Tuesday, February 26, 2013


It's a funny thing.  We can plan and search and create 
to get just the right look, at the right angle, 
and have everything in its place~
and then.....

You see, I found this board at a yard sale for a dollar or two.
It doesn't match a thing in my house.
I had no idea what on earth I would do with it, but
it wanted to go home with me.
As I was thinking,"I don't need more junk," I gave the dollar,
and home with me it came.
(work in progress - please forgive the markings)
Little did I know that day just how much I would use
that board.  It has been host to letter-writing,
stitching (nearly every day,) or occasionally just a flat surface
for my tea if I am sitting on the couch.

I keep my little scissor zipper in the upper corner ~
so handy.
Lesson learned: like a chance meeting that brings you
a best friend, a silly little board has
become a valuable tool to me. 
Happy surprises are everywhere just waiting for us.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Making Progress

Just thought I would share~
I was looking at my last few posts
and thought I had better show you,
I really do stitch once in a while.
I showed the beginnings here.
Tomorrow, I am going to get boarders and backing 
fabric so I can finish it up.  So far,
I'm liking it.  I think the boarders will help
tone down the business a little.
It will have a darker boarder & binding.

I am also working on the quilt label for my
Christmas quilt.  The top was ready before 
Christmas, but I didn't have the back ready.
I hand stitch my labels so it takes
a little time - not enough to be a 
real excuse, but I'm using it as one for now:)

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fun Doing Laundry

So maybe I'm warped, but a friend gave me a recipe for homemade laundry detergent, and I just ran with it.
I mentioned in my last post I got a couple other things at the estate sale I would show in a later post.  Well, here goes...

I found these two beautiful carafes.  In the shorter one, I put my homemade laundry detergent, and in the taller one with a handle, my homemade fabric softener.

As if that wasn't enough, the measurements are in tablespoons so I found a couple old pretty spoons and stitched up a little fun.

Theeeeen... I ran across the idea of wool dryer balls.  I have of course heard of them and seen them.  Why I never thought of making them??? 

So I made some.  They are so easy.  Just wind up a ball of yarn just like you used to do for Grandma when you were a kid.  When they are a little larger than a tennis ball or about the size of a smaller orange, tuck the end in and tie them individually in an old nylon.  Run them through the washer and dryer, then remove them from the nylon.  If you do this, remember worsted wool will not felt so be sure to use regular wool yarn - I used the one for fisherman's sweaters.  
I have a pretty little spot on my dryer now, and all of my laundry is done because I have been so excited about using my new toys.  Yes, I know little things - little minds.  I must be okay with that, because I'm loving it.
Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Monday, February 18, 2013

Estate Sale Finds

This was actually a good estate sale.  Sometimes, I feel a little weird about estate sales although I love seeing old time goodies that are nowhere to be found on store shelves today.  The ol' fella that owned this home also had another in another town so was selling off one of them.  There were over 8000 books (a good portion cookbooks.)
I found a sweet little doll quilt.
One of the things I just love about these little old doll quilts is their imperfections.  These little blocks are not square - you can see at the bottom corner - as well as the fact that they were loved.

Also, a few kitchen items, I just couldn't live without.
I have always wanted a cake cover - I usually see the tops, but the bottoms are gone, or they are in such poor condition, it's not worth it.  This one is fantastic.  It even locks so the lid doesn't slide over into the cake.  Love little butter molds.  
I have a bit of a collection of pie crust cutters, purely by accident of course:) I actually use them though, some for pie crusts and some for other confections.
I have never seen one like this.  It has the wheel at one end and at the other the scallop.  I can't wait to try it.
And....there was a sewing room with some interesting notions-score!
This might sound funny, but of all my pincushions, I don't have an old fashioned tomato.  Lots of vintage transfers.  I will use some, but not all.  Also, lots of lace and vintage trims, so I have goodies to organize.  Huge hoop - $1.
I did get just a couple other things, but I want to show you that with something else in another post.
There was lots more there of course, but we must set our limits (even if they are waaaaay out there:)
Time to stitch...
Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

St. Valentine's Day Swap

I participated in my very first swap.
What better than a St. Valentine's Day swap that 
celebrates love & chocolate all in the same holiday.
The swap was hosted by Amy at

Just look at all of this.  It said at least 4 items - there are about 20!
My very generous swap partner Linda at
Country Pickins is entirely too kind.

