Vintage quilted covered hangers “How-to”……….

Taking this process step by step really makes me stop and think about how I do a project! Mostly, I just “wing it” and visualize/trouble-shoot the stages in my head, without much real “concrete” prepping! So, we’re off……….

First: gather the “ingredients”….. pillowcases, hangers, lace edgings (if the cases have a simple hemmed bottom edge but are embroidered)… IMG_0076

These are what I brought to Texas with me. Each are different widths, which will dictate the hanger dimensions I’m able to use (if I want to just use the cases w/o enlarging them.).



Hangers do vary in widths, so be sure those measurements can be worked with.





I chose this combo. I measured up from the bottom to give me some fmq room above the design and enough of a “drop” to cover a garment or just look nice as a mini wall quilt.

IMG_0083 Press the case flat, fold/press in half horizontally (matching the bottom edges of the front/open end with the folded/stitched end) and cut the case on that fold, giving you 2 pieces of equal sizes. You will, then cut the side seams/folds to give you 4 pieces. IMG_0086IMG_0087 2 of the pieces will have a decorative lower edge (these are your outer/”right” sides to the finish). 2 pieces will be straight on all four sides (these are the “backing” pieces for the hanger sandwich). There is no additional fabric needed. 1 pillowcase makes 1 hanger.

I press these pieces, again, very well (using a light starch/stabilizer).IMG_0088

Batting is my usual Hobbs 80/20, cotton/poly (this time it’s “bleached). IMG_0089 

Lay the hanger on the decorated piece, centering it and allowing enough “drop” below the hanger. Lightly mark the outline of the right/left slant sides (draw a vertical line down to the bottom edge from the right/left lower edge of the hanger itself), noting where the  “hook” is at the top. Then mark 1/2” to 1” beyond this marking for ease and seam allowance. This will give you your “playing field” for fmq! IMG_0090 - Copy_LI

Red arrows=seam allowance

Green arrow=hook


I do the front piece first and, then mark the corresponding right side of the back piece (the other piece that has a decorative lower edge). There will be no cutting until all the quilting is finished!

Time to make 2 sandwiches (one will be the front and the other the back of the hanger!)……..IMG_0093    Here’s a close-up of the front sandwich with the arrows……IMG_0092_LI   Up til this point you have had opportunity to be looking at the design and imagining just what you will be stitching! I have not taken the time, prior to sandwiching, to do any marking. I’m kinda backwards in this or the piece is slow in communicating with me….sigh. These directions might be over-involved but you will figure your own ‘best way’ after you do one of these.

I always start quilting the back piece first to get my creative juices flowing and, then, do the main/front design. Remember…..there are no rules!!!! This is merely what I do. If it works for you…..awesome!!!!! See here and here for my previous finishes.

Any questions….jump right in and let me know. “Part 2” coming very soon…..

‘Click’ to enlarge photos for clarity.

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Back with the Killer Bees…………..

And what a busy morning it was! In one corner, there was a group of gals from the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild who were checking in quilts for the upcoming annual event (Jan. 26/27) at the Civic Center on South Padre Island.IMG_0096 There was a great turnout for the meeting…….IMG_0097 and much to share. Here’s just a small sampling…….


A previous workshop



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Yup, quite the creative, productive crew!!!!!

Next up, a quick(?) tutorial for the padded vintage covered hangers. Please, stop back tomorrow for the 1st “installment”……………..

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May the upcoming year be the one in which you truly experience all the love He has for you and the plans that only you are created for!

happy-new-year-greetings-messages   Once again, I must tell you how much y’all mean to me. You are my inspiration, encouragers, and motivation; but, most of all, friends accompanying me on this journey I’m/we’re on. Thank you so much! A fresh year, clean slate, lays before us, may we not waste one precious moment. May you know His blessings…..and feel the hugs I send with this……………

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To (almost) finish the snowflake tale………

I left off with the task of stitching something beyond the surrounding feather motifs…..IMG_0051 Taking some of the fullness away, along with toning down some of the ‘shine’ would help to highlight those feathers. Since, I’m stitching this on my Juki (DSM) I do a lot more free-hand fmq without rulers. This was the solution……IMG_0057 and it seems to work very well……IMG_0056 There’s “piano keys” and then there’s “toothpicks”, as in this instance!!! This is surprisingly easy to accomplish free-hand! IMG_0057 (2) Now, on to choosing the binding. From a glistening snowflake to a shining star……..perfect……..IMG_0060 IMG_0059And the finish ……..IMG_0058 

Thread: (top) Glide, 60 wt, & Isacord, 40 wt; (bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt. Batting: Hobbs Heirloom cotton/poly (80/20). The top/gold fabric is “Radiance” by Robert Kaufman (cotton/silk).

