Wednesday, December 8, 2021


 Just a note to say that my mother is home after a close call last week.  She's on blood thinners and moving around a little bit better.  She requires a lot of care and a ton of doctor appointments which is why I haven't been posting much.  My brother is also ill (it's not covid or flu).  I'm grateful my husband is home and helping out.

I'll be posting more regularly next week.  I just have too much on my plate.

Stay well and safe!

Friday, December 3, 2021

Flower Friday: December 3, 2021

 Happy Flower/Friendship Friday!

Today I have two flower photos to share.

For whatever reason, this snapdragon has kept on blooming--through the frost, and the light snow we got and even the below freezing temps. 

It must be a good microclimate.  We hadn't gotten around to putting these pots away (because the snapdragon was still blooming) and now the pansy looks like it's coming back.

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Missing Squares Puzzle

 Hi!  So as many of you know, my mother had a hip transplant 6 weeks ago but unfortunately developed many complications.  She's back in the hospital with blood clots in her lungs and legs now.  I'm going to post this puzzle today because I also have her dog at our house and it's a bit chaotic today.  If you have anything for Friendship Friday, please email me at

From 1933, The Missing Squares puzzle:

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Story Time Stitches: Everything Old is New Again

 For decades, my love for vintage and antique children's books and quilt patterns has never waned.  I was delighted a number of years ago when a younger generation of quilters and embroiders became entranced with the images too.  A number of websites like Flickr celebrated vintage embroidery transfers and images from children's books.  Blogs featured the designs too--most notably Martha Gray's Q is For Quilter which you can still explore although Martha has retired from blogging--and is still popular.

The trend was noticed by fabric manufacturers.  1930s reproduction fabrics had already became fashionable. A number of designers (most notably Amy Barickman and Michael Miller) shared their passion for illustrations found in antique and vintage children's books.  

The Sew-It Book  Things to Make With Needle and Thread and Odds and Ends:

This book was published in 1929 and was the second in a series; the first being The Make-It Book Things to Do with Scissors and Paste and Odds and Ends  published in 1928.

The books  were written and illustrated by Rachel Taft Dixon and Marjorie Hartwell.  The two illustrators partnered frequently through out their careers in children's literature.  

It appears that the Sew-It book was predominately written by Rachel Taft Dixon (1889-1960) with some illustration assistance by Marjorie Hartwell.  

The Sew-It Book clearly charmed Amy Barickman who republished the book in the 20-teens (maybe 2014?) and created a panel and coordinating fabric from the illustrations.  Here is a wall hanging top I made from the fabric:

Rachel Taft Dixon was a graduate of Pratt Institute.  She earned her certificate in Costume and Commercial Illustration in 1914 which may explains why she wrote the sewing book.  I know less of Marjorie Hartwell but both women had a lengthy career in illustration.


This book you may remember from the 1950s:

Although this was a popular book (it was reprinted numerous years in a row).  No illustrator is listed.  Michael Miller printed a panel of these charming children.  Another wall hanging top I made:

Book with panel close-ups:


A last example is this book, published in 1945 and illustrated by E.B. Segner:

Ellen Barbara Segner (1901-2001) was a New York illustrator probably best known now for her illustration of the Sunbeam girl:

Segner also was known for her illustrations of athletic and glamourous women.  A good selection of those illustrations can be found here.  Less represented are some of her illustrations for children's books:

Another Michael Miller fabric designed from Farm Friends:

Close-up book and panel:

The reason I made quilt tops was because they were easier to pack when I did Story Time Stitches lectures.

Next week is our last week of Story Time Stitches. 

Wishing you a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Tuesday's This and That: November 30, 2021

 Happy Tuesday!

We made both soups from the recipes that my Mom gave me.  I just want to add something now that we made the Beef Lentil Soup.  It was a very thick soup and we added Bone in Beef Broth which isn't in the recipe but you might like to do.  My husband said the regular recipe consistency was too much like stew.  He did love the soup though and had two bowls yesterday!


