Friday, May 7, 2021

Flower Friday: May 7, 2021

 It's Flower Friday and time to appreciate all the beauty of spring!  We had lots of photos submitted this week!  Thank you friends!

Early in the week, Betsy sent these lovely photos from her garden:

Gorgeous Tree Peony!

It's Lily of the Valley time!

Creeping Veronica!

Such a lovely and delicate lilac!

Sue sent photos of her Irises!


Sue also shared with us her Bleeding Hearts coupled with Solomon's Seal:

And her Dame's Rocket:

Libby shared photos of her indoor herb garden:
Rosemary, Thyme, and another Geranium

And this geranium that the local agricultural high school students!  How cool is that!

And from the countryside, Linda sent these lovely images from her garden:
Ajuga and below, a closer photo of these lovely flowers:

Wild violets (lower right) and I think that is a lilac bush in the background.

What a pretty scene to inspire us to get out and enjoy this lovely season!

Thank you to all of you who submitted these gorgeous photos!
Have a safe and happy weekend!












Thursday, May 6, 2021

Dogwood

 


The dogwood trees are blooming!

Most of us are familiar with vintage dogwood quilt patterns.  This is the one that usually comes to mind:

Actually there were tons of different dogwood patterns that designers created in the 20th century.  Marie Webster did this one which I think is called "Dogwood Baskets"

These quilts always remind me of the movie, The American President because at one point, the President wanted to send the official flowers of Virginia to the female lead.  There was a fun banter as to whether the dogwood was a flower or a tree (it's both).  McKim's design for the State Flower included Virginia's choice:

The Kansas City Star offered a Dogwood pattern that was less literal:

Laura Wheeler offered a pattern that would make a good and portable applique project.  The flowers were featured on the blocks:

But my favorite dogwood pattern is the pun intended crib quilt!  I've never seen a completed quilt of it.  I love it because of course, it features dogs 😍 .   Apologies in advance for the illustration, this is the only image I have of the quilt layout in my file:
I may not have a completed quilt of this but I do have an unfinished top.  I thought of finishing it but quilters do like to see kits from yesteryear and to be honest, I'm not that good at applique.



This quilt kit was from the 1950s and I don't know the designer.  In the 1940s and then again in the 1950s, there was a similar crib pattern offered called Pussy Willows:


This version is from the 1950s. 

Tomorrow is Flower Friday!  Why not share what is blooming in your world and email images to allentownquilter@gmail.com

Have a safe and happy day!

















Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Another Tip

 Thanks for all the feedback this week!  I think I was most surprised by the number of you that commented or emailed that you weren't comfortable shopping in a store yet either.  A few of you, like Betsy, noted that certain stores (like Ladyfingers for you locals) were taking proper pandemic precautions and that she felt safe shopping there.

Also my friend Jasmine suggested I write to you about my favorite thing these days.  I had forgotten about it and I think I mentioned it on my other blog weeks ago.  

I love this new thing that some of the fabric manufacturers are printing.  They are panels with the colors of solids printed on and not unlike paint chip charts:

Kona Solid panel

Moda has one too for Bella solids

I've been sewing from my stash for a few years and trying to use up what I have.
Stop laughing, I AM!!!

But the thing is, you get to the point where you don't have the right color or enough yardage to coordinate with what you have--- and then you feel like you need to buy something to go with it.  So I bought these panels to see if they could help.  And by the way, all the prices of these solids are about the same, no matter where you shop.  Moda's Bellas are about a dollar more expensive per yard.

I do like that Moda gives you bigger color swatches on their panel but let's do a color comparison.  Be warned, I of course picked a cloudy and rainy day for this comparison.

Here are the Kona fabrics with the swatches:
Fabric sample to the right.  I'd say pretty spot on for Creamsicle

Fabric sample on the bottom.  Primrose is slightly lighter but still in the same family.  It does work with my fabric.

Perfect!

Now Moda's Bella line:
The sample is on the bottom.  That actually seems like a big difference with the fabric being a lot brighter.  Unfortunately, I don't have another Bella to compare.  I even wondered if the clerk mixed up the colors.

