Since I have lots of hand-me-down vintage linens and doilies, I’ve been collecting ideas for using them in new ways. One idea I’ve seen several times is to use the piece as a-la-mode on a pillow. When I saw this pink polka-dot brown flannel next to this pastel pink table scarf, it was love at first sight! I simply centered the scarf on the cut out fabric, stitched it on, and completed the pillow as usual. Mmmm . . . brown and pink! ♥
Recently I had the privilege of making a sweater teddy bear for Sharon of Gentlestitches, both shown in the photo below. Sharon sent a well-loved carousel-horse-print sweater all the way from Australia to Kansas, USA and wrote such a lovely post when her bear (now named Eddie!) arrived home. Here’s to bloggy friends near and far! ♥ P.S. Click here and here for more bear love.
In September, I told you about the lovely but mysterious 1927 quilt top we found among my husband Dave’s parents’ belongings. You can read about it and see photos here. Thanks to Dave’s cousin Betsy and some considerate and determined librarians, I’ve found a home for it! Here are the latest updates:
- Betsy and her parents recognized some of the names and thought the quilt top originated in a small town called Quinter, Kansas, where Betsy’s mother was born. (Betsy’s mother is Dave’s dad’s sister.)
- I contacted the library in Quinter, sent a photo of the quilt top and a list of all the names on it, and asked if they could confirm that these were community families and perhaps find out what the “HHC” on the bottom right quilt block stands for.
- The librarians found several of the names in old high school yearbooks. They also found old news articles about a quilting club called the Helping Hands Club. We were on the right track!
- One of the librarians tracked down the granddaughter of Helen Martin, a woman who created one of the quilt squares. I’ll put a photo of Mrs. Martin’s handiwork below. Don’t you love how she embroidered her name? And we even have a spider web for Halloween week!
- I’ve contacted the granddaughter, and not only does she want the quilt top, she has all the minutes of all the Helping Hand Club meetings in her possession! So she is going to research them to try to answer our remaining questions: (1) What was the occasion for creating the quilt top? (2) Why wasn’t the quilt ever finished? (3) How did the quilt top end up with someone who has ties to the community but isn’t represented on any of the squares?
So . . . watch for “A Quilt Mystery: Part 3” . . . coming soon! ♥
A year or so ago I had fun making some vintage earring magnets but I’ve given them all away, so it was time for another batch. Simply use pliers to pull the hardware from a clip earring, then superglue a sturdy magnet on the back! Then I had a chance to go to a new-to-me antique store last week, and I found a vintage metal tray to use as a magnetic memo board . . . a perfect match! ♥
P.S. What are the memos, you ask?
- Top Left—A recipe for “Peachy Spread” (to serve on quick breads) from my friend Janice: Mix together 4 ounces of cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of baby food peaches, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. This will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
- Top Right—“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)
- Bottom Left—A photo for a project I can’t wait to make . . . the ANNY BAG from my bloggy friend of It’s Sew Anny!
- Bottom Right—Adorable Josh . . . our youngest grandson! ♥
My mom-in-law had a quilt top among passed-down items tucked away in her home. When we helped her move to a smaller apartment, I asked her about it and she didn’t remember ever seeing it before. So I put it in a safe place and decided to try to solve the mystery someday. The time has come! The quilt has twelve muslin squares with embroidered names/designs and one square that says “HHC” (Happy Homemaker’s Club???) and the year 1927. First, I took a photo and checked with other family members to see if any of them recognized it or any of the names on it. Even though none of the names are relatives, I do have a lead as to a community where it may have originated so I’ll be starting there. My hope is that I can return it home, either to a quilt club or library, where it can be displayed—or the beautifully-embroidered squares can be detached and given to individual families–and, hopefully, find out the occasion for its creation, why the project was abandoned, and how it ended up where it did. Yes, I FINALLY get to carry out my fantasy of being Nancy Drew when I grow up! I’ll keep you posted! ♥
Hi! I’m back from my Pillows A-La-Mode month off! I spent it working 12-hour days on several huge writing assignments for work (some that aren’t quite finished yet!) and going on a lovely trip. I’ve missed reading your blogs, so I came up with a way to catch up that I think will be fun for us all. Will you post a comment with a link to your favorite article you’ve posted on your blog in the past month? I promise to read them all! Plus, I have PRIZES! Three commenters will receive either my vintage shabby chic pillow, apron, or clutch! (Please add a note to your comment if you have a preference . . . otherwise you’ll be in the drawing for all three!) I’ll announce the winners in one week—on Friday, August 16. Have a happy weekend . . . I can’t wait to hear from you! ♥
I’m taking a month off from blogging to finish a big writing assignment and go on a little trip. (Will I have the willpower not to click on my WordPress reader with my morning coffee??? We’ll see . . .) But first, I want to share my latest “What Can You Make With A . . . “ project. I got this dress from my friend Liz who bought it at a rummage sale for ONE DOLLAR! (Click here to meet her.) The color and fabric were perfect for some shabby chic projects, like . . .
