Sunday, September 18, 2016

Names and Monograms, A Collection

Well, I'm back!  Yes, I've been out of the blog posting business the last month or so.  No good reason, just a lack of enthusiasm on my part.  The summer doldrums, perhaps? I am and I'd like to share with you a few things I have gathered together.  This post began with a package I received in the mail a couple of weeks ago....a gift from my friend, Meredith, who lives in Canada.
She is a very thoughtful follower of my blog and one of those people it is a pleasure in life to know.
One of the rewards of blogging is making friends with people from 'everywhere' and she is a treasure!

In the lovely note Meredith sent, she explained to me about the huge department stores in Canada named EATON'S.  I had actually heard that before, but I enjoyed her telling me about EATON'S  again.  As a gift, she enclosed two spools of seam binding (Oh, I LOVE that stuff!!!)  What a treasure and fun to see "my" name of the packaging!  Wasn't that a nice thing to do?  Like I said, she is very thoughtful!  She also send a lovely card and a bookmark.  THANK YOU, Meredith, and I wish you all the best!

While I have been admiring my EATON'S seam binding....I got to thinking about other things I had with either my last name, first name, or monogram included on them.  So, here is a little 'collection' of
some of what I found here in what I call the 'cottage.'   Here is a button (about three inches wide)...made from a vintage hanky and some old lace.  Can you see the appliqued 'E'?  Love it!  I bought it long ago at Quilt Festival in Houston.

Several years ago, my friend, Sherry, gave me this old stationery box.  I have loved this box....just because of the name...of course...and the fact that it came from my good friend, Sherry, in Little Rock.  There are still a few cards and envelopes in it.  Love the font.  Thank you again, my friend!!!

 Pretty, isn't it?

Can you see the name 'Pat' embroidered on this basket?  My friend, Pat S., from here, gave me her entire little sewing basket several years ago, including her vintage beads, and threads, and a lovely tatted cross you will see in another photo.  I treasure this little basket....and of course, we share the name!!!  Thank you again, Pat!!!

In my search to find names and monograms for this post, I remembered I had covered this button at some point in time, then beaded the edges.  Yes, sewn beads, not glued.  You'll see it again too.

I don't remember when, but at some point in the last five or so years, I found this box of straight pins on eBay.  I remember the old navy man saying "So, I guess you just have to have it, right? Well, why not.  How many times might you find a vintage box of pins with your first name on it?"   He nearly always 'got it.' You understand, don't you?

Here is the lovely tatted crossed from Pat's sewing basket.  I still keep it in the basket and I've never used the beads from the basket....but I do think of Pat everytime I look inside!    You can see the bird nest on the card from Meredith here too.

This little lavender filled pillow came from Dawn at The Feathered Nest.  Can you see the name at the bottom?  (Not only the name Eaton fits, but the old navy man's middle name was Edward!)  Smells great and it is sweet to look at.  I've really enjoyed it over time.  Sweet!

How about this cute monkey?  No, has nothing to do with a name or a monogram....we found the monkey in a tree by our deck when we bought our old house.  Actually, the old navy man found it.  I saved it because it was just so cute and how many people find a little stuffed monkey in a tree by their deck? Later in time, I found this tiny little pillow embroidered with an R.  The old navy man....Richard.  So, for some reason, I always wanted to keep the little pillow with the monkey.  Yeah.  Don't try to figure it out!

So cute!

Another thing that doesn't fit my subject matter old bed spring with a paper heart in it.
This one is large, there is a smaller one in the first photo.  I have intended to make hearts with a monogram for these bed springs, so I'm sort of showing an idea I haven't completed yet.  Just like me.

Here's Meredith's card, along with the small bed spring/heart thing.  You'll see them when I get them done...whenever that is.

The bird nest bookmark from Meredith with some fancy threads....which I have inadvertently clipped from the photo somehow.  I am already using it in the current book, "A Great Reckoning" by Louise Penny, also from Canada!

That covered button again.  Fun to make those! 

 From the back.

And the "E."  Beautiful!

Tatted!!  It's about four inches long.

So pretty!!!! Note the little jewel in the upper left corner!


So, there you are!  Names and monograms....lots of fun, plus so much thoughtfulness from so many friends!

 A quick shot of my little work table....nothing artsy about the arrangement for posting.... so glad to have gathered these objects in one place for today.

Bird Nest Cottage 
until next time

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Rescued Quilt, Repaired and Cozy

 In my last post, I told you about the nine old quilts given to me by a friend.  I said I'd be showing you those quilts as time goes by.  I figure it will take years, should I live long enough (and IF possible to repair them!) but this one needed the least repair, so is the first to be repaired and I have to is a lovely thing to have.  It's kind of homely, really, but if you are a 'tactile person'...then you'd know exactly why I'd say it is a lovely thing to have.  After washing it several times...and then, patching it...well, 

nothing would do, until I spent a little time wrapped up in it.  It is soft as a cloud and now smells so's cozy as a quilt could be!  It's irresistible!  And, once you take a good look at it....well, beauty IS in the eye of the it has become beautiful to me!

