family / home / sewing projects

sewing that stays home

One thing I've always loved about my grandmother's house, is that her handiwork is everywhere–a framed picture of  a family tree made of thumbprinted "leaves" turned into masked raccoons, embroidered and appliqued pillows, cross stitch, oil paintings, curtains, laundry bags, down jackets.

And as I walked through her house a few weeks ago, I was struck that the majority of crafting I do, goes out the door. Though there's nothing wrong with that, I generally craft for gifts, for other people–pillows, knitting, appliqued tees. And accept for a few curtains, a knitted hat or a pillowcase dress here and there, not much of my hand work is around.

a new tradition

With this in mind, I've made a new resolution which I *hope* I can continue. I want to make the girls a yearly wall hanging, for each birthday (a little late this year) that illustrates a few significant events or interests from their past year.

hanging (and wrinkled)

I started with Emma–a horse jumping since this was the year of her first jumps (and falls). And a house– we've moved into this house almost one year ago. (Is it ironic that it's a little crooked and pieced together with a few stitches?? I think not.)

i heart you

I only used what I had on hand and most of the fabrics came out of my scrap basket. And a few of them have some special significance–a scrap from Emma's great grandmother, a bit from my own mother.

birthday sewing

After I did all the stitching and zig-zagging (lots of zig-zagging), I went back and added some hand-stitching….her initials, the date, a little secret message in the corner, a few buttons, some little stitches here and there.

It felt a lot like scrapbooking with fabric…adding little elements here and there.

efb

Yesterday I hung it from some willow branches, which I still need to trim back and eventually, once she stops shoving it in her bag and showing it people, I envision it hanging above her bed, until it's replaced by another year of growing.

That is, if I let her get any older….

One thing I've always loved about my grandmother's house, is that her handiwork is everywhere–a framed picture of  a family tree made of thumbprinted "leaves" turned into masked raccoons, embroidered and appliqued pillows, cross stitch, oil paintings, curtains, laundry bags, down jackets.

And as I walked through her house a few weeks ago, I was struck that the majority of crafting I do, goes out the door. Though there's nothing wrong with that, I generally craft for gifts, for other people–pillows, knitting, appliqued tees. And accept for a few curtains, a knitted hat or a pillowcase dress here and there, not much of my hand work is around.

a new tradition

With this in mind, I've made a new resolution which I *hope* I can continue. I want to make the girls a yearly wall hanging, for each birthday (a little late this year) that illustrates a few significant events or interests from their past year.

hanging (and wrinkled)

I started with Emma–a horse jumping since this was the year of her first jumps (and falls). And a house– we've moved into this house almost one year ago. (Is it ironic that it's a little crooked and pieced together with a few stitches?? I think not.)

i heart you

I only used what I had on hand and most of the fabrics came out of my scrap basket. And a few of them have some special significance–a scrap from Emma's great grandmother, a bit from my own mother.

birthday sewing

After I did all the stitching and zig-zagging (lots of zig-zagging), I went back and added some hand-stitching….her initials, the date, a little secret message in the corner, a few buttons, some little stitches here and there.

It felt a lot like scrapbooking with fabric…adding little elements here and there.

efb

Yesterday I hung it from some willow branches, which I still need to trim back and eventually, once she stops shoving it in her bag and showing it people, I envision it hanging above her bed, until it's replaced by another year of growing.

That is, if I let her get any older….

57 comments on “sewing that stays home”

  1. That is SO beautiful, Molly! You have such a gift- I have zero sewing talents.

    I am with you though- I am a gift knitter & crafter. Rarely do we ever enjoy any of my own handiwork here. Thank you for this reminder!

  2. phew…another nail hit on the head with “sewing that stays home”! i have knitted a blanket this month…finished a patchwork quilt, 2 softies and a stack of notecards. all destined for other people..other peoples children. what have my children had!!…time and fun with helping me sew i guess but…no sewing staying here! 🙁

  3. What a beautiful way to make and keep memories for them, Molly. This is fantastic. I’ve been meaning to send you a note for a few days now. Watch for it soon.

    xo

  4. That is so beyond awesome. How cool will it be to look back on those when they are older? You are so talented, it makes me sick…well, not sick, but jealous. =)

  5. What a great idea! I love the horse and rider.

    I have the same deal at my house… I craft all the time, but have nothing to show for it around here. I’m in the middle of making myself a quilt to rectify the situation.

  6. Oh my. . . can’t we just push a pause button on these kids growing up so fast?! I love the wall-hanging idea. It is fantastic for about 100 million reasons.

  7. what a lovely idea and so simple. “Like scrapbooking with fabric” I love it.

    congrats on being Twitter mom of the week. What a fantastic blog. Lovely photos!

  8. I too love your idea. Wouldn’t it be sweet to include a little fabric from an outgrown item of clothing from that year? I save one or two t-shirts every year from each of my kids (shhh!), planning to make a quilt for each when they leave home.

    My oldest is 11…now I’m going to dwell on your idea until I can find a way to make it work for me too! Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. I’m with you on the sewing for gift giving. I have been trying to sew more for my girls and our home lately.It’s nice to see things you’ve made with love.That’s if you can get beyond the inevitable mistakes that you know are there but no-one else will see!Love the banner.You’ll have to save them up and make an heirloom quilt with them in years to come.

  10. oh, i absolutely love this!! what a lovely way to hold on to the moment & remember. i just can’t get into scrapbooking, there’s not enough fabric involved! but i do so want to document every moment. i like the editing needing to do something like this. i can’t wait to make ours & involve the boys!

  11. I love this. Totally scrap booking with fabric-maybe one day when she flies the coop you could sew them all into a book…I also love that she loves it. So cute

  12. lovely!

    and i’m with you on the needing to make some stuff that stays home. i’m forever making gifts or things for sale that go out my door. i need to make some more things that stay here!

  13. I love this idea Molly!If you do make her one each year, you should save them all. If she ever gets married it would make a great gift to put them all together in a quilt for her.

  14. Well, I keep all my handiwork, I just can’t part with it, it’s like it has a bit of my soul attached to it.I know it makes me sound not generous(whats the opposite to generous, anyone?), but I’m not, I promise.My one exception is babys, I just have to give something made with love to a newborn.Love the birthday wall hanging, so special, good idea that you personalized it, now you just can’t give it away!.Clever:).

  15. love this idea so much. i still have an unfinished wall hanging that my mom started for me when i was 9. i have a bin full of baby clothes that i’ve been wanting to use for something…maybe something like this! thanks for sharing it.

  16. What an awesome keepsake for your kids! Even if you are not able to do one every single year, the ones you do will always be cherished. In my house, I think my story books will be the things that my kids will cherish – they are my biggest fans! (And think I’m great, even when I don’t.)

  17. I agree, it is difficult to keep things that we make. I almost feel like I won’t do it if it is for myself, but am motivated to do things for others.

    I love that she keeps it in her bag to show everyone. Now THAT is some serious motivation.

  18. it is just beautiful. It brings to mind that wall hanging in Alicia’s book that her mom made, do you know which one I’m talking about. It will be on Emma’s grown up room walls one day, and just looking at it will remind her of so many things.

  19. Oh, you are brilliant! I am in love with this idea. I am very new to sewing and have only hand stitched once in my life, but I have got to try to make these for my boys.

  20. this is adorable. i added it to my favorites for the week. plan to make some for my kids this week, too. really enjoy reading your blog.

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