- a pillow with fabric rosettes,
- a lace hair bow with a fabric rosette,
- an evening bag with zipper flower a-la-mode,
- a half apron (with a bit of toile from my stash),
- and a lace-decoupaged flower pot.
Here are the creative bloggers and authors who inspired me. See you in August! ♥
Apron: Page 51 of One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins (“Granny’s Clothespin Apron” designed by Elorie Bechtel)
Lace-Decoupaged Pot: Urban Comfort
Look at this BEAUTIFUL apron I won in a recent giveaway from Deb and Kathy at Second Hand Roses! It’s vintage! And embroidered! And PINK! I just LOVE it!
If you’ve never read the Friday morning posts at Second Hand Roses, you MUST subscribe to their blog! Deb and Kathy give a tongue-in-cheek play-by-play of their visits to local second-hand shops and sales, like Be Kind to Animals, Please and Another Friday, Another Estate Sale. They make me laugh every time! They’ve even invited me to go shopping with them next time I visit Colorado . . . it’s on my bucket list!
Thank you, Deb and Kathy! ♥
P.S. Click here to read about Deb’s apron collection!
I got this bright red, gently-used sweater along with a couple of other items for free at a consignment store with a Groupon gift certificate! It was too wide and too short and stretched out here and there, so I immediately knew it was going to become my next What can you make with a . . . project.
First, I made the heart mini-pillows I shared in this post. Then I made the big sweater pillow I shared in this post. After that, I made a business card/gift card/credit card/reward card case with floral pockets and a vintage earring button closure (click here for a great tutorial from The Crafty Cupboard) and three flower brooches with vintage earring centers. The neck and hem ribbing I hadn’t used up as ruffles on the big pillow will be package wraps (picture a small box wrapped in kraft paper with these pretty red buttoned bands stretched around them). Finally, I cut all the little bits into triangles and made bunting by stitching them onto the fun button-design ribbon I recently bought from Lizzie Rose Jewelry.
Another fun haul! ♥
I absolutely love to send people cards made from original art and photography reproductions, so I was very excited to find these in the Redbubble Shop of my blogging friend Rita from Australia! Rita has her own studio and gallery, teaches classes, hosts exhibitions, and has MANY creative irons in the fire including quilts, fibre and textile art, mixed media, and collectibles. Here are Rita’s links, which you can locate anytime in my Shop Love! page above:
- Gone Rustic WordPress blog
- Gone Rustic Etsy Shop
- Redbubble Shop
- Pilgrim Cottage Collectibles Etsy Shop
- Stitched Up Mama WordPress blog
- Stitched Up Mama Etsy Shop
Thank you for the beautiful cards, Rita! ♥
One of my VERY favorite bloggers is Liz from a A Ponytail Kind of Day. Every time I saw one of her unique creations, I’d think, “I sure wish she had a shop!” Well, now she does! It’s the Sincerely Liz Boutique, where you’ll find all kinds of beautiful handmade items for your home. Since I was looking for gifts for specific people, I ordered these fabric hangers, a set of rag coasters, and this way-cool bowl made from a Christmas record album. Then, friend that she is, Liz also put in this “Keep Calm and Sew On” framed art AND an AMAZING vintage dress and lace overlay that she bought for one dollar because she knew how much I’d have fun using it for a “What Can You Make With A . . .” project! What a sweetie! Please check out Liz’s boutique from this post or from my Shop Love! page above, and THANK YOU, Liz! ♥
Knowing that I had lots of my grandmother’s embroidered pillowcases, one of my crafty friends offered to lend me her pattern for pillowcase dolls! She explained that, historically, the dresses have matching bonnets and are worn by very simple, faceless muslin dolls so I’d actually have three items to cut out and sew—a doll, a dress, and a bonnet. Although I couldn’t locate a link for a free pattern like mine online, you can find several inexpensive (under ten dollars) patterns for dolls identical to these by Googling “pillowcase doll kits,” and you can also find free patterns for different types of rag dolls and doll dresses that could be adapted to this style. Making pillowcase dolls IS detailed and time-consuming, but it’s completely worth every tender stitch you put into it. I know these little ladies will be loved forever! ♥
I was so excited to see some milk bottle carriers on RE: RETRO, because my dad had just given me the set above . . . that my grandparents actually USED!
