I’m Back!!!

Happy Spring!
Happy Spring!

Happy Spring everyone!  It’s been quite a winter, but now it is warming up and I am getting excited about my spring projects.  I have a lot to accomplish over the next few months, so stay tuned!

Minicraft Rabbit
Minicraft Rabbit

This is a little rabbit I made from a Minicraft Kit I found at the thrift store.  Definitely one of the best dollars I’ve spent.  It was super easy to put together and the pattern is quite cute.  I plan to make another one with fleece and embroidered eyes – a perfect gift for my friend’s new baby!

Keep it Thimble!

 

Fall Projects

I still owe you a report on my trip to Alaska and the quilt shops, and you will get that before the end of the year.  However, I have been busy working on some fall projects and should have lots to show and tell in the next month or so.

Fall Fabric Covered Box

Here’s a cute fabric covered box that I made from a class I took at Liberty Rose.  Sharon thought of this idea and taught it as a class.  This is one of my favorite projects because it only takes a 2 or so hours to complete from start to finish.  When done, it looks like something store-bought!

Project Storage Idea – Sara Lee Bakery Case

I found this Sara Lee Bakery Display at the local antique store.  It’s the perfect place to store all my works in progress.  As you can see, I have quite a few projects going on right now.  Most of these are 75% complete and will be done in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!

Keep it thimble!

Happy Belated Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there and an extra special hug and kiss to my dear mom!  I meant to get this posted yesterday, but time just gets away.  I also noticed it’s been two weeks since my last post – shame on me!

Mother’s Day Card from my son

Here is what I had waiting for me when I woke up on Sunday morning.  On the other side of the card my son had drawn the entire lifecycle of a butterfly from the egg – too cute!

Dearest Dolls, Ken Davies, 1954

I’ve found some great picture at the thrift stores recently.  The first one is a print from 1954 by Ken Davies called “Dearest Dolls”.  From a bit of research, it seems as if this was a print commissioned by Family Circle magazine.  This is painted in what is known as trompe-l’œil–painting something so realistic as to make it appear like it is actually a three dimensional object.  All of his subjects involve some form of Americana and after looking at his website, I wish I could have a whole houseful of his paintings!

Cross Stitch, Pam Jersey, 1975

Here is another treasure I found, stitched by Pam Jersey in 1975.  Her name is signed on the back of the frame.  I’d like to get this cleaned, blocked, and re-framed and am tempted to find some vintage floss and stitch her name and date on the front.  What do you think – is that cheating?  This is going in my downstairs bathroom.

Cross Stitch Sampler, maker unknown

Finally, here is an old-fashioned cross-stitched sampler, no idea of the date or who made it.  I figure it must be at least from the 60’s or 70’s…any ideas?  This is a good reminder that you must always sign and date your work.  You have no idea who might find it years later and really appreciate it.

Keep it thimble!

April Flea Market Finds

Here’s the current stash reduction report (through today):

  • Used the last month: 3 yards
  • Used Year to Date: 8 yards
  • Added in the last Month: 25 yards
  • Added Year to Date: 57  yards
  • Net Used for 2012: 49 yards

The reason there was such a huge leap in what I added this month (I have to justify this) is because there was a big sale on Civil War fabrics and I purchased a bunch of half yards to use in my quilts.  I also have to take 1 yard of Civil War fabric to my monthly sewing circle and I will need at least 20 more yards for the duration of the club (so I am all set for the next two years!).

I haven’t been as productive in the sewing room as I would like.  I’ve done a lot of traveling and the spring weather makes it difficult to stay inside.

Antique Spool Chest - Front

Of course, I always have time to go to the thrift store and flea market and have soem great finds to share with you this month!  The best find this month is this antique spool chest.  Make of oak (I think) with 4 drawers.  It is small enough to set on a table.

Antique Spool Chest
Antique Spool Chest

I have a  huge antique postcard collection – it’s a hobby I had when I was younger, so do keep an eye out for good postcard bargains.  Most of the good cards are at least $5 these days (I remember paying 50 cents for the same cards 30+ years ago), so I don’t usually get them.  However, I find a treasure trove of some Thanksgiving and Valentine cards (some of the harder holidays to find) and got the whole lot for $2!

Antique Postcards

This is a great old tool carrier –  probably from the 40’s.  I may put some plants in it, or wash it off a bit and arrange some mini quilts on it.

Antique Tool Carrier

This is a sweet little handmade basket.  It is signed by the maker and was made in 1980 – so it is over 30 years old so it qualifies as vintage!

Handmade Basket

Here is a real find – some vintage Hawaiian fabric from the 1950’s.  There is enough here for me to make making shirts for my husband/son and a sundress for me.  Family picture time!

Vintage Hawaiian Fabric

There were some good book finds this month.  I usually find one or two sewing/quilting books each month (note, I will never have time to read them all), and they are always fun to look through for ideas and inspiration.  This month there were a ton of books at one of the stores – someone must have been doing some major spring cleaning!

