Sunday, January 27, 2019


Other than the actual stitching of quilting, embroidery, beading and so forth...there is nothing more fun to me than finding all the things required to make them, then gathering them together in a basket, a box or a bowl, or on a platter, well, just any decorative item that would hold them, then display them around the house.
I find them to be beautiful and I look at them over and over.  Eventually, some of them are used to create my various projects and when they are...I enjoy them again in the stitching.

I've taken to wrapping DMC embroidery floss in pieces of fabrics...pre-selected for an as yet designed project.  It's FUN!

Just pick a color scheme and shop your house for any and all items calling your name that day.

You can tell from these photos exactly what kind of things I like to collect.  In the upper right square of this box, you can see a piece of knitting rolled up.  I knitted that with crochet cotton in one of my favorite colors....I don't really remember, but I think I used a size 1 or 2 knitting needle.  So tiny.
I've no idea what I will do with it, but it will tell me what it's supposed to be one of these days!

I've tons of buttons, just took a few from my collections to add to this cute little divided box made from yardsticks.  I love that blue one with a star.

 I loved these glass leaves....and clear glass buttons too.

 Here there are two crowns.  Hard to tell here.  I like to find them...reminds me that my daughter calls me 'the queen of everything."

 Here are two very old bodkins, given to me long ago, by my friend Jim.  I treasure them, of course.
And, who finds rayon seam binding labeled with their own last name?  

 A little pincushion made by my friend, Deb,  another treasure from the past.

 One roll of embroidery floss wrapped in fabric, one in a vintage dinner napkin.  And, an odd cotton thread wrapped in lace.

 Just seeing them makes me want to stitch something.  I'm trying very hard to get back to doing more of that....but the vision issues get keep getting in my way.  As it goes now, no stitching until afternoon and I've turned into a real 'night person.'  Isn't it always something?

 I've never been able to tat.  I have tried.  Over and over.  One instructor once told me to stick with what I know and quilt.   So, I buy tatting whenever I see it at the flea.
You can use it for a thousand things.

There's that piece of knitting again.  I just love it...not to even mention how much I LOVE Perle Cotton.  I once quilted two quilts with Size 12 Perle Cotton in black...Seriously, what fun that was!

 And, this house I call a 'cottage' is loaded with the kind of stuff shown here.

There are buttons and threads, fabrics and beads to make flowers and trees.  Really, whatever I please.
My cup does runneth over.

until next time,
Bird Nest Cottage


Sunday, January 20, 2019

"Making" from the Heart and Hand

I thought I'd show you this little quilt....made several years ago and shown on this blog 'way back when.'  A part of this quilt serves as the banner on this blog also.  Someday, I'll change it, but for now...I'm still happy with it.   My son-in-law loved it so I gave it to him.  I was so pleased he wanted it.  All made by heart and hand.  It's about 20" square, if I remember correctly...

 Loved making the trees!

 Oh, I forgot...I did sew those leaves down with a straight machine stitch right down the middle of each one.  I knew it would take me forever to stitch each one down by would be my habit.

 I also loved the colors in the leaves...I should have saved some of the fabric used to make them. 
Just talking about the trees makes me want to make more....Oh.  My.

And, now, some quotes I chose this afternoon.  I find them everywhere and appreciate that others have said beautiful words that inspire and encourage me.  I hope to continue with my 'work' as long as possible.  Don't you?

"If you hear a voice within you say "You cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice   will be silenced."   

Vincent van Gogh

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."

 Thomas Merton

"One eye sees, the other feels."

 Paul Klee

"May you see in what you do the beauty of your soul."

John O'Donohue

"Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it."

Mary Oliver

until next time
Bird Nest Cottage

Sunday, January 13, 2019

SINGER FEATHERWEIGHTS....Great Little Machines

Do you have one of these?  Singer Featherweights?  They weigh about ten pounds and have a neat case.  Great for hauling to quilt classes, retreats, etc.  Or just carrying from room to room in your home.  I'm showing you the two I have.  There's a story.  (Of course!)


