My Crafts From The Past

Not long after I woke up this fine Sunday morning, I found myself thinking about my crafts from the past.

I haven’t owned fabric in over 8 years and counting. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think about it.

I remember touching fabric to feel the cotton softness. And I recall thinking up craft projects and bringing them to fruition. But that was quite some years ago.

Below is an arrangement of photos from when I lived in the little blue house, which was about 11 years ago.

In My Crafts From The Past, I show my old craft room from the little blue house I lived in when I first moved to Tulsa.

Sadly, I don’t have hardly anything now that I had when I took these photos.

When I moved to my former apartment, I was in this walking boot.

So I either gave away or sold most of what I had so there wouldn’t be even more boxes to move.

I have none of the fabric you see or any of the furniture.

Missing Sewing & My Crafts From The Past:

I miss all those sewing things. Fiercely.

I want to walk into my office and see a little section with all my pretty sewing notions there in front of me.

A dish towel I made from checked fabric and white towel with red rick-rack sewn on.
A dish towel I sewed

I miss the cute my little pin cushions with the pins sprouting out of them like flowers emerging from the soil.

My carefully ironed and folded fabric material was just waiting to be turned into something special.

And my box of lace and rick-rack was there for me to gaze at. I could stand at the door and look at all my sewing notions to get an idea of what kind of project I wanted to begin.

I really, really miss my embroidery floss in every conceivable color. Because embroidery is a skill I truly love.

I wonder if my arthritic hands could handle a bit of embroidery?

Oh, how I loved embroidering and appliqueing and crazy quilting!

But then you have to use your thumbs to do all that, and my thumbs are pretty beat up now.

I miss it so much that I’m tempted to order a few fabric fat quarters and see what my hands could possibly handle.

But I doubt if I even kept any embroidery floss. So I’d have to order that as well.

I can just imagine myself sitting here and watching TV perhaps, with a needle in my hand dipping in and out of fabric.

Or attaching bits of lace to a cloth project.

Old Apartment Craft Area:

In My Crafts From The Past. this is the crafting area I set up in my former apartment.

At one point in my old apartment I even arranged and set up a small craft area in my living room. But I never got around to using it.

I guess I recalled my crafts from the past and wanted to recreate that time again.

You know, I ordered one of those simple and small sewing machines at least 6 months ago.

I thought at the time I might at least use if for mending torn seams. But I haven’t even taken it out of the box.

Maybe I could manage to sew and stuff a small heart-shaped pillow. The kind you tuck into a basket, and then add bits and bobs to it.

I think they call those little stuffed pretties pillow tucks.

Just maybe, I will try. I don’t know how well I could use scissors to cut fabric. It’s hard to use scissors when your thumbs barely work anymore.

But maybe it’s time to find out.

I could at least try to think up a little spot for sewing and notions. That might be a fun project in and of itself to do.

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51 Comments

  1. This is so exciting. Your sewing projects are so well done. I may begin sewing again, too. The only place here that sells fabric is WalMart. I had not thought of Amazon. I cannot wait for more suggestions. Will you sell any of your work It looks near perfect.
    You sound happier!

  2. I have been slow stitching with kits from Charlotte Lyons. It’s been so much fun. My eye sight hasn’t been great so it’s a little challenging. It’s fun.

  3. I remember the little blue house as I’ve followed a long time! I say go for it. So you have arthritis in your hands. Sometimes it helps to do something like it to keep the fingers spry. Life is short. Get back to the fabric and embroidery and like you said, do something small like the little pillows or a short simple embroidery craft!! You can do this! Great post!

  4. If you want to do something bad enough, there is always a way. Keep checking out things like special scissors, etc, You can do this, I know you can!!

  5. Oh, I really enjoyed today’s post and seeing your former crafty areas. I agree 100% with everyone suggestions to pursue your crafting passions. A small, devoted space would be perfect to get your creative juices flowing again. Little projects, nothing too overwhelming, to see how your hands feel. I’m so excited to see what you create!

