When I created Tie One On Day fourteen years ago, I had hopes its essence – that giving from the heart made someone else’s day brighter – would be embraced worldwide. And if ever there were a need for a worldwide hug, it’s now.

A few weeks ago, our little Temple in Pueblo, Colorado, was the proposed target of Nazi hatred. Thankfully, the FBI and local police thwarted his plan. Tho’ the attack did not take place, the idea of such violence against our Jewish community left us shaken. Friends from around America reached out, and in doing so, made us feel safe and loved. That’s kindness.

Thinking kind thoughts is empathizing. Acting on empathy is kindness. #JUSTDOIT

I like most people and enjoy showing them as much, especially with a delivery of a homemade food.

My first Tie One On Day delivery was to an artist. Upon attending a pop up art exhibit by neon artist Scott Young (find him and his talent on instagram @scottyoungstudio), I  was immediately caught up in the excitement of his work and his genuine niceness. It was his description of a hectic schedule through the end of the year that led me to one thought: this man needs the sustenance of a hearty soup.  Yes, that’s how I think.

A reusable wrapping of cloth and a handwritten note are tenants of Tie One On Day

The bean soup recipe I use is easily made in a crock pot. Freezing the soup and delivering in a container that does not need returning is always a good idea. Here we are at the pop-up. That we’re both smiling is the win-win of Tie One On Day, for the giver and recipient.  #JUSTDOIT

Delivering in person is a Tie One On Day bonus


Following the thwarted attack, a neighbor to one of our children gave our Jewish community a gift that required more than the requisite thank you note. For them, I baked Pecan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls…from the latest cookbook by my friend, Eliza Cross.

Whether store-bought or home-baked, a pretty plate will be used later and serve as a                                                                                   reminder of thoughtfulness

Because the delivery was on a Thursday, I chose this days of the week toweling. The note expressing gratitude was tucked beneath.

The rolls were first covered with plastic wrap to prevent sticking

Kindness is taught, not by talking but by example. Accompanying me on her first Tie One On Day delivery, my granddaughter.

There is no age too young to begin teaching kindness

Gestures of kindness during the month of November are especially relevant. With all my heart, thank you for making Tie One On Day a part of your Thanksgiving tradition.

Gratefully, EllynAnne


According to Oprah, “Kindness matters.”  Her sentiment is ever so timely, especially in light of recent events to the contrary.

Despite the turmoil, kindness does abound!

To lift spirits, be encouraged, and find inspiration, join in celebrating the 13th annual Tie One On Day!

Leave a comment at the end of this posting



sharing how you will participate in this year’s Tie One On Day.

Thanksgiving is a holiday of sharing, recollection and traditions, and the apron symbolizes these concepts.

Please join in and tie one on…an apron, of course! and make a difference in someone’s life with a gesture of kindness.



Gratefully, EllynAnne


TIE ONE ON DAY 2017 Celebrates 12 Years of Kindness!

The more who participate, the more who receive acts of kindness


Twelve years ago on Thanksgiving eve, I wrapped a baked good in an apron with a handwritten note of sympathy tucked in, and delivered it to a neighbor experiencing more heartache than should ever be. Her response of delight and warmth was unexpected and very touching.

In offering a small gesture of recognition to her family’s situation, I was stunned at the joyfulness that I experienced. The win-win of the exchange was so memorable, I knew it had to be shared. So I created TIE ONE ON DAY™.




To encourage adding Tie One On Day to your Thanksgiving traditions, a dedicated group of generous SPONSORS are putting some fabulous “give” into the TOODAY 2017 GOODIE GIVEAWAYS!

To enter the Tie One on Day Giveaways, leave a comment at the end of this blog posting, sharing how you will participate in this year’s TOOD. Your comment is your entry into the November 22nd giveaway drawings! Four (4) Giveaway Winners will be randomly selected and contacted via their provided email. ***Winner must live within the USA.

Thanksgiving is a holiday of sharing, recollection and traditions, and the apron symbolizes these concepts.

Please join in and tie one on…an apron, of course! and make a difference in someone’s life with a gesture of kindness.


Gratefully, EllynAnne

National Tie One On Day 2012


Fall is here and with the change of season is a gentle nudging of your attention toward National Tie One On Day, an annual opportunity to put the “give” back into Thanksgiving through a gesture of kindness.

To learn all about National Tie One On Day and how to become involved (hint: No need to purchase anything special!) click HERE

National Tie One On Day is a win-win for both receiver and participant. And to encourage your involvement, the sponsors of NTOOD are each providing a fabulous goodie giveaway throughout the month of November. Daily giveaways begin November 1. 

To ENTER the NTOOD 2012 Goodie Giveaways, leave a comment at the end of this posting (along with a contact email, so I can reach you should you win). Sharing how you plan to participate in NTOOD is welcome and an inspiration to others.


 *******You need only post once to be eligible for the entire month of November’s giveaways.*******


NTOODay 2012 Goodie Giveaway closes to entries at 10 pm mountain time the evening of November 21st. Giveaways will only be shipped to an address within the United States.


Bernina USA is sponsoring the final giveaway on November 21st, awarding one very lucky winner the Bernette 46!

bernette_46_NTOOD 2012 giveaway


“Women clad in aprons have traditionally prepared the Thanksgiving meal, and it is within our historical linkage to share our bounty.”

Thank you for embracing National Tie One On Day and planning to participate, for in doing so, someone else’s day will be so much brighter.

xxea and sponsors of National Tie One On Day 2012

Thanksgiving Out of A Can

When it came to opening a can and calling it cooking, my mother was the champ. And no meal lent itself more to Mama’s can cuisine than Thanksgiving. The green bean casserole? 1 can condensed mushroom soup + 1 can drained green beans + 1 can French fried onion rings = voila! Cranberry sauce? Straight from the can onto a lettuce lined plate, it bore the indentations of the container.

Years into adulthood, when the Thanksgiving meal became my domain, that casserole was laid to rest and fresh cranberry sauce replaced canned. The recipe is as easy as opening a can, but tastes so much better: 2 cups cranberries + 1 cup orange juice (not from concentrate) + 1/2 cup sugar, stirred over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken (15 minutes or so). Chill & serve on a lettuce lined platter, an homage to my mother.

A cranberry log atop leaves of lettuce was traditional to more Thanksgiving tables than just ours. When I first saw this 1942 Thanksgiving snapshot, I immediately noticed the log in the glass

Military Sons_thanks1942_big (Medium)

server. I remember laughing because it so reminded me of my mother. Then, I took in the scene: a family with four military-serving sons home on leave for the holiday.

My Dad was also in the Navy. I don’t know where he was Thanksgiving of 1942, but according to this newspaper clipping dated May 20, 1941, he was due home in late June on a ten-day leave. The handwriting on the clipping is his mother’s, my Grandma Birdye. She kept it in an envelope, along with a photo of her sailor boy.


Over the next four years, there are more clippings, but none suggest he returned to SC on leave. His discharge card is dated October 8, 1945, and then he shipped home, in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family.

What with the scurrying taking place today and tomorrow by so many traveling home for Thanksgiving, my mind is stuck on the military, and the empty place settings at too many tables in far too many homes.