Note: ‘click’ on any photo to enlarge. Thanks so much for popping by. At the moment, we are beginning the packing, etc, to be on our way South in search of some warmer temps tomorrow. The next post will be from South Texas. Sending hugs, always……….

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Oh Come Let Us Adore Him……………

Jesus Clip Art Black And White Clipart Panda Free Clipart Images

May the Peace that came to earth that day so long ago be known to you today and throughout the coming year!

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What to stitch/quilt???…..

Isn’t that a loaded question?? Practicing the “how”, 15 minutes each day, is comparatively easy but the “what” can baffle a body (and, possibly, bring about the dreaded ‘quilter’s block’!). At this point, stepping back a bit, putting ‘fresh eyes’ in place, just looking at the piece to be quilted……and letting it speak to you……may be the best solution. “Suzy Snowflake” is the piece in question, at the moment. A little reminder photo: IMG_0036 The minimal space surrounding this linen needed some toning down, texture and, well, a little personality to compliment the centerpiece. To brainstorm a bit, I grabbed my piece of Plexiglas and dry erase marker and sketched, erased and sketched some more, with this as the resulting idea……IMG_0041 Here’s the Plexiglas w/o the fabric under it…..IMG_0044 The motif in the corners, somewhat, mirror the crochet design and will nicely fill that outer area…….IMG_0045 I used an air-erase marker (yes, I tested it first…..better safe than sorry!) and free-handed the design onto the fabric. No, the designs will not be identical but I really prefer that less structured/perfect look.IMG_0048 IMG_0047IMG_0046    One corner done, 3 more to go…….. I’m using Isacord thread for this, in a very slightly darker shade of gold to further deepen the shadowing that the stitching creates. I often do this as it really enhances the visual texture. IMG_0052 IMG_0051   Now, to “tame” the outer areas a bit. Hmmmmm………….please, stop back to see the final chapter of this little story…..

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Meet “Suzy Snowflake”………..

Introduced in yesterday’s post. As I was doing some bead work, all I could think of was the (very) old winter song from 1951, and sung by Rosemaryy Clooney, “Suzy Snowflake”. Check out these 2 links….one, more Currier & Ives/Rosemaryy Clooney and the other, a video of the genre that is definitely ‘50s TV!!!!!!! I know I’m definitely ‘dating’ myself with that 2nd one!!!! Anyhow, the beading is completed………..IMG_0036 IMG_0038 IMG_0039     This activity is just the detail work I love! I used a few more pearls/sequins left from my bridal gown sewing days. There is a bit of space surrounding this piece and, of course, 1 or 2 ideas are floating in my head! BUT, first, Ms Juki is showing her age/usage! As I was stitching around the perimeter of the piece to better anchor/stabilize it prior to the handwork, the fmq foot went from this….IMG_0031  to this……IMG_0032 Kinda just fell apart at the “ankle”! Well, a call made to a Raichert’s tech resulted in my ordering the new side-opening fmq foot made for the Juki TL series, which is a good thing so I don’t have to do a modification like I did on the above pictured foot!

 So….I may just do some preliminary marking in the “negative” space and see if the other/smaller fmq foot will work.

I leave you with one last quick photo..IMG_0035

For further details, regarding thread or batting, etc, used, see yesterday’s post here. Now….on to some planning and fmq (I hope!)…………….

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“Oak Ridge” happenings……………

Just for clarification, that’s the name of the ridge (mini mountain??) that we live on, nestled among oak, hickory, black walnut, elm, pine and miscellaneous other tree varieties in an area known as the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood Forest (S.E. MN). Anyhow………pretty quiet at the moment. The winter storm that had the local meteorologists busy for the last few days has shown to be “wimping” out. Areas to the North may see several inches of the ‘white stuff’ but we have/will be escaping much of the blanketing first predicted….yay!