  I had to stop collecting sunbonnets years ago but the one piece of advertising I would love to have is this advertising that combines trains and sunbonnets.  I'm not sure you'll be able to see the details in this poster.  Here are some close-ups:

The hats have the destinations offered listed on them:

I think the blue background is faded.  Most likely this was the original background:
I know better than to even try to find this piece.  Train collectors are active collectors and would be too much competition if this piece came up for sale.  Still, it is a charming and neat piece of advertising!


Nann shared on her blog a recent trip to the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts.  She has a great post on her blog here.  Go check it out for some exciting quilts!


In 2019, The Quad-City Times featured a snowman quilt that a woman named Alma Gaul made.  I wish I could show you a picture because it is made of yo-yos with sequins in the center of the yo-yo.  It's quite impressive and you can see a photo of it by googling "Alma Gaul Snowman quilt" and hit images.  It's a very clever technique!!!


Have you ever made a yo-yo quilt?  I've made some yo-yos to embellish quilts but never a full yo-yo quilt.  I was struck by a letter to the editor that a little girl wrote to the York Daily Record (York, PA) in 1933.  Merium Drais wrote to the Boys and Girls Newspaper section of her paper about her life and her home on a farm with 32 chickens.  "I am busy making a yo-yo quilt.  I'm at it for a month already.  It takes 700 rows to finish it."  She ends the letter with this poem:

"I wish you money,
I wish you cash,
I wish you a man,
With a black moustache."


Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Romper Babies #2

Happy Hanukkah!

Wishing you a joyous 8 day festival and a lifetime of light!

Today I'm posting three more romper babies.  Donna suggested putting a watermark on my the images so if someone pinterests the designs, another person can find their way back to the blog and all the romper babies.  Took me a while to figure out how to watermark, but I've got it now.  Thanks Donna!

I've learned more about Hubert Ver Mehren because the Uncoverings book I ordered arrived last week.  Susan Price Miller wrote a very interesting article on the Home Art Studios.  First off, she spells the family name Ver Mehren which I'll respect and assume is the correct spelling versus the VerMehren I found in the newspaper.

Another insight was that the family did not publish all the patterns offered in Needle Art Novelties.  The author does not think that the name Nancy Lee was an alias of the Ver Mehrens but a name used by a Needleart Company.

So who drew our Romper Babies?  We may never know and I'm going to just refer to the patterns as simply "The Romper Babies". It's easier for us all to remember as well.  

This week's Romper Babies:

Child's Romper #2022:  Love the bunnies!

Close-up of pocket.
Flip side:

Child's Play Apron No. 2135:

Close-up of the sunbonnet:

Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, November 26, 2021

Friendship Friday: November 26, 2021

 Happy Friendship Friday!

Today's feature:

Last weekend I made a double batch of my mother's recipe for Chicken Tortellini soup.  I'm sharing that recipe today and one for her Lentil Soup because you can substitute Turkey for either recipe.  

I made the Tortellini Soup for mom, a neighbor home from the hospital, and another who also had a hip replacement.  

Mom's Tortellini Soup doesn't call for salt.  I recommend you add some to enhance the flavor.  All the ladies I cooked for last week were supposed to be on low-salt diets so this recipe was perfect for them.

Ma's Chicken Tortellini Soup:

We lost a dear friend this week to cancer. His wife and I have been friends for decades and it is all so unfair.   We are taking some Beef Lentil Soup to my friend's house tomorrow.  

Beef or Turkey Lentil Soup

Have a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm so grateful for all of my blogging friends and wish you a safe and happy holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Bow Tie

I'm taking a one week break from Story Time Stitches.  There is too much going on and my husband and I are still recovering from our Moderna booster shots. 

Instead, here is a nice quilt that you can enjoy.  It's an early 20th century quilt in a Bow Tie pattern.  I like that it is predominately plaids and the solids are chambray.  It's indicative of  the time period when calico prints weren't as popular because they didn't wear as well.

The backing is chambray too:

 Wishing you a safe and pleasant holiday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Tuesday's This and That: November 22, 2021


Alice shared this photo of an embroidered turkey that her grandmother made for a blue and white quilt.  I love all the detail!  Thank you Alice!

