Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Sewing Kindness

Roseanne over at the "Home Sewn By Us" blog is one of my favorite bloggers.  Her kindness radiates through her blog and lights up my day.  She recently blogged about making a table runner for a friend who had given most of her stash to Roseanne and Sue.

I have a pretty good stash of fabric and friends have often come to pick out fabric they need for a project:
One of three cabinets.

Scout says: Wait what about this fabric? Yes some here and some vintage fabric there: 

 But if you look closer at the fabric, you'll find that a lot of it is fabric that is fairly old, like these blenders from the 1980s.

To be honest, most of it was donated to me.  For years, friends and their friends would ask me to take fabric from loved ones.  The fabric had belonged to late members of family or quilters who had to give up sewing for one reason or another. 

When this happens anymore, I just encourage folks to donate the fabric to a quilt guild or a sewing group who does donation projects.

But when I was building my stash, I always tried to make something for the person who had sent the fabric my way.  Sometimes I made the person a wall hanging, tablerunner, or quilt.  Just something to remember their mother or aunt who had passed on.

Often people didn't want anything back at all so I would make things to donate.  I'd still send them a thank you note but always enclosed a photo  of the projects I made with the fabric--like Teddy Bears and premie quilts for kids in the hospital:

One of the best stash distribution ideas happened in my guild, The Crazy Quilters.  Years ago, when a member passed, our guild sold the fabric for a special cause.  The late member had two cats she adored and when a family agreed to adopt both of them, special members of our guild (hello Lorraine and Sandy!), sold the fabric for the care and upkeep of her cats.

I'm an old quilter now and most of my family has had their fill of quilts and sewn items.  I choose to use my sewing now partially for the business, but mainly for donation quilts.  Besides making guild donation quilts, I've been making lap quilts. When a friend or acquaintance tells me of a family or friend who is battling cancer, I like to send a quilt over to them.  From what I've heard the chemo rooms are often a cool temperature and the quilts are a wonderful way to forward a hug from a stranger.
Image result for i found a quilted heart
Recently I heard about the "I Found a Quilted Heart" project.  People anonymously leave quilted hearts with messages like "I need a home" and "You are loved" in public places.  It's a really cool idea and you can read more about it here.  It's definately on my list of things to make in the coming year.  What kind of donation projects do you like to make?

Monday, July 29, 2019

About the children...

Suffragists fought to protect children.

“We have in Colorado, the most advanced laws of any state in the Union for the care and protection of the home and the children.  These laws, in my opinion, would not exist at this time without the powerful influence of woman suffrage.”

Quote from Judge Lindsey of the Denver Juvenile Court in 1904.  Colorado granted women the right to vote in 1893!

Our celebration begins on Thursday!  Please join us!!!

Friday, July 26, 2019

We're headed to the Centennial, care to join?

Beth and I are so excited as we kick off our year long celebration of women's suffrage!  

We have heard from quilters that are excited about the challenge but unsure what to create yet.  Don't worry, we are going to give you lots of ideas through the year.  

One young quilter said to me, "I'm just learning, I'm not good enough for a challenge yet."  Of course you are!   In the case of the quilt challenge, you don't need to worry.  We have two categories and two prizes for each category.  One prize from each category will be a random pick so you have as much chance to win as anyone else!

Another woman said to me, "I don't know much about the suffragists except they wanted to vote."  Well, I before I started studying quilts and women's history here is what I could tell you about women's suffrage:

1.  They wanted the Vote.

2.  Mrs. Banks in the original Mary Poppins movie was one :D

We hope that you will join us on August 1 as we kick off our celebration!
Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

I Like Thursday: July 18, 2019

Greetings and Salutations!  Can you believe it is mid-July already?

It's"I Like Thursday" day and time to post positive happenings.  Our hostess with the mostess for this day is LeeAnna over at Not Afraid of Color, visit her here for other happy posts!

My favorite word of the week is estivating.  I told my neighbor Scout and I were hibernating during our heat wave and he said "No, you are estivating" which essentially means the same as hibernating but occurs with animals in the summertime during hot or dry weather.  Do you hide in the a/c during heat waves?  

