By Hand


Raid your fabric stash and make useful gifts now

By Ardeana Hamlin on Aug. 06, 2013, at 8:47 a.m.
Short lengths of fabric stacked on a shelf in the room where all such things reside have been calling to me. Coasters, placemats and table runners came to mind when I think about how to use these pretty lengths of material. Coasters are always needed in the summer months when …
Ardeana Hamlin

Use rubber stamps as embroidery patterns

By Ardeana Hamlin on July 30, 2013, at 7:03 a.m.
I have many rubber stamps for use in making cards. But it never occurred to me they might have another use until I recently saw an article in Stitch It magazine. Instead of stamping on paper, the article suggested, stamp on cloth, then embroider over the lines. The magazine article …

Raid your fabric stash and make useful gifts now

By Ardeana Hamlin on July 28, 2013, at 10:16 p.m.
Short lengths of fabric stacked on a shelf in the room where all such things reside have been calling to me. Coasters, placemats and tablerunners came to mind when I think about how to use these pretty lengths of material. Coasters are always needed in the summer months when tall …

Maine Quilts show spreads out the best in quilting

By Ardeana Hamlin on July 23, 2013, at 12:11 p.m.
The lure of more than 600 quilts on display will entice throngs of visitors to attend the 36th annual Maine Quilts Show, organized by the Pine Tree Quilters Guild Inc. The event will take place 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, July 26-28, at the …

A handcrafted stone fire circle marked a special July 4

By Ardeana Hamlin on July 02, 2013, at 11:33 a.m.
Thursday is the Fourth of July and for the next few days, people will retreat to their camps and cottages. Picnics will be packed, hikes will be planned and much use will be made of boats, canoes, kayaks and swimming holes. Grills will be stoked and potato salads will be …

Books featuring blanket, hats, shawls will intrigue knitters, crocheters

By Ardeana Hamlin on June 25, 2013, at 12:50 p.m.
Those wanting to send warm wishes to a special baby will find lots of designs to choose from in “60 Quick Baby Blankets,” a book that requires either 220 Superwash or 128 Superwash, a bulkier yarn, from Cascade Yarns. Knitters can opt for designs that feature cables, lace, colorwork, strips, …

Attend a textile painting exhibit and workshop

By Ardeana Hamlin on June 18, 2013, at 12:21 p.m.
Christine Macchi of Maine Fiberarts in Topsham has this information to pass along to By Hand readers: “Painted, Stitched Textile Art” by Catherine Worthington is on view through Saturday, June 29, at Maine Fiberarts, 13 Main St. in Topsham. Arlene Morris and Paul Hollingsworth installed the work so that the …

Quilt Day offers chance to expand the story of your vintage quilt

By Ardeana Hamlin on June 11, 2013, at 11:05 a.m.
Many of us have antique quilts tucked away — hopefully, rolled up safely in a cotton sheet or folded away, padded with acid-free tissue paper, in an acid-free box. The stories of those quilts — who made them, when they were sewn (by hand or by machine), where they originated, …

Verona rug braider provides impetus for rug hooking project using denim fabric

By Ardeana Hamlin on June 04, 2013, at 12:16 p.m.
Last winter, rug braider Verna Cox, 83, of Verona invited a few women of her acquaintance who hook rugs to break some rug hooking and rug braiding rules. Cox asked Stacey Van Dyne and six others, three of whom were rug-hooking beginners, to create a small piece hooked with strips …

Fiber Frolic highlights fleece of sheep, rabbits, alpacas

By Ardeana Hamlin on May 28, 2013, at 1:05 p.m.
Windsor Fairgrounds is the place to be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2, when the 13th annual Maine Fiber Frolic will take place. It features classes, vendors from throughout New England and as far away as Pennsylvania, animals, and the Fleece Show and Sale. A highlight on Saturday …

Switching to crochet for the summer months

By Ardeana Hamlin on May 21, 2013, at 11 a.m.
I’m on a crocheting kick. This has been going on for a few weeks. It came about as the weather began to get warmer and I found myself staring with something akin to loathing at the Harris tweed sweater I have been working on all winter — with very little …

Handmade items help demonstrate church group’s faith in action

By Ardeana Hamlin on May 14, 2013, at 2:08 p.m.
Twenty years ago, the Deacons’ Wives Ministry got its start in Ja-net Cronkite’s home in Etna. The idea was to put faith in action. “We noticed that our senior women can’t do as much as they once could, and they don’t get noticed as much as they once did. So …

Add a few craft books to your vacation plans

By Ardeana Hamlin on May 07, 2013, at 1 p.m.
With the leisure time of summer almost at hand, it’s always a good idea to think about what books you might want to get to idle away the time on the porch swing or to carry along to the camp on the lake. Here are a few titles that offer …

May Day is a good time to seek inspiration from Mother Nature

By Ardeana Hamlin on April 30, 2013, at 10:19 a.m.
It’s May Day and that calls to mind many pleasant associations — from daffodils scenting the air and making yellow splashes of color in the garden to discovering patches of violets near a stand of pines where a breeze whispers in the treetops. But mostly, for me, it’s about wandering …

Embroidery, household hints ruled women’s pages in 1913

By Ardeana Hamlin on April 23, 2013, at 12:34 p.m.
In one of many successful attempts throughout its history to engage women readers, the Bangor Daily News in 1913 ran on Saturdays and sometimes Tuesdays, a feature page titled Our Magazine of Fashion. This was the era when skirts were narrow at the hem, fell to the ankles and were …
Roseanna St. Germain (left) of Ellsworth and her mother-in-law, Cheryl St. Germain of Rhode Island, hold baskets of caps and other items they and other volunteers knit and crocheted to donate to the Raish Peavey Haskell Children’s Treatment Center in Brewer through Stitch for Cancer, a charitable organization Roseanna established in 2011.

Stitch for Cancer donates handmade caps, items for patients in Maine, Rhode Island

By Ardeana Hamlin on April 16, 2013, at 9:07 a.m.
BAR HARBOR | Roseanna St. Germain of Bar Harbor learned in 2011 that her grandmother, Darlene, had been diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. Knowing of the treatment regimen that awaited her, Darlene asked St. Germain to crochet a cap for her to wear during the period …

Oldest child doesn’t always ‘know it all’ about family history

By Roxanne Moore Saucier on April 14, 2013, at 3:08 p.m.
My brother once asked me the question that genealogists so often hear from family members: “How do you know all this stuff?” Research is only part of the answer. As I’ve been saying for years, oldest children often have an advantage in doing genealogy, because they’ve heard more and seen …

Memories of a denim bedspread

By Ardeana Hamlin on April 09, 2013, at 11:15 a.m.
Many years ago, when my sons were small, I stacked them, much to their delight, in one room — in bunk beds. But it quickly became very clear that changing the bedding on bunk beds was a chore. The bottom bunk was so low that it put a crimp in …

Celebrate spring with Quilt Shop Hop

By Ardeana Hamlin on April 02, 2013, at 1:31 p.m.
Spring is in the air and one of the surest signs of the season is the Quilt Shop Hop, marking its 10th year, now blooming across Maine. Besty Dorr, owner of Quiltessentials in Auburn, is one of the organizers for this year’s Shop Hop. “A lot of northern and eastern …

Wrapped in the memory of a doll’s quilt

By Ardeana Hamlin on March 26, 2013, at 12:21 p.m.
Of the many items my mother sewed for me, the one I most often wish I still had is a doll’s quilt she fashioned from scraps of fabric. When I visualize the quilt in my memory, I see 3-inch squares of print fabric sporting, here and there, figures in red …