 Something you might want to know about this quilt isn't flannel!  I thought so at first, but on second, it's not...I expect it is made from old clothes. Here and there, you can see where I stitched up the holes.  Thinking it wouldn't be much better looking patched, I just stitched up the holes and with each one I closed up, my fondness for the quilt grew.

 The backing is made from a really soft supple fabric...not a quilt cotton kind of feels divine.  You can see a little mending job right there....

 I believe this quilt was made just to keep they used to do....before we became spoiled with an excess of fabric to purchase and make our 'special' quilts from.  


 and then, mended again and again....I think there are about fifteen mended places on this quilt now.
And, I have to say....I have wrapped up in it just about every evening since the mending was done.
So, it has been rescued and repaired....becoming one of my favorite quilts in the house.  It lives not too far from my tv....providing a little cozy comfort each evening.

My idea of being cozy is wrapping myself in a soft hand stitched quilt while reading a good book or watching my favorite British mysteries on Netflix.  How lucky am I to have received this old quilt, been able to repair it, and then enjoy it each night.  Now, to continue on to the rest of the nine!!

 Speaking of being's where I'm headed right bed, to wrap up in the quilt I made so long ago...with a wonderful book to read.  Cozy....yes, indeed!

Bird Nest Cottage
until next time

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


There is a local woman in town I've known casually for many years.  We run into each other once in a great while, have a brief conversation...then go about our lives.  Each time I see her, she mentions that she has quilts she'd like to give me.  This has gone on for many years.  MANY.  In January of this year, I ran into her in WallyWorld and once again, she mentioned the quilts.  In March, she called mid-morning one day and asked if I would be home and could she stop by.  "Of course," I said.  She showed up about half an hour later....on her way to get her hair cut.  We chatted a while and then she went out to get the quilts.  It seems she had inherited these quilts, not really knowing who had made them, and no one in her family wanted them, so for years thought she'd give them to me.
As she said, "at eighty-two years of age," she had finally "made up her mind to give them to me." She thought if I accepted them, it would remove the burden of what she should do with them.  This had been weighing on her mind for a long time.  She apologized that they had been slept on for years by her three dogs and two cats.  So, you can imagine what condition they were in.  I had been telling her for years that I would take them, so I wasn't about to hurt her feelings and turn them down.  I mean, she was depending on me to "do something."  She also told me that some of them would not survive washing.  This turns out to be more of less true.    I did wash all but one.  It was in such bad repair that I knew all I'd get from washing it was a washer filled with bits of pieces of fabric and lots of batting turned into stuffing.  She had also told me to do whatever I wished with them, including throwing them out, as she just felt better finally getting them to me!  Well, even at the worst, I knew they could be rescued in some way...even if none could be kept intact.  And, there were NINE altogether.  I had no idea of how many quilts she had wanted to give me for all those years.

So, each of them has now been washed at least twice (one at a time), with a good soaking overnight each time.  This took most of the month!  

There was one that could be used with just a bit of patching.  Three that can be rescued with a fair amount of work.  There are four I believe I can save pieces of and then, there is that one I'm just not sure can be saved at all, but I will try.

Over time, I will show you these quilts.  

So, for today, here is the first one I am trying to rescue.  Rescue is a loose term here, as at best, only a few blocks and some pieces of blocks will survive the hard life they have lived.  I chose this one to begin with, as I could tell right away, it has a blanket in it rather than batting.  The layers are only lightly quilted, so it isn't taking a long time to pick these blocks apart and I intend to use what few whole blocks I can rescue in a small quilt, if possible.  The remaining tattered blocks I will use for some mixed media uses, as this is something I have wanted to do for a long time.  As a matter of fact, I have purchased several old "cutter quilt" condition, just for that use.

I am doing this 'picking apart' in the garage on the great worktable that the old navy man made for me, so as you can see....these photos were taken there.  It wasn't too bad out there this morning, but it gets too hot as the day goes on.  I'll show you what happens to this quilt, at some point, but thought you'd like the STORY.


As you can's in pretty bad shape.  A shame really, but what happens in 'real life' to some quilts.
I feel bad about it, but all I can do is what we are supposed to do in life....."pick up the pieces and carry on!"

 See the blanket?

The backing of the quilt, patched with another fabric along some edges.

 There is no binding, both front and back turned in and then whip stitched together.

So there you are...the story of the nine quilts coming to me for rescue.  
Oh, my goodness!  

Bird Nest Cottage
until next time,

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio
Right in My Backyard

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.