Friday, January 27, 2017

Idle Hands - Five on Friday

Idle hands are the devil's workshop. 

Remember that old saying? 

My Scots-Irish family was full 
of wonderful old sayings, 
mostly in my Grandmother's
and Mother's voices. 

If we were caught with nothing to do, 
or Heaven forbid - complain of 
nothing to do, we might very well
be admonished in this way 
and speedily given a chore. 

Mostly, not to our liking.......
So we tried not to appear 'idle'. 

I've been hearing these voices
from so long ago and trying to 
keep my hands busy. 

I've been thinking of all the dear loved 
ones from times gone by, 
as I work my idle fingers crocheting and sewing 
to pass these winter days. 

I've been doing what women (and some men, 
bless their hearts) have been doing
since the beginning of time - 
creating 'something out of nothing'
to make our homes a little more beautiful. 

Useful little things, but made to bring a smile
as we go about the sometimes weary, dreary 
chores of every-day life. 

Today I will share five of my 'Idle hands' creations
for Amy's 'Five on Friday' link party. 

Here, I've made some sweet little dishcloths, 
towels and a little blue scrubby pad - 
all gifts for a hard-working loved one
who deserves a little cheer. 

Here is another gift-set with a slightly different 
crocheted edging.
 (a row of single crochet and a second row
 of evenly spaced single crochet and chains).

You can make your own flowered dishcloth and scrubby
with the pattern books at this website....
I've used Lily, Sugar'nCream 
and Lion Brand, Kitchen Cotton
for all the dishcloths and towel edgings. 

For the scrubby, I used Mary Maxim 'Scrub-It'. 

All yarns are 100% cotton. 

My latest project is a crochet edged pillow case
for a throw pillow that I've made out of vintage curtains. 

The edging is a shell stitch border. 

I first made 1/4 inch stitches around the edge of the pillow
with thin green crochet thread. Then added a row of
single crochet through those stitches. 

I used the same crochet cotton yarn as in the dish cloths
for the shell edging (directions below). 

The pillow case is 20 inches square and has a zipper for 
easy removal and laundering. 

I was nervous about installing the zipper, 
but it was easy! I just basted that seam 
together with large machine stitches,
(before sewing any other seams)
then pinned the zipper face down
 on the inside of the seam,
sewed both sides of the zipper in, then cut
the basted seam stitches and voila'! 

Can you tell I am proud of myself? haha! 

This pillow will go on my daybed in the kitchen.

I made these pillows for the daybed, too. 

I found the vintage heart crochet lace 
a couple of years ago at the thrift store. <3

I simply made a ticking pillow, 
then made a pillow-case out of white
cotton dish toweling. 

The result is so soft with a charming vintage style. 
I deliberately made the pillow-case smaller
than the pillow to allow the sweet ticking to peek out.

I'll share the daybed redecorating next week.

This is how it looks now.
I want to trade the winter plaid
for something more feminine and romantic. 

I've also been crocheting Valentine's hearts.

I can't tell you how much fun these have been
to create.

They have two sides with an opening at the top
to insert a little sachet of lavender
or a cotton ball with your favorite perfume.

This is a very old pattern I've had since I was
a new bride, many years ago :)

It was from an old needlework magazine.
I believe it was McCall's.

Here is the pattern that I wrote down
so long ago.....

If you are an experienced crocheter, this will be easy to follow.
If not, here are the abbreviations:
ch - chain stitch
sc - single crochet
sl st - slip stitch
hdc - half double crochet
dc - double crochet
picot - decorative edge
Any good crochet how-to book will explain each stitch.

I will show you how I used these in my
Valentine's decorating next week.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my 'idle hands' creations
and that this inspires you to keep your
hands from idling too long, too!

I'm sure I could find something around
here for you to do!


Today I am linking with:

Love Made My Home - Five on Friday

Won't you join the fun?


