Tuesday Needlework: Using Crochet in Sewing

Crochet in all of its variations was traditionally used to make lacy items that women then added to clothing and accessories. Over the years it developed into doilies and bed spreads, clothing, and much, much more. I didn’t learn about thread crochet until I was about 19 and saw a beautiful Barbie Doll wedding dress in an issue of Crochet World. My first lessons in crochet had used worsted weight yarns to make afghans and later on bed doll dresses. I wasn’t taught the nuances of correct gauge and yarn weights or that there was so much variety for this form of needlework. Once I started buying these magazines, though, I realized the possibilities were  nearly endless.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I honestly believe there are uses for crochet that are more appealing than others. I don’t care for crocheted clothing. But I DO love the look of crochet in other applications. I also like to go back to the roots of an intended use for a technique. So when I was planning the skill-builder sewing series I decided I would also make some of the lace accessories used in the patterns. Unfortunately, it’s hard to actually find some of the materials because the book is more than 20 years old. Which also justifies making them.

For the pincushion we need a 4″ crochet doily as an applique. You can find these in some craft and sewing stores or online, but it is difficult to find the right size. My best argument for creating my own is that I know where my labor is sourced from.

I used e-patternscentral.com to find my doily, but a web search would also turn up some really great patterns. I used pattern #13 from the book Miniature Doilies. This is what I ended up with! It took me about 1 hour to finish, which I did while waiting on my kids to get their teeth cleaned. Good way to spend a dental visit.

Doily #13

Doily #13

We’ll be discussing making entredeux on our next Friday Tutorial. Entredeux is French for “between two” and when used in sewing is a bit of lace or decoration that goes  between two pieces of fabric for stability. I hope you’ll join me in learning how to make this beautiful traditional decoration and for our Skill-builder sewing series.


New Year’s Crafty Resolutions Contest Winner!

The winner of the 2014 New Year’s Crafty Resolutions Contest has been chosen! Congratulations Donna Rogers Bonnette! Look for an email with instructions on how to proceed. If no response within 48 hours I’ll have to choose a new winner. Thanks to ask that participated. 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Found a great new way to share my blog with all of you! Hope you can follow me through it, as it updates every time I post. 🙂 

Craftsy is having a free day!

There is really nothing I enjoy more than getting something great for FREE!  I can only back up a company that I truly believe in, which hasn’t made me a good salesperson in the past! Craftsy has helped me so much through the last few months on improving my skills and finding new crafting techniques. If you’ve never taken the time to check them out or take a class, now may be a good opportunity. Today only you can get your first class FREE if you’re a new member.  The class value can be up to $39.99. That’s an awesome value. To top it off, “If they meet their goal of giving away 10,000 classes, Craftsy will donate $5,000 to DonorsChoose to fund arts education in public schools across the US.” Arts education is a passion of mine (in case that’s not obvious!) and Craftsy is right there with me. So give em a shot! It’s free. 🙂

Etsy ‘shop owners’ Flea Market: The winner ! AND The Latest Shop Hop

Check out some beautiful quilts by the Etsy Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! Team and vote for your favorite!

Etsy ‘shop owners’ Flea Market: The winner ! AND The Latest Shop Hop

Commitment…The New Dirty Word?

So I’ve had this post running through my mind for a while now, and it seems every day I’m a little more aware of just how traumatic our society’s commitment issues have become. Let me outline a few things for you:

Of course, the biggest issue is marriage. It’s always at the top of the list when we talk about commitment, because it is a life-changing decision to spend the rest of one’s life with a single person. It’s not just men, either. Women today are more and more frequently stepping out on their husbands and filing for divorce, putting careers in front of family, and leaving. Why? Is this what it means to be a feminist? Yes, we have the legal right to do it, but should we? What is so difficult about making the decision to be a faithful person?