The glass bottles needed some vinegar and hot soapy water, and the metal carrier needed a good sanding and coat of spray paint, but here it is!
I had some eucalyptus branches left over from my tote bag wall hanging project, so adding those in makes the perfect autumn accent for the top of the kitchen cabinets.
P.S. My husband Dave hung the carrier in a tree to spray it. It worked perfectly and looks lovely. Thank you to you, too, Dave! ♥
For my one year blog anniversary, I invited you to nominate people you’ve met through the blogging world whom you would like to have as next-door neighbors . . . and to tell why. It was SO heartwarming to read the lovely comments that came in from all around the world! The blogger with the MOST nominations was then invited to send me a once-loved garment to remake into some fun treasures (a-la “What can you make with a flannel shirt?,” “What can you make with a lace tank?,” and “What can you make with a polo shirt?“) and return. The winner was Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons! Kelly said, “After the shock wore off I ran to my closet to decide what I was going to send. I chose a little sundress that has a lot of happy memories attached to it, but now that I’m a mama seems a little, well…SHORT. I know that I will never wear it again, so I am very excited to send it off!” So . . .today is the big reveal! In addition, this project will have a permanent home on the “What Can You Make With A . . .” page on my header.
- I couldn’t resist using the bottom of the sundress with its lacy underskirt for another dress . . . this time for Kelly’s adorable daughter Annabelle! A bright pink T-shirt from Target made the perfect top. (Click here and here for more little girl’s T-shirt dress ideas.)
- The zippered back of the sundress was perfect for the back of a pillow cover, and I added the pretty label and butterfly that I snipped from the inside neckline. The pillow front is a combination of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, a vintage hanky, pale pink lace, and lime-green embroidery.
- The bodice of the sundress is now a jewelry pouch! The ribbons form the casings, and the dress straps are the strings. The lining of the pouch is made from the dress lining for a soft, shiny finish.
- With seven circles of fabric, three stacked buttons, and a bit more of the lace from the bottom of the sundress, I made a fabric flower to pin onto a jacket, hat, or headband.
- A small rectangle of dress fabric and T-shirt fabric along with a bit of green dotted fabric and some buttons and ribbon were just the right ingredients for a Christmas mini-pillow ornament.
- While pondering Kelly’s blog name, I thought of embroidering three C’s onto a bit of fabric and framing it. Suddenly I thought, “Hmm . . . if the Scrabble letter C is worth 3 points, I could use that instead.” I ran to look it up, and . . . it is! I KNOW Kelly didn’t choose “Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons” based on this fact . . . but I was excited! 🙂 After several experiments, I ended up with a collage of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, lace, scrapbook paper, and a paper Scrabble tile in a hot pink frame. (The back of the frame is also magnetized for a frig or file cabinet.)
