Category Archives: bags

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days

Nat King Cole sang, “Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer…”

3 bagsCR

I haven’t seen much lazy this summer, and I have never  seen hazy Florida humidity as visible as in these photos.  It was steamy out at the clothesline today!  I have seen plenty of “crazy,” but I’m not even going to start on that.

In earlier posts, there has been discussion about the utility end of sewing.  Not everything we stitch is beautiful or creative or unique.  Sometimes it is just what is needed.  And according to my daughter, her children needed laundry bags.  So that’s what I sewed. Continue reading

Train up a child….

“Train up a child in the way he should go:  even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6


Karoline sewing on her grandmother's Featherweight

Karoline sewing on her grandmother’s Featherweight


This Scripture applies to more than spiritual guidance.  Now a successful nurse practitioner, Karoline began sewing here at our home when she was 7 and has never stopped.  She was one of my daughter’s dearest friends from toddler days.  Karoline went to church with us and joined us for family vacations.  She was like one of the family.

After she graduated from high school, I didn’t see Karoline for many years. Recently, she moved back to the area with Benji, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Mr. Whiskers, an orange marmalade cat.   Yesterday, we had a joyous reunion and a fabulous day sewing on a special project for Benji.


K holding Bcr


Now can’t help strolling down memory lane, recalling Karoline’s enthusiasm and projects she had through the years.  And  the fun.  She was a really fun child to be around. Continue reading

Junior Entrepreneur

custom orders ready for delivery—monograms and “Homeschool Rocks”

After learning about economics and business in her homeschool curriculum, my 8 year-old granddaughter Laurel has gone into business for herself.

There was considerable discussion with her mother and me about the commitment and responsibilities this would entail, but she was undaunted.   She designed, printed and distributed a flyer at her Girl Scout meeting and then at a homeschool function. Continue reading

Free Pattern for Must-Try Teepee Bags

1st aid bagsX


These FIRST AID bags were made for granddaughter Laurel’s Girl Scout troop.  Next week, she will do a presentation as part of the first aid badge the girls are working on. At that time, she will hand out the bags and the girls will stock them with supplies.

UPDATE:  Girl Scouts with bags:


girl scouts



You can’t tell from the photo, but the pink fabric is printed with images of  Girl Scout badges.  I had only 1/2 yd. which should have been enough.  But there was a wide, brown border with text and numbers to be sewn on for troop identification.  That didn’t leave enough badge print to make 6 suitably sized totes.  So the pink fabric was serged on the short sides and then centered and zig zagged onto a piece of a homespun sort of muslin.

After I got that done, I realized that the muslin created a plain strip on either side of the zipper, suitable for text.  The border hoop for my Brother Quattro made this quick and easy, by hooping just stabilizer, basting the fabric to the stabilizer with the baste feature, embroidering the  text, then moving the stabilizer in the hoop for the next bag.

The design is too large for the 4 x 4  hoop, yet by using the 5 x 7 there would have been so much waste of stabilizer–not to mention the time involved in hooping 6 times.  The border hoop was a wonderful time saver. Continue reading

Quick Little Gift

Isn’t this a dandy little tea bag case!  My friend Suzanne Sawko just made a dozen of these as favors for a tea her daughter is hosting.

Though she made twelve, each was personalized with a monogram, making the gift especially nice.

Many years ago, Mildred Turner and I traveled together a good bit.  We both enjoyed a nice cup of Bigelow Earl Grey tea, but few of the airport or hotel restaurants we frequented carried it.  I found two small, inexpensive crazy patch ultrasuede zipper pouches that we used to carry our own supply.  We used those until they fell apart.  This is so much nicer–I should make one for Mildred. Continue reading

White Hankies


This image has been darkened to show details of the white-on-white embroidery.


The opportunity to post a White Wednesday blog along with others at Faded Charm motivated me to plunder through my handkerchief collection again.  As I said in an earlier post, there are few genres of needlework that include so many wonderful techniques as handkerchiefs.





In a relatively small area, spectacular stitching is often combined with extraordinary edgings.  These beauties are tiny treasures.



Note the unusual shaping of the linen and the delicate handmade edge.




This small silk organza hanky is one of my favorites, though it would be pretty useless if you had a cold.  The drawn thread work is as delicate as the fairy weight lace edging.   I wish you could see how fine this thread is.




The woven leaf border adds extra interest to this one, not that it needed it.  The surface embroidery has a sheen  that suggests silk thread.  The bow is shadow work.




Each of the other three corners is embroidered with this coordinating design.  When purchasing heirloom hankies, I always give special consideration to those with embroidery on all four corners.




The width of the elaborate lace and its graceful shaping into the linen makes it  likely that this is a wedding handkerchief.




This has been stashed in one of my handkerchief boxes for about 15 years.  I’ve always like personalized linens and the way the name was worked into the drawn thread ground seemed to make it extra special.  I had none quite like this.




I was just delighted when I opened it and saw SABA woven into the opposite corner.  I had assumed it was a last name!  But after posting a blog about my brother’ gift of a Saba lace tabletopper and a book on the topic,  I enjoy it even more.  The Saba lace story is a fascinating read with an interesting look into women who support their families and local economy with cottage industries.




Ladies of yesteryear made bags and containers for everything from lettuce to pajamas.  Of course, there were handkerchief keepers.  This one belonged to the mother of a dear friend of mine.  Her mother had told her that cases such as these doubled as veil cases.  Who knew?

There are more hankies in those boxes.  I’ll pull out more if you would like to see them.

If you have a special hanky you would like to share, please send a photo with some information about it.

Happy White Wednesday!

Vintage Baby Laundry Bag



Antique baby things always enchant me.  I hope you are not bored with them because I have several I’d like to share with you.

This little white laundry bag is one of my favorites.  It makes me wonder how a young mother, with all the responsibilities of raising children and running a house, could find the time to make this sweet sack for soiled baby clothes.  Of course, there is the possibility that a resident grandmother or other relative could have made this elegant little accessory for the family’s newest member. At any rate, it is charming.

This is truly a modern project for old fashioned Nanas.  A sturdy, 15″ x 18″ drawstring bag is a useful item appreciated by young mothers.  My daughter kept one folded in the diaper bag for the soiled clothing inevitably generated on outings with baby Alastair.

My friend Suzanne Sawko used this vintage bag for inspiration when she designed and stitched these for an article in Creative Needle magazine.




Continue reading

Penguin Pack

How cute is this?  Jo made this back pack for her kindergartner and he loves it.  But what little guy wouldn’t!

Jo says, “The pattern is from the book, Little Things to Sew, by Oliver + S.  The pattern is written very well and it wasn’t hard to sew.  I did have to order the zipper and the strap adjuster online because I couldn’t find them anywhere locally.  

The grey fabric is I’m-not-sure-something-bottom-weight-possibly-in-the-wool-family.  The yellow and light blue are both from  fat quarters.  I just about danced out of the store when I found the penguin fabric!  Continue reading

New Mother Gift



This sweet new mother gift set was photographed and sent to me by one of my friends in Puerto Rico, Haydee.  Several previous posts on this blog have shown her work or ideas.   As I have explained before, the language barrier prevents me from scoping out the details of these projects. Continue reading

Make a Girl’s Pouch Purse



When Laurel and Robert arrived for a two day visit,  my little granddaughter was wearing the ladybug dress I made recently. While she was here, we made a matching “purse.”

This  is a nice little sewing project for a child, as the purse foundation can be a ready made handkerchief requiring just 4 lines of straight stitch to be finished.   Or it can be more elaborate, like a square with lace edging or bias binding and machine embroidery.  Note:  I attached the bias binding but Laurel did  the remainder of the sewing.

Regardless of your choice, you begin with a finished square.  Large squares make large purses, smaller squares make smaller purses.  Nothing tricky here. Continue reading