Sunday, November 16, 2014

A little throwback

In the 80s, I did a lot of hand embroidery. I was at a friend's house the other night and saw this on her wall:

I so remember doing these stitches. I copied the oriole out of a book and drew the flowers and logs. She is from Maryland, so an oriole seemed right. The background is a little discolored, but the floss colors have held up beautifully.

This is one I made for my sister. Her partner's name started with M and my sister's name starts with W. Not sure where I came up with the color scheme!

I don't have a lot of pictures of my embroidery. I spent hours with my boxes of floss and just the right needle. For some reason, I just wanted to share these today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Recycling an ugly skirt part 1 (is it really this close to Christmas?)

First, let me remind you that there is a strip quilted Christmas stocking tutorial on ScrapStitching. You can find it here: Christmas stocking how-to. I hand drew the pattern, but you can trace the edges of one you already have. The question always comes up about whether it should be hung with the toe to the right or left. I don't know the official answer! If you do, holler.

Last year, I went to an ugly Christmas sweater party. I won! I had a sweater vest that looked like someone had thrown up a bunch of undigested Christmas.

What you can't see are the green tights and red shoes. Hah! I don't mess around. The skirt was made with strips of candy cane fabric, hemmed with snowflakes, and had some green/white/red piping at the bottom edge. (That's Susan sitting behind me; she had an ugly sweater on too.)

I knew I wasn't going to wear the skirt again, so came up with recycling idea number 1. I have part 2 planned, but you can't see that yet.

Fast forward to now. A friend purchased her first house and there's a housewarming on Sunday. I will so be there. I really didn't know what would be a good gift. Should I make something that matches her house? Then I remembered my skirt. How about a Christmas pillow? She wouldn't feel obligated to display it all year long and it would be unexpected and fun. So that's what I went with.

I used the stripes as is for one side:
Believe it or not, I used a hat box as a template for the circle. I like to look around and see what I have when I'm looking for circles, rectangles, and squares.

For the other side, I cut 2" strips of the striped fabric and placed it on a circle of muslin using a log cabin design (you can hardly tell it's a log cabin!):
It came out nice and random looking and that's sort of what I was aiming for.

Next came a trip to my Christmas trims box. I kept the red theme and grabbed some red lacy ruffle and added that to the edge.

I think it's kind of cute! And guess what? I don't have that ugly skirt anymore :)