Fall is the time of year when I want to sew all the things! It has finally cooled off here in Texas. We’ve got rain and clouds all week long – the perfect weather to stay indoors sipping coffee and cutting out quilts (and watching Netflix, etc.!). The list of Christmas gifts, decorations, and quilts I want to make seems to grow each year and includes several projects lingering from last Christmas.

A few of the new additions this year are Christmas gifts for my children, including some sweet little Alicia Paulson softies.  I’m torn between the rabbit and the fox, though, so perhaps both! I’ve recently acquired a small stash of Liberty prints that will work perfectly for inside little ears, as dresses, and lining fox coats.

Liberty of London

My birthday was earlier this month and I treated myself to a couple of lovely vintage finds, including this strawberry crewel to decorate my sewing space:

Strawberry CrewelStrawberry CrewelThe berries are three dimensional and they may have even been crocheted and added to the crewel. It’s a darling and really well made piece.

Before I’m get too deep into Christmas sewing, I have a Halloween quilt I want to finish up. I have just a few more blocks to go before I can get the top pieced.

What are you sewing this week?

The coolest thing happened yesterday that brought several of my favorite things together: my dog Moose, midcentury modern design, and crewel. Sounds like a weird combination, huh? Let me explain.

I posted this photo of Moose to my Instagram account, hashtagging it with all sorts of things, including midcentury modern.

He’s resting his chin on one of my newly reupholstered midcentury modern walnut chairs (that particular one was free. Yes, FREE. I got it at a publisher’s warehouse off Industrial Blvd here in Dallas when they were moving to a new location. They also sold me a Jens Risom desk for $75.)

That photo was “liked” by Vladimir Kagan designs on Instagram. He is a well-known MCM furniture designer with some really beautiful pieces (and he also has a charming blog). I Googled him and read on his Wikipedia page that he was married to the late Erica Wilson, the goddess of the 1960s/1970s crewel revival. I’ve been obsessed with her kits and books for years.

I got such a kick out of the idea of these two creative people together and what a neat couple they must have been. I found a blog post with a tour of their home and he said that his favorite piece was the embroidered rocking chair that combines both of their work:

Image via sarahsarna.com

Now if only I could get a picture of Moose in that chair…

{If you’re here for the Classic Modern Quilts blog tour, hop down to this post}

Vintage Darling

How is it that I haven’t blogged about this quilt?! It has all of the elements I love in a vintage quilt: quirky fabrics, faded colors, irregular block and fabric placement, and PINK and AQUA and RED and really, ALL OF THE COLORS. I’m an equal opportunity color lover. {Except purple.}

Vintage Darling

The block is a nine-patch variation that I’ve seen mostly referred to as a Glorified 9-Patch.  I can just see two quilters at a show scoffing at something hanging on the wall and saying, “Ugh. It’s a glorified 9-patch.” Right after they point out the wavy borders and lack of contrast in the fabric choices. (these imaginary ladies are not very nice, are they?!)  The word glorified sounds insulting to me so I prefer the less-frequently-used name: Improved 9-Patch. So much nicer, right?

This is a block to make with templates, for sure. Here’s a {link} for a free pattern if you want to make your own.

Vintage Darling

This one mainly stays folded up because I know my husband finds old textiles kind of icky, even after washing. I’m surprised he was willing to hold it for photos, frankly. 😉

I can’t find fault with his squickiness because that same icky feeling is the reason I don’t own any vintage clothing. For several years I was in search of a vintage winter white coat, 3/4 length with a fur collar (much like this one). I found the perfect one at a darling little vintage store in Houston and was trying it out, preening in front of the mirror, and feeling like I’d met the love of my life. Then I stuck my hands in the pocket and found an old, well-used tissue. My love for the coat died instantly.

That was about 10 years ago and I think if it happened today I could overlook the tissue and just have it laundered.  I’m wise enough to own vintage these days.

Dimensions: 68″ x  82″

Guesstimated Era:  1950s

Condition: Good, one or two small tears in piecing

Piecing: By hand, Improved 9-Patch block

Quilting:  By hand, Baptist Fan

Binding: Edge-turned

What I Paid: $75

Where I Found It: City View Antiques | Dallas, Texas

{If you’re here for the Classic Modern Quilts blog tour, hop down to this post}
VMQ-fall-patterns-1I have this cute vintage stool. My great grandmother had a similar one that is now at my great-aunt’s home (Cosco brand – they still make it! Vintage-y looking and all!) I love the bright yellow vinyl but I’ve also been toying with the idea of changing it out. I have bits of this Dwell Studio print throughout our living and dining areas (which are open to the kitchen where the stool main resides).

Dwell Studio Vintage Blossom

Too formal?

Dwell Studio Bella Porte

The same color and same fabric collection in a more casual print

Ellen Luckett Baker Tulips

Something totally different with a sweet vintage feel – yet still timeless, right?

Denyse Schmidt County Fair

And this would be a new look entirely…but I’d keep the yellow vinyl piping for contrast. For all of these options, the plan is to add Pellon vinyl fuse to laminate the fabrics for practical reasons.  Should I even bother, though? Is the stool perfect as is?

