"Green" is Beautiful

This is a vintage quilt top rescued from my great grandmother Grammie's steamer trunk years ago.

I know nothing about vintage fabrics, so I am not sure when she made this. I do not remember her working on this while I was growing up, and I don't see any scraps left from dresses she made for me, so I am thinking this was put together before WWII.

The pattern is called Double Wedding Ring - visit that link for the romantic story of how it came to be.

Just look at all these cool fabrics! "So why have you waited so long to finish this quilt?" you may be asking.

The reason is this thin gauze fabric that was used for the background. It is still in excellent condition, but any batting I use will show through the thin gauze, and I am pretty sure the gauze as it is now wouldn't hold up to much wear and tear. Before completing the quilt with batting and backing, I feel that a liner of some kind will be needed to stablize the gauze. But how do I do this and what fabric should I use?

Just look at the perfect hand stitching. This 6' x 6' quilt top must have taken hours and hours and hours. I just have to save it. Some of you are experienced quilters or know experienced quilters and I would really appreciate any advice you can share.

I am thrilled to see how many quilters are making quilts from fabrics already in their possession, whether it be old cotton or flannel shirts, velvet skirts, or even old "vintage" sheets. And think what a great picnic quilt could be made from denim clothing headed for the trash bin. Every little piece in my great grandmother's quilt came from a well-used piece of clothing that finally wore out.

Brooke has a lovely blog called Inchmark, where she recently shared this picture of her gorgeous family heirloom quilt made in 1948. A perfect example of "green beauty". Like Brooke, I love the choices of patterns and colors in the fabrics against the white.

Now check this out! Eydie from Shebrews allowed me to use her photo of her quilt journal cover, made using embroidery and something called a "cutter quilt", (a quilt that has seen better days, but still has life left in it here and there)! If I ever find an old worn-out quilt or quilt top to rescue, I am making several of these. Isn't it beautiful? Go to her post to see the close-up version.

Quilts are not the only handmade treasures that can be given new life! I fell in love with this heart "pressie" I found recently on Nini Makes. She saved the hand embroidery from a "thrifted" cloth that was stained and otherwise unusable.

What a beautiful way to give new life to a piece of embroidery that required so much skill and love to make. I totally fell in love with these "Nini Makes hearts" several months ago, and now she has inspired me to seek out and save thrifted embroideries and make little hearts from them. One of these days I will have a Valentine "seasonal tree" covered with Joan's inspired hearts!

Yummy Quilt! I want to cuddle up in this with a book and a cup of tea right this minute! Can you believe it was made from a recycled "vintage" sheet? Diane shows us how to make this simple quilt on a recent post for CraftStylish. A couple of old sheets, an old thrifted blanket and a little yarn, and you have all you need to create this warm, comfy bit of luxury.

And speaking of "vintage" sheets -

Liz, who writes a fascinating blog from Mackinac Island called The Quilted Turtle, made these Amy Butler wide leg lounge pants using a lovely - you guessed it - "vintage" sheet. Can you imagine how fabulously soft and snuggly these feel?

While you are visiting, be sure to check out her winter adventures and beautiful winter photography of island life.

Just so you know... I TOO have a recycled "vintage" sheet of my own! Anyway, I'm assuming it is "vintage" since I have had it since the 60's! Actually I have two large pieces which have served me well over the years. I use them as pressing cloths when I am making new clothes, or as covers for trays of rising bread dough when baking French bread. (I'm not quite as clever as Diane and Liz. Still in the "box" when it comes to using old sheets! But I will get there!)

I will leave you with one last treasure -

Another family heirloom of sorts. Diane and I made this quilt about 25 years ago for my grandmother, Gwennie, using fabrics in her favorite colors. When our Gwennie passed on, my mother returned the quilt to me and someday it will go to Diane.

I am sharing this quilt so that you can see that special machines and quilting skills are not needed to create a beautiful quilt. A quilt top can be made from sewing together simple squares, (and if they are cut from old shirts, skirts or blue jeans, so much the better).

The batting, backing and top portions of Gwennie's quilt are simply hand-tied with yarn. (Here's a great video tutorial for a much simpler method than we used!) The quilt has been in constant use for 25 years and is still in perfect shape.

So... next time you are out thrifting and you find a worn out garment made of the most gorgeous fabric - rescue it and start a quilt stash! You don't have to make a massive queen size bed quilt. Make a small lap quilt for cool evenings when you are curled up reading a good book or make a "picnic quilt" to take on your next trip to the park. A tiny "diaper changing quilt" out of old sheets would be perfect to carry along in the diaper bag. Use your stash to make journal covers, or even patchwork kitchen towels like these I found on Sew, Mama, Sew.

"Green" really can be beautiful! I hope you will share with me what beautiful green projects you create from your thrifted "stash".

Help me! Help me please! I can't make up my mind!

All appearances to the contrary here in the cold, grey, soggy Pacific Northwest, winter is over. The calendar on my wall says it is now officially spring, and in just three more months it will be summer.

When I started this blogging adventure, it was supposed to be for a couple months each year - November and December. But now that my mentor, Diane, has proven to me how much fun it is to blog, I just can't stop! And that means my header needs a new summertime look. Please help me to choose between the two images below by leaving me a comment and telling me which one you prefer.

PLEASE HELP! I am so conflicted!

Me drinking tea on my patio near my pond (which I do every day) while I think about new plants to add to the garden and new craft projects to share... OR...

Butterflies fluttering about among flowers and beaded snowflakes.

I was going to spill the beans and tell you just how K and I created these lovely summertime images in the dead of winter - well spring really, but it still looks like the dead of winter around here! But I have changed my mind. Secret photographer's tricks! That's all I'm saying!

Once again, I want to thank each and every one of you for enriching my life through your participation in my blog adventure. And a huge hug to you Diane for starting it all!

Make Easy "Napkin Cuffs" from Tooling Foil


There seems to be a lot of buzz these days about using cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. My lovely MIL, who has been a diligent recycler for the past 30+ years, makes her own napkins, and to cut down on water use and detergent pollutants, she reuses a set of napkins for several meals.

She has a beautiful collection of silver heirloom napkn rings, each one a little different, and she gives every family member their own ring to hold their personal napkin from meal to meal. Once a meal is over, the napkins are placed back in the rings, gathered on a pretty tray and either placed on the side-board or returned to the center of the cleared table.

No jar left behind! Recycle Condiment and Jam Jars into Seasonal Candles


Here are some glass jars "re-purposed" into candle lanterns for Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall! And the best part - all of these (except the Fall lantern) can be "re-purposed" again for another use, like maybe holding buttons, or beads, or glue sticks!

March is a good month to think "green"

March is a great month to focus on "re-purposing", "sustained re-use", and "multi-purposed objects" (objects that multi-task).


My favorite "multi-tasking object"...

My embroidery hoop (rescued from a garage sale a few years ago), seen here in its Christmas/Valentine mobile incarnation. If you have an extra hoop lying around that is not currently in use, turn it into a mobile until you need it again. It is so simple to attach a few favorite seasonal objects.

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