Sunday, June 26, 2011

Vintage Inspired Hanky

Inspired by some of the booklets at, I did a simple, filet edging on a 12" linen handkerchief.  I've never considered finishing an edge with single crochet.  Turns out it works quit well.  I used size 10 crochet cotton, which I realize now is much to heavy for the lightweight linen.  Next time I'll try embroidery floss.  This was fun and worked up in just a couple hours, the hardest part was getting the single crochets even.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Five State Flowers

I'm 10% done with the state flowers.  Only 45 squares to go!

Washington - Rhododendron

Oregon - Oregon Grape

Idaho - Syringa

California - Poppy

Montana - Bitter Root

Friday, June 24, 2011

Antique Patterns

"The stitches used in modern embroidery are not productions of this age.  They belong to the art of to-day through adaptation.  They have a value because of their antiquity far above any value which new inventions in this line could possess.  Their application has been tried without limit and the extent of expression and delineation through them is well know.  The science of embroidery is established; its methods are perfected.  The art is rich in its heritage."      L. Barton Wilson, Corticelli Home Needlework (1898) 

I just discovered  This catalog of antique books and patterns (in pdf form) is extensive, with patterns from the 19th and early 20th centuries, and even a reprint of a German pattern book originally published in 1533.

There are so many ideas, patterns, and lessons on crochet, knitting, Irish crochet, tatting, embroidery and more, it's going to take quite a while to look through all of it.  So far, Sherwood's Impression Powder and Perforated Patterns (1865)  is my favorite.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Books & Basket

I could live in the library...


"A Rainbow of Stitches" by Delage-Cavet et al.

"Ratio: The Simple Codes behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking" by Michael Ruhlman,
recommended on KUOW yesterday by "Gluten Free Girl"

Of course, I could also live in the fabric store...

 Basket from grandma and one yard of super awesome 

Monday, June 13, 2011


Another one of my favorite gifts from grandma is her entire stash of embroidery floss.  Last year I sorted through the three grocery bags full of it, throwing out all but the DMC.  I thought that I wouldn't need to buy any thread for years.  Then last week, while I was browsing through the craft store, I saw a collection of variegated colors.  I resisted the initial urge to buy it, but then I saw the beautiful effect of the variegated green in this state flower square done by turkey feathers.  Now my Idaho Syringa square is on hold until my next trip to the craft store.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Square One

Last week I came across a set of beautiful state flower squares at  I spent an entire morning brainstorming ideas for making them into a quilt.  I discovered that the creator of Pattern Bee has been making them herself and is posting each square on her blog as she finishes it.  She's nearly done, but I just started today.  I picked up some natural colored cotton on my way home this afternoon and started my first square.  I chose to start with the rhododendron, since right now they are in full bloom in every yard in the city.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sunshine & Sun Bonnets

The long cold spring is almost over!  The sunshine this weekend prompted me to switch out our dark grey duvet with the bright sun bonnet girls quilt.  My great grandma Susie made these squares for me long before I was born.  Although I never got to meet her, I feel very close to her from the stories my mom and grandma tell.  And we share the same birthday, June 6th (along with her mother, my great great grandmother, Polly).  When I graduated from high school, my grandma made this quilt with help from her friends at the senior center.  It's completely hand quilted.  I remember one day visiting the senior center and putting in a few stitches myself.  So in this quilt are a lot of grandma Susie's stitches and a few of mine, linking us across the generations.

great grandma Susie (middle), her mother, Polly (left), and her grandmother (right)

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Very Merry Birthday

Last summer my grandmother was moving into a smaller apartment just as Jason and I were moving into a larger one.  So we inherited a few things that she no longer has room for.  The most special of these things is her old sewing machine.  She purchased it from Sears, Roebuck and Co. in the winter of 1941.  Over the years it's been used to make everything you can imagine.  My mother remembers using it when she was a girl to sew a dress out of an old coat lining.  This winter I've been learning to sew with it.  I've made several bags, pajama pants, and a shirt.  The old machine can be temperamental, but it's been fun to use.

That is, it was fun, until I got bold enough to try my hand at dress making.  As I sat sewing an invisible zipper in by hand, I dreamed of newer machines, ones that could finish hems and sew zippers with ease.  Jason, evidently, was listening to my complaining, because my new machine is everything I dreamed of.  Thank you, dear!!