If you have found this page via Pinterest, please read!  This was originally posted in August 2013. I do not sell kits for the items shown below. Links are provided for the Etsy shops where these kits were sourced There are many other shops selling chenille squares on Etsy and Ebay if those listed are no longer in business.

As if my love of fabric isn’t bad enough…I have developed a new textile crush.

Vintage chenille!

Years ago, I found a plain white King size vintage chenille bedspread at a flea market and used it in many baby quilts.. It was perfect for backing (cheaper and prettier than minky) and it made great little loveys/rag quilts.

It comes in all of those sweet 1940s/50s shades of butter yellow, pink, celery green, and aqua.

Even the more 60s/70s hues are beautiful:

I think a chenille patchwork throw would be so nice this fall/winter. Not a rag quilt, but something simply pieced, and most likely tied or stitch-in-the-ditch. Would you or have you made a chenille quilt?

Photos via Etsy:

Masons Cottage
Alora’s Adorables
Chenille Amour

It’s been a busy few weeks! I’ve been teaching several sessions of my Boho Patchwork class. I love teaching that class. Students are always so thrilled to be able to create a unique quilt top in one 6-hr workshop.

I couldn’t stop sewing even after I went home Sunday evening so you’ll probably be seeing the finished quilt in a few weeks.

I’ve also been perusing Ebay for treasures, including this bit of vintage quilt:

Vintage Quilt Scrap

{purchased from this shop, which I highly recommend. She shipped it super fast and her photos were accurate. My expectations were definitely met, which is not always the case with Ebay.)

It literally is just a bit of quilt but its so darling. The piecing is very good and the quilting is pretty utilitarian though it looks great from the back.

Vintage Quilt Scrap | Back

The stitches on the front are really tiny and uneven but they’re longer and more consistent on the back.

The binding is kind of a mess.

Vintage Quilt Scrap | Detail

She was not at all worried about her stitches showing! I also noticed that the binding is pieced straight edge instead of at a 45 degree angle. You’d think with all of that careful piecing on the front, she would have done a proper binding. Is that typical of old quilts? I wonder. I’ll have to look at my other finished ones.

But these are the kind of imperfections I love about vintage quilts and this one really is wonderful. My initial thought was to make it into a pillow. but now I might round off all the corners and bind it as a mini quilt. I hate to cover up the quilting on the back and that deliciously faded green (which is almost exactly the same green that’s in Bonnie and Camille’s new Scrumptious line. The perfect retro green!)

What do you think? Pillow or mini? Or something else entirely?!


This poor chair has been in my garage since June.

vintage chair - before

I picked it up at a consignment shop for $12. In spite of its disgusting condition, I knew it had cuteness potential. My husband was not very pleased with me for bringing it home since I already had three rescued chairs awaiting makeovers in the garage. He did say he liked this one best, though.

After lots of cleaning, a new seat + cushion, a bit of spray paint, and some fabulous fabric…

vintage chair - after

I think it’s living up to its potential. I had it in my booth at the Urban Street Bazaar over the weekend and nearly sold it. To my secret delight, the buyer couldn’t commit. So now it can live at my house.

On Fridays I like to get in a bit of fabric and/or thrift shopping. Yesterday I came home with some awesome finds. On the thrift front, I got a super cool bamboo-esque chair (similar to this one) that I can totally picture in Betty Draper’s new living room.

thrifty chair - before

It’s just screaming out for some paint and an upholstered seat, isn’t it? [$10]

I also found a vintage croquet set that needs a little TLC but is already super cute. [$7.50]

vintage croquet set

On the fabric front, I stopped in at Ruby Jane, a tiny shop that’s mostly online but does have a brick and mortar for local shoppers. She had a bolt of what is probably my favorite fabric discovery in ages – Tasty Escapes from Michael Miller. I’d never even seen this print before. It’s retro, cartoonish – very Route 66 and very adorable.

tasty escape - michael miller

And finally…some more of the in-progress red + aqua string quilt:

red + aqua progress

This quilt is enormous – 77″ by 77″ at the moment. I’m thinking of adding a 4 inch white border before I baste it. It’s going to be muy grande.

lori's quilt

Cross another one off my WIP list! I started this quilt for my sister back in April. The colors are punchy and bright so it suits her beautifully.

She helped me photograph it on my last day in Houston over the weekend. We found the perfect spot in the Medical Center –  a modern new building that’s part of Rice University’s campus.

lori's quilt 2

The back is a simple oversized patchwork design of mostly leftovers from the front. This kind of patchwork is fast and fun to piece and I love the impact of it. Each fabric is really allowed to shine.

lori's quilt - the back

Dimensions: 65? x 65?

Fabrics: Chocolate Lollipop, Garden Party, and Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner; Love, Midwest Modern, and Daisy Chain by Amy Butler, Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt, Alexander Henry, Mendocino by Heather Ross, Ta Dots from Michael Miller, various oranges and pinks from Bella Solids by Moda

Started: April 2010

Completed: June 2010

We also photographed my latest vintage find, an adorable scrappy hexagon quilt.

vintage hexagon quilt

It’s in the exact style that I’ve started piecing my own 3/4″ hexagons in so I was really excited to find it. $39 at an antique shop in the Heights.