Posts Written On December 2011

Simple Gifts – 6 Heartwarming Stories by Famed Authors and Illustrators

Gordon and I first watched this PBS program in 1977, a year after we were married.  We loved these wonderful animated shorts, and never forgot them.  PBS at some point produced a VHS copy of this program, but unfortunately it was not broadcast again (to my knowledge) and has never been released on DVD.  Last year I managed to locate a VHS copy which I transferred to DVD and gave to everyone in my extended family.

I have happily discovered that all 6 segments have been uploaded to YouTube by kmcleod31721. This is one of my favorite Christmas videos of all time, right up there with “A Christmas Memory” (the 1966 Geraldine Page original, narrated by Truman Capote), which is also out of print, but available on YouTube in 6 segments, beginning here.

Take a few minutes to watch the Simple Gifts prologue by Maurice Sendack, along with “A Memory of Christmas,” a short film based on a story of a childhood Christmas Eve written by the American playwright, Moss Hart, and narrated by José Ferrer.

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Vintage Fabric Gallery – 1930s Greens

As promised, I have scanned a few of my green Depression fabrics. Some of these tend a little more blueish, while others are more yellow, but none of them are very Christmasy looking. Even so, they’re pretty great.

Brenda just asked me how many of the prints are feedsacks, so I thought I would add that none of them are feedsacks. They are all tightly woven dress-weight cottons. My camera is capturing a 2″ square of each print.

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Vintage Christmas Embroidery Transfers

Old Workbasket magazines had a sheet of embroidery transfers (red ink on craft paper) folded and stapled inside the pages.  On one side of the staples was a large sheet of transfers; on the other side was a little section (2 1/2″ x 8″) that had its own unique designs.  I’ve always loved these little bits, so I scanned all the ones I could find with a Christmas theme.

These are so small that you could easily stitch up a few before Christmas.  Click on each image for the actual size.

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Cross-Stitched Tulip Quilt

This little throw is made with vintage blocks purchased from Barbara at Oodles.  The blocks were probably from a stamped quilt kit, and they have been stitched with green and a combination of variegated and plain pink floss.  Many times in these old sets the background fabrics are yellowed or stained, but these were in perfect condition.

The tulip border and the solid green are both vintage glazed chintz fabrics from my stash.  I bought the tulip blocks thinking they would look good with the border print, and I think they do.

Because I’m in a huge rush and my carpal tunnel has flared up, the hand quilting isn’t the best I’ve ever done.  Most of the stitching was done while I was wearing my brace, which is a bit tricky.  Anyway, I’m okay with the way it turned out, since it’s just a little utility throw and not some heirloom project.

Cross-Stitched Tulip Quilt
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2011
hand embroidered (unknown quilter)
machine pieced, hand quilted
54″ x 54″

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Antique Redwork Tablecloth

This is an item I purchased on ebay ages ago, and although it was advertised as a tablecloth, I thought it might actually be a quilt top. I was wrong, though, because it is hemmed all around, it’s only one layer (so probably not meant to be a summer spread), and the seams are finished on the back.

The tablecloth was listed as a cutter on ebay and very inexpensive.  I haven’t done any research on the cloth so I’m not sure about the age, but a couple of my favorite squares represent figures from the 1800s:  Jumbo (1861 – 1885) and Admiral Dewey (1837 – 1917).  If anyone has a better idea of the date, I would love to hear from you.

The motifs appear to be hand drawn and the random nature of the subjects reminds me of the old “penny square” designs.  All of the drawings are directional and all but three are set the same (the 5th square in the last three rows is upside down).  I would have fixed this if I were the maker, but now I find it charming.

The cloth has been well used, but is in relatively good shape for its age, being a little thin with some broken threads and a few worn spots.  The worst damage is to poor Red Riding Hood, who suffered a bad tear and was rather crudely repaired.

Antique Redwork Tablecloth
Hand embroidered and hand sewn
Unknown Maker (M.K.)
Late 1800s or early 1900s
72″ x 80″






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