Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year Quilt

 Wishing you and yours a safe and happy new year!  Flower Friday will resume next week so let me know if you have an image you wish to share!  Here's a blast from the past that's perfect for today.  Published in January of 1939 and syndicated throughout the country:

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Sewing in 2021

Like many of you, I have been spending the pandemic sewing up a storm.  I thought I would have made a sizeable dent in my stash by now but it seems like I still have tons of fabric.  Maybe you do too!  I thought I would list some quilting ideas for the coming year.  I'm really only listing the sites where no purchase is required (I think and hope).  I know most of us are on a budget.

In case you are wondering, I did put a year in review of my finished quilts over at my 3 Poodles and a Nana blog here.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge:  The post is up for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2021 at the blog, So Scrappy.  You can read the first color for 2021 here and some of the rules.  What I like about this challenge is that it is very flexible.  I've been studying what quilters have made in years past (on Instagram mostly).  Some folks use the month to make table runners, or blocks with a quilt in mind, or whatever they want.

2021 UFO Challenge:  Sponsored by All People Quilt, this challenge encourages quilters to finish UFOs and even has charts and ideas to keep us on track.  Read more here.

Stay-at-Home Round Robin:  Normally a quilting round robin involves mailing this or that to a variety of people.  This is a round robin made for the pandemic with no mailing at all.  I know only a few things about this one:  It begins in January 2021, will involve 7 bloggers (including Home Sewn By Us) and I think there will be 7 "rounds."  I will share more on this when I find out more...

Pat Sloan always has some wonderful projects on her website.  I love her site for free patterns and sew-alongs!  Her website is here.

Jacqueline Stevens does a lot of free block of the months and you can register to be put on her list here.  I think "My Hometown" begins in February and she emails you the pattern.  You can read more at her site.

Elm Street Quilts:  This website has a "One Monthly Goal" challenge and even has industry sponsors.  Each month a random participant wins something.  Check it out here.

Free patterns are always a way to get inspired.  You can literally google "Free quilt patterns" and get lost for days dreaming of projeects.  Here are some sites you may want to start with:

From fabric companies like Windham, Moda, Kaufman, Michael Miller, P & B, Hoffman, etc.

Other industry leaders or websites with free patterns include Eleanor BurnsBonnie Hunter, Connecting Threads, McCall's
Quilters Cache, Fat Quarter Shop, etc.  

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Preparing for Sewing in the New Year!


We woke up early and when the sun finally came up, we noticed we got a coating of snow but our neighbors across the street did not.  It's winter and time to think about how we want to sew during the cold months.

What do you do to mark the end of the sewing year?  Some of my friends write a blog post of all the finishes they made in the past year.  I like these kinds of posts because they are very inspiring!   Check out our friend Diann's post here of her hand sewn finishes! Wow!

Other quilters make up lists of the unfinished projects or goals they would like to accomplish in the coming year.  I've done this and found it to be very helpful.

But what is most helpful to me?  CLEANING THE SEWING ROOM!

I have a few things to finish sewing this week and hope to finish them by tomorrow so I can give the sewing room a good going over.  It is so nice to start the year fresh with a clean sewing room.

Another suggestion you might find useful is to check your supplies and tools.  I just ordered a cutting mat and in the middle of my project last week, my rotary cutter broke.  I know I need batting.  I also need to check how many rotary blades I have and how much aurifil thread I have (it's the only thread I use in my machine).  

Tomorrow I'll post some useful links in case you need ideas for the new year.  It's always good to know what is going on in the blogosphere and who doesn't need some inspiration these days?

How do you mark a new sewing year?  Do you have specific projects you want to complete?

Stay in, safe safe, and sew!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Men Who Quilt #4

 Did you have a nice holiday?  It sounds like most of you stayed home and safe like we did.  I'm back from week vacation and thought I would share this article.  

When we think of changing gender roles, we normally think of women.  This particular gentleman faced a similar situation in the 1940s when quilting was still part of the women's realm.

I couldn't find any information on whether or not he received a medal for his work.