In my search for "Thanksgiving Quilts" I also found a presentation quilt entitled The Marian Year Thanksgiving Quilt.  In 1954, the quilt was made and presented to Father Eugene  Biggins by ladies of the Sodality Society at a church called Our Lady Of Good Counsel (in Salisbury MD).   In each block "there was hidden a favorite prayer of a woman of the parish and a donation".  This is one of the many quilts that I wish I could see.  How do you hide a prayer in a quilt block?


I have a whole folder of children's puzzles that I collected from a local paper. Published in the 1940s and 1950s, they just tickle me and make me laugh.  The reason I collected these puzzles was because often the headline for the puzzle was "Help Grandma plan her quilt."  Maybe you will have children visiting over the holiday and here is a fun activity for them.  You'll have to repair the puzzle a little, some newspaper copies are just too faint for me to correct:

Here's one that I tried to repair and make the lines darker:

The instructions:

"Using only 3 colors of crayons, color each area of this design for an old fashioned quilt so that the same color does not adjoin in any segments.  You must study diagram carefully to achieve this effect successfully."

By the way, Emma C. McKean was the illustrator who made most of the puzzles I have in my collection.  She's also credited as the first woman to have her original material accepted by comic books.  You can read about her here.  She also illustrated many children's books, games, coloring books, etc.

The solution for the puzzle is here and it's faint.  Good luck with that 😀


Another thing I read over the weekend was this blurb syndicated throughout the U.S. in 1933:

"Victoria's Wedding Dress"

"Pieces from Queen Victoria's wedding dress were shown in an old patchwork quilt exhibited at a fair at Melbourne, Australia.  The wedding took place in 1940."

I couldn't find more about the quilt.  There is an interesting quilt top in the Royal Ontario Museum.  It's a mosaic quilt that Madame Mallais (dressmaker to the queen) made of the queen's dress silks.  It's a stunner and you can check it out here.


Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving Quilts

 This week folks in the U.S. will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  

On a whim, I decided to look up "Thanksgiving Quilts" in old newspapers.  There were a surprising amount of Thanksgiving Quilts mentioned in the 1920s.  

In some cases, it appears that the quilts were made as fund raisers.  In 1924, The Kentucky Advocate had an article that talked about the First Baptist Church.  Apparently exterior repairs were more costly than expected and members were encouraged to help out:

"...the congregation will piece out a 'Thanksgiving Quilt' with the number of dollar bills, one for each member.  The unique service will be held Sunday morning, and every member is earnestly urged to be present. "  It sounds as if there was no actual fabric piecing involved but a quilt made of dollar bills which was called the "Thousand Dollar Quilt".

Other articles clearly referred to an actual quilts for donations.  The Bangor Daily News in Maine, published an article about the Ladies Aid Society.  The ladies were asked to bring a picnic lunch and assist in tacking "Thanksgiving Quilts".  The Ladies Aid Society often made quilts for the less fortunate.
Kansas City Star, 1938

George Washington suggested a Thanksgiving Holiday as early as 1789.  Lincoln also called for an official holiday celebrated on the last Thursday in November.  The official holiday didn't occur until 1941.

Horn of Plenty quilts were much more common than a quilt entitled "Thanksgiving" .  A great article on them is here.

A Horn of Plenty from my collection.  
The pattern/kit was offered by Paragon in the 1950s.

Today my husband and I are going for our covid boosters--and for this we are truly grateful.  Only a year ago, we had to keep our children from the elderly in our families because we were worried about them catching Covid.  

Wishing you a safe and happy day!

Friday, November 19, 2021

Friendship Friday: November 19, 2021


Happy Friendship Friday!!!

Sue P. sent this photo of this adorable vintage pinafore:

Close-up of the bunny:

Some sad news:  Joanna Rose passed away earlier this month; she was 90 years old.    She was the collector who gifted to NYC and quilters a free exhibit called Infinite Variety:  Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts.  It was a a once in a lifetime experience!  I was very fortunate to go with some friends.  Here are some photos I took at the time.

It truly was the greatest celebration of quilts I have ever witnessed:

Have a safe and happy weekend!