Make a little silk bag three inches and a half square, and fill with cotton-wool thickly sprinkled with sachet-powder. An even teaspoonful is a.good rule. Carefully halve two English walnuts by forcing the points of your scissors into the soft end. You must make a hole top and bottom of each half, which is best done with a red-hot hairpin. Varnish, and set them in a warm place to dry. When thoroughly dry, they are ready to be sewed on the bag, at equal distances apart, with their points reaching almost to the bottom of the bag. Sew a tiny bow above each walnut, and another at the bottom of the bag, which should be gathered in with a thread. Around the mouth of the bag wind a ribbon, and tie it into another tiny bow. These are very gay little bags.
Another use for English walnuts is in making Walnut Boats
Take a half-shell of the walnut, and glue a slender mast near the pointed end, to which you may fasten a sail made of gold or silver paper, doubled.
Java canvas, in white, buff, or pale blue, may be used. Be sure to see whether the bureau to be trimmed has a flat top, or one with drawers on either side; for the shape of your mats will depend on the shape of the bureau. On a flat top a long cover looks best, with two square mats for toilet bottles, placed on either side of the pincushion. A pincushion-cover of the same material completes the set.
Leave a margin all around the mat for fringe, and work some simple border in worsted. Blue or red worsted with white canvas, brown with buff, cardinal and gold-color with blue, are good combinations of color.
The pincushion-cover may be further ornamented with a monogram or initials worked in the middle.
Bureau-covers, as well as table-covers, tea-cloths, chair-backs, towels, and tidies, are often made of linen, and decorated with what is known as drawn-work.
For a bureau-cover buy a yard and a half of fine linen crash, either white or gray.
Leave six inches for fringe at either end. Cut the selvage-thread up from one end for ten inches, thus cutting all the cross-threads in that space. Draw out the last thread cut. By pulling carefully, it will hold until you have drawn the linen all across to the other edge; and, by cutting the selvage-thread on that side up to the drawn thread, your measurement will be alike on both sides. Now draw out all the cross-threads below the one first drawn, for a space two inches deep. The threads running lengthwise in this space must be gathered in little sheaves, which is done by hemstitching top and bottom. Some one who knows will show you how to hemstitch more easily than the book can do. Ribbon of a color to match the furniture, a little narrower than the drawn space, is woven through the sheaves, over two and under two, and hemmed at the two ends.
FIG. 82. - Drawn-Work.
Fig. 83. - Drawn-Work.
Now fringe out the ends, and hemstitch the top, but make the threads into bigger sheaves this time, - ten or twelve in each. Examine the knotted fringe on a towel or a shawl, and you will see how to knot the fringe of your cover.
Chair-backs or tidies are made in the same way. Sometimes three spaces of different widths are drawn, with ribbons of different color run through; and the chair-backs are more ornamental when a stamped pattern is embroidered in outline-stitch in the centre. Outline-stitch or stem-stitch is extremely simple, being almost the same as the backstitch taught in the chapter on plain sewing; and an artistic design worked in silk or etching-crewels makes the simple linen tidy an object of beauty.
Linen table-covers are made either in the shape of a long scarf, to fit a narrow table, or square, like the ordinary cover. The former are made precisely like the bureau-cover: for the latter, wide butcher's linen is used, the length being equal to the width. Fringe and draw the four sides, and ornament each corner with long graceful bows of the ribbon that is run through the drawn-work.
Tea-cloths should be made of somewhat finer linen, which now comes expressly for such purposes. They are of the size of a large dinner-napkin, and are meant to be laid at the head of the tea-table, or to cover a tea-tray. The fringe is shorter and finer than that of the covers before described ; and it should not be knotted, but plain. The drawn-work should be fine and narrow ; and, instead of running ribbon through the sheaves, fine tidy-cotton is braided through in the stitch called fagotting, in which the needle lifts every other sheaf back over the one preceding, and draws the cotton through in such a manner as to keep the sheaves twisted. The prettiest tea-cloths have a delicate design traced in outline-stitch, either in each of the four corners, or in a running pattern around the sides.
Any girl who knows how to crochet may make these very useful gifts. For the washstand five mats complete the get, - a large round mat, for the wash-bowl; two smaller, for the little pitcher and the mug; and two, which may be oval, for the soap-dish and brush-tray. Two balls of white tidy-cotton No. 8 make a set.
Start with a chain of five stitches, loop it, and crochet around, widening often enough to keep it flat. When the mat has reached the proper size, finish it off with a border of loops in three rows of long crochet arranged in groups with a dividing loop. The first row should have three stitches in a group; the second, four; and the third, five. The mats must be washed, starched very stiff, and ironed.
Mats for the table are made in the same way; but an improvement is to crochet them over lamp-wicking, which increases the stiffness.
Two large oval mats for the soup-tureen, and fish or meat platters, and four round ones for vegetable-dishes, usually make up the set; but small mats for gravy-dish, pitchers, etc., may be added if desired.
The best way to make one is to take a real pansy, and copy it as nearly as possible.
Suppose you choose the old-fashioned kind, with two purple upper petals, and three yellow lower petals. Cut out two pasteboard shapes as nearly like the flower as you can make them, but at least twice the size (or follow diagram given), and cover the upper half of each with purple velvet, and the lower half, which must contain the three yellow petals, with yellow silk to match.
Lay the two shapes together, and overseam the edges, leaving a small open space through which to stuff the pincushion. For this, use snips of worsted, crowding it tightly into every corner to make all hard and firm. Your next task is to draw the pansy's features in stitches of black and yellow silk, copying nature as best you can. This is good practice for the eye; and the result is likely to be better than if you followed a pattern in a book.
Fig 84 - Pansy Pincushion.