  Ms Sweetie (HQ Sweet 16) has taken up residence in Sparta (WI) at “Quilt Corner Quilt Shop” for the months we are in Texas. Some “show-off” time (being available as a floor model machine) ending in a Springtime spa treatment just before we return. I miss her! In her absence, I am keeping company with Ms Juki who is more than able to step up to the (fmq) plate! IMG_0030     Not a large piece but one that will require lots of hand beading! FUN!!!!! I’ve used a single layer of Hobbs cotton/poly batting with gold “Radiance”, by Robert Kaufman, and muslin for backing. Since there is so much lace work, the beading will serve to anchor the vintage piece to the bottom layers……except for a tiny bit of fmq feathers in the center (stitched with Glide, 60 wt for top thread and Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt on the bobbin)………IMG_0029    Once the beading is complete, I will finish stitching/embellishing the outer space that surrounds the piece.    So…guess what I’ll be doing this afternoon!?! How’s your preparations for the upcoming Holiday coming along? We tend to keep away from the gift-giving “frenzy”, so our family time together is, generally, on the “low key” side (except for the 2 great grands who have enough energy for many!!!). Thanks so much for all your precious visits over this past year and I look forward to future times of sharing what’s happening. Til then…….


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Secret reveal…..part 2……………

It’s now safe to share these with you all……..IMG_9869    Each has gone to separate homes. These beautiful vintage pillowcases were just begging for “new life” and, now, they will be loved in a whole new way. Some close-ups were posted here and I’ll share one of the photos again to give you an idea of the scale of the stitching……………..IMG_9760     Normally, I would be doing these types of smaller projects on my Juki/DSM but I thought I would try to stitch them on the Sweet 16. “Ms Sweetie” performed beautifully (I knew she would!!!).IMG_9871 IMG_9872 IMG_9873 IMG_9874 The lace edging was in perfect condition and the above/right photo shows the back side finish. I stopped the fmq a half inch above the lace and removed the piece from the machine. I, then, cut back the batting to above the lace and cut the backing to the length of the bottom edge of the scalloped lace, clipped the gentle curve and merely folded the raw edge to the inside (covering the batting edge) and pressed it well. I returned to the machine and finished the quilting to the edge and that stitching securing the folded “hem”. Note:click on photos to enlarge.

This “padded hanger” idea was one that I had seen on Facebook a while back and had duplicated in a set for a client last July (see post here)……….here’s a refresher photo……..IMG_9155   These, previously done hangers, were done with a crochet edging piece remaining from a table topper upcycle and not from pillowcases, as these gifted hangers were. The pillowcases gave me much more to work with because of the beautiful embroidery! IMG_9869    I’ll leave you with these for inspiration…….keep your eyes open for any cases that may need to be rescued!!! They make awesome little wall “quilts” that come with their own hangers!!!

Thread: (top) Glide, 60wt;(bobbin)Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70wt. Batting: Hobbs Heirloom, cotton/poly.

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Gifts given….now, time for a “reveal”………

The first “hints” are here and here. A huge vintage playtime for me and was gifted last Sunday afternoon at my smaller, local quilt group. Our annual Christmas gathering was totally joyous and without weather complications! In fact, fun enough that I have no photo proof!!!! But here’s that vintage gift that found it’s way to Gwen…………..IMG_9875 A few more close-ups………………  IMG_9877 IMG_9878   The last one (above) is a backing view (fabric from Connecting Threads). IMG_9876 

Thread: (top) Glide, 60 wt, (bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt. Batting: Hobbs Heirloom, cotton/poly (80/20)…single layer.

Another “reveal” soon!

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Weekend recap………..

Well, sorta. Saturday was filled with hemming (DHs) jeans and finishing a client project…….but Sunday/yesterday was definitely a “Christmas time is here” day! Morning church service brought a glorious time of songs of the season and an inspiring message. The afternoon was spent with friends in Caledonia (MN) at the County Historical Society’s “Old Fashion Christmas” annual event. A beautiful facility surrounded by preserved local buildings. Grab a cuppa and join me in a little look-back on our afternoon……….IMG_9914 IMG_9895 IMG_9896IMG_9897IMG_9909 IMG_9907 IMG_9903IMG_9910   A Scandinavian Kubbestol beautifully carved……                     IMG_9899IMG_9898 IMG_9905  Friends, Dallas & Karla, had a fab display of some of his John Deere toy collection. IMG_9906IMG_9911   And, of course, a delightful area serving holiday goodies.

The days are counting down……’s your “to do” list??????

