Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Stitch In Time~( long!)

Ever since I was a young girl..I have liked stitching..
My earliest recollections are of a wooden spool of thread and 4 nails..I would wrap yarn around the nails a certain way and out would come a long knit chain..that I would roll and sew together to make rugs for my Barbie.
I remember a pink one for beside her canopy bed~
 I see she's come a long way and drives a Fiat :) Cracked me up..
I never really sewed well..And only started once married as a young bride..My machine didn't make all the girls matching outfits had Velcro..
I made all our Priscilla curtains..w/ elastic as the ruffle(taught to me by a friend at that time..) I was 20..
Jacques put up with a lot of frills..It's amazing how you can be a teak loving bachelor and end up under a frilled canopied bed with Priscilla curtains in just over 1 year:)~
To  Jacques and I  ....the girls looked adorable ...and let's face it ...fabric was $1.00 a yard..they barely needed 1 it was.. at that time, very economical..for we  3 girls to even be dressed all alike..(I won't go there:) )..
This was  at Caroline's 3rd or 4th birthday.. Mylène would have been 5 or 6..she looks really happy:)Must have been her Mickey Mouse Club sticker on her pinafore..a Polaroid shot..I loved my Polaroid:-)
Our  2 girls have the home made pinafores and dresses:)I loved making their special outfits..Then they started deciding what NOT to wear..All those kidlets were so sweet..Hope they are all happy and well ..this foto is over 30 years old..
Can you tell they were in the basement in the kiddie playroom?Is it the faux paneling that gives it away?:)I loved those days..LOVED♥.The very best of years--

Everything I made had to be easy..
Then I discovered Bucilla~  In my early 20's Bucilla had crewel kits..I would even ask for a kit at Christmas..I loved stitching those kits when the girls were napping or we were watching TV at night..I didn't work until both girls were in school all stitching filled my time with such a nice relaxing ,quiet pastime..
I made over 50 in our married life. .. some were gifts..some were kept...the last move..11 years ago..
I gave many to a client..and kept maybe 5..
I did keep  a few pillows also..
A few years ago..a net friend..showed me how to make needlepoint Christmas stockings for my family..she painstakingly even bought all the materials for me to get started and sent them from California to Canada..She even took....made...a movie of her doing it so I could learn..
Such kindness..
And she got me started by drawing my canvases..
To make a long story short everyone in our family has one now..The boys ..the 2 oldest..know..or knew last year..who's is who's..:) I loved that!
I have made 11 I think..each one was a true pleasure.

I must say..I stitched the canvases..bought the lining..cording and backing,and then an ANGEL turned them into first rate stockings for me..she even made some for Jain..
She is almost ..or more than ~~~~  years now..and the last one was made 3 years ago.I will never ever forget Frances.♥♥
My eldest daughter hand drew the latest ones for me:-)

They are all finished now and I kind of missed the habit this year..
Until I stumbled upon Alicia Paulson's blog(her blog is a treasure of beautiful photos and crafts..) and found her cute cute kits..they are a bit vintage looking to me..and I immediately fell in love with them..
I must tell you that they have a new addition to their home in the form of a precious baby brace yourselves for  more than adorable.
I ordered a downloadable pattern set..and set forth gathering the materials..(WE HAVE A MICHAEL'S NOW!!)..Even that part was fun..
Then I got started..a bit early to try and make a few Christmas presents for the girls  (They won't see this post..I am 90 % sure..and anyways Caroline has seen 2 while I was working on them:)

The pillow is of the ones I made 100 years ago..but the Gingerbread doll is an Alicia Paulson original pattern one that I stitched..The link to her blog is a Christmas present to you:)  Early..but it keeps on giving:)
If you feel like making  gifts..enjoy stitching and working with felt and embroidery..these are sublimely..happiness in a basket~You can improvise too adding your own touch..I added the small wood heart in her pocket..and a real ribbon for her scalloped shears couldn't get through the felt nor my punch so I just xx's the bottom of the apron..Those small scissors were my moms♥
She would have loved making these..I love the feeling of felt..warm on our hands..cozy..
One day ..I was stitching while Lucas was here ..he was engrossed in a movie..but asked if he could try..
Of course he was more than adorable to me:)
The skate pattern is so much fun to make  also..and the cocoa cup:)

Instead of embroidering the eyelets on the skates..I used metal eyelets..small ones..found at MICHAEL's(I am so happy we have that store..  have I mentioned that?:))and added bells to some of  the embroidery laces..because I am sure I had bells on my skates..Sure as sure can be.
On a few..I added European embroidered initials that I had bought on Etsy a few years back.
It's almost retro to felt and embroider..but if I could have picked my middle would be vintage..Vintage..I enjoy all things that sometimes seem passé..yet they're not..
Many of her complete kits are sold out..but if you just want the patterns..and  a list of what you need..and perfect instructions..there is still time to go and spoil yourselves..with..peace..and contentment in sitting by the fire..and stitching.And..there are still full kits left..that must be like receiving a Christmas gift in the mail.:)
The set I worked on  for this Christmas is called Ice Skating Afternoon~..It has the Skate..the Cup of Hot Cocoa and the Gingerbread girl..They are lovely as a set..but on their own..each in their own way..they are special..So they can be offered individually or as a set of the 3.They are time consuming in the nicest way~
Listening to..
Classical music....  or Tony Bennett(all the duets..especially KD Lang)....or Diana Krall..or Ariane Moffat (Trauma)..  Or..Vincent Vallières..Quand On Va S'Aimer Encore......I chose the UP you tube video for everyone to relate...never expected to find someone having uploaded this song to UP:)...this song..was my favorite in the last yr plus~
and someone I know..  really... fell in love watching UP..
 J and I saw it in a cinéma with the boys~and loved that little movie for that reason alone~
My dear son-in-law bought the Cd:-)
It's life..with your life.

On to the subject:-)
The last felt project I did was over 30 yrs ago..a large Advent calendar for the door with ornaments for every day that you velcro onto the tree..The kiddies have it now..~
So now the moms will have their own little ornaments.

I told you it was  a LONG  post..But Alicia Paulson's blog..and worth it all~
I ordered another set of 3 for next year..Wonder how long I will last without starting:)
Sorry for the long post~:)
But I hope rekindled the stitching flames in some of you~
The Ricrack..alone should ignite the Vintageness in you♥
I promise you:-) l will give you a  looong break after this  lengthy post:-)


  1. A lovely post indeed. Isn't it fun to step back in is comforting and relaxing. I can remember the days I spent cross-stitching in front of the fireplace. I made stockings for both of the girls and with a new granddaughter, there will be a first Christmas...and the need for a stocking....thank you.

  2. Oh special....
    how beautiful your work is...
    you have rekindled something in me that I haven't picked up for a year...wish I had the fireplace to sit by too!! :)).
    And the cocoa cup its too dear...
    blessed to have friends like you so far yet so near.
    Shel xx

  3. Oh, Monique, yet another shared love we have in common. I've been a stitcher since I was a child. It has filled so many delightful hours through the years. I'm so thankful that I still have the passion and the eyesight. LOL So many of my friends have had to give up stitching because they no longer have the sharp vision that it often requires. I always have several projects going, and admit that many are years in the progress stage. I stitch for the process not the product.
    Jain had told me about your needlepoint stockings. I would so love to see them. Please share photos of each or you can send in an email. I know they are treasures. 11 ~ that is amazing. I've stitched many for friends and the children of friends over the years, but have never stitched stockings for us.
    Thank you for this post. Your little skates, cups, and people are dear...........Sarah

  4. Bonsoir! Thank you for stopping by chez moi today. I am impressed. You, little Martha Stewart, you :-) There is no way I'd have the patience to make all these, and yet, I could learn, if I had a teacher like you... Your house must be a personal, welcoming home, especially at Christmas time. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  5. Monique Vintage, you are quite a stitcher!! The stockings are impressive! I stitched sooo many years away...I have lots of cross-stitch things around. Baby samplers
    for the boys...
    I have followed Alicia for awhile now...isn't that baby sweet!!!
    I love those ornament designs and have contemplated on getting them.

  6. It has been so long since I stitched make me want to again...we still have Christmas Decorations I stitched over 30 years ago and they go on the tree every year. ..the picture of your little girls, so sweet...
    I love all of your little special.
    Bisous xo

  7. You made me realize today why I came back to blogging. you post in full of tender love; sometimes we crave for this and we don't even know.

    I remember crewel kits' I made to many of those; I was kind of addicted; when my four sons were in bed and my husband was working Crewel was my best friend.

    My mother was a superb seamstress; she made all my clothes while I was teaching including suits and my wedding dress.
    I did get a sewing machine, but I never had her talent; not easy to make boys clothes in the 60s-70s except for pjs and jumpsuits.
    Now i am going too visit Alicia.
    Merci Monique.

  8. Rita I was addicted also..then my career's only when we had Lucas..Jain had so many and suggested I start..then that turned into an addiction until I had the family done:)I would stitch on the beach..or in you know they are so long..our winters..
    But there really isn't a season as Sara..I do it also for the sheer pleasure of it.
    I thank God my eyes are still sharp enough and my hands still steady enough..
    And God Bless Frances..when she would turn my needlepoint canvases into stockings she would say how she would love to do fine stitching kind of her .
    Rita I can't imagine sewing boys clothes..except pj's as you say.
    I do find you can get clothes today for less than what it takes sometimes to make them.
    And fabric stores are few and far between.
    Linda..and Auntie:) don't hesitate in ordering the PDFs..I am sure with all the nice American stores you will have fun treasure hunting for the felt and embellishments.

    I think I have posted some of my stockings..I will be happy to share.
    The snowman you see above was the first I did..for my was the first design that spoke to me..the daddy snowman holding the baby snowman's arms..That is Fred and Lucas..

    The other to the right is one of the ones my daughter drew... a sorts of a ME drawing with our touches....

    Thank you..

    and yes that baby is soo soo cute..and the feeling around her.. her home..her room..her wee so endearing.
    A very favorite magazine:)

  9. You have ignited the Vintageness in me, I just visited Alicia Paulson and find that she lives right here in Portland. I love little sewing projects. I like to make them and always feel like I have accomplished something special when they are finished. That little gingerbread girl is precious.

  10. Monique, I always love your stitching projects. I grew up sewing and my mother sewed all of our clothes. When I graduate from High School I said I wanted a "store bought" dress!
    I laugh at that now. I sewed for my kids and always made their "Christmas Nighties" until they got old enough to tell me that they didn't like my homemade pajamas! (Saved me a ton of time.) Now I mostly sew home decor.

    I am so glad you have Michaels now. I love your stockings. I made the felt ones and they take a long time. Now my daughter makes them for her children but the daughters in law don't want them - oh well.

    It was fun reading your post. It brought back lots of memories!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  11. Portland looks heavenly:-)
    I hope you do stitch!
    Jacqueline..I am not surprised that you stitched:-) still do..
    You do everything with such creativity and exuberance.:-)
    Thank you.

  12. MOnique, finally I get to visit with you after a long busy week where I didn't have time to take a breath! Are you sure that you and I are not twins from separate mothers??? We are so alike and our lives have paralleled each other it seems. I used to sew matching outfits for my girls all the time when they were small, while they were still open to wearing my creations. My favourite outfits? Matching cowboy suits, with fringed skirts and snap trimmed blouses, one in mint green and the other in pale red. And then there are the sewing kits for stockings etc. I used to get mine from Herschners, (not sure I spelled that correctly, but I am sure you know of what I speak). My whole Christmas tree was covered with sequined and felted ornaments, matching stockings etc. So much fun to do! I did needlepoint too, and yes . . . when I was a little girl, my papa made me one of those wooden spool knitting things, and I made long snakes which I sewed into rugs for my Barbie too. Mine did not have a car, she had my brother's GIJoe Jeep. :-) Love you! xxoo

  13. You have always been so good with making lovely projects with your hands, Monique! I have many unfinished ones ;) What beautiful and fun new projects! I will have to visit the link and take a peak!

  14. I grew up sewing, even made my wedding dress but I haven't done anything in such a long time. I love your expression "happiness in a basket"...I can see why you would enjoy it so much. I love your added details of the heart in the pocket and the bells on the skates, Just lovely.

  15. :)
    You will get quite a bit addicted to her blog:)

    Marie..when you post about growing up..YOU bring back so many memories for me:)

  16. What a beautiful hand work! I am amazed by all your talents..

  17. Beautiful sweet memories. Old and New.

  18. Thank u for this post smelling like Chrismas!!!
    I love Christmas so much!

  19. Hello Monique!
    I have been catching up here! It has been a long time preparing for the hurricane, then the aftermath.
    One of my son's friends was killed by a falling tree . He had just put his 2 little girls in their car seats to get them to safety. So horrible for his wife and girld to watch.
    You are so talented! Your stitching is beautiful!
    Have you started to prepare for Christmas? I feel we have lost 3 weeks with the storms!
    Hope you are well!

  20. You are very talented! I cannot stitch and don't have the patience for such a hobby. ;-P



  21. Such lovely stitchings! Monique! You have so many gifts: You are an excellent gardener, a very gifted baker and so much more. And now you are a very talented stitcher too! Have a nice week.

  22. Beautiful M...We love so many of the same.
    Years ago I belonged to an Embroiders Guild...learned so much from those sweet women.
    Getting little hands to stitch early, priceless...they always will remember where they learned it from.
    Enjoy your boys...

  23. These pieces are beautiful! I love the fine details of the mug and ice skate Christmas ornament and the Christmas stockings. A true work of art!

  24. I love getting to know more of some of you through posts that are non-food:-)
    Thank you :-) For everything.
    Alicia has a new post up:-) So cute the clothes she makes for her new baby girl:-) Such tender posts.

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  26. Oh Monique, once again you have brightened our days! Such extraordinary talent and patience ~ I love to embroider as well, but you take cute and beautiful to a whole new level (and so prolifically!)
    The girls were as adorable then as they are beautiful now. :) You are blessed!
    Now I must go back and admire your images all over again (and follow your links, too.)
    Thank you for sharing all that you do. You've brought sunshine into my house on this dark, gray, wet day. xo

  27. Your work is gorgeous!
    So funny that I'm stitching while reading this..I got some Guerlain perfumed labels in Paris and thought I should stitch them inside my coats. I haven't held a needle in ages...

  28. :-) Carol what a good idea:-)
    I just love would so enjoy making some..I know you will enjoy her site too:-)

  29. Just one more reason why I love you.
    I used to make most of Sam's little dresses, because sewing for little princesses is so much fun, as you already know.
    Anyway, Sam grew up (too fast, I might add), so I rekindled my love for the craft by taking on a few projects around the house, like making a slipcover for my sofa. Yes, I went there.

    Long story short, my machine quit halfway through this major project.

    Could you put in a good word for me with Mr. Claus? I really need to start sewing again.

  30. What a beautiful post...I have similar memories about sewing (and no button hole maker on my 1930's Singer...bought with my first tax return ($40) when I was 19 (many moons ago). Like you I made many a jumper/dress/skirt for my girls using $1 per yard fabric and recycled raw silk drapes found at thrift you...I did this for all of us (dolly's included) until they decided not to wear them! :))) Your hand work is so lovely Monique...those stockings are works of art...your family is so blessed to have you. You probably don't realize how much you enrich their lives in so many ways. Thank you for sharing these memories with us and for the link! I am off to peruse!

  31. Your stitching skills are amazing! I used to stitch when I was a child and actually was pretty good at it (when using templates). I haven't done anything like that since then.

  32. I just love your photos! Thank you for sharing.