Fall Embroidery and Quilting Projects


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.

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Boy-scarecrow (2)

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.

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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.

Vintage Creamers and Fall Flowers

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I have a large collection of vintage creamers and sugar bowls which I use for flower arrangements.  I had just gotten some of my autumn-looking pieces out of storage when my daughter came home with a $6 bouquet from the grocery store and made the old china even more beautiful.

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Autumn Mini-Quilt Table Topper

When my daughter and I went to the International Quilt Show here in Cincinnati last spring, I chose an embroidery piece for my daughter to do for me – Autumn – Cherish it!  My sentiments exactly.  She did her usual beautiful embroidery on it with little scenes of birdhouses, pumpkins, flowers, apples, a church, a harvest moon, etc., and I assembled it this past week to make a mini-quilt table topper.

I tried three different approaches  and settled on this one with the green gingham which did not overpower the embroidery.  I used decorative stitching for the quilting and added some vintage and decorative buttons.

It shows everything I love about autumn.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Autumn Chicken and Beans

My youngest daughter e-mailed this recipe to me back in November of 2003 – a dish that was just right for the brisk weather of November.  It’s a quick and easy dish to make if you have cooked chicken breast on hand.  The one-cup servings are perfect for those watching the fat and calories before and after Thanksgiving.  A two-cup serving would be a hearty autumn meal.


  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced tart apple
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked, cubed chicken breast
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 15.5 oz. can of cannellini beans*
  • 1 Tbsp. raisins
  • Salt/Pepper

*Navy, Great Northern, pinto or kidney beans can be substituted

In a large skillet, saute onion, pepper, apple and garlic in oil until apple cubes are fork tender.

Add the chicken, cumin, and cinnamon.  Stir in beans and raisins.  Heat to boiling, then lower heat and simmer 5 to 8 minutes until mixture is slightly thickened.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve at once.

4 one-cup servings or 2 generous servings.

A Happy Scrap Gift Bag

Influenced by my youngest daughter, our family made a pledge several years ago to go green by having all of our gift bags be of reusable fabric.  It takes a lot of bags, especially at Christmas time, but at least three branches of the family have been able to stick to the pledge.  The bags are either returned to the giver or are kept for the next occasion.

I wanted to make a different sized bag to hold the Halloween gifts I had gotten for my daughter and wanted to use as much as possible of my huge scrap collection and anything else that could be recycled.

I found two old dinner napkins (16×16 inches) which were very worn around the edges.

I pulled out a big bag of scraps of various sizes in fall colors – orange, rust, yellow, dark red, maroon, green.  I wanted to use an old piecing technique that uses a lot of small scraps and started out with a small piece in the center of one of the napkins (scrap piece right-side-up on wrong side of the napkin).   Then, I put another small scrap on top of the first piece, forming an angle.

I stitched a 1/4 inch seam, trimmed and pressed the piece open….

…then sewed a piece across the bottom of the first two pieces, log-cabin-style.

I continued around the sides of the block, trimming and pressing each time after stitching.   I continued to sew strips until the napkin was filled.  I put the strips at different angles to get a wonky look.

I turned the piece over, trimmed the excess fabric around the edges and squared-up the piece.  I also trimmed off the worn hemmed edges of the napkin.

Using the completed piece as a pattern, I placed it on top of the second napkin and cut the napkin the same size to form the back of the bag.  A piece of recycled cord was sewn to the right-side of the back piece.

The front and back were stitched with a 1/2 inch seam along the sides and back.  Then I stitched a facing to the top portion of the bag, turned it to the inside and hand-stitched in place.

The bag was turned and pressed….

…and was ready for filling with something good – and for recycling many, many times.