Posts Written On June 2015

Embroidered Place Cards

Here’s a little project for my mother-in-law’s upcoming 86th birthday. It’s easy and fun to do, and reminds me of stitching sewing cards when I was little.


Select an Alphabet
I used an old Leisure Arts booklet (20 Backstitch Alphabets, Mini Series #2). You could also use a font. These instructions are for working with a block type alphabet that will line up with a grid.

Draw the Names on Grid Paper
Pick a grid size that will work with your place card size (I used 1/10th inch). You might have to adapt the design to fit the front of your place card (some of my I letters are narrower than others). Make your lines fairly dark so you will be able to see them through the cardstock.

Cut your Cardstock into Place cards
My placecards are 4 1/4″ wide x 4″, cut from legal size cardstock with a parchment design. They will be folded in half after stitching.

Copy the Dots onto your Cards
Use a light box of some sort and position your card over your drawing. Make sure you copy the dots to the bottom half of the card, which will be the front. Place a tiny pencil dot at each point you want to insert your needle.

Punch Holes in your Cards
Using an embroidery needle, poke small holes in each dot.

Stitch your Names
Use perle cotton, floss, or any similar thread to stitch the names in back stitch. Fold the card in half so it will stand on its own.

Moving on now to making crepe paper flowers, which will serve as both the centerpieces and party favors.


Mother Goose Quiltie Pattern #5 — Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

It’s interesting to read the little comments under each nursery rhyme. The author must have been either Ruby Short McKim or a McKim Studios employee, because I’ve found the same text in several different newspapers. Of course the comments are old-fashioned, and some are a little odd  — maybe due to the recently introduced “scientific” theory of raising children.

Mother Goose Quiltie Pattern #5


Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockle shells,

And pretty maids all in a row.

I wonder why Mary, Mary, or any other nice child should be contrary? Pleasant children are much happier and better loved. Mary, Mary looks like she is going to behave now and grow flowers, which are already showing on our Quiltie.

Here is my quiltie for this week. It’s a little tricky to get all the details just right using a 3 1/4″ image, especially since I struggle with back stitch. I just can’t seem to get my stitches the same length or perfectly straight, but at least I’m getting a lot of practice.




String Star Quilt and Stencil Company Giveaway

It took six months to complete the quilting, but the String Star quilt is finally done. I’m very pleased with the feather quilting, and it was such fun to stitch that I’m a little sorry it’s done. Two Stencil Company templates were used in the plain spaces (10″ feather square and 5″ feather wreath), while the string stars were quilted with 3 diamonds in each point, spaced about 1/2″ apart. There is more information about this quilt in an earlier post.



For the giveaway I selected two additional feather patterns, the 8″ triangular feather for corners, and the 5″ large curved feather for borders. Four commenters will be selected, so your chances of winning should be pretty good. I always want to support businesses that provide products for hand quilters, so here’s a big thank you to The Stencil Company for donating the templates for this giveaway.

To win one of the four quilting template assortments, simply leave a comment below. I’ll use a random number generator to select four winners on Saturday, July 4.


Mother Goose Quiltie Pattern #4 – Old King Cole

Mother Goose Quiltie #4


Old King Cole was a merry old soul,

And a merry old soul was he;

He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl,

And he called for his fiddlers three.

Everyone loves Old King Cole. He is so jolly and fat and not like other kings at all. He loved to sit all sprawled out in his great chair, smoking his pipe as we see him, and maybe he has just called for his three fiddlers. Maybe too, he is kind of proud to think that he is King of all the Quilties.

Yay! One more reader participating in the Mother Goose quilt-a-long. Welcome, Mallika! Once everyone has a chance to finish, I hope to show photos of all the quilts. Here’s my doll-sized square for this week.



Mother Goose Quiltie Pattern #3 – Jack and Jill

I’m really excited that several readers are stitching along with me — Patty and Robin are making their blocks 6″, while Cathy is following the original instructions, and making her blocks 10″.

Here is Mother Goose Quiltie #3


Jack and Jill went up the hill

To fetch a pail of water;

Jack fell down and broke his crown,

And Jill came tumbling after.

