Valentine Runner or Banner

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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.

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The boy and girl in the top row of these squares are from a Valentine my mother received from her teacher in 1923.

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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.

A Valentine’s Day Surprise


My oldest daughter who lives with me enjoys having a surprise gift display which I’ll see as I go into the kitchen for breakfast.  This was on the table this morning as my Valentine gift.  I hoped to have better pictures with blue skies and sunshine outside, but by the time I got the camera, the skies had darkened and two to four inches more snow are expected within the next hour or two.

The trivet has her hand-embroidered piece of Dan Patch (an old  famous trotting horse) which she designed and the stitching is tiny, tiny.  The entire piece is only 3-1/2 inches square.


She included a custard cup for my growing collection of Harker Hot Oven vintage items.  It’s filled with some of my favorite chocolates.


Everything is setting on a vintage dresser scarf which my daughter embroidered and then added a crocheted edging.


Everything just goes together to make the most charming Valentine.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

A Doll’s Valentine Party


When I went to the kitchen for breakfast on this Valentine’s Day morning, I found my little doll table all set for a party.   There was a decorated cardboard box for collecting cards, an assortment of 1940s era Valentines, a luscious looking cake and a box of Valentine chocolates – all miniatures made and assembled by my daughter.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

To My Valentine Cookies – a 1940s Recipe

One of my Christmas gifts this year was a small 4-½ x 6 inch leather bound book engraved “Cooking Recipes”, purchased at an antique mall in Sugar Creek, Ohio.  The pages are edged in gold and there are 10 index tabs for food categories.  

The real gold in this book, though, is the collection of handwritten recipes.  There aren’t a lot of recipes – just 25, 22 of which are desserts.  The book itself could have been from the 1930s, but I believe the recipes are from the 1945-1950 era.  This is based on a lot of recipes calling for shortening, for using the word “oleo” rather than margarine in most recipes and the attention given to oven temperatures.  I believe it’s post-World War II because of all of the sugar-laden desserts.  

The handwriting is clear and ingredients are listed correctly, although most of the recipes give no idea of how the item is to be prepared, what kind of pan to use or how long to bake.  That’s why I’ve decided to make each of the recipes, using the products specified, and adding my own instructions.  I like to think that the woman from the 1940s kitchen (who would have been about my mother’s age) would enjoy having someone fuss around with these recipes again and turn out some delicious food for the family.

This is a big, thick, old-fashioned oatmeal cookie.  It’s not fancy – just sweet and good.  With the lack of directions, I wasn’t sure until I had the dough mixed whether they would be drop cookies or rolled cookies.  I was glad the dough turned out to be very easy-to-roll so I could use my vintage heart cookie cutters.


  • Servings: 2-3 doz. depending on size of cutter and thickness of dough
  • Print

  • 2-½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup oats (quick cooking)
  • ¾ cup margarine
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Lightly grease cookie sheets

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and oats.

In a large mixer bowl, cream the margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla.

Add the whisked dry ingredients gradually to the creamed mixture and beat until blended.

Roll dough on lightly floured surface to ¼ inch thickness.

Cut out with 2-inch to 3-inch cookie cutters.

Place on greased cookie sheets, two inches apart.

Bake @ 375 degrees F for approximately 10 minutes until cookies are golden brown.

Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on size. 

I also liked them with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar before baking.

These cookies are also good rolled 1/8 thick and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and baked until crisp (8-10 minutes).

I like to think about this mother in the 1940s, having these cookies waiting for her kids when they came home from school with their penny Valentines.

Valentine’s Day in my February Kitchen

With the dreary weather we often get in February in southwestern Ohio, I’m happy to put up the cheery Valentine decorations that I’ve accumulated through the years.  The little red and white enamelware plate was from a set I had as a child over 70 years ago.

Most of the items were handmade by members of the family:  decorative painting on wooden pieces….

….some are quilted, appliquéd, crocheted.

Two pieces call to mind Valentine’s Day in the 1940s and my grade school parties.

The story of our Valentine’s Day celebrations at old Raschig School in the 1940s and a Valentine wall hanging are here

Cute Valentine Bookmarks

Karen at Sew Many Ways has a a great tutorial for a heart bookmark that is perfect for Valentine’s Day.

These literally take minutes to cut and sew.  The only change I made was to trim the seams and do some decorative top-stitching.  I made these to enclose with my Valentines to the family this year.

Red fabric is good for Valentine’s Day but I couldn’t resist making one in an animal print for a daughter who loves it.

