My younger daughter has been a life-long devotee of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her books (Little House on the Prairie et al – the TV series, not so much). She has always wanted to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Mansfield, MO, and had a chance to make the trip with her sister last month. Her excellent report on this trip is here.
One of the souvenirs she brought home was a gift for me – a pattern for a wall hanging called Laura in Redwork by Johanna Wilson (Plum Creek Patchwork*).
I like to do simple embroidery and had red-checked gingham on hand, so I made up the original pattern for my daughter.
I made a label that incorporated a picture of my daughter standing in front of Laura’s house in Mansfield.
I gave her the quilt on Mother’s Day and she was very happy with it. It measures 38×38 inches – a big wall hanging or a small lap quilt. Her dog, Daisy, looks anxious to have it on the couch where she can get cuddly with it.
I wanted to make a wall hanging for myself but not that big and I didn’t want to work with the same materials again, so I reduced the pattern by 50% and came up with a wall hanging in blue that is 22×22 inches.
I like both versions very much. It would be a good pattern for a quilter with a bit of experience rather than a beginner since the instructions aren’t too detailed.
*Plum Creek Patchwork – 1410 County Highway #5 – Walnut Grove, MN 56180
I combined some hand-embroidered squares with some paper-pieced hearts to make a runner for Valentine’s Day. Some of the embroidery patterns were found online and I made up some of them using vintage Valentines from my collection as a source.
The boy and girl in the top row of these squares are from a Valentine my mother received from her teacher in 1923.
I added a sleeve to the back so I can also hang this piece.
I like this cheerful addition to my Valentine’s Day decorations. Hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day.
Since Christmas preparations took top priority this past month, I just completed block #2 in Jacquelynne Steves’ block-of-the-month series, Sew Sweet Simplicity. As with the first block, I used an embroidered panel of a vintage bluebird design. I’m not sure yet how I’ll be using the blocks.
The piecing isn’t perfect, but then neither is the embroidery. I like the overall effect, though. I already have block #3 cut out and ready to assemble.
This was block #1.
The free vintage embroidery patterns are available here:
I was interested in a new BOM offered by JacquelineSteves.com because I have been doing a lot of embroidering from vintage patterns lately and her BOM has a nice 6-1/2 center block to fill with embroidery or applique. Jacqueline supplies a simple embroidery/applique design but I wanted to use a series of darling bluebird-in-the-kitchen patterns that I found online.
This is the first of the Sew Sweet Simplicty BOM series which finishes at 12-1/2 inches unfinished.
I made this block from scraps using suggested colors except I substituted blue for red to accent the little birds.
This is a fairly easy pattern to sew with a couple of helpful tips from Jacqueline. We can make a four or six-block wall hanging and I haven’t decided yet how I’ll use my blocks, but they will all be scrappy with a bluebird in the center.
The free vintage embroidery pattern (plus many, many more arranged in albums) is available at
Click on pictures to enlarge.
I’ve made a few pieces that incorporate my TV-time embroidery panels. I made another set of cushions for my vintage folding chair. The nice thing about a folding chair is that it can also go outside very easily. I just happened to have a blue granite ware coffee pot and skillet to accompany the cushions.
One of the designs I used for embroidery on a table mat is an adaptation of a decorative painting pattern by Helan Barrick. I used to love to paint her Amish boys and girls. I adapted this one for fall.
I used another vintage embroidery pattern to stitch a scarecrow with a crow on his shoulder. I outlined the pattern in black embroidery floss and then used crayons to color the design. After using the crayons, I placed a piece of white paper on top of the panel and pressed with a hot iron to set the colors.
I made a quilt for my table mini-quilt rack with a 1930s-40s era pattern of a scarecrow and chubby birds. I especially like the way the trees are worked in this piece.
Now, it’s time to think about some small projects for the Halloween season.
Click on photos to enlarge.
Whenever my two daughters and I get together, they always pull out some kind of handwork to do – knitting, crocheting, embroidery, tatting. Since I’ve always done my piecing and quilting by machine, I rarely have something to work on. I decided to try some very simple embroidery using vintage 1930s-40s style patterns. They are easy enough for my limited skills and I like the patterns which remind me of the embroidery all of the women in my family were doing in that era. My daughter and I have a large collection of vintage patterns and I’ve been able to add patterns from some good online sites.
