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Conversational Threads

Old hankies recycled into pillows

rodezzy2 | Posted in General Discussion on

Those are really pretty.  I love red and white for  Christmas. 


  1. Josefly | | #1

    Very, very pretty. I like the way you've put them together. Thanks for the photo.

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    JunkQueen | | #2

    Really nice. You are very talented. Thanks for the picture.

  3. MaryinColorado | | #3

    Your pillows are just lovely and so festive for the holidays.  Thanks for sharing your creativity!  Mary

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    ThreadKoe | | #4

    OOOH!  Very Pretty!  I love them!  Thank you for posting the pics.  What a wonderful creative use for pretty hankys that otherwise would just sit in a drawer.  Cathy

  5. Gloriasews | | #5

    Those pillows are really pretty!  What a great idea for hankies!  How many do you cut up for each pillow?  Thanks so much for posting the pic.


  6. Ceeayche | | #6

    VERY nice!  I've got several hankies -- none are Christmas themed... but I'm thinking I'll take some cues from your wonderful pillows and maybe making up one for my guestroom and one for my sister.

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      rodezzy2 | | #7

      Great idea, make some for gifts this holiday season.

    2. sewornate | | #8

      Most of the pillows I made with hankies were not Christmas themed either.  Here are a couple I have in my bedroom.  I think the success of these pillows is determined by carefully choosing the colors.  When I have the top finished, I take it to the store and lay it out on several different fabrics until one says to me--this is it.

      If you have vintage, or vintage looking buttons, they are great on these pillows.  You do not have to have two alike for the pillow.  No one sees both sides at once anyway.

      The second picture is of pillows made from linens. My mother and I were offered some of my great grandmother's linens when a great aunt died. We went to see them. They told us what we didn't take would go in the bon fire that was burning in back of this farm home. All the good pieces were already taken,of course. These linens had holes in them, torn lace edges etc. I took them, saved them from the fire, and cut out the good portions of them and preserved family heirlooms. I use these as dresser pillows. The fabrics were pretty worn and I fused them with a very light weight fusible knit interfacing to stabilize the fabrics. One dresser scarf that was in pieces had some crocheted lace on the ends that was in pretty good shape. The design on the lace reminded me of poinsettias and so I made some Christmas stockings and topped them with a lace cuff. Very nice! There are lots of things you can do with old linens.

      1. Ceeayche | | #9

        You have sparked my creative juices flowing! thank you for sharing!

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        rodezzy2 | | #10

        Wow, you are a great preservationist with those pillows from heirlooms.  Great job.  Very pretty.

      3. sewelegant | | #11

        Your pillows are so "ornate" and also so elegant.  I have numerous hand embroidered handkerchiefs I have salvaged from thrift stores as well as antique shops and I keep thinking I will do something... so I really appreciate your ingenuity to just Get It Done! and enjoy the results!  You are an inspiration.

        Edited 11/29/2008 12:47 pm by sewelegant

      4. Josefly | | #12

        Great ideas for reusing linens. And more lovely pillows. One of your pillows, the one with the basket and daisies and the blue ribbon and bow, is very familiar to me. My mother embroidered pillowcases using a very similar pattern, and also crocheted a blue edging for the cases, when I was a child in the 1940's. Her hands were always busy!

        1. sewornate | | #13

          This particular one was on the end of a dresser scarf.  There was one on each end.  The other end I made into a gift so I don't have it.  The scarf had a lace edge, but the lace was in bad condition.

          1. Josefly | | #14

            That sounds just right. I remember as a kid seeing pre-stamped-for-embroidery pillow cases and dresser scarves, for sale.

          2. sewornate | | #15

            I think they are still available through mail order sources.  My great grandmother died in 1942, I think.  So these had to be done before that. 

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        Jacque9104 | | #16

        How did you cut the hankies for the pillow cover?  Or maybe I should ask how many hankies did it take for each pillow.  The design is wonderful.

        1. sewornate | | #17

          The least you can get by with is probably four hankies.  They are cut depending on the design, but often fold the hanky in fourths, then cut across the center diagonally.  There is a center piece that you don't use.  Sometimes I use those for fillers or use them crazypatch fashion in another pillow.  Sometimes I cut the hanky in quarters--these you need to use at a corner and use other triangular pieces for the filler between those.

          Cut a base fabric 15-1/2 inches square.  A good choice is a tone on tone white print or plain white fabric.  Hankies are thin so the show through factor needs to be considered.  Four to eight or even more hankies are used.  Cut the folded hanky to best utilize the design.  Choose colors that are complimentary and do not use too many colors in each pillow.  (This is a matter of your taste--that is my taste.) 