Have you used these color swatch panels?  Would you consider using them?  Well that is my big tip for today!


Have a safe and happy day!










Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Tuesday's This and That: May 4, 2021

 


Do you know why I'm featuring my garden today?
Because it finally rained!  For whatever reason, the month of April was so dry that I began to worry that another drought was imminent.  Murphy's Law prevailed.  I set up the last soaker hose yesterday and then of course, we had a wonderful night of rain.  To be honest, I'm so exhausted from weeding and watering that I am looking forward to some simple sewing, writing, and cleaning time.


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The winners of Quilt Con 2021 were announced and you can see the winners here.

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Elizabeth Hartman has a free and easy pattern for charm squares here.  I think it would be great for a baby quilt and even could be made bigger for a donation quilt!

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Regarding yesterday's post.  My husband and I were talking about that tip and he actually made an insight on Nana's suggestion for liquid band-aid.  He thought my Pop-pop probably figured that out.  Pop was a pharmacist and was a very creative man.  

Nann from With Strings Attached sent an email about liquid band-aid.  She had never used it for quilting but said it worked great on a number of wounds!

Preeti from Sew Preeti Quilts had never used liquid band-aid but she did say she loved cheater needles.  I never heard of them before and looked them up!  They are needles that are easier to thread!

Sue did send a tip she had experienced:  

"When Carolyn and I were quilting for charity with a group, we would get some pretty wonky quilt tops to hand quilt.  Then there was Alma, who stood about 4 foot tall, well into her 80s, riddled with arthritis, of Irish descent, raised in NYC.  Unable to help she would coach us. 

 "You pull that quilt.  You show that quilt who's boss."  

Many times I've thought of that and managed to quilt many quilts that were less than square.  Don't give up.  It works out."
 
Thanks Sue!   That's good life advice for all of us!

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I went to the fabric store on Saturday because a) I was finally cleared with my vaccine and b) I needed backing fabric.  I didn't enjoy the experience.  I got some of what I needed and got out of there.  Maybe it was because the clerks didn't wear masks unless you requested them too.  Maybe I've become so accustomed to taking my time and ordering everything online or for curbside pick-up.  Or maybe I was just overwhelmed by my first actual shopping experience.  Have any of you experienced that?

In any event, have a safe and happy day!  






Monday, May 3, 2021

Quilting Tip from the 1950s

 One of the interesting tips I found came from a 1952 article from Pottstown, PA.  The article was about a church where women gathered to quilt together.

"Needles, thread, patience, good eyesight--and a bottle of colorless nail polish--are some of the requirements for quilting," the members told the reporter.

Nail polish?


"One of the occupational hazards of quilting is a scarred forefinger caused by pushing the needle through the top layer, which is the actual cover design, the woolen filling or cotton batting, and the bottom layer of plain cotton until the needle point can be felt on the quilter's finger on the underside.

It is, of course, necessary to have the stitch running through the three layerss, and a thick coating of nail polish on the finger is a good protection against the inevitable pricks," the women told the reporter.  

Sorry about the poor quality of this image, it was the best I could do this morning.  Here are the ladies quilting what appears to be an elegant applique quilt.

For some reason this tip resonated with me.  I remember that when I was young and teaching myself to hand quilt, Nana gave me something for my finger. I particularly recall the feeling of the stuff on my finger.  What was it?  I racked my memory for weeks and then at 4:30 this morning, I awoke and thought: it was liquid band-aid!  I even checked the internet this morning to make sure there was such a product (there is).  I do remember that the product protected my finger and I used it until I  abandoned (for the first of many times) hand quilting.

I don't know how Nana knew this would work or if it was a technique she learned from a family member like my great-grandmother.  I didn't find an article on using it for quilting during a quick google search. 

At this point, I prick my fingers so frequently that I should probably apply the stuff all over my hands 😁

Did you learn any unusual techniques or tips from family members or friends?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Have a safe and happy day!



Friday, April 30, 2021

Flower Friday: April 30, 2021

Happy Flower Friday!


