30 September 2009

Patchwork Felted Wool Pincushion

This is a large 7X7 inch felted patchwork wool pin cushion backed with velvet and filled with sawdust. The pincushion is adorned with a velvet embossed oak leaf and a wool felt acorn. Many years ago Martha Stewart offered a set of large leaf shaped rubber stamps in her magazine with instructions on how to make these velvet leaves. Two pieces of velvet are bonded together using an iron on bonding material. The velvet is placed on top of the rubber stamp thenplace a pressing cloth over the velvet and apply a hot iron. I think at the time Martha had made a wreath with these leaves. The acorn was made from a large bead that I covered with bits of wool felt. As you can see it makes a darling perch for a vintage pin collection. This pincushion including the 2 vintage owl pins is now available in my etsy shop.

28 September 2009

Felted Wool Eyeglass Cases on Etsy

I have just added my felted wool patchwork eyeglass cases to my new Etsy shop!
Next up are my large felted wool patchwork pin cushions that are sharing the photo above...I will even include a nice little collection of vintage pins to go with.

22 September 2009

Custom Heirloom Applique Quilt Project

Two years ago when I was packing for my move from Santa Fe back to Chicago, my mothers friend Helen commissioned me to make a quilt for her using some beautiful pillow cases that her mother had embroidered. She was interested in having an heirloom that she could pass down to her children, some thing that would incorporate a piece of her past. When she handed me the pile of pillowcases she told me that there was "no rush", she knew that I would be consumed for months with the upcoming move.

The pillow cases languished in my fabric cabinet reminding me every time I opened the door that a challenging project was waiting for me. After a year went by every time I saw that stack from Helen I was consumed with guilt. When I mentioned this to my Mom she said..."Helen will understand, just wrap them up and send them back to her and tell her you don't have the time."

One thing that I am not...is a "quitter"...and my Mom knows that!

Last Winter I decided to unload my enormous quilt stash. At that time I considered wrapping those pillowcases up and sending them back but one day I pulled out my box of antique fabrics and suddenly was inspired to give this challenging project a whirl....timing is everything!

About this same time I made a new quilting friend in Australia...we became friends because she was responsible for purchasing the bulk of my fabric stash on Ebay! Isn't that ironic...just when I thought I was through quilting...she drew me back in! Meredith, my new pen pal, sent me a pattern for a center medallion quilt and that became my jumping off point to make this quilt. She gave me the encouragement that I needed during a creative dry spell.

Most of the center applique is done in antique Civil War era fabrics, many of them were tiny scraps that I have saved for years. Helen wanted a blue and white quilt but I convinced her that we needed that touch of pink to really highlight the pink in the embroidery. I was afraid that it may look too busy (even though I LIKE busy) but I think it really hangs together. I will continue to build this quilt out from the middle adding as much antique fabric as possible to give it a real heirloom quality. I will keep posting pictures as my work progresses.

17 September 2009

Vintage Decorator Fabric

I have some wonderful vintage fabrics listed on Ebay this week. They are all in unused condition and there is yardage!.....4 yards on the crewel printed linen second from the top. The print at the top is hand screened and has a William Morris look and I believe it may be from Liberty of London. All of these and more can be found in my Ebay Shop Whimrose Projects: http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Whimrose-Projects

I have plans for recovering an antique slipper chair that is in desperate need of an "upcycle". I found some vintage fabric that is SO cute ...it is dark green and has chairs on it...I know it sounds awful but trust me it is so cute. I will post a picture and share the experience when I start the project.

14 September 2009

Announicing the GRAND OPENING of Whimrose Projects Etsy Store!!

I am so excited to announce (after months of saying "I should")...the one and only Whimrose Projects Boutique on Etsy featuring many of the items featured on my blog...no, I don't think you will find canned tomatoes...but possibly a tomato pincushion!