          Lay out the hanky points starting at the outside edge and work in to the center.  One of the pieces cut off the hankies might be used for the center.  When you are pleased with the design, pin the pieces in place for the entire pillow top.  I like to use short applique pins for this.  They are easier when you do the hand applique.  I hand applique with a blind stitch around the hanky points worling in to the center.  I use a thread that matches the hanky edge.  This is the easiest applique because of the hankies' finished edges need no turning. 

          The back on the flange pillows I design using scallops, or plain and have done these various ways.  The ones that work the best, I make double with a layer of pellon fleece between.  You can draw on your edge design and sew it clear around with the pellon, then slit the fabric where it will be hidden inside the pillow to turn the piece, then slipstitch or fuse the slit you cut.  This will be inside the pillow and no one but you will know it is there.

          If you have lots of hankies, you can use the triangles to make a ruffle around the edge.  This might be a good way to use some you cut and decide you don't want in a particular pillow.  One I am picturing here, I used lace edge hankies to make these pointy ruffles.  The other picture features a plain flange with double cording.

          I prefer to use a button in the center and a doll-making needle and buttonhole twist make this process easier. 



          1. Josefly | | #18

            Every pillow you show us is prettier than the last! I love the way you layer the handkerchiefs. And the ruffles made with otherwise-unused corners are a good idea that I've not seen before.

          2. sewornate | | #19

            I haven't seen these things done anywhere else either.  They are born of me seeing something laying around and trying to find a new use for it.  I used to go to auctions sometimes with my auction-buff husband and I didn't see chenille bedspreads--I saw material for a new bathrobe.  Having had a drapery business, I had sample books that were discontinued.  They became crazy patch pillows, tablecloths, runners etc.  These are very high quality fabrics and I couldn't stand to throw them out. 

            My grandmother used to make stuff out of other items too.  She made footstools out of large size juice tin cans.  I have one she made me 40 some years ago and it is still very usable.  I have re-covered it a couple times but the base stool is still the one she made.  I have made those too, and covered them with some of my crazy patch sample book fabrics. I was recyling before it was the in-thing to do. 

            My mother was not into sewing, but she did encourage me a lot.  My mother didn't really like to sew until she discovered patchwork comforters which she made by the hundreds right up until she died.

              When I was in high school, my home ec teacher came to our house and chastised my mother for helping me (or doing) my home sewing projects.  My mother just laughed.  She told her I came home and taught her how to do the things I learned at school.  Mom said what she learned about sewing she learned from me.  I understand this very well now.  My kids have taught me everything I know about using a computer!  That teacher had a new respect for me and had me help teach crochet to other kids in my class. 

            Speaking of home ec, I feel bad for the girls today that were sewing enthusiasts like me and don't have the encouragement and instruction of home economics.

            I would be willing to bet several of the ladies on this web site could tell similar stories about their early years of sewing. 

          3. Josefly | | #20

            Yes, you're so right - home economics courses probably introduced a lot of kids to things they never would've otherwise been exposed to. I remember the sewing part of my home ec classes, though - I had already learned to sew before I took the class required in 7th and again in 9th grade. It was an exercise in frustration for me... having to share a machine with 4 other girls, having to wait for the teacher to approve every step - and it was nearly impossible to finish a project in the allowed time. We weren't allowed to take our work home, either.Still the classes were valuable to me. In particular I remember that the cooking classes enabled me to teach my mother some things she didn't know, as you did with your mom in sewing.I do enjoy reading your posts, and seeing your beautiful work.

          4. Josefly | | #23

            Thinking more about home economics classes reminded me of a cold autumn day when our teacher took us over to the agricultural-education class being held outside that day when the boys were learning how to slaughter a hog. It was an amazing thing to watch. It gave me a great appreciation for the knowledge and skills and hard work required of farming. Boys had the choice of ag-ed or wood-shop or machine-shop.

          5. MaryinColorado | | #22

            Thank you for sharing this story, I really enjoyed it, you're very inspirational!

      6. MaryinColorado | | #21

        So lovely!  Thanks for sharing!  I have several ideas now for some family heirlooms and will be asking my mother to leave me her hankie collection.

        1. sewornate | | #24

          Mary, here are some more ideas.  I have my Christmas stuff out now so I can show you the stockings I made out of some leftover fabric and my great-grandmother's lace that was on a torn runner.  I was looking for a fabric to make a tree skirt with a traditional look.  I fould this table cloth on sale.  After all, that is fabric and a lot cheaper than yard goods would be and wide too.  I cut it square and added a fringe to it.  The leftover pieces I made the stockings with the lace at the top.

          I also have my Christmas angels out.  I may have had one of them on before, I don't remember.  The white angel with real feather wings features an old lace hankie and lace edgings on the skirt layers.  The one with the red ribbon, I made with heirloom stitchery on a computerized sewing machine.  The wire edge ribbons on these two I made on the serger.