I've been doing some sewing (none of it done yet) and catching up on business paperwork.  Scout and I took one road trip last Saturday.  My girl is so good in the car:
Once I put the key in the ignition, she sits patiently in the back and enjoys watching the world go by.  We had an especially fun trip to our friends' house when we encountered a flock of geese on our journey.
We were on a particularly busy road with lots of trucks when a group of geese decided to cross the road.  They just began to walk across the busy road as trucks and cars screeched to a halt.  I mean, forget complaints about the entitlement generation, what about the geese of today?  

I started laughing because they just seemed to feel they owned the whole road.  Scout is in the back seat getting excited by the birds, I'm asking them, "What is wrong with your wings?  Isn't the hot macadam burning your feet?"   And meanwhile, they are ignoring all of us.

We hadn't gotten a quarter mile from this encounter when another group of geese started crossing the road.  The poor guy in front of me is swerving to miss them and they aren't even flying away at that--just flapping their wings as if to intimidate the automobile.  My friends laughed like crazy when I told them what happened.  Apparently this a pretty common occurence near this particular industrial park.  

Every year in the garden I seem to have a new variation of rudbeckia in the garden--that I hadn't planted but just seem different.  The new one this year appears to have polka dots around the center of the flower.  Here's a close up:
Here are some of the varieties growing now.  I probably post these kinds of pics every year but they delight me:

I like Otis!  He's my mom's neighbor new puppy and pretty little boy!  Scout doesn't seem to interested in him when they met but she was distracted by another dog there she loves.  Isn't he adorable?

Wishing you a happy week full of joy and peace!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Suffrage Centennial Quilt Challenge

The Young are at the Gates.”
                                                                        --Lavinia Dock, Pennsylvania Suffragist

Open the gates and join us as we celebrate women’s suffrage!

August 18, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote!

Beth Bacher and Michele McLaughlin are celebrating the anniversary of the 19th Amendment with a new program, By the Chimney No More, a year full of giveaways on the Pennsylvania Piecemaker blog, and The Suffrage Centennial Quilt Challenge

Don't worry if you don't know much about suffrage!  We'll be sharing lots of stories and even showing some examples of quilts we've made!

Details about the challenge are here.

For information about the By the Chimney No More quilt program, email us at allentownquilter@gmail.com

Thursday, July 11, 2019

I Like Thursdays: July 11, 2019

Good Morning!  It's time for I like Thursdays hosted by our friend LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color, please visit other positive posts at her blog here!
Scout likes her new turtle toy.  It's been pretty hot and she needed a new indoor toy to play with and this has lots of squeakers.

I like some new recipes we've been trying.  Our favorite right now is "canned salad"; I saw the recipe on the Food Network show The Kitchen and it's been a big hit with us.  My mom liked it but doesn't eat beans so she substituted pasta for the beans and loved the results.  It's a nice base recipe that you can alter as you like.  We used Olive Garden light salad dressing instead of the oil and vinegar and my husband (who loves that dressing) went nuts for this.  It's very refreshing these days!
Here's where you can find the recipe:


We visited Beth and Bob last weekend and she made a wonderful treat for my husband, who is gluten intolerant.  Triple Berry Crumb Bars was a wonderful recipe for him, he misses pies this time of year and it was a fantastic dessert for him.  Recipe here:


Our new climbing roses bloomed this past week and were lovely before the Japanese beetles ate them!

One of my favorite novelty fabrics:
Which brings me to my next question--have you seen a lot of ladybugs in your garden?  I haven't seen any this year which is somewhat bizarre considering past years and how much time I've been working outside.  Perhaps this is why the pests are so bad this year.  Have you seen in a lot--or any--in your garden?  I have seen one preying mantis so that is a good thing.  I'm just wondering how things are in your garden...

Well Scout and I are off to take our morning jaunt before the heat gets worse!  Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Sweet July Sewing

Did you have a nice holiday weekend?  We did!  My hubby was actually home and we had nice visits with good friends!

It's July and the heavy gardening has stopped for now.  I can only work so long in the heat and humidity until it makes me feel ill.  That's okay.  I've put in a lot of hours and now it is time to appreciate some of the fruits of my efforts:

And appreciate some small things like the dewdrops on this lemon balm.

July is traditionally when I used to begin my Chrismas sewing.   It's not unlike blizzard months.  Sometimes when it is really hot and I step outside the silence is amazing.  People are hibernating in their homes appreciating the wonderful invention of air conditioning.