Stack of Quilt Books

Finally, the treasure of the month is this special seashell toilet seat!  My son saw this and had to have it – he is obsessed with sea creatures.  What he doesn’t know is that I am re-doing his bathroom this summer with a Hawaiian theme.  This will be a perfect match!

Seashell Toilet Seat

Hope you are having a great spring.  Keep it Thimble!

March Flea Market Finds

Here’s a smile for you – my son holding up this love bug mask and saying “Hello Spring”!  How can you resist?

Hello Spring!
Hello Spring!

I had some good luck with flea market finds this month and found some great knick knacks.  I’m not sure what this first item is; it is some type of souvenir tray from Florida.  I think this might be for carrying drinks?  If anyone knows, please tell me!

Souvenir Tin
Souvenir Tin

This is a handmade Raggedy Ann doll.  Her face is hand embroidered and she is stuffed with fabric scraps (very old-fashioned).  I figure she was probably made in the 60’s or 70’s based on the fabric used for her dress.  I plan to make a new dress for her from my plethora of civil war fabric.  She looks perfect sitting on the school desk I found a few months ago.

Handmade Raggedy Ann Doll
Handmade Raggedy Ann Doll

Here is a wooden bread box.  It needs a bit of cleaning (there are crumbs in it), and I may end up painting/distressing this.  It would make a perfect sewing box – especially since you can see your project through the window.

Bread Box
Bread Box

When I saw this piece with the handcarved star and the little drawers, I had to have it! According to the signature on the back, this was made in 1986, which makes it 26 years old – so it just qualifies as being vintage!

Handmade Drawers
Handmade Drawers

Lastly, here is a very clever tote bag.  This is made from a paper-pieced quilt block that shows a girl jumping rope.  Do you see how her rope is actually the handles of the bag?  Also, I love her braids!

Jump Rope Quilt Block
Jump Rope Quilt BLock

Good luck with your flea market finds!  If you find something fun, let us now by posting in the comments.

Keep it Thimble!

Tutorial – Cute Cupcake Pincushion

Happy Birthday to me!  Yes, today is my birthday – one of my favorite days of the year (besides Halloween and Fourth of July) and I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a Cupcake Pincushion.

Figure 6 - Finished Cupcake
Birthday Cupcake Pincushion

Awhile back during one of my thrift store runs, I bought a bunch of plastic ramekins with the idea of making something with them.  Inspiration struck me when I was trying to come up a fun gift for a sewing friend and this cute little cupcake pincushion was born.  In honor of my birthday, I put together this tutorial for you.

Supplies Needed:

  • 3 oz plastic fluted ramekin
  • Poly-fil stuffing
  • 6″ Sq. Fabric
  • Size 5 Perle Cotton
  • Red Button
  • Ribbon
  • Saucer (for template)
  • Glue (I used Allene’s Quick Dry glue)
  • Long needle
  • 3/16″ glue dots

1. Trace around the saucer on the square of fabric. The circle should be roughly 5 1/2″ in diameter.

2. Thread an embroidery needle with a 36″ piece of perle cotton. Make a running stitch around the outside of the circle with about a 1/4″ seam allowance. (Figure 1)

Figure 1 - Running Stitch
Figure 1 - Running Stitch

3. Gather the circle and stuff tightly with Poly-fil. Gather tightly and tie off, but leave about 28″ of thread for the long tail – do not cut. (Figure 2)

Figure 2 - Stuff
Figure 2 - Stuff

4. Poke the needle through the top center of the pincushion and come out at the bottom center. Wrap perle cotton around edge of pincushion and come down through the top center again. Pull on thread to make tight (cushion will dimple on the side). Wrap cotton on the opposite side and come down through top center again and pull tight. Proceed in this manner until you have done this a total of 8 times. The cushion will now be segmented into 8 parts. (Figure 3)

Figure 3 - Segment Cushion
Figure 3 - Segment Cushion

5. Bring thread up through center one more time so that it is coming out through the top center. Take red button and place in top center of pincushion. Thread the perle cotton through button holes and then down through bottom to secure button. Repeat 2 – 3 times. (Figure 4)

Figure 4 - Sew button
Figure 4 - Sew button

6. Apply glue to inside of ramekin. (Figure 5). Place cushion inside ramekin and let dry for a few hours.

Figure 5 - Glue in ramekin
Figure 5 - Glue in ramekin

7. Cut 18″ of ribbon. Use glue dots to secure ribbon to outside of ramekin (place glue dots about every inch around top). Tie into a bow. Put a dot of glue to secure bow. Add some pins. Enjoy! (Figure 6).

Figure 6 - Finished Cupcake
Figure 6 - Finished Cupcake

Have a great day and eat some real cake.

Keep it thimble!