" ". The Smiling Cat

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Different Point of View: Log Cabin Ribbon Patchwork

One of the things that makes life so interesting.....Everyone has a different point of view! I probably would never thought of using ribbons to create a log cabin block, but for Elaine Schmidt whose passion is ribbons, it's a natural.

Lazy Log Cabin Ribbon Patchwork:

This is ribbon patchwork, one of the techniques that is featured in her book: "How to Make 100 Ribbon Embellishments". Which is available at: Amazon.com

This is called the Lazy Log Cabin pattern because it really is a short-cut version of the traditional pieced patchwork block. Except, the piecing uses rows of ribbons, placed side-by-side, to imitate the look of fabric. 

The block starts with a center square of ribbon that is fused to a base fabric. Surrounding rows of ribbon are then positioned around the square in rows. Each row covers the raw cut edges to the previous row, creating a very quick and neat log cabin block. Machine zigzag or decorative overcast stitches can be sewn along all the edges, where the ribbons abut. It would be interesting to mix fussy cut fabrics with the ribbons as a border.......
I'm going to put some thought into this and I'll let you know what I come up with-

Any suggestions?


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bohemian Fringed Cotton Dinner & Cocktail/Buffet Napkins

 Recently my friend, Debbie, and I sorted through a large bag of fabric given to us by another friend.  The lady was elderly and sadly, just didn’t see well enough to sew any longer.  In my share of the fabrics was quite a bit of this heavy, cotton, linen-like fabric, both in bright, raspberry  pink & a nice spring green.  It reminded me of the fabric used to make Indian saris.  I wasn’t sure what to make of it, so I put the fabric aside until I came across a pattern at The Purl Bee Blog.  Their blog has loads of craft patterns of every kind.  Their pattern was simple enough, but the ‘sari’ fabric was too loosely woven for this pattern.  So, I changed it a little & this is what I came up with….


The fabrics had been cut into a few large pieces, so I was only able to cut four 22” squares for the dinner napkins of each color.  The remaining fabric I cut into 12” squares for the smaller, cocktail napkins.  Since the fabric has a woven stripe, I had to be sure that I had the same number of stripes on each square.  Also, the fabric was much the same on both sides, so didn’t have to worry about the right or wrong side.  I began by pressing a 1” fold all the way around.

I used these pressed lines as a guide to stitch a slender & tight zig zag seam all the way around each square.  I stopped and pivoted at each corner, and back-stitched securely when the stitching met the beginning again.
Then, I pulled out the threads to the stitched line to create the fringe.  This was a bit time consuming, but something to do while watching T.V.  The fabric was loosely woven, so it was pretty easy to pull apart.

I trimmed the fringe here & there, and it really fluffed-up after being washed.  Here they are in the green fabric:


I had started making mitered corner dinner napkins from the green fabric.  But, it was very tricky to keep the miters corners sharp.  After making the first set of dinner napkins, I decided to make the rest with the fringed edges.

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Both sets are nice, but I think I prefer the fringed version.
Both sets are available in my home shop.

Well, that’s all for now.  Have a safe & happy Halloween…!-Carole


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Virginia Rose China-Homer Laughlin China

I still love to learn, and learning more about vintage items is one of the reasons I love shopping for ‘treasures’ at the second-hand stores.  You never know what you’ll find & what you can learn about.  With some of the items I buy, it’s difficult to find any information.  But, with other items there is loads of information.  For example on my last trip, I found these cute, little Shabby Chic dessert plates:
Tucked away in a corner, I almost over-looked them.  I took a second look & noticed the pretty raised rose pattern & the curved platinum gilt edge.  I checked for damage & found only a few minor chips on the back, which actually adds to the Shabby look.  On the back also was the company name Homer Laughlin, and the pattern name “Virginia Rose”.
At least I thought it was the pattern name.  I looked it up online and found that “Virginia Rose” describes the plate’s shape, not the pattern (I didn’t think it looked much like a rose).  Also, the Homer Laughlin Company is a very popular brand.  It was established in 1871 by Homer and Shakespeare Laughlin, two brothers who lived in East Liverpool, Ohio. For well over a century, this company has produced high-quality, American-made pottery.  It is the largest producer of home and restaurant porcelain dinnerware in the USA.  In fact, Homer Laughlin pottery is very collectable, and there are books and web sites dedicated to this manufacturer's products.  There are collector's clubs, such as the Homer Laughlin China Collectors Association, which have been created to support collectors, buyers and sellers.  Many of their products, such as Fiesta ware, are readily available and sellable in today’s collector's market.  Some of the Fiesta ware pieces are quite pricey. 
The Virginia Rose dinnerware was designed in 1933, by Fredrick Rhead and HL produced so many pieces of this shape that many of the patterns were never given names.  Hundreds of different decorations were produced until the late 1960’s. Virginia Rose continues to be a popular shape with collectors.
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The Virginia Rose has embossed roses spaced around the rim and was produced on a white or yellow glazed body.  There were two other embossed designs, Marigold & Republic, which are often confused with the Virginia Rose. All three shapes were decorated with decals which are either identical or very similar.
There are two popular rose patterns, the “Fluffy Rose” and the pattern of my dishes, the “Moss Rose”, produced 1934-65.
My “Moss Rose”:

Here are examples of the “Fluffy Rose” pattern from:  TGL Direct.com –Which has loads of vintage china for sale, & an interesting, informative blog.

Isn’t it a beautiful pattern…?!  So pretty & feminine.

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The date of manufacture can be determined from the back stamp- the first mark is an internal mark.  The 64 is 1964, N is the plant #4, and 8 stands for August.
For more information, go to the Homer Laughlin website:   http://www.hlcdinnerware.com/about/history

Hope you are having a great day-Carole


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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Amazing Hand Embroidered Wedding Dress-TWO NERDY HISTORY GIRLS

Back in the day, 1734, proper young ladies prepared for their future as a wife & mother.  This wedding dress is truly a labour of love:

A Very Special Embroidered Wedding Dress

According to the Nerdy History Girls:
"The bride, Elizabeth Bull, was born in Boston in 1716. While we often tend to think of New England in the early 18th c. as a primitive colony in the wilderness, Boston was a sophisticated town, connected to all the world's seaports by its ships. As the only daughter of a wealthy merchant, Elizabeth was not only taught fine needlework, but had access to silk threads from the best shops in London and silk cloth from China. She also had the time to devote to perfecting her skill, as well as a genuine talent for color and design."

Imagine all the hopes & dreams that went with stitches in this dress.  I hope she had a happy ending!

Follow the link for more pictures & info.

Hope you're having a great day-Carole

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Simple Kitchen Tea Towel Patterns from Sew4Home & The Purl Bee

  Scrappy Moroccan Style Deco-stitch Tea Towels-Sew4Home

I came across this free pattern at Sew4Home, one of my favorite sewing sites.  This is such a simple & fun pattern, that I wanted to share.  I liked it because it uses the decorative stitches we all have on our machines, but seldom use.  I started looking through Sew4Home's other projects & found a couple more Tea Towel patterns to share.

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Tea Time Kitchen Appliqué: Banded Linen Napkins-Sew4Home

This is a simple applique pattern, great for beginners.  This project has easy step by step instructions, and doesn't require special tools or supplies.  It uses freezer paper for the applique, but you could easily use fusible web instead.  For instructions to use the fusible web, see my previous post HERE.

Click to Enlarge

   Old Fashioned Tea Towels in Modern Mode-Sew4Home

This last pattern is a previous version of the same pattern with a simple change of style.  I like them both.....
After finding these patterns, I went my another Home Sewing site, The Purl Bee, and found a few more good ideas:

Molly's Sketchbook Super Simple Dishtowels

These towels were made from a woven, double-sided fabric The Purl Bee sells.  It is beautiful fabric, but any heavy, woven fabric can be used.  This pattern is 'Super & Simple' as promised-You could make quite a few in just an afternoon.  I would mix up the colors-not make them all blue.

Molly's Sketchbook Liberty Tea Towels

This pattern uses linen & a pretty cotton print. I love the soft colors & the floral print. Together they have a happy, English Cottage look.

Corinne's Thread Vintage Tea Towels

I particularly like this pattern, because it starts with plain, solid colored fabric.  Then it uses the sewing machine to 'Thread Paint', stitch the pattern on the fabric.  So many possibilities......!  This first picture shows only a red thread pattern........

Why not pink or yellow.....?  Why not use more of the decorative stitches on your machine...?

I hope you try one of these patterns.  Why have boring kitchen towels when these are so easy & inexpensive to make?

Well, that's all for now.  Hope you're having a great day-Carole