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.