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Holiday Week

I don't have much planned for the blog this week.  My gift to myself is taking it easy this week. 

 Last weekend our friend Barb posted an email to our study group to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday.  Most of the members of the group have "hit reply" to check in and share Christmas greetings and wave at our group.  It was so wonderful to hear from everyone!

Alice sent this nice photograph of an embroidered Christmas tree she made years ago, it's delightful!

Like most of you, my husband and I won't be spending Christmas with our children or grandkids.  The only person I spend time with besides Brad is my mother.  I check on her every day.  Fortunately, we've all been isolating so long that we can spend Christmas with her at her house.  Among our happy moments these days are the interaction of my mother's new puppy with our dog Scout:

I've been listening to James Taylor's Christmas album while I sew Christmas lap quilts for the next year.  In particular, I am moved by his version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.  He recorded this version years ago but it is absolutely appropriate for 2020.

I've heard this version decades ago.   I can't remember who  recorded it with the same lyrics (someone popular but relatively unknown now like Kay Starr) but I remembered the different lyrics than we normally hear.

Instead of singing-- 
"From now on, our troubles will be out of sight," 

Taylor sings:
"In a year our troubles will be out of sight..."

As we all await for our vaccines and pray for normalcy, I'm keeping this song in the back of my mind.  I pray that you and your families remain safe and that you have a peaceful and healthy holiday.  

"In a year, we all will be together
If the Fates allow
Until then, we'll just have to muddle through somehow
And have ourselves a merry little Christmas now."

Friday, December 18, 2020

Flower Friday: December 18, 2020

 It's Flower Friday and time to brighten our day with floral images or photographs!

Sue sent this wonderful pansy cross stitch.  She says she finally finished it after 25 years!  The one positive thing in this pandemic is that we are completing our UFOs!  Pansies are such a nice spring flower and this reminds us that spring is only 92 days away!  It's a good reminder for those of us who got about a foot of snow this week!

It may be too frosty for flowers as Nann says but she got a sweet photo of this lovely leaf which she called rain-spangled  (love that phrase):

Here's a lovely Moravian Quilt from my collection.  I like the wreath shape of this which seems seasonal to me!

Have a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Colors of the Season

 I'm naturally curious (in case you didn't realize that) and I've been wondering how we arrived at the colors of the season.

Red and green are associated with Christmas.  Here is a great article on how the colors became emblematic of the season!  We think of Hanukkah in terms of blue and white colors and Time printed this article on the symbolism and history of the use of blue and white for this holiday here.

Ruth Finley was a writer of a book called Old Patchwork Quilts which took 14 years to write and was published in 1929.  For the next few years, Finley wrote syndicated articles on quilting including this one below.  

Somewhere I have a 19th century Pine Tree quilt (it might be up at Beth's house) and I can't find a photograph of it now.  Like most quilt patterns, this type of quilt had various names and was even called "Temperance Tree" during the late 19th and early 20th century.

I had told you I have made a lot of Christmas quilts and here are a few:
Snowball scrap quilt for a friend's grandchild.
This quilt and the one below can be used as I-spy quilts:
Cup of cheer quilt

Jewel Christmas Quilt:  I can't remember the name of this pattern, it was in a book published--well before Missouri Star Company tutorials and I think before the disappearing 9 patch was popular.

Every Mother's Child is going to Smile:  I liked the reindeers I saw on a dollar store gift box and adopted the images for a quilt.

Here are some 19th century quilts that I like to pull out this time of year:
Technically, this quilt was repaired in the 20th century (this block for example) but I love the quilting and the feel of this piece:
One of the Kemerer quilts in my collection:

This is from the last quarter of the 20th century and I think she used a lot of coloring book pages for many designs.  Sorry about the terrible quality of this photo.

My favorite vintage quilt that I pull out this time of year and use through the winter.  The stars are made with a huge variety of fabrics (we refer to that as a deep scrap bag) and it is soft and happy and I love it.  It's on my couch (or on me) throughout the season.

