Handkerchief Quilts

One of the best parts of growing up on a farm in the Midwest was the sense of family we shared with all of the surrounding farms. In that era the words “country club” did not mean a beautiful building in the middle of a golf course where you met others for drinks, dinner, golf, etc but rather a group of farm women who met monthly following a criteria set up by our county extension office. There were also social events such as ice cream socials, Christmas (yes Christmas not holiday) parties, and county style shows with the ladies modeling clothing from the local merchants. Deep friendships evolved that lasted a lifetime. My Mother belonged to the local “country club” in an area where our family had farmed for three generations that I know about, and it could have been longer.
When I was 11 years old, we moved from that farm to another farm not in this neighborhood. My Mother was no longer close enough to belong to the group.
This triggered a “handkerchief shower”. A “handkerchief shower” was very similar to a bridal shower, but the gifts were all beautifully designed handkerchiefs. They came in the mail inside a warm greeting card. Just think of the memories my Mother had each time she used one of these handkerchiefs. Time has moved on (now we use tissues) and handkerchiefs have been delegated to a storage box or an estate sale.
They also make beautiful quilts, and fit into multiple quilt designs. Are you one of those lucky people who have found them when cleaning out your Mother or Grandmother’s home? Have you seen them at an estate sale or antique store? Why not design and create a quilt that you can showcase in your home to remember those days?

Combining vintage handkerchiefs and modern design

Combining vintage handkerchiefs and modern design


Mom’s Senior Prom Dress

How many of us can say that we still have that perfect dress from our senior prom? Not only that but we married our date that night?
Wouldn’t that be a great story to tell your granddaughters as they unwrap beautiful pillows made from that prom dress? I can visualize those granddaughters telling the same story as their daughters unwrap the same pillows. What stories do you have in your closet?




What do we do with them?

How many of you remember your Grandmother’s or you Mom’s bedroom? Do you remember the dresser scarves that covered the dresser (where else would you put a dresser scarf?) or the dressing table that had a big mirror and a stool where you sat and looked in all the little decorated containers that held jewelry or tried the perfume? These scarves were hand embroidered by them or an aunt. Perhaps you remember watching Grandmother sit and embroider them?
Fast forward to today. A lot of us still have these scarves put away in a box or a bag. They are a precious memory of those wonderful days; however, since they do not fit in our décor, we only see them when we clean the basement (who does that very often?) How about taking these scarves or your favorite scarf and creating a beautiful adornment for your home that you can see every day or giving it to a daughter or granddaughter to cherish?
You can make a small bag, a pillow, a jewelry bag or a quilt, placemats or a table runner to not only warm your home but allow you to relive cherished memories every day.

Teddy Bears – Love for Generations

When my youngest son was old enough to begin to love stuffed animals, he took over “Pooh” from his older brother. “Pooh” went everywhere we went, slept with and was continually in Jeff’s company. At times he may have been carried by his ear or foot, but “Pooh” was definitely a part of our family.
Over the years “Pooh” had to have surgery as we sewed on ears and legs, and he lost his youthful figure. Whenever I could talk Jeff into letting me wash “Pooh”, he would come out of the dryer a bit lumpy. Gradually I lost track of “Pooh” as sports, school and other activities became important.
My son is grown now and has his own family, runs a successful business, etc etc. Recently, when I was spending time with his family, my youngest grandson appeared in the kitchen with non-other than (you guessed it) “Pooh”.
What cherished items do you have stored in a bag or in the basement? Why not turn them into a Teddy Bear that could be handed down to children and grandchildren?

“Cream of the Crop”


Whenever we think of a birthday, holiday or special event, we usually try to find an appropriate gift. If it is a wedding, the bride and groom will go to a store, usually a chain, and make a list of what they would like. Generally, their choices are items for their home. That way we can be sure the gift is something the couple needs and/or wants for everyday living. Likewise, at birthday or holiday time we try to observe or ask others for suggestions as to a gift that would be valued.
Have you ever stopped to think of gifts that you have received that were very special? This is a way that we remember relatives or friends that have given us the best gift or as I call it, the “Cream of the Crop”. This gift is very personal and reminds us of happy times in our life or in the life of a loved one. Every time we see it, we are reminded of that person or time.
What special occasion do you have in the near future? Is it a wedding, a birthday, a graduation or are you getting a head start on the holidays? What do you have stored in a bag or a box that would bring back special memories for someone? It may be tee shirts, a wedding gown, a mink coat, or Dad’s shirt and ties. Whatever it might be, there is someone we know who would appreciate a gift that reminds them of that very special time in their life.
Here is a pillow made from Grandmother’s wedding gown that was used as a ring bearer pillow. It is now displayed in the bride and grooms bedroom so that every time they come into that room, the wonderful memories of their wedding will greet them.

Everyone Loves Teddy Bears!!

