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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wonderful White Wednesday

It has been a while since i've sewn...my machine collecting dust in a corner of my studio. I tend to "create in spurts" when it comes to what medium I'm in the mood to work with. This past week-end, my sewing machine was calling my name...begging to be dusted.... and inspiring me to create. 

And so...inspired by these.....
two vintage "pin-keeps" that i've had forever....

...and covered....

...and added my own pins in with the previous seamstress who once used them...

...I made these....
...my own version of a "pin-keep"...

...what i call "French Prayer Keeps"...

...each felted page sewn with my beloved prayer card images.... 

...and tied with vintage bobbins and metal crucifixes...

...pages adorned with vintage bits and French prayers...

...a place for a French Seamstress  to keep her pins...

...her thoughts...

...her prayers...

My own grandmother was a "French Seamstress." 
She was my "Memere DeRome"...a petite woman...a hard-working woman... a quiet influence on my early years.

Her strength and fortitude did not escape my attention.
I recall many fond days spent in her small apartment where the largest room was her sewing room....
her black Singer sewing machine with it's foot petal always at the ready for her next project...
...bolts and bolts of fabrics spilling off the work table and spools of multi-colored threads in baskets on a shelf...

It was a magical place for me.
I wish i had asked her to teach me how to sew. 
I wish i spent more time with her in that room. 
I wish I "had" more time with her.

I am a self-taught "sewer." I don't say "seamstress" because i have not earned that title.
But sewing is in my blood and I'd like to think that "Memere" is looking down on me and smiling as I put my own foot to the petal and watch as each stitch creates beauty.

~*~"My Scapulars"~*~

"The term scapular (from Latin scapulae, "shoulders") as used today refers to two specific, yet related, Christian Sacramentals, namely the monastic and devotional scapulars, although both forms may simply be referred to as "scapular".[1][2]"

"The devotional scapular typically consists of two small (usually rectangular) pieces of cloth, wood or laminated paper, a few inches in size which may bear religious images or text." 

...a lace piece from an old curtain sewn onto the back of each scapular...
it reminds me of "Le Sacre Coeur" ("The Sacred Heart")...

"The scapulars come with a set of promises for the faithful who wear them."  

"The promises are rooted in tradition." 

In honor of tradition...in honor of my Memere....
Happy White Wednesday mes amies.

Avec Amour,


  1. Hi Michelle,
    What a lovely and very sweet post. The pin keeps and the prayer tags are so pretty and charming.


  2. VERY lovely!!
    ¸.*´¸.**´¨) ¸.**´¨)
    (¸.*´ (¸.*´* LORI LYNN *

  3. Same here Michelle,
    just started raining in SoCal and I dusted my sewing machine too. Yesterday I made a table runner, today a little pocket to hold some seeds that I am giving as a gift. I do love your books. I am making some with solder. I will share when they are ready. Happy WW. Ciao Rita mammabellarte

  4. Drop dead gorgeous my friend! WOW oh WOW!!


  5. So, so beautiful Michelle. I am so happy that you dusted the machine off and sewed your heart out, because it is lovely! I can't wait to see what you and your machine sew up next.

  6. OMG, your French Prayer Keeps are absolutely gorgeous!!!Love them.The scapulars are to die for.WOW. Happy WW Michelle.

  7. Your work is just exquisite...so delicate and lovely!

  8. Your work is so sweet!!!! My mother would love those!! She is a seamstress herself but has not been able to sit long enough to sew and her eyes have gotten too bad to sew. She has marked a one year anniversary of winning over ovarian cancer.
    They are lovely!

  9. I am so happy you are sewing! You make beautiful items no matter what medium you use. These are gorgeous. What a wonderful memory and I too, wish I had asked my Grandmother to teach me to sew. We lived so far apart, there was never enough time.

  10. Absolutely gorgeous! I never learned to sew by hand or machine, so I am always in awe of what others are able to create. You definitely have a gift for creating the beautiful. No doubt your Grandmother guides you in the process. Blessing for a wonderful Wednesday. :) Tammy

  11. Hello Michelle,

    What a wonderful idea, beautiful material and beautiful picuteres,

    Salut from France,

  12. Wonderful creations Michelle. Love those pinkeeps.
    xo Tina

  13. Beautiful post, I adore those needle keeps, they really are quite special.

  14. I think your Memere would be so proud of you and your creations. They are just lovely. I know what you mean about wishing for more time. My grandmother was a very important person in my life and I am blessed that I grew up next door to such a wonderful woman.

  15. I'm drooling-these are simply lovely!

  16. Dear Michelle,
    My Grandmother worked as a seamstress for a clothing company before I was born, and I have the great blessing of now owning her personal sewing machine. My Grandmother is gone for 25 years now, but I cannot tell you how many happy hours I have spent at her sewing machine with a smile, and sometimes a tear, thinking of her.

    ps- as always, your beautiful creations are inspiring.

  17. Michelle, these are divine. Your grandmother would be so proud of you and is smiling in heaven knowing you took what she taught you and you are now bringing to life. With tears in my eyes ... thank you dear friend ~ for sharing with us. Hugs, Marilyn

  18. These turned out just beautiful Michelle! I tried to comment last night, but my computer wouldn't let me so here we go again. lol.

    I need to get my sewing machine out again too. I can't believe I used to make clothes for a lady...even suit jackets! I would not do that now. UGH!! It is a lot more fun to make these types of goodies! lol

  19. wow! STUNNING! Imagine some of those on a Christmas tree with pretty little white lights... lovely!

  20. Your creations are just beautiful... Happy White Wednesday!!! Blessings~~~ Daphne

  21. They are sooo precious and thoughtful...gifts? Or are you keeping them :)
    I am also talking about my grandmothers today...we are on the same page :)

  22. Hi Michelle ~ your talents are endless! These are so lovely!

    Happy, happy White Wednesday to you!!

  23. Those are very nice, I love the little heart.

  24. Dear Michelle,
    this is a beautifull post,-I so love the pinn-keeps, and the prayer tags, what a gorgeus idea, they all hold some special thoughts-and that makes them so wonderfull.
    XO, Dorthe

  25. Oh my goodness! So much beauty in this one post. Using the vintage bobbins the way you did is SO creative. Love it all!!
    Patricia :o)

  26. These are absolutely beautiful. I love the needle keeps. The textures are inviting and the vintage bobbin closure is really creative. So, so pretty. Nice to meet you! This is my firs time visiting. I plan to follow.

    Vicki at Rusty Rooster Vintage

  27. Hi Michelle, how beautiful those are. I love that idea. That would make great stocking stuffers for my MIL and SIL they are both seamstresses. Are you going to have them in your shop.


  28. ...uuuummmmmmm....excuse me mon amie, I don't see these in your etsy shop!!
    Love the "sacred hearts" on them!
    xo, Rosemary

  29. I love your creations. The motives you use are beautiful! I'm crazy about the old French pictures.
    Love from Marit in Norway.


Taking the time to share your thoughts...your words...and your inspiration fills my soul....Merci.