Thursday, December 28, 2017

For the Love of Handmade

By Cora Chevalier
Macrame Murder
Cora Crafts Mysteries
By Mollie Cox Bryan

The Holidays are a busy time for most people. So when someone takes the time to make you a gift, the gesture is extremely thoughtful.  But then again, it always is, isn't it?
The style of the day is minimal. "Get rid of your things" seems to be the thing to do. I'm all for purging the things that don't matter to you. But I hate the idea of simply throwing stuff away to fill up landfills. Which is  why I feel that repurposing is so important. Look at your things and ask yourself what else you can do with them.
I know a woman who made a shower curtain from handkerchiefs. I have a friend who made me a delightful apron out of old shirts. and one of my favorite jewelers makes lovely pieces from old silverware.
I have some great old quilts handed down through my family. Sometimes, when one of the quilts is wrapped around me,  I imagine the hands that stitched it and I feel a sense of comfort that goes beyond the warmth of the quilt.
I also have some old cross stitch frames. Pieces that were made for me and given to me by my aunt. These are my treasures and I won't ever get rid of them. Some less sentimental people might call it hoarding of a sort, but I just think of of as a thread to my past and to the people who loved me. For they gave something to me that they made with their own hands. Which is also giving me the gift of their time.
Is it just me? Am I the only person like this? Do you have cherished handmade items you won't throw away?

Mollie Cox Bryan writes cozy mysteries with edge and romances with slow, sweet burn. She’s just published the third book in her new Cora Crafts Mystery Series: Macrame Murder. The first book in the series, Death Among the Doilies,  was selected as "Fresh Fiction Not to Miss" and was a  finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award. The second book, No Charm Intended, was named a “Summer 2017 Top 10 Beach Read” by Woman's World. She also wrote the Agatha-award nominated Cumberland Creek Mysteries. Several of the books the series were short-listed for the Virginia Library People's Choice Award. She makes her home at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley, Va., where she works as a researcher and fact checker and writes in the early morning hours. Visit her and sign up for her newsletter at Or follow her on Twitter @molliecoxbryan, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.  


  1. I treasure the quilts made by my Granny as well as the beautiful afghan made by my Mom. I think the things I treasure most are the little drawings and handmade gifts by our daughter when she was little. They have taken on an extra significance since she went to her heaven home at 17 to join my Granny and Mom. <3

  2. Yes, I have some of my baby dresses that were handmade by my Italian grandmother and aunts. I will never get rid of them. Also I have two rug hooking pieces that a dear friend made for me. Thanks for the reminder and Happy New Year!

  3. To me it's important to keep items that were my grandmother's and my mother's. I have my grandmother's sewing machine that she purchased after she & my grandfather moved to Texas in 1925. I have my Mom's desk that she used in her accounting business. I have a cross-stitched lighthouse scene that my daughter made for me one Christmas because I collect lighthouses. These things mean SO much to me.

  4. I treasure the beautiful afghan made by my grandmother on my Dad's side. the quilts made by my grandmother on my Mom's side. My baby dress that was crocheted back in the 20's for my Mom by her Aunt. She had kept it and passed it on to me. The picture of me at 11 months wearing that dress is in one of those old style double photo holders & the one of her at 1 yr in the same dress. We do look a lot alike. But I definitely have my Dad's big nose. (Sigh) I have some crewel embroidery that was done by another elderly relative. The one is a rainbow over a house. The other looks almost like a poster you see in some business foyers. It's an iris, two of them. With the name of me and my children sown in. She did it when my 3rd child was born. She didn't add my hubby. When I asked her why. She said she wasn't sure. But she just couldn't see him in it. I think it was a premonition. Because 9 months later he had a heart attack and died. No one in his family ever had any type of heart trouble that they knew of. And the doctor who did his physicals said there was not indication that he had any type of heart trouble. Grace's son (the elderly relative who did the needle work) said that there was another time that she had a premonition, but they'd all put it down to coincidence. But with my hubby's death. We all began to wonder. I also have some doilies by aunt did as a gift for Christmas right after my hubby and I had moved into a new house when my first son was born in 68. Momentos. I hope to give to my daughter. And of course the recipes from my great-grandma that she brought from Germany when she immigrated to the US. So many memories. Thanks

    1. Handing them down to your daughter is such a lovely gesture.

  5. My grandmother made blanket covers and I refuse to part with the one she made for me a very, very long time ago.