Before carving the turkey and diving into a heavenly blob of mashed potatoes, it should be law that each and every one of us gives thanks for those in the service, and prays for their homecoming, which is a world of difference from home on leave.

From the entries to National Tie One On Day™, I’ve copied two that are specific to the military. I hope you are as inspired by the writers as I.

     I have been participating in NTOOday for a few years. This year will be a bit different as we are exploring ways to help out at Fisher House, the residence available to families of service personnel getting treatment at the Walter Reed National Medical Center. The current conflicts have taken their toll on our dedicated service people, and as many are far from home, we are hoping to add a little levity and personal touch to their celebrations.

     I use this time of year to give to select homeless men who are Vietnam Veterans. I lost my husband and son, both of which were veterans, in 2004 within a 2 month time span. Since then around Thanksgiving I have hunted out a homeless veteran and gave him gifts that I would have bought for my husband and my son such a thermal underwear, socks, gloves, hats, etc. I also include some of the goodies they enjoyed like stained glass candy, fudge, cookies, breads, etc. I use this to hone my husband and my son and to keep their memories alive. Thank you for allowing to share with you how I spend Thanksgiving and tie One On Day.

National Tie One On Day™ Goodie Giveaway!

To encourage your putting the “give” back into Thanksgiving and adding National Tie One On Day™ (…an apron, of course!) to your holiday tradition, a dedicated group of sponsors are putting some fabulous “give” into the NTOODay 2011 Goodie Giveaway!

To enter, click HERE 

The National Tie One On Day Goodie Giveaway sponsors are generously providing an array of giveaways, which I’m highlighting throughout the NTOODay™ campaign.

4th issue apronology pic for Beth's quote [640x480] [320x200]

ea_Ellen March

Thank you to all who are spreading the word of National Tie One On Day, for the more who participate, the more who receive.

National Tie One On Day_Pumpkin Persuasion

    For this year’s Thanksgiving gathering, my assignment is desserts, of which one must, according to Thanksgiving law or something, be a pumpkin pie. PP is not my favorite pie, but to others, it’s not Thanksgiving without it. And since I’m in a crowd-pleasing mood, I’ll bake one.

    In searching for a recipe, I learned there is a jack o’lantern pumpkin and a pie pumpkin, and a “jack” does not a pie make.

    I also learned that baking a pumpkin pie wasn’t always a simple task. Back in the day, just processing the pumpkin was a job. In reading about a pumpkin’s preparation, I became curious as to whether this pie has been a consistent recipe of pumpkin, eggs, milk and spices over the years, or if in the last, say, 100 years, it’s experienced significant changes.

    From a selection of early cookbooks, I saw scant variation in the ingredients, nor in the chore of putting this pie together:

Cookbooks_array (Small)

1902  Woman’s Favorite Cook Book
“Pumpkin Pie (Like Mother Makes)”

1 qt milk, 3 cupfuls of boiled and strained pumpkin, one and one-half cupfuls brown sugar, one-half cupful molasses, the yolks and whites of 3 eggs beaten separately, a little salt, one level tablespoon each of ginger and cinnamon, salt to taste. Beat all together and bake with an undercrust; enough for three pies.

Pumpkin Pie 1904  Gold Medal Cook Book

One cup stewed and sifted pumpkin, one level teaspoon salt, one saltspoon mace, one teaspoon cinnamon, two-thirds cup sugar, one beaten egg well mixed together, pour over one cup each of cream and milk boiling hot, fill the plate and set into oven as quickly as possible; if pumpkin is watery add one teaspoon flour. It is done when it rises well in the middle. A rim of puff paste can be laid around the edge of the plate if liked, if used it should be at least one inch wide and the edge that goes down into the pumpkin rolled very thin.

Pumpkin Pie 1915  Things to Eat

4 Tablespoons pumpkin, 1 pint cream (or milk with piece of butter size of walnut), 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup molasses, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1 tablespoon flour, 3 eggs well beaten add last. Will make 3 pies.

Pumpkin Pie 1929 The Modern Home-Maker
2 cups stewed and strained pumpkin, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon mace, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tablespoon flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup milk. Line a buttered pie plate with pastry. Beat eggs, add to milk and pumpkin. Add sugar, flour, salt and spices and mix thoroughly. Pour into lined pie plate and bake in a hot oven until a golden brown color.
     Finally! Canned pumpkin makes its way into our collective pantries and Good Housekeeping bestows its approval on a pumpkin pie recipe that no longer required the hours nor mess of stewing, straining and mashing. 
Pumpkin Pie 1930 MEALS Tested, Tasted
and Approved – GH Institute
2 cups pumpkin, 3 eggs separated, 1 cupful brown sugar, 1/34 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon cloves, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 3 cupfuls scalded milk.  To cooked or canned pumpkin, add egg-yolks, sugar, salt and spices, and mix thoroughly. Add scalded milk and fold in stiffly beaten egg-whites. Pour into a pie plate lined with pastry and bake. Makes 2 medium or 1 large and 1 small pie. To serve, cool the pie slightly and arrange small mounds of unsweetened whipped cream, 1 in the center of each individual piece of pie. Drop 1 tsp honey in the center of each mound of cream and serve at once.
     All I have to say is thank goodness for canned pumpkin. But I wondered, are all canned pumpkin products the same, or is there one canned pumpkin and recipe that stands out?  Seems there is!
    According to my new apron friend, 91-year-old Pillsbury Bakeoff veteran Joan Vanburen of Willmar, MN, Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe is “…easy to make and comes out good for anyone.”  And in this Joan 

Libby's pumpkin can (Small)

is in agreement with Beth Howard, proprietress of The World Needs More Pie website, whose only alteration to the recipe is eliminating the call for cinnamon as a personal taste preference. And in that, I am in total agreement.
National Tie One On Day™ Goodie Giveaway!

To encourage your putting the “give” back into Thanksgiving and adding National Tie One On Day™ (…an apron, of course!) to your holiday tradition, a dedicated group of sponsors are putting some fabulous “give” into the NTOODay 2011 Goodie Giveaway!

To enter, click HERE

The National Tie One On Day Goodie Giveaway sponsors are generously providing an array of giveaways, which I’m highlighting throughout the NTOODay™ campaign.

  • Beth M. Howard From her home in Eldon, Iowa, where she is the proud resident of the famous American Gothic House, Beth sells pie to tourists from her pitchfork pie stand and teaches pie making classes. Pie is meant for sharing. Pie connects people. Pie is the perfect partner to National Tie One On Day. Beth’s goodie is an adorable tee, style choice by the winners.

Picnik collage 

  • Bernina ‘s Swiss precision is at the heart of every product they make. Known for Quality, Innovation and Design with innovative features that make sewing easier, BERNINA lets you focus on your project―and not the machine. BERNINA’s nationwide network of fully trained independent dealerships provides the highest standard of service, beginning with free guide classes after purchase. Bernina’s giveaway is the world’s first ‘Lady’s Knife’, a complete sewing tool in smart pocketknife form, specially designed for women!
  • Dubbed the Swiss Sewessential, this ultimate sewing accessory consists of 17 superbly crafted individual tools, including a special rotary knife, awl and hem-measure. Incredible? Yes! Fabulous? Even more so!

