Sewing Caddies

It’s the day after….the day after the latest blizzard and once again we have snirt! Look at the north side of the barn where it took the brunt of the blowing snow.


Last fall I believe I promised to take pictures of all the sewing caddies on the shelf in my sewing room and I know they’re all dirty and need dusting so today was the day.

Birds of all kinds were popular.

Here’s a donkey and more birds. In the drawer was this cancelled stamp.

I have three roosters, all painted different – I think he was very popular.

An elephant and a stocking leg with Red Cross pins dated 1920 and 1921.

A wall caddy and two more birds.

Another rooster and a very decorated bird of some kind.

A wooden “head” with scissor handles around eyes and spools for hair maybe?

A duck and another bird.

Looks like a water bird and an easy chair.

Two sewing rockers and a little boy. Here’s the bottom of the little rocker.

It says “To my favorite mother from Janice. 1956”

A tray of tiny sewing scissors and a bird.

Hanging sewing caddies.

A large hanging sewing caddy with darning eggs on top shelf.

A small shelf with a big assortment of sewing items.

A collection of toy sewing machines – none in good shape – all from junk stores and flea markets.

And now they’re all dusted and back on the shelf ! What a good job to be done with!

The wind chill today was around 40 below! Tomorrow is not going to be much better. We are going to a funeral tomorrow and I am going to play for two different funerals next week. I’ll write a post when I can – even if it’s short. I have lots of practicing to do!

Stay warm, Everybody!

54 thoughts on “Sewing Caddies

  1. Sherry Whalen

    WOOHOO! 5 ads to click tonight!! Don’t forget to close those ads everyone!!!

    Your collection of sewing caddies are so cute and I love the toy sewing machines.

    We got about 5 inches of snow, all blowing sideways. It was cold today, but we went to Rochester and each gave a pint of blood, went out for supper and then went and walked around the Social Ice in the Peace Plaza. It was a little chilly lol – but the ice sculptures were safe from melting! Sherry

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sherry – I saw the Social Ice on the news -brrrrr! You guys get my vote for attending and thanks for the reminder about closing the ads. We so appreciate it.

  2. Kathy in western NY

    How fascinating seeing all your sewing implements and caddies. You could use them for props in your next book as they are very unique. Love the stocking one as it’s so unique to me. Thanks for sharing such an interesting blog post before I head off to bed and hoping no wind gusts wake me up again tonight. This wind can stop any day now.

  3. Carla J

    I remember my mom having a chair one with the spindles for spools. I have no idea if it was her mother’s or not. It was gone when my sister and I cleaned out our parents home.
    Safe travels as you go about in this cold weather.
    Ice storms the past two days, with wind and snow today has caused major power outages across our county and the next one to the east. Power company has called in help from many of the neighboring states, and there are still over 80,000 people without power as of tonight. Temps tonight in single digits with wind coming in off Lake Michigan it will be another cold one.
    We may see the sun tomorrow, but it won’t be warm.

  4. Melody

    Read my e-mail today from Martingale saw the write up and interview on your new book. Loved all the pictures. Can’t wait to get mine

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Melody – kind of a funny interview, huh? And in the picture of my sewing table with the Bullseye blocks is also my wine glass! Haha!

      1. Rita Mulvey in CT

        I will have to go back and look I missed the wine glass haha!
        I thought that I would mention that if you tap on the Country Threads heading the ads will refresh and you will have a whole new bunch to click on. I have been doing this a few times a day even if you haven’t posted a new update on the blog Mary. Just trying to do my part to keep you writing.
        We have zero snow it’s been warm this week so three inches of mud is what we have. We had a high of 60 degrees on Wednesday. It is really windy started yesterday afternoon and the temperature is supposed to drop again to single digits.
        It does seem that birds were a popular subject for the sewing caddies. I have seen the rocking chairs too.
        I am loving the book I have read it twice I will finish up the obligatory sewing I am doing then decide which quilt to start, or you may have chosen one for a sew along by then.
        Time to start the chores I’ll click some more ads later. Stay safe in those fridge wind chills.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Rita Mulvey – THANK YOU for that tip about the ads! Those ads pay for all the time and expenses that we incur with this blog. Zero snow, huh? We don’t really have piles of it like Minneapolis but we have the bitter cold and wind – always the wind! Going to a funeral today – brrrr!

  5. Betty Klostermana

    The Crazy Horse stamp had it’s first day issue at the Custer, South Dakota, site of the Crazy Horse sculpture.
    You’ve collected so many special things. But dusting??
    Did anybody else catch the Ginger Zee “moment” on GMA this week? The video started with the parent filming the bottom of a closet saying “what are you doing in there?’ It was a 2 year old in their jammies holding on a very large live hen. The parent says the chicken can’t stay inside and has to go out……. and then you see the little kid slowly walking to the door holding the chicken. All good things have to come to an end. The chicken was very comfortable with the situation. It was so cute. The bond between people and animals is so trusting and close.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Betty K – I did not see GMA’s piece about the chicken and the 2 year old but I’m going to see if I can find it online, I’ll bet I’d love it.
      Yes, I have collected many things over the years and I’m not a very devout duster. Sometimes I think finding the things is more fun than owning them – haha!

