My sincere message for 2010: To wish you health and happy days. Amen.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A Stickle block from this fall to round out December. Recall I am flogging myself by doing two quilts, one in Civil War reproduction fabrics, the other in 19th century double pink fabrics.
Monday, December 14, 2009
From NASA and JPL:
PIA11682: Spring Reveals Saturn's Hexagon Jet Stream
Scientists are puzzled but quilters understand.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
You gals are a BAD influence on me. I am now noticing - and enjoying - vintage china pieces with roses and bouquets.
At a local antique mall there was a vendor who had set up a display of children's play tea sets. Cups, saucers, teapots.... adorable. And, in all sorts of styles, from Blue Willow to flowery English style.
Monday, November 30, 2009
You see, the central pentagon is not a regular pentagon. The orientation of it to the outside pieces is pretty important. Mine is rotated one position, and I did not notice until too late, when I saw the triangle points (see the one on the left) were not matching. But, the block is done, it is even the correct size, and so what if one of my star points will be cut off. I’m Done! Argh.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thursday is Vintage Thingy Thursday, sponsored by Colorado Lady. Please visit her site and see who else is playing. I am also joining Thrifty Thursday at Bloggeritaville.
When my kids grew from the toddler and little boy stage to the ages 6-10 stage (what is a good name for this age?) I felt it was time to start a new family tradition: making butter/sugar cookies, using cookie cutters to make fun shapes, bake but not burn them, and then frost and decorate with sprinkles. I remember well doing this with my mom – though she never ate any, not even as a “sample” and she did not enjoy it as much as my brother and I. It would be a messy business, but – family tradition must live on!
Now: to obtain cookie cutters. Luckily at Thanksgiving time I went to a local antique/vintage shop and saw some cookie cutters! Two bags of cutters from two different vendors and a few $ later, I was set. Some of the cutters were the same shape and of the same vintage as the ones I remembered from childhood. So they are nostalgic, vintage and thrifty.
How did it go? We have done sugar cookies for two years now. It’s not quite as messy as I feared. It was hard to keep the kids interested as they were baking, but they came back for the decorating. 4 colors of frosting and 5 kinds of sugars and sprinkles! Many cookies ended up with all 5 kinds of sprinkles on them. Oh yeah. We learned to be careful with reindeer- and dove-shaped cookies. And we learned to NOT lick our fingers as we frosted cookies – instant penalty of washing up at the sink.
The children were so proud to serve these cookies to grandma and grandpa. And that’s when we discovered that grandma (my mom) never ever eats these cookies. Why? Because on a Christmas eve long ago when she was a little girl she ate many many of these cookies and was sick all night and all Christmas day. To this day she can’t stand the smell or taste.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Helpful suggestions: Cut your pieces a bit large. Sew to the end of the patch corner that will be in the center, but NOT into the seam allowance. Care (and careful pinning) is needed to get the points to be close in the middle. To attain perfection in getting 8 points to meet is not a realistic goal. I am satisfied with how mine came out. “Done is better than perfect” as Brenda says!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
(Pattern from Quilter's Cache, maintained by Marcia Hohn)
Let me back up a bit. Some months ago I was working on a project as a break from my Jane Stickle quilt. A pinwheel pattern from Quilter's Cache, in 30's and 40's reproduction fabrics. I had made 19 blocks and cut many more triangles. It's going to be graphic and colorful when it is done.
But, I needed to take a break. So I stacked the 19 blocks, and put all triangles and the printed instructions in a big clear freezer bag. I know not to put it in a grocery or fabric store bag! And tossed it, somewhere, in my sewing room. Put the blocks in a separate place.
Well. I thought of this project recently to finish as a Christmas present for a family member. I found the 19 blocks. I poked around the sewing room piles - no sign of the bag. So I dedicated yesterday morning to pulling many things out and finding that bag of triangles and instructions. I knew it was there!
Three hours later: no bag. I gave up, got on the Internet and back to Quilter's Cache and printed out the instructions again. Pulled out fabric - looking hard to find some of the same fabrics, and cut more triangles and more bleached muslin pieces. Last night: started sewing pieces together, following the instructions.
NOW: today. I went into my sewing room and picked up my bathrobe, which I had tossed on the fabric piles last night while sewing.
What was DIRECTLY UNDERNEATH? (Dun dun dun!) THE BAG shown in the first picture above. I know it wasn't there last night. You would think I would have seen it. But there it is.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Today I have yet another sweet doll quilt, handsomely modeled by my son's favorite teddy bear, called Caramel (pronounced Carmel). This one was purchased from ebay some time ago. I have three now - I think this officially makes me a collector - right?
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I paper-pieced the center, and paper-pieced the 4 outside pieces. I made 2 of the outside pieces longer than the others, for long straight seams to the corner.
Looking at picture 1 above, you may note a problem. The sides of the center part are a little short! Guess what, I didn't notice this until I had it all sewn together, and found out it was too small. Ha ha indeed.
On the Dear Jane list, I've heard it repeated, "When in doubt, applique the #^%$#$ piece on." Which I was going to do - press the seam allowances of the 4 outside pieces under, applique....
But I got impatient. I lined up the center piece with that blue triangle, and sewed just that little straight bit! I left the needle down, sewing foot up, adjusted the top and bottom, held them together, foot down, and sewed to the end. Then, pulled the piece out, adjusted the two ends that hadn't been sewn together yet, pinned them, placed so the needle was at the beginning of the first straight bit, and sewed away.
And you know what? I fingered pressed the seam and it lay flat. And I was deliriously happy. I sewed the other 3 outside pieces on. THAT'S when I noticed one direction was too small.
Should I leave it, to remind me of my false pride? Nah, I'll take it apart so that that it looks good - and to see if I can do this Y-seam business again.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Our SECOND deadline has passed while I was away and sick. For round 2, we did 4.5 inch blocks that were not Dear Jane blocks, not Dear Hannah blocks. Above is a bud and leaves from a Carol Doak paper piecing pattern book. Though I could also look like a green crab with a mutant pink head.
Are you interested in joining? Please visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/yeswecanjane/ and join and send a message to the moderator. Membership does require approval.
I am not sure what round 3 will be.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Please check out my Postcard blog for a little geologizing.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
At the thrift store I bought a bag of old mixed buttons from, I suspect, someone else's button box. I feel funny about opening the package and adding them to the 'original' collection. Will I lose contact with my grandmother and great-grandmother? Or is it the idea of a button box that is important?
In thinking of this this morning, I smile as I recall I am well into making my own button box stash: these buttons are the extras attached to purchases from Macy's, Coldwater Creek, Talbot's. Plus ones saved from thrift store purchases that are cut up for crafts.
See Coloradolady's blog for more vintage thingys! Always some wonderful contributions.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Pardon the dog ears and stray threads - I leave the triangles a little large until I'm ready to put the quilt together.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
This is block C-4 of the Jane Stickle quilt. Those green sqares and white strips are pretty darn small. I paperpieced the center section (not easy! my fingers felt so big!) and added the four green triangles. For the outer pieces, I changed the seam lines so each corner can be paperpieced,then each can be added on. I have done this block for my pink and white DJ quilt also.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Hmm, need more pink and purple. And a few browns.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Here is something Colorado Lady will love.
Here is a quaint book I purchased in a small vintage bookstore, so crowded with books there was scarcely space to move about. This was Nancy L Dole, Books and Ephemera, 32 Bridge Street, 2 nd floor, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.
The Crest of the Continent: a Record of a Summer’s Ramble in the Rocky Mountains and Beyond. By Ernest Ingersoll. Published, by R.R. Donnelley and Sons, Chicago, in 1885. 344 pages, with map.
This is the story of Mr. Ingersoll and his wife, going all over Colorado and exclaiming over the sights.
