Archive for March, 2012

A Challenge For You

March 20, 2012

Last week my son, his wife and children were here from the Dallas area for a great visit. My daughter-in-law and granddaughter had been introduced to Pinterest by my daughter last Christmas and encouraged me to sign-up. I had heard about Pinterest from several people, but wasn’t convinced I needed another distraction.

Todd and family

Todd with Julie, Tyler, and Madison

Silly me, I did need this distraction because it is so much fun, plus I’ve learned so much and seen beautiful pictures of things I love. Also, I’ve  tapped into sites of friends and acquaintances. The most wonderful thing I found on my search is my former editor’s board which had a link to a blog FULL of vintage lace. Oh, my, my, my, my, my! I thought I had died and gone to heaven. This link led to other sites with vintage lace. I shouted, “There are people out there who love vintage lace as much as I do!” I have one closet in our home which is devoted almost exclusively to lace.


Closet Designated for Lace and Trims

Yes, I know you are saying that is way too neat and organized. I have been collecting vintage lace for 30 years. It would take over our house, if I didn’t organize it. But I cannot tell a lie. This is what my studio looks like right now when I start pulling out those boxes. I love to surround myself with all things that may possibly need inclusion in the project of the moment. I will eventually pick-up everything and put it in its place again so I can pull-out the next boxes of important sewing stuff.


Studio During Creative Stage

After looking at the vintage laces on Pinterest,  I knew that I had to blog about my collection and my love for vintage lace and vintage linens. About this same time, the manager of the Texas Quilt Museum asked me to make some pillows for the Museum Store using vintage lace. She did not need to ask me twice. I had been making collage greeting cards for the Store, and I could sew on those every day of my life and never tire of making them.  Making a pillow just added to my excitement.

A few days later I had my weekly call with  Art Coach, Lesley Riley, and she had a fun suggestion for me to do for my blog readers. It’s an on-line challenge! I hope you will join in the fun. Starting today, while the supplies last, you can sign up for my challenge to make an item using a packet of vintage lace I will send to you for $5.00. I promise you that what you receive will be well worth its cost. Each packet will be different, but will  include an assortment of four different pieces of vintage lace. Your challenge is to make something using the majority of the lace you receive from me. How you use the lace is up to you.

Here are pictures of several things I have made recently using vintage lace. You can also see more items in my etsy shop. If you don’t have an idea of what you would like to make, maybe these projects will trigger an idea for you.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day Quilt Card

Journal Cover

Journal Cover


Special Order Pillow


Special Order Pillow





Bits and Pieces of Lace

Bits and Pieces of Lace Pillow

Wedding Pillow

Wedding Pillow

Are you willing and able now? Here are the particulars.

  • Send $5.00 to me at 3815 Oakland Circle, Missouri City, TX 77459 by April 17. I will send your laces immediately to you. Be sure to include your address. If you would like, you can pay by paypal to your paypal ID.
  • Email a picture of your finished project to my email address at by May 1.
  • Post picture on your blog, if you have one, and link to my blog. I will post listings of all those who have a challenge photo on their blog.
  • There are no restrictions to what you make, how you make it, or what you do with the lace. It does, however, need to be recognizable.
  • There are two independent judges who are willing to choose the #1 entree.
  • I will post the winner, along with other entree photos on my blog, on May 4. The winner will receive this 4″ X 8 ” by 3″ high vintage sewing drawer full of vintage lace.

    Laces from Drawer

    Sewing Drawer

    Laces in Sewing Drawer

    Sewing Drawer

    Sewing Drawer for Winner

I really hope you will join me. It will be so much fun. I can’t wait to see how you incorporate what I send to you into something wonderful.

In closing, here I am happy for another reason. Our son from LA was here for a day and night this past week. He’s our artist/musician whom we don’t see often enough.



Now you have seen all of my family. They make my heart sing as do you. Happy Creating to you, Judy


Play Date #4 Bunnies

March 9, 2012

It’s almost Easter Time and Spring has sprung in Houston, Texas. I want to show you what I’ve been making to bring in the season!