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Absent but not quiet……………

Projects of the secret kind continue to come together in my little “elf” studio. Although time seems to be in less than sufficient supply (or, maybe, it’s energy….mine!), I am finishing a large-ish wall hanging for a friend. Begun years ago, it will make the perfect appearance after a little handwork completes it. The pattern was originally found in “Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine”, 1991. IMG_9888 When given to me to quilt/finish, the center portion (window) was done but the outer border and star were missing. Raiding my stash produced the perfect border materialIMG_9891 and a small piece of gold “Radiance” fabric was ideal for the star! IMG_9883 




The tree in the lower left corner is the only one with “decorations”..IMG_9890                                                          


 The magazine directions had 2 versions: paper pieced and templates. This one was paper pieced.IMG_9884    The challenge with this ‘simple’ quilt stitching is avoiding the fabric bias stretch/”creeping” that comes with those diagonal lines. On a “sit-down” machine (HQ Sweet 16), this stitching is achieved well with the use of the “Line Tamer” ruler which helps to stabilize the sandwich, minimizing puckers/folds. Very effective, I think.

Thread: (top) Superior’s Variegated Gold metallic, #02 (my “go-to’ metallic!) (bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly,70 wt.  Batting: Hobbs Heirloom cotton/poly (80/20)

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“Count your blessings……………

Name them one by one” (as this traditional hymn admonishes) ………….yes! It really isn’t sufficient to give thanks for all the huge “lumps” of blessings we’ve been given but to take the moments to retrieve and name each one, perhaps recalling a bit of life ‘happening’ that surrounds each. I am so thankful for each of you, dear reader, who have brightened my days, encouraged, inspired and critiqued this journey! Although this day is an “official USA” observance, I pray that it’s a nudge for all to reflect on the challenges and blessings that have brought us all to this moment. Whatever this day is for you, please know, I am giving thanks for you all!!!!!! Thanksgiving clipar      And may I leave you with this simple little thought………………Thanksgiving clipart 1

Sending hugs……………..

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A photo recap……..

Of our monthly (larger group) guild meeting last Monday………. IMG_9801      The morning began with a relaxing workshop working on ‘crazy pieced’ blocks….thank you, Nancy!!!IMG_9802



A military quilt……








IMG_9803 IMG_9804IMG_9806IMG_9807 IMG_9808IMG_9809 IMG_9811IMG_9813IMG_9814 IMG_9815                                     IMG_9817IMG_9820 IMG_9818 IMG_9822IMG_9825 IMG_9827IMG_9829 IMG_9826IMG_9830 IMG_9831 IMG_9831 - Copy

A not-very-clear close up of the above quilt that will be gifted. Faye’s first venture into fmq all that negative space….and she did an awesome job at it (love the feathers!!).

The next gathering will be the Christmas party in a couple weeks (eek!!!!). Beautiful post will follow……….

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A gorgeous sunny Saturday and……………

A lovely 40 minute drive to my bi-monthly SEAMS (SouthEast Area Minnesota Stitchers) gathering near Chatfield (MN). Our attendance number (21!) sure indicated a shared love of all things quilted! Hmmmm….did I mention that this is a group of gals who spend significant time and energy adding that incredible texture to the pieced quilt tops that are before them—–either by a client or the quilter herself. All that thread definitely has fantastic “binding power”!!! As always, at these meetings, the obligatory “sharing” time was inspiring—–photo evidence following………………IMG_9765 IMG_9767 IMG_9768 IMG_9772 IMG_9773 IMG_9769 IMG_9771 IMG_9775 IMG_9776IMG_9777 IMG_9779 IMG_9780 IMG_9781 IMG_9782 IMG_9785 IMG_9786 IMG_9787 IMG_9788 IMG_9789 IMG_9792 IMG_9795 IMG_9796  IMG_9797                           Those last two were done “block of the week”! Yikes!                                            IMG_9798IMG_9799 

A tad(?) photo-heavy but awesome examples of fmq! “Click” any of the pics to enlarge……..I think I’ll go stitch a bit!!!!!!!

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For those who ‘think’ they have “extra” time………..

I have a couple of “oldies but goodies” ideas from past posts. First, a pumpkin idea that only requires ONE stitched straight seam!! Yup…..1!!………..

      Just ‘click’ on the above photo to go to the complete tutorial.      Number two is a fowl feathered friend IMG_9763      from not so long ago. For the tutorial/pattern, again, ‘click’ on the photo to go to the appropriate post.