I have all of my Liberty of London fabric bead necklaces listed for sale and will be happy to custom make any of the necklaces to your specifications....Also I had so much fun designing my banner that I just may offer banners for sale. I have loads of ideas for new and exciting designs so stay tuned to my blog and Etsy to see what's to come!

and here is the link:


Making Good Use of My Canner

On Saturday I bought a 1/2 bussel of big fat juicy tomatoes for just $10 and made 4 1/2 pints of chili sauce and 10 of all purpose tomato sauce. Once again this is not a big money saver but the taste does not compare! I decided to make 1/2 pints so that it would go further. I think even if you add one cup of the good stuff to a can of Del Monte you are going to get a much better flavor.

10 September 2009

Tory Burch Purple Suede Loveliness

Lets talk about purple suede shoes...ahhhhh yes...I wanted these so BAD that I actually convinced myself that they fit...well mostly because I was working the Christmas shift at Neiman Marcus and had an employee discount...who could resist...and then they sat in my closet...first I had to wait for the horrid Winter weather to end..and then the rainy Spring...and then the first time I wore them and walked 15 blocks, I knew I had made a mistake...I had to stop into Nordstroms to buy a pair of footies just to get my poor blistered feet home...so there you have it...I "shopped" and I did not "score" so these little size 7 beauties are being sold on Ebay and here is the link:


...did you know that purple is the hot new color trend for Fall ????...and if these fit you they would be extremely comfortable

08 September 2009

Another Pickle Harvest

The canner was purchased and was put to work fast before my 5 pounds of "organic cucumbers fresh from the farmers market" spoiled in the frig. It is amazing how five pounds translates to just 4 pints of pickles. We have already polished off a half of a jar. From a froogal point of view canning fresh organic produce is not a money saver but the results far out weigh store bought.

04 September 2009

The Jewels of Summer!

Our farmers in the mid-west are having a harvest that is 2-3 weeks later than normal because of the unusual brief cool summer that we have had. This week has been the most delightful surprise with perfect temperatures and sun shine for nearly a week.

On Wednesday I found a beautiful array of colorful vegetables to make this Winter Pickle Salad. One grower had a head of Romanesco cauliflower which is neon green and shaped like little cones...so cute. I also found a miniature variety of carrot that was streaked with red , some tiny yellow patty pan squash, red, orange and yellow peppers, and green beans...the jars look like a sea of jewels!

The canning process is something that I have never tackled and found it to be much easier than expected as long as you have the proper tools assembled before hand. I purchased a canning kit at Target that included all the utensils needed and used my stock pot for processing. Things went so well with this first batch that I have decided to invest in a canner which can be purchased for around $25. I want to scoop up as much of summer as I can before our l-o-n-g winter sets in!

Winter Salad Pickle

2 c cauliflower florets
1c peeled pearl onions or onions cut into squares
1c thickly sliced celery
1c sliced carrots or small baby carrots cut in quarters
1c thick sliced zucchini or small patty pan
1c yellow or green beans
2 medium red, yellow or orange peppers
3c white wine vinegar or herb vinegar
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/3c water
2 tsp pickling(coarse/Kosher)
1/8 tsp paprika

Before you begin preparing vegetables place jars and lids on a rack in a large kettle or canner that will fit the jars comfortably and allow enough room to cover jars with 1 inch of water for processing . Fill with water, bring to a boil and turn off heat.

1. Combine cauliflower, onions, celery and carrots in a large bowl. Combine squash beans and peppers in a separate bowl.

2. Combine vinegar, sugar, water salt, and paprika in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a full boil over high heat. Add cauliflower, onions, celery, and carrot and return to a boil. Remove from heat and add squash, beans and peppers.

3. Remove vegetables from liquid with a slotted spoon and pack into jars. Pour liquid to within 1/2 inch of rim. Clean rim of jar with a clean cloth or paper towel. Lift lid from hot water and center on top of jar. Apply screw band until fingertip tight

4. Place jars on a rack in a large stockpot, kettle or canner that the jars were sterilized in and fill with additional water to cover by one inch.

5. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. turn off heat and remove lid. Allow jars to sit in kettle for 5 min. Carefully left jars out and place on a heat safe work surface. Do not touch seals or dry jars. Let cool for 12-24 hours. Check jar seals, sealed lids turn downwards.

This recipe was taken from:

Small Batch Preserving
Ellie Topp & Margaret Howard