Saturday, February 5, 2011


August 16th 1980 was the day Jim and Margie, who run the Elm Shakespeare Company, got married.  I work for them in the summers, designing costumes for their productions. Over the 9 years I have spent working with Jim & Margie, they have become dear friends. August 2010 was their 30th wedding anniverasry and I wanted to give them a handmade gift. At the time I was in the process of working on my quilting piece The Good Day. In researching other tea towels to turn into art, I came across many calendar towels. I thought I could take a specific year, and embellish the towel to enchance a specific date. I purchased a funky 1980 calendar towel off Etsy and set to work. (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

And because I am nothing if not ambitious, I made a patchwork backing.  All the fabrics are from the shows I've designed at Elm Shakes.

The Kitchen Prayer is particularly relevant, as the majority of their time at home is spent  in their kitchen cooking, hanging out, or entertaining.

August 16 has a special bit of embroidery.

I ended up machine quilting the calendar blocks, but hand quilted all the printed leaves.

For the embroidery, I mainly used a combination of french knots and the satin stitch.

I thought about emboidering their names or something like "30 years" but I like the simplicity of the towel speaking for itself.

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  1. I am glad you kept it simple. I love it, such detail, such thought. It's a perfect piece.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your friends. You did an excellent job...and I like the simplicity too. I'm sure they were overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness. I certainly would have been.

  3. That is a beautiful gift you made to honor your friends. The love that went into is quite obvious.

  4. LandGirl1980, I accidentally erased your comment! (Stupid ipod touch...) So sorry, and thank you for the lovely complement.

  5. I love this idea! My grandma was a quilter and made me a quilt with a bunch of cloth calendars, but the embellishment is genius! What a beautiful idea. Did they love it?

  6. Thanks y'all! My friends loved it and it hangs in their kitchen and is pointed out to all their guests.