BERNINA Sew Essential Lady Knife Giveaway 2011
  • Heavenly Hostess by Cynthia Waddell, is a line dedicated to upscale aprons and kitchen linens. All Heavenly Hostess products, including beautiful vintage inspired hostess aprons, retro inspired cocktail aprons and vintage inspired halter aprons, are designed and manufactured in Sunny California.
  • Heavenly Hostess is providing two winners the new Cupcake Cutie reversible halter apron, which Cynthia describes as, “So sweet and perfect for holiday baking and entertaining, Cupcake Cutie is fully reversible and made of fine 100% cotton.”

Heavenly Hostess 2011 CupcakeCutie
  • MikWright is a nationally known greeting card company founded in 1991 by friends Phyllis Wright-Herman and Tim Mikkelsen. You know their brand – they were the first to incorporate vintage snapshots with sharp-witted humor.  MikWright is carried in over 2000 retail outlets and has licensed products with Andrews McMeel Publishing, Design Design, Luckie-Street and High Cotton. When MikWright “ties one on,” it usually involves vodka and olives. Accordingly, MikWright is a proud sponsor and supporter of “National Tie One on Day™. For two lucky winners, two bountiful gift boxes of MikWright goods.

  • HARALEE® is a Portland, Oregon, based company that designs, manufactures, and markets moisture wicking
    sleepwear for women. Haralee’s Cool Garments for Hot Women are ideal for the woman experiencing night sweats due to menopause, breast cancer, medications or high internal thermostat. Owner Haralee Weintraub is a breast cancer survivor; she donates a portion of her company’s sales to breast cancer research. Haralee is generously providing two gift certificates toward “cool” purchases. 

Thank you to all who are spreading the word of National Tie One On Day, for the more who participate, the more who receive.


National Tie One On Day_Soup’s On!

National Tie One On Day™ Goodie Giveaway!

To encourage your adding National Tie One On Day™ to your holiday tradition and embracing its message of sharing and gratefulness, a dedicated group of sponsors are putting some fabulous “give” into the NTOODay 2011 Goodie Giveaway!

To enter, click HERE

I’ve been reading the comments of those entering the National Tie One On Day Goodie Giveaway and each is so very personal and inspirational.  Especially touching are those whose own bounty may be stretched thinner this year, yet they will give of what they have to another with less. Such is the true spirit of Thanksgiving!
My own NTOODay offerings are stacked in the freezer, awaiting delivery next week. Time still to fiddle with the packaging aspect.
Last year, I wrapped each mini loaf first in plastic, then with a vintage hankie and lastly, a hotpad. I used the downloadable notecard for a personalized message, packed the kaboodle into an old lunch box and made the rounds.
NTOOD 2010 ea delivery 2 [640x480]
This year, I’m going with sturdy brown lunch bags as more suitable packaging for the Cherry Pumpkin Bread and carton of soup.
I added this particular soup after making it for my family – it’s not an expensive recipe and really “sticks-to-your-ribs.”  Many of my recipients are into their Golden Years and without their partners. I wanted to provide them with just a bit more fare this year, and this delicious soup should do it!
15 bean soup resized

Fill ‘em Up Bean Soup
  • 3 cups dried beans
  • 2 boxes (32 oz) chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 2 T chile powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 4-6 links beef/turkey/applewood chicken

In a large pot, cover beans in cold water (with 3-5″ to spare) and soak overnight. Drain. Rinse.
Heat 2-3 T olive oil in the pot & saute onions until softened.
Add beans, tomatoes, broth and chile pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer. Cook until beans are tender (1-2 hours).
Ladle 1/2 the beans into a blender and pulse until puréed. Pour back into the pot.
Add cut up meat (beef /turkey /applewood chicken /hot links) to the soup. Cover & simmer for 1+ hours. Taste before adding salt & pepper.
Cool. Pour into individual containers & freeze.

The National Tie One On Day Goodie Giveaway sponsors are generously providing an array of giveaways, which I’m highlighting throughout the NTOODay™ campaign.

  • American Sewing Guild  is a membership organization that welcomes sewing enthusiasts of all skill levels. With a mission of Advancing Sewing as an Art and Life Skill, ASG has over 20,000 enthusiastic members in 138 chapters throughout the USA. ASG proudly offers this Goodie Giveaway- a canvas tote

produced by the Malika Mums (mothers of disabled children).  Featuring the ASG logo on one side and “this is not a plastic bag” in Swahili on the other, the bags enable mothers to provide for their families – it’s ASG’s “sewing as a life skill” mission statement in action!

  • Double D Ranch is the inspiration of four regular girls from Yoakum, building on their hard working Texas roots and a childhood spent in the Southwest. They don’t care how things are done in New York. They’ve managed to build a fashion and furnishing company deep in the heart of Texas and they wouldn’t have it any other way. For two lucky winners, Double D Ranch is providing this gorgeous bag,

   DDRanch giveaway front 2011 (Medium)           DDRanch giveaway back 2011 (Medium)
from the DD Ranch apparel line of Western haute couture.

  • Judi Ketteler is a widely published writer who loves working with creative, inspired entrepreneurs — helping them to write the web sites and marketing materials that grow their businesses. A craft veteran passionate about sewing, women’s history, and vintage bargain-hunting, she is providing the two winners with personalized copies of her book: Sew Retro: A Stylish History of the Sewing Revolution + 25 Vintage-Inspired Projects for the Modern Girl!

Judi Ketteler_best copy of bkcover

National Tie One On Day™ is a win-win, for participant and receiver. Thank you for helping to spread the word and making someone’s day a little brighter.
Tie One On…an apron, of course!

National Tie One On Day Expresses Gratitude

National Tie One On Day™ was created six years ago when I began to notice that Thanksgiving was talked about in terms more commonly associated with stress than with joy.

A day that should be about expressing gratitude, I created an opportunity to put the “give” back into Thanksgiving and easily share one’s own good fortune with someone in need of a kind gesture.
Celebrated on the eve of Thanksgiving – Wednesday, November 23 this year – National Tie One On Day™ is an opportunity to share our bounty by wrapping a loaf of bread or other baked good in an apron, along with a note of encouragement tucked in the pocket; then “tie one on” (an apron, of course!) and deliver the wrapped bundle to someone in need of a bit of kindness.

What with technology replacing face-to-face communication, the act of writing a note and hand delivering it with an offering is an expression of kindness in itself, and bread is the ultimate expression of this, because it is the basic comfort food.

Give us this day our daily bread isn’t just a prayer. The words are also a reminder that to have more than daily bread is to be blessed.

In preparation of my own National Tie One On Day™ deliveries, I baked a double batch of cherry pumpkin bread. I love this bread because the recipe is a breeze, it freezes beautifully, slices without crumbling and tastes delicious. Whether as a single large loaf or mini-sized for tucking into an apron pocket, this baked good will make someone’s day sweeter.

NTOODay Pumpkin Bread picniked (Custom)

Cherry Pumpkin Bread
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (I use a whisk for this task). In another bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and pumpkin until smooth; then add to the large bowl. Stir just until the dry ingredients are moist. Now stir in the dried fruit. Spread evenly in 1 large loaf pan, 2 smaller loaf pans or as I do – a loaf pan divided into 8 mini loaves.

