Category Archives: Vintage

Wool Duck Ornament by Jen

My friend Jen just sent me photos of this adorable duck ornament she made for her child’s teacher.

Wool Duck Ornament by Jen

Wool Duck Ornament by Jen

I asked Jen to tell me about her process:

“Sure!  I made it from this pattern http://noseynest.blogspot.com/2008/06/lucky-ducky-freebie.html but I turned it inside out to hide the seams.  I like the look of hidden seams better, but it made his head so small!  Wasn’t thinking about that when I changed it though.  It’s just on regular wool felt, and before sewing it together I used embroidery thread to stitch on the decorative stitches.

Detail of Wing on Wool Duck Ornament

Detail of Wing on Wool Duck Ornament

I used a straight stitch for the downy body, fly stitches for the feathers on the wings, buttonhole stiches to outline the wings and  french knots, outline stich and backstitch for the beak.  Oh and fly stitch, laisy daisy and outline and french knot for the heart patch.

Detail on Wool Duck Ornament

Detail on Wool Duck Ornament

Then I turned it inside out, stitched it, and stuffed it.  It turned out a little wonky, to be honest, but I like the stitching effect and the cute little heart with holly berries. ”

Thanks for sharing, Jen! Keep it Thimble!

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Here Comes Santa Claus!

I had a class with Liberty Rose yesterday and we made this Santa Claus pillow.   The face is embroidered with one strand of floss and a silver floss was used to get the twinkles in his eye.  When the face and other parts were stitched down, a bit of stuffing was added to make him “pop” off the background.  I added the “ho, ho, ho” on the side since he wasn’t quite centered by himself.

Ho ho ho! Santa Claus Pillow

What Christmas projects are you trying to finish up before the holidays?

Keep it thimble!

Christmas Decorations – Elf Hat and Shoes

This is a cute little project of an Elf Hat and Shoes.  The shoe pattern is from Country Whims and the Hat pattern is courtesy of a class with Liberty Rose.  They turned out pretty cute and look great in the hallway, almost like the Elf stopped for a visit and took off his shoes and hat off at the front door.

Elf Hat and Shoes

Elf Hat and Shoes

Keep it Thimble!

Tis the Season – Frosty the Snowman

Now that it’s finally December, I can start posting Christmas things!  I had a crazy idea about posting something everyday in December as a sort of holiday countdown, but the reality of doing that is a different story.

Frosty the Snowman Makedo

Frosty the Snowman Makedos

Last year I planned to make a bunch of these cute little Frosty make-dos; they were all cut out, the heads were sewn, the candlesticks were prepped, but I just didn’t manage to finish them.  This year I completed 12 of them and they are being sold at a local shop.  I think they turned out pretty cute!

My favorite part is the carrot nose that sticks out.  Some of the carrots turned out a bit crooked, which give the face a lot of character.  I made one snow woman because a customer requested both a man and woman.  She has on ear muffs and a different face.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of her before she went to her new home!

Keep it thimble!

Double Whammy – Iron Maiden and Sewing Expo

As usual, it’s been busy at Keep It Thimble this week! But this week had not one, but two special events that I have been anticipating for a long time.

The first one was the kick-off concert for the Iron Maiden U.S. Tour in Charlotte, NC.  My husband is a HUGE fan and I got him tickets to this for his birthday.  We left Thursday afternoon and arrived in Charlotte just in time to see the Opening Act – none other than Alice Cooper.  Fittingly, he ended his set with the classic song “School’s Out for the Summer.”

Iron Maiden – Charlotte, NC

Iron Maiden took the stage at 9pm sharp and rocked out for 2 solid hours without a break.  For a bunch of dudes in their mid-fifties, it’s amazing how much energy they have.  This tour was a retrospective of their music, so they played a lot of fan favorites.  The stage show featured  amazing pyrotechnics, a 10 foot tall Eddie, a phantom organist, a feast of other visual sights and sounds, and of course Bruce Dickson dancing and running all over the stage.  Definitely worth the price of admission.

Sewing Expo – Raleigh Convention Center

We got home very late that night, but I was able to catch a few hours sleep before my next exciting event – the Sewing Expo at the Raleigh convention center!  I have been waiting for years for the Sewing Expo to come to Raleigh and so I was thrilled when I found out it was going to be here in June.

Sharon (aka Liberty Rose) at Primitive Gatherings Booth

Sharon (aka Liberty Rose) at Primitive Gatherings Booth

The expo featured several local vendors and some from places as far away as Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas.  My favorite booth, hands down, was Lisa Bonegan’s “Primitive Gatherings” – packed to the brim with wool applique projects, wool, and patterns.  And can you see who is in the picture I took at the booth – Ms. Sharon Stewart herself (aka, Liberty Rose).  I caught her in the act of making a “few” purchases.

