Sunday, February 5, 2017

Small Victories

Between toxins and hormones there hasn't been a lot accomplished here in the Magpie's Nest this past week. However, I may have stumbled across the healing properties of hand embroidery and I have found a new use for a piece of family history.

I've finished up two needlepoint cases that I had in progress. I'll share those in the next SAL post (Feb. 19). I didn't have the energy to cut or piece or even throw blocks on the design wall for a new quilt. I shopped for a new needlework project (online) but of course I have to wait for that to arrive. Then I remembered a set of two pillowcases I picked up on clearance a few years ago. I knew one pillowcase was already completely stitched. I wasn't sure how far along the second one was. It took me a while to remember where I'd stashed them too!

When I finally found them all that remained to be done were half of the yellow flowers and all the pink flowers and French knots. That took me about two days finish, only a couple of hours each day.

I noticed that I felt better overall after each stitching session. Could have been coincidence, but my appetite had been whetted for more needlework. In the bag where I found the pillowcases I also found a flour sack dishtowel from long, long ago. It's a new towel but it had been along time since I ironed on the embroidery design. For whatever reason I'd been intimidated to begin stitching it. Apparently this was the week for that towel.

I was able to use some of the leftover floss from the various needlepoint kits I've been stitching. Score! And it didn't take me nearly as long to stitch this design as I expected. Better than that, every time I picked it up I was feeling crummy but when I put it down I was feeling better.

I'd heard that quilters benefit from their hobby, I guess it works for embroiderers too.

During all this I've come to the conclusion that it might be a good idea to make my embroidery projects more accessible. I've had them in this appropriately labelled tote bag - which seemed like a good idea but disappeared among all the other tote bags I have hanging on the back of the studio door.

"Sew or Die" with skeleton head pins. :-)
So I've decided to re-purpose my mother's pie basket.

I always thought of it as a picnic basket because I've seen modern versions outfitted that way but my mother called it a pie basket. There was an insert that enabled the her to stack at least two pies inside. It was one of the gifts my parents received when they married. I've never been a pie baker - I preferred cookies and cakes and let my sister do the pies - but it will be fun to honor and remember my mother by using her basket in a way that suits my current lifestyle (I don't know what happened to the insert, I don't have it). There should be room enough in it for both embroidery and needlepoint projects, thus consolidating my needlework somewhat. It should be harder to misplace too!

I'm linking up with the other Slow Sunday Stitchers over on Kathy's Quilts.


  1. Great idea for the pie basket, my Mum and Dad had a red cane ( real cane, not nylon ) that was used for taking tea, lemon and barley drinks and scones to the hay makers. It sadly perished after many years of use, and they had a cane one, nylon type as a replacement. . I have that now and what a thought,, I can put some knitting or fabrics in there as I move from room to room.

  2. Funny that your mother's pie basket should so strongly resembly my mother's sewing basket, which had a ledge inside on which sat a tray fitted with little slots she used for reels of thread. I wonder if it was a pie basket too, in an earlier life - the slots on the tray were later additions. Those new pieces of embroidery are charming - I especially like the pillowcase, being a sucker for embroidered bed linen. Its only downside is that sometimes you wake with the pattern embossed in pink on your face!

  3. A lovely new use for your mother's pie basket and it looks like embroidery might be the best medicine for you at the moment :)

  4. As a basket-lover, I approve! A beautiful way to keep your embroidery projects safe and handy!

  5. Beautiful embroidery. I'm glad it's helping you to feel better :)

  6. What a great way to repurpose your mother's basket. I love that adorable little dog. Your stitching is very pretty.


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