Friday, September 23, 2022

Flower Friday: September 23, 2022


Happy Flower Friday!

Sue shared her African Violets.  She said that the secret for getting lots of blooms on her violets is to adorn the plant with...CAT HAIR, lots and lots of cat hair!  😂😂

This time of year usually features chrysanthemums and asters.  My mums are a bit stunted from the drought but beginning to bloom:

I stopped using asters years ago because I found Boltonia that I like better.  The plant is in the aster family but blooms much longer.  Mine have been blooming since June!

Unfortunately, the storms yesterday blew over a lot of my plants but the zinnias made it through!

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Happy Autumn!


Well it's the first day of Autumn and soon the leaves on the trees will begin to change colors.  We've been enjoying fresh apples and the cooler weather and are grateful for the little rain we have been getting!

"Autumn Leaves" quilt from the 1930s.

The days may be shorter but the flowers seem brighter these days.  The bees and the squirrels are more active as if in anticipation of the cooler weather!  The zinnias in particular are blooming like crazy!

One disappointment this year were the cosmos.  Although all the seeds I planted germinated, only one plant bloomed:

The rest of the cosmos grew taller than me (and I'm 5'6") with thick stalks but didn't bear a single flower.  I'm ready to pluck them out of the garden and be done with them.

Tomorrow is Flower Friday and if you have anything to share, please feel free to email me at!  

As always, have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Centennial Quilts: What's in a name?


On Monday I discussed Centennial Quilts that celebrated the 100th year anniversary of our independence.  But there are other "centennial quilts" and some I understand and some I don't really know what defined a "centennial quilt".

Some centennial quilts refer to the age of the quilt.  The quilt shown below was published in our local paper in 1952.    This particular quilt was displayed at the first Allentown Fair in 1852 and won a prize.  It would also win a prize at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893 where it reportedly won first prize.

According to the newspaper, "the quilt was made by two sisters:  Eliza and Anna Hewson made the quilt between 1825 and 1845...the Hewson sisters were originally from Philadelphia but spent most of their lives in Lehigh County."  Now some of you quilt historians might be wondering if they were related to John Hewson, the Philadelphia calico printer  (read here).  I have no idea and I doubt I will be able to research that.  

Another type of centennial quilt was made by women who were over 100 years old.  I found a few examples of this like the Ohio woman featured below:

Still another version of a centennial quilt would refer to anything that celebrated an one hundred year anniversary.  It could be an organization; some commemorated the founding of a town or area; other versions celebrated a state.

Texas Centennial quilt.

Sometimes I simply don't know what was meant by a centennial quilt.  I found prizes awarded to "centennial quilts" throughout the early part of the 20th century and as late as 1938 in articles that featured local quilt competitions in my area.

Beth and I often mused about making a centennial quilt that featured fabrics from the 20th century and would end with millennium fabric.  If you don't know what millennium fabric is--it is fabric that celebrated this new century and was widely available.  Often the fabric had "2000" printed somewhere on it.  The quilts made from these fabric are often referred to as "Y2K" or millennium quilts  (see some here). Beth and I have an extensive collection of these fabrics.

Did you make a Y2K quilt or collect these fabrics as well?

Wishing you a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Tuesday's This and That: September 20, 2022

 Tchotchkes--I love them but in moderation.  Actually I like to collect things but contain them in one place--and preferably a place with a glass door to reduce dust.  Like these bisque dolls I collected for a while.  

The two I originally had were from my grandmother but I now wonder if they were actually hers or her mother's.  Nana never liked the color red.  But I love these little red dolls in the center of the shelf:

Nana also collected little wooden figurines.  I think they may have been from Denmark but I'm not sure.  This is my favorite figure of the girl cutting what I think is fabric (or maybe a box?) anyway she has a nice doll and spool of thread aside of her.  She is featured in another box (with a glass door of course):

This shelving unit has more sewing features than anything else:

A sewing caddy that was made in Japan.  I think this might have been made before the war and was given to me by a friend.  One of her baskets is a pin cushion and the other basket has one's thimble in it (the lid comes off to get to the thimble).  

Another friend gave me a sister to the one above.  Her baskets were long lost and someone replaced them with vintage spools of thread.  Both of the figures have measuring tapes in the back of them that you can pull out:

Also in this collection are my poodles caddies which are pin cushions from the 1950s:

Thimbles are also featured.  My kids used to buy me a thimble when they travelled (the one from London is tipped over a bit for you to see).  Sometimes they would pick up some from flea markets.  I never told them that I don't use thimbles 😄

So this is Tuesday's light weight fluff for your viewing pleasure.  Do you have any collectibles that you cherish?  Do tell!

Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, September 19, 2022

Centennial Quilts


The year was 1940 and our local Allentown newspaper reported about a quilt that was being assembled for a local woman:

Initially, I thought there was an error in the reporting.  I still think that the newspaper got the dates wrong (our local paper was never really known for accuracy) and the dates the women found in the fabric were 1776 and 1876.   Like this:

Centennial prints were popular in the 1870s during the time of the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.  I'm fortunate to own one family quilt that has a variety of centennial prints: 

The print is so small that no one in the family ever realized what was in the quilt!

Photo of the actual quilt.  The centennial prints are featured in a place of honor--in the center of the textile.

About ten years ago or so, reproduction fabric was printed of some of these prints and the handkerchief that was popular during the time.  The scale of the prints was bigger but it was still fun to use the fabric.  I made a wall hanging that I use in some of my programs:

This is an original handkerchief I have in my collection:

The reason I have been thinking about the centennial is a surprise that I found when I was researching Nancy Cabot patterns.  In 1938, this pattern was marketed in newspapers:

I've never seen a quilt that was based on this quilt.  Have you?  

The description from the ad:

"'Centennial Block' is a combination pieced and appliqued design adapted from an old piece of printed material belonging to one of our readers, Mrs. William S. Giles.  The Liberty Bell is of a deep blue background against a pale blue background.  The corner blocks are red with white appliqued figures.  The three inch white bands have red stars and one-half inch red bands appliqued before they are joined to the center square.  The combination block is set together in an alternate arrangement with plain white blocks, and finished with an eight inch pale blue border bound with a one-half inch white bias binding."

Now back to our quilting ladies---I'm not sure what fabric would be printed with 1886 woven into it.  The one major event of that year was the dedication of the Statue of Liberty and I've never seen antique fabric that memorialized that occasion (have you?).

We will revisit Centennial quilts on Wednesday but for now, have a safe and happy day!

Friday, September 16, 2022

Flower Friday: September 16, 2022

 Happy Flower Friday!  

We have some nice selections today from readers!

Sue P.'s butterfly bush is still full of blooms!

Check out Sue's perennial ageratum:

Love Lorraine's dahlias such a pretty color!

And love her sweet autumn clematis too!

Alice shared that her giant asters began blooming this week:

Her zinnias are still going strong as well.  Alice said she doesn't see many bees but she has these tiny butterfly/moth insects visiting her flowers.  I have them too here.  

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Bee-ing Present

 How is your garden growing?

We have received some beneficial rain and the garden has perked up.  Some of the plants remain stunted (like my mums who appeared to have gone dormant during the drought).  But I'm grateful for the rain we have received.

These days, there are more patterns that feature bees and bee hives.  This of course reflects that most of us are aware of  the importance of beneficial insects.  To be honest, I'm mostly keeping the flowers as they are for the bee keeper that lives down the street.  Her honey bees are always visiting my garden!

There is only one old pattern I know that celebrates these wonderful insects.  The Honey Bee pattern!


I have only one quilt that features this pattern but it is a beauty!  Made originally in the mid-19th century, it was repaired at a later date but the work was done really well.

And of course the quilting is amazing!

I'm hoping to get some gardening in this weekend while my husband is away at work.  Last weekend, a neighborhood mother and her daughter asked what to do with the zinnia blooms that had bloomed and gone to seed.  They are first time gardeners.  I taught them how to cut the faded blooms off.  

The daughter, nine-year old Corrine--has an affinity to biology and vocabulary.  She was doing a good job.  She called to her grandmother who lives with them:  

"Look grandma, I'm decapitating the zinnias!"

This made us all laugh and then I explained that we actually call this "deadheading" which made Corrine's mother exclaim, "don't encourage her..."😂😂😂

What is going on in your garden?  If you have any photos to share, please email them to me at!