  1. All of your creations are so charming and pretty, Karen!

  2. I remember this old saying from my Grandma! Your kitchen sets are simply lovely. And, I love the pillow and crocheted edging. I hope your weather is warming up. Enjoy your weekend dear one. Pat xx

  3. These are all lovely creations ... I especially love the red Valentine's heart.

    Happy Weekend...

  4. I love seeing your crochet work and how you make sweet gifts! I especially like your pillows made from ticking and then a pillow case. I want to do that! Have a good weekend, Karen! I am painting our old bedroom furniture from the 70's. I hate painting, but I'm loving how it looks:)

  5. Oh my....those busy hands have been busy. You do beautiful work. When my mom was younger she used to crochet like that. I have only used yarn for throws.

  6. Thanks for explaining your crochet edge, simple but beautiful. Sounds like you have been far from idle. Some lovely ideas :) B x

  7. I love the vintage heart crochet lace. It's so beautiful. Your home always looks so cozy with your special touches.

  8. I love the vintage heart crochet lace. It's so beautiful. Your home always looks so cozy with your special touches.

  9. I've been looking for a heart dishcloth pattern to go with some handmade soap a friend makes and sells. I thought it would be a cute valentines day gift. If I can't find any I really like, I'm going to make the flower dishcloth! Very cute. Thank you for sharing the pattern. I like all of your crafty makes. I think adding personal hand made items to your house, gives it such a homey feel. Love that red ticking and the crochet trim.


  10. Oh Karen, everything is so beautiful. I must to try the crocheted border around dishtowels. Did I read your instructions right? Do you sew a row of stitches around the towel with cross-stitch thread have something to attach the crochet stitches to? I've never done that before, but it just adds so much. Gorgeous!

  11. I love adding the edging...makes a beautiful hand towel and pillowcases. I should try doing that on some of my bath hand towels. And I know what you mean about staying busy. My boys knew not to EVER say they had nothing to do...or heaven forbid...that they were bored! heehee! I would put them to work in a heartbeat! Hugs!

  12. Wonderful crochet. So delicate looking pillowcases.

  13. I love your creations made by your very competent hands! I think it is built into women to NOT have idle hands. When I am taking a break from daily things, my hands are on the keyboard!

  14. All the homemade items are lovely! I have friends who crochet, knit and/or quilt. Such talents.

  15. Two tid-bits: My great grandma crocheted up a storm. I had so many doilies that she had made. And, I was taught to crochet (and knit) by my mother when I was five. I made a few things, but it was something I did a few times when I was younger. I sew more than anything other needlework these days.

  16. Here way say "the devil makes work for idle hands" I like the way that we can have sayings that are slightly different, but mean the same thing! Your work is always beautiful and I am sure that these lovely things have kept your hands very busy, they have certainly produced some beautiful results!

  17. You are so creative. I love the colors you have chosen for your kitchen accessories and the heart is so cute. I especially love your pillows, I've been hoping to make something similar but can't find any striped ticking in the local area. You did an amazing job on everything.

  18. Your family and mine must have been related at some point. I often heard that saying as a kid and also "Hands to work and hearts to God"...which may be one reason I am so loathe to just sit and do nothing. Even watching a movie I feel I have to be doing something else. I have never learned to crochet and that is on my "to do" list for the year.
    Your creations are just beautiful!! You do wonderful work. xo Diana

  19. Love your creativity and especially all the red things you shared. Those lace-edged, red striped pillows won my heart.

  20. Your hands are anything but idle! Such pretty projects you've completed. I like the quick nature of them. It's good to see things finished. The ticking pillows with the lace are so lovely.

  21. I so enjoyed looking at all your lovely creations!! You do such beautiful work. I love the crocheted edge on the towels but haven't tried it myself yet. Love that ticking and the border on those pillows too. Love your little hearts with the sachets, my mother in law must have had that same pattern because I still have the 2 hearts she has made me like that.