Here they are… funny bunnies and I can’t stop making them. They are multipying like real bunnies. They are made from hand- dyed vintage candlewick and chenille bedspreads and embroidered dresser scarves.

dyed bunnies

Five Friends Who Went Through a Dye Bath

I made a few from a child’s vintage chenille bedspread with its pink and blue chenille, but no dye for this pretty white bunny. She turned out so crisp and clean that I tried a bunny out of a vintage embroidered dresser scarf. Oh, she’s a cutie, too. Hmm…how about using springtime 1940’s fabric patched together for another bunny? Oh, yes. I like that one, too.

chenille bunny, patchwork bunny and embroidered bunny

Embroidered Bunny, Patchwork Bunny and Chenille Bunny

Then it was back to dyeing  vintage embroidered dresser scarves in even more spring time Easter egg colors. Don’t you love the embroidery on his tummy?

dyed bunny

Dyed Embroidered bunny

Before I dyed the vintage bedspread, I cut it into 13″ wide strips the width of the bedspread.  The bunny body pattern is slightly over 12″ tall, and the ears are shorter. By making smaller pieces of the bedspread, I could dye them several different colors. I used dyes made for home use following the instructions on the package for dyeing in a pot. I used very hot tap water, and dyed in a large pot not used for cooking.  My wooden spoon and a measuring cup reserved for dyeing purposes only helped.   I wore rubber gloves and old clothes. I did not wash the fabric after it was dyed, because these bunnies will not be washed  again.

Household dyes

Getting Ready to Dye Chenille

The bunny pattern consists of three pieces…a body, ear, and face.

three pattern pieces

Three Pattern Pieces

I cut the body and ears double from vintage bedspread and also the ears double from a cotton fabric plus iron-on backing for extra crispness. The brand I used is by Pellon and called Decor Bond. I also cut a 3″ square of muslin and a 3″ square of paper- backed fusible web.

Cut and Ready to Start

Pieces Cut and Ready

Then I gathered together matching sewing thread,  pink and brown embroidery floss, size 8 ecru pearl cotton, two round black beads for eyes, two long pearl beads for teeth, narrow ribbon and gathered lace for neck, 2″ pom pom for tail, craft flower for between the ears, red colored pencil for cheeks, extra strength carpet thread, and stuffing. Once all of this was out, can you blame me for making more than one bunny?

supplies gathered

Supplies Gathered

So I proceded with these instructions

1. Using pattern draw circle on muslin square. Trace bunny face in circle. Iron wrong side to paper backed fusible web.


Draw Face on Muslin

2. Cut on circle line. Remove paper. Iron to head of bunny centering about 1″ from top of head. I made the face lower in some of the bunnies to give them different personalities. Machine applique face in place using matching thread. Blush cheeks with colored pencil. Sew bead eyes in place. Use 2 strands brown floss for eyelashes, and make each eyelash a single straight stitch. Use 2 strands of pink floss and an outline stitch for mouth, and satin stitch the nose. Sew teeth (long pearl beads) in place. Use single strand pearl cotton to make the whiskers in a long stitch for each whisker. Don’t worry if you don’t follow the whisker lines exactly.

face embroidered

Face Embroidered

3. Fuse backing to wrong side of each bunny ear lining following manufacturer’s instructions. Place bedspread ear and lining ear right sides together. Stitch all around leaving the bottom of ear open for turning. Make a few clips into seam. Turn right side out. I used a doll turning tool to get turning started. Press ears flat from the lining side first and then the other side. Fold ears in half with bedspread side together. Pin in center of bunny head with ear folds away from center. Pin ear tips to body to keep them out of the way when you stitch the body front to back. Stitch ears across top of head.


Pin Ears to Top of Head

4. Pin and sew bodies right sides together with a 1/4″ seam. Leave bottom open for stuffing.  Pull tip of ear pins out so you can pull on ears to turn body right side out. Use fiberfill to stuff the bunny firmly. Make sure feet are packed tightly with stuffing. Stitch bottom closed.


Stuff through Bottom Opening

5. Starting from bunny back use heavy duty thread doubled to sew a running stitch around the neck. Pull up tightly and knot thread securely

gather neck

Running Stitch to Gather for Neck


6. Add gathered lace around the neck and tack beginning and ending of lace at back. Tie ribbon on top of lace and finish with a bow. Glue a flower between the bunny ears.


In My Easter Finery

7. Glue a pom pom in place on the bunny’s backside.

cotton tail

See My Cotton Tail?

8. Now Miss Pinky is complete and she has joined her friends. Aren’t they all so happy together? I wonder if they hop out of that basket at night and run around and play.


