Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Potpourri

It just  came to my mind that this post is about things that start with the letter "p".  First of all and so wonderful is that there was an e-mail from our dear little  Peace Corps volunteer Hannah this morning - she is safe and sound in Africa and full of enthusiasm and ready for her wonderful adventure.  Then late this afternoon, Sherry called me and she had just talked to Hannah on Skype - she was bubbling over and so happy to have talked with and seen her.  The wonders of technology!   Just wanted to share our joy!


Now I will switch to paper piecing!   Next week Linda in our guild will be teaching a class and we will be doing a design she has created on EQ 7.  She is a master at the art of paper piecing and it will be wonderful to spend the day in her class.  I have been picking out my fabric - went "shopping" in the basement and was able to come up with almost all of the 11 different fabrics needed.  I did have to buy the background fabric which is the black with the swirly design in dots.  I just don't have very many larger pieces of batiks.  Actually, I don't have large pieces of  many fabrics since I do such scrappy quilts.  I usually buy the bigger pieces as I need them.

The third "p" in this post is for the Polka Dot Girls that I started last fall.  They have been kind of hidden away in their box but I got them out the other day and now about have the fourth set out of eight finished.  This one is wrinkled and has not been washed or pressed yet.  I also see that I didn't embroider the rake!  Back in the hoop it will go.  (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It looks like autumn, it feels like autumn - and, of course, it is autumn.   The scarecrow and pumpkins above are on a sweatshirt that I made a few years ago.   The pattern is from one of the older books from Red Wagon, I think that is the name of the company.  Very cute and primitive patterns from a couple of ladies in the Kansas City area. 

Here are two little skirts that kind of look like autumn, too, but they will soon be on their way to Africa with Hannah - she will be leaving so very bright and early tomorrow morning.  I find it hard to find things to say, so will make this very short.  I will go over this evening for cheesie potato soup (her favorite) with Sher, Barc and the little Peace Corps volunteer.  I am so proud of her.  (Click to enlarge) 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fashion Friday


Our model this morning is Sherry when she was probably 10 or 11 years old. I had made her a dress similar to the ones that I made for myself for square dancing. I pulled miles and miles of gathers and stitched on so much rickrack and trim back then. Sherry's dress is a light blue trimmed in white, pink and silver. She has a metal link belt around her waist. Pretty white shoes and socks complete her outfit. Little girls just absolutely love full, full skirts and she certainly looks cute in hers. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Anothe Big UFO

Here are pictures of a big, unfinished quilt in an old chest. The body of the quilt is almost entirely hand quilted, but much quilting is still needed on the sashing and borders which are the plain green print. This is also machine satin stitch applique - long before the buttonhole stitch became popular. The secret to satin stitch being pretty was how the thread matched the fabric piece.
This quilt dates back sometime in the late 1980's and I simply can't remember why I stopped working on it......probably got immersed into the making of another one then just never came back to the job of finishing the quilting. In some of the pictures, you can see the thread dangling waiting to be picked up again after moving the quilt to another position in the hoop.

In my quilts, I notice that there are many of the applique blocks that I have used more than once. Some are just so pleasing that I have repeated them. I also like the fact in this piece that I have handquilted motifs in the center of some of the designs. Most of my handdone quilts have crosshatching as a background filler. That seems to be very, very common in the older pieces.

Quilting by hand allows you to put a lot of texture in the actual individual flowers, leaves and other motifs in the block. In the above picture, you can see that the sashing is just three lines of stitching - plus, there is stitching in the ditches, also.

In this block, I do like the little bunches of grapes I quilted in between the buds that jut out from the flowers.

Nice little spiderweb, also. I should put this quilt back in the hoop and finish it - but I'll bet I could not make the nice little even stitches now that I did back then. I even have the fabric still tucked away for the binding. There is one more big UFO hidden away in the chest from the 90's that I will take out one day and photograph. That one is hand appliqued and hand quilted and not nearly so far along as this one. Do I get the prize for the biggest UFOs? (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hannah Will Be Leaving for Africa Soon

Ready or not, the time for Hannah to leave for her 27 month stint in the Peace Corps is almost here. This extraordinary young woman will be going to Mozambique in Africa very, very early in the morning a week from tomorrow. What a mix of emotions fill the minds of all of us who love her so much - happy that she will be going on such an awesome adventure that she has talked of and worked for for such a long time - and a sadness thinking that she will be gone for so very long and be so far, far away. Even though time seems to fly by so quickly, right now 27 months seems like an eternity. Each and every one of her family is behind her and supporting her and loving her with all that is in them. She's such a little thing - small, but mighty.

