Sunday, February 27, 2011

GreenStitch Episode 26 - A winter pick-me-up

This week, we do a little vintage-style embroidery to help chase away the winter doldrums. Listen to the full episode here.

The dancing coffee pot didn't show up brilliantly on the striped tea towel (and dim winter afternoon light makes for dreary photos anyway), but the design on the striped linen was still worth doing. The designs on solid colors, of course, always turn out great. I'll definitely spice up more of my towels with fun designs like these. Here are some good sources beyond your local craft store:

  • The Pattern Bee (lots of free stuff, too)
  • Floresita's blog isn't active right now, but you can still find lots of good patterns and ideas - plus, her commentary is fantastic.
  • A quick search on eBay will turn up tons of vintage embroidery patterns, too, as well as embroidery supply. They can often be overpriced, though, so watch carefully.

And need to brush up on your basic embroidery stitches? Mary Corbet has some super instructional videos here.

I keep dreaming of the day when Dan and I have our morning coffee and our evening glass of wine at our cafe table overlooking the garden. For now, this is what it looks like... :-(

Many thanks to listener Sharyn for her super idea of putting even the tiniest of fiber scraps to use by creating stuffing for a dog bed. I made the exterior pouch out of leftover fleece, then lined it with an old pillowcase. Felt and fleece appliques were a simple touch (and great idea from listener Laurel, the Simple Romantic.)

I sewed all day yesterday and tossed all the scraps and trimmings into this pouch, getting a good start on filling the bed for a shelter dog. Thanks again for the super idea - this is one I'll be using for a long, long time!

Finally - the giveaway winners! Congrats to Laurel, Judy, and Carrie. I'll be contacting you very soon.

And thanks so much to everyone who left comments. I love knowing that you listen to podcast even while flossing teeth, feeding chickens, and blocking out annoying colleagues in the next office! See you soon...


  1. Sharyn's idea is fantastic! I ALWAYS feel bad when I toss even the tiniest bits. And now I don't have to.

    But how many clean tea towels does Betty manage to lay on just after the come out of the dryer, before you get a change to use them. O'Malley cat is pretty good at laying on the freshly washed dish clothes and napkins before they make it to the drawer - and don't tell me he doesn't know exactly what he is doing.

  2. That was supposed to be 'chance' not 'change' - yes I meant to yes preview

  3. I like the idea about the dog pillows. I might start tossing scraps into a pillowcase and do the same thing, just sew up the end when it's full.

  4. Isn't that idea the BEST? I've been telling people at work about it today, too - everyone gasps with delight and says they're going to start doing it immediately - Sharyn, your influence will spread far and wide!

    Laurel, I have to fold and put laundry away REALLY fast so Betty or her cohorts in cat-dom don't start lounging about on it. Fresh laundry = cat magnet!

  5. I didn't think to put out a PUBLIC THANK YOU for the excitement of your celebratory giveaways. I'm very excited that my number came up! My number doesn't come up very often, which is not always a bad thing.


    There is a lovely youtube video cat commercial of a cat with a heavy Italian accent (I think) talking to the basket of clean clothes as though it's his lover. I think his owner distracts him with the cat food being advertised.

  6. I love the idea of using the smallest scraps for a pet pillow. I'm going thru my trashcan now for those tiny scraps that I thought were too small to keep!

    A note on your last 2 podcasts, the volume seems to be lower than before. This last one was louder in the last segment when you announced the winners.

  7. Peggy, yep, my sound levels continue to be a problem. I'm getting some expert advice this weekend from my old intern - hopefully I can make it more consistent. GarageBand is a great tool but a lot of the nuances are still eluding me! Thanks for your patience!

  8. I love the idea of using scraps for a pet pillow. Now, can you tell me how to get my kitties to use the pillow and not every other non-designated sleep object? One likes the orphan sock box, one likes the bath mat, and the last one wants to sleep on any part of my husband's lap.

  9. Misty-Anne, I know exactly what you mean. Leo and Polly like sleeping in baskets and pillows (especially the ones I sprinkle a little catnip in) but Betty's favorite spot these days is whatever reusable shopping bag we leave on the kitchen counter. Why she likes to nap on that sort of creepy, half-paper/half-fabric texture is beyond us, but then, that's Betty....! Thanks for your notes.

  10. My patio looks like yours...I'm anxious for spring!! Love the towels, so sweet and fun :) Thanks for sharing!