Posts filed under ‘handsewn’

Must learn

So I’ve vowed I must learn how to embroider. I have sweet images filling my head of our future kids having framed art on the wall that’s been hand embroidered. I might be the only person alive thinking about these things.


But here’s what I’d love to embroider. Have any of you read Gilead by Marilynne Robinson? It’s one of my all-time favorite books and sheer poetry when talking about family.

“I’m writing this in part to tell you that if you ever wonder what you’ve done in your life, and everyone does wonder sooner or later, you have been God’s grace to me, a miracle, something more than a miracle. You may not remember me very well at all, and it may seem to you to be no great thing to have been the good child of an old man in a shabby little town you will no doubt leave behind. If only I had the words to tell you.”

I’m not even a mom yet and this part always makes me cry.

Or I picture this, with a sweet outline of a child in a yellow rain coat:

“Well, but you two are dancing around in your iridescent little downpour, whooping and stomping as sane people ought to do when they encounter a thing so miraculous as water.”

Or this:

“… but it’s your existence I love you for, mainly. Existence seems to me now the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined.”

Or lastly, this, which also makes me cry. Truth be known, my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for quite some time and it’s been a long, difficult road. So this quote also makes me a bit teary-eyed:

“You see how it is godlike to love the being of someone. Your existence is a delight to us. I hope you never have to long for a child as I did, but oh, what a splendid thing it has been that you came finally, and what a blessing to enjoy you now …”

OK, enough sap for today. But stay tuned for future embroidery projects, assuming my hands are able to pull this out. And dear readers, you should definitely read this book, if you are so inclined.


April 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm 2 comments

New quilt top

After a break from sewing and quilting recently, I was back with full force in an effort to go through my stash. My goal was to make a quilt entirely out of existing fat quarters in my stash, and I was worried the fat quarters wouldn’t entirely go together since they weren’t super matchy.

I was surprised how well the multiple colors and patterns ended up working together. As the snow fell in January, it was nice to have such a fun, happy quilt to work on.

I have come to realize I’m not much of a pattern quilter. I would rather pull together a bunch of small amounts of fabric I like and come up with something.

Here’s how this came about: This quilt is made up of different strips. The long, skinny strips are made up of 8 4 inch X 9 inch strips sewn together. The thicker strips are made up of a huge collection of strips cut to 10 inches wide and a variety of different heights ranging from 1 inch to 10 inches. I kept sewing little strips together until they all ended up at about 65 inches long. I made 7 of the 4 inch wide strips and 6 of the 10 inch wide strips. Then, I made 2 strips of 4 inch X 9 inch strips and sewed 10 of them together to create the two end caps of the quilt, trimming to fit.

The finished top is about 75X75 inches, and made up of 20 different fat quarters (there are a few scraps remaining that will go into the back).

I can’t wait to have it quilted and have it cheering up the foot of our bed.

February 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm Leave a comment

Still alive

Oh, hi blog. This is about the 20 millionth post I’ve started with an apology for neglecting this blog, and I realize I shouldn’t do this again. But this has been serious neglect, and I am sorry.

The problem started when I was making fun things for the holidays. I was eager to post about them, but then I realized that people who would be getting the gifts would also be reading the blog. I thought about scheduling posts for later and then realized, who wants to see homemade stockings in January?

So there we have it.

But I had been busy, oh so busy. Here’s a sampling of crafts and food made in my too long absence:

– A quilt top for my mom. Which I completely forgot to take pictures of. Sadness.

– A scarf for my mom. (it was a homemade holiday theme, which will become apparent soon)

– These adorable magnets for many people.

– Some really cute homemade stockings that were quilted with lots of scrappy butterfly and bright fabrics. I really wish I had taken photos of these, but when I pull them out next Christmas I will. I made one each for: my husband, myself, our dogs, our rabbits, my mom, and her dogs. Yeah, I’m cool. 🙂

And then I went on a crafting hiatus. Something about deadlines looming for Christmas gifts had me overworked creatively and I spent most of Christmas break vegging on the couch. But that’s OK.


Food items:

– An awesome coworker lent me a bread machine that I may or may not be keeping. I tried all kinds of things with said bread machine: regular white bread, amazing cinnamon rolls, garlic Parmesan soft pretzels, tuscan herb mashed potato bread (times 3. Soooo good). So be on the lookout for some bread machine recipes shortly.

