ticking horse….

lilly says hello

lilly waves hello

I have this fabric that I love…

vintage-inspired ticking

vintage-inspired ticking

…of course, I love almost all ticking, but there’s something about this dark blue and cream stripe… it brings to mind old Americana and things that are soft and warm.

As I was looking through my Valdani perle cottons the other day, I realized that I have a blue that matches this fabric perfectly.

left to right:  Valdani 5, blue, and H212

left to right: Valdani 5, blue, and H212

Just look at all those beautiful variations in that blue ~ isn’t it lovely?  I’ll bet you’d like to know what Valdani it is, wouldn’t you?  Yes?  Well, so would I.  However, I always give the little paper discs with the perle cotton identification to Lilly, who loves playing with them as much as I love playing with the Valdani.  I always think to myself, “I’ll remember the color code because I like this color so much.”  MmmHmmm.  Not a chance.  So, what’s a girl to do?  I don’t know about you, but this girl goes to snowflakememories.com and orders every ball of blue perle cotton available. Surely, when my box of blues arrives in the post, one of those balls will be the right blue!

In the meantime, I have enough of the mystery blue to work on a project I have in mind.  Keeping things as simple as possible, I decide to use just the three colors in the above photo to create a horse and rider make-do.

beginning the ticking

beginning the ticking

As I finish punching the rider, I consider the ticking possibilities.  I could tick along in parallel lines, just like the fabric and have a horizontal striped horse when I’m finished.  I think that would look nice.  Instead, I decide to punch the ticking in blocks of opposing lines for a more whimsical look.

punched and stained

punched and stained

This pattern of blocks reminds me of old quilts.

stitched, turned and pressed

stitched, turned and pressed

I want to stuff this horse and rider, so I sew the vintage-inspired ticking to the back of the horse, rider and the riders hat.  Now, I’ll be able to make a pillow.

stuffed and rocker

stuffed and rocker

I’m going to make this a rocking make-do, so using the same ticking I cover a slice of an antique wood bowl.

ready to ride

ready to ride

A mane, tail and button eye complete the horse.



I capped the ends of the rocker with coordinating fabric, added a few antique metal tacks and nails and …



…voila!  My rocking horse is (not) quite done!

The question becomes, what shall I do now?  Shall I decide that Ticking Horse is finished?  Or, does it need a set of perle cotton reins?  Does the rider need a monocle button and string over his “eye” (which doesn’t actually exist)?  I address my questions to Lilly….



…no response.  Ellis and Otis?

"go 'way"

“go ‘way”


What do you think?  Should I leave it as is, or do a bit more primping?  Comments/suggestions welcome!

May there be sunshine in your heart today and every day!










26 thoughts on “ticking horse….

  1. I love the piece, very cool. I would add the reins and monacle also. I think it would give it more character. If you didn’t like it you could always take them off.

  2. Hmmm … I think I’d go for the reins, making the horse the focal point … such a grand pattern …. but then again, I bet a monacle would add that unexpected touch. There…. I’ve covered all the bases!! 🙂

  3. What a wonderful piece! Turning your make-do into a rocker is absolutely inspired. I think reins would be perfect. Much as I love the idea of the monocle, I wonder if it would be unclear to the viewer … why does that man have a button in his eye? What about a tiny wire monocle?

    Thanks for the lovely post.

  4. Oh I absolutely love this piece. I love that you ‘punched’ the ticking – so perfect. I’d add at least the reins. Oh and I love that you covered the ‘rocker’ – everything is just so beautifully and perfectly stitched.

  5. Pingback: ticking horse pattern…. | the simple quiet

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