If you are in our neck of the woods, we are enjoying a fresh snowfall (10-12 inches!!!).  Tomorrow is Flower Friday and if you want to share any photos, please email me at

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Color of the Year: 2021

 I googled "clip art paint chip image" and this came up 😂

No, I was thinking more along this line:

Every year Pantone publishes a color of the year.  Ever wonder what a Pantone is?  You can read about the company here.  Classic Blue (or Navy) was the color of 2020.  I forgot about that until they published the 2021 colors.  I did do a lot of navy quilts  this year (but not because it was the color of the year--I was just using up yardage in my stash) This was my favorite quilt that I made for Linda:

Kona's color of the year was "enchanted" a green that was also popular.  I don't think I did anything this color:

So what is the color for 2021?  Well Pantone said it is 2 colors grey and acid yellow:

It's nice to know that quilters are trendsetters ahead of graphic design.  Those colors are sooooo 2014-2017:

Personally, I have had enough of the color grey.  It seems like HGTV shows are always featuring that color in their home designs and it is well ho-hum at this point.  So it is refreshing to see Kona's choice.

Kona's color for 2021 is "Horizon" blue.
That color will wake you up!

Years ago, Gail Kessler visited our guild.  She was a designer for Andover fabrics and lives not far from our area.  She has a fabric store still in our region and our friend Betsy has worked there.  Gail talked about how colors are chosen by manufacturers.  Colors impact our moods.  Depression era clear colors enhanced the mood of the era. 

But there's another historical aspect of the happy colors we associate with 1930s fabric.  German dye patents became part of the Versaille Treaty and we can thank the Germans also for Bayer Aspirin--the pharmaceutical company had a plant in New York that was seized during the war.  

But as for dyes, the Germans had really worked out color fast clearer colors.  There is a fascinating article here called "Spies and Dyes" that you might enjoy.  I also enjoyed this article on the use of black and white fabric and fashion during World War 1.

I hope you will stay home and stay safe today--especially if you are in our region and expecting a foot or more of snow.

Have a wonderful and safe day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Men Who Quilt: #3


So what makes these quilts go together so well?

Men who quilt of course!

Okay this is in one of the fun pieces I found.  It was published in 1858 and I just love this story:

Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Bracing for the storm


Well here in the Northeast, we are bracing for a Nor'easter--typically the worst kind of storm we can experience.  Snow is expected on Wednesday.  A couple of days ago, the weather channel reported we could get 3-5 inches.  Yesterday it was estimated 12 inches of the dreaded white stuff.  Now they are predicting 12-18 inches. 

My husband and I are already staying home because of the surge and his recovery.  Last week I got enough groceries to last us about 3 weeks.  

So snow.  I like sewing in my attic when it's snow, it's so much fun to watch!  Pictured above is a close up of one of the flakes from my vintage snowflake quilt.  I featured it a few years ago on the blog  here.

Have you decorated for the holiday?  I decided to skip decorating this year because it's just us and to be honest, I'm exhausted from caring for hubby for 4 months.  I thought I would share some fun Holiday 2020 memes that I've found like this one:

In 2020 we lost our "J"

Sorry this post is not so quilt related today.  
Hope you are all well and staying safe!

Friday, December 11, 2020

Flower Friday: December 11, 2020

 It's Flower Friday and time to brighten our day with floral images be they real flowers, textiles, or anything else that catches our fancy!

Not exactly flowers this morning but these cabbages are so pretty I had to share them with you!

Betsy made her own wreath this year and I asked her if I could share this with you!  So pretty!

A basket of flowers makes a nice gift.  This was a crocheted towel I picked up years ago.

This quilt top seems always seemed seasonal to me--almost like snowflakes and flowers

If you need some floral inspiration, Lorrained suggested you check out some of this video of Longwood Gardens.  It's a favorite holiday place my husband I love to visit this time of year.

Longwood Gardens has a long history but the gardens really came from a member of the duPont family.  A fly through video is offered here.  
And friends, here's a reminder--only 99 days until the first day of spring!

Have a great day and stay safe!