– 6 quart-sized jars of homemade slightly spicy bread and butter pickles. Mmm …

– Pumpkin cheesecake with oreo crust

– Apple spice cake with pumpkin cream cheese frosting

– Homemade chicken bacon macaroni and cheese (So good but vowed to never make again)


And probably more. I hope you dear readers have not given up on me. Many posts to come with new recipes and a glimpse into our future animal-owning plans. Hold your horses. 🙂


January 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm 2 comments

Christmas is just around the corner …

So if you read many craft blogs, you know that others have been preparing for Christmas since, say, July. I am not that kind of crafter.

Instead, I’ve been searching for Christmas ideas for easy crafts to make, with existing fabric. Times are tight in our house and I need something I can make for gifts for people, with my existing stash.

For others in the same situation, I’m including links of possible project ideas, so you can benefit, too!

I am really loving the idea of some homemade Christmas stockings. Here are some patterns/ideas I’ve found online:

Moda Bake shop pattern

Martha Stewart stocking

Easy pincushion for sewing friends

A rag rug

Adorable fabric house – I am super excited to try this

Cute mitten ornament

Sock reindeer stuffed animal

Lots of great softie inspiration

October 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm 4 comments

New quilt top finished

I finished a new quilt top and backing, which are waiting on funding to be quilted. 🙂 This quilt was designed for either the top of our bed or for our guest bed. It’s by far the biggest quilt I have ever done – about 90X65 inches. It also looks deceptively simple, as it required more exact measuring/sewing than I have ever accomplished before.

The idea for this quilt started with the middle blue fabric with the off-white hummingbirds. I loved it and wanted to base a quilt off of it for our bedroom, but only had 1/2 yard of fabric. I decided to use the neutral color as my base, and find complimentary fabrics that were also based off a single color paired with the neutral color. I chose chocolate brown and red, because I love the combination with the aqua blue and because it matches my bedroom well. So without further ado …

The quilt is made up of 7 squares of the blue fabric, and 14 squares each of the red and chocolate brown fabrics. The squares are 6X6 inches. In between the squares are 4 inches of natural fabric on all sides, and then the whole quilt has a 6 inch chocolate brown sashing.

September 29, 2010 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment


After work, and grocery shopping, tonight, I finished the quilt! And before anyone went into labor. Phwew.

I sure hope they like the quilt as much as I enjoyed making it. Being the first baby expected in the group of friends, and given that they live so far away, it made me a bit teary-eyed to make this. Since I can’t be there to hold the baby as often as I like, hopefully this quilt will be a snuggly substitute!

July 26, 2010 at 8:31 pm 1 comment


With a friend’s baby due pretty much any day now, it was time to finally get in gear and start making something out of the fabric I bought months ago.

So today, I sat down, decided on a pattern, cut out the fabric, and finished the top!

After this part was finished, I realized it was just a bit too small. I added some coordinating strips to two sides, and it was the right size and looked more tied together.

The quilt will be kind of a wonky size – 35 inches by 43 inches. But hopefully just big enough to snuggle up with a sweet little baby boy. The quilt is made up of 6.25 inch squares cut from 3 patterned fabrics and 3 solid fabrics, so finished four-square blocks are about 11.5 inches by 11.5 inches. They are sewn for a diagonal pattern with the solid colors. I designed it to be super simple to balance out the busyness of the transportation fabrics. Colors were chosen to coordinate with the anchors in one of the pattern pieces. The pattern with little boats says “Little Sailor.” Too sweet.

Now, it’s a race to finish this quilt before we leave for vacation next weekend. The baby is due while we are gone!

July 25, 2010 at 8:53 pm 1 comment

Older Posts

About me

My name is Mallory Murray and I have a love of all things oldfashioned. I'm a modern day feminist who also adores Martha Stewart. Read on for my sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening, quilting and crafting projects. I am the chief officer of marketing and design at Northwest Missouri State University, so expect the occasional random post about marketing/universities/design. I dream of a hobby farm with baby doll sheep, a sheep dog, a small flock of chickens, and other animals to be announced. I'm also a Pitt State grad, football lover, HGTV addict and obsessed with the color aqua.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 26 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 51,991 hits

Posts through time

May 2018
« Dec    

%d bloggers like this: