August 26, 2012

Memory Lane Mondays - My Sewing Basket...

 Welcome to another Memory Lane Monday. 

Do you have a sewing basket? If so, have you had it for a long, long time?
Was it always yours, or did it belong to someone else first?

 I got mine about thirty five years ago, when I purchased it for myself.
I use it to store some of my most precious sewing tools, many
of which belonged to someone else before they were passed to me.
Would you like to take a peek inside?

 It looks a little chaotic at first blush, but I assure you, 
it's very organized and I know exactly what I have stored inside.
My sewing box has a plastic top tray with a lot of open storage beneath.

 The "old", and "really old" items are stored there.
Now for a closer look...

 I don't really collect thimbles, but it seems that I do have an assortment.
The sterling silver one in front is the one I use all the time. 
I purchased it from a vendor at our last guild quilt show and I love it.
It's sized especially for my finger so it's a perfect fit.
I have a matching British thimble and needlecase set from my days owning Stitches,
a Royal Doulton thimble featuring a character from Peter Rabbit (Mrs. Apple),
one with a sweet Dutch landscape on a silver base, a china one that 
commemorates Handsome's and my first trip to Williamsburg together,
a few odd ones I acquired over the years, and one with a cloisonne' Christmas design.

I have a really old embroidery scissors from Mom (Grace)
that has a sweet little scissor doll hanging from it. 
It's a treasured memento from times we spent stitching together.

 Handsome's mother, aunt and grandmother were all needleworkers.
 I love the sweet magnifier that's meant to hang from a chatelaine or neck chain.
It belonged to the needleworkers on Handsome's side of the family. 
It's so dainty with the little flowers designed into the handle, too.

I have more of their bone crochet hooks, but I keep them in a special
case with older stainless steel hooks in the tiniest sizes for lace work.

 Three of these strawberry emeries are old, but the large one is from 
Fons & Porter and you can purchase them in any shop that carries their items.
(I like to keep them together so I don't lose them, so old and new are in the same place.)

 These are both vintage tracing wheels. One belonged to my mother-in-law
and the other (in back) was mine from junior high school. sigh
Hard to believe that it's old enough to be declared "vintage", but yeah.

 These were also Evelyn's (my mother-in-law).
What are they for? 
The Deluxe needle is for rug hooking.
I found a few for sale on eBay right now (in case you're 
interested), but I'd never sell this one from Evelyn.

The E-Z Weave was used to re-weave damaged fabric.
I don't really see anyone doing that these days, do you?

 These are so cool!
They were in with Evelyn's sewing things.
They're pinking shears!
They're heavy and a little dull, but they definitely still work.
Unlike regular scissors, they want to spring back to the open position.
(Hmmm. Why do we speak of one pair of scissors as a plural?
Just one of the things I wonder about from time to time...)

 What sewing basket would be complete without sock darners?
I have three different kinds, and the one on the right has its original ring.
Perhaps one of these days, I'll use them again. (Not likely.)

 I have to show you this bona fide antique.
I purchased it from a friend who still owns a business dealing
in needlework antiques, but I got this about twenty five years ago.

In case you're wondering, no I didn't purchase it this way.
I used to keep it out on top of my sewing table, 
never dreaming it wouldn't be safe. I was wrong.

It seems that our Golden Retriever, Duff (MacDuff) found it most intriguing. 
I came into the room one day to find him carrying it around.
I guess he thought it was his own personal, wool-filled toy.
He was most apologetic when I scolded him and he sulked for the rest 
of the day. I couldn't bring myself to throw it away.
Maybe someday I'll repair it. 
Until then, it's safely tucked in my sewing basket.
I think of that gorgeous Golden boy every time I see it...and I smile.
That alone is the best reason for keeping it.

The last thing I want to share is a magnetic, oak needlecase. 
Twenty years ago, I designed a counted thread pattern for it
for classes I taught at the Rockome Gardens needlework 
event held in Arcola, IL.
I looked online to try to find more of these cases to share with you,
but I guess they're discontinued now and no longer available.
(Sorry. I really like this case!)
If you're interested in a copy of the pattern, let me
know and I'll be happy to email it in pdf form to you!

 Inside are two magnetic pieces so that my needles stay safe and
easily accessible (when they're not in one of my pincushions!).
You'll also find a little ring (upper left) that slips on my finger 
and has a little cutter on that hook. Airline approved!
The little heart shaped tool on the right is a needle threader.
Isn't it cute?

Well, I'd better stop. I know this post was picture-heavy, but I
hope you enjoyed taking a peek inside my sewing basket.

If you have a memory or story to share, please write it on your blog
and then link back here before the end of the week. 
The link will stay open until then.
Thanks for visiting for another Memory Lane Monday.
I'm going to continue Memory Lane Mondays until the end of 2012.
My last Memory Lane Monday post will be the one for December. 
After that, I'll be sharing something new with you.


  1. Donna, fun to get a peek inside your sewing basket. I had a very small sewing basket from my childhood, but it eventually fell apart. I have a larger one that I purchased about 25 years ago, but my pride and joy is my MIL's sewing basket that came to me after her death. It's a stacked basket of three, known as a Japanese wedding basket and one that she brought back from Japan in the late 1940s. You are inspiring me to do a post about it sometime. It holds my vintage and antique sewing items. I have one of those sweet heart shaped needle threaders that I've had for at least 25 years. Thanks for sharing all these treasures! ~ Sarah
    Hope you aren't in danger from the storm.

  2. Wow what a treasure trove! I don't have a sewing basket as such but I really enjoying peeking into yours and hearing the stories behind all the items. Thank you!

  3. Oh, wow, Donna, does this post ever bring back the memories!! I have lost my childhood sewing basket a long time ago in one of the many moves I have gone through, but it sure is fun to see everything you have in yours!!

  4. O love this post!! I have several books on antique and historical needlworking tools and did start a collection years ago but then powder compacts took over. I shall go and see if I have something to share and get back to you.

    We need to look after things like this as it is all part of social and family history in a society which all too often throws things away too easily. They are also well made to have lasted all these years. When I think how many sewing items of today break after a few uses!

  5. So many wonderful things - peeking inside someone's sewing basket is fun!
    I love the needlecase too and all the different tools - there is a comfort in knowing they were used and treasured by someone and are still in good hands.
    My sewing basket sits on my work table and was given to me by my Grandmother 45 years ago with a stamped doily and some embroidery thread. That was the gift that began it all! The plastic tray is long since lost but there all my "treasures" reside there quite happily, and always within reach.
    Thanks for this post Donna, it was a good one.

  6. What a wonderful sewing basket full of awesome treasures! I loved getting a peak, thanks!

  7. Hi Donna,
    I did enjoy nosing around in your sewing basket! You have some great keepsakes and really interesting things, too. I don't think I've seen that kind of pinking shear before.
    And what a beautiful pattern you designed on your needle case. I'm disappointed that they aren't made anymore. Oh, and did I ever love hooking rugs when I was little. Thanks for the trip down the lane.
    Smooches for Tag!
    xxx, Tina

  8. You have the most wonderful sewing treasures. I love the sock darners!! Really neat treasure!
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

  9. Loved seeing your sewing basket and, yes, I do have sewing baskets. Several, I should be ashamed to say. I think I'm going to follow your lead and put some of my treasurers in some of the baskets. For example, my sock darners would have a lovely home in one of the baskets.
    thanks for the idea.

  10. Delightful post. I too have a lot of treasures from my mother and her mom.Her mother made all of my mom and her twin and one older sisters clothes. They were beautiful. Such talent. I need to put everything together like you have done. Hope you are not in the storms path. have thought about you all day.

  11. I loved the peek in your Sewing Basket and hearing the meaning each piece has for you. Thank you.

  12. I love looking at treasures like that. Thanks for sharing all your goodies with us.

  13. Lots of good stuff in that basket for sure! The bee thimble is totally cool! Have never seen one like that.

  14. I adore your sewing basket and seeing all the treasures it contains. Some of the items I have never seen. I am sorry I was not able to participate this month...traveling and celebrating birthdays took top priority. Blissful treasures dear...


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Blessings, Donna