My family has enough quilts and Christmas items for a lifetime.  Now I just sew for guild programs and my stash of donation quilts that I like to keep on hand.  I've already bound two quilts for the By the Chimney No More program and am now working on binding this piece:
Years ago, my friend Janette taught me that is always good to keep some extra lap quilts for gifts when needed.  This will go on that stack.  

The only bad thing is that the attic (where I machine sew)  gets too hot to work on by about 1 p.m.  So sewing has--for the most part-- replaced the morning work of weeding.  I hand sew on the main floor of the house in the evening hours when we watch television.

What are you working on right now?
Have a great day!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Suffrage Centennial Quilt Challenge!

Suffrage Centennial Quilt Challenge!

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote by creating a quilt that illustrates something about women's suffrage!

Michele McLaughlin and Beth Bacher are holding a yearlong celebration of women and women's suffrage from August 2019 to August 2020.  As part of our celebration, we are sponsoring a quilt challenge and we have tried to make participation as easy as possible!

Make your quilt any size!  You can use any technique!  Textiles can be quilted or tied!  Submissions are as easy as a *click* of your camera because you only need to submit a photograph of your work!  You have a year to complete your piece!

Express what inspires you about women's suffrage be it an event, a person, or simply a sense of gratitude for the sacrifices and work that women (and some men) made to insure that every woman was granted full citizenship.

There are two categories (each categories will have two winners chosen) but only one entry per person.

Category 1:  
Stories we share with you:  Make a quilt that relates to the stories we share during our trunk show, By the Chimney No More or a story published on the Pennsylvania Piecemaker blog.  We will be sharing suffrage stories on the blog from August 2019 to August 2020 and ask you follow the blog (there's a gadget for that on the blog).

Category 2: Other:  Share a different story!  We can't relay every story about women's suffrage.  This second category is for people who choose to illustrate a personal tie to suffrage or a different topic we haven't covered.  If you live outside of the United States, feel free to create a piece that relays women's suffrage from your region!  This is also the category you can use to simply express gratitude to the suffragists.  We still ask that you follow the Pennsylvania Piecemaker blog.

A clear photograph of your quilt must be emailed to us by July 4, 2020.  We do ask that you accompany our photo with a BRIEF description of what inspired you.  By submitting an entry your are giving us permission to share your image on the blog.  Unless you give us permission to include your full name, we will only post your first name, last name initial, and where you are located.

Please no foul language or risque images.

4 prizes of $50 visa (or m/c) gift cards will be given (2 for each category).  

Throughout the year, we will also be hosting a variety of giveaways starting on August 1!  

Winners of the challenge will be announced on August 18, 2020!

To book By the Chimney No More,  please visit our website:
www.michelejmclaughlin.com or email us at 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!
Image result for vintage fourth of july images
It's time for "I Like Thursdays" happy blog posts we share with our hostess, LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.  Join her to see more postive posts!

I like watching games my dog plays with her old friend Greta.  Greta is almost 14 and doesn't run around much but she knows how to crank Scout up and make her run around the yard.  It's so much fun to watch!

I like some of the new HGTV shows--particularly Big Texas Fix set in Galveston, Texas; Hidden Potential and the return of Good Bones.  It's nice to see some different designers!

My neighbor Denise jokes that my hydrangea flowers are as big as her head.  Yesterday I gave her one and she proved to be right!  That's one blossom and a pretty neighbor!

I have an announcement that I'm excited to share.  Beth and I are celebrating 2020 and the Centennial of the 19th Amendment and women's right to vote in a variety of ways.  We have a new trunk show called By the Chimney No More: Women And Quilting from 1865 to 1920 for quilt gulds and groups.  Special blog posts will begin in August and celebrate the suffragists until the actual centennial on August 18, 2020.  
Image result for votes for women i want to speak for myself postcard
Lastly, we are going to sponsor a quilt challenge!  We've made the guidelines as liberal as possible and we are giving quilters a year before the deadline of July 4, 2020 when photographs must be submitted .  There will be four prizes of $50 gift cards (we are going with visa or m/c gift cards because of the variety of locations we might get submission).  Plus we are going to have a number of giveaways through the year (the first is on August 1).  

If you are not from the U.S. you are welcome to use your quilt to celebrate suffragists from your country!

Challenge guidelines will be posted tomorrow!

Have a safe and happy holiday!