          The angel on the china cupboard is the first one I made and I used a purchased ribbon.  I zigzagged strips of lace together to make the fabric for the  skirt.  I collected old laces from antique stores.   I did have a pattern as a guideline that was in Sew Beautiful Magazine.  Thanks Mary for all the encouragement you give the sewers on this web site.

          1. KharminJ | | #25

            Those are all beautiful! Thank you for sharing ~ it encourages us to "pull out all the stops" too! Kharmin

          2. Ceeayche | | #26

            Bravo!  each one is more exquisite than the last!

          3. MaryinColorado | | #27

            Oh, the stocking is so lovely and so are your precious angels!  Thanks for sharing your beautiful creations! 

            I have a collection of Sew Beautiful Magazines from several years ago.  I learned so many techniques from the magazine and the Sewing With Martha tv show.  You did a beautiful job on the angels, thanks for the inspiration!  Mary

            Edited 12/8/2008 6:40 pm by MaryinColorado

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            ThreadKoe | | #28

            Sewornate, these are absolutely stunning!  Such treasures, and future heirlooms made from heirlooms to boot!  Thank you for showing us these lovingly made creations.  Cathy

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            rodezzy2 | | #29

            Very sweet and pretty.  I love your angels.  So Victorian, you think?  You tree is very sweet and beautiful in front of that beautiful window.  I love the window treatment.

          6. sewornate | | #30

            I was a custom drapery seamstress before I retired.  My personal preference is simple and basic.  I had plain sheers at the windows.  My customers didn't think I knew how to make anything except pinch pleated drapes and sheers.  I did that for business purposes.  We live in a small house.  I could not have layers coming into the room. 

            Here is a picture of the table with it's regular table topper.  I got the idea for the fabric roses from a Threads  magazine.  Threads was putting them on garments, I believe, but I decided to try them on the table cloth.  Then in the dining room we had an oak chest and I made a cushion to match the drapery treatment for that. 

            I never had to explain to customers again what I was cabable of doing.  I made quite a few swags after I did that treatment.          

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            rodezzy2 | | #31

            I love the bold color of your rooms also.  It's so wonderful.

          8. sewornate | | #32

            I took some flack from friends for choosing a dark green for the walls.  We have hard wood floors and very pretty woodwork. Dark colors make the wood tones pop.  We have had it this way for quite a few years now and I still like it.  Our walls need repainted, and I would be inclined to keep them the same color.

            If you have a tendency to be claustrophobic you would not like a small space as we have in a dark color.  I consider it cozy,though. 

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            rodezzy2 | | #35

            I love it.

          10. Josefly | | #33

            You make such good use of your handkerchiefs and laces. Your stocking and angels are adorable.

          11. sewornate | | #34

            Before I retired I had a business contract with a counted cross stitch store.  Their customers liked to do the cross stitch, but not the finishing, and I would do the finishing.  I made a lot of Christmas stockings, pillows, lids on baskets and basket liners, Santas and Johnny Appleseed freestanding forms that I filled with sand and polyfill,  Christmas tree ornaments, etc.  This job was actually a fun thing for me.  I needed to come up with ideas for finishing these really nice needlework pieces. 

            When I saw the lace on my great-grandmother's badly torn dresser scarf, I thought the design looked like a poinsettia and I had an assortment of patterns in various sizes of stockings, so I combined the two.  I actually have two stockings like that.  I pictured one so I could show the detail.

            Doing those pillows for that store helped my hone my skills.  The pillows had to be done sort of like framing a picture.  I actually used framed pictures for inspiration as to mattings etc.  Translating that to pillows meant using different sizes of covered cording to resemble contrasting mats on pictures. 

            What kind of needlework do you like to do?  You probably have told this before on here but I only intermittantly  tune in to this depending on my time and other projects I am involved with.

          12. Josefly | | #36

            Ohhh, you've asked the dreaded question - what kind of needlework do I like to do? I blush when I think of how unproductive I am, compared to so many on this forum. I just dabble in a lot of things, without doing enough to become expert in anything - a generalist, I suppose. I've done cross-stitch, hand embroidery, applique, a little crochet. Mostly I sew clothes for myself and my daughter, and home dec stuff - curtains and draperies, Roman shades, pillows, duvets, bedskirts, etc., but nothing as clever or complex as the things you do. In the last few months I've made a couple of tote bags and a handbag, as well as a Hawaiian shirt for DH and sarong for me, and then I finally experimented with knits - making neckline changes on some rtw tops I didn't like the fit/style of. Right now I'm working on aprons as gifts, and have some placemats and napkins cut out and ready to stitch. I'm having fun piecing some squares for use on the bibs of the aprons. I've had a good time going into my stash of small remnants, making the aprons entirely from things I already have on hand. The placemats and napkins are finally cut from a Christmas cotton I've had for three Christmases now! Hmm, I've actually accomplished more than I thought I had in the last months. But I am especially interested in ways of manipulating fabric for embellishment - tucking, pleating, ruching, in unusual ways - and the kind of stitching-embellishment that I can do on my simple old zig-zag machine. And combining fabrics. And using and re-using vintage fabrics and trims. Your fabric combinations and handkerchief-ruffles are stand-outs in my collection of ideas, and I've got a couple of drawers full of old table linens from my mother-in-law, some stained, some torn, and possibilities are roiling around in my brain. :>)