For the large 8 1/2” loaf pan, bake 1 1/2 hours or until a wooden skewer/toothpick inserted into loaf’s enter comes out clean. Bake less time as pan size decreases (mini-loaves take 20-25 minutes).

NATIONAL TIE ONE ON DAY™ INSPIRATION:  To see how others are celebrating NTOODay, click here!

The National Tie One On Day Goodie Giveaway  sponsors are generously providing an array of giveaways, which I’ll highlight throughout the NTOODay™ campaign.

  • Mary Mulari is busy – appearing regularly on the PBS show Sewing with Nancy, at national quilt and sewing expositions throughout the year, and adding to her apron pattern business with new and re-envisioned designs. Mary is providing two lucky winners with her latest patterns:

              2011 giveaway 1 Everyday-Elegant-Full-Flair    2011 giveaway 2 Everyday-Elegant-Waist-Tie

  • Modern Junes Kelly McCants specializes in retro-inspired apron designs and other goodies for the hip housewife. Her love of oil cloth is the inspiration to her newly published book, which she will personalize for the lucky winners. Kelly is also providing oil cloth yardage for sewing up a project in her book!

Sewing with Oil Cloth cover_

  • IceMilk Aprons gourmet line of heirloom aprons is designed of quality linen, nature’s natural fiber. Each apron is preserved in a jam jar and includes a heritage tag, apron story and blank recipe cards. Two winners will receive Vanilla-Churned Sunday

IceMilk Aprons 2011 giveaway second format
Thank you, dear readers, for spreading the word about National Tie One On Day™ – for the more who participate, the more who will receive.

Tie One On…an apron, of course!

National Tie One On Day Goodie Giveaway!

The Kitchen Linens Book

The Apron Book


Tell Your Apron & Linen Stories

Apron & Linen Stories

Hi EllynAnne,

I’ve just found your site and It’s great! I’ve been collecting embroidered aprons,tablecloths,doilies,napkins etc etc for years now and i get such pleasure out of it.

I admire the work that has been put into these treasures and i use them around my home. I’m so glad thatyou appreciate these things too. I like to think that the women that made them would be proud that we use them still.

Tania Rubery
Perth, Western Australia

In about 1958 I took a cooking class at school (required at that time). As we cooked in class we learned the importance of wearing an apron for cleanliness (imagine this). Through the years I continued this practice, always wearing a handmade apron of the latest style sewn by my grandmother.

When I was in early marriage, I would walk the few blocks home and tie on an apron as I fixed a light lunch. In cold weather a heavy coat was necessary wearin. Imagine my SURPRISE when I returned to work one afternoon, and removed my coat to be embarrassed that underneath was my apron, still tied around my waist. My face turned rather red when co-workers spotted my apron! Now I know that that was pure cleanliness!

Mrs. Mary Kellam
Shelbyville, Indiana

From Sheryl Morris, Linden, NC

Click the image to view larger:

click to view larger

When we first got married, on our way home from our honeymoon I really wanted an apron. We went into a country store and I asked to try on the aprons. The women looked at me funny and said no one has asked to try them on before, but she let me.

After using my apron for some time I realized there were things I needed if I wanted to be completely happy with my apron. That’s when I started making my own.

I knew I wanted a neckline that didn’t fall when I leaned over, so I made the halter top go through the fabric to have it gather. Also because I am constantly washing my hands I wanted a little bib on my apron to just pick up quick and dry my hands. I also wanted it to fit me really good and be fun and beautiful!

I am calling my apron design “The Curtsey.”

Margaret Hurley in her apron design

Margaret Hurley

        I’m a big fan or yours. Years ago, my daughter Rachel Young worked on “Silver City” movie with your son, whom I met at the Denver premier party. He said I reminded him of you, and I of course had to check it out–well, I’m a huge fan of yours and aprons as well.
        Mom was from Tennessee, and all the aunts had the most wonderful aprons, and different styles of course. One of the last things Mom still enjoyed doing as she started into Alzheimers, was to iron aprons. She always said she liked ironing them, and my sister and I probably thought it was silly. Now I wonder if her mother taught her to iron by aprons…She left quite a collection, which my daughter and I love to go through.
        I went downstairs To find this Haiti apron I bought at a thrift store years ago, and, ironing it, shed a tear for all those poor Haitians…

Diane Jean
Littleton, CO

I just love vintage aprons,
They remind me of my childhood!
I very happy to have find your website,

France Guerin, Quebec, Canada

Hi EllynAnne,

I wanted to share this photo with you:

Memphis, Tennessee on Christmas Day in the late 1950's

It was taken by my father at my grandparent Crawford”s house in Memphis, Tennessee on Christmas Day in the late 1950’s. My grandmother is standing next to my grandfather who is seated at the head of the table. My dad’s cousins are the other two ladies standing and all three women are dressed to the nines and wearing their freshly laundered and ironed ‘fancy’ aprons for the holidays. My grandmother likely made them and embroidered the designs on them. I can almost smell the homemade yeast rolls on the table, along with all the pies I know are sitting in the kitchen waiting for their turn at the table. Oh to go back and rejoice in those days again.
Thank you for bringing back the memories!

Christi Crawford-Partee
the Ozark Mtns, Arkansas

Tracy Fullington“You’ve just inspired me to collect my buttons and sift through them like stones. Reading your blog and seeing this bountiful button box makes me so nostalgic…

I remember being just six years old and finding a pearly white two-holed button on the playground one day. She shone with grandeur in my eyes and I pocketed the small treasure. I wondered what stories she would tell me if only I could listen close enough… How did she fall to the lonely ground? Had she popped off a fairy princess’ gown? Oh, the stories Miss Button might hold… Try as I might, my incessant chattering to Miss Button and my classmates unveiled no magical stories. Instead, my chatter landed me, my desk and Miss Button in front of the class and next to my first grade teacher, Mrs. Rich. Instructed to stop talking to my classmates, my only concern was whether I could continue to talk to Miss Button. To my delight, I was allowed to chatter on to Miss Button, who never did reveal her secrets. Oh, to be childlike and innocent enough to lose yourself imagining life through the eyes of a button…”

My Mom’s Recollection:

“I remember the first grade button–you had a little box you kept all the ones you found in. I know I got in trouble with you when I washed your jeans and you thought button was gone. Luckily,it turned up in bottom of washer!! I sure remember you were always intrigued with unusual buttons. Grammy kept her button collection in a canister–you always wanted to dump them out and play with them. That’s how I taught you to count–add and subtract. You always wanted to take the canister to school, but I knew better for you–so it stayed home. Still have the canister of buttons of Grammy’s–now and then I need one to replace one. I also remember where lots she saved came from–my childhood.”

Tracy Fullington, Georgetown, KY

I found my first gingham apron (with exquisite chicken scratch stitching) at my little thrift store a couple years ago. Every time I went I would find another, and then another. Seriously, I never found any two the same and always only one at a time. I never paid more than a dollar for each vintage gingham apron and they were all in mint condition. I had to wonder if they were made by the same lady. I love that I have kept them all together, in case they were.

You can read more about my gingham apron collection here.

Along with pictures:

Click to view the pictures

Linda Thompson, Tempe, AZ

Granny MaxineOur mother’s name is Maxine but to everyone, she was known as “Granny.” Several people never knew her given name. She and our dad were married for 60 years. Mom was a very proud yet simple woman, an angel and lady in every since of the word. Making sure everyone’s needs were met before her own, she wanted only for her family to be healthy and happy.

