Bittersweet Needle and Thread

Bittersweet Needle and Thread

Sunday, July 9, 2017

This year was the first year that our Cinnamon Magnolia tree bloomed.  It didn't have lots of blooms, but they were the size of a dinner plate, with snowy white petals against the lush green leaves.


This year the girls arrived at my house on Father's day weekend.  It turned out to be an unusually planned, ah, not so planned, get
together we've had so far.  Everyone arriving at different time, but we still had fun.  Lots of talking, laughing and all round good time.  I gave out Strawberry Jam to very one.

Beth gave us all a box full of herbs:  Chives, Garlic Chives, Greek Oregano, Sage, French Tarragon, Thyme and Skewer Rosemary.
  They have a home in my herb bed.

Teresa gave us each a Whirlygig.  Sherri chose the Cardinal, Beth a Hummingbird, and I got the lovely green and yellow Duck!  What fun to watch his 'wings' fly around, and fly he does!  We have lots of wind here!
Sherri was our designated driver, or at least my driver.  My car was in the shop for a day and she was the first to arrive, so guess what?  She had to be the chauffeuted.  Thank you Sherri!

One of our destinations was to take a walk through The Minature and Toy Museum in Kansas City.  Amazing!  The workmanship was incredible.  Beautiful doll houses, a fully functional harpsichord, smaller than the size of a cereal bowl, and ships in bottles.  In one display there was a working loom, making a small rug.  

Hummm, that got me to thinking and Tada - I made my own 'loom'.

I used the metal frame from my vintage Loop Craft kit.  Adding Kabob Skewers and twisty ties, I strung upholstery thread over the pegs.

I cut 1/4" strips of grey wool.

Weaving was trying and I felt I was all thumbs.  Occassionally I would pull too hard and break my wool strip.  I just sewed it back together and continued on.

 It measures 3" by 7".  This petite rug will have a home with Sherri in one of her doll houses.


My seven year old granddaughter was staying with us a couple of weekends ago, and I felt it was time to 'introduce' her to sewing.  So I cut a square out of cardboard and cut slits along all the sides.  I gave her some blue yard and showed her how to weave around the slits.  After a few minutes she says, 
"Grandma, I'm going to make a cat.  Can you cut me some ears?"
  "Of course."  So I cut out 2 small ears.
"Those are to small."  So I cut bigger ones.
"Now I need a round head."  So I cut a oval head.
"How are we going to stick them together?" I ask.
"Gorilla Glue!"  Oh, yes.  Grandpa has a bottle sitting in the window ledge.  
After picking some button eyes, I went upstairs (we're in the basement) and glued on the ears and eyes, then clamped them with clothes pins.  In the meantime, she cut out cardboard for the tail and arms, adding sparkly stickers from another project.
"Now I need to make legs."
"But you already have legs."  I'm not quite seeing her full concept.
"Those are arms, Grandma!"
"Ok, ok."  I cut some legs.
Then it was assembly time. 

Her Cat!


This weekend we worked on her next project, a gift for her father birthday.  I thought we could make him a small basket to hold his remotes.

We used plastic grid and blue yarn, (the same yarn in the above project.  I have a lot of it!).  Cutting the grid to the size we wanted and with lots of encouragement, we managed to get it done in one day!

She completed the 2 small sided and helped with the bottom.  I did the long sides, bottom and lashed it all together.  I know he will enjoy it!


Hope all our projects are this much fun!
Thanks for visiting,

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Dutch Girl Quilt


Dutch Girl

This quilt top was given to me by my sister-in-law.  Her grandmother made it for her and her other girl cousins, but never completed it.  I have several unfinished 'girls' that I can make another quilt with.  She machine appliqued each 'girl' onto white blocks. 

I love some of the fabrics, especially this dogwood print.  

This grandmother did not let convention dictate what prints she was going to put together.

You can see that she had to patch a few pieces together to make it the right size.

This block has two different fabrics sewn together.  You really only notice it when you look close.  From afar, it looks great!

I chose a teal flower print for the border and teal flannel for the back.  I felt the teal blended the other prints together and the red made a nice border.  I hand quilted it with a vine pattern.  My sister-in-law asked me to finish the quilt for my granddaugher.



My friend Sherri gave me this set of doll furniture for my granddaughters to play with. 

The paint is vibrant and I love the detail on each piece.

The furniture is set up on the small wash stand in my spare bedroom.  The butterfly doily was my grandmothers.  Buttercup, my fairy, is resting right now.  Please do not disturb her.



I have been busy sewing, just not getting anything completed.  My goal is to finish several projects this year, so I started on my own 40 year old Sunbonnet Sue quilt.  I shoved it back in a box due to several mistakes.  I have fixed those mistakes and I'm close to having it ready to quilt.  Also, I have started a throw quilt for my brother made from Crown Royal bags.  This one is fun!  Can't wait to show you how well it is coming along.

Thanks for visiting and have a great summer,

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Out with the old and in the with the not so old!

Now that I finished reupholstering my rocking chair, I was ready to tackle my couch.  And tackle was the right word.  Math is not my strong suit, so for several days I measured and measured to make sure that I would buy enough fabric to cover everything.  Next hurtle was to find just the perfect color to match the rocking chair and update the whole room.  I love a challenge and perservere I did!  Tape measure - scissors - roll of fabric - here I go!  I set up the sewing machine right next to the couch and set to work.  

