Happy New Year! I imagine most of my upcoming blog posts will focus on the transformation of the 1876 Fixer Upper and the finish work/fine tuning after the moving in this December. But looking back over the posts of 2019, I want to revisit a different project I began in April and completed in December.

Re-purposing family treasures, doing needlepoint, and shopping for deals are recurring themes for me. In the April post about making use of my needlepoint thread stash, I showed a vintage painted canvas purchased on eBay for a fraction of a new canvas. I worked on the butterfly pillow project through the summer and fall, taking it to be finished at Annie & Company when I visited my needlepoint buddy, Hilary, in Manhattan.

Typically, I enjoy a “big city” fabric hunt to find backing material for a needlepoint project, and have found great selections at Mood and Zarin Fabric. This time, however, I took a scrap of green & beige herringbone linen with me that had been hand woven by my husband’s Aunt Mary Margaret. She was an interesting woman who graduated from Indiana University and studied romance languages in France and Spain in the 1920s. She was a talented artisan who enjoyed weaving, taking classes around the country.

The woven fabric remnant appeared to be left from a dress making project, but there was just enough to use for my 14-inch pillow! The fabric was lovely, and the color was perfect.

My Manhattan Garment District search this time was for the decorative trim to edge the pillow. Holy moly – endless choices! Take a look inside M&J Trimming from their website’s street view video. Amazing. Hilary and I found two great trims there – a wispy “grass” one and an orange chenille one to go in front of it. Definitely a bold choice for me since I usually gravitate to neutrals or subtle shades! Both trims added terrific texture, and the orange made the brighter butterflies really “pop.”

I now have a wonderful treasure that reminds me of my delightful NYC visit and preserves a beautiful family textile. And I like the back of the pillow as much as the front!

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One thing that makes my journey unique is that all of my interests are driven by a joyful and genuine curiosity. I delight in finding less expensive ways to make something or creative ways to enjoy something longer. Finding and creating joy - and sharing it - is core to who I am.