For example, on the first view of the Rockies, after traveling over the Great Plains:
“There are the Rocky Mountains!” I strained my eyes in the direction of his finger, but for a minute I could see nothing. Out against a bright sky dawned slowly the undefined shimmering trace of something a little bluer. … It is impossible to imagine them built of earth, rock, anything terrestrial; to fancy them cloven by horrible chasms, or shaggy with giant woods. They are made out of the air and the sunshine which show them. Nature has dipped her pencil in the faintest solution of ultramarine, and drawn it once across the Western sky with a hand tender as Love’s.”
Whew! I shall take a rest on my fainting couch. There’s more, on the everlasting snow, etc. but that is enough.
They took a Pullman train to Pueblo, and then north to Denver. At Denver, on the spur of the moment, they decided to take their ramble. But how?
2. Tramping, with burros to carry their things, and maybe a few others to carry themselves. (number of burros not specified).
3. Same, with pack mules. ('Is there a difference?' asks this modern girl)
4. Hire a “ambulance kind of wagon with bedroom and kitchen and all the other attachments.” Boy, this sound just like a mobile home/recreational vehicle! The roads were a lot worse back then though, and there were much less of them.
However, the Ingersolls did what any wealthy Victorian couple would do – they chartered a train! And since they wanted to tour the mountains, they arranged to go on the Denver and Rio Grande narrow gauge lines.
The Animas River Canyon - Click on it, enlarge, and note the train engine at the bottom.
A few narrow gauge lines are left and you too can go on a trip like this, though not in a private train. Check out the Durango and Silverton Railroad.
http://www.durangotrain.com/ - it goes down this very canyon.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Seems like it should be easy to do, huh? Except for inset (AKA Y seams) and possibly appliqued diamonds.
I printed out the pattern from Electric Quilt. I added lines at the top diamond, so that it can be paper pieced. The square on point below it becomes a separate section. Looking carefully at the photographs in The Book, I could see there were two extra appliqued triangles. Hmm, I'll think about it.
Next: force Electric Quilt to group pieces into section for paper piecing. How I do this: I select my block or triangle of choice and put it on the worktable. Click and hold on the printer icon, then slide down and choose "Foundation Pattern".
Now, for this one, EQ will state that "this block has a patch with an inside corner, so it cannot be automatically numbered for paper piecing. To add your own numbers, click on each patch in order."
At the top of this window, click on the tab labeled "Sections".
To change the paper piecing units, click on the "Start Over" button.
Then click on the patches you want to be together, the "Group" button.
When I first started on this project, I did not know enough to do this, nor how to group patches into workable paper-piecing units. But, I have learned a lot over this 2 year journey. You can too. And, look at my printout below, and my pencilled corrections to see my way doing this triangle.
Below: sections individually paper-pieced.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
From the back:
Sedimentary rocks ranging in age from about 510 million (Cambrian) to 290 million (Pennsylvanian) are at the bedrock surface in Illinois and were deposited in and near ancient fluctuating seas. Cretaceous sands and gravels deposited in extreme southern and western Illinois are about 100 to 66 million years old. Tertiary rocks were deposited as coastal plain and deltaic sediments between 66 and 2 million years ago. Coal, oil and gas, building stone, fluorite, clays, groundwater and other resources in the bedrock contribute several billion dollars annually to the Illinois economy.
Illinois Geological Survey, 615 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois.
In Europe, The time period correlating to the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian periods is known as the Carboniferous. It was a time of great swamps, both in physical extent and how long they lasted. Large amounts of plant material were deposited, which later changed to coal. Half of the USA’s electricity is generated from Coal-fired power plants, so this is still a major commodity. (It sells for $40 - $50 a short ton – don’t ask what a short ton is!) See more information (LOTS more) at the Energy Information Administration http://www.eia.doe.gov/fuelcoal.html.
Fluorite is a mineral with the chemical composition CaF2 – calcium fluoride. It is mined for the fluorine for industrial purposes.
We are in the heart of the continent – lots of flat-lying sedimentary rocks here.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I am watching and liking for the most part, in no particular order:
1. Project Runway on Lifetime. Though the challenges are pretty lame this season. Tim Gunn is the best.
2. Top Chef on Bravo. I could never design and sew like the designer on PR (I do quilting - straight seams and applique) but it is possible I could cook some delicious food like TC. Though a year in cooking school would help tremendously.