  6. Like all the other gals here, I say “find a way to do it”! It’s possible.. even if small projects and a little at a time. I say yes! A small sewing machine you could manage.. even if just to sew a heart pillow together (easier than by hand)….. and stuff it.. and before stuffing it, do a little embroidery on it! They are darling… I use Fiskars “Easy Action” scissors and are so easy to use, as my thumb is sore all the time.. and you kind of push the handles together and there is a spring so they cut very easily, and you don’t have to use your thumb and fingers to pull the handles apart. The gloves sound perfect too as then the needle won’t slip.. I need those! I won’t let anything stop me either, from sewing, or handwork or crochet, which I love. I think the more we use our hands, the less stiff they are. Also, have you checked with your doc into having a cordisone shot at the base of your thumb? I finally had one a year ago, absolute NO pain and in a few days, it was as good as new! and has stayed good for a year. He said sometimes it lasts about a year, but maybe 6 months. Even my fall on it, and fracturing my wrist, has not (hardly) effected that thumb. I use it anyway, even when it hurts a little. I also had to have carpal tunnerl surgery on both wrists.. you should do it.. just one wrist at a time! Makes a world of difference. If we want to do our crafts that we have passion for, then we need to try to do the best we can for those parts of our body that we use. I will urge you onward.. to set up the little machine and do some small projects! Marilyn

  7. Hi, I didn’t have time tonight to read all the comments on this post but I want to tell you about some Fiskars scissors that I use that don’t really bother your thumbs. You pull from the bottom with 4 fingers instead of pushing with your thumbs. All my friends use them now because they are so user friendly for those of us with hand issues. I have all kinds of issues but love to sew so I do many things that make it work. I may have written you before about Krill oil because 2K-4K per day makes almost everything in my life doable. They are also so good for your heart, etc.
    jan

  8. Looking forward to what you come up with Brenda…I have not done anything creative for a few years…and I really should do more crochet…did one small project this year…but it truly does great things for your hands. I read a book once on how knitting can help undo trauma in your life as to how it affects your brain etc…I can see no reason that crochet isn’t the same…I know it kind of puts you into a “zone” and a peaceful place when you are working on something.

  9. Did you know there’s been a huge resurgence in counted cross stitch in particular? New types of fabric to use/new colors/floss. Go to YouTube and type in “floss tubes” and you’ll come up with hundreds of channels of ladies and men talking about cross stitch, what they’re working on, planning to work on, finished, etc. Very entertaining and lots of ideas/advice. Many sellers on Etsy where you can buy either printed or pdf patterns in any price range. I gave up trying to read paper patterns and now there are apps and ways to use an ipad or kindle to put the pattern on and enlarge it so it’s easy to see. Also many finishing ideas so you don’t have to frame everything or make it into a pillow. like years ago. Priscilla and Chelsea (a mother daughter team called The Real Housewives of Cross Stitch) developed/shared an idea where you make smallish designs (like 4 x 5 ) and mount them with magnets and washers. You can them make seasonal stitches and simply change them out and attach a new piece to the magnet. Brilliant and easy to store the seasonal piece as it’s just a flat piece.

  10. I remember when you had two of those little sewing machines. I used to take sewing lessons from that “Stretch ‘n Sew” franchise. I enjoyed it, but if I messed up a seam or something, I’d give up on the project. I just don’t have the patience for sewing.

    1. I have the patience. I just don’t know if I have the strength in my hands or can handle the arthritic problems from sewing.

  11. I’m back!!!! LOL Take some time to visit Melisa at pinkernpunkin.blogspot.com She offers a huge variety of embroidery projects for free. It’s a ‘rabbit hole” LOL but so much fun. And, there are other types of free projects and such. The best part – she’s a delightful lady.

  12. This post just made my day Brenda!! Is that a tiny white featherweight gem of a machine you own?. Those are so nice for small spaces. I use one like that which was my grandmothers and love the consistent stitches. I can see you making little pillows to put in a wooden bowl. I love embroidery and do a lot of it. Even with inflammation and arthritis in my thumb joints. Some days I can barely pinch two fingers together to pick up a pin but it is not going to stop me from being in a happy place. A little every day is so rewarding.

  13. Love all the ideas for you. Try the embroidering with your therapeutic gloves on. It definitely helps. My grandmother crocheted right up to her death at 93, said it kept her hands from getting too stiff from her arthritis. I’ve taken her advice and keep my hands busy as I inherited her arthritic hands. The gloves work as does blue emu when they get too bad. Looking forward to seeing your upcoming crafts.