Miss Pinky and Friends

After this little family of bunnies came together I knew I wanted you to see them.  But, I couldn’t show them to you without giving you a way to make them for yourself. So if you like these little guys, I have listed them in my etsy shop. You can order a pattern with instructions or a kit or an actual bunny finished. They will be so adorable in an Easter basket, as a hostess gift, sitting in a chair to welcome guests, as part of the Sunday Easter dinner center piece, etc. The possibilities are endless.

I just had to show you these whimsical bunnies and wish you a super spring and Happy Easter.

Until next time…Hugs, Judy

Thinking of you

March 3, 2012

It’s been two weeks since I’ve had a chat with you. I’ve thought about and missed you, Friend, and I hope all is going well in your life.

Mine has been busy, but good.

We’ve spent a part of the last two week-ends with Holly, our daughter, and her family. We’ve cheered-on the little girls at cheerleading/tumbling competition, sang Happy Birthday to Ashton at his 4-year old party at the park and fire station, followed Sydney with a fist full of tickets at the school Carnival, and watched Lindsey play in her first soft ball game of the season. We feel blessed to have them just an hour away, so we can participate in their lives with lots of hugs, chatter and giggles.

Holly and family

Holly and her husband Scott, Sydney, Ashton, and Lindsey

During the week, besides spending time at the Quilts, Inc. office, I’ve been in La Grange, Texas, the home of the newly opened Texas Quilt Museum. Recently, two days were spent on a Museum planning session. Lots of great ideas for continuing exhibits, education, and activities came out of that meeting. I hope you will have a chance to visit the amazing Museum. Check out the website often so you don’t miss anything.

Texas Quilt Museum

Texas Quilt Museum Mural on Side of Building

Two other trips were made to La Grange for meeting purposes. One day, the entire Quilts, Inc. staff met  in the Creativity Center for a corporate retreat. Lots of good  decisions were made to make Quilt Festivals even greater for all of you.

Quilts, Inc. Staff

Quilts, Inc. Staff Retreat

Before the retreat, I made a birthday card box for our  President of Quilts, Inc. to keep cards from everyone at the retreat. The instructions and supplies for this Trinket Box came  from Julie Craig of Attic Heirlooms in Kansas. It was great fun to see the transformation of a cigar box into a pretty card holder. Julie is scheduled to teach this class at International Quilt Festival this fall. Check out the class catalog when it’s available this summer.

Birthday card box

Decorated Cigar Box for Birthday Cards

I also made a Chocolate Sheath Cake for the birthday celebration, but realized I left it at home when I was an hour from home. Oh, boy. I was back in the Quilts, Inc. office the next day so everyone, except the birthday girl, could  enjoy the cake one day late. This was a really easy, popular recipe for brides in the 60’s. I’ve included it here so you can make it, taste it and enjoy it, too.

 Known as ‘Sheath’ Cake in the early 1960’s

Do you think it was supposed to be ‘Sheet’ Cake? I’ve often wondered.

This recipe came from my sister Joanie McDonald before she died on June 1, 1989. She was the most generous person I’ve ever known.


Sift together in mixing bowl:

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

Put in sauce pan:

4 rounded T cocoa

1 cup water

2 sticks margarine or butter (1 cup)

Bring this to a boil. Pour over sugar mixture. Stir well.


2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 heaping tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

½ cup butter milk to which has been added ½ tsp baking soda

Mix well. Pour into well-greased and floured 8” X 12” cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes.

Ice cake in pan while it is still hot.


Melt and bring to boil:

1 stick margarine (1/2 cup)

3 rounded tablespoons cocoa

6 tablespoons sweet milk or butter milk

Remove from heat, beat and add:

1 box powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Mix well. Pour over center of cake in pan. It will melt to the sides.

Try not to eat too much of the icing before it’s on the cake. It tastes like yummy fudge.

Chocolate Sheath Cake

Chocolate "Sheath" Cake

Yummy…Thank goodness I can fit three sessions of Dahn Yoga into my weekly schedule. I’d be forgetting more than putting a cake in the car if I didn’t have that time of exercise and meditation.

Also being a member of First United Methodist Church Missouri City and a Stephen Minister makes meaning of this life I’ve been given. It’s a great way to start off each week.

This week, I plan to get back in my studio and to create something fun for the coming Easter season. I leave you with a hint of what you’ll see in my next post and a wish for a great week.

Dyed Chenille

Dyed Chenille Bedspreads

I promise to visit you again in a few days. I’ve missed you,  Judy

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