Before picture.  I had already removed the dust ruffle from the bottom. (I swear there were a hundred staples holding it on!)  The couch was given to me in ~1995 used.  It is a very good brand and has really held up from the wear and tear of 2 sons, 6 grandchildren and 22 years of continuous use.  (It makes an extra bed when we need one.  It's very long and when the back cushions are removed, it's almost the size of a twin bed.)  The seat cushions are worn through in some places and a few stains are shattered about.  I came to me as a nice light off white color and ended as a very dingy/yellowed white.


After picture.  At first I was afraid that I chose too dark of fabric but once I got use to it, I liked it.  It freshens up the room.  I added wooden carved buttons to the center back cushions and covered the small side pillows.  The other pillow is from the same fabric that was used on the rocking chair.

It's so nice to have 'new' things in the house.  Now I just have to keep my husband from wrestling on it with the grandkids!
I also purchased a frame for my Hawaii pictures.  You can see it on the wall above the flowers.  

I hung a piece of coral on leather and a pretty Hawaiian flower from the top of the frame.  The color of the ocean is almost the same color as the fabric!



Out of the blue I received a package in the mail.  Inside was this lovely hand crochet blanket from my sister-in-law.  

She did a lovely job on it and I love all the colors.  Those cold days we had last month definately required a cover as I watched TV in the evenings.   Ahh and so soft too.  Thanks Mel!



These quilt blocks were given to me from my friend Sherri.  They were her mothers, who was a wonderful quilter.  This is a lovely star block and I loved how she used up her scrap material.  No two block are the same! 

 She always drew sew lines and followed them when she sewed.  Look at her tiny stitches!    

It turned out really pretty and I hand tied it.  The blue fabric on the back came in the same box with the blocks so I used it. 



I feel that I have negelected my and my fellow bloggers websites due to my inability to adapt to changing 'updates' on my phone hotspot and computer.  Why am I subjected to these updates?  Windows 10 - are you kidding me?  What a crock of ___.  "Take it off," I shouted to my computer guru.  "Take it off!"  "It's here to stay," he says "but I'll turn some things off so it will run better/faster."  Holy Moly!   I am from the old school that 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it'.  But NO!  Consistantly there are updates, yikes.  What's an old person to do!  
(Sorry for my few moments on my soap box.  Just venting!)  

Thanks for visiting,

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Projects for a New Year


I've had a platform rocker for a while and I was tired of the old brown fabric.  I finally got around to reupholering it and it really didn't take me too long.  

The old fabric...

The new fabric...reminds me of a Monet painting.

Looks like a different chair.  Next I have to start work on the sofa.  Now that will be a project!



I have a hard time finding a purse that I like.  I don't carry a lot of stuff and don't want a huge bag that hangs off my arm.  I like them small and prefer a shoulder strap purse with lots of compartments.  So...

I cut my old purse apart......

And used the inner pouch, zipper and shoulder strap and added cardboard and another zipper to denim and a blue plaid...

And now I have just the right size!



A while back I found this dresser scarf at my favorite thrift store and got around to embroidering it.  The only thing I didn't know what to do was the edging. 

Well....when I had our girlfriend weekend in October at my friend Teresa's house I brought the scarf and thread and was going to have Teresa show me how to crochet a simple edgding.  There was no way I was going to be able to replicate what she was doing, so she kept it and finished it for me.  Whew!

I think she did a lovely job on it and when she got it back to me I didn't work on it right away.  So this past week I grabbed it and sewed it on.

Thank you Teresa!

Now it's ready for its place on my dresser with my Korean jewelry box and apppointment cards stuck in the mirror.  You can also see in the mirror my Thanksgiving cactus is still blooming! 

I've really slacked off on sewing last year, too many doctor appointments, but I'm back in the groove again.
Thanks for visiting,

Monday, November 14, 2016

Some More Baskets and Quilt


I was recently at my friend Teresa's house for a girls weekend and spotted a basket that I enjoyed making. 

Teresa really liked this wall basket when I made it and wanted to give it to her husband as a gift.  As you can see it is very well used and is made from an antler of a White Tailed Deer with willow branches as the base and woven with reed that has been dyed in walnut hulls.  I added a bit of leather.  It's really a man's basket. 

This basket Teresa made into a bowl shape and is made from willow, a large hoop for the rim and woven with reeds and birch bark.  

My grandmother's brother lived in Minnesota and sent us the birch bark.  What a fun medium to use. 



I worked on this quilt for my sister.  She picked out the pattern and we used what fabric I had and purchaced some so that there would be a good mix of prints.  

It originally was going to be king size so I had a lovely turquoise blue for the border.  She has since down sized to a queen so I took the border off and it fits just perfect!


I haven't been sewing as much lately.  Between vacation, girls weekend and helping with our new addition to the house, I've been kinda of busy.  My brother from Hawaii had some Crown Royal bags and would like me to make a quilt out of them.  I had not heard of using the bags and when I Googled it, lo and behold, there were many quilts made.  Now I just have to pick a pattern and fabric. 

Thanks for visiting,


Monday, October 24, 2016

Baskets and Tea Towels

When I was visiting with my brother and sister-in-law in Hawaii, I spied a few of my baskets that I haven't seen in a long time.  

 The larger of these was for my niece, the flower girl, in their wedding.  It is made out of grapevine, willow and cattails.  The green ribbon around the handle was their wedding colors.  The smaller basket has a handle from an old embroidery hoop that was my great grandmother's.  I wove it with denim and reed.

This wall basket has a beautiful grapevine handle and willow ribs.  I wove it with reed and tapestry fabric.  The flowers in the basket are from their wedding. 

It's like seeing old friends again!


 I haven't been idle.  Here are three tea towels that I've finished up.

Right now I'm hand tying a quilt for my sister and finishing up an old vintage quilt that was given to me.  I love all my projects.

Thanks for visiting,