The back has a little pocket which slips over the bottom corner of a book page to keep your place.

To accompany the bookmark and to help explain how to use it, I looked through my collection of vintage cards for something with a book and came up with this one.

I scanned it and added the caption, “A Valentine Bookmark just for you”.   The bookmark was slipped onto the bottom edge…

….and I wrote a personal message on the back of the card.

I think this will be a nice surprise as I continue the tradition of sending Valentines to special people.
This Valentine was sent to my mother by her first grade teacher in 1923

Scottie Valentine Silhouettes

Scotties are perfect for silhouettes and Scottie silhouettes are perfect for Valentine’s Day decorations.

I made this wall hanging with a vintage Christmas card as my inspiration.  I drew the various pieces on Steam-A-Seam Double Stick Lite Fusible Web, then fused them to the bits of fabric.  I cut out the various pieces of the design and arranged them on an applique mat before fusing them to the background fabric.  They were stitched in place with invisible thread and a narrow zigzag stitch.  I added some strips and borders to complete the piece and did some very simple quilting.

A few years ago, I made this wall hanging for the kitchen.

The background of the heart is a pretty scene from a calendar that was scanned and then printed on June Tailor Sew In Colorfast Fabric.  The Scottie also was inspired by a greeting card and was fused onto the piece and stitched with invisible thread.  The block is STATE FAIR from Judy Martin’s Stars and Sets software.

Last year, I made a hanging using a pineapple block with a center showing a silhouette of a 1930s era woman and her Scottie.

This was scanned from a vintage reverse painting on glass.

Scottie silhouettes are also good on greeting cards.  My daughter made these two cards for me on past Valentine’s Days.

I love Scotties, I love silhouettes and I love Valentine’s Day!

Dolphin Bakes Valentine Cookies


Granddaughter Dolphin (4-1/2) came for her weekly visit and she made some beautiful Valentine cookies.  While I started the mixer for our old standby recipe for butter crisps, she waded through my big copper breadbox of vintage cookie cutters.  She came up with three heart-shaped cutters and was soon rolling out dough and cutting cookies.


I helped her get the cookies onto a baking sheet and she was able to paint with an egg wash and decorate without any help from me this time.  She was very discreet with the colored sugar and didn’t have mounds of the stuff on the cookies as she and her brother have done in the past.


She brought four buddies along with her – a stuffed cat named Ruby and 3 giraffes, all named Buford after the famous Civil War general and bought in Gettysburg.



The cookies were beautiful little Valentines when they were finished and Dolphin was very proud.  She ate just one and took the rest home to her parents and big brother.


Valentine’s Day in the 1940s


In the 1930s-40s, I lived in downtown Cincinnati and attended old Raschig School on Central Parkway.  In those days, Valentine’s Day was a major holiday in school.  A week ahead of time, the teacher brought in a big cardboard box which we decorated with cutout hearts and bits of paper lace doilies.  A slot was cut in the top and we were encouraged to bring a Valentine for each person in class and put it in the box, waiting for the big day.  The Valentines were “penny Valentines” and probably cost less than a penny apiece in those depression-World War II days.

Then on February 14, it was time to get the Valentines out of the box and distributed to the class.  A boy was chosen to be mailman (never a girl!), outfitted with a paper hat and mailbag.

In 1993, I wanted to make a Valentine for family members and did a sketch of the scene, incorporating my memories of two boys in my class.  Rollo was the only black boy in the class, always well dressed in knickers and argyle socks.  Otto was from the poorest part of the school district and seemed always to be a little grungy with a sole-flapping shoe.  I was a proper little girl with waist length finger curls and a dress made by my mother.  In 1993, I didn’t have a color printer and printed the cards in black and white, then hand watercolored each one.


Imagine my surprise when about 10 years later, my oldest daughtergave me a Valentine gift of my sketch in redwork.  I had just started quilting at that time and put together a wall hanging with the redwork as the centerpiece.



The dress on the card was actually a black and white check which my mother later made into a doll dress.  I took a picture of the fabric and printed it in a nine-patch to use as two of the blocks…..


I also printed fabric blocks with vintage pictures of myself and old Raschig School to add to the history.  I wish I had pictures of Rollo and Otto, but they didn’t take class pictures at our school in those days.


When I see my grandchildren laboriously writing their names on their little Valentines to take to school and pre-school, I remember musty old Raschig and all the fun of Valentine’s Day.