          13. sewornate | | #37

            I don't know why you dreaded getting that question.  You do  a lot.  I have been also trying to use up my collection of stuff and not buy new until I do.  That is why I have been doing all the recycle stuff.

            My daughter is entertaining a woman from Malaysia for her company.  The lady wanted to go shopping in the USA.  (She also saw snow for the first time in her life and was so excited and had pictures taken of her in snow to take home.)  Anyway, on the shopping trip she wanted to find things made in the USA to take home.  Are you laughing yet?  My daughter said she knew she was in trouble when she heard that one.  So they were shopping for clothing and looking for the made in...labels.

            The lady found stuff made in Maylasia.  She said it was a lot better quality than what is on sale in her country.  My daughter decided to have me make her one of my jeans purses and I was to make sure there was a label in it saying made in the USA.  I had 30 of those in my shop and I found three where the jeans I used actually said made in the USA.  ( I have others that I think were made here but the label wasn't in the part I was using.) I picked one and finished it with a red kerchief I purchased in a farm supply store.  It said "made in USA" -- printed on the edge of the kerchief.  I also made a label noting the purse was made in USA and sewed it inside.  I had "made in USA" programmed into the embroidery section of my machine and all I have to do is sew it out.  It is something I like to do these days when not much is made here, though I had not been doing it on these purses.  That is because I was trying to keep the cost down so I could sell them cheap.  We have lost a lot of jobs in our area and this is a year for bargain hunting.

            I haven't been sewing as much as I used to.  These jeans purses and hanky pillows is about it other than repairing stuff.  I also restyle ready made.  Even the sweatshirts and tee shirts.  I change a neckline or remove the ribbing from the bottom on those occasionally.

            I have two machines I am using.  One is a 1950's Singer 401 A--love that machine, and the other is a Viking Husquarvana with electronic stuff.  I also have a couple sergers, one I don't use at all.  I just keep it for a backup if I have problems with the other one.   You mentioned doing fabric manipulation.  I have the book on Fabrique and fool around with that some.  I was more inclined to use heirloom stitchery techniques, though, as I did on one of the angels I made.  Nowadays, my sewing kicks come and go and come again.  That is what happens when you retire, I guess.  I have done several of the things you mentioned (placemats, napkins etc.) but not lately.  And as you noted reusing vintage fabrics, I love that also.



          14. Josefly | | #38

            That's a great story about the Malaysian visitor. One of your jeans purses with the added bandana sounds like the perfect thing for her. I drew a blank at what to look for that's made in the USA. About the only things I can think of are the things that are handmade by artisans - pottery, metalwork, quilts, maybe some outsider art. Well, maybe some foods are uniquely American - bourbon, cornbread, pecans and peanut butter? I wonder - are Malaysian-made items labeled as such if they aren't exported? Are all things made here marked Made in USA? Garments, I suspect are, but what else?I'm working on another apron today. I've enlarged a motif from the printed fabric I'm using, and I'm trying to create an applique to use on the bib. I don't know - maybe I've bitten off more than I can chew. The fabric has a black background, and I can hardly see when I sew on black, so I've put it away now until morning light. As you say, the sewing kicks come and go, and inspiration refuses sometimes to strike, but I've got lots of ideas now. I just hope I can carry this one out. I've still got the placemats and napkins to sew, and not a Christmas decoration in sight.

          15. sewornate | | #39

            The reason the Malaysian visitor is here is, my daughter is training her so the stuff the company she works for will meet U.S. standards.  It is medical supplies (rubber tubing for machines that are used in hospitals) and other medical things so quality is very important.  My daughter tried to get her company to purchase this stuff from US companies, but the labor costs here are something they can't deal with I guess.  She says they can buy twice as much made there and throw half of it out and still make out on it.

            The Malaysian lady is Muslim.  She is married and has five kids.  She is very bright.  She has a very liberal husband who is prowd of her success.  Her company was another matter.  They did not believe in promoting women.  My daughter's boss told them they had to promote her.   They needed the market here, so they did. 