  22. Dear Karen,

    Always lovely to see your beautiful handwork - love your projects and you are such a talented crocheter.
    The pillows for the daybed are so gorgeous and can see you relaxing here in this lovely place.
    Hope you are enjoying the weekend

  23. Your hands are certainly not idle! Wow - so beautiful handwork!

  24. Oh aren't they lovely. The dishcloths are far too pretty to use as dishcloths, such an unromantic item! They will brighten up the sink and make it sparkle. x

  25. Oh yeah - we didn't dare say we were bored or had nothing to do... I love to crochet and your projects are wonderful. I love the white pillowcases with crocheted edging over the ticking - so very charming! I also saw on pinterest some pillowcases made with vintage floral fabrics with pastel crochet edging. I'd like to try that also. It's the little details, like yours, that really make a home!

  26. What a joy to visit and see your lovely creations. I have found your post inspiring and now have plans to create a few additions for my new home. A great five.

  27. Dear Karen, my sweet friend, you did so many wonderful things! Lovely crestions!
    Have a lovely new week,
    sending Love and hugs and blessings, Claudia xo

  28. What beautiful work you've done. Love the crocheted edging.

  29. So lovely to see your beautiful crochet work, I like everything, especially the Valentine Hearts

    All the best Jan

  30. Your mother would be proud of those busy hands.

  31. It's been such a long time since I indulged my crafty side! You have had a field day! This is all so homey and pretty. Perfect for winter days.

  32. idle hands - what are those?? i am so happy to report that i am never bored!! your handi work is so beautiful, so delicate, so lovely!! i find it is those little details that make a house a home and you my friend have a really lovely home!!

  33. Karen, oh your hands have not been idle! All your projects are delightful! I am still working on Isaac's blanket. Though not much lately as I'm mostly following a poodle around all day. I'll be glad when her stitches come out for good! Thank you for sharing the website link and your directions for the heart.

  34. Dear Karen
    This is one of the joys of Winter - free time inside to catch up on all things creative!
    I wish I could sit beside you to learn how to crochet. I've tried YouTube with lots of great tutorials but I still go AWOLhaha!!!! I can manage the first round but then things go haywire!
    Beautiful work Karen.

  35. Karen, these are so cute and chic!!!
    Have a nice day.

  36. Love it Karen! Everything is so pretty - and what lovely gifts they'd make too! I can't wait to see your romantic transformation. ;) This makes me want to give crochet a go of it! Hopefully when I get my scrapbooks a bit more caught up I will take some time to dabble in this hobby. xoxo
    Thanks for sharing!!

  37. Dearest Karen,
    Sweet little projects you crocheted and those make great gifts; labor of love!
    Well, I'm not doing any crochet stitches after my 100 hours for the Fleur de Lys curtain in our veranda. I did it in 11 days and am mighty proud that I managed it but my left thumb and index finger need a rest. Thumb still feels kind of numb... Hope it will go away with more rest.
    Need to dot the smaller '50-hour' curtain too!
    Sending you hugs,

  38. i found most of old time saying so true in life gradually.
    your crochet is so delightful and lovely .
    i can imagine how much your family must feel blessed who have you as precious part of them.
    your love take shape of art and beautify your world friend!

  39. Oh Karen, you are ever so skillful! All the items are beautiful and inspiring, and I must look for something like the Mary Maxim Scrub It Yarn! I didn't know about this kind of yarns.
    Thank you very much for sharing. Have a happy February! xx

  40. I ❤️ Seeing your projects from your creative hands, Karen! All your dishcloths, towels, scrubbies and pillows look so pretty. The heart with the embroidered flowers is just darling. I have been crocheting some little bears. I'll have to share them on a post.

  41. Beautiful crochet work! Wonder where you got the small print fabric for the pillowcase. It is very beautiful. All your work is beautiful.

  42. Very beautiful work. Have a happy week. Hugs.


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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