She needed some skirts - and I am making her skirts. Three of them - two in batiks. The pattern is in the picture above along with two of the skirts. There is a definite dress code there - no shorts or spaghetti straps. She will be teaching science - in Portuguese - which she has been working on. There will be ten weeks of schooling for her after they get to Africa and she will actually start teaching around December. Already, Hannah has set up a blog and I will have a link here on mine - you might enjoy reading it. She hasn't started posting yet, but I think she will this week. That is one thing about this day and age - the communication is wonderful, albeit the actual mail is slow!
Today was an open house held at Sherry and Barc's good friends home. It was a pretty day and many of Hannah's friends came to wish her Adeus and good wishes. She has been very active in church and everyone loves her. You just can't help doing that. Norah and Chad will come next weekend before Hannah leaves. Molly is coming the following weekend to go to a wedding of a very good girlfriend of hers since way back in grade school. It will be so good for Sherry and Barc (and me, too) to have her here at that time . There will be some "teary" days for a spell. May God keep a special eye on our Hannah as she embarks on this new adventure.
(Click to enlarge)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fashion Friday

It's high time I featured this cute little girl on Fashion Friday! This is my second daughter, Ann, who is married to Bill and has been for coming up on 30 years next Valentine's Day. This is the only picture that I have of her during her childhood, but plan to remedy that with a call to her mom, Ruby. Ann is the second of four cute girls and I am sure their household was a ton of fun over the years. When I think four girls, I think Little Women, but since you would not know that in the beginning, you probably would not start naming them Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. I read that book so many times when I was young! So the Little Women at Ann's home in Chillicothe, Mo, were Jane, Ann, Martha and Marilyn. Back to Fashion Friday, Ann Elaine is wearing a pretty cotton dress with buttons on the bodice and a little white collar. It appears that there is a plaid scarf over her shoulder. Ann's glasses are very stylish and her hair is done with a cute little flip and flirty bangs. (I am wondering if Ruby cut the girls' bangs like I did Sherry's - poor Sherry!) I don't know whether I have ever mentioned on my blog that Ann's parents, Bob and Ruby, and Ray and I share the same wedding anniversary which was the 4th of this month. We were all married in 1949 - Ray and I in Illinois and Bob and Ruby in Missouri, but Ray and I were married four hours before they were that Sunday. And they lived all those years in Chillicothe, Mo, while our hometown was Chillicothe, Ill. How's that for a coincidence? (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Wallhanging From 1988

I opened the chest in the bedroom that has some old wall hangings, some UFO's, and various other items. This wall hanging was done in 1988 according to the back of the piece. It's probably about 40" square and is machine satin stitched and hand quilted.


This is the center. Back then when I hand quilted, I usually quilted some motif in the open spaces of the blocks. However, I did no background filler as I have done in a lot of them. Mostly it was crosshatching that I used.

Two more of the blocks. Blue and pink showed up in most of my quilts way back in those days.
And the difference in the fabrics now and back then is unbelievable. I would not even think of putting an applique on a plain white or cream background anymore. They are so beautiful when they are on subtle prints or dark or bright fabric. The sky is the limit and you can have any look you wish. That is not to say that the old quilts are not beautiful! They are. Cannot imagine what it will be like in another 20 years!

The rest of the blocks. I notice that there was the neat old smell of old fabric that came forth when the old chest was opened. Not a musty smell, but just old. I also took some pictures of a really, really big old UFO that I will post one day soon. Don't know why I never finished that. And there is one more in there, too. Oh me, oh my! I tell myself it's okay since I have finished so many pieces - maybe some day someone will just love to find those old things! (Cannot figure out why my small pictures are not side by side in the blog - they are here where I am posting them!) (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More Hats

The fourth and fifth ladies in hats just about finished. I also have found two more pieces of fabric to go with that I have already. Like the dark piece, especially. As soon as the little gal is out of the hoop, I can start cutting out the pieces for the hanging.
These little hats are all together now and I will be doing the embellishing. Not much quilting - some embroidery, buttons, etc. I have already sewn some lace on it. Posies and Teacups have their binding on them waiting for me to whip it down. Eventually they get done. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fashion Friday

