Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Mary asked me to make aprons for her adorable shop. I love wearing aprons of all kinds. They just change up how I feel about what I'm doing. I even wear them out of the house sometimes!

I am so happy with the ones I've just finished, I decided to let you have first pick! I have these three to share today.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these, just email me for prices. I can ship in padded envelopes for about $5 in the US and $8 elsewhere.

All the aprons are 20" x 28" wide. They are all backed with cotton or cotton/poly fabric.

Candy stripey wrap apron

Made from cotton fabrics, vintage ric rac, and a scrap of antique cotton doily. The ties are 38" long each.

This apron has a good sized right handed pocket made from a vintage tablecloth.

Teal is "In" Apron

Is there anything that isn't teal these days? Still, it's a lovely color and I'm glad it's still making the rounds.

Made from cotton and linen with 2 plastic buttons, cotton ribbon, a cotton embroidered panel, and a couple of clothing labels. The seersucker stripe is a right handed pocket. The ties are 42" long each for a goodly wrap-around bow.

The photos are a lot more yellow than I wanted. The teal is a lovely shade and the whites are actually white, although the embroidered rose panel is indeed a creamy color.

Elegant Hostess

This one has no pocket, but it does have a gorgeous hand embroidered panel on the front that I just found this week. Made from cotton and linen fabrics and an unusual red and white handkerchief. The ties are 31" long each. 

It's good to be partnering up with Mary. It gets me out of the house and, in truth, online biz isn't holding its own compared with doing in-person local business. My online business has been a losing venture since the start even though I just love making new things to share and sell. I tip my hat to those who can make it work!

Off to the sewing room now! I have more fabric to sort through.

A win and a loss

This is the first time I've managed to actually cut through one of my tape measures. Not that I don't have plenty more. I have a bit of a collection of tape measures and I love to find them in odd colors.

But this purple beauty was the one I carried around in my purse because who doesn't love to whip out a purple tape measure wherever you go?

I've been a busy beaver in the sewing room, making throw pillows and aprons for a local shop.

Months ago, I met the loveliest woman in town. Mary has been an upholsterer with her own business, Here We Go Again Upholstery, for 41 years. She creates upbeat, eclectic combinations, rarely using just one type of fabric in her work.

Way back when we met, we found a kinship in our love of found objects and making something new from something old. She asked me to make some things for the shop but only now am I getting a chance to do just that.

Last week, I made some simple cushions from wool sweaters, bits of thrifted needlepoint pieces, and leftover fabrics.

 Even the backs are lovely.

I was very lucky to inherit some upholstery fabrics from my mom. I had almost forgotten I had them.

The purple tape measure is now taped up and will be kept in my purse far from scissors. I don't need absolute accuracy when I'm out and about and I can't bear to give it up.  

Do you have a favorite sewing tool?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Aftermath of the annual town-wide yard sale event

It's the annual September town-wide yard sale day and only by accident did I go out today and get sucked into it. Happily I might add.

There's no reason to bore you with details. You really should just see some of the goodies hubby and I brought home. The tin dishes above are some of the goodies.

1950s or 60s figurines.

 Glass Christmas balls.

 Vintage tablecloth (it's folded so this is 1/4 of it) and a sewing bag.

 A 1995 Mickey Mouse tree topper that moves and lights up when plugged in and a 16mm reel of Krazy Kat - "Frogs and Kats" episode.

Here's your warning. I like creepy things. 

I couldn't pass on these poor old dolls.

These two are pretty gothic looking. But it wasn't until I stood them up that I noticed the lady's head is turned backwards. I'm leaving it that way.

These beauties are so elegantly dressed, but one of them has a broken neck.

 It's a little "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?", isn't it?

Don't say I didn't warn you.

I'm looking forward to turning this set into a pincushion doll.

I love her little bracelet and her buckle shoes with little straps and heels.

I also scored a pristine feather comforter and now I'm ready for winter. 

Hubby and I didn't even unpack the car when we got home. We both immediately fell asleep in our comfy chairs and took a nap. 

Next post, I'll tell you what happy accident brought me into town in the first place, though I'm really glad it did.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Pattern: Primitive Wool Pumpkin

Inspired by the change of season and motivated by a need to bust my stash, here's a little wool pumpkin for you.

Buy your wool at the local quilt shop or use blanketing, wool felt, or reused wool coats or slacks.

This is a great projects for bringing a little Halloween/ harvest magic into your home. Mid-October is when you want to start buying gourds; buy them earlier and you risk them rotting or molding right on your table or porch. Especially, if you get an Indian summer heat wave between now and Halloween.

What you need:

wool pumpkin templates
9x12 piece of orange wool
fat eighth piece of contrasting wool fabric for base and stalk
scraps of wool for petals, nose, eyes, and mouth
2 buttons
stranded cotton embroidery floss - in autumn colors
embroidery needle
3" doll making needle

If you use polyester fill, the pumpkin will have almost no weight and may not sit solidly. Try stuffing VERY well or use a wool, kapok, or cotton stuffing.

Trace and cut six of the pumpkin wedges. Match two of the curved sides together and hand stitch about 1/8" (4mm) from the edge using a 2 strand length of matching embroidery floss. 

