Finishing projects

A while ago, I made some posh pillowcases, using this tutorial Posh Pillowcases   Easy basic sewing, which produces a very fun pillowcase. And the tutorial then proceeds to show you how to add a crocheted edge – also very nice and easy crochet.

This summer, I finally dug them out of my WIP bin, and added the crochet edge to all 8 of them. Now, I am no longer storing them in the wire project bins in my sewing room, but can actually put them in rotation on my bed. And there is something yummy about using them on my bed. I just adore laying my head down for a rest on my own handmade with love pillowcases.

Here is a photo of some of them – I used different edgings than the ones in the tutorial, just for fun. And I am showing the front and back of the pillowcases here so you can see the combinations of fabrics that were used for the inner pocket and outer case. I love that pocket feature because the pillows no longer fall out of their cases.

Crochet trims… So many to patterns to choose from, so little time.#finishingwips #crochet #handmade #summer2016

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So. Much. Fun. to mark these off my to-do list and enjoy them.

Out with the old, and in with the older….

Well, where did December go?

My grandmother lives far away in another state, as do my parents. And all are very fragile at the moment. So the man about the place had to go on a spur of the moment trip to my grandmother’s cottage and move out some of her things because it is looking more and more likely that she will need more full time care. At 93, she is showing signs of needing someone else to help organize her affairs, so he will be returning at the end of next week – this time by airplane at the end of a previously scheduled business trip and not towing a Uhaul behind him. I will remain here giving final exams and making sure my boys get to their basketball games and such.

So I had to organize much of the holidays on my own while the trip was being made. Family was hosted, food was cooked, presents bought and given and made….some things went by the wayside due to shortage of time – but noone noticed I don’t think, so I call that successful.

And then there was the task of sorting through the stuff that made the cross country trip.


What do you keep? What do you discard? How do you make these decisions with pieces of family history?For me, it came down to whether or not I could use it.

Some things have serious sentimental attachment, and it is okay to keep a certain amount of those things if there is room to store it. I had room for Sunday Go to Meeting gloves – women still wore them when I was small, and I even had them at Easter early on. So I kept the gloves.

P1190182And then there were the bedspreads My great grandfather’s sister was named Vera. And she crocheted until she died – I have often heard it said that everyone knew the minute she couldn’t crochet anymore, she would die, and apparently that is what she did. She and her husband had a turkey farm, where my mother was terrorized by being surrounded by a flock of turkeys when she was about 3. In any case, Aunty Vera had crocheted a bedspread for my grandmother as a wedding gift in 1938. And now, I will care for it. That much time and effort and love put into anything deserves to be preserved.


At some point Vera gave my grandmother a second bedspread – so I now have 2 beautiful works of art.


This second one has dozens of tiny baubles on it. When I was born, Vera and her husband Henry sent my mother a tiny ID bracelet for me – has my name on it – and maybe I even met them as an infant. But other than that knowledge  and some ancient photos, I can only imagine their life on a turkey/poultry farm in the 30s and 40s and 50s. Family history.


There are tons of photos, and ancient letters. I am keeping those that I know something about. Many are photos other family members sent to my great grandmother – new baby photos, and Christmas photos – that then became my grandmothers when great grandma died. So now I am sending them on, back to those families – time to pass them on to their children who are mostly now grown and starting their own families.

P1190162And then there are the projects. My grandmother was a crafty, artistic person. There are dozens and dozens of patterns and oodles of art supplies and fabrics. I have had to be ruthless about this stuff. Most of it is so dated, and not my style. So we have sent it on to people we hope can use it, or given it to GoodWill. But there were a few things I kept. I found a set of placemats and napkins someone was embroidering.

P1190191Do not know how old these are… I assume my grandmother was the one to hem the linen and embroider them all.. and everyone single one of them was completed, except 1.

P1190166One last placemat needed the three strands of gold thread couched on it. A 15 minute job at best was all that stood between a craft project and a useful article. I know all too well how something gets set aside just needing button holes, or a hem, or the ends sewn in. Well, I took 15 min and completed the last one. I can use these – although not sure the embroidery thread is colorfast, or how long the gold thread will hold up. But I will use them and honor the work that went into making them. P1190163

And I will vow this summer to finish projects and cull  my own stash to make sure no one else will have to finish my work someday – although frankly, I found it oddly enjoyable and didn’t mind a bit. Sorting through boxes, finding hidden treasures and tripping down memory lane was a nice way to spend the holidays.

P1190184Childhood Christmases of my own – reading with my grandparents…sigh.

Simple sewing….

Leftover fabric + A need for toilet roll storage in the guest bathroom + pinterest = 



Small ties to tie it to the toilet roll holder…

P1100147Slip in a couple of spare rolls….

P1100145-001Voila – a quick and easy way to make some storage…

Here is the original inspiration that I had pinned on Pinterest:

Summer sewing

A year ago,  I made myself a lunch bag – and have enjoyed it very much. You can see the lunch bag here.

