Thursday, December 9, 2010

Small Treat Totes

The pattern for these was in the fall issue of Quilts and More. You can get the pattern online HERE. As soon as I saw them in the magazine, I knew I had to make them. They are called Small Treat Totes by designer Monica Solorio-Snow of Happy Zombie.

Fabric Treat Bags

They came together really quickly, but I don't really notice the passing of time when I work on certain projects. I am not sure what I will use them for, but they are super cute!

Fabric Treat Bags

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Garland

Since Jenny at Allsorts is revisiting this project from the past, I thought I'd share my version of it too. Back in 2007, as soon as I saw her felt pocket garland, I had to make one, even though I scarcely have room for any more holiday decorations. We don't have a mantle, so I have to get creative about where the stockings and garlands go.

Felt garland detail

Here is the Advent garland hanging over our old sorry sofa. I used to try to mask the pitifulness of that sofa with pretty blankets and pillows, but it was really bad. This is the post I wrote on the glorious day the garbage truck came and took it away.

Felt Garland

Her pattern has some cute printables that you take out of the felt pouches each day, but I made a variety of seasonable felt applique disks. I loved making these and could scarcely stop until they were all done.

Felt Ornaments

My kids actually agreed that we didn't need to stuff the envelopes with candy too. There is hardly ever a shortage of treats around here.

We celebrate Advent, but Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends and readers!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hoopla Round 2

Look what Luckdragon stitched for me in the Embroidery Hoopla Round 2 swap on Craftster!

Embroidery by Luckdragon

I love the french knot lei on the little boy. She did a little bit of crayon tinting and it makes a very nice effect. I also like the thick texture of the girl's hair.

Embroidery by Luckdragon

I just signed up for round 3 of this swap. This one went very fast and was a lot easier than the Tea Towel Tours I used to co-organize. Those were an extravaganza of messages, mailouts, and communications. This is a simple exchange with no extras. I imagine a nice display wall of hoops as I do more swapping. I have a lovely collection of fully decorated tea towels from my last several embroidery swaps, but those are hard to display.

Check out this link with just the image posts from the swap and you won't have to read all of the chit-chat.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Owl Embroidery

It's not a turkey, but it is the owl I stitched up for Luckdragon in the Hooplah 2 swap on Craftster. She made me an adorable pair of children, but since that isn't very autumn, I'll post it later.

Owl Embroidery

Luckdragon indicated that she likes owls, and it so happened that I felt like stitching one. This is from an Aunt Annie's transfer pack. I've stitched from this package before and that owl also went out in a swap. One day I will stitch up an owl to keep. I palnned to do a colorful owl, but somehow it ended up in earth tones. I did lots of color changes this time.

I also put a quilt block on the back.
Owl Embroidery

My daughter surprised each of us this Thanksgiving morning with little turkey drawings. Here turkey sees November on the calendar and observes, "My time is almost done!":

Happy Thanksgiving Drawing

On this one the turkey is on a coffin platter ready to be buried in the ground, "Dinner too old?" Live turkey notes, "I'm just glad it's not me!"
Happy Thanksgiving Drawing

Here the cow and the turkey have protest signs encouraging chicken meals. Frustrated chicken realizes, "Everyone's against me."
Happy Thanksgiving Drawing

We are going to Grandma and Grandpa's for our meal this afternoon. Mom already called this morning with a turkey emergency, but I am confident that our bird will be delicious. Until just the last several years, we all went to Iowa every year for the holiday and never did any cooking, so we are still working out the best way to do the meal.

Have a great day! Tomorrow is shopping day! We always go to antique stores and stay away from the big sale craziness.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vintage from Grandma Part Two

This is a continuation of my last post. I suppose it will come up in your blog readers in the wrong order. You do use Google Reader, don't you?

I got a nice stash of vintage laces and embroidery at a family reunion from my Aunt Lavina. These are things that belonged to my Grandma, Leonace Burrell McKee when she was young. Here she is with my grandfather, probably when they were courting. They married in 1930:
There are some nice embroidered linens in this section of the collection. Times were tough for folks back in those days and Aunt Lavina told me of a story she remembered about a full set of embroidered sheets. After they were completed, I guess they were too scratchy and uncomfortable to sleep on, so the pretty embroidery had to be pulled out because there wasn't any money to buy a different set of sheets. Can you imagine? That was just the way it was, I guess.
Vintage Needlework
Look at those perfect satin stitches!
Vintage Needlework

These pieces are cut off of the ends of well used pillowcases.

Vintage Needlework

Vintage Needlework

Vintage Needlework

Vintage Needlework

Vintage Needlework

Vintage Needlework

Aunt Lavina and Uncle Larry have traveled the world and Lavina has collected linens and needlework from cultures everywhere she has traveled. She showed me her beautiful stash of stuff, but I didn't have time to photograph it. I am so happy she gave me these lovely things from the tradition of needlework in our family.

My mom has been giving me my stuff from when I was little. Handmade doll clothes, Joan Walsh Anglund dolls, a very old Raggedy Ann. My loved teddy bear.. not all of it is worth posting, but those vintage dolls... I've got to take some pictures of those to share..

Grandma's Vintage Part One

It's November already! I still haven't planted my bulbs, but the garden and yard are all cleaned up and I usually don't really get to that until the spring thaw.

