Monday, May 20, 2013

My Ecru Thread Collection




Today I thought I'd show you some of my ecru thread collection.  Some, but certainly not all, as it seems I collect this stuff wherever I go.  Sometimes it is given to me, sometimes the flea market just has it waiting for me.  You know how I am.  There are drawers of crochet thread here...much in ecru (my favorite color of crochet threads) and sometimes in every color.  I'm hopelessly drawn to it.  Here is the whole kit and kaboodle.  The little chest you can see on the upper left of the photo is a gift from my friend, Sandra, in Alabama.  I just love that precious little thing!  And, the old-fashioned wool pincushion I made sometime back and use often.
 


 
These are all the threads I have which are still in their original boxes....so today they really spoke my name.   Along with the threads, I wanted you to see some of the other vintage sewing things that live here in my bird nest on the ground.


 Here are some of the threads nestled in their boxes....I could crochet, knit (yes, I have knitted with them before to make doll things) couch, embroider, or whatever strikes my fancy with this thread from days gone by.  Some of these are in remarkably good condition and some, not so much, but I love using them and some days, like today, I just love looking at them!

 These are pristine....and I was so lucky to find them....yes, I really do display them and find the boxes very interesting too.

 See!

 These too!
 My friend, Pat S., brought this sewing box to the downtown studio one day.  It belonged to her and she'd had it for a very long time.  She's just a little bit older than I and isn't sewing like she used to, so she thought I'd like to have it, complete with contents.  Of course, I was beside myself and treasure it.  She's another kind and generous friend I've met over the years.  Note the tatted cross.  I have never gotten the 'hang' of how to tat, so I treasure every snippet of it that comes my way! 

There are beads and such in here too.  Oh, what FUN!
 One day I ran across this box of thread at the flea market...and couldn't believe it.  Ok, if you owned this and it is found in a flea market, you must have passed, so that means I will enjoy and treasure it FOR YOU.  And, hopefully, USE it!

 Pretty, pretty stuff!

 Many years ago, friend Jim, walked into our quilt guild's Ferndale retreat, found me at the Registration desk and gave me a little box with this vintage bodkin in it.  I knew right away what it was and I have not only used it, but ENJOYED using it many times since.  A very special thing indeed!  The crochet hook is tiny and I'm not sure what it is made of...but so very cute.  It showed up in a box of sewing 'junk' I bought one time.  Sweet!

 Several years ago, I decided I was going to make buttons.  I tried various kinds, including these crocheted ones.  These are about the size of a nickel.  FUN!  I've never used these, still looking for just the right place for them...and, should you want to make you own...the instructions for these and many other kinds can be found in the book I used...."50 Heirloom Buttons to Make" by Nancy Nehring, published by Taunton Press.  I don't know if it's still in print, but you would enjoy trying some of the techniques in it.



This little wooden bowl....vintage, I am sure, called my name several times at the flea market.  I avoided getting it four or five times, then one day I gave in to it and love seeing all these vintage sewing goodies in it.  The old scissors, clothes pins, needle holder, and a vintage piece of crochet...in a rose pattern....no telling how long I've had that....seems it cost me a nickel way back when.
 
  

 Well, that's it for the threads and sewing goodies.  I hope you enjoyed seeing them and if you should have some of the same things, I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine.  I count them among my most favorite treasures!  Take care, pat


Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Gift of Baskets


One day, not long ago, I emailed my dear friend, Jim with a request.  Sometimes I ask him questions he'd rather not deal with, such as - "Would you draw some basket patterns for me?"  You know....like he has nothing else to do.  And, sometimes he will say 'not on your life.'  Other times, he will just say..."we'll see."  A few days after I asked him to draw the basket patterns for me, an envelope arrived in my mailbox.  Actually, I wasn't expecting it to be patterns, as I knew he was really busy.  I thought it might be a paper snowflake...he's always drawing those.  Or, maybe something to make me laugh.
He does that too.  I took the envelope into my backyard studio, opened it and was surprised to find that he really had drawn some basket patterns for me.  Now, that is a good friend!!!  There are eight of them!  And, to top it off, he said I could post them on my blog and share them with YOU.  Yes, he said to be sure and tell you that you are welcome to use them in some of your work.  He didn't ask, but I will....if you do use them, kindly give him credit for the patterns...as you already know, it is the right thing to do.  So, here they are....all eight.  The largest was copied on an 8" x 10" sheet of paper to give you an idea of the size.  I have taken the liberty of reducing them down four times....the smallest is about 1 1/2" by 2" or so.  You could make them any size you wish.
#1....if you see a gap in the drawings anywhere, as in the handle on this pattern...he left spaces for leaves, roses, or whatever you wish to add here and there....this one is my favorite as I can SEE those ribbon roses spilling out of this basket already and haven't made a stitch!

 #2...Love this one too.  Can you see Baby Ric-Rac for the handle?  You can use these in a zillion different ways.
#3...Fill this one to the brim with pretty flowers......and remember, you can interpret  the basket stitching in many different ways too.
#4...This one looks like a crystal basket to me.....might want to stitch it in a shimmering thread on a dark background.
#5....How do you see this one?  Any ideas?  If you use it (or any of them)...please let us see your work.... it would be fun.  I see it couched in a heavy thread.
#6...How many things can we do with this basket?  You could also complete the handle and use silk ribbon to make a three dimensional bow....
#7....I'm not sure I could repeat this one easily....but did think I could use a bit of Battenburg Lace for the basket...or make it look like that kind of lace....Hmmm....

#8....What could we do with this one?  I think a metallic thread would be interesting.  Oh, the possibilities!!!
 
Here are all the patterns in the tiniest size....very cute, don't you think?
Then, of course, the basket on the front of the envelope.  I have ideas of what to do with it NOW!  I love getting mail from Jim....the contents are wonderful and the envelopes are always FUN!  So....okay....have some fun with this gift from Jim to me and YOU.  And, if you want to see what else he is up to, visit his blog HERE.  He really is a good friend....and a talented guy.  THANKS, JIM!!! 

Oh, and before this day is over.....I hope you have had a beautiful Mother's Day!  Take care out there, pat

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.