This is a Featherweight bought by my Dad for my Mother.  It came in black.  I don't remember ever seeing her use it though.  Then in the sixties, I learned to sew using this very machine.  Home Ec projects and so forth.  I loved the little thing right away.  I grew up...moved away, leaving that little machine.  Years later, when the old navy man and I moved to Silver City, New Mexico....I called my Mom one day and asked if I could have it next time we came for a visit.  Her reply was...."well, I had intended to keep it in the family, so no."  My dad had passed away several years earlier and I was her oldest child  (of four) and the only one even vaguely interested in sewing, so I was thinking I should have it since she didn't sew.  "I had intended to keep it in the family."  Hurt my feelings.  (Yes, there is more to the story, but just know my mother was a difficult person to live with.)  We were all shocked.
A couple of years later, she called to tell me I could have it.  A few months after that, we visited her and I brought it home.  Years later, she passed away.  I had seen some Featherweights people had painted and got the idea that since my mother loved the color red...I would have that little machine painted.  There was a man in Hot Springs who would clean your Featherweight, repair it and paint it.  Turns out you could paint it any color you could buy a car in....that's what I did.  And, you can still get the original decals, etc.  It's cute, don't you think?

A while after that....well, being a person who loves all things vintage and old, it got to bothering me that I had that machine painted, so I decided I needed one in it's original color.  The old navy man told me if I could find one at a good price, I could have it......I already knew that, but wasn't it nice of him to say it.  A year or so after that I did find the flea...for $125.  I bought it, not knowing really if it worked or not.  Brought it home and he checked out the electrics for me...not a thing wrong with it...and there you go....a lovely vintage machine! 

They are easy to clean, sew a lovely seam and are fun to use.

You can go online and check the age of your machine.  Just find the serial number and go take a look.  The red one was born on January 22, 1948.  I would have been four years old when it was manufactured. 

The black one is the one from the flea.  It was born on October 14, 1953.  So cute....I really don't know why I felt I needed to paint the other one.  At the proper time, the red one will go to my daughter.  As she and her husband are abstract painters...I suspect she'd rather have the red one anyway.  While she doesn't sew, she might actually do that some day.  But, neither will leave until I am finished 'playing' with them!


 I think this machine is DEAR!
In that Vintage way!

(By the way, the red is actually a bit darker than this photo.) 

They are just adorable!!! 

 until next time
Bird Nest Cottage

Sunday, January 6, 2019

How Full Do You See Your Basket?

How full do your see your basket?

I ask that question only because I believe the answer to it depends on how good a year 2019 will be for me.  And, by me, I mean all of us.  I'm sorry to say, but 2017 and 2018 were hard on me and just about everyone I know.  I'm pretty sure the whole planet has suffered.  I'm not sure improvements will be made in 2019 either, but I have come to the conclusion that my attitude about how full my basket is could possibly make this year a much better one, for me and for you.  So, how full DO you see your basket?  I'm going to choose to believe that "my cup runneth over" and my basket too....even when it's difficult.  Mind over matter.  It should always be so, but I couldn't seem to believe that last year, thus making me sick both mentally and physically, so I have to another year like the last is unacceptable.  I wanted to wish you a Happy New Year, so know that I'll be doing my best to think positive through all the trials and tribulations of life, mine and yours.  I'll be 'seeing' baskets hopefully filled with goodness and love....we need it.  So, I'm tying another knot,  hanging on and hoping you hang on with me.

So, of course, speaking of baskets...I had to show some, if for no other reason than it never hurts to see something pretty.
That little platter came from the flea market. 
 It called my name.

 The framed basket was a gift....the paper basket...a Hallmark card from several years ago.

Then, there is this tiny, tiny, petit point hang from a chain.   One of my most favorite things.

 I brought this beautiful cross-stitched table runner home from the flea last week.  Another beautiful thing that called my name loudly.  It isn't in really good shape, lots of stains, so I plan to use the baskets in some future projects.  "Future projects."  That has a positive sound to it.  A part of seeing the basket as full rather than empty.  

 Can you see it with me?

I think I'll be showing you more baskets in the cottage as the year goes by.  There are many here and I like sharing them.  More positivity.  A good thing.

 Can you see the name "Pat" on this embroidery?  Funny.  It wasn't made by me.

I found this quote this morning.  I don't know who wrote it, but I liked it a lot and I'm going to believe it is true.  May it help you also.

"Amazing, isn't it, how some see the basket half empty and others see it half full?  Some see life hopeless, some hopeful.  Even when things are less than perfect, if you can think of the good, the beautiful, the hopeful, you'll be more than sustained."

until next time
Bird Nest Cottage

A Bit of Heaven

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