            I suspect some companies avoid labeling things as being foreign made by emphasizing their address which is a USA address on a label.  I think we have laws that say they have to have the country of origin clearly labeled.  Most things you can find the tag if you look for it.  Sometimes that tag is in the inside seam. We do still make some clothes here but they are few and far between.  In fact, if I find something, especially clothing, that says made in USA, I am surprised.  When I put a label in my stuff it is for fun. 

            Are you making the old fashioned kind of apron with a bib that has straps that go over the shoulders and down the back?  I remember my mother and grandmother wearing those and see they seem to be making a comeback.

            Here is my mantel with some of my angels on it!  I have hand crafted angels, Lenox angels, two I made, plus miscellaneous angels given to me by friends and family.  Also my hanky pillows.  I had some of them for sale, but since they didn't sell, I set them out.  That is dangerous.  I may decide to keep them!



          16. Josefly | | #40

            Your mantel looks very pretty with those beautiful angels. I also like the greenery swag you have over the fireplace. The hymnal angel is another thing I've never seen before - the pages of the hymnal are folded, it appears, in the same way that Sears catalog pages were folded to make door-stops, back when I was a teenager, and doors were left open to catch whatever breeze might happen by. But the pages of music look so nice folded that way, and the angel is whimsical. Nice.The aprons I've finished both had an strap that went from the top left of the bib around the neck to the right side of the bib, where I used two D-rings to make the strap adjustable. Ties were attached to the sides at the waist, to double around the back and tie in front. Two had a rectangular bib sewn to a separate "skirt" with a band; the other was all one piece, but with the same strap and ties. The latter was shaped something like the ones pictured here: http://otsukaya.co.jp/TeduBigF064.htmThe first two looked something like this one, but without the ruffle, and the skirt was less gathered:http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=2309.msg15734Somewhere I think I have a pattern for an apron that has straps that come around the sides of the apron, then cross in the back and button on the shoulder. Is that the kind of apron you're thinking of? I can't seem to find an online picture of it, and I've misplaced the pattern, I guess.

          17. sewornate | | #41

            9248.44 in reply to 9248.43 

            My sister made my mother one.  She actually found a commercial pattern for it. The ones I am thinking of remind you more of a pinafore.  The tie does not come around to the front.  It ties in the back.  I found some pictures -- don't know if you can see these well or not.  They are pretty simple really.

          18. Josefly | | #42

            Thank you for those great photos. I love seeing them. Great Aunt Gertie has a marvelous washing machine, from what I can see.Yes, pinafore is the word. Slides on over the head, then tightens around the waist with a sash? I can't tell from the photos if the full back is covered, or if it's open in the back. But that's a good apron for coverage - doesn't leave so much exposed to splatters!

          19. sewornate | | #43

            There was  a strip across the upper back and their were ties on the sides that wrap to the back.  I think my sister has one or two of my mother's.  I'll be over at her house in another week or so, and if I can remember, I'll ask to see it and maybe I can draw you a picture. 

            There is a lady in my town who collects aprons.  She has a couple hundred of them and she showed them at the fair one year in a style show.  My husband is always buying me stuff at auctions and he came home with a box of linens or hankies, I don't remember which, and in the bottom was some aprons.  I gave them to the apron collector.  In the fifties, half aprons were very popular and I made some then with gingham check and cross stitch embroidery designs on the gingham.  I also made cobbler aprons.  That was the one I liked the best because of all the pockets.  When you cleaned house, you could load up the pockets when you were in one room and when you got tothe room where the stuff belonged, you could unload them.

            Here is a picture of my Mom with one of her aprons.  I think she has rickrack around the neck of hers.

          20. sewornate | | #44

            The reason I had that picture of great aunt Gertie on the computer was the washing machine.  I friend doing geneaolgy was asking how they did laundry back then and I sent her the picture to show the washing machine, which my grandmother had, and so did my mother.  I had an automatic washing machine before my mother did.

            Edited 12/13/2008 1:32 pm ET by sewornate

          21. Josefly | | #45

            My grandmother and my mother also had washing machines like that. I remember though when Mama got her first "automatic spin-dry" machine inside the house. The others had been outside, in a garage or on a porch. But heavens, I remember as a small child visiting my grandmother in the country in the 1940's, and seeing her wash clothes out in the yard with a washboard and a big iron pot over an open fire. Housework was such heavy physical labor back then. I wonder sometimes if I would've survived it.Thanks for the photo of your mom. I finished an applique for the apron I'm working on now, but still am not sure of the shape this apron will take. I've been scouring the internet for photos, and am overwhelmed - that's what usually happens to me, too many possibilities. :>) But I'll probably just use the simple bib style I did before - a rectangular bib sewn at the waist to another slightly gathered rectangle skirt on a waistband with ties. I just took a couple of photos of the applique and the fabric I'm using, and will try to post them later.

