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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lucy's Prairie Pockets & Pocket Patchwork!!!

Happy National Quilting Day!!

Today, we celebrate our passion with the rest of the nation.  Like so many of you, I can't begin to find proper words to express how much quilting enhances and fulfills my life.  It allows me to touch and connect with our quilting ancestors, express my creativity, spend time with kindred spirits, brings peace to my heart just from putting two pieces of fabric together and guiding them thru the machine, and fills my very soul.  I know it's the same for most of you, so I honor all of you today as well.  Celebrate!  Spend some time with your fabric, sewing machine, and needlework.  I know I will!!

Lucy's Prairie Pockets & Pocket Patchwork!

I've been promising for several weeks now to tell you about Pocket Patchwork, and I think that today is the day!  The Prairie Pocket in the photo is one of three pockets featured in my new pattern, Lucy's Prairie Pockets.  Let me tell you a bit about what a Prairie Pocket is.....

Lucy Locket lost her pocket,
Kitty Fisher found it;
Not a penny was there in it,
Only ribbon round it.

This nursery rhyme, published in England in 1842, tells of poor Lucy losing her pocket, which was very likely a  fabric pocket worn separately, on top of her petticoats, and worn under her skirt or dress.  17th, 18th and 19th century American women made and used these pockets as well, as their clothes contained no sewn-in pockets as we know them today.  The pockets were flat, and somewhat U-shaped, that tied around her waist.  A slit in the side of her outer skirt allowed the women discreet access to the pocket and its belongings, which lay underneath.  Women wore these pockets singly, and in pairs, which helped to accentuate her hips, being the style at the time. 

Pockets were made from every fabric imaginable.  Some were embellished with beautiful crewel and embroidery work, some with patchwork and scraps, and others of plain cloth.  Women kept all kind of needful things in their pockets such as letters, books, glasses, etc., and of course, thimbles, needles, thread, and patchwork.  At night, they often hung from the bedpost to hold a watch, handkerchief or glasses.  Pockets were very much a part of housewifery in early America, and today, we can enjoy making a pocket for our own needful things, or just to decorate our homes.

I can't tell you how much fun I've had creating a bunch of pockets.  They were so much a part of women's lives in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, and I just had to make them!  The pattern will be available, hopefully, in April, and I will let you know when it's ready.

Now....about the Pocket Patchwork part.....as you read, the women kept fabric patchwork, needles, thread, and scissors in their pockets.  As I did my research, I found it was common for the ladies who met at a church or social function, to pull the patchwork from their pocket, and sit and sew while they visited together.  So....In that spirit, I thought we should sew together, too!  Pocket Patchwork will be a sew-a-long with me!  We'll be making small doll quilts together, and you can be sure I'll throw in make-do's as well.  I had hoped to have our first project ready to go by now, but other work has kept me from doing so....but it won't be too much longer, I promise!  I'd love to hear what you think, and I can't wait to get started sewing with you!

Wishing you peace while piecing!



  1. Happy Quilting Day to you as well! Your idea sounds like a great one. I like the idea of small projects, and I'm always learning a bit of history when I drop by. Will look forward to the start!

  2. Sounds like fun,I look forward to the sew-a-long. Now I know what that old nursery rhyme means.

  3. Sounds like fun, hope my schedule will allow me to sew- along.

  4. I'm in! Looking forward to it!

  5. It sounds like fun, I'm like Ginny though, I hope my schedule allows me to sew-along. I think the pocket is darling and I know I'll have to make several of those.

  6. Pam, I asked for a sew along and I got it!! You are so clever!! This sounds like a lot of fun and will be waiting patiently to see what you have in store for us. Happy Quilting Day to you too!! Karen Schultz

  7. Oh how I wish I lived closer! So, I can't wait for the sew along. Question Pam, I thought at one time you showed how to do yo yo's? Can you direct me to the post?

  8. What a wonderful idea!! I am one to carry some patchwork with me, when I know I will have some time to work on it. Can't wait to see what you have planned.

  9. Making a pocket has been on my "to do" list for awhile. The Pocket Patchwork sounds like a great idea so I sure hope to join in. Can't wait to see what you have in mind.

    Charlotte S.

  10. Sounds like fun was emailed about this and would like to join along with your sew along any thing special I need to do to get involved?


    Richard Healey