I embroider the panel (usually 8-½ x 8-½ inches) and then use scraps to make up something useful. I don’t want to gather a drawer full of embroidered squares, so unless it’s a seasonal pattern, I make it up quickly. Another goal of mine this year has been to eliminate bags of small scraps – smaller than 4×4 inches – and I’ve managed to do that. The only fabric I’ve bought up to this point is some good off-white fabric for embroidery and to use to assemble the scrap blocks. Here are some of the items I’ve finished this summer:
A cushion set for my vintage folding chair ….
A small wall hanging of an old kitchen stove …
A pillow with a design I adapted from an old postcard …
A wall hanging with a crow and sunflower center. I hand quilted around this design and machine quilted the remainder of the hanging.
A table pad with a Mexican theme …
I still have a stack of completed embroidered panels to use.
Here are some links to free vintage embroidery patterns:
Click on photos to enlarge.
I’m still working on my goals for this year of using up all of the small scraps I have. I found a lot of fussy-cut scraps from some material I bought 5 years ago to make this apron which won a blue ribbon at our county fair.
I used a few more pieces in small projects but still had a lot of scraps that I couldn’t bear to throw away. I used them along with some green/yellow scraps to make this wall hanging.
I pieced the squares on-point and for the corners found a vintage pillow cover fabric among my scraps to use as corners.
I still had some odd-shaped pieces of fabric left and put those together with scraps to make a cover for a large cushion.
I’m down to one large bag of scraps to work with now – brown, tan, and orange shades. I might make my goal of emptying all of the bags by the end of the year.
My blogger friend at knitNkwilt posted about an interesting paper-pieced block called Indian Summer. There’s a free downloadable pattern on Craftsy.com. I like paper piecing for small projects and the 12-inch block plus a 2-inch border makes a piece that is perfect for my mini-rack….
….for two separate spots in my kitchen…..
…and for what we used to call a “stand cover” or table mat….
I was able to reduce my bags of black, white and red scraps a bit and have two pieces that will get a lot of use.
I joined Deanna at Wedding Dress Blue to make two Super Star cushions. I had some leftover jellyroll strips of Civil War reproduction fabric and thought this pattern would be a good one to convert to a small size to fit my table topper rack. I cut the strips into 2-½ inch blocks for half-squares and then trimmed them down to 2 inches to use with some 2-inch white squares, following Deanna’s instructions. The center block measured 6-½ inches unfinished.
I had seen a pattern somewhere that used a Lemoyne star center surrounded by portions of the star to form a frame.
I used 2-inch half-square triangles and squares to do this. It took awhile but I finally got these portions all in the right position.
I put the top and bottom portions on first…
…then added the side sections. This made an unfinished 12-½ inch piece. I used a few strips to make a top border which made it exactly the right size for my table topper. I quilted in the ditch and used some decorative stitching in the background blocks.
It would have been difficult to do a traditional Lemoyne Star in such a small size. This easy pattern gives me similar results.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
My youngest daughter likes to have a quilted wall hanging in her family room and hinted broadly that she’d like one with some spring colors. She didn’t have any other ideas and said something with her kids would be OK. I’ve already made several hangings featuring her kids, so I thought this time it would be nice to feature the pets she has owned since she was married. I scanned the pictures and then printed them on June Tailor Sew-In Colorfast Fabric Sheets for Ink Jet Printers.
I added borders to the pictures to make 6 inch blocks.
The alternate blocks were simple Diamond in a Square to showcase some beautiful 5 inch florals I had along with some pale green gingham.
For the backing, I used some pink fabric that had been a dress for her daughter a few years ago. The quilting is simple straight line and stitch-in-the-ditch. I also made a sleeve (the drapery hooks were used just to take pictures). The wall hanging measures 30×30 inches. The label includes pictures of the animals.
The beagle Bailey in the center was her first dog who passed away a few years ago. The rest of the group is still running amuck in her house – the black dog Frank was adopted after he was found abandoned in the neighborhood; Jimmi the Blue Tick Coon Hound came from a local rescue (Recycled Doggies); the cats showed up at her front door on two successive Halloween nights – their names are appropriately Milky Way and Snickers.
My daughter likes having the rest of her “family” featured on a wall hanging.