When getting her day started, Mom would dress and put on her favorite apron. She would cook, clean and tend her flowers. I don’t recall seeing her without her apron on. I think for Mom, it was a sign of strength and protection for those she cared for and loved so much. On September 5, 2007, Mom passed away of a massive stroke to the brain, at age 78. We chose to bury her in her favorite skirt, blouse and sweater and, of course, her favorite apron.

In our eyes there is nothing more that needs to be said about our mother. Her life on earth said it all. She now proudly wears her apron for GOD.

Ray Studle, husband, and children Glen, Barbara, Jerry, Sandra, and Dennis.

Submitted by daughter: Barbara Threlkel, Bowling Green, KY

Dear EllynAnne,

I heard your presentation at Ladybug Quilts in Colorado Springs. I thought you would enjoy seeing this picture. My Aunt Eleanor George Pasley made cobbler aprons for all of the females in the family one Christmas. She and her family were unable to come home to the farm near Lebo, Kansas that Christmas or the photo would have included even more females with aprons! We still have some of the aprons! I believe this photo was taken around Christmas 1961.

Susan George Phillips

Susan George Phillips

Kansas City apronsFor several years my friends Janie and Nancy and I have shared dinners once a month, rotating between our homes and usually trying a new recipe each time we cook for the others. This picture was last Christmas at my home. Nancy and I are wearing our new Kansas City aprons, a gift from Janie.

I give Apron Programs and have had some wonderful experiences sharing stories about aprons.

Sally, Wichita, KS

I love the old embroidery on the pillow cases and sheets. I also love using them – and am very sad at how quickly the linen itself wears out. After a few years of use, with careful washing & drying, the linen actually shreds. I would love to have these last longer.

Lori Conzatti
Seattle, WA

My dearly beloved mother-in-law was an avid embroiderer. She had a entire dresser full of her handiworks where she kept them perfectly pressed and folded in plastic bags so none would get dirty. The only thing she embroidered for herself was a set of days of the week dishtowels; all the other things in the dresser were for others or too “good” to actually use. That’s just how it was then, you didn’t use anything new unless you absolutely had to or if company was coming.

Such was the case with the towels, which she used daily for 60 plus years. Many times I asked for that set, to frame and give to the granddaughters, but always she refused, because “they still had some good space left on them to use.”

Well, December of 2008 she died and as we go through her belongings, I am hoping that those old towels that have dried many, many dishes from her love of cooking and being of service to her family are still there. Now those framed towels will be even more memorable as a tribute to the loving hands of Mom.

Lynda Lorenz, Frohna, MO

When I was a little girl, my mother’s friend Mary Ruth always tied an apron on (a dressy hostess apron) at any gathering, especially at the home of someone who died. Let me explain; this is a big thing in the South…the kitchen of the loved one would be full of ladies taking care of huge hams, casseroles, desserts of every kind, for the family and friends to eat. Mary Ruth would always be in charge of the kitchen, giving orders right and left. I was in awe of her! The sight of those aprons just made my mouth water…I was so pleased when she gave me one of my own when I was older. This began my life-long love of aprons of every kind and pictures of them being worn by women of any and all persuasions. Your book is the personification of this love of mine. Thank you for the Apron Book!

Ms. Paula Bush, Newnan, GA

After reading your book, I got the apron bug. Although I’ve never been much of a seamstress I decided to try the waist apron pattern in your book. I’ve now made several aprons and given them as gifts.

My grandmother will be 99 years old in March, she has always worn a waist apron everyday that I can remember. Many of them are worn out now and my mother was throwing some of the badly worn ones out. I decided to make my grandma two aprons for Christmas, I embellished them with rickrack and buttons on the pockets and a gathered ruffle on the hem of one.

My mom laughed when she told me that of all the wonderful and some expensive Christmas gifts that my grandma received, the one she talked about most and was happiest about was the two aprons that I had given her. It was a great feeling to make Grandma so happy with such a simple gift.

Michelle Tilley

Amity, AR


I am so excited about your new book. I love all of the linens that I managed to save from different family members. I’ve even been able to add to my collection thanks to thrift shops, antique shops and best of all my church rummage sale! It is so cool to be sorting through donated items and find older aprons and linens. For some reason our pricers don’t tend to think they are worth much – ha – if they only knew! I’ve even found some pieces that I plan to use on apron pockets.

I just love Grace – she wrote directions and emailed them to me for a “simple” apron when I first started making them a year or so ago. I still have her printed out email directions that I refer to all of the time when trying to figure out how to use some of the smaller pieces of fabric I find in our church sewing room.

Thanks for all of the inspiration I receive from you – I always want to get busy with fabric after I look at your blog.


Sue Williams, Bellflower, CA

Dear EllynAnne,

I discovered you and your story in the book “You’ve Got to Read This Book!” Thank you for reminding me of my dear grandmothers and their aprons. I miss them always.

I, too, am a writer, and my heart’s desire is always to inspire. You have certainly done that for me, and I thank you!

Kate Miller

Carmel, CA

I just received your book as a gift from my sister in law and am thoroughly enjoying it. I have made several aprons as gifts. One that I made for myself and I use the most is from recycled jeans. It is so easy. You just cut the bib out and use bias tape to cover the raw edges and make the ties. It is durable and economical if your husband gets a stain on his jeans, they don’t go to waste. I have jeans aprons for the kids too. I appreciated your opening of the book regarding the ties that people have to their mother and grandmothers through food. Besides my photos and journals, I consider my cookbooks and recipes, especially those hand written from my aunts and grandma, very prized possessions. Thank you for your work and Merry Christmas!

Tanya Gibson, Witchita, KS

Tanya Gibson and her daughter

Growing up, I never saw my mother or grandmother wear an apron. They actually both hate to cook and I seemingly became the same type of woman. I would often complain to my boyfriend (now fiancé) about the pains associated with cooking and baking. However, not too long ago my fiancé brought home a “gag” gift. He had a package filled with two chefs’ hats and a white apron. But, something took over me and I felt the need to try it on AND I loved it! I recently started cooking more (with the help of my fiancé, who is an amazing cook!) and now I wear the white apron as much as possible. I love how it serves a purpose, but I also love the way it looks and feels on me.

Skyler Stull

When I was a little girl, my mother’s friend Mary Ruth always tied an apron on (a dressy hostess apron) at any gathering, especially at the home of someone who died. Let me explain; this is a big thing in the South…the kitchen of the loved one would be full of ladies taking care of huge hams, casseroles, desserts of every kind, for the family and friends to eat. Mary Ruth would always be in charge of the kitchen, giving orders right and left. I was in awe of her! The sight of those aprons just made my mouth water…I was so pleased when she gave me one of my own when I was older. This began my life-long love of aprons of every kind and pictures of them being worn by women of any and all persuasions. Your book is the personification of this love of mine. Thank you for the Apron Book!

