SunBonnet Sue

Years ago I received a lovely piece of stitchery in a scrap bag. It is done on authentic feedsack material. You can see where the stitches were picked out and some printing on the back.

I didn’t know what to do with it.

I shared it on the blog HERE, and a lovely reader created a pattern for those who might be interested.

But the original languished. I set a goal do something with her in 2021. She has probably waited around 80 years for this moment.

The first thing was to wash. Gently. By hand.

That went fairly well. She didn’t fade or run. She had been in a smoking home at some point in the past, and the yellow-brown water than came out was yucky enough I didn’t show that step.

I inquired at a frame shop but wasn’t thrilled with the options they offered. Both very expensive and I wasn’t confident they knew how to handle fragile textile and honor the original maker. I didn’t want it perfect, I wanted to see the work.

So, I took Sue to a thrift store and found a frame that pleased me. Then purchased some black foam board.

I stitched Sue to the foam board from the back using fairly small stitches. Total cost: $7.

The final results are all I hoped for.

Wrangling Up A Walker Caddy

As if life weren’t complicated enough, Husband had hip replacement surgery yesterday, Friday.

Fortunately, the procedure went very well and we are home in less than 24 hours.

We anticipate a speedy recovery, but, in the meantime he needs a few helpful objects so that he doesn’t just have to rely on the helpful wife.

So, this morning I woke up early and made him a caddy for his walker.

Just cut the top out of the top of a pair of jeans. I went between the bottom of the zipper and the crotch to make for an easier seam. Add twill tape to the side belt loops (I just tied it in place) and stitch more twill tape into the corners of the bottom seam.

Ta-dah. A functional caddy with many pockets in less than 30 minutes. YAY!

2020 Spool Count

For several years I have kept and counted my empty spools at the end of the year. Silly? Maybe, but the art teacher enjoys them, and I enjoy the counting.

The total for 2020 is 48.

Here are past years for comparison:

2019: 23

2018: 23

2017: 36

2016: 40

2015: 103 (the year of partial spools and the 52 in 2015 project)

Final Countdown Task Two

Time for Task Two of the Final Countdown.

This time Shelly suggests that we clean up the fabric storage and stray fabric piles.

I regularly maintain my quilting fabric, but there is another, darker place under that table I cleaned off yesterday.

It is my Big Pile Of Junk. We call it that with greatest affection. It is how I am able to say “yes” to all sorts of people and projects. And, I had been thinking about some doll clothes for the granddaughters.

Oh, that was a dangerous thought…

Looking through turned into making piles.

And piles became outfits.

And outfits became many.

These are going in the mail today. And I need to go clean up after all that fun!

Homemade Wool Pressing Mat

Years ago Husband cut up a moth-eaten antique Hudson Bay wool blanket to make a coat for trips and activities with his Boy Scouts. Some people might have considered that sacrilege, but it was never going to be used as a blanket.

For some reason, I saved the scraps.

Lately I have been looking at the wool pressing mats and considering whether or not I really needed one, when those scraps came to mind…Did I still have them?

YES! So into the wash they went. And they came out in good shape.

I trimmed edges smooth and square.

And stitched together by butting the pieces and using a large zig zag stitch, like a person would use to join batting scraps.

Wide single fold bias tape finished the edges and holds together the two layers. I trust that use will get them comfortable staying in place.

Ta-dah! It is 12-1/2″ square and about 3/8″ thick when pressed down, but I am pretty sure it is thick enough. At least my first tries at pressing look nice and flat. And there is enough left to make another one 10-1/2″ square for Daughter. I think you could do the same with multiple layers of any good wool.

Christmas Totes From Papa’s Pants

The grandchildren needed library totes, and I had a lot of my Father’s worn out jeans (Thank you for saving them, Momma). (NO, I don’t know why a few of these pictures insist on being sideways…there are many mysteries in life.)

I did create the pattern, but am just not up to writing a tutorial right now. Perhaps in the future.

And I supplemented the totes with MINI TOTES for the dolls of the two granddaughters.

Sturdy and serviceable (and packed with some fun treats), we hope the grandchildren will enjoy some love from Nana Deanna.

Indi-go Tote

This project came from the book Reinvention, which I borrowed from the local library.

 

I was so excited to give it a try. I still have a lot of my father’s old jeans that my mother saved for years.  And, I am happy with the results.

BUT, it was not without trial.  I don’t know about the rest of the patterns in the book, but this one had numerous errors.  The measurements were off both in cutting directions and finished sizes of components in at least 4 places.

That is too bad, because it is a great idea, but beware if you decide to give it a go.  That said, I may make another one at some point because it is super cool and quite useful.  I gifted it to a new teacher at our school who needed a better way to haul stuff around.  She seems quite pleased.

Quilt Restoration Complete

It was a big push to finish before I start Teacher Work Days.  Once school starts intense projects are much harder.

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This quilt was made for JoAnne by her mother Florence about 1976.  You can tell that Florence was resourceful.  She used the fabric she had.

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Every block needed some repair, and that was how I approached it:  One block at a time.  You can read more about some specific repair techniques HERE and HERE.

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Since the one-block-at-a-time system seemed to be working so well, I quilted it the same way–A meander-stipple around the birds in each block.  My freehand quilting is not great, but it disappears into most of the fabrics and, hopefully, no one will look at the back too much.

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Speaking of the back, it is a white piece of wide-back flannel (prewashed) that I hope will mimic the feel of the fleece when it was new and stabilize the overall structure of the quilt.

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The wide binding was not in good shape, but couldn’t be removed without danger, so I put a narrower binding over it.  The wavy nature of the quilt made it hard to achieve a uniform look, but I hope the original binding peeking out preserves both the quilt and the memories.

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So, it is complete and should be back to its owner within a week.

Here are before-during-after shots.  What an interesting experience this has been.

Quilt Restoration: Block Style 2

The entire quilt was a bit of doozy…30 of 30 blocks needing help.

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For insight on how I fixed blocks with ruined backgrounds, see HERE.

Today I am sharing one way to fix a damaged applique.  I am not pretending this is a great way, but this block needed two different techniques. So it seemed a good example.

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A previous repair had stitched netting over the damaged fabric.  I suspect much of the damage on this block, and a number of other places on the quilt, was due to a combination of different shrinkage after washing and very light quilting.

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So I removed the netting and cleaned up the frayed fabric so I could see what was going on.

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The small frayed area at the bottom could be sort of darned using matching threads.  the larger torn area needed matching fabric.

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I stitched the bottom area first (no good picture, sorry) and then a line on the matching fabric right where the stripe color changed.  Fortunately, not in the way of the eye.

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You can see the darning repair in this picture.  Once I attached the matching fabric I pressed it open and trimmed it just outside the zigzag edge.  Then I turned in under and stitched it down like turned edge applique.

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And finished it off with a matching zig-zag stitch as close to the original as I could.  Whew!  From a distance and on a galloping horse, it doesn’t look too bad.