Monday, April 30, 2012


I was downstate recently to be with mom during and after her surgery. One day, after visiting with her, I met with daughter Lisa and together we stopped at a few garage sales plus an antique shop. This wonderful old hand-quilted quilt was for sale for $15!

There are a few issues with it but those are mostly around the edges. It needs new binding and a few blocks need repair. I'm going to take off the last two rows on one side... those are in very bad condition and then I'll rebind the whole quilt. The "batting" is a piece of flannel so this quilt is very nice and light.

The pattern is called London Stairs. I looked it up in a quilt block book.

Here is one of the seams that is falling apart but it's easy to repair.

The back is in good but worn condition but good enough to add to the end of a bed to brighten a room.

It's charming, isn't it? This is a closeup of some of the nicer blocks and the very fine hand quilting.

There are a few other things I'd like to post about but I'll wait till tomorrow. One of them is a bag of old star blocks that my sister found at an estate sale.
I plan to applique them to a plain background.
Pics to come...... 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Just a little update

Many of you know that my mom is in the hospital. She has lung cancer and has just had an operation that HOPEFULLY got it all. The docs are optimistic saying that they only saw the one small area in the middle of the lung. They think they got it all but are checking the surrounding areas to be sure. Mom is in ICU recovering right now. She's doing great as far as the actual surgery is concerned but has always had trouble with her throat, swallowing and coughing up excess fluid. As soon as they get this under control she'll be able to go home. She'll still be on her feeding tube till her throat muscles get stronger but her voice is good and that's a positive sign.

I won't be blogging much until she's out of the hospital. As I visit with her, I've worked on a couple of my quilting projects. Today I'm bringing my seven sisters with me. It's better that I just sit and keep her company and not get her chatting too much. Docs all say to give her voice a rest for a bit.

Anyways, I wanted to THANK all of you that have sent good wishes and prayers. I know they've helped her.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shopping for 30's repros

Today I had a little time to work on my seven sisters quilt... yes, I'm still at it. It's only been, what, three or so years since I started it. When I was in a quilt shop today, I picked up a few more small pieces of 30's fabrics. I usually buy a 1/4 yard and split it with Lisa. She's doing yoyos and I do the stars or strip quilts. Both of our projects are long term ones.

Stitching up a LITTLE quilt ...just for the fun of it

 This is Jenn's old bedroom... she moved out and it's starting to become a child's room. SOMEDAY I may have grandchildren and this would be a perfect place for them to stay at grandmas house. I've kept her old teddies and added some Dr. Suess books (my fav), some dolls and now some doll qults. The rocker is my mom's rocker from when she was a girl
 The little quilt is something I stitched up the other day with some scraps. Somedays you just have to sew a little fun project and get away from the "have to do" things. It was a fun break.
 This is a computer rendition of Pat's Pines. I added the tutorial for it HERE. I made one block yesterday.. just fooling around again. I think I'll make the whole quilt, I really like it.
And here is Al's den... all painted. We moved the rug and a few other things back in last night. The chair is only there for a little while until we decide what else is going in. He wants a new desk and my old couch is going to be reuphostered. We are going to search antique stores for a corner cabinet or bookshelf... maybe get a coffee table... and well.. we'll see what else. Doesn't my friend Mer's painting look great up on the wall? Al couldn't wait to get that hung.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm sewing, Al is painting and the yard is blooming

Al is still working on his den... the painting is now done and is a beautiful deep beige color. This is him earier doing edges.
I got the binding sewn on my Star Sampler and am now hand stitching it down. I decided on one of the green Happy Mochi Yum Yum fabrics for the binding.  
Just had to show a picture of one of the trees in the front yard... a bradford pear... it's in full bloom and boy does it look pretty. We have about a dozen of these trees scattered around the property. When we first moved in, we found an end of the year sale on them... cost us about a dollar each. We bought all they had left. A couple fell victim to the deer but most have survived and they're now big enough that the deer dont bother them.

OH... as a final note... Today I added a tutorial on making the block PAT'S PINES. Go here for the tutorial and pattern... plus some ideas on making the quilt. This is the block we have painted on our barn.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday chores

 Al and I both have chores that need to be tackled today, his is a LARGE project, mine is just catch up work. This star sampler quilt has been my "finish up" project of the week and is almost done. I'm quilting the border of sampler stars and then will start on the outside white border. Hope to be binding this tonight as I watch tv. 
I'm in the kitchen quilting this instead of my sewing room because Al has a project in the den that requires me to come running every so often. He's putting up trim around the room so that he can paint the ceiling a nice white and the walls a dark beige.
 And the reason for his enthusiasm? Well, he had a local artist do this watercolor for him. We are both just NUTS about it. He just got it back from the framing shop.
This is going on one side of the windows with a bookcase below and a painting that daughter Jenn did, is going on the other side of the window. He has a collection of Beatles stuff... some from trips, some were presents. He's going to hang daughter Lisa's guitar up (as long as we're storing it for her, might as well decorate with it also.
 So as I wait to be called to "lend a hand", I'm stitching and eating my Peeps... love those things!
 Update: FINISHED with the quilting! Yes! Now to start making the binding. Al finished putting up the trim in the den and even got it all primed. We're going to take a short break and get a walk in... the weather is BEAUTIFUL today.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Auction winnings arrived plus shopping with Jenn

My new/old vintage quilt patterns arrived yesterday and they're fantastic! These are in wonderful condition (how did that happen?) for newspaper cutouts that are almost a 90 years old. The oldest one is from 1928! There are 47 patterns for blocks and quilting designs. Here's some pictures of par1929 with an article about the building of the Boulder dam.

This block is called Broken Circle or Sunflower. It's going to be one of the first that I plan to tackle. I'm think that if I do it using English paper piecing method instead of hand piecing as it suggests, that it will come together easier for me. We'll see. One thing I'm really surprise at is the size of these blocks. Many of them are 6", 8" or 10". Seems like most blocks nowdays are much larger. Do you think it's because they were trying to use up little bits of fabric?

 Okay, here's another back... I had a good laugh at this one... house frocks, smocks and HOOVERS? for only 50 cents. What the heck is a hoover? Did they have vacumns back then and was this for wearing while you did housework? Maybe someone that knows can tell me.
The house frocks I get... I think my mom had some of these "house" dresses worn around the house for cleaning and cooking... and I KNOW she had smocks and aprons. And check out the sizes listed... 16 to 50? Sizing must have changed since back then.

The Oak Grove Star Block is another that I'm planning to make. Using two colors would be pretty, maybe a third for the circle in the center. I'll post pictures when I get my first block done.
So, yesterday I went "mother-of-the-bride" dress shopping with Jenn. We had a fun time (except for the trying on part). We drove to Grand Rapids which is about 3-1/2 hours from here. Jenn and I had breakfast, lunch and dinner out... we hit some great shops. I found her some nice birthday presents that she got to take home with her. And I found some gifts for the shower plus a few FQs for me and the girls. BUT I can't say I found what we really went down there for.

There just arent very many pretty dresses for mothers to choose from. They are either too frumpy or too young ... and by young I mean they don't have enough room in the bust, they show the upper arms (not good) or are strapless, have too many ruffles (all in the wrong places of course) or are too slinky. Someone needs to design a line of mother dresses that are stylish and in pretty colors. These would need to cover up the parts of us that are getting a little too soft, wrinkly or bumpy. It would be nice to have built-in waist and hip control (kind of like control top pantyhose?). Then add a flowy layer... make it a little romantic maybe? And what about some subtle prints? Maybe a print that looks like a soft aqua and green batik? Or maybe a royal blue and white "Amy Butler" type print?

Maybe some dress designer out there will read this?........

Friday, April 6, 2012

Working on my Blue and White Star Sampler Quilt

Today I spent some time working on my class sample, the blue and white star sampler. I have to finish up my sawtooth stars and then add them to the center. Next I'll need to get the corner star finished up for May's class.
 Last night the class made their centers. Some of the ladies finished up the centers during the class and laid them out on the design wall with thier surrounding sawtooth stars. They're all so different and beautiful. I'm excited to see all these different quilts when they're finished up.
Late last night I was on Ebay looking at old quilt patterns and feedsack fabric. There were a few fabrics ending that I had my eye on... I didn't win them.. just couldn't see spending 30 dollars for a yard of feedsack with stains and holes BUT I did win a collection of 45 old Kansas City Star patterns from the 1930s newspaper. These are originals and I just can't wait to get them home. There's one in particular I've been looking for and it's in this collection. I'll post a picture when they get home to me. 

Finishing the baby's I-Spy quilt

I made the 64 block, stitched the rows together then finished the top but Jenn and I decided to make the quilt a bit bigger. It's 48&q...