Today Libby shared her azaleas from her secret garden! I just love the idea of a secret garden and that iron fence really makes the garden secretive!

Sue had a different tale to tell and some great life insights:

"Today was my birthday (42 again).  This morning the kitchen sink backed up.  After clearing it, I put the plunger on the front porch to dry off.  I wonder what the delivery person thought when they dropped off my daughter's gift.  My minister says the picture is a great metaphor for life.  Sometimes you're the windshield and sometimes you're the bug.  Some days call for flowers and some days call for a plunger."
😂😂😂
Happy Belated Birthday Sue!

My Fern Leaf Peonies hadn't bloomed in years and I've been moving them around the garden the past years trying to find a place they like.  I'm thrilled I have at least one flower now!

Sandra's Fern Leaf Peonies are absolutely fantastic!! This gives you a better idea of what they should look like.  She said she must have moved them 6 times before she found the right place for them!




My sweet neighbors bought these begonias for me.  Aren't they lovely?

Have a safe and happy day!





Thursday, April 29, 2021

I Spy and Imagination Quilts, Part 2

 


I've heard from a lot of you about how much your grandkids love "I-Spy" quilts!  As I wrote about yesterday, "story block" quilts were simply invented because that game wasn't on our radar years ago when we were raising our kids.  But lots of quilters are doing fun things with kids quilts these days.  Some put two blocks of each fabric in their quilts so that the child can also play "Memory".  Many quilters are using their quilts for actual games like this one here.

Many of these make great Project Linus quilts, a group I was very active in before I joined the guild.  Now I make Camp Erin quilts and donated them before the pandemic.

I've always liked to play with different kinds of layouts and I'm seeing more quilters do that as well.  One year I had a lot of small Christmas scraps and made a quilt featuring different images on 3 inch block tea cups.  I called it Cups of Cheers and it was paper pieced:

When my granddaughter Helena was young, she loved a song called Who Let the Dogs Out.  Together we created a couple quilts that we called Who's In the Dog House.  Helena loved to pick the fabrics and it was also paper pieced:


I also liked the You've Got Mail quilt pattern from the book, Patchwork Please and made another with different images in the envelope.  This one is at the quilter's now:


This Doll House Panel was perfect for my cousin's granddaughter and gifted right before the pandemic.  I just added assorted blocks around it:

But the best part of these quilts is the reaction from kids!  My favorite story from a child came from my great nephew Nicholas.  Here he is at age 3 with his handsome grandfather (my brother):

Nick loved his story block quilt but he refused to tell his stories to his mother.  I think it was classified information.  One day his Mom decided that she would tell him the story she saw in the quilt.  As she began, he interrupted her,

"You're doing it wrong," he informed her.  Children even at 3 years old, know they have the advantage over adults when it comes to imagination. He told her what he saw that day:

"The children decided to go on adventure.  Except they ran into pirates who chased them through the fields and by the cows.  They tried to get an airplane to pick them up but a dog was there.   They finally got away and went on a nice picnic together...

and got eaten up by bugs!"
Nik's headed to law school this fall and I imagine he would be mortified that I shared this story.  I can't wait to tell him😂

Most of my quilts are just 4 patches at this point.  It's easier and although I haven't bought novelty kids' fabric for years, I still have quite a stash to use up.
Owen's quilt top that I finished last spring.

Beth used to own a daycare center and she suggested working with kids to see correlations.  "Where might you find a bird?"  In a tree block or a cloud block or something more fun that a could would imagine like a car.  She also said it is a great way to teach colors and numbers to kids.

I just like making them.  They are fun and remind me what it is like to think like a child (child-like not childish).

I'd love to see quilts you've made for the kids in your life and encourage you to share some photos for us.

Before I go today, I just want to see that I appreciate all the emails about the bleeding red quilt.  I'll be posting about that next week after I complete some of the things that Beth suggested.

Tomorrow is Flower Friday and please feel free to email me your floral images at allentownquilter@gmail.com

Have a safe and happy day!