    1. I’ve never heard of therapeutic gloves. I’ll look them up. Thanks! I just looked them up. Now I know what you mean, and I think I have some somewhere.

      1. I bought compression gloves for the wrist from CVS to help with the pain. I will never stop doing handwork.

  14. Jordan Fabrics utube is a great way to see how all kinds of quilts are made! Donna shows how to make beautiful quilts step by step. Matt her husband cuts up tons of material for the quilts and patterns, so everything is ready to sew. Check it out Brenda and it will make u want to start quilting right now! I want too! Lol

  15. Fiskars also makes scissors that sort of work with a spring action that work pretty well with arthritic old thumbs and hands.

  16. Brenda, look into rotary cutters instead of scissors. You will need a little green mat for under it, but they aren’t that expensive. Even if you can only handle sewing 10 minutes a day I think it would bring you joy. Look up Helen Phillips blogs for inspiration. She also has books but I pick those up from the library.

    1. I tried rotary cutters back when I was quilting and for some reason I was too awkward with them and ruined fabric. I like the sewing scissors that Fiskars has. I have several pair of them for cutting other things.

  17. I have just the thing. I am part of a fiber group. We are a very diverse group. Knitting, crochet, felt, jewelry, on and on. I sew, quilt, make felt art pieces, etc.. We do tons of charity work around Lake of the Ozarks. We make hats, chemo hats, gloves, socks, totes etc…and a type of fidget spinner made from yarn. These we give to schools and doctors etc in the area for their patients. They are very popular. PLEASE check out our website, and consifer something like this where you live…there is always a shelter or school that needs things,
    I have arthritis in my hands and I have completely self taught in all my crafting. If you really want to help, you will find a way.
    Good luck
    http://www.lakefiberarts.com

  18. Brenda, you can purchase precut fabric bundles so you won’t need to cut fabric! The 10” charm packs are a great size for projects and there are many free patterns online. For example, Google “Free soup bowl cozy pattern” to make a bowl cozie to use when eating hot soup, oatmeal, etc. So cute and functional! Fat Quarter Shop & Etsy are both great online sources for fabric precuts.

  19. Brenda, Fiskars makes what looks like a mini pizza-cutting wheel that you can use to cut fabric. For smaller projects, they should work for you, I think. You just need to be sure you keep a matt or thick piece of cardboard under it so you don’t knick the surface of your work space. Good luck!!!

  20. Talking of crafts I realized after gardening all of last summer I needed something to do in the winter. I have done many crafts in the past with fabric and lace but I wanted something different. I decided on quilling, I watched a lot of you tube videos on it before purchasing the basics in case I don’t like it.
    At first it seemed very fiddly and awkward but after some practice I am liking it. What I will make I am not sure yet as I am still in the learning stage.

    1. I’ve heard of that. You can watch YouTube videos for anything these days. When I bought my first electric toothbrush I went to YouTube to see exactly how someone used it!

  21. When I retired in 2002 I bought a new sewing machine and took the lessons. The last time I had seen was in 1990. I taught home making for several years and worked for a sewing machine company. The manager told me I sold more notions than anyone. When I tried to sew my fingers had changed also the fabric and thread had, too. I miss sewing garments . I never did many projects. My mother told me when I started buying my clothing I would stop sewing. It was easier to look for sales and have instant gratification. It will be fun to see your older projects and your new ones.

    1. I don’t have many of my older projects. Guess they’ve been lost along the way. But I’m having a wonderful time looking at Etsy and Amazon for little stuff. That’s half the fun!

  22. I enjoy all your posts, but this one is extra delightful for a Sunday winter morning. Thank you so much for all your posts. They bring me much joy.
    I still do some machine quilting, but I use a rotary cutter on a quilting mat. Saves my hands from pain. Crafts are such smiles on the soul. Enjoy!

    1. Oh I’m glad my daily notions perk you up! This one perked me up. Oh, how I miss my little crafts I made. I never could follow a pattern, so I just made my own up. And that’s how I made all my quilts too!

  23. Brenda~
    Yes! do set up a workspace for sewing and crafts in your office!
    It doesn’t have to be big with all the bells and whistles..
    Just a designated spot! I remember how much you enjoyed sewing those animal pillows..cats and owls especially.. at least these projects are sit-down off your foot projects..also, this would take your mind off all the gardening you no longer are able to do..
    I enjoy “hearing” the excitement in your heart through your words..
    So Yes..start planning your crafting area in your office!
    Looking forward to seeing it!

    1. You’re right. Doesn’t need all the bells and whistles. I was just in my bedroom looking at that yellow table that cost $10 and I used for years as my dining table. I used those red wicker chairs to sit there to eat that I brought from Texas and now have in my outdoor storage closet. That might be an instant set up! I don’t even put anything on that table because I sleep on the other side and keep all my things on the dresser top next to me. I’m eyeing the one window in my office that is just there waiting to have something special put there.

  24. I used to sew – a long long time ago. I sewed blazers and skirts for myself using McCall patterns, and later I turns lots of sheets into curtains, table cloths and slip covers. That was in the 1970s through the early 1990s. I stopped sewing when it became more expensive to make my own clothes and things for the house than to just go to a discount store and buy ready made, and rather than spending time doing up things for the house, personal computers and the internet came along to fill the void.

    1. The only things I’ve sewed to wear were vests that I did a lot of embroidery work and such on. I flunked Home Ec in school. Only thing I managed to make back then was a pair of pants. But I sewed the legs together!

      1. I flunked Home Ec in school too! Our big project was to make a skirt to wear. Back then maxi skirts were in, so I made one. Being a tomboy and not interesting in sewing
        (My mother sewed all my clothes thru elementary school)
        I didn’t know a thing about material. I picked an awful deep pink material that could have passed as burlap! Thing was so scratchy that I never wore it. As an adult, I did manage to sew curtain valances for a little beach cottage we had and surprisingly, they turned out nice. When the pandemic hit and masks weren’t readily available, I attempted to make my own from a pattern from the internet. Kept breaking sewing machine needles! Gave up and ordered one from Etsy. I do wish I had learned to sew in my earlier years.

  25. When I moved two years ago, I set up a craft closet in the guest room as well as a TINY Studio in the garage(it’s extra large). But, other than organizing the supplies, I haven’t moved ahead on any projects as of yet. I’m not discouraged as I plan to narrow down my interests and either sell or donate the rest. It’s all a process, but I’m okay with it. Right now, I’m Sorting and Sorting paperwork and shredding and shredding and Sorting. It’s all good, because my daughter gave me a book present from Storyworth the Christmas before last. Going through all this paperwork and photos made me realize that I didn’t want to rush the process so I renewed it for another year. I am setting it up chronologically as I’ve lived in 20 places and I have so many little scraps of notes and journals and photos. It’s been a real pleasure and I’m remembering things that I now jot down and put in ONE basket. I’ll be all ready when I return to the project in March. By sorting, etc, it’s brought to light so many stories that I would have missed had I not done the sorting and consolidating and given myself the grace of additional time. Well worth it. Maybe you could use the computer to write an autobiography for your children, grandchildren. No painting, sewing involved and you already have wonderful photos. Just a thought.

    1. Eileen, my husband and I just completed our subscription to StoryWorth (which was also a gift from our children) and what a fun year it was getting those questions every week. We finished them in time to give as Christmas gifts to our family.

  26. I remember your sewing vignettes from the Little Blue House and the apartment. I’d like to suggest that you set up a small area in your office and try small, very simple projects. A very small embroidery project sounds like a good idea and stick with simple backstitches. So you don’t have to spend on a variety of floss colors do a simple redwork project (it’s my favorite to do. DMC # 321, 347, 498 and my new favorite 3777. Blackwork (DMC 310) is beautiful, as well. 🙂 Do a little at a time, if your fingers allow. I have a strong feeling your heart will sing loud!

    1. Oh, my heart leaps with joy at the mere notion of it! Isn’t it you who sews quite a bit? I thought it was you anyway. I could be wrong.

      1. Yes, Brenda, it is me that spends most of my time with a needle and thread in my hand. I’m devoting 2023 to small and simple projects. I just want to have a happy heart with little to no stress. I’ve been making small/doll/mini/little quilts and having so much fun. I’m posting a small quilt every Monday on my Instagram page. That’s what I’m working on today to post tomorrow. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. My biggest suggestion is to do things that bring joy. I’m so excited for you. I’ll be the one on the sidelines cheering you on. LOL

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