Look at other aspects of our lives. We don’t usually commit to buying a vehicle, but a 2-year lease is acceptable. We can’t commit to living in one home for the rest of our lives (renters excluded) because we should have a “starter” home and then upgrade. Where people once had a puppy from the age of 6 weeks until 13+ years of age, we now have “temporary” pets that will do until we find another one, have a baby, move, or simply get tired of caring for. That’s why the shelters are overcrowded because people just lack commitment.

Our country (and world) is also seeing a decline in the number of people committing themselves to a church or a religion, because they are afraid they might be wrong or want to change out later on. HUH? Yes, it’s true. The new trend in Christianity is for people to attend the non-denominational churches that do ask for membership of any kind. You just show up. So if you’re not there for 7 or 8 months, no one really notices. And that’s ok with people. That’s the way they want it.

The biggest one for me, (and I am VERY guilty of this) is a prepaid phone contract. I don’t want a phone for 2 years, or the commitment of a contract. So I use prepaid phones. Now that Smart phones are available on the prepay plans, I am an even happier person. Just paid $189 for a phone and a 1 month commitment on a new Smart phone. Yes, I am happy. If I want to let it go for a month, I can – without penalties. But why? What is the biggest issue for me about this? Lack of commitment. A new and better phone will come along, with a new and better plan, and I’ll want to trade out. Simple as that. I’m a tech addict.

Now, I can’t say that I feel the same way about my car, phones, or home as I do about my husband and pets. My husband is a life-long commitment and I took my vows seriously. He feels the same way. To my children, of course, I am the most committed. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for them to ensure that they are safe, fed, and warm. However, when you see the number of abortions, abandoned children, and foster children on the rise, it makes you wonder where people have their priorities.

So why is it our society has become a group of commitment-phobes? Well, here is my take on it. We are not taught responsibility any longer. We are not taught what it means to keep your word because “your word is your reputation.” With the availability of non-committal contracts, prepays, trade-ins, and upgrades, our society has forgotten where our priorities should lie. What do you think? Does this touch on your nerves or make you think? Your feedback is welcome!

Don’t Settle for Second Best

A few weeks ago I posted about Valentine’s Day and the need for real romance. I see a lot of young girls – and some older ones to be honest – that don’t know their own worth. Living here in the south I’m constantly subjected to women who feel that they have to wait hand and foot on some lazy a– man that can’t get up and do for himself. Or obey his every wish and command because he is the man. Really? I mean, are we still living pre-1950s? Women have come a long way, but this backward mentality really irks me.

And let’s put this in perspective a little bit more, shall we? I am a stay-at-home mom that loves to quilt, sew, knit, crochet, bake, cook, and keep my home looking nice. I also have a master’s degree that should I choose to put to use I could. This is not about repression. This is about a choice that I have available to me and what I CHOOSE to do. This is not because I want to let my husband work and be ‘the man’ while I take care of the kids and play little miss Hobby Homemaker. That right there will set me off and you won’t hear the end of it for weeks, my friend. I believe that for anyone to feel truly free they must have the ability to choose for themselves. If I had to, I could go back to work and put my kids in daycare. But I CHOOSE this lifestyle.

Now on to another point or two. Why do we feel like we have to settle? Second best? Third best? Maybe even less because we think we can’t find anyone that will love us beyond themselves? I’m sorry, but I think a man should put his wife above himself. And in all honesty girls we should love our husbands more than ourselves. When we want to give to someone, and they want to give to us, that’s not subjection – it’s love. Find someone that complements you, respects the fact that you have a brain and can do for yourself if they’re not in the picture, and encourages you in your pursuits.

And if you think those men don’t exist, please check again. They do, they are out there. And the ones that don’t think this way and that believe you were put here to serve them? Leave them behind until they realize that if they want a good woman, they have to work for it.

Here’s a blast from the past for you, expressed only as Madonna can express it. (And DO NOT get into a GAGA/MADONNA controversy with me. They are separate artists, with different songs, each with their own strengths and beauty.)


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