      1. Patricia E Campbell

        “Not a devout duster”
        Mary, that just cracked me up!!! I may request that as a p.s. on my tombstone! Haha!!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Patricia E Campbell – I didn’t think much about it when I wrote it down but you’re right — it could describe many of us who have “collections” and numerous animals in the house. Speaking of animals, how’s Berlin? Readers – her German Shepherd is named Berlin! Isn’t that clever?

      2. Ramona Tankersley

        Do not dust. First of all you won’t know where to put something back after you move it. Also you can leave a message written for your family.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Ramona – so true! I had a hard time fitting them all back on the shelf because I cleaned the shelf! But they were all on the shelf to start with so they all had to go back. I should have taken a picture before I took them down!

  6. Diane Bauer

    Oh, my goodness! What a wonderful collection!!! I have one antique toy sewing machine which I LOVE!!! You have quite the variety of sewing caddies!! I have my Grandmother’s sewing box which was really just a cookie tin turned sewing box. I’ve also kept some needle packs from both of my Grandmother’s sewing supplies, plus several wooden thread spools.

    A quick update on Pete, the horse. Our trainer was correct–he “threw a clot that affected his hind end” –basically what we know as a stroke. The vet provided acupuncture treatment to support his hind end. Christa will make some dietary changes to support him in that way. There are some massage techniques we can all learn to help him. Keeping his spirits up and helping him move around a bit more and then it’s ‘wait and see’. Cautiously optimistic is where I’ve landed today.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane Bauer – I’d say its great there may be something to do to help Pete! Loved the pic on FB of Jen and one of the goldens.

      1. Diane Bauer

        That was Akira, the oldest of my two Goldens. Jenica was definitely snuggled in to absorb whatever love and positive energy she could from the dogs. Apparently I am to have the two grandpups for the months of April and May. Oy vey! Four Goldens in one house for two months? We shall have fun!!

        Yes, we are happy to pitch in and help where we can with Pete. Cautiously optimistic is what I told Jen. It is going to be ‘wait and see’ with Pete. Christa says, “keeping his spirits up and moving around a bit more (though not forced) are good things.” She will train me in the massage of the coronary band on his left hind and I will go out regularly to help with that. Her caution is to ‘not squat where you cannot get out of the way’. After all, he is about 1200 lbs. and that would squash me!! Any and all positive thoughts and good energy are much welcomed!!!!

          1. Diane Bauer

            My son, Justin, has two Goldens–a 3 year old named Riley and a 3 month old named Ruby. Jenica has the cat, Gizmo, with her at college, but no room in her 350 sq ft apartment for a Golden. Justin and Liz will be traveling in April and then Justin starts his Captain Career Course in Texas and their pups will be with me then.

  7. Kathy Hanson

    My mother had one of those birds white with black wing tip and large scissors in the head for the long beak. I remember my mom using it. You have quite the collection – lots to dust but you are done for a long time again. Two funerals to play for, and with the weather getting to the church could be tricky. Do take care traveling to them. So much fun to see your collections! Thanks!

  8. Martha Engstler

    That’s a wonderful collection of sewing items. The toy sewing machines are a real treasure. I’m guessing you found most of these things at thrift shops. Wish we had more around Gettysburg.

  9. SusanfromKentucky

    Love seeing all your sewing caddies and stuff! I have a small box that was used for a sewing box that belonged to my great-grandmother. Her son engraved the inside with “Dearest Mother” , 4-7-12 and his initials. I cherish it.

  10. Carolyn Boutilier

    thank you for sharing your collections of sewing caddies. I collect antique pincushions and display them on a shelf in an antique metal & wood draw.Your weather sounds terrible. Stay warm and safe. We were 62 here in the Shenandoah Valley. WE will be back to winter tomorrow.
    Carolyn B

  11. Jo in Wyoming

    You can tell all those sewing caddy’s were well loved! What a fantastic collection. I have my grandmother’s sewing box and moms 4H scissors, I blow the dust off on occasion, I could never clean their fingerprints away.
    It’s so cold here, I can’t imagine being without power. We do lose it for a few hours…never days!
    I wish them well.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – I’ve never spiffed them up so yes, they’ve been well loved. By me, too!

  12. Linda

    I have never seen anything like your collection. Very interesting. Maybe I saw some but did not know what they were.
    Thanks for showing us.

  13. Lora Jans

    I love your sewing caddies! I collect them too, along with pin cushions. They are some of my favorite antiques!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lora Jans – I also collect pincushions – we should share with each other and maybe the readers because who doesn’t love pincushions?

  14. Nicole Hanson

    Saw this on Facebook:
    “From dust we came,
    To dust we return.
    Therefore, I do not dust<
    It might be someone I know!"

