Rheeta’s Sweat Shop ’16


This is last year’s photo of Aunt Rheeta sewing on my beloved Brother Quattro. She is loving this year’s upgrade to The Dream Machine.


She was at it again.  My dear Aunt Rheeta arrived from frigid Indiana for a 2-week vacation in the warmth and sun of central Florida.  Unfortunately, she landed on a cold, rainy day and the weather hardly improved for the first week.  She  wore a polar fleece pullover every day so I did not take a picture of her at the sewing machine.  I’m pretty sure the Florida Bureau of Tourism blocks such photos from the internet.

We were so, sew busy!  After she expressed interest in touring historic DeBary Hall,  I said I would love to take her.  Then she decided that she would rather keep on sewing!  That’s my kinda gal!  Sew, we did!  In fact, we were so busy  that we didn’t take time for a current photo of her at my new Dream Machine which she loved immediately.

Aunt Rheeta arrived with her suitcase tightly packed with projects for us to work on. At the top of her priority list were a few graduation gifts for her granddaughter, a rising freshman at Texas A&M.


We didn’t worry about the wrinkles because the fleece was soon to be tightly packed in Rheeta’s suitcase. Time for a dryer tumble later.

Adriana will use this polar fleece throw at football games.  Rheeta made an identical fleece for Alexa, Adriana’s  older sister, a rising junior also at Texas A&M. That stadium blanket has seen 2 years of heavy wear. It’s likely this one will be just as useful.

Then Rheeta embroidered dishtowels.  As Adriana will be sharing an apartment with hometown friends, these instructive kitchen linens will be  loving reminders from her grandmother. Each of these dishtowel designs are from OESD’s  Hand Lettered Sayings  collection.


Adriana could learn to cook and eat few of the staples of a college student's diet.

The suggestion is that it’s possible for Adriana to learn to cook, improving the standard college student menu. And she will surely achieve some things that seem impossible.  That’s what her Meemaw is telling her.

“Dream big” is always good advice to a young lady at the start of her college career.


Dream Big no pbj


And finally, a reminder that Adriana’s  sister is nearby in the same apartment complex.  They always have one another.



A matching set of dishtowels were made for Alexa’s apartment.  Rheeta and I agree that dishtowels make a great gift anytime.

This was just the start.  Other embroidery projects include a batch of 9 stocking she had offered to embroider with family names for a friend.  A dear friend.  A friend who is just getting into sewing and is preparing for next Christmas when a large family gathering will be held at her home.  These were beautifully constructed.  This is a gal who plans ahead!  She did such a good job that I expect she will make many more lovely things.

It always touches me when a more experienced sewist lends a hand to a younger one.  I won’t disclose Aunt Rheeta’s age, but she has lived through more than 8 decades.  She has a LOT of wisdom.  And she has offered encouragement and shared her sewing skills with a novice.

Embroidering the names on the circular cuffs was made easier by the technique I discovered when I was personalizing ready-made stockings before last Christmas.  Here are just a few of Katie’s stockings.


for the family dog

for the family dog


Pai MaeXX


Then Rheeta embroidered a cosmetic bag, 3 dishtowels for her own kitchen and one for a friend who was dog sitting Rheeta’s beloved apricot poodle, Molly.  The towels are also from All About Blanks.


This cute design is from Embroidery Library.

This cute design is from Embroidery Library.

instant humanXXX

For sorority granddaughter Alexa, she embroidered a Greek lettered koozie.


great burlap koozie from All About Blanks

great burlap koozie from All About Blanks


Finally, the day before she flew home, two rocking chair cushions recovered.


Rheeta's rocker before it's new look.

Rheeta’s rocker before it’s new look.


The chair after it's new cover.

The chair after it’s new cover.


I’m just finishing up Vivian Rose’s Easter dress.  How close can I cut it and still finish in time?  This is risky.

Are you all finished with Easter sewing?

4 responses to “Rheeta’s Sweat Shop ’16

  1. I so enjoyed this and would love to have a visitor come and sew with me for 2 weeks. Thank you so much for the info Janice.

  2. Kay, having a sewing houseguest is fabulous fun. I hope you have a like-minded guest soon and enjoy the fun I had with Aunt Rheeta.

  3. Janice,

    I enjoyed this, too. What a great time. Fun to see the gift ideas. My oldest will be heading to the University in August. My eight-year-old son, Sam, is thinking of creating a few pillow cases with embroidered messages, like ‘We’ll miss you,’ for his older sister. I liked the encouraging messages Aunt Rheeta selected… Great ideas.

  4. Connie, Sam must be a sweet, thoughtful child, but growing up in your family, of course he is. The pillowcase idea is so dear. I’m glad you enjoyed reading about Aunt Rheeta’s “vacation.” I miss her already.

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