Posts Written On August 2011

Flower Quilts – A Dozen Favorites from Grandmother’s Garden

Probably as a result of all the napkin stitching, I have managed to develop tendonitis in my left hand which requires a rest from any hand sewing until the thumb heals.  I thought this might be a good time to post some of my vintage quilt booklets, so I have started the process of scanning the pages and cleaning up the images.

All of these books are soft-cover wraps and generally contain around 20 pages.  Because instructions are minimal, each pattern takes up only one or two pages, although some books have two or three patterns on one page.


Crepe Paper Wedding Flowers

In case you’ve wondered what happened to me, I have been finishing up the 204 crepe paper flowers for Emily’s wedding (plus a few other odds and ends like garters, pocket squares, suit and bridesmaid dress alterations, etc. etc.).  Gordon made these posts which will be placed down the aisle, connected by the fabric pennants I made earlier.  You’d never guess they are made with PVC pipe, since we cleverly disguised them with some pink spray paint.  To stabilize the posts, Gordon made round concrete bases, which (again) I cleverly disguised with some ruffled gold crepe paper.  The gold ribbon is leftover from Christmas — I am a maniac for recycling all the expensive ribbons my sisters use on their packages.

These Goodwill bud vases are going to look so cute on the vintage luncheon tablecloths I made or purchased for the small cocktail tables.  The vases were very light without water, so I filled them with cat litter.  The large vases (also Goodwill) will be placed on the two bars.  I purchased vintage paper rose leaves and some dried ferns and leaves for these bouquets because I thought most of the fake stuff looked terrible.

We will have real flowers on the banquet tables and on the stage where the ceremony will take place, as well as the bride and bridesmaid bouquets.  I’m excited to see how they are going to look next to my flowers.

Emily is taking next week off, so we will have lots of time to finish up all the last minute details.  I can hardly believe it’s almost here.


Circus Alphabet Embroidery Pattern

These transfers have been cut and are missing both the envelope and the instructions, so I don’t know the date or the publisher.

Although I think the alphabet designs are very cute, I was disappointed because I expected each character’s name to begin with its accompanying letter, and in most cases they don’t — or if they do, I can’t figure it out (except for the horse and the snake and maybe the parrot, although it looks more like a toucan to me).  I don’t know how these letters were supposed to be stitched, but I think they would look pretty cute done in redwork.


Decorating Pillbox Hats

This turned out to be such a fun activity at Emily’s shower.  The guests really got into it and the hats they made were all so original.  I would highly recommend this as a party craft.

The hats take a little while to make, but once you get it down, they go pretty quickly.  I used this tutorial video with some small changes.  The long piece of the hat needed to be shorter (9 3/4″ on the fold instead of 10 1/2″), which may have been because I was using stiffer bottom weight fabric instead of something more malleable like felt.  I also added iron-on interfacing (2 pieces to the side, and one to the top) to give the hat more structural integrity so it could support all the decorations — some of the girls put a lot of stuff on their hats.

Emily and I had so much fun buying things to attach to the hats.  Flowers, ribbons, birds (and bird nests), buttons, jewels, feathers & fruit are the more basic things we bought, but it’s also fun to add some weird items as well.  You’ll also need to buy cheap low-temp glue guns — we had one for every two or three guests.  I displayed all the decorations on the dining room table and gave each person a tray to collect her items.  Then they went to stations around the house where I had placed the glue guns in ceramic coffee cups.

Now I’m really sorry I didn’t take some close-ups of the hats so you could see how unique they were.  Since I didn’t, I decided to decorate the two leftover hats with the leftover decorations just so you could see how easy this is.  Mine aren’t nearly as cute as the ones made by our guests (see previous post), but you get the idea.

And now . . . on to the winners of the apron drawing.

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone for participating and your nice comments.  I will be contacting the winners today.


Emily’s Bridal Shower

The shower is over — I can hardly believe it.  Emily received wonderful gifts, and  the guests seemed to enjoy themselves.  They really liked their aprons, and they had a lot of fun creating these truly original hats.   Tomorrow I am going to take a break and finally catch up on my blog reading.  Then I’ll need to get busy, because it’s less than a month until the wedding!

Here are the 3 aprons that were left over.

If you would like one of them, please leave a comment and let me know which one you would like.   On Wednesday I’ll do a separate drawing for each apron,  if there is more than one person interested.


Nancy Page Quilt Club — Embroidered Snowflake Quilt Pattern

This is one of the series quilt patterns published in many 1930s newspapers under the pseudonym “Nancy Page” by Florence La Ganke. The fictional Nancy would meet with her quilt club on successive Tuesdays, where she would introduce the next block and make suggestions for fabrics, colors, and techniques. You can read more about Florence La Ganke here.

Nancy Page quilts tend to be either appliqued or embroidered — the Snowflake Quilt is embroidered in white on a “soft blue” fabric using several different stitches. I think this would be a great pattern for someone wanting to try out some new stitches; the project would also travel well since the designs are all one color.  The entire pattern is available here.


Twist-Off Prize Ribbons

Emily and her Maid of Honor, Gianna, came up with the idea of having a “Twist-Off” at the wedding reception (think “Pulp Fiction”). Emily was planning to order a couple of trophies, but then she and I found this great stuff on sale at Michaels. I wonder if the company that manufactured these items has gone out of business, because everything was marked $1 or less. It’s an interesting product — lots of different elements that you can put together to make all types of award ribbons in several sizes. We bought a bunch of different pieces, took some of them apart, and then added a few things of our own. They are big (5″ diameter), but very light. We put pins on the back, but you could add magnets instead.

My sister taught me how to do the twist in 1960 on her first visit home from college. That was a long time ago, so I think maybe I need to practice if I am going to compete. Emily knows how to do the twist, but I was pleased when she asked me to teach her the Mashed Potato (the blonde dancer is doing it correctly — the brunette is just doing her own thing).


Vintage Bridal Shower Gift Card

Today I finished the embroidered wedding napkins and hemmed the cocktail tablecloths. No time to take a break, though, because the bridal shower is Sunday. Most of the work is already done — aprons are made, the pillbox hat craft is ready, cupcakes and flowers are ordered, and decorations are in place. Of course, the house is a complete mess (since I have been doing nothing but sewing), but I have 5 days to clean the house and get the food prepared. It even looks like the weather is going to cooperate.

Here’s a cute card I completely forgot about, since I purchased it last year.  I wanted to print the card larger than the tiny original (2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ folded), and I also needed to clean up some of the discoloration.  The new card should look okay scaled to fit on letter-sized paper.


Peter Puzzlemaker Puzzles – O & P

Because I have nothing new to show you (except more boring napkins), here are a couple of George Carlson puzzles from the August, 1927 issue of John Martin’s Book.   I don’t have the September issue with the answers, but the results of the M and N puzzles are in this magazine, and they each have between 50 – 60 words.  I’ve never been able to find quite that many.