zip me up {from granny’s box}

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It started with a little linen something…maybe it originally went on the arm of a chair or sofa? I’m not sure. There was only one of these little linen rectangles with an eyelet border in granny’s box.

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I imagined it as a little zipper pouch with red work on the sides. I had this swan pattern printed from someplace online…Flickr, I think. I traced it over carbon paper on either end of my linen -careful to make them opposite so when I cut and sewed it they’d be right side up.

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I added a zipper and lined it in red. The red is so much smaller because I wanted to leave the eyelets outside like fringe. I sewed the red inside right sides together first, which is different then how I normally make bags so it felt strange. Then, with the red out of the way, I sewed the outer linen wrong sides together -inside the eyelet edging. I tucked the loose zipper ends in the top section of eyelet and sewed just that section closed for clean edges.

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I like how it turned out, the linen is heavy enough it doesn’t really show the red inside. It’s simple, a little old-fashioned maybe…but pretty and useful and will work great for a little birthday gift. It’s one more small thing from granny’s box made new.

Happy day!

ยป As a little side note…I am soak-washing these items before I use them. My grandmother was from Florida and this box has been closed up for a very long time. Some of the pieces I will use have stains, brown spots, and a musty odor. I use my hand-washing soap called Soak (the same thing I use for washing my hand-knit items) plus Oxy-clean to whiten and release stains. I hang or lay everything in the sun to help bleach out stains as well. Sometimes it makes the pieces look new again, sometimes the stains don’t come out, and that’s ok with me.

Sew Cushy {from granny’s box}

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My first project using a bit of handmade history from granny’s box is a simple one. Inspired by a pillow we had growing up with a bit of crochet on top. I can’t quite grasp the image of that first pillow anymore…it might have been a dark red…it might have had a phrase like ‘home sweet home’ in the cream colored crochet…I think.

However it was I still remember the idea of it and used it to make this version…

I have to say this was the easiest of the items in the box to work with. Square and intact it made creating this quilted pillow a snap.

I picked a fabric from the stash dark enough to bring out the lace. I also picked it with someone in mind to gift it to for Christmas. (I guess that makes this a bit off a Handmade Holiday post as well!)

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I made a traditional quilt sandwich – fabric up, batting, fabric down – out of pieces a few inches larger all around than what I wanted my finished pillow to be. Fat quarter size basically, it’ll end up a 16 inch pillow.

I quilted it simply with a straight stitch roughly following the design of the fabric. I made two of these, one for each side of my pillow.

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I trimmed my quilted squares to 16.5… Using a half inch seem allowance because I added a zipper and like to give myself plenty to sew onto.

I centered my crocheted square and pinned it. As I sewed it down I tugged it just a bit to open up the lace, and I sewed inside the scalloped edge so that it made a little fringe.

With my two pillow sides ready to go I basically follow this great tutorial by Brett Bara to finish my pillow. She’s awesome. If zippers make you want to cry you’ll love this tutorial! You’ll be adding zippers to whatever you can get your hands on.

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Ta-da! One Christmas gift down, a million more to go! Or should that be one item from granny’s box used a million more to figure out?

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I love the extra squishy-ness the quilting adds to this project, but you could totally do this with a single layer of fabric.

So, new throw pillows in your future? How about some doilies? They’re not just for table tops anymore! ๐Ÿ™‚

{from granny’s box}

One of the things that happened during that hard time in May is my dad started giving things away. He wanted to make sure that the people he loved got the things he intended for them, and the things they wanted.

My dad was a gunsmith so many of the things he gave away came from that part of his life. But, he also had a box just for me. A big box saved from his mother, who was a crafter, for his crafty daughter.

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In this box I carried back to Colorado came so many things…aprons, table cloths, doilies, napkins, handkerchiefs, table runners…a stuffed chicken. (She kept that chicken in her kitchen & it later lived in my dad’s kitchen. I guess it’s time for it to live in my kitchen now.Some day that thought won’t make my eyes tear up.)

Some of the things in the box are store bought, but many of them are handmade or hand-decorated. They’re crocheted, embroidered, and sewn.

Now, I pulled things out of the box to use…a couple table runners, towels for the kitchen…but this box is big and I can only use so much of it. Instead of closing it up and storing it for a later generation to…what? Put it in their attic too?…I decided to do a little something different.

I opened it up and started thinking about the things I could repurpose into gifts for my loved ones. What can I do with these cloth and crocheted doilies to make them useful for a generation that doesn’t use doilies?? Got any thoughts? I’m all ears! There’s plenty to go around!

For about a month the wheels in my head have been turning. Finally, this week the sewing machine has been humming and the first couple of projects are coming together.

I’ll be sharing those projects right here and I’m determined to slowly but surely spread the wealth from granny’s box.

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