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Mary’s Crafts

Thanks for visiting with me. On this page you will see a lot of the things I enjoy making. I guess you might say I have an obsession for crafting, quilting, and sewing. Crafting to me is one of most relaxing things you can do. There are moments in all of our lives it seems like the world is closing in on us. When these moments come we all react in different ways. My way is sewing. This was especially true when I had my battle with cancer. I found that if I busied mysefl making crafts and thinking about how others might enjoy them I was able to dispel those thoughts of cancer. I can’t help but notice that when those moments move in like a dark cloud over Dewey, he heads to the beach, or in the yard, and starts digging in the dirt. You don’t live with somebody for 63 years without becoming aware of what brings him pleasure. Be sure to visit his Facebook page and see what he likes.  https://www.facebook.com/dewey.parr

I may never have the opportunity to meet some of you who drop by my little corner of this web-site so I will thank you now for doing so. It is my pleasure to share with you the things I make. It would even be a geater plessure to hear from you and have you share the things that bring you joy. You can message me on my facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/mary.parr.7946/

Mary Parr

Mary Parr Making Her Prayer Shell

Mary Parr

Mary Parr Waited to Greet All Who Entered Her Shop
Enlarge Image
Quilts … Quilts … And More Quilts

Quilting is an art form that has brought me hours of pleasure. I have never sold my bed size quilts. To me a handmade quilt is to be treated like a family heirloom. There is no greater expression of love than to have someone give you a quilt they spent hours or even months making. When friends quilt together it is like a cement that binds them together. Dewey wrote a couple of articles you might want to read about Quilting. In it he tells about the quilt project my friends, Patty Mansfield, Penny Smoot and I worked together on for ten years. Click the link http://www.outerbanksshells.com/RMSarchives1.html#RMS47


The joy of receiving a handmade quilt. Up until recently I never really knew the joy that comes from receiving a handmade quilt. My joy has always been from the giving. Much to my surprise, before we closed our shop, a friend came by and gave me a quilt. The joy I received from that gift was unexplainable. It is my hope that those I have given quilts share the same feeling. If so, then I know my efforts in producing a quilt for them was worth it all.

Mary and Penny

My Friend Penny Smoot and I Sorting Fabric for Quilt Blocks

Mary is from Huntington, WV. Mary retired from Marshall University where she was an Administrative Assistant. She has always had a love for crafts and crafters. For years she and her friend Penny Smoot participated in craft fairs throughout the Tri-State region. They would come in from work and take up their second occupation preparing for the craft fairs. The one craft they are well known for throughout the area was hard rock candy. It was always interesting to watch the people come running into the craft halls whenever they would pour hot cinnamon flavored candy to cool on the marble slabs. Mary retired from Marshall University where she was an accountant.

Now here is a quilt Idea for you. It is called the “When it is Done It is Done Quilt”.

Mary Parr

The beauty of this quilt is you can work on it during your leisure time wherever you go in any kind of weather. It is great if you are like me and believe that, “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.”

It is an unusual quilt in that you can sew it a block at a time. Great to take with you to work on when you are traveling. My pattern came from Alma Crouch to my mother Ruby Breesawitz. The pattern originally came from the ladies at the North Middleton Church in Kentucky. Cousin Alma carried her little wooden tote everywhere she might have a few minutes to stitch. My cousin Connie Lawrence Mele said as a child she loved seeing sewing scrapes from her childhood wardrobe appear in it.

Mother never did make it. I loved the idea and made one. My daughter used it for a gift she needed. Sometime later I started this one but worked very little at the time on it because I was busy with other things. Finally, after 20 years I finished it. Have to admit I probably never would have had it not been for the fact I spent most of the winter looking out the window.

Mary Parr

Mary Parr

View from my window while working on the, “When it is Done It is Done Quilt”

Mary Parr

Begin with 4 six-inch squares. Two of each color sewed together to form a 4-patch quilt block. Sew it together, up each side. Then match the end seams to form a flat block, leaving a small opening.

Mary Parr

Turn your square right side out, placing a square of warm and natural inside the 4 square pocket for your batting. Whip the seam together and quilt each block. Whip blocks together in rows and then sew rows together. Make it any size by adding or subtracting a block. I made mine 13x16.

Mary Parr

When you have finished sewing the blocks together it is done. The quilting has been done as you go.

Mary Parr

After twenty years I can finally drop the WHEN IT IS DONE and say loud and clear IT IS DONE.

Mary Parr

What I love about this quilt is that it is full of family history. When I look at this quilt I think of all of my Kentucky relatives as seen is in this photograph taken in 1986 at North Middletown, Ky. My mother, Ruby (Tapp) Breesawitz and aunt Stella Tapp are sitting in the chairs.

Calico Cuties

Callicoat Cuties

My mother, Ruby Breesawitz, taught me how to make these. They look simple to make, but I can tell you from experience they are a challenge. I mount them in various type of containers using Hatteras Island sand mixed in wax. My preference is to use shells. They make great gifts for shut-ins.

Mary Parr

This is a good gift for a sick room or hospital. No watering and will cheer up all who see them.