Paula Bush Newnan, GA

My grandmother had such fun making aprons for her friends. They were called cocktail aprons in the 50s and you wore them when you had company over for dinner and drinks. They were half aprons made from floral cottons sometimes with sheer cotton overlays and patch pockets to match the floral fabric. They were very flouncy looking. All her friends were mad about them and wanted to pay her for these but she would accept no money for the orders she received. I have one apron of my mother’s that my Grandma Rae made my mother for an engagement gift. It was crocheted with pure white cotton thread and she weaved sky blue satin ribbon through the waistband which made the tie; it is tattered in spots but still quite beautiful and dear to my heart.

Cheryl Nocera

When I was very young, probably five or so, my mother gave me an apron. My grandmother was an excellent seamstress, but I don’t know if she made my apron or not. It’s very possible. This apron was wonderful. It had two different fabrics and then a very special feature. It had a snap-on pot holder made of the same fabric and kind of quilted. I was NOT a girly girl. I was a definite tomboy! However, there was something even more special about this apron. It was a small version of one that my mother had that was exactly like it. I have the apron to this day, over fifty years later. I have never been one to use an apron, but my mother did. She raised five children mostly on her own which meant that she would come home from work and put on her apron and cook dinner. Sometimes, she would cook all weekend to prepare several meals for the upcoming week. Hmmmm. I think I need to go check and see if I just happen to have her apron too.

Mrs. P Gonzales

I am 63, and I love aprons to this day. As a child I remember when my grandmother and women of the church would get together to can. All of them had aprons; some full and long that covered their whole front (like a bib with a skirt). Some just tied around the waist, some pure white, and others like a circus of happy colors. I was so happy when I finally reached the age when they slipped a mint green apron over my head, and put a deep fold at my waist, then wrapped it around me, and tied it in the front. I was now part of the grown up crowd.

Pastor Jonita Johnson
Bellingham, WA

Dear EllynAnne,
Some 60 years ago, when my mom was a teenager, she purchased a crochet apron to place in her Hope Chest. When she showed me the apron and told me how she paid someone to crochet it for her, it was as if I was not looking at my mom, but at the young lady who many years prior purchased this beautiful apron in anticipation of her own family and the comforts and treasured memories she could create as a mother. And she did! As far back as I can remember, I don’t recall ever seeing her cook a meal without wearing an apron. Every Sunday she prepares her famous spaghetti and meatballs dinner for anyone who wants to stop by and eat. There is always a full table and she’s always wearing her apron from the time we get there until we leave. I tell her that she doesn’t need to cook every Sunday, but I believe it is her comfort zone and that she seems to draw strength from preparing that special meal, or maybe knowing that it’s going to promote smiles and conversation with her family. I tell her that she is too good to us and her reply is, “I love my family.” As an aside, I’ve also attached a picture of my mom and dad on their 55th wedding anniversary two years ago. Sadly, he passed away six months ago, and is deeply missed. They both instilled such great values and beliefs in their six children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Thank you for your work and what it represents . . . the memories of days gone by and the promises of untold futures, all tied together by a special apron.

Leslie A. Samberson

Click to view larger click to view larger

Clearly this apron was “not” worn by my mother but stored for use on a special occasion. Nevertheless, I have countless memories of aprons, embroidered linens, and silver polish. It’s funny, as a youngster I remember thinking that some of the things my mother or grandmother did were senseless but these very same behaviors have become common place for me. Years later my own daughter would eagerly help with these tasks. However, during her tweens, she too snubbed her nose or laughed at what I did. Today I can see that she appreciates the traditions handed down and will cherish the family heirlooms she will one day receive. This apron will be among them.

Helene Engle

When I was in 8th grade, I took home ec for the first time, along with my
friend who lived 2 doors away from me. Our first assignment was to make an
apron. Thinking about that now, that was a pretty optimistic assignment to
give 13 year old kids, right out of the gate. It was a disaster, of course,
so we both went to my Mom, who could sew beautifully. She made both aprons.

When the grades were given, my friend Monica got an “A”…I got a “C”. My
Mom got a big kick out of that.

Susan Liles

I got married June, 1959. My aunt,who lived in Kentcky, gave me a shower
that spring when I was home from college. She made this beautiful yellow
organdy apron that was from the waist down. She put a gathered ruffle as the hem.

In those days they didn’t have fabric paints like they do now. But she had
everyone sign my “yellow organdy” apron in pencil. Then later, she went over their names with red ink.

This was to be my “dress up dinner” apron! (So 50’s!!!)
Today I have it startched and hanging on a hook in my utility room where we
live in Florida.
I really don’t think I ever used it as it was so “special…like a prom
dress”…but I hang it to remember the “good times”.
What I laugh about when I look at it is every one that was married signed
their name: MRS. E. L. MURPHY (my own mother), MRS. AGNES HOFMANN (my own
grandmother), MISS ALINE MURPHY (my aunt)…this makes me laugh and realize
back in 1959…you were known by Mrs. or Miss…not just your regular name
like Nancy or Nancy Murphy. We have come a long way.

Nell Monarch

Fern Darr braided apron rug - click to view largerWe lived on a farm and when my mother passed away, I took all her feed sacks aprons and made them into a braided rug. I am 87 and can’t remember for sure how old the rug is, but it looks very good.

Fern Darr
Federal Heights, Colorado

I love aprons also, or aperns as they are called by some. My mother never wore them, she deemed them old-fashioned, but I longed for them as a child, and as an adult used them constantly. I remember my husbands Grandmother (a Saint) saying that the women would talk at the fence line waiting for the children to come in, and she would flip her apron up and cover her arms. She said, “Have you ever noticed that the back of ladies arms get cold?” And so they do. Mind you, she was in her 90’s when she told me this, living and raising her family on a dryland wheat ranch. I think of her every time I put on my “apern.”

Julia Grant

Some years ago I was a caregiver to an elderly couple. When they passed on I was given the wife`s aprons. She was also my friend and her name was Faye. Faye was a homemaker from the 1920`s into the 1990`s. I wear one of her aprons every day. They are still “Faye`s Aprons”. I never saw her without one. They are soft, a bit faded and worn, but still so precious to me.

Mrs. Catherine Robertson

My Mother, who is 79 years old, was named “Margie Ruth” by my Grandmother. She saw the name in an apron advertisement in a catalog. Granny must have liked the aprons to name her child after them.

Michelle Salazar

Every day, my grandma wore an apron over a simple dress, seamed nylon stockings, and white comfort shoes similar to what nurses wore. As a seven year old, my view was of her back side standing at the stove or kitchen counter, where she cooked and baked from scratch, her apron tied at her thick waist.

I especially recall laundry day at her house: the ringer washer, wicker baskets of wet laundry carried outside to the clothes line, the long sticks my Grandpa made to hike up the clothes lines to keep the sheets from touching the ground, the clothes pin bag hanging on the line – the whole thing was quite an operation.

She had a particular way of hanging out her wash-sheets & towels on the forefront line, personal wear on the center line and out of view to passers by, shirts, dresses and pants on the back line. She would connect each item together down the line in an almost mechanical motion, standing on tip toes at times. I was in awe of her and wanted to do what she did when I grew up, but I was side stepped by modern appliances such as an electirc powered sewing machine, gas clothes dryer, mirowave oven, etc… I have never worn an apron, but I do so love the spirit of the aprons such as my Grandma wore as a uniform of love, family and magical homemaking. Thank you for your inspiring apron memories web site.