We had a fun Halloween, but my son at age 13, didn't even go out this year. My daughter's ice cream cone costume was a hit, and she loved all the attention. I got way too much candy again this year, but I found this yummy recipe for Shortbread Candy Bar, which was originally in Everyday Food. Ours shortbread candy bars are topped with Snickers and Milky Way and are way better than the candy alone.

So I've got to catch up and post all the vintage things the family has been giving me. Back in September at a family reunion, Aunt Lavina gave me some very special handmade laces and hand sewn items that had been my grandmother's when she was young.

She passed back in 1997 after suffering from late onset Alzheimers. I remember her as one of the sweetest and kindest women. She was an elementary schoolteacher before she married in 1930. We have generations of schoolteachers in our family.

Okay, so let's get to the pretty stuff. These are hand crocheted borders for pillowcases. Someone pulled them off the case to save them.
Vintage Needlework

Vintage Needlework

These are borders that were rolled up into strips:
Vintage Needlework

Look at the elaborate detail:
Vintage Needlework

Now, we aren't sure that these were actually made by Grandma, but they did come from her stuff. She was always busy with sewing and crochet. They certainly are of an old vintage.

Vintage Needlework
Vintage Needlework

This is a yolk and a collar that they would wear to pretty up a simple dress:
Vintage Needlework

Look at this beautiful handmade dress. So delicate and lovely.
Vintage NeedleworkVintage Needlework

And this pretty underskirt:
Vintage NeedleworkVintage Needlework

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I finished my daughter's Halloween costume two weeks early!

She wanted to be a cowgirl, but I discouraged her because that would not be very DIY and I didn't want to buy her cowboy boots she would never wear again. Boots like that are not easily found up here in the upper midwest..

So here she is as an ice cream cone:

Ice Cream Cone Costume

The pattern was in the Halloween 2010 Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications magazine. LINK. The pattern was provided in the print version, and I guess they were the correct shapes, but you have to enlarge them at a copier to use them. The instructions were AWFUL. I mean really really awful. I did one basic version based on their recommended pattern enlargements and it would maybe fit a 3 year old child. I fiddled with it and just made really large pieces and got it to fit my 10-year old.

Other BHG publications are really good with instructions. I especially like the seasonal Quilts and More, but this was really bad. Basically it says, "Sew up the parts, attach the cherry to a headband... " and that is pretty much it. I am sort of experienced with these things, so as you can see, I figured it out. She loves it and it may be one of my most favorite of all the Halloween costumes I've made.

Here her cherry is a bit askew:

Ice Cream Cone Costume

Felt is really inexpensive and easy to work with. I had polyfil, sweatshirt, and pom poms already, so the cost of this costume was about $12. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pillowcase Borders

I reviewed the terrific crochet book Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman over at Craft Critique. Check it out!

Crochet Border

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Vintage

Mom gave me these beautiful crochet pieces. They were part of her collection and not made by anyone in my family.

Vintage Table Runner

This is a lovely dresser scarf or table runner:

Vintage Table Runner

Here are two doilies that would probably have been used on the arms of a chair:

Vintage crochet doilies

They were probably never ever used:

Vintage crochet doilies

This is a lace trimmed linen table runner. If my dining room table wasn't piled high with sewing supplies and projects, I might use one of the many table runners I have in my collection. I think this is a kind of bobbin lace. I am not sure, as I have never tried making bobbin lace.
Linen Table Runner

I like to use my rainbow crochet afghan underneath my crochet photos. I tired of crocheting that blanket before I finished it, but it does generously cover one side our our queen sized bed on chilly nights.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Block Tool Review

I reviewed the C&T Quilt Block Tool iPhone App over at Craft Critique.

I liked this app, and I made these simple blocks with it:
Go ahead and check it out! HERE

Since my kids are back in school and I am still not working (although I would like for that to change), I've been playing with crocheting borders onto our pillowcases. I love them They are totally durable and washable! The patterns are in a book I purchased and this project will be part of my next Craft Critique review.




One of the reasons I started this blog was to keep track of my own projects and to archive the vintage linens in the family collection. My mom has been cleaning out her house and has given me piles of lovely sentimental things and I am hopelessly behind on photographing them.

Among the things she has found in the corners of my childhood home are some art projects I did in school. Here is a very surprised looking portrait of someone:

Clay Face

I made this in 1976 when I was in Mrs. Mustoe's 4th grade class.

Clay Face

In fact, here is a picture of that very class. I'm the girl in the middle row on the far right below the teacher. On facebook, someone tagged the little girl with the glasses in the front row as Liz Phair whose indie rocker career has cooled a bit in the last decade, and the boy below me in the front row is a successful producer of short lived guilty pleasure prime time soap operas.

At any rate, don't think I was particularly talented with clay, but here is a wall hanging we appliqued in art class:

Felt Applique

I love that blue burlap. I suppose someone still sells soft burlap like that, but I don't see it at my fabric stores..

Mom also found some very beautiful crocheted things. These were not made by anyone in my family, but they are still lovely.

Thread Crochet Aprons

Thread Crochet Aprons

My grandma gave these thread crochet aprons to my mom because Mom used to hold a little vintage style tea party for a small but lucky group of little students of hers. The tea party was a fundraiser offering at her elementary school. I think I was already away at college when the tea parties occurred.

Thread Crochet Aprons

If I had a vintage style waistline, I would totally wear these.