Crafting new family folk art

Categories: Family, Folks, How To, Quilting/Sewing/Knitting/Crafting
Find me on Google+

Saturday during General Conference I decided to work on some sewing projects.

During the morning session I added a border to my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding quilt (yes, I know they’ve already been married for three years, greatness takes time).

For the second session though I needed to whip up something cute to give to others as a thank-you for a few things. So I went to Wal-Mart and bought some flour sack dish towels and then came home and made them pretty. I ended up with five towels that have an apple like this on them:

They were so easy! And I loved how they turned out. So I also decided to do some decorating on the hankies I always have in my bag. Make them look a little more feminine. And I took some pictures of the process in case anyone was interested.


  • hankies (or dishtowels)
  • freezer paper – or some sort of stabilizer. I like freezer paper because it’s cheap.
  • tiny scissors to clip tiny threads
  • fabric pencils that can wash off
  • a light box of some sort (I used my computer screen, getting the image the size I wanted and then tracing the design to the fabric straight from the screen)
  • chocolate – I don’t have a picture of this because I ate it all before I started taking pictures. My current choice is Hershey Bliss dark chocolate.


  1. Figure out your design. I used computer software to get my designs the size I wanted them. I did a butterfly, an L for my name, and some pansies.
  2. Iron the freezer paper to the back of the hanky. Freezer paper is waxy on one side and will stick to fabric. This makes a great cheap stabilizer.
  3. Trace the design onto the hanky. I have some wash-out fabric pencils that I used for this. You can see the square of the freezer paper in the picture too. It’s on the back side.
  4. Now comes the seemingly difficult part. Drop the feed-dogs on your machine and attach the darning foot, or whatever you are calling it. Set your stitch length to zero. Draw the bobbin thread up to the top to help lock your stitches. For the apples I did a small scribble pattern along the lines because they were much bigger. On the hankies I basically went back and forth over each line two or three times. I used the same color bobbin as thread so that the design, while it does have a right side, looks good no matter what side you are looking at.
  5. After doing all the stitching, cut the tiny threads, pull off the freezer paper from the back. And you are good to go!


Where did I get the pansy design? Because it really is a cool design. This is where I get a little philosophical and muse a bit.

At our last Giles family reunion, my aunt had my grandma’s old hankies that each of the granddaughters could pick from. I took the embroidered daisy one home because I love daisies.

And two years ago or so my mom gave me two pillowcases that have pansies embroidered on them. She said she thought that she’d started them at some point and her mom had finished them. Or something like that if I’m remembering right. I use them as decorative pillows on my bed, and they have pansies on them. Look familiar?

I took the pillowcase and scanned it into my computer and then re-sized it so it was the size I wanted on the hankies.

This means that my pansy hankies are inspired by all the important women in my life, Grandma Giles with her flower hankies, and Grandma Nelson and Mom with the embroidered pansies. I just did it in my own way.

Folk art is making everyday things beautiful. And it builds on the past and ties generations together.

So these pieces of folk art make me smile. 🙂

4 shared thoughts about Crafting new family folk art

  1. Heidi Aphrodite says:

    I love that game! And so smart to use your computer as the light box! 🙂

  2. Pingback, 2 January 2010 at 9:12 pm
    In 2009 I… | Random Giggles

  3. Pingback, 23 April 2011 at 11:31 am
    A clean linen | Random Giggles

  4. Pingback, 24 June 2011 at 3:39 pm
    *I* make the blankets | Random Giggles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

smile big grin lol joy wink tongue sideways silly pouty sad crying surprised shock unsure huh cool pinched annoyed whistle w00t sleep sick angry read love kiss heart check computer lightbulb game pacman sun moon star snow cactus daisies pansy elephant penguin turtle butterfly bird cow owl apple pencil party car tractor run infertility