to celebrate the publication of my new book


Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.

This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.

The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jenn's Shower Gift from Me

My sister Jenn is 10 years younger than I am. We are all very excited that she has found a great guy to spend the rest of her life with. Jenn's been working for almost twenty years and has had her own house for years. There's not a lot she needs as she already has a full kitchen. I thought that it would be appropriate if I made her a gift for her shower. I turned to my book "Colorful Stitchery" to see what might inspire me. I decided to do a variation on these handmade pillowcases.

Jenn is marrying a guy named Patrick who goes by Pat. I wanted to include both their names on their pillowcases. Lucky for me I could shorten Patrick to Pat and Jenn is short - only 7 letters to stitch. I found some lovely lightweight linen fabric at my favorite fabric store in Brattleboro, Delectable Mountain. Pillowcases are very easy to make - just a giant rectangle with a few seams. Linen pillowcases are hard to find but they are so easy to make.

For the embroidery pattern, I wrote out both their names and then drew a little heart on a piece of paper. Using the directions in my book, I transferred the script and the hearts to the fabric using fabric transfer paper. Then I traced over the design with a blue water soluble marker. I used 3 strands of cotton embroidery floss in an aqua shade for the letters and worked them in a tiny chain stitch.

For the heart, I used 3 strands of embroidery floss in zinnia pink, chartreuse and salmon. I used a tiny chain stitch for the heart lines and filled the inner heart with French knots.

Then I decided to stitch a line of salmon running stitch at the machine stitch hem for a little more decoration.

This whole project was pretty easy to do and made a very thoughtful handmade shower gift. The amount of time spent on it wasn't overwhelming -- I worked on it at a couple farmer's markets and one evening. You can find directions for the top project in my book Colorful Stitchery which is for sale in my shop.


duraknit said...

The perfect solution! Everyone I know already has all the "stuff" anyone'll ever need, now that we're so old :), but you still want to mark the occasion with a gift. They will treasure these.

--Elizabeth D

Turtle said...

i think it is the perfect gift! handmade of love and personable! I will have to check out this on your book. A few months back i was lucky to fins 6 sets of old linen pillowcases unopened in their original packaging at a booth in our antique mall. I paid 1.25 per package (each package held a pair of cases) I was so excited, of course hubby just laughed at me but my mom understood my excitement... i mailed her 3 pairs.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Jenn and Pat! Hand made gifts bestow so much love, they're the best! Congrats to both of them.


Harpa Jónsdóttir said...

How beautiful! Sweet - but not too sweet - bright and happy.

Kristi said...

At the risk of sounding middle aged...it is so wonderful to see this idea used in this day and age.
Back in the 70's I can remember my mom making these lovely wedding presents for friends kids who were getting married. Thanks for reminding me what a great gift it makes!

Whosyergurl said...

Jenn (& Pat) will treasure your gift for years to come! How lovely!
I was an embroidery girl back in the late 70's- embroidered everyone's jeans, denim shorts, shirts and jackets. Also a lot of fun to see my artwork and original designs (and stitches) walking about on my friends.
Cheryl in IN

Monika said...

Wow! Those are so beautiful! I can't think of a nicer gift for anyone other than something so personal and so lovingly stitched.

Jody said...

Your pillowcases are truly lovely - what an incredible gift!

mathea said...

That's a lovely present - something they will treasure always. I remember that my grandma had linen pillowcases, but it has never occured to me to make my own. Hmmmm, now there's a thought...

Grand Purl Baa said...

A very beautiful gift, imbued with such love and joy and attention.

Lucky lucky Jenn and Pat.

Catherine said...

This a beautiful, heartfelt gift that is sure to be treasured for many years!

adeloria said...

For my wedding shower, my mother gave me pillowcases that had been embroidered by her mother. I had to choke back tears in front of everyone, because my grandma had died of lung cancer when I was in the seventh grade. It was such a lovely way to be reminded that my grandma could still be a part of the wedding joy.

oklyous said...

That is good, and personal gift. I would definitely make me happy:) and you can never get too many pillowcases.

Gigi said...

Oh, love those -- treasured keepsakes that can be used every day.

Alison said...

Those are so precious! I should make some keepsakes for my girls! So much to stitch & knit, so little time...