          22. sewornate | | #46

            The reason they wore aprons was to cut down on the laundry.  They wore a dress several days before throwing it in the wash.  When I was growing up, Mom had a washer like the one in the one picture, plus a rinse tub.  She hung the clothes out on the clothes line. The line had to be washed off before hanging the clothes.   When I got older that was my job, washing the line off and hanging the clothes.  Ironing became my job too.  Clothes in those days were not easy to iron.  Fabrics were not stay-press.  We dampened the clothes, put them in a dampening bag and later ironed them.  There was also a sprinkling bottle if things got too dry to iron before you got done.  In the last house we lived in we had a nice basement and Mom strung up clothesline down there for rainy days.  When I got married, we rented an upstairs apartment and I took the money we got for gifts and bought an automatic washer and dryer. 

            I like the apron you made with a bib and gathers.  I made some like that for a Homemakers Club -- the ladies wore them to the fair so they could be spotted as workers.  They were having them made out of denim and had a picture cut from print material and appliqued on a pocket.  It has been awhile since I did that, so I don't remember exactly how it was done.  All I did was copy the ones they already had.



          23. sewornate | | #62

            Josefly, I was at my sister's house today and I asked her about the aprons she made for my mother.  She said she bought a pattern for a 1940's apron from http://www.thecalicocat.com and I took pictures of the apron and pattern and will send them on to you here.

          24. MaryinColorado | | #47

            I finally read this thread and am really enjoying it.  Thank you so much for sharing your stories and photos of so many of your lovely creations.  You are a very artistic person with such attention to every little detail. 

            Your home is beautiful and "feels" so warm and inviting.  I've always wanted to do that window treatment, now maybe I will give it a try.  It looks especially nice with the coordinating tablecloth and pillows, the roses really add that decorator flair.  The fireplace and mantel are beautiful, as are all those angels!  Have you ever counted them all?   That's quite a collection! 

            The stockings and hankie pillows are so sweet and creative.

            Thank You for all the inspiration!  Oh, and I recall helping my grandmother with the wash and hanging on the line.  My mother also had one of those washers when I was little I was so frightened of it because she would always say if I got too close, my ponytail would be "eaten by the wringer"! 

            I remember ironing the same way as you, with the sprinkling bottle and a heavy old iron.  It was my job to iron my father's "work clothes" and put his pants on those metal wire pants forms, very akward. 

            My mother has a collection of antique irons, some from my grandmother that were heated on the stove, I can imagine how frustrated that would be today.  We are very spoiled by all of our conveniences, it's good to be reminded, as Josefly said, of the hard manual labor required to run a household "back in the day".  Mary

          25. sewornate | | #48

            I have 36 angels on the mantel top, 3 more in the shelves beneath plus 2 cherubs on the wreath hanging on the fireplace which I take off after Christmas. (The wreath or swag or whatever you call that is there the year around.) There is 1 on the china cupboard, 3 glass angels in the china cupboard, 2 on the buffet and about 30 hanging angel ornaments on the tree.  There are 6 small white angels on a whatnot shelf, and a 2 straw angels in the kitchen.  I have a grape vine tree in the kitchen my niece made for me and there are about 10 stuffed angels (country look) on that tree.  A lot of these angels are hand-crafted, not by me.  There are 2 more in a collection of Marathon gas co. ornaments that I put on a window sill in the dining room.  We paired back a couple years ago to a small tree.  I gave my children some ornaments, donated some and the ones I couldn't part with are spread around the house. 

            I made the three I have on the web site and I crocheted three that are on the tree.  Many of these angels have special meaning.  One was a gift from my father, one from my sister is like the one my parents had on a tree ever since I was born.  The original got too fragile to put out.  My sister found one like it at a flea market that was in better condition.  That is the one that started it all!  I donated three to our Senior Center this year a a couple last year.  When I run out of space that is what happens.  There are close to 100 all told.  I may have missed some.  My husband is taking me to an Art Center show Saturday, and I usually end up with one from there.  I have fabric angels, one made of crushed pecan shells, 2 wax angels, one corn husk angel, my son bought me  several Lenox angels--it goes on and on.  My daughter just gave me an origami style angel in a hand crafted card.  Some light up, some have a place for a candle etc. etc.

          26. MaryinColorado | | #49

            Wow!  That's the largest angel collection I've known of.  They are so pretty too, I've never seen one of crushed pecan shells.  (I have a mouse covered with a blanket in a walnut shell for "The Night before Christmas" ornament).  I collect angels too and have a few from my childhood and events througout my life.  I'll have to count them.  That one from your dad must mean so much, as well as the ones from other loved ones.   