During the past year, I decided to make one for a fundraising Gala because so many people at work had liked mine. See that one here. At that time, I decided the lunch bag would be better a little bigger, and I found someone on the interwebs who had worked out all the measurements. I really liked how the bigger one turned out, and the person that bought it at auction has really enjoyed using it.

So, I decided to make myself another one, but the bigger size. SO here is lunch bag 3.


P1100088Old bag and new bag side by side size comparison… the new one will hold the water bottles, the bento box, or any number of things all at once!

P1100092I love the top cover that cinches everything inside.P1100090I did add a pocket on the outside of the front – for chapstick, kleenex, utensils –

Pocket detail
Pocket detail

P1100093The added pocket does make the front of the bag a bit “busy” – but I can live with that. The back of the bag is a little more coordinated looking.

Here is the original online tutorial for the small size bag –

And here is the blog where the large bag measurements are listed:

I still plan to make some coordinating reusable lunch baggies and napkins for the new bag.. like I did for the Gala bag. But that is for next week.



Spring Break

First objective of spring break – unwind. And for me, there is no better way than to knit.

1) Finished the front of my Whispering Rose vest –

Now it is blocking, and then the front and back need to be stitched together, and the trim knitted on.

Using String Theory hand dyed yarn in a Light Teal color that makes me very happy.
Using String Theory hand dyed yarn in a Light Teal color that makes me very happy.

2) Began a new project – using the pattern Vodka Lemonade. Ravelled here:


The yarn is buttery and soft – I am so looking forward to completing this sweater. The yarn is made by String Theory, and is their hand dyed merino DK


The pattern is easy to memorize, and has long stretches of plain knit or purl – making it a good travel sweater. Will come in handy at all the baseball games slated for this week.


Although at this point, the weather is not cooperating for baseball. It was sleeting just a bit ago, right after I dropped middle son off for his first tournament game of the current series. The last tournament only made 2 of the 3 days due to rain. And cold. And rain. Where is spring?

Fishing flies

The lunch bag wasn’t our only contribution to the auction.

Middle son, fishing fly
Middle son, fishing fly

P1010900 P1010901

My sons are avid fishermen. We live on a large pond that they have fished in since they were small. Their uncle works at a state fish hatchery and lives in the mountains and can help them access the best trout fishing whenever they want. The middle and youngest sons have become enamored of fly fishing and fly tying, and the middle son decided to make a set of flies for the auction.

This is the description he wrote up that went with his flies:

Hand- Tied Flies

A practical collection of hand tied, stream tested flies. Among them are:

2 Wooly Buggers: one black with a tungsten bead head, and one brown with black accents. These are subsurface flies, created to sink quickly in order to fish for larger fish in deeper places. They are a staple in any serious fly-fisherman’s arsenal of flies

 1 Little Rock Nymph: An original creation created to mimic a nymph commonly found in trout streams in Western NC. This pattern has caught many trout and is ideal for fishing slower moving, shallow water.

1 Modified Elk-Hair Caddis: Tied with a parachute hackle, this dry fly is designed to resemble a hatching Caddis Fly which is a favorite food of many trout species. Sealed with a dry fly sealant spray for better flotation.

1 Poly Winged Olive Spinner: A dry fly made to imitate many species of mayflies. This pattern has been around for decades and is time-tested. Sealed with a Dry Fly Sealant Spray for better flotation.

1 Parachute Adams: Another time-tested trout fly, tied with a parachute hackle for better flotation and a bright white post for good visibility. Sealed with a Dry Fly Sealant Spray for better flotation.

1 Roaring Creek Slammer: An original high-riding, dry fly made to resemble an insect found on Roaring Creek. This pattern has caught many fish in Western NC. Tied with tinsel in the wing to give the fly a little flash. Sealed with a Dry Fly Sealant Spray for better flotation.

Here everything is ready for auction. We used leftover lunch bag material to cover the lid of the box…


Finished product, ready for auction
Finished product, ready for auction

P1020435And who is the proud owner of these flies now? The man about the place couldn’t resist, so he won the auction for the flies and all the guys are looking forward to spring fishing!


The last of the pajamas, I promise….

When we were newly married I made the man about the place a robe for Christmas. It is a lovely dark blue wide wale corduroy with a flannel collar. He wears it still, every winter morning. The pattern I used was part of a set of pjs – but the mister doesn’t like to wear pjs – preferring a t-shirt and boxers. I tend to be very cold, and layer the bed with flannels and a down comforter as well as warm jammies – he finds that too warm for wearing any kind of pajamas. 


But I thought this would be a fun pattern to use up 2 remnants from my mom and make me some pajamas from… I have no idea what she intended to make with this material. And there was not enough to do the long sleeve version. But these should be some lovely fall/early spring jammies. 


The cloth is heavy, like an oxford cloth or heavy chambray. It should wash down nice and soft and wear for a long time. 




I think I will really enjoy these.

So, there you have it.I used up fabric that had been around for many years, and solved my pajama problem at the same time. Lots of new sleepwear, for all seasons!


Easy McCall’s 2779 (L’homme D’aujourd’hui, Today’s Man – or woman for that matter…)