Jack and Jill! They did not do anything so wonderful, yet ‘most every child in the country knows about them. They are about the best loved of all Mother Goose’s children; but it must take a lot of loving to make up for a broken head. This Quiltie picture is on the way up, before they got all tumbled. You would not want them after the spill, ’cause they would not look so tidy.

Are you saving each block carefully?



Here is my doll-sized Jack and Jill block, which I made with my own little chubby hands.



Mother Goose Quiltie Pattern #2 – The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe

This was one of my favorite nursery rhymes when I was little (and still is). I loved imagining living in a shoe with all those siblings, and I always enjoyed looking at the variety of ways the illustrators interpreted the shoe house. I know there are people who have a problem with this particular rhyme, and some have even created new politically correct lines to replace the two about broth and spanking. I still like the original version, though, and it’s the one I taught to my children, just as my mother taught it to me. The explanation under the pattern (as to why the Old Lady is so cranky), is pretty funny.

Mother Goose Quiltie Number 2


There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.

She had so many children she didn’t know what to do;

So she gave them some broth without any bread

And spanked them all soundly and sent them to bed.

The Old Woman who lives in a shoe seems kind of cranky, but you must remember she has a lot more children than the two we see. And, having to live in a shoe is enough to make anyone cross. But she will soon have them all spanked and put to bed, and then she will be as jolly as the rest of the Quilties.

This is the second Quiltie, which is going into the pretty Mother Goose Quilt that you are all going to make, and maybe win one of the gold prizes, which are going to be given for the best quilts, as explained last week.

Here are the first two blocks for my doll quilt.




Mother Goose Quiltie Pattern – Ruby Short McKim, 1920

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle published this McKim series in their children’s section, The Junior Eagle. I hadn’t realized they were originally meant to be made by children, and I love that the Eagle went beyond just publishing the patterns, and sponsored a contest for the little quilt-makers (prizes listed below).

Today we have a drawing of the finished quilt, along with instructions, as well as the first Quiltie in the series — Mother Goose, of course. I wanted to start on a Sunday (just like the Eagle), but I’m a little late. From now on, I will publish each new pattern on successive Sundays, and I hope some of you will stitch along with me. I am thinking of making mine doll sized, but I haven’t quite made up my mind. [Update: I am doing a doll quilt with 4″ finished blocks, and back stitch instead of the suggested outline stitch, because it’s easier to make sharp corners] Click the images to enlarge.


Here is the cunning little quilt we have been telling about, all finished to tuck around the boys and girls who love Mother Goose’s family. See Jack and Jill going for that troublesome pail of water. And can you find stupid, old Humpty Dumpty that fell clear off the wall. Who has jumped right over the candlestick?

Every Sunday, for twenty weeks, one of the little blocks, or Quilties, will be here, just the size to transfer on to a 10-inch muslin square. Be sure to save every pattern, because it takes just twenty for a quilt to fit your bed.

After they are traced through carbon paper onto muslin, big sister or mother can show you about the outline stitch, if you never did it. Use some pretty colored thread, and when the Quilties are all finished they can be set together with strips of the same color. Sure, boys make quilts too, and get tucked under them just the same as girls do.

Of course, you are all going to make one of these Quilts and try for one of the prizes. Read all about them below.


The First Pattern – Mother Goose Quiltie No. 1


Old Mother Goose now leads the way

For all her funny folks to play;

She’ll have a party, just for you,

If careful stitching you can do.

Here is Mother Goose, just as we promised, flying up to sweep the cobwebs out of the sky. The Man in the Moon is watching to see that she does a good job. By morning she’ll be all through and come sweep the cobwebs out of kiddie’s sleepy eyes in time to see the big, bright sun.

Note — To change the drawing into a quilt block, get a smoothly ironed piece of muslin, 10 inches square and a blue or black carbon paper. Lay the muslin down on a flat surface. Place the carbon paper over it. On top of the carbon paper place the above drawing. Stick rows of pins around the design so it will be held firmly in place over the carbon and the muslin. Then, so that the traced lines of the design will be perfectly straight, lay a ruler along the lines of the drawing. Trace over the lines of the drawing and the pattern will be transferred through the carbon to the muslin. Then you can outline stitch the lines on the muslin and have the pattern in thread. There are twenty drawings in all, so when the series is completed you will have enough muslin squares to make a child’s quilt.