine's Day way back when.  That  year I ended up giving him a different gift and this scrap of stitching was packed away at the bottom of a half-finished projects box.
Played around Saturday and added some scrappy sashing made in part from an attempt at doing a French Braid block several years ago.  This ended up on the top and bottom with some sweet posey fabric on the side.  While looking through the pinks/reds stash I found this luscious red polka dot!
The vintage linens tote (which was already out from working on another project, thank you) yielded this gorgeous table runner.  How perfect a match is this!  I cut and sewed the fabric from the table runner so the red border would be on the outside of what was quickly turning into a pillow.
This one will be for the hubster.  He's been asking me to make one for him to use when he's in bed surfing the net.  How fun that a piece meant for him so long ago, will still be given to him soon!
 I finished the vintage linens repurposed table topper.  All the quiltey love I got in the comments made me smile!  Thank you!  Oh, so over the moon in love with this.  I added some large stitch quilting around the inner edge of the embroidered piece, meandered my way around the rest of it and used one of my favorite, stripey fabrics for binding.
Happy, happy, happy! 
 I also wanted to apologize for not including credit for the little girl's picture.  It was an image I had saved a long time ago and when I go back to research it, Google tells me the link is broken.
Pinterest tells me it's from
Hoping you're staying warm and safe here in the States where the cold is in control!  A good excuse to curl up with a blanket, hot chocolate and links to some amazing blogs sharing inspiring and beautiful projects!




Monday, January 19, 2015

Make Quiltey-Goodness

When Life hands you scraps, make some quiltey-goodness.
Sew, Gizmo decided to help me quilt another UFO whimsy this week.  LOL  Here she's inspecting my stitch length.
This is one of the first quilts I started here at this house (over ten years ago!).  It's such an old WIP that I can't even find the pattern for it anymore!  But it has some of my (then) favorite fabrics and it seemed like a good time to pull it out and make a start.
Two weeks ago, I was fiendishly quilting the Prairie Cottage Lone Star Quilt.  Thank you for all the sweet comments and good wishes for my mom and dad.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  Last week had been a little harder than others for her, but she did manage to get a full round of chemo Tuesday.
Thank you!
Right before we left for Gulf Shores pre-Christmas, I burgered up my left elbow/arm.  We drove to Gulf Shores and I'm a left-handed driver (thanks Mom!) which means my left arm is almost constantly propped on the window rest while I'm driving.  Didn't help my arm at all!
This is a monster quilt to wrestle on my machine and dining room table!  The only table big enough to support this sucker!  It is cumbersome!
Straight-line and meandering quilting.
Lots of Alleve being consumed, so I decided to take a break and let my arm and elbow have a rest from the "stress" of quilting such a heavy quilt.  S-Crap!  I really wanted to finish this one too.  Oh well,  cleaning up my sewing space seemed like the thing to do instead (not to mention it's always needed).
Until I found my pile of blue treasures.
Picking scraps, sewing them together and pressing them is a whole lot lighter and easier work than quilting the "Monster" and more fun than cleaning!
Life handed me scraps (bum arm/elbow) so I decided to make some quiltey-goodness!
Pretty little posies starring in the center of some sort of wonky Log Cabin blocks.  They were rescued from a vintage tablecloth I found last year in a small, dark thrift store.  This tablecloth had a huge, orange stain in the center, but some very pretty handwork around the edges.  Aren't they sweet!  I love the tiny little, gray French Knot at the center of the flowers!
Blue birds of happiness!  A stained and torn vintage pillowcase became the center of a table topper that I am just in love with.
Okay, time to not go get dressed, blow off the housework and cuddle up in a cozy chair for some delicious eye candy!