Sew two more pairs together and then sew the pairs together until you have just one opening in the ball shape. 

Stitch from where the points meet toward the center of the opening about an inch and a half. Tie off. Stitch from the other end of the ball where the points meet on the other side and stitch toward the center about an inch and a half. This leaves an opening in the center of the last seam for turning and stuffing.

Turn the ball right side out and stuff well. Ladder (invisible) stitch the opening closed.

Wrap a 6 strand length of coordinating floss around the ball about 5 times. Cut this piece off, double knot the end, and thread a long doll-making needle. 

Bring the floss through the hole where the points meet on one side and through to the other place where the points meet in the other side. Wrap the floss along one seam and insert the needle in the same place as the first time.

Keep wrapping the pumpkin along the seams and knot and tie off when done.



Trace and cut one stalk piece from the wool. Cut another in reverse. 

Stitch right sides together using a 2 strand length of floss, leaving the flat bottom open. Clip the inner curves and turn right side out. Stuff well, leaving the last inch unstuffed. Sew a gather stitch around the opening close to the stuffing, trim off any excess fabric leaving at least 3/8" of fabric, pull to gather and stuff the gather into the stalk. 

Stitch the stalk to the center of the top of the pumpkin. If you like, bend the stalk a little and tack it to look curled.


Cut out two eyes, one nose, and a mouth from contrasting wool scraps. 

Sew one button in the center of each eye and set aside. Make 5 french knots along the mouth and set aside.

Position the nose in the middle of a wedge and slightly higher than lower. Whipstitch into place using a 3 strand length of floss.

Position the eyes on either side of the nose and attach in the same way. Place the mouth below the nose and sew the same way.


Cut two base circles and stitch right sides together using a 1/4" (7mm) seam allowance. Leave about 2 inches open for turning and stuffing.

Turn the base right side out. Stuff well. Stitch closed using a ladder stitch.

Use a 6 strand length of floss to embroider a feather stitch and french knots to cover the seam.

Cut 3 petals from contrasting wool and another 3 petals from another contrasting color. Whipstitch to the top of the base.


Position the pumpkin onto the center of the base. Use small taking stitches around the base of the pumpkin to attach it to the base.  

Now you can get in the autumn mood with your very own pumpkin decoration! Make several and line them up along a windowsill.

Harvest time on the land

It was an unusual winter, spring, and summer with tornadoes in February and torrential flooding rains for 5 months. Only in August did we see clear skies - a time when we are usually begging for rain after the summer drought. The grass and fields tend to be brown and withering, but only now is the grass starting to yellow.

The heat seemed to be drained from summer by the end of the first week of August. It was cool and delicious weather; the kind of respite we look forward to in September.

But September is here and still cool and lovely. The trees are already turning and shedding their leaves. The acorns are budding and growing.

These young acorns fell from the bur-oak tree in our front yard. The bur-oak is the only tree native to the old prairie. All other oaks, maples, cottonwoods, etc. are considered weeds and were introduced as pioneers settled the area.

Will we get an Indian summer? I don't know and I hope not. I'm not one for heat. Give me jacket weather any day. 

Another sign that the holiday season is coming are the spiders. Their webs surround the house - not in a totally creepy way - but still, I am constantly running into them or almost. My husband is more of an arachnophobe than I am; the shocked screams have not all been mine.

And who are they eating? We've seen crickets, flies, and moths caught in their webs. But I wonder if the cicadas are too big for them? Here's a cicada skin cracked open and left on one of the porch columns. It's been there for weeks.  

I, Queen of my 3/4 acres, proclaim that autumn is here! And it's getting nice and spooky around here!


Monday, September 4, 2017

Strain your brain - mixed media stitching

In the newsletter, I shared this photo of some old whisks I found at the flea market in town. I couldn't help but see the curly hair in the one on the far left and so I've been trying to develop a plan for turning them all into little ladies. It's a vision in progress.

In the meantime, I also found a few strainers and started playing around with some embroidery and weaving.

The rose is a classic. Nothing says welcome home like a rose on a vintage kitchen utensil.

But what says kitchen like nothing else? How about a woven fried egg? This is just the beginning. I've now gotten almost all the white done and will add a bit of burned edge. 

Each of the whisks takes about 8 hours to complete. Phew! That's a lot of stitching. But, hey, I have said I'm a needle and thread addict and it gives me an excuse to listen to (because I only have two eyes) TV shows I've never seen before. I don't have a TV; haven't for 20 years. Enter the magic of Netflix!

I've also been taking my home seriously. It's just a wonky old cottage with more problems than our government. But as long as it's still standing - and my mother-in-law is due to visit in October - I've started the long list of simple projects that are already turning blank, lifeless rooms into works of art. 

The kitchen got curtain therapy and the bedroom walls are going to display two red and white crib-size quilts. I found the completely hand stitched tops in a thrift store in Maleny, Queensland (Australia). I finally backed them and yesterday finished machine quilting and binding the checkerboard one. I have high hopes of adding a large floral applique in a lower corner. Someday.

I feel terribly domestic. I even baked shortbread cookies yesterday. Four ingredients and they are melt-in-your-mouth delish! Come on over and bring a whisk, thread, and a wish to go blind.