Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Rag Darlings

Dolls. You either love them or not. I fall into the category of loving them, so working on a book about them was a joy for me.

And now you can enjoy it too! Hot off the press is Gloria Nixon's latest book, Rag Darlings.

Gloria combines her talents as a researcher, historian and collector extraordinaire to tell the story of dolls. The history is fascinating, as are the photos of all the dolls and doll ephemera in her collection. And she keeps collecting! She is showing off her latest Aunt Jemima here, one that arrived after the book was done.

I had the pleasure of delivering some dolls to her recently. She let me photograph her feedsacks on hand. I'd also like to report that she is one of the most fun, dearest people on the planet. Her home is nestled in a dream-like spot in our beautiful Flint Hills.



Do run out and get your copy of Rag Darlings today, you won't regret it. I predict and hope that Gloria has many more books in her future ...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Truly No Scrap Too Small



A sewing friend just had surgery and I decided I'd make a card to cheer her up.

Luckily, I had some vintage scraps on hand that I'd saved for just such an occasion. Yes, they are shards that should have gone into the trash can but being from the 1800s, I just couldn't do that.

I put the card on my sewing table and attached them as I stitched. The pieces are about 1/4" wide and 1 - 2" long.

She can look at the fabrics and chuckle a little at this madness. And I can let the rest of the shards go now that I have created something useful with them ...

Here's a closeup look:


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Festival Improv


We had leftover scraps from our Festival of the Trees project so of course I could not help but piece a bunch of them together, adding in some fabrics from my stash. I was feeling extra bold when I added the border print, a wonderful home dec fabric from Premier Prints.

I passed this little quilt on to my friend Georgann Eglinski, who organized our Trees project. I didn't measure it but I estimate it's about 30" square.

The detail shot shows the tiniest piece in the quilt, the tiny chartreuse shard. More proof that there is no scrap too small to use!!

Oreo blessed this before it left. He always gets in the picture ...


Monday, January 12, 2015

Three Toothbrush Hats



Anytime I get to make toothbrush hats, I am very happy! What, you might ask, is a toothbrush hat? It starts as a tiny round toothbrush rug. When you get it to a desired size (the top of one's head), you stop adding stitches, and voila! It becomes a hat (or a bowl for the less adventurous fashionistas).

My daughter, Betsy (right), has had a toothbrush hat for a while. She likes it because it is warm and such a fashion statement. I made one for Betsy's friend, Jen. I gave it to her at Christmas.

Jen's mom and daughters liked it! They tried the hats on for size and chose colors. Here they are - finished! I mailed them Friday.


They can always use them as bowls when they are not wearing them. I'm thinking of making a larger, shallower version of this to use as a bowl ... I want to make a few trivets too. If you already know how to make a toothbrush rug, they make up very quickly. Try it!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Comfort Counts

Photo by Ray Rowden
Sometimes I think it's ok to throw too much thinking about design out the window and make a quilt for the purpose of comfort, only comfort.

I've been making t-shirt quilts for my girls. Along with their t-shirts,  I discovered a box of appliqued sweatshirts I'd saved. They are sentimental favorites but I knew we wouldn't wear them anymore. My buddy Jan and I made these back in the '80s. Jan drew several of the designs (the iris bouquet and the holiday wreath). We had pipe dreams of having our own business. We learned we liked making stuff more than being businesswomen ... Some sweatshirts were for my little girls. Some were made for my parents, my grandma ... A few are drawings done by the kids and transferred onto sweatshirts.

My goal was to have a blanket long enough to cover my Mom up while she napped. I dug into my stash and found some flannel for backing. Then I took a deep breath and started cutting up those sweatshirts. I squared them up and sewed them together. They fit pretty well onto the flannel - I pinned the sweatshirt top to the flannel back and stitched through both layers.  (I didn't add batting so it would be light.) I bound the edges. The finished blanket includes 15 sweatshirts and measures 40" x 69".

I took it to Mom on Christmas Day. She has dementia so I was not totally sure she recognized all the memories in this when she first saw it. But I like to think she notices little bits every day as it covers her and keeps her warm. And it sure comforts me with the thought that these are OUT of the box and onto her bed.

Happy New Year. Stitch what makes you happy!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A No-Scrap-Too-Small Sighting


We were in Guthrie, Oklahoma last week - new territory for me. There was only time for one antique shop stop but look what I found! An exquisite little no-scrap-too-small piece. I would estimate this measures 12" x 16" so you know what that means - many of these pieces are just fingertip size.


This piece probably deserved a rescue - it was encased in a cheap frame so taking a few photos was not easy, the glass added a bit of glare. But you get the picture (pardon the pun) ...

And I am newly inspired to do more hand piecing of tiny scraps. I like how it is edged with rick-rack. I'd estimate these fabrics mostly come from the 1930s, wouldn't you? I sure wish I could stitch a while alongside the person who pieced this. I think we would have a very good time together!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Very Modern Wreath


When Georgann Eglinski was appliqueing this wreath, she made two and presented one to me. She thought it would look good in our modern house and it does! The light comes in just right and highlights the exquisite quilting Linda Frost did to complete it. And yes, that is Oreo the cat moving through the scene ... as usual.


Georgann's other wreath went to support a good cause, our community Shelter (via the Festival of Trees).


Georgann finished this one with a slick technique that is more like facing than binding. It was quilted by Kris Barlow - she quilted the words to a holiday song in the middle. It was fun to watch people bend over and read the words when it was on display ...


A Holly Jolly Christmas

Have a holly, jolly Christmas;
It's the best time of the year
I don't know if there'll be snow
but have a cup of cheer
Have a holly, jolly Christmas;
And when you walk down the street
Say Hello to friends you know
and everyone you meet


Oh ho

the mistletoe
hung where you can see;
Somebody waits for you;
Kiss her once for me
Have a holly jolly Christmas
and in case you didn't hear
Oh by golly
have a holly
jolly Christmas this year