Monday, July 7, 2014

Make It New Monday 7/7/14... What Do You Do With Felt Scraps?

It's the first Monday of the month so that can only mean one thing-- Make It New Monday!  Well, it could mean a lot of other things, too, but that's what it means here at My Not-So-Empty Nest.  If you're new around here, let me explain a bit...  On the first Monday each month I host a link-up where we share our re-used, re-cycled, re-purposed projects.  They can be small and simple to huge and complicated and everything in between as long as it starts out like "this" and ends like "that".   There is no pressure to be perfect (I would be disqualified otherwise) so even if the project flopped, let us know what you might try differently if you were to try it again.


The project I will be showing you this month starts with a box of felt scraps that were my Mom's.  Much of the scraps were left over from when she made me a set of pixie dolls when I was a little girl.  Here is a picture of the dolls that have survived...



Some of them are a whole lot shabby but they were often played with, moved around the country, had an invasion of bugs, and packed away for many, many years.  They all had complete outfits in the beginning.  Who knows where some of the bits were lost?  My favorites were the fairies...


So I had a box of felt scraps leftover (loved-over?).  Why?  Can you ever fully explain why such insignificant things seem so important at the time you are disposing of your loved ones' earthly possessions?  Maybe it is because in the recesses of my mind I knew that it would bring me such comfort to run my hands across something that my Mom had handled while she was thinking of me?  Perhaps.  Or maybe I was just desperate to cling to any bit of her that I could.  I really don't know.  But I think she would be very pleased by what I did with what she had left in that box of felt scraps.

I stumbled across this picture on Pinterest.  The link took me to a photo only.  No directions, no ownership that I could find.  Nothing but a photo.  So whoever did this, thank you for the inspiration.  I'd like to give them credit for their work...

Photo credit: unknown


I'd never done any needlework other than cross-stitch so I took my materials with me to Florida to visit my Aunt Betty for her to show me how to do the embroidery. (YOU can visit her through her blog... My Crazy Quilt Life)  She was a very patient teacher, and very encouraging.  She has more of an artistic way of looking at things than I do (my inclination would be to line those birds up like proper soldiers!) so I knew she would help me be a bit more random.  Intentional randomness.  Oxymoron, anyone?

Aunt Betty allowed me to take over her dining table...



I pinned and stitched one row at a time so as to avoid excessive pin stabs...


I gave it my best shot to finish sewing on all the birds while I was in Florida but I had to finish up after I came home.  Not perfect, but a good first effort if I do say so myself.




And here's the finished product...



My sewing was a little wonky on one side but I didn't notice until after it was all finished.  I'm not like my mother and my daughter.  They would've taken it apart and sewn it again.  Not I.  It is finished.  I have enough shapes cut out to make another pillow.  I will make an effort to be more precise, but I think I will put it on a white background.  If I get around to it. 

I used to have this notion that unless my abilities exceeded someone else's abilities they were without value and when you grow up in a family where the women are extraordinary at most everything they do, well that's just a crippling notion to have.  So I have decided to give up that notion.

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang except those that sang best.
~Henry van Dyke

Okay, now it is your turn to show us what you've been up to!

My Not-So-Empty Nest

16 comments:

  1. What a nice post and a very pleasant surprise to me. I am so glad you gave up that crippling notion! Besides, some of your abilities are quite exceptional and are to be much admired.

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad I did, too. I still have to remind myself every now and again ;-)

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  2. I wish we had a way to add to a posted comment. I meant to say that was a fun time for me when you worked on your little bird pillow and I mad my tiny version. I loved your special mother and think of her often. What a neat thing to still have from her - the collection of cute little dolls!!

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    1. I don't take the dolls out very often. They are kept in the box with the scraps. I'm not sure what else to do with them.

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  3. That is so cute! I love it!

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  4. I LOVE your new pillow...and that you made it with felt that holds such wonderful memories. I also love the Henry van Dyke quote. It's so true and I'm also learning that "good enough" often is in fact good enough :)

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    1. Thanks, Allyson! This was a very special project for me. Good enough is better than never tried!

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  5. Oh how darling is that! And a perfect way to use your mother's felt. Love it. And you know what? That quote is really a GOOD one, and so true isn't it? Seems I am frequently trying to make something perfectly when in reality, sometimes it is just "good enough" Enjoy the rest of your week!

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    1. Thanks so much, Debbie, for stopping by and leaving a comment. Good enough... still learning to embrace it!

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  6. Oh I very much enjoyed this post and felt a kinship with you dealing with things that belonged to your mother. I have a sewing room filled with such things. Sometimes I am crippled by thinking that anything I might do would not be enough. I even made a placemat from some of my mother's favorite clothes. My sister said, "Isn't that Mom's shirt?" Why, yes, it is. Your aunt sounds like a sweetheart to help you with your project, too. It came out beautifully.

    Love that little batch of felt figures...I'd display them if I were you...no cloche or apothecary jar in your world or perhaps a prim bowl?

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    1. Thank you!
      My Mom had sooooo much stuff, Vee. We were overwhelmed! Much of the fabric she had we gave to a woman who made quilts for the Wounded Warriors project.
      Aunt Betty is an honorary aunt, as she was a dear friend of my Mom's since I was a little girl.
      I don't have a cloche or apothecary jar, but I do have a prim bowl. Hm... now I'm thinking!

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  7. I love this pillow! It's got me thinking, too. I've been looking for a pillow to put in a new (to me) chair and I've got scads of felt scraps. Maybe I should just make my own!

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    1. Yes! You most certainly should make your own!

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  8. Joanne, you know how easily I cry...and here I am with my eyes brimming! What a fabulous idea to use these felt scraps. Your pillow is darling (totally!), but it is also filled with meaning and that is precious!

    I also love the thoughts that you shared regarding perfectionism. It is crippling, isn't it? And needlessly so.

    Great post, friend!!

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    1. I love your tender heart, Cheryl. This was a very special project for me and I wanted to relate that, though I didn't intend to stir up tears. As long as they were good tears, though, I'm okay with it!
      Perfectionism is definitely needlessly crippling. I battle with it still, but it doesn't win as many skirmishes as it used to :-)

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