To create a Calico Cutie it is a long and tedious process from beginning to end as you will see from these pictures

Shell Trees and Wreaths

Of all the different crafts, I make, I would say that working with shells gives me the greatest pleasure. There is something about holding a shell in my hand and gazing at its beauty that fascinates me. Each little shell that I collect from the beach has its own unique characteristics, designs and inner beauty. No two shells are alike nor are two humans. I guess it is this trait that fascinates me. There is a sense of joy I receive as I place each little shell on my trees and wreaths. Hopefully the same feeling I have for each one of the shells I place on them will be transferred to those who acquire my shell trees and wreaths.


It really makes me happy to know that others appreciate my shell trees as much as I do.

After I select each shell to place on the trees and wreaths I take the time to
modge podge them. This brings out the beauty of each shell.

     The nice thing about my shell trees is that they not only are great for year around display in your home but you can also add lights to them for holiday celebrations. This picture supplied to me by Clare Korfant is a good example.

Adding lights brings out the beauty of the shells

Crafting is not only therapeutic but wholesome.
My mother taught me that, “Idle Hands are the Devil’s work shop”

     When I am making a shell wreath sometimes it takes me hours to lay them out. The fun is laying out the shells per size and color. A lot of time I walk away from the project and then come back and rethink how to fit each shell on the wreath. I have been known to work, off-and-on, on a shell wreath for three to four weeks. When you have four or five projects going on at a time you are never bored. Below you will see the finished wreath that I am using to hang on my door.

      It took lots of time to complete this one. It is loaded with lots of different shells. The outside rim is lined with scallop shells I collected from the Hatteras Beach and the back is covered capiz shells.

Heart shape wreaths are fun to do also.

      This heart shape wreath has some unique shells on it. This heart shape wreath is a reminder to me that with each wreath I create it has I part of my heart in it. Crafting is a thing of the heart.

      Some of my wreaths are large while others are small. A lot of it depends on whatever type of base I have. Being a recycler, I am constantly searching in rummage shops for bases that I can use to make a wreath. It not only keeps the cost down but is part of the fun. Over the years, I have been fortunate in that many of my friends have provided me with forms to use to make my wreaths.

Mary Parr Looking for Shells on Hatteras Island.

The real fun of working with shells is to go to the beach and search for shells.

Baby Blankets … Love Wraps

Mary Parr is preparing a Love Wrap for the arrival of a baby

This baby blanket is for a gift at a baby shower. I have my own special term for my baby blankets. I call them Love Wraps. As I produce these blankets I think about the little one that will eventually be lovingly wrapped in the blanket. Each stitch is a stitch of love. It takes me a minimum of ten hours to produce a love wrap for your baby. As I work on these blankets I think of the little ones that will be wrapped in them and it is my prayer they will remain healthy and happy.

I try my best to attempt to use colors as requested by the parents. This blanket Is for a baby that the parents did not want to reveal whether it was going to be a boy or girl prior to birth. So the traditional blue or pink was not accented.

Often the lining is as pretty as the top

It gives me great pleasure to receive picture of the little bundles of love wrapped in my Love wraps. Such as the one of Autumn wrapped in one of my blankets sent to me by her grandmother.

Baby Autumn Wrapped in one of Mary Parr’s Hand Made Love Wraps

There is nothing sweeter in this world than a baby

Mary Precious Memories Parr, “My greatest joy is getting to hold the little ones”

This is probably the one thing I will miss most since I no longer have my shop. You will never know the pleasure I also received when those little ones returned year after year to visit with me. My pleasure was even compounded a hundred-fold when I had the pleasure of having some of those little one I held returned in later life for me to hold their little ones.

Baby Quilts

Starfish Ornaments …

whitestar decoration

Brandi Vincent Meghan

Of all the creatures in the sea, what is the one that seems to be everybody’s favorite? It is the starfish. There is something about this five-fingered creature that brings memories of trips to the ocean and vacations on the beach. Dewey likes to remind me that my starfish ornaments are not just something to look at. They have a story to tell about the amazing miracle of nature that is manifested in them. According to Dewey, the starfish is a miracle of God. When God created the starfish, he gave it the ability to do something that no human can do. If a starfish should accidently lose one of its fingers, it can grow back another. Think how wonderful it would be if all of those who have had the misfortune to lose an arm or a leg could grow back another one. When you look at my starfish ornament I hope you will remember it is one of God’s miracles that holds a secret that scientists are trying to unlock.

Starfish decoration

Working with starfish ornaments is a time-consuming project. I must put a backing and prepare for a holder on each one before I begin. I use the capiz shell for the back. After painting them I sort shells and attach them to the starfish. As with all my handcrafted items it is seldom that any two items I produce look exactly alike. That is one of the distinguishing difference between factory or assembly line production of crafts and those that are hand done. Due to mass production, handcrafted items are becoming less and less available.

My Starfish Ornaments come in two sizes. Large sizes are approximately 9 inches. Small sizes are around 5 inches.

If you look close you will notice I use a variety of diverse types of cut shells and regular shells. A lot depends on what I have available or find on the beach.

>Starfish decoration
>Starfish decoration

I like to coordinate the colors of the shells to the surrounding areas in my home. Each shell has so much beauty that even if I am not able to do so I am happy. Everything God created has its own inner beauty. You may not think so but you have natural beauty. God created you.

There is another little secret I would like to share with you about white fingered stars.

Shh! don’t tell everybody. They are not naturally white. They have been bleached. When they come from the ocean they are blue.

Starfish decoration

Eric Waltman

This is the original color of finger stars as you find them in the ocean before they are bleached white.

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