Way, way back in April of 1949, Ray and I went to a dance in Galesburg at the extension of the University of Illinois where he attended school for one year. Ray is all smiles in his good looking suit, tie and the flower on his lapel. Carol is wearing a pretty white eyelet dress with a scooped neckline and short sleeves. A white necklace and earrings and a pretty corsage complete her outfit. Kind of a cute couple. We were married in September of that year - 61 years ago.
The band that played for that dance was Desi Arnaz - and here is his autograph on the dancecard. I don't actually remember much about that dance but Ray and I always had a great time and did quite a bit of dancing during our life together. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Snowbound

Last year, I downloaded the free block of the month series Tisket A Tasket from the wonderful
http://www.bunnyhilldesigns.com/ and made my quilt in time for our guild's quilt show last May. (If you would like to check out that quilt, go to the April 24, 2010, post.) Anne Sutton, the designer, has another series of blocks for this year called Snowbound. I have been saving each month's pattern and thinking of starting the quilt. I had some blue and white dotted batik that I thought I would use for the background but wasn't really satisfied with it. Today, I went with four of my quilting friends on a fun, all day shop hop. Leslie, Linda and Janet are terrific gals to be with and there was a good lunch at a great restaurant called the French something (senior moment - it will come to me) , some great shops and everyone bought something - some more than others!! I bought this piece of beautiful bluegreen batik that looks like a lovely snowstorm.
There are a couple of ways I can go with this - in the top picture there are some Christmas fabrics that I have in a charm pack and also some yardage. Actually, very little fabric is needed for the blocks. I plan on using some fusible batting similar to warm and white for the snowmen. The layout of the quilt calls for irish chain blocks between the appliqued ones. Have not decided on whether to do that or not. Actually, the blocks are so sweet and simple they should not take long to do. Isn't it fun to plan something new? I so love picking out the fabrics and colors.
(Click to enlarge)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What I've Been Working On

Posies is amost quilted - should get that finished today. Quilted in part of the excess backing and batting around the edge yesterday - it wasn't too much ripping but glad I caught it when I did. Doing things like that keeps a quilter humble.

I am liking this little piece very much. It's only about 14" x 21". The colors are so very soft and pretty and it has been fun to do. Will use the Sulky thread to do some decorative stitches (have already done a little) then add some embellishment. The little hat in the right hand corner is getting colonial knots on every other buttonhole stitch. At the top in the lefthand corner, there is a little bead at every other buttonhole stitch. Will do some other embellishments and will figure them out as I go.

Here are my pretty girls in big hats - have a hat thing going, I guess - and the fabric I plan to use in a wall hanging. There will be two more girls wearing cloche style hats. Will put them on a layout I found in EQ5 which I am altering a bit. This is a fun one, also.
It's a cool, very fallish morning here in MI (in the 40's earlier) - a harbinger of days to come. I am a fall loving girl! My very favorite time of year. Maybe today I will get out a wreath and my little wooden scarecrow that I have had for a long time. Time to put the pink flamingoes in the shed until next year. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fashion Friday

I forgot to do a fashion post last week - it is becoming harder to find pictures that I haven't already posted. Will have to start going through some of my family's older albums and see what I can come up with or maybe designate something special for a different day of the week. However, today, I have spotted this one of my grandmother, Maggie, and my Aunt Leah on a trip they took out west to see Nelle which was probably in the 40's. Maggie is wearing a pretty print dress that has large white buttons on the bodice. I am certain I can see her cameo which she wore almost all of the time) pinned at the vee of her collar. Aunt Leah is wearing a dress that I am sure is very colorful and pretty. It is gathered at the bustline and looks great on her. Her hat - I think that is one of those Tyrolean mountain hats - with a feather on it. I just can't see her seriously buying that hat except as a souvenier. Leah had a great sense of humor and would happily wear something like that as a joke. Regardless, she looks cute!

(Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My, How You've Grown

This, as I have shown before, is my mandevilla plant - freshly set out in my little garden space.
And here it is about a month ago - growing and blooming it's little heart out.

And this picture was taken yesterday evening - growing more every day and just beautiful. Tons of buds and sending out vines on a wire I put up to the right of it. You can see part of the moonflower plant that decided to come up from seed right beside of it. I had to cut part of that one away to get on my patio. If you enlarge the picture, you can see the stub of the branch that I lopped off the plant at the bottom of the picture. That one has been a very sturdy, serious grower!

A hanging basket planted earlier in my last macrame sling from my macrame days in the 70's.
and here it is last evening. Doing well. (The carpeting on my step to the little shed certainly is looking bad! Should have cropped the picture!)

I'll call this one "Free Portulaca in the Patio Crack" - you could never get one to grow there on purpose! It's blooming nicely and is partially watered from what drains out of the hanging basket. (Click to enlarge)