Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bargains, Stockings, Tea Cozy

Hi!  Not a very original title to this post, but I guess it gets the job done!  :-)  

I was out shopping a couple days ago, which is CRAZY, because my Christmas shopping has been done for a week.  However, after my weekly Weight Watchers weigh-in, I stopped at a nearby Hancock's Fabrics on the way home since I had their coupon flyer in my car.  I wanted to check out their clearance bins (a good source of bargains, especially at the end of the year), and because I needed more white thread.  Yep, we always need more white thread, right???   LOL  (remember that reason if you ever need one!)

There in the clearance bin was a set of Royal Albert Serving Utensils (knife and fork, presumably from their bridal department for serving wedding cake).  They were originally priced at $29.99, but they were 90% off!!  I got them for $3.00 !!! 

The pattern is my favorite, Old Country Roses.  And they are of a very nice quality.  I've never had any really nice serving utensils.  I did inherit a set of silverware from my mother with an "F"  monogram, which not only matched my maiden name, but also my first married last name (Flox).  But since I've become a Kizerian, I'm looking to pass those on to one of my sons....

But I digress....  Aren't these lovely???

Hancock's is a national store, so check and see if you have one near you!  (this is not Hancock's of Paducah).


Pictured at right is the everything I got:  thread (half off), a lace applique for 50 cents,  some charms (on 4 cards) for 15-18 cents each,  Buttons for 88 cents, brass safety pins for 50 cents, and my next fabulous deal, one of those fabric calculators.  Regularly $39.99, marked down 90%, so it was only $4.00.  Now, even if it were only a regular calculator (and it does regular calculations, LOL), it would be a good deal.  But this one will calculate yardage for borders and setting strips, etc., which is handy even for a crazy quilter.  We do like to showcase our large works, too!

So, all totaled, with tax, my big spending spree came to $11.55.    And I promise that was worth it just for the entertainment value!!  :-)

My friend Joyce at work is going back East to visit her granddaughters over Christmas.  She didn't get to see them at Halloween, so asked me if I'd make them some Halloween-themed Christmas stockings.  I thought that was a clever idea..... she's got something cooked up to combine both holidays.   So, I snapped a quick picture of them when they were done. 

And finally, I thought I'd show some pictures of an old CQ piece I did.   It was made in 2001 in Betty Pillsbury's week-long class at the John Campbell School (Brasstown, NC) in May of that year.   It's a tea cozy, and I love it.  Now, as those who know me well will attest, I hate tea.  I would love to LOVE tea, but after having been given tea as a child every time I was sick, just the smell of tea now makes me gag.  Such a pity, isn't it, because taking tea is such a charming custom.  Nevertheless, I love teacups, teapots, tea cozies, (and scones, but we won't go there...), etc. 

It's a relatively simple piece, especially since my more recent work tends toward encrustation.  The colors were selected based on a piece of fabric given to me by Donna Slusser (who, with Pat Magaret wrote several books on watercolor [impressionist] quilts).  Here is the back of the cozy, which features the fabric. 

If I were to do the tea cozy over today, I would've embellished this fabric heavily - such possibilities I see now.  Back then I was in a hurry to get it done.   But let's take a look at what I did do to the front.  As we have a lot of new members on Crazy Quilting International, perhaps a walk-through of the embellishment of the front would be helpful.

The Left Side

 The teapot motif was acquired in a Tea Party swap I hosted.  It was machine-made by one of the participants, and I wanted to incorporate it.  So, I found some vintage ribbon and ruched (gathered it with a haphazard basting stitch) and tacked it around the edges of the motif.   Some lace follows the left seamline, and a randomly-tacked jacquard ribbon meanders along the lower half of the tea cozy, crossing seams and leading the eye from side to side.  Above that is a small grouping of MOP buttons (one with a bead dangle added).  The seam is just a simple triple feather stitch (one layer over the other).   (Oh my, this is frustrating!  I would add so much more now, but I must remember there is beauty in simplicity, and this is a statement of my style at that time!)
The Upper Right Side

This is photographed on a doily, which is not part of the cozy.  The dyed rose motif was given to me by a friend, and I tacked it down adding a few seed beads in the center.  Then I randomly couched a gold thread (likely Kreinik) around that patch.  The stitch at the top and left side of that patch is a simple herringbone done with ribbon floss.  To the far left is a little loop trim I made by stitching small pearly beads into loops on either side of the seam.  It almost looks lacy...

The pink patch is just a bouquet of flower beads with straight stitch stems and a silk ribbon bow.  The seams that encase that patch are (1) a metallic trim and (2) a double herringbone stitch.  My stitching repertoire was not extensive then....  :-)

Lower Right Side

The spiderweb was stitched (as I still mostly do) without a spider.  However, these days when I stitch a spiderweb, I make sure it is anchored to something realistic, as a real spiderweb would be - something like a flower or vine or something!    In the gold patch is a gold teacup charm sitting on a lace-covered "table" made with a wee scrap of lace.  The vintage lace between the spiderweb and the teacup is decorated with Fargo roses.  

In the lower portion, you can see the continuing trail of ribbon, which wanders between three vintage crocheted motifs, each adorned with buttons, beads, silk ribbon.  Notice how these cross seamlines, tying patches together.  The gold bamboo fabric lends an Asian flair to the piece, which helps (in addition to the colors) tie it to the print fabric on the reverse. 

It was a very easy piece, which any beginner could accomplish with a little guidance and a few questions.  And the satisfaction of completing your first piece will confirm your spot in the CQ Collective!!

Until next time,



  1. Looking back on your piece you may have embellished it more but think of it as finished now. Sometimes encrustations get so out of hand that the pieces never get finished. I think your tea cozy is lovely as it is. I wish I liked tea too; but have never gotten into the taste of it.

  2. Hello from Michigan. Love the Country Rose silver. Your CQ tea cozy is absolutely beautiful. Your stitching is pretty and enhances the whole piece. Love all the vintage things you added to it. Merry Christmas Hugs Judy


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