Everyone Loves Teddy Bears

When my son was two years old, Santa brought him a teddy bear, and he immediately called him “Pooh”. “Pooh” became an important member of our family. Jeff would not go to sleep at night without “Pooh” tucked safely under the blankets, which sometimes caused a mad search for the bear looking outside, under the bed, or in the toy box.
“Pooh” went on vacation with us. We made sure that he was always in the car before leaving the motel or restaurant (Yes, “Pooh” had lunch with us).
When Jeff became a father for the first time, he called one day to find out if I still had “Pooh”. Of course I did, and “Pooh” became a part of another generation. Now, he has a few miles on him. He’s lost an eye and has had to be patched many times, but he is still one of my grandchildren’s most beloved toys.
What do you have stored away that was very important to your children? It might be a blanket, a toy, or a onesie Is it still in the box or bag in the basement? Get your creative juices going and see what you can do.

Fun Bears for Christmas

Fun Bears for Christmas

Christmas Gifts for Mom or Grandma


One of the fun things about repurposing is the different ways and ideas that my customers have in mind. I love the challenge of looking at each wedding gown, group of tee shirts, dad’s ties or shirts and pretty much anything else people bring me. It could be a set of sheets or in this case a picture hat worn instead of a wedding veil.
This wedding dress was very simple with no adornments, pearls or sequins but had beautiful ruffles on the sleeves and bottom of the dress. However, it also had a picture hat with flowers and lace. My customer asked if I could do a pillow combining these flowers, lace and ruffles from the dress.
To the drawing board I went and came up with this design. How lovely to have this beautiful pillow displayed in her bedroom to remind all of her family of their wedding day!
Elegant Vintage Pillow

A Box Full of Ribbons

A Box Full of Ribbons

I recently returned from the Kentucky State Fair. As I looked at the exhibits and watched the presentations and the horse show, I remembered my fair experience; showing livestock, driving my horse, exhibiting my clothing projects and modeling in the style shows. I remember the ribbons I won and my pride at winning them. These ribbons would spur me on to work harder to possibly get a better ribbon next year.
Ribbons also come from other sources as well in school, dance, etc
Then I started to wonder where all those ribbons had gone. I know we kept them in a box for several years, but as they added up we really didn’t know what to do with them.
My creative mind started to think about what I could have done to keep the ribbons and display them where I could see them and remember the good times spent at the State Fair. When the light bulb came on, I thought about a wall hanging or a quilt depending on the number of ribbons available.
These memories are priceless. Take the ribbons out of the box and create a memory to last forever!

What do you do with a box full of ribbons?

What do you do with a box full of ribbons?

A Brides Gift for her Dad

Bride's Hankie for DadA Brides Gift for her Dad

There is an old joke that says all the father of the bride has to do is ,”Pay Up, Show Up and Shut Up”. I have had the privilege of attending many weddings and seeing the tears in the eyes of a father as he walks his little girl down the aisle. Even the most macho dad has trouble accepting the idea that his little girl is not a little girl any more. She has moved out into the world.
This is because there is a special bond between a father and daughter. He is the person in this world who teaches her how a man should treat a woman and sets expectations for her.
It is relatively easy to decide on gifts for bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc. However, it can be difficult to find a gift for the father of the bride. I loved this idea of taking one of dad’s handkerchiefs and embroidering this saying on it with the date of the wedding.
If you are looking for a special gift for your dad on your wedding day, check this out.
Bride's Hankie for Dad



I don’t know if my grandchildren would believe it or not (or if they did, they would think I was ancient), but my generation was the first to watch television. We didn’t have cable or 900 stations to watch, we had three; and you got out of your chair or up off the floor and turned the dial to change channels.

Every week I would go to my Grandma’s house, and sometimes I got to stay overnight. That was a big deal. Grandma was a wonderful cook, we had dessert (in the summer it would be either peach or blackberry cobbler), and we put on our pajamas and sat down to watch TV.

The TV would be turned on and I would hear the theme song for “I Love Lucy”. Everyone said that Grandma reminded them of Lucy. She had a great sense of humor, could be a little “dingy” at times and had red hair. Lucy would come on, do her hilarious antics, and Grandma would laugh until there were tears in her eyes.

One year we found an “I Love Lucy” sweatshirt for Grandma’s Christmas gift. She was ecstatic and wore it every chance she got. Even when she was living in a nursing home, she wore it.

When Grandma passed, I found her “I Love Lucy “sweatshirt among her belongings with other shirts she had enjoyed wearing. I didn’t want to take them home and put them in a box, so I thought, “What better way to remember my times with her than to make a quilt I could snuggle under as I watched reruns of Lucy, Ethel, Fred, and Rickie,

When my grandchildren come to visit, they love to wrap up in that quilt while I tell them stories about Grandma and her antics. Some day they will tell their children this story as they snuggle under Grandma’s quilt.Grandma Loves Lucy