Karen Krupp

My grandmother always wore an apron. When we would visit, I can remember waking up at 4 am to the smell of coffee and hot grease as she made our requested homemade donuts. I can remember the look of her hands wiping across her apron. Often made from recycled fabric, I would recognize my dad’s bicycle pajamas or a top of my mom’s from long ago. Now, I watch my daughter rock in a rocking chair with a homemade chair cushion with some of those same fabrics. My grandmother passed away a year ago. I inherited two aprons that were left behind when other family gathered her stuff. They are transparent and lined with pink. My mom is wearing one of them in a 1969 yearbook picture. I am happy to have them and love the story of how my grandmother aquired them. My grandfather picked them out for buying a certain amount of feed. I don’t think she ever wore them.

Kelli Doubledee
Topeka, Kansas

My three-old grand daughter was helping me bake cookies one day and I let her wear one of my aprons. The next time we baked she was trying to remember what it was called and was getting frustrated—finally she said, ” You know, Grandma, your ‘cooking dress’ !

Mrs. Jackie Remer
Homer, NE

Tying Together — A Celebration of Aprons jumped off a page and into my heart as I read the December 2006 AARP Bulletin. It brought back warm memories of my mother, seamstress extraordinarie, who was known throughout her little town as the ‘Apron Lady.”

Whenever a friend was to be married, and my mother was invited to attend a bridal shower, the ladies in attendance patiently awaited the opening of Marion’s gift…always a big box filled with an assortment of her handmade aprons: a clothespin apron, a barbecue apron, a couple of bib aprons and always a very frilly, party apron. There were even aprons for the major holidays – a Christmas apron (red and green), an Easter apron (flowered, in spring colors), a Thanksgiving apron (red, gold and rust hues)and several in simple, ‘everyday” patterns.

I have only one remaining threadbare apron that I wear when I roll cookie or pie dough. I have often thought that I might like to go to the store, buy some material, get out the little old, black Singer machine my mother once used, and make an apron or two for myself. I have never followed through on that whim. Perhaps now I will.

One thing I do know is that I will be purchasing The Apron Book. It may awaken me enough to pick up where Mom left off. Thanks for the memories.”

—Donna Schilling, Brookfield, CT

Apron Story

‘Here is my favorite family apron photo. On a 1962 camping trip to Death Valley, California, my mom prepared our meal over a campfire — but not without her trusty apron!”

—Marsha Plucker, Castle Rock, CO

“My grandmother made me several aprons when I first got married back in 1974, and they have always been very special to me. They’re made from different colored gingham check fabric, and each has cross stitching in a floral design, except for this one — my name is cross stitched.

To protect them, I framed some and proudly display them in my kitchen. They are a way for me to hold onto the special memories I have of my grandmother.

Thanks for keeping the apron memories alive.”

—Debbie Lassiter, Reidsville, NC

“My husband and I are faithful viewers of Charles Osgood’s Sunday Morning program. When I saw your segment on aprons, I knew then and there the gift I’d be giving to my girlfriends and my two sisters.

Sewing the aprons put me back in touch with my own growing up years, and remembering my mom in the kitchen. At 87, Mom now has dementia and she doesn’t know me, my sisters or her husband of 65 years. Thank you for sending me to a place I remember as warm and safe and full of promise.

Here’s a poem I wrote and wrapped up with each new apron and a copy of your book.”

—Pam Bloom, Peoria, IL

The Apron by Pam Bloom

In days gone by,
When I watched my Mom bake an apple pie,
When my tears were dried by the corners of her skirt,
When I’d scrape my knee and she’d say
‘It’s okay, a hug will take away the hurt.”

In days gone by,
When I was glued to the tube,
To Harriet Nelson or Lucy Arnez in the kitchen,
Teaching me more about family and laughing.

In days gone by,
When I dreamed of what I would become,
When I’d look to my Mom to help me see
The future and all it held.

In days gone by,
When all I wanted to do was to iron like her,
To be able to make that pretty ruffle crinkle,
To put that pleat just where it should be


In days gone by,
I never took a moment to slow down and ask,
Or have her tell me the stories I so now want to know,
Or hold close the aprons she years ago threw away,
Because of the stain or the tear or the wear.

In days gone by,
When I was too young to value the things that now are gone,

If only I could bring back some of those times,
To have a chance to ask again, or to listen better,
Or to see the wisdom in her face, or to appreciate her in a different way.

In days gone by.

“Grandma was a busy farm wife for over 60 years. Along with keeping a 2-story home spotless, cooking everything from scratch and spoiling the grandkids, she sewed, including making aprons out of dresses too worn out to wear. Sewing was relaxing to her, and she did it all on a Singer treadle machine. The first thing she taught me to sew was an apron. I still have it.

After her passing, we were going through her things, and there were Grandma’s beloved aprons. My oldest daughter, who was then in her late teens or early twenties, said she would like to have them. I was surprised because I didn’t know she thought of the aprons as home-made treasures. She cried when I gave them to her. My daughter is now 36, and she tells me that the aprons are stored, but she takes them out sometimes just to hold and to remember her beloved great-grandmother.

That is my apron story. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed yours. Keep saving these wonderful treasurers.”

—Brenda Berardelli, East Sparta. OH

Apron Story

“I love vintage 1/2 aprons, too, and used them as the theme for a Mother’s Day celebration in 2005 for my now deceased Mommy. She was on Hospice and we tried to make every holiday a party for her. We named the party IN THE KITCHEN WITH RUTH. I made all her favorite recipes, and everyone – the grandchildren, children and even the men — wore vintage aprons. What fun we had!

In the photo, my Mommy is in the coral pants outfit, and I’m wearing one of her old party dresses!”

—Lenore Levine, Boynton Beach, FL

In 1899, my father was six years old, and his mother was pregnant with her sixth child.

“My grandmother went into labor at home, and the five children were sent to stay at the neighbor’s. As they crossed the field, they passed the mid-wife, who was on her way to their house. As she walked by the children, she had her arms wrapped in her kitchen apron.

When my six-year-old father returned home later in the day, he had a brand new baby sister. He was convinced that the baby was brought to their home in the apron of the neighbor lady.”

—La Veta R. Trezise, Golden, CO

Apron Story

“My great, great grandfather Samuel Good was the founder and builder of Goods Mill, one of many mills in the Harrisonburg, Virginia area. As the history buff of the family, I have all kinds of wonderful items, including feed sack aprons, which I have loaned to several societies and museums in the area for exhibitions.

One day I mentioned to my husband, Earl, that we should put together a small pamphlet on mills to go along with a feed sack exhibit that was put on by four area museums. To make a long story short, thru the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, over a seven year period of time, we have published four volumes of information on Mills of Rockingham County. Volume III, contains over 200 pages on feed sack material and includes many photos of feed sack aprons.

When I start on one of my tangents, Earl knows there is no stopping! Inspired by your book, I went through a collection of aprons and pulled a beautiful purple apron with appliqué roses. It was a wedding gift – June 14, 1969 — and never used. Now I want to hang it somewhere in the house where I can see it every day. It was handmade by my Aunt Grace, the first wife of a brother of my daddy and a very dear person. Aprons bring back many, many memories for me.”

—Janet Baugher Downs, Goods Mill, VA

“What a joy it was to visit your website today and realize that there are many of us with like minds on the subject of this useful and cherished homemaking ‘necessity.” I hope you enjoy reading my own version of Granny’s apron, which I composed many years ago.”

—Jane-Ann Heitmueller, Vinemont, Alabama

Why, Granny? By Jane-Ann Heitmueller

‘Why do you wear aprons, Granny?” I asked her one day,
as I nestled on her lap, while resting from my play.

‘Mercy child,” she replied, ‘it’s just a part of life. It’s as
valuable to me as Grandpa’s pocketknife.

When I wrap it on each day it makes me feel complete. I’m
prepared to face the day… whatever I shall meet.

Sometimes it’s a wiping rag to dry my dripping hands.
Sometimes it’s a holding cloth to grasp the boiling pans.

Now and then it dries a tear or wipes a runny nose. It’s a
part of all I do, wherever Granny goes.

Carrying potatoes or the hens’ eggs from their nest.
Snuggling baby kittens close and warm against my breast.

Wiping up the drips and drops that splatter on the floor. Oft’
times used to dust the table and there’s so much more.

On a rainy day it’s used to shield my head from rain or to
take the horses lots of tasty, yellow grain.

Sometimes it’s a help to open stubborn lids I grip. It can
hide a dirty spot or shield a jagged rip.

It’s been known to shine a shoe or dry a puppy’s fur or to
clear a mirror when the steam has caused a blur.

Best of all though, precious child sitting on my knee, it’s
a place to nestle you and have you here with me!”

Apron Story

“As long as I can remember the women in my family have baked. I have the family cook book to prove it! From an early age I was always in the kitchen with my grandmothers, aprons on, while they were baking. They would give me leftover pie crust dough to play with and then would sprinkle my creations with sugar and bake them into cookies for me. The aprons I remember were colorful with 60’s style prints on them and I always felt ‘official” when I got to wear one.

Now in my late 20’s, I make my own aprons (sewing was something also taught to me by my grandmothers) and wear them while making traditional baked goods such as Banket from the Dutch side of my family or English Trifle from the English side, my Great Grandmother’s recipe. I still only feel ‘official” in the kitchen with an apron on.”

—Lindsay Bennett, Michigan

“I’m nearly 86 years old and still doing all my own cooking, but I can be pretty messy in the kitchen so usually just wear old clothes around the house. But one day I had dressed to leave the house and was making soup. I managed to splatter it all over everything, including my shirt, and thought, I really ought to have an apron–the kind that would cover everything up.”

Apron Story

“The very next day, I was on my daily walk on a trail near home. As I passed some big rocks piled next to the trail I noticed a rolled-up piece of black cloth lying on top of them. Curious, I reached up, picked up the cloth, and began to laugh. It was an apron!

I am firmly convinced that I have been watched over all my life, but this was getting ridiculous. It was even a bib apron that would have covered exactly what should have been covered the day before when I made the mess in my kitchen. I took the apron home and washed it and since then have had fun telling family and friends about my apron miracle.

It really was like the answer to a prayer as instantaneous as you could be without being obvious. A flash of light and an apron suddenly appearing in the kitchen would have been more than an old man’s heart could have stood!”

—John V. Thompson, Kansas City, MO

“My mother is now 100 years old and as she has aged, I realize the importance of her memories of the past. In fact, that is what she loves to reflect upon. I only have one of my mother’s aprons, which I wore to your book signing at The Tattered Cover in Denver. Thank you for restoring this important symbol of the family.

I promised I would write my father’s apron story, so here goes: My father was a mail carrier in Akron, Ohio from 1930-1970. One day he had a postage-due letter for a lady, so he rang the doorbell. She came to the door wearing a full length big apron, and when she turned around and walked away to get the money she owed him, he realized that the apron was ALL she had on!!”

—Sandy Hansen, Denver, CO

Apron Story

“My mother, Ines Gassino, wore aprons when she cooked, but never this apron. It was given to her as a wedding gift from her Aunt Josephine Oss. Because of their close relationship, the apron was extra special. My mother wore it only when she would serve an important meal. The apron is sewn of lame´ taffeta, and the pocket is accented with real fur…the only fur Ines ever owned!

I follow in my mother’s tradition of wearing aprons over my work clothes when I’m preparing meals for my husband and me or just sitting down for a quick lunch, and I only wear her special apron for special occasions!

Since my mother passed away after a brief illness in December 2005, this apron is truly a treasure.”

—Dian Montgomery, Pueblo, Colorado

Apron Story

The Victorian Tea held at the Southeastern Colorado Heritage Center was a delightful mixture of history, repast, favours and, of course, aprons! The annual event was a sell out…and for those in attendance, a lovely afternoon spent amongst generations.

Apron Story

(EllynAnne pictured with SCHC’s Co-Director Heather Evanoff and Chris Ball, Director-Marketing & Development.)



Five years ago, I embarked on a personal campaign to put the “give” back into Thanksgiving through a gesture of kindness. Little more than wrapping a baked good within an apron and writing a note of encouragement, I was unprepared for the uplifting feeling I experienced upon delivering the bundle to a neighbor going through a difficult time. Such is National Tie One On Day a win-win for giver and receiver.

To encourage your participation in National Tie One On Day™, a fabulous group of sponsors are putting some “give” into the NTOOD Goodie Bag Giveaway! Five national winners will be selected to receive from

American Sewing Guild, a special edition tote bag benefitting the Maliki Mums in Kenya, Africa and membership package

Colonial Patterns/Aunt Martha’s Transfers , an assortment of transfers, toweling, embroidery floss, needles and hoops and aprons

Creative Machine Embroidery and SewNews, CME and SewNews magazines

Apron-iCity and FabShop, a fabric lovers gift pack

Simplicity, a copy of Simplicity Pattern’s Simply the Best Home Dec Sewing

Haralee®, a $25 gift certificate

IceMilk Aprons, the Rolling Pin Oatmeal waist apron

Mary Mulari Productions, Sew-Green Pattern and a personalized copy of Appliques with Style

MikWright, a MikWright apron and 1 dozen MikWright greeting cards

Andrews McMeel Publishing, signed copies of The Apron Book, The Kitchen Linens Book and Apronisms

National Association of Baby Boomer Women, a membership package

Pillowcasegram & Other Things™, an apron and $14.95 gift certificate

Rebecca Ruth Designs, a selection of Rebecca Ruth Designs patterns

Sew,Mama,Sew! , a $15 gift certificate

Small Town Living, a compilation cd of STL articles and a gift certificate

Stampington & Company, issue 3 of apron●ology magazine

To enter the NTOOD 2010 Goodie Bag Giveaway, just leave your email address and a comment here – I’d so love to know how you will be participating in National Tie One On Day™, what you’ll be making, baking or sewing, the beneficiary of your act of kindness, how you’re putting the give back into Thanksgiving…that sort of thing!

The five Goodie Bag winners will be selected early Thanksgiving morning using an automated random number chooser. I’ll be contacting the winners via email – without an email, however, another winner will be selected.

Thank you, thank you for participating in National Tie One On Day™, for spreading the word and posting the National Tie One On Day logo on your site.

xxea and NTOODay sponsors

Women in aprons have traditionally prepared the Thanksgiving meal, and it is within our historical linkage to share our bounty.”