3. Castle, on Monday nights. Mom got me interested in this. Fluff but fun. Murder mystery writer hangs out with NYC detectives. It even says "WRITER" on the back of his bullet-proof vest.
4. Glee on Fox, Wednesday nights. Now this one is great, my new favorite. Sure it's got problems, but it is funny - and music! and singing! in prime time! And it's not a contest with snarky judges!
See Jen's post at Buried with Children. She has the promotional video embedded in her blog. I don't know how to do this, and laundry is calling so I don't have time to learn. :-)
Thursday, October 1, 2009
What is it?
All it involves is blogging every day in October. However, as Tinnie says, it is a way to spend more time on your blog, to craft your words, write about different subjects, and so on. There will be memes and giveaways and surprises.
But something every day. And there are 31 days in October. Oh boy. Since I don't blog about family or work, I guess that leaves quilting, other crafts, postcards and Postcrossing, getting older, stories.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
oops! Picture is a little crooked! Click to enlarge. That's the bedroom carpet in the background :-) This wallhanging came from a small, local "antique mall" that was actually more of a flea market. I don't normally like Sunbonnet Sue type things, but this was too sweet to pass up.
I don't know how old it is, but it is vintage. The green, yellow, and bright red fabrics were manufactured for years and years. The pinks seem to be from the 1930's or 1940's. There is a backing but no batt and no quilting. No name or date.
I am pretty sure this is a pattern, though I have not seen this one before. Right now it is languishing in my quilt room closet, but I should find a place for it, out of direct sunlight.
My sneaky way out? Redraw the outside pieces as below, and pick a fabric with a small, non-directional, busy pattern, that will not show the seam lines!
Above: Almost last piece to sew on. Bottom: Add a frame, and I am done.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The Quilt is displayed in a gallery upstairs with two antique quilts from the museum collection and a selection of Peace quilts from Haiti. It is on a tilted board (covered with a soft fabric) and displayed behind a rope and under low lighting. Absolutely no flash photography allowed, so I have no digital pics to share.
Here are some observations:
This time, the Quilt is displayed with what we know as the left side at the top. Rebecca’s basket is right side up, and Jane’s signature square is in the lower left.
The corner with the five pointed white star (Longwood): the star is made of a shirting print. I guess this is shown in Brenda’s book but I never noticed it before. The pink five pointed star on this corner appears to be reverse-appliqued.
Triangle BR9 Sue's Garden: the smallest piece near the point of the triangle is appliquéd on, not pieced in. TR6 Carla's Candle Flame shows some fabric bleeding. Also, Jane used dark thread on the top melon and I can see her stitches! I felt close to her then.
Jane did use different background fabrics – at least they aged differently to slightly different shades. And at least one block has pieces of background fabric with a twill weave. (think chinos, or gabardine) Yes I was very close to the Quilt – I tried not to breathe on it or drool on it. I did not touch it though I could have reached out and done so.
In the signature square, 1863 is very obvious. Only in a strong light does one see the thread behind the fabric, linking the numbers.
Hunter’s Moon: I could see the detail on this brown striped print, not nearly as ‘solid’ as I thought.
A number of blocks are smaller than 4.5 inches – in some cases a bit smaller. Jane framed them with white fabric on all 4 sides.
L-10 Nan's Naiad shows up well. The blue fabric is not as pale as I thought. The little triangles are appliquéd of course.
B-12 Starflower really did appear to be reverse appliquéd. I will take heart and do mine the same way.
And most of all: I am AMAZED at the variety of fabric used in this quilt.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Then, match section to section carefully and sew them together two by two. Here it is, finished. It is close to how the original triangle looks in the quilt.
1800's Christmas Jane 130, 40, 1, 3987
Pretty in Pink Jane 95, 33, 0, 2983
Miniature Madness! 55, 0, 0, 776
There is a 'short' end to the diamonds, and a 'long' end. Orient them correctly. After appliqueing two, with those tight points, I began to wonder if reverse applique might be a better way. Too late now.