Friday, November 25, 2022

Day after Thanksgiving


I hope you had a wonderful holiday!
Are you doing anything fun today?

Hubby and I are staying home except for a brief grocery store run because traditionally, Black Friday is busy in retail establishments but not food stores.  Anyway, that is our big day!  

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving: 2022


Block from calendar quilt, circa 1920

Well, it's the day before Thanksgiving.  I can't believe how fast it came this year.

1950s embroidery

I have so much gratitude--for many things--including my friends like you who visit my blog!  

Are turkeys synonymous with gratitude, family get-togethers, or just good eats?  Whatever your choice, I thought I would feature some turkey themed quilts.

One of the most popular quilt patterns that are turkey related are Turkey Tracks, sometimes referred to as Turkey Foot:

Antique Turkey Tracks quilt pattern (from the Bernina website).  Although this is the most popular version, I also found another variation, widely syndicated in the 1930s:

Turkey Giblets was another I found.  I wondered at the time if some nice woman was cooking and thought her giblets looked like a quilt pattern:

Sometimes the pattern is also called "Hearts and Gizzards" of all things:

One of the funniest sunbonnet blocks was one on a local woman's quilt that showed a sunbonnet pursuing a turkey.  I can't find the photo now.  Years later, I found a similar block but the sunbonnet was chasing a chicken.  I guess it will work today:

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Tuesday's This and That: November 22, 2022

Happy Tuesday!

Last Tuesday I posted a story about a woman who made a quilt from her son's clothing.  Susan asked:  What is a wash suit?  Well I had assumed it was washable but I tried to investigate it a bit further as well.  

As far as I can tell, Boys'--and even Men's--"Wash suits" didn't appear until the end of the 19th century.  I think 1889 was the first ad I found.  

By this time, the industrial revolution had hit children's clothing and through the 1890s, more boys' clothes appeared in ads well into the 20th century:

1900 ad

I suspect--but am not certain--the the "wash suit" was a marketing ploy to warm the hearts of mothers.  Some women still opted to make their children's clothing.  The introduction of the electric sewing machine in 1889 (by Singer) would have made the process easier (if you home had electricity).  

Thus indicating that ready made boys' clothing was washable might have been an important marketing ploy. 

It may have been similar to the marketing that appeared in the 1950s and 1960s of "wash and wear" clothing.  This line of clothing was made of synthetic/polyester fabrics.

1958 explanation of wash and wear clothing.

One of the challenges in researching this question (besides the fact that I'm not a fashion historian) is that there appears to be less information published on the topic.  Most articles focus on the style of clothing and not the fabric or durability.

Anyway, it was fun to investigate!  Thanks for the question Susan!

Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, November 21, 2022

Modern Semi-Circles

 I don't keep up with the modern trends anymore.  There's just so much going on and I like the kinds of quilts I've made for years.  I figure it's my right as a senior to just have fun sewing what I want.

When Beth's oldest daughter was pregnant,  she requested Beth make a modern style wall hanging.  This is the piece Beth ended up making: 

These modern styles are apparently the rage with the younger generations. 
There are many semi-circle modern quilts now and pinterest is full of them.  If these pieces seem reminiscent to you of modern art from the 1950s and 1960s, you're not alone.  Many artists refer to their pieces in this style as modern but the word "retro" might be more fitting. Here are some examples I found on pinterest.

All this leads to my reason for posting today.  

When I was preparing yesterday's post on Nancy Cabot's I stumbled upon a quilt pattern called Chinese Gongs:

Nancy suggested this is apricot and white.  
The applique pattern was published in 1937.  Cabot stated that the pattern was a few years old and that "It was not produced to harmonize with modern interiors, because they were unknown."

I've never seen a quilt with this pattern.  If someone had shown me this pattern without the date, I would have guessed it was from the late 1950s to early 1970s.  Still it's an interesting example of how trends that are old are now new.

Do you like this pattern?

Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, November 18, 2022

Flower Friday: November 18, 2022

 Happy Flower Friday!

Thank you to everyone who gave advice regarding the "Out of the Blue" quilt I want to make!  Yes I will include the navy squares in the quilt!  Thank you!

Well it's the last celebration of flowers for the season--unless you live in a warm climate and can still share photos with us. 

As a city gardener, I'm a bit lucky.  I've got a few microclimate areas that have remained warm enough for the plants to survive.

Impatiens in the breezeway:

Begonias--also in the breezeway:

And one lone coneflower has bloomed this week:

None of these flowers will survive this weekend when the high is only going to be 30 something Farenheit and the lows will be down in the teens.  It will be cold this weekend, but I'll cuddle up with my puppy and my sewing machine!

For now, we will switch to Friendship Fridays.  I think most of us would enjoy seeing more of your world so consider some things you can share:

* Your sewing space

*Vintage or antique treasures

* Animal companions

* Projects!

* Humorous memes!

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Pre-Surgical Prep


This fall seems to be full of sickness and health for me and my family.  I'm fine now but next Monday I'm having hand surgery...again.  This time it is for stenosing tenosynovitis--commonly known as trigger finger.  I never seem to do anything half-way and actually have trigger finger in 8 of my digits.  The good news is that I don't have any arthritis in those fingers which my doctor thinks is amazing (whoo-hoo and keep on quilting).  

I've had all the cortisone shots I'm allowed and the doctor had always told me that I would likely need surgery.  Doc T. told me from the start I wouldn't be able to garden but I could sew during recovery.  The hand he's working on next week is my less dominant one (left).  

How does one prepare for this kind of surgery?

Well if you are a quilter, you think about how you use your hands--even the less dominant one.  I'm confident I will be able to guide pieces of fabric through the machine afterwards  with one hand.  But the cutting of the fabric might be problematic.  Rotary cutting does make things easier but I use my left hand to keep the ruler stationary.  So a few weeks ago, I began "pre-surgical prep!"

I have 2.5 inch strips and 6.5 inch blocks all prepared to create more square in a square blocks for kids' quilts.  

Leftover smaller scraps were cut and filled the ol' flour canister!

These delicious little 2.5 inch squares are ready to be assembled into some kind of blocks (not really sure if it will be 12 or 16 patches yet).

When that was finished, I hit the Christmas fabrics (again).  First up all this snow inspired blue fabric.

These are leftover pieces from quilts of Christmas past and I wondered what to do with them.  I wanted something less cluttered  looking--not just for the ease of creating but because I gravitate towards visual simplicity right now (more to do with my crazy life than anything).  I found exactly what I wanted on the Riley Blake website.  
The pattern is called "Out of the Blue" and the post is credited to Julia Frazier.  I suspect she designed the quilt maybe?  Here's the tutorial.

What would be nice about this is it's winter themed quilt instead of a Christmas one.  I'd like to have Terri machine quilt snowflakes on it in a light blue.  I have enough fabric to make three larger lap quilts.

The darker fabric really sticks out and I wondered if I should mix all the blocks up and let the dark just add some interest or do one in just the dark navy fabric?  Your thoughts would be appreciated!

Of course, my husband thinks I'm crazy with all this cutting and organization.  But yesterday I talked to my friend and doctor, Chris.  He had the surgery the last week of September and told me, "you are doing the right thing with this prep.  The recovery is longer than one would expect."  He's still recovering.  So I'm happily going to keep on cutting fabric and planning quilts.

Tomorrow is likely our last Flower Friday of the season (we'll switch to Friendship Friday after Thanksgiving) so if you have anything to share please email me at!

Have a safe and happy day!