            My guardian angel was with me today!  I was going about 65mph on the highway when I saw a triple layer metal ladder across my middle lane and partly in the other two lanes!  Thank God no one was injured that I saw!  I'm still shaking.  I called someone to report it to the highway patrol.  I hope they moved it before anyone was injured or wrecked their vehicle.  Whew!  Mary

          27. Josefly | | #50

            Ooh, Mary, that was close. So glad you weren't hurt. That reminds me of a day a few months ago when I had to dodge a refrigerator that had fallen off a trailer three lanes over and in front of me, on the interstate. The refrigerator started sliding across the road, came across the lane next to me where a huge tractor-trailer truck was, and settled right on the edge of the lane. It was scary because for a second or so the fridge wasn't visible, so I couldn't tell whether it was continuing into my lane, and I had nowhere to go - cars on both sides. Miraculously, no one hit or was hit by the thing. The guy towing the refrigerator-laden trailer never slowed down.

          28. MaryinColorado | | #52

            I just can't imagine what their mothers would think and do!  Some people have no "accountability for their actions!"  It drives me nuts!  I don't know if the person knew they lost the ladder or not but no one pulled over. 

            I'm so glad that your guardian angel was on duty too!!! 

          29. sewornate | | #51

            The angel made of crushed pecan shells does not look like it was made of anything crushed.  it was mixed with something and molded in a mold.  I had three glass angels sitting on the floor I forgot about.  That probably puts me at at least 100. The postcard angel has old buttons and jewelry and a 1911 Christmas post card.  The cornhusk angel is made from corn husks.  The hair is made of corn silk (one of my favorites.)  The Mikasa (glass) angels are very heavy, so I put them on the floor so they won't get knocked off and broken. The silver angel is a music box and plays "Silent Night".  The angels with the cornhusk angel are Fenton-one hand painted.

            My son has gotten me 8 Lenox angels over the years.  I think they stopped making them, so he couldn't get them anymore.  Most of my relatives have given me an angel at one time or another.

            I was working at the Senior Center here today, and a lady came in asked if I had anymore angels to donate to the center.  She bought the ones I donated before.  I said no.  I don't have any more I can part with.  A nearby town has an art center and that is where I got some of them.  This is a juried art center, so they are really nice.  I have one you might be interested in from there.  A sewing angel.  My hubby buys me these.  He informed me he is taking me there Saturday.  If they have anything left, I may end up with another!

          30. MaryinColorado | | #53

            They are all incredible!  I couldn't begin to pick a favorite!  I do love the cornsilk hair and will have to try that as soon as I can get some good clean cornsilk.  I doubt that I could do as nice a job with it as I have never worked with it yet.

            What is the sewing angel's body made of? 

            Thank you so much for sharing the photos, I'm really enjoying them!  I hope Santa brings me a camera.  We just gave my grand daughter a nice one for her birthday so that I've asked for one just like it. 


          31. sewornate | | #54

            The sewing angel is made from some kind of metal. It is too heavy to be tin, so don't know what it is.  Hanging from her arms are scissors, button, needle, ruler, safety pins, spools of thread, sewing machine--these are all miniture charms.  It is signed Karen Rossi-for Silvestry, and unfortunately it says handmade in China for Silvestry.  The angel skirt is painted like patchwork.  I guess even art centers with juried stuff still sells stuff made in China!

            My son bought me a digital camera last year and my daughter bought me a very nice Lexmark printer.  I love it all.

            I have a tin sewing machine ornament and a wood sewing machine ornament too.

          32. MaryinColorado | | #55

            I googled Karen Rossi for Sylvestri and they no longer have anything available.  Then I google searched Karen Rossi and she has items or kits that you can buy.  So your seamstress angel might be made from a kit that had the metal stamped, the kits are $30.00.  I couldn't find anything like yours so it is also possible that only parts were used and it is still an original one of a kind by an artist.  Interesting possibilities anyway.  I think yours is darling, regardless of her origin, she sure looks like she's one of a kind.  Mary

          33. sewornate | | #56

            I googled Karen Rossi studios.  I found the angel.  Click on SHOP -- type in the search engine--QUILTER--it comes up.

            If you want to see all of them  click FEMALES--quilter is on page 8.  They have many others plus they have men's categories too.

            They have it listed for $50.00.  I never paid $50 for a tree ornament in my life and I am sure I didn't pay that much for it.  But then, I have had this at least a couple years.  

          34. Ceeayche | | #57

            your sewing angel made me smile.

          35. Josefly | | #58

            I can see why you would have a hard time parting with those angels. The cornhusk one is darling. The sewing angel is clever. I thought of you today when I was at a garden shop, and they had a beautiful glittery metalic Christmas angel with her white wings trailing behind her. It would be so tempting to collect them (angels) since there are so many beautiful ones around, but I showed great restraint. :>)

          36. sewornate | | #59

            They have to be pretty spectacular for me to buy one now.  My husband bought one for me this year though.  It was a ceramic with very clean simple lines.