I had to take a picture first so it is not on my table, but
that place mat will get center stage on my table.

There are soaps and the marble looking thing in the box is an
incredible little needle keep that I am so impressed with.
I have never seen one like it - it has a little
tube inside so when I open it, the needles won't go flying
(It's as though she knows me:)

Oh, and coasters that I love, 
and a sign that will go next to my door as soon as
I am finished posting.
The hearts are perfect!  I have seen some like that
and thought about making myself some,
but time got away.
And chocolate - yum.

Well, a very big thank you to you Linda,
not only for all the goodies, but for making
my first swap a happy one.
Also, thank you to Amy for coordinating it.  
What a lot of work she has done to make sure that
it is a positive experience for all.

Bloggers never cease to amaze me.  Your generosity and
kindness is above and beyond.  It's a kinship of sorts.
I feel like I am with friends, that we are all human
and many of us face the same challenges, and
just enjoy a little kindness - both giving and receiving it. 

Have an absolutely beautiful day filled with
everything that makes you smile.

Until next time
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tokens of the Heart - Idea

~Good Morning~

A bit of a silly tradition I started many years ago is
a St. Valentine's Day advent.
The kids loved it when they were little.
Mr. LB loves it now - he's reluctant
to admit it, but he smiles when he sees it.

This will soon be in my blog shop - if interested before I get it posted, just email me:) 

Here's how it works:
Each person has a tin cup (at one point the kids had official
Valentine mailboxes) but the tin cups are just what we use.
Each morning , there is a treat in each person's cup.
I usually begin February 1, but whatever you like:) 

This is one of our 'actual' tin cups.

These aren't big expensive treats.
We don't take it to the commercialized Christmas level.
It's for fun and love.  One morning, it might be a little
piece of chocolate, another a balloon, or a goofy little eraser.
Mr. LB is a fisherman, so I think one of his treats
has been a little pack of hooks.
It's fun to individualize - fun nail polish, a pack of seeds, etc.
On St. Valentine's Day, there is a little bigger treat -
a small box of chocolates or something fun like that.
Happy St. Valentine's Day.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Free St. Valentine Pendant Tutorial

Hello All,
Just thought I would share a little project with you ~ enjoy.
You could of course make just one, or a string of them like I did.  I am a bit of a romantic so I chose a little piece of Shakespeare's and put a floral heart in between.
The verse I chose was:

Doubt thou the stars are fire
Doubt that the sun doth move
Doubt truth to be a liar
But never doubt I love

You could do something as simple as "Be 
Mine," or just various fabrics.  It's meant to be fun - low stress and enjoyable.

First take a piece of copy paper and folded it in half the long way.  Then draw a line from the upper outer corner to the center at the opposite end and cut so when you open it, it looks like this.
You will need one from fusible web and two from fabric cut about 1/4 inch larger than the web - see picture. You will need to do this for each section if you are doing a string of them like I did.

Next take that triangle paper and fold it back in half the long way like when you cut it.  Then draw half a heart and cut it out.
If there is a certain font you like, you can print it out, and trace it onto your fabric (if the fabric is light enough.)  Then stitch the words centering them over the heart so you can cut it out.
Now you are ready to make a sandwich. You will fuse the triangles together right sides out according to your fusible web instructions.  Center your heart on the triangle and stitch about 1/4" in from the edges.  You can use a decorative stitch or a long basting stitch etc. - whatever you choose.  It's supposed to be fun remember so enjoy & just do whatever.
   Now cut a strip of coordinating fabric about 1/2-5/8" wide the width of fabric (44".)  Use your longest straight stitch to stitch down the middle of this  skinny piece of fabric.  If it isn't directly down the middle, it will still turn out:)  Gather to fit the lower two edges of the pendant.  Stitch in place.
I made my own bias tape long enough to fit my seven pendants and make a loop at each end.  If you want to do this, I cut strips about 1 3/4" wide, ironed it in half lengthwise then folded each side in to meet the center crease.  Place each pendant in the bias tape and stitch the entire length. If you would like the hearts a little more raggedy looking, you can take mailing tape and roll it backwards then brush the edges.  This will fray-up the edges a little.  I think I might do that to mine.
That's it.  If there is any part that needs clarifying, just shoot me an email.
Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches