Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Another Woman's Needlework

Abundant rain continues to fall in our area. On dry days, I duck out to weed the small vegetable garden, the perennial flower beds, and herb garden. The tomato and cucumber vines look healthy. The cucumber vine has blossoms and the cherry tomato plant begins to bear green fruit. The oregano is exploding with long branches and larger leaves while the basil needs a little more sun. Hollyhocks I planted along the fence are blooming. Some years the hollyhock seeds have not germinated but this year they are doing well.

Several rainy afternoons, I searched through my handwork supplies and sewed project bags for my knitting. I purchased this pattern. It is well written and easy to follow. The designer offers a free tutorial for a small bag suitable for a sock or mitten project. I wanted a few that were larger so I purchased the pattern. I used the red geranium fabric for the small bag (free tutorial.) The purchased pattern gives instructions for eight sizes, including a recipe for making a custom sized bag. The two slightly larger bags are made from leftover quilting fabrics and old linens. Using the linens is not an original idea. Browse Etsy and you will find all kinds of uses, including bags and purses, for new and vintage embroidery.

Over the years I have inherited and purchased vintage linens trimmed with hand embroidery. I use them as dresser scarves and small tablecloths until they wear out. I keep a few stained worn pieces because I don't want to throw away the embroidery work. Once a long time ago, a family member sold my Grandmother's Depression Era Double Wedding Ring quilt to a second hand shop. She didn't mean any harm nor did she realize anyone in the family (like me) would liked to have kept the quilt. I have always wondered whether the piece found a good home, was repurposed into other projects, or was used to cover old furniture in a barn.

Because of that experience, I either use old textiles or find them a good home. When I saw these pieces among my supplies, I decided to sew them into the exterior of the bags. The pink flower may have come from one of my Grandmother's dresser scarves. The embroidered bluebird piece is one I picked up at a second hand store. I fused the embroidery to white cotton fabric so it would be more stable. The lined bags have tidy insides and the drawstring closure doesn't snag yarn. I also didn't have to purchase or install a zipper. The embroidered flower is more proportional than the bluebirds but even so I like the way the bags turned out. They were good entertainment on a rainy day and will be useful for knitting projects. I enjoy using bags that carry the work of another woman's needle.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful way to use vintage linens! I have my grandmother's dresser scarves and value them immensely. Sometimes vintage is so much better! love your hollyhocks, so tall!