            Here is my grapevine tree where I have put the stuffed cloth angels.  The two near the top in white was made by a woman who has made numerous tiny figures in fabric.  She makes a lot of Amish dolls that are all this size, about 4 inches tall.  I have had these quite a few years, so I don't know if she still makes these or not.  I bought those, but most on this tree were gifts from my nieces.

            If you collect something, you make gift shopping for someone very easy.

            The cornhusk angel you mentioned is made out of rolled corn husks.  It is amazing to see even the bottom of this one.  I imagine they had to roll these before they were dried and then let them dry.  Maybe they soak them like basket weavers do, I don't know.  I like to see handiccrafts from people, maybe because having done stuff my whole life, I appreciate their efforts.  There are some things I wouldn't do, and these little stuffed angels is one of them.

          37. Josefly | | #60

            Yes, sewing does give you an appreciation of the work others do, I agree. These little angels are very sweet, and I can see how much fun it would be to combine different fabrics, yarns for hair, buttons and trims, to give each one it's own style and personality.

          38. sewornate | | #64

            Josefly, I received this email about aprons and thought you might find it interesting.

            The History of APRONS I don't think our kids know what an apron is.The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it  served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty  ears.From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out  the hulls.In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old  apron could dust in a matter of seconds.When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.Send this to those who would know, and love, the story about Grandma's aprons. Or it can be a good history lesson for those that have no idea how the apron played a part in our lives.

          39. Josefly | | #65

            How thoughtful of you to photograph the apron for me. I love that design, and I couldn't have guessed how the back was done from the patterns I've been working with. Thank you so much. I'm going to try to copy one when the holidays are over - I've really enjoyed making the aprons, each one a little different from the others, and figuring out how I wanted to decorate each one. So I think I will go ahead and make a few others, maybe hold on to them for future gifts, and make one for myself, also.I wish I'd had that wonderful description of the apron before I put the aprons in the mail. Wouldn't that have made a nice gift enclosure? Thank you for that. My mother didn't wear aprons so much, but I remember that my grandmother always had one on, unless she was going into town or to church, of course. And I'm sure that every use of the apron described in that article was also used by her. I'll save that for my future gifts.One of my aprons was shredded by the owner's dogs before she even got to see it. She couldn't even tell what it had been! Grrrr. I spent at least 2 days on each of those aprons - not something I just dashed off.

          40. sewornate | | #66

            Darn those dogs!  I just recieved that email about the aprons.  I really enjoyed it. 

            My grandmother was not in to binding edges on her aprons like many of these I have seen.  I don't know how she finished them.  I think they were hemmed, but I don't know how she did the neck edges.  I will have to look at the pictures of her in the aprons and see if I can figure it out.  I would think they had to be bound or faced. 

            You are right about the story of the apron being a good enclosure to use.  My mother made baby quilts and lap throws and when she died I wrote a memorial that I gave with some that went to family members.  I got a tremendous response to that written piece and I think this one would be a nice enclosure too.

          41. Josefly | | #67

            My husband's parents gave us (me) a sewing machine as a wedding gift. It was the greatest gift, and now, 43 years later, I'm still using that machine. One of the first things I did was make some aprons for my mil, and I bound the edges with bias tape, using my new binding foot and decorative stitches. She seemed very grateful and pleased, and the next time I saw her she showed me some aprons my husband's aunt had made for her. The aunt's aprons were trimmed in rick-rack, but I was shocked to see that the edges weren't finished at all, just left raw under the rick-rack, not even folded back. I had always been taught to finish the edges, and was feeling rather superior and smug, but kept my mouth shut. Do you know, about a month ago when I was at my mil's house, those rick-rack trimmed aprons were still in use, hanging on a hook in the pantry, well used. Those unfinished edges held up all these years - yes, there are a few threads dangling from the edges, but not many! - just imagine how many times those aprons have been washed and dried in all that time. The rick-rack trim was in great shape, and apparently protected the edges from fraying. (The aprons I had made with finished edges were nowhere in sight - I don't know what happened to them, or remember seeing them in the intervening years. I wonder if they fell apart!?! I bet my decorative binding just pulled away from the edges, hahaha.)

            Edited 12/23/2008 11:38 pm ET by Josefly

          42. sewornate | | #68

            That is a great story!

          43. User avater
            rodezzy2 | | #61

            Your angels are beautiful and such a joy to look at.  Thanks for sharing.

          44. sewornate | | #63

            Here is another one I made using lace hankies such as those used for weddings.  This angel resides at my sister's house.  I have made a couple more that were gifts to friends, but I don't have pictures of them.  I think I should always take a pciture of them before I give them away.

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