  15. Beth Laverty

    I was so excited to see all our your sewing caddies. I have a few. But nothing like your amazing collection. I also have two of the children’s sewing machines. I have tried to keep my collections from overflowing my sewing room but seeing all of your items makes me want to get more…… LOL

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beth Laverne – being an avid collector of many things is a happy sickness – haha! Wait till I get out the pincushions! And then the dog pictures. And then the ironstone! Yikes! You’’ll all think I’m crazy! Always remember however I am not a “devout duster”! Haha!

      1. Beth Laverty

        Dusting… what is that…. LOL I also have a number of pincushions………. SIGH……………

  16. Lee

    Mary, good morning. It was 80 here in Raleigh a couple days ago. This morning we might get flurries. I am watching… don’t want to miss them.
    Your collection is so cute…. aren’t you glad everyday you remodeled your house and you planned for collections.
    Be warm and be safe and be happy. Lee

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lee – YES! I love my house every single day! You’ve got a good memory, Lee! Keep your eyes peeled for those flurries!

  17. Marie McDonald

    Thanks for sharing your sewing room collection with us. I have a lot of the same pieces which I have collected over the years too. So fun to see them! We have had really nasty winter weather in West Michigan the last two weeks. Today the sun n is shining and I am going to go out to lunch. Have been in hibernation most of last few weeks. At least we have always had our power. A lot of people have no power and may be Monday before restored.

  18. Diane in Central Ohio

    Nicole, I love your poem. It is a perfect reason for not dusting. The sewing items are so interesting; they are all so different. Thanks for sharing them, Mary. I love the tv commercial where the little boy has a baby pet pig, but it gets too big and is relegated to the barn. But, the mom puts in a video set up so the boy can continue reading the pig his bedtime story and the pig falls fast asleep. I am going to read your interview now.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane in Central Ohio – isn’t that just the sweetest commercial? Now there’s a mom who realizes how much her kid loves that pig!

  19. Sharon Lowy

    Wow! You really have me beat on sewing caddies and pin cushions! I do have 8 little toy machines though. I love collecting and can’t seem to leave anything behind when I see it. I even like to dust them as it is like finding some of them all over again. I love your blog and really look forward to it.

    By the way, I have an Ekornes chair and ottoman from the 1970’s and it is still beautiful. I remember we gulped when we bought it because it was pricy but it wa/is worth every penny. I do open the ads and that one even got a message from me.

    Happy sewing. Love seeing all of you animals and I really wish I had a dog just like Hazel!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sharon Lowy – what’s an Ekornes chair? Must have been in an ad? Wish I could ship Hazel off to visit you sometimes- smile!

  20. michele

    Just love all the collections. Such great great finds. I have been on the lookout for antique egg scales. Saw an old episode of Eleanor Burns on tv the other day and she had a few.
    New terminology this year, you have snirt. We had cryoseisms (freeze quakes) during the recent polar vortex. Never too old to learn something new.

  21. Judy in Texas

    So LOVE your caddie collection! They are all so unique and inspiring! Thanks for sharing! All the comments on dust and dusting – so true! Make me laugh!
    Saw on a Fiesta site a post from a collector who posts a new SHELFIE as she RE-decorates. That’s me, I may not be a decorator but I am definitely a RE-decorator. If I am gonna pick something up to dust it -it prolly does not return to same spot. I use doilies and lace so I cannot write in the dust. 🤫

    Yeah-lots of ads to close today!

    The wintry barn is LOVELY!!!

  22. Joanne

    Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful collectibles. Love them. Stay warm very windy here.

  23. Kim

    Enjoyed seeing your sewing caddy collection, and await seeing your pincushions! I have 6 small sewing machines, including a Singer one from one of my Aunts. Dusting is over-rated! my quote is” A clean house is a life mis-spent! Would much rather be sewing/quilting!

  24. Terry

    Oh wow – what great eye candy. I have a few “chairs” and duck/chicken sewing stations but nothing like your collection. I also have a number of pincushions. I remember seeing your collection of pincushions displayed in a glass “holder”. I promptly dug one out (similar to yours) that I had purchased with nothing in mind – it now proudly displays my pincushions. So pretty. Got your book yesterday – love, love, love it. Don’t know which quilt to start doing. I also enjoyed reading the accompanying stories. You and Connie are to be commended – great job. Sorry about your cold weather – here in So. California it’s been cold but nothing like what your going thru – stay warm. Terry

  25. Carolyn Sullivan

    wow! i thought i had a lot of sewing “junk”!!!! those are really REALLY neat.

  26. Janice Brown

    Hi Mary, I just love your vintage sewing caddies. I have never seen these type of sewing caddies before and I am 60+ years old. My mom was a sewer (clothing, upholstery, window treatments and decor but not quilts). She used cookie and chocolate tins, and a basket or two, to keep sewing supplies together.

  27. Kelley

    Thank you for posting pictures of your caddies. It’s funny, I have grown up seeing old washing machines, pedal sewing machines, but have never seen a sewing caddy! The oldest sewing thing I have is a tomato pin cushion which my little terrier snatched and left me a pile of dust! (Fortunately no pins were in it!).

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