Saturday, January 29, 2022

Repurposing project for a vintage linen...

 I was rummaging through my tub of old vintage embroidered linens earlier in the week, the lovely pieces collected over many years from op-shops, garage sales, or gifted by friends who know how much I like them. My plan was to choose a heavily embroidered piece which I could cut into five, 4.5" squares. 

Some of the pieces in my collection are damaged, yet there's still good sections to cut out which can be repurposed for new 'vintage style' projects. I'd mentioned in the last post that I was planning to sew blocks from a free BOM by Sherri McConnell this year, but that decision changed the following day, as I considered it wasn't her BOM that attracted me, but the fact that all the blocks will feature one basic design - the churn dash block. And you know they are my favourite of all patchwork blocks!

So I let my own imagination take over, and considered what colours work in my kitchen (as this is where I intend displaying the shelf topper I want to make) and those fabrics I showed earlier in the week do NOT blend with my kitchen. On their own, they are lovely, and would be perfect for a soft pastel and cream kitchen, but they simply will not work in mine. My kitchen needs pops of vibrant colour to blend with the latte cupboards and the white shelving this runner will be displayed on. 

The old cross-stitched linen I chose works beautifully with off-white solid, blue tonal and red floral fabrics. I ended up making the five blocks, then sewed them together end to end before bordering with more of the off-white cream solid. Next comes the hand quilting.

I needed the runner to finish at 34" x 9" so it can sit perfectly across the top of that narrow white bookcase we use in the kitchen for extra pantry storage, and it will become the first 'update' to this plain white shelving. Once this runner is complete I can begin on a curtain across the front, because 1yo Charlie David spent most of Thursday removing everything 'pantry' from the shelves because it was all on display and how can you blame a little boy for being attracted by all the pretty jars, packets, cans and bottles?? 

Julie shared a link on her blog the other day for a simple knitted dishcloth. I know I've had one similar saved on my computer somewhere, but when there's a link right in front of you it's much easier to just download and print then and there. I headed off to Spotlight yesterday for some yarn as these knit up fast and make lovely gifts, and we messaged back and forth with photos so I could find skeins of the right cotton blend that she'd used. I was thrilled to discover it's the same yarn I used to knit cardigans for Cully May, Rafaella and Charlie David in 2020 and 2021. 

So I have three crafty projects on the go right now - new stitchery designs for my Faith, Heart and Home pattern club; the repurposed vintage linen runner; and knitted dishcloths. I can't get bored with a selection like that - because truth be told, sometimes I get bored with all the stitchery time needed (especially as my designs are all worked to a deadline), so having something different to turn my hands to for a while is just the break I need. 

I think they all have their own purpose. The stitchery patterns are my employment; the knitted washcloths are for future gifts; and the vintage table topper is part of my desire to decorate our home in a cohesive style and colour which brings pleasure to the eyes and joy to my homemaker heart.

At the end of last year I had purchased a new planner, but the practicalities of using it were not the best - at least not for me. So I returned back to a favourite, the Day Designer. Last year I had a large day-to-a-page Day Designer, but in reality I didn't need that much space in 2022 (you know, cause I'm slowing down this year, right?) so I bought this new one which is large but with a week for each double page spread. It's so good, and I love how pretty it is on my desk. 

Planning my days is life-giving to how I think and function within the family, the home, and in my business. I don't add every little thing, but the most important ones I'm aiming to accomplish each day as well as the things which must happen and are not-negotiable. I don't beat myself up if some things get moved to the next day, or even moved a few days forward, for just seeing that I am accomplishing what matters and adding in a bit of joy each week makes me genuinely content.

Proverbs 13:16 "A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn't."

Working with the colours that add life to our home; making items which compliment each room; being mindful about all we keep, what we pass along, and what we purchase - these are becoming more deeply embedded in my thinking and planning this year, and prove fruitful in more ways than I had imagined.

I started on my first dishcloth during lunch...

...and now hubby has arrived home from work so I shall bid you good afternoon, and pray that each of you find the weekend to be a productive seedbed of contentment, creativity and delight. 

But before I go, here's a few blog posts I've enjoyed reading this week, in case you're after some inspiration...

LEA from Our Little House on the Mountain

JES from Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

At Home with ROSIE

Bless you heaps,


Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer ,
A churn dash to frame vintage stitcheries is a beautiful idea ! Thanks for sharing ! Maybe I can get a few of those old Dutuch stitcheries that I once picked up at a second hand store quite a while ago out of the drawer and on display in a modern way :) Combined with Dutch Heritage fabric ... ideas ! Churn dash 2022 !
hugs, take care,

Lin said...

Great recycling Jennifer - I love the cross stitch with your churn dash. xx

Homemaker' said...

Everything is so beautiful - I love repurposing. I can't imagine those gorgeous linens not being used again in something else. Thank you for showing us your creativity!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is so beautiful. I spent many hours this week perusing old posts in search of a blueberry/ricotta cheese tea cake recipe that I've made many times, but somehow misplaced in our move. Although I didn't find the recipe back, I found lots of beautiful prose, inspiration and lovely, lovely home projects.
Thank you!
Mary Beth

Remembrances said...

I love the idea of the churn dash framing the vintage pieces! I will have to try it. The knitted dishcloth is the same pattern as the very first dishcloths that I made years ago! I have tried many other patterns, both knitted and crocheted, but always come back to that one.

Phi. 4:13

Jenny said...

Oh I look forward to seeing this finished project.

Sherry said...

Jennifer, your runner idea is fabulous! It will make your kitchen beautiful along with the new knitted dish cloths. Can't wait to see them when you are finished!

dwortman said...

Jennifer, I love your runner! I often rescue vintage linens from my local thrift shop, so you have inspired me to display them in a more creative fashion. Do you use perl cotton for your hand-quilting? Also, I have been knitting my dishcloths for many years, using a very similar pattern, and yes, they do make lovely gifts.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Yes, I use Perle #12 or Perle #16 for hand quilting. Anything thicker is too hard on my hands. :-)