House Blocks @ Sewing Expo

The expo also featured a ton of quilting, sewing, and applique classes.  Sadly, I didn’t have time to take any classes, but I plan to do so the next time it is in town.   They also had a quilt show feature Quilts of Valor and several quilts from various McCall’s contest.  My favorite display was the “There’s No Place Like Home” one which featured about 100 different blocks shaped like a houses.  I thought this was a cute idea I might try for some type of online quilting activity.  What do you think?

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!

January Flea Market Finds!

Back by popular demand – Flea Market Finds!  At the end of each month I will post some of my better “finds.”  Some months I do really well, other months I don’t have much luck!

This is a cute little house box I found at the local thrift store.  It is handpainted and the colors work great with the vintage red,white, and blue color scheme I have in my sewing room.  The roof lifts off and you can store treasures  inside.

Little House Box

Next up is an antique school desk.  This one is in exceptionally good condition – only one piece of gum stuck to the bottom!  This particular model (Model 101) was manufactured by the American Seating Co. in the early 1900’s.   There is an fascinating history of theater, school, and bus seating on the American Seating Co. website.   The frame is made of steel and the seat flips up for easy storage.  This may go in the entranceway – the perfect place to sit while you put on or take off shoes.

Antique Schoolhouse Desk

There is a store in downtown Apex called The Rusty Bucket owned by Pam and Mack Thorpe.  They carry all types of antique and primitive items and I go there all the time to see what “new” things they have.  I was lucky enough to be in town last week when they hosted “The Gathering”, a huge sale that featured all the wonderful antiques that Pam and Mack found when they went “pickin'” in some old barns.

Barnwood Cupboard

The biggest thing I bought was a wooden cupboard made out of old barnwood.  I needed something like this for the house to add some height to my living room.  I’m not sure how old this is, but it definitely has some authentic distressing and works great with the other primitive things in the house.  This thing is very heavy and so once I find a place for it – it won’t move!

Vintage Flag Trunk

The last thing is my most favorite find (sorry Barbara, you can’t have it!).  It’s a vintage trunk with an American Flag carved into the top.  There are 50 stars on the flag, so I assume it was made in the 1960’s.  It is made of a nice heavy dark wood, and there is a tray inside that lifts out.  Not sure where this is going yet, but I am sure my decorator (Liberty Rose)  can help me figure it out!

In other news, I have a few sewing things I am working. I will also be posting a tutorial next week for a fun Valentine’s project.

Keep it Thimble!

Thrift Store Finds!

It’s time for another edition of Thrift Store Finds.   For awhile there, I was getting disappointed because there didn’t seem to be much out there for a few weeks.  One weekend I visited all my usual thrift stores and a few garage sales and I couldn’t find one thing!  However, that all changed last weekend – I hit the jackpot!

Vintage Fabrics

The first stop was a local thrift store that’s open only on weekends.   For about $10, I walked out with several pieces of vintage fabric, some vintage hand embroidered table linens, a spice rack, and two super cute vintage aprons!

Embroidered Bluebird Table Topper

Embroidered Springtime Table Topper

These embroidered toppers need some TLC, but after I wash and starch them, they should look pretty good.

Vintage Black Checkered Apron

Grandma's Red Checkered Apron

I was especially pleased with the red apron.  When I was little, my grandma’s main form of discipline when she was watching my brother and me was to say, “Don’t do that, or I will have to put on my red-checkered apron.”  To this day, I have no idea what would happen if she actually put it on – but in my mind I envisioned her chasing me around the house with a rolling pin and swatting my bottom with it.  Needless to say, my brother and I were always concerned when she said this and usually stopped whatever we were doing and snapped to attention.  Of course, when I was little, I never actually saw this apron (although I certainly tried to find it).  I remember asking my grandma one time where she kept it and she said it was hidden in the kitchen.    Well, guess what?  I found it!

Hand-pieced Quilt Top

One other treasure I also was excited about was a hand-pieced quilt top.  The piecing is almost complete, it just needs a few more diamonds added to the outside border.  I plan to finish this and use it on my kitchen table. You can’t see it very well in the picture, but the fabrics are vintage and quite lovely.  Luckily, the fabric scraps were also included, so I can finish it up with the original fabric.

Spice Rack

The next stop was a local yard sale.  The owners were cleaning out the attic of all their children’s toys.  They had tons of vintage board games and toys from the 60’s and 70’s for dirt cheap!  She even had an Easy Bake oven (with box!) – which I thought would look cute displayed in my kitchen.

Easy Bake Oven

The last deal of the day was this Kenmore Sewing machine.  It’s about 10 years old, but hardly ever used.   You can always use another basic sewing machine.  Also, I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing offering sewing lessons and this would be great for teaching beginners.

Kenmore Sewing Machine

Keep it thimble!