Friday, January 20, 2012

Chipped, Stained, & Cracked

 Do you have things that are Chipped, Stained, or Cracked?  Please share your ideas how you use them, or recycled them. 

Yesterday, I recycled some "Stained" projects.  In the afternoon I re-invented an extra large white linen tablecloth purchased for a couple of dollars at a garage sale last summer.

It was very, very nice cloth, worn and soft to the touch but little yellow stains here and there.  I cut up the vintage tablecloth, recycling them into eight 16" x 20" dish towels rectangles, and one set of pillow cases.  The little yellow stains were cut away.

Recycled Dish towels embroidered yesterday.

The first thing that attracted me to this extra large tablecloth was the quality of the linen and the lace.  I admit, as I paid for the tablecloth, evil wheels were turning in my head as I thought about carving it into smaller pieces!

I serged the edges of each recycled dish towel, then placed them in the 5 x 7 hoop with stablizer sheet underneath.

 Action shot here.  Machine embroidery of vintage serving spoon and fork.

Two Spoons:  this one I'm giving to my friend Laurie--she likes old spoons.  Laurie will take one look at this and laugh, and laugh.

Machine embroidering takes about 20 minutes.  When I'm working on special projects I slow down the stitching speed on my machine.

The finished towels are plain looking, I could add a printed fabric band from scraps.  What do you think?  Plain or Peanut?


Add fabric color?

Actually my first STAINED recycling project began early yesterday morning . . .

I was folding dark clothes from the dryer.  Ah, nuts--my favorite green sweatshirt . . . there were grease stains on the front of it.  I have no idea where that came from. 

So, I cut up an old green gingham shirt to make some triangles to sew over the stained spots.  Here's the cover-up job on my favorite green sweatshirt.

I cut random triangles, stitched 1/4" on edges, and turned the edges under to press, then pinned the triangles in place and used small blanket stitch to permanently attach to the sweatshirt.  Then, I got an idea . . .

BUGS . . . that's what's bugging me!  I'll embroider BUGS on the sweatshirt, an array of colorful embroidery threads. 

Recently I discovered dark gray smoke and walnut brown to use instead of black.  My favorites: anything green: lime, kiwi, olive, fresh green, and golds, oranges, plumbs, peacock greens and blues. 

Positioning the machine embroidery hoop. 
 (iron-on stablizer . . . that's the white paper-like sheet)

The hoop slides into the machine and locked.  Ready to go.

Detail of stitching the embroidery design.

Detail of finished golden bee

Then, a dragon fly

Then a colorful beetle.

The Finish: saved the collar of  the green gingham shirt and stitched it to the sweatshirt. 
I'll add some stippling to the triangle squares--to nail down the wavy fabric.  Have you ever stippled?  Its easy and a cool way to make quilted fabric for coin purses and Kindle readers. 

Confession:  I like to experiment with recycling . . . but occasionally I make a hot mess, a disaster, something truly awful, and have the good sense to throw it away before anyone sees it.   Come on, tell me your special word for making a mess . . . extra points for two-word or three word descriptions!

Everyday is Saturday, and my favorite day of the week is Tomorrow. 
Having fun, wish you were here.


  1. Your project is (and I don't use these words lightly) totally awesome! You've created something new that trumps the original by far! Now I want to do some embroidery too!

  2. I love the embroidery! I think I prefer the plain...but it's a tough choice.
    I love making something new out of something old. Any day that you can avoid buying a low-quality, made-overseas item and substitute something of your own design is a good day!

  3. I'm not sure my wife would be able to cut up an old tablecloth. I can see where it would be a good way to use it instead of putting it in a drawer and waiting for "just the right time" to use it. You did a great job in recycling. I love how you can always come up with new and different ideas. Great creativity! Can't wait to see what you come up with next.

  4. The towels made from the tablecloth are gorgeous!! How elegant they look.

  5. Wowsers! Great job. I knew you were talented, from the lampshades you have shared on OHW, but Wow!


  6. Hi Mark,

    You'd enjoy machine embroidery. It is fun picking out designs on-line, then transfer to the embroidery machine on a flash drive.

    I have some software that lets me scan anything (my drawings, or clip art) and convert to a stitch design. Its craziness, but so much fun.

    Are you a sewer Mark?

  7. Hi Cathy,

    I'm enjoying your blogsite Our Country Bungalow. Hope you are feeling better soon. Be sure to write and tell me all the stories about the linens and especially the hand embroidered pillow cases you saw recently.

  8. Hi Gearhart,

    I will make some personalized tote bags for you and Janet. Will you tell me size you prefer . . . would you like deep pockets and a quilted texture to carry your porcelain pieces when you travel.

    Hey everyone, Gearhart and Janet are both fabulous porcelain artists! They have a wonderful studio in California.

    Gearhart, will you give me permission to do a post about your porcelain work on my website?

  9. Hello Anyes,

    How are you? What are you painting these days in your studio?

    Thank you for your kind words. There is always something fun to do around here.

  10. Hello Ann,

    I enjoyed your recent post about Blue Valentine and re-discovering your grandparent's keepsakes. Looking forward to reading Pink Valentine post.

  11. Hi Mary Louise,

    I am looking forward to booking some rooms at your B and B The Holt House in August.

    A seamstress friend and I want to take a sewing class, or embroidery class, or serger class, getaway. Week days or weekends.

    Perhaps you can help me find some activities like that in your area for August. We love antiquing, and thriftshops too!

  12. Hi Warren,

    You are such a nice person--I always enjoy hearing from you.

    Thanks for your kind words. Sorry I haven't been to Old House Web in a long time...

    I made two posts recently for Old House Web and dog gone, I lost both of them while typing. Must be the mysterious editing fairy!

    I'll try again. I promise.

  13. I love the kitchen towels you designed! I also love the machine embroidery designs. Can you please tell me where I can purchase the designs? (spoons and silverware)


  14. Hi Denise,

    Glad to hear you like the kitchen towels. You can find the spoons, forks, etc machine embroidery designs at
    At the search bar, enter: kitchen engravings to locate those designs you liked.

    Thanks for leaving me a note. Stop by anytime. I have a new purse design tutorial to post, and photos of Jon's 51 Chevy Truck coming soon.

    Mrs. D