Monthly Archives: December 2014

Look What I found!

Remember the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”?

Yesterday, on the way home from visiting family, we stopped at Hokie Gee’s flea market in Everett, PA. I needed some “dental” tools to use for sewing.

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These sharp little instruments are great for reaching threads in places where fingers just won’t fit. They set me back $1.49 each. The tweezers are especially wicked.

I wish they still had the straight “picks”. I use one of those that I bought about five years ago…best stiletto ever. That one cost a $1.00.

We decided to roam around for a few minutes. We looked at furniture, etc. I found a wool crazy quilt top in one of the stalls. It is a good size quilt top. I have not measured it yet. Looks like a small queen size…great for on the sofa while I am watching TV on a cold winter evening or better yet a snow day from school.

Merry Christmas to me! It only cost $30. I always feel sad to see things like this at flea markets. Someone’s Grandma or Auntie put a lot of work into this and no family member wanted it.

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There were no markings to indicate the maker or origin. It is on a cotton foundation. Most of the patches are wool, so I know it will wear very well. It has herring bone embroidery around all of the patches. The stitches are nice and even. The maker used a variety of colors for the embroidery.

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I plan on using the big spaces to do practice machine embroidery before I finish it to be used. The picture looks so much brighter color wise than the actual quilt. The patches that are gray or tan in the photo are small plaid, like that found in wool women’s suits and skirts. Even that bright blue border is some kind of wool blend.

What treasure did you find in your life today? Sometimes we all need to find joy in the littlest things in our lives….even if it is only a dental implement.

Time to go play with fabric and thread!

Have a great Sunday…find the time to find your inner peace away from the stress of the holidays.


Are you a Christmas Elf?

I think I have about lost my mind. There are Christmas stockings stacked everywhere…here a pile…there a pile….everywhere a pile. The piles seem to be growing and growing and growing.

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Usually during the week of Thanksgiving, I machine embroider the names of all of the students on my team at school on to Dollar Tree stockings that I buy for 50 cents each the year before while they are on clearance sale. For the past several years that has been about 75 students. This year we increased that number by one more class. Make that 102 stockings. Still no big deal if we A) hadn’t traveled over most of Thanksgiving vacation (It was worth every mile.), B) my original embroidery machine that I bought back in 2003 died. (DH wanted to know if I wanted to bury it in the back yard…hahaha. I told him it would be a great door stop.), AND C) the new one was delayed in shipping for 3 days because of bad weather across the Mid-west.

The new machine has finally arrived. I have the embroidery done on 92 stockings. 10 to go. Then the sewing begins.

There are three methods for getting an embroidered name on a stocking. I feel the need to share this because these stockings look better than $1 (unless you look too closely…5th graders don’t know any better so looks count for everything…that and jingle bells and gold thread!) I could not buy the fabric and trim that goes into making these stockings from scratch for $1.

Method #1

(I only had 8 stockings that I could use this method with this year.) If the stocking has a nice, loose flippy flap, flip it and embroider. These needed soluble stabilizer because they had a fuzzy pile.

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Method #2

Remove some stitches to make a flap. Unfortunately most of the stockings fell into this category. I am grateful for the loose stitching on Dollar Tree stockings for this very reason. After all of the stockings are embroidered I will have a sewing party to reassemble them by stitching up the side seam. I turned them inside out as I pulled them off of the embroidery machine. Eventually the pile was higher than my head! (Not a great big thing because I am short.)

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Method #3

If a stocking is way too fuzzy to embroider on OR it will not remain intact when a side seam is removed, names can be embroidered on felt and added later. There were a good many of these, too. (40 to be exact.) I discovered and used this method last year. It was a time saver and a sanity saver.

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All done! Check out the finished stockings below!

christmas elf 10 christmas elf 11 christmas elf 12 christmas elf 13102 stockings,  all ready to go!

102 stockings, all ready to go!

102 stockings…all ready to go!
Have a great weekend! Don’t do anything too crazy! Keep in mind that one hundred of any one thing is not done in “moderation”. What kind of crazy Christmas thing did you get yourself into this year?

Travelling, Just a Bit…

Over the week of Thanksgiving, we drove to Denver, Colorado to visit with our son. Yes…from West Virginia to Denver. We drove. It took 3 days to get there. We visited. It took 3 days to drive home. It is all about the journey.

This was Kansas.

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Okay…this is the Tom Tom version of Kansas. I couldn’t get a good picture of the herds of tumbleweeds crossing the road. How unlucky are the animals that get hit on I-70 when you can see for 10 or more miles? Just saying.

Our son, Jeremiah, found us some fun, free things to do while we were there.
We went to the Red Rock Amphitheater. Impressive.

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The last is my DH, Dan, braving the wind and cold.

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The view of Denver…also impressive.

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More huge, red rocks…

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The Coors brewery tour…Let me say, “Wow!” They make a lot of beer. I was looking for oompa-loompa type workers to appear, but they never did.

This was the Tom Tom on the road up to Look Out Mountain. A few curves, eh?

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Here is what we saw in Kansas City, Missouri…for about 20 miles…yikes. We timed that all wrong. Rush hour on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving! Ugh!

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More about sewing next time! Hope you had safe travels over the holidays!