- Finally, I was down to a small pile of random scraps. Not ready to give up quite yet, I decoupaged them onto a plastic bangle bracelet. 🙂
Done! Kelly . . . your package is in the mail! ♥
Have you checked out the crafting ideas on the Country Living web site? I want to try them ALL! But I started with an easy one . . . frig magnets made from vintage jewels. I don’t have the brooches they suggest, but I have LOTS of clip-on earrings. Simply remove the backings and glue on a magnet . . . easy peasy and SO pretty! P.S. You can also click the blue dot on the CL home page to vote for the Reader’s Choice 2012 Blue Ribbon Blogger Award. It was really fun to check out all the finalists! ♥
Thank you for all the WONDERFUL ideas I’ve received so far for my vintage bow ties! With a super-busy week ahead (in a good way! :)) sewing isn’t on the agenda, but as soon as I get back to my machine I’ll be trying them out! In the meantime, I thought I’d share the other goodies Dad gave me this weekend. My mom won these ribbons for her paintings at county and state fair competitions . . . she was so amazing! I have a bunch of these stashed away from my 4-H days, too. I also have a class reunion coming up during fair weekend in August, and I offered to make the decorations, and wouldn’t the ribbons make a festive bunting??? My other newest treasures include (1) a “VOTE!” necktie from a 1972 election, (2) some hand-embroidered and crocheted linens, (3) a hand-sewn and crocheted baby dress, cap, sweater, and booties, and (4) a colorful nylon kite that no longer flies. I’m going to have so much fun with these! And if you have suggestions for projects for any of them, please feel free to share here, too. I never cease to be amazed at all the creativity out there! ♥
Remember when my dad gave me a huge stash of vintage earrings to use for my fabric flowers awhile back? Well, he’s done it again, but this time it’s (drum roll!) . . . bow ties! How cool is that! I have all sorts of ideas popping into my head for ways to use them, but I’d LOVE to hear yours, too! In fact, if your suggestion is one of the first three I get a chance to try, I’ll mail you one of the black ties to use in a project of your own! THANK YOU! ♥
I just finished six new necktie wristlets . . . so easy and fun! The only thing I changed from the original tutorial was to sew the decorative button on the front flap and use a snap closure rather a button/buttonhole. Now I can’t wait to give them to some special girls in the family! ♥
You know how some of our lovely blogging friends give things away? Well, I just received this BEAUTIFUL polka-dotted apron from Moosewood Vintage Wearables & Sundries, specializing in vintage clothing & accessories, gently used formal dresses, and goat milk soaps. I LOVE it! Please visit Ruth’s WordPress blog, her FB page, and her Etsy shop. Thank you, Ruth! ♥ While I was photographing my new apron, I also pulled out my three other favorites. My mother made the one with the quilted top and pocket, and my grandmother made the tangerine print (which has a fancy cross-over back; it’s sort of like putting a puzzle together to get into it!). And the little half-apron was my VERY FIRST sewing venture when I was around eight years old, so if you’re looking for a beginning project, here’s the scoop: Grandma had me use tiny gingham so I could just follow the lines, and the “pattern” consists of a big rectangle with a casing at the top and a hem at the bottom and a self-fabric drawstring. It’s definitely one-size-fits-all, because I can still wear it today! Someday I’d like to a-la-mode it a bit with a pocket and some embroidery. . . so many ideas, so little time . . . ♥
This project looked SO cute and easy that I just had to try it! Visit Dreampatch for my original inspiration (via Pinterest, of course!). I made all of these in an hour or so . . . but most of that time was spent enjoying sorting through my grandmother’s vintage buttons. We have LOTS of girls in our family now, so it will be fun giving them away! ♥
My dad called from a garage sale yesterday and asked if I would like some clip-on earrings for my sewing/crafting projects. “Yes, please!” Here they are . . . I love all these new additions to my collection! And here are a few more fabric flowers I made on a (much shorter!) road trip this weekend with vintage earrings and buttons for centers. Click here for a supply list and link to a tutorial and here to see more flowers. ♥
As much as I enjoy crafting, I’ve never made jewelry . . . but I LOVE to wear it, especially colorful pieces like this beautiful bracelet and lovely earrings I received for my birthday. (Thank you T&J and B&D!) I looked up the word “colorful” in the dictionary and found just the definitions I needed for the rest of this post: interesting or exciting; unusual; unconventional. These synonyms describe the woman who REALLY knew how to wear colorful jewelry–my Aunt Vitha. In honor of Kansas Day this month, I thought I’d share her sunflower earrings (our state flower!), along with my other two favorites, the fruit and the solar system. Who knows . . . someday you may see me wearing one of them out to lunch with my girlfriends! ♥