Activity in the “secret” stitchin’ workshop continues……. Till next we meet, don’t forget to stop and smell….the coffee!!!!!!!!!

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Wordless Wednesday….from a Vintage perspective……

IMG_9759IMG_9760IMG_9761     Note: this is the first project I’ve done with Glide 60 wt thread……..wonderful to work with, perfect tension, great finish!

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And, oh yes, may I add……………

A little Monday laundry (the “norm”?) and adding the wonderful aroma of bread baking to our home….sourdough craisin pecan bread……I wish I could share with y’all……………IMG_9757IMG_9758 These are baked (one loaf at a time) in a covered cast iron Dutch oven so that the crust is that gorgeous brown crustiness. The recipe for the bread may be found in this post….with this modification… place of that water measurement, I use 3/4 cup sourdough starter and 3/4 cup warm water. The rest of the ingredients remain the same. For the cast iron method: Preheat the oven AND the Dutch oven & cover together to 450F (use the rack placed in the lower 1/3 of the oven). Shape the dough into 2 loaves (forming tight balls as described here) and allow to rise on floured cloths in a banneton or bowl til double. I preheat the oven/cast iron for 30 minutes, spray it lightly with oil and sprinkle cornmeal in the bottom of the pan. Flip the risen dough ball (yup!) into the hot pan, make several knife slashes in the loaf top, put the cover on and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 10-15 minutes more to achieve a nice crust. I did the first loaf while the 2nd continued to rise on the counter then repeated the baking process for that loaf. Any covered cloche will work for this method.

Now….back to stitching……………..

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It’s (another) Monday!!!!!!………

Although, I’m aware that every day is a Friday…….in the life of a retiree!!!!

Last Saturday kicked off the local (upcoming) Holiday Season with the annual Holiday Craft Event held at the high school. A dreary November morning greeted all (with freezing drizzle and parts of the nearby interstate highway shut down because of ice and multiple mishaps). This event served to buoy the spirits of many, as I observed the number of cars already parked……IMG_9752 and indoors, the bustling energy was definitely felt………..IMG_9753 My purchases were meager & few…..a dozen molasses cookies did find their way my direction!!!! The perfect accompaniment with a cup of hot coffee!

But….this is Monday and I’m spending it with “friends”: Ms Sweetie, my fave rulers and a sweet vintage piece…….IMG_9756 the “Line Tamer” and Handi Quilter’s “Versa Tool” are the perfect duo to finish up this little piece………IMG_9754 

How’s your Monday/week shaping up?? The calendar is full here but there’s always time for stitching!!!! Til we meet again……..hugs and blessings…….

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My pre-Veterans’ Day Friday morning……….

Was spent in attendance at a most amazing program put on by the local elementary school children. It was 1.5 hours of watching a young generation give honor to those who have given so much so that this program could be presented! IMG_9751 The town’s Legion group presented the Nation’s “colors”, following flags (carried by students) presented for each of the states…….IMG_9733   What followed was a skit that was a virtual tour of the important Washington, DC, sites that commemorate US military events beginning with WWI. Everyone in attendance learned so much with each vignette. ……..IMG_9734 The local quilt group, “Bent Needle Quilters”, presented quilts to several of the veterans………….IMG_9739    There are 7 WWII veterans living in our town and 4 of them were present and were recognized….and applauded. There were tears in many eyes.IMG_9742     After the program there was a “photo op” with the 5th/6th graders and all the veterans in the audience. A very special moment! IMG_9746   Did I mention that it was a packed house??? Well, more chairs were hastily secured and set up!!! This is one special community! Everyone was invited to the high school for a wonderful soup lunch…served by those students. Very special.

Before we left town, we stopped by the Veteran’s Memorial in the city park…….IMG_9748     My DH was in the Navy……….IMG_9750 IMG_9749

Individual bricks, inscribed by caring sponsors.





May we never forget…………..

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A short Friday follow-up……..

To give you the ‘rest of the story’/’big picture’ (actually, it’s a little picture) from Tuesday’s mug-rug post. You can read about this one’s beginnings here. And the completed cutie……a backing view..….IMG_9715     and a formal/front view………..IMG_9710     Happy weekend to you all. A local craft event happens tomorrow and that occurrence really kicks off our holiday season!!!!

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Not just today but every day……….

Image result for Veterans day clip art

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