Friday, October 15, 2021

Flower Friday: October 15, 2021

 Happy Flower Friday!

Friends shared an abundance of flowers for today's bouquet!

This week our theme seems to be the grand finale.  

I'm referring to this gardening quote:

Alice wrote that her clematis is confused!  

Her clematis normally blooms only in the spring:

Robin (I think it is Robin who sent this) was delighted when she found one small violet blooming in the center of this bunch:

Robin is in a part of the country that has water restrictions due to drought.  Her garden is a true testimony to her gardening efforts.  Look at these dahlias above and below!

Robin's marigolds:

Linda sent a photo of her hillside bouquet. 
Love the colors!  The blue flowers are asters:

Sue P. sent a photo of her Toad Lilies that the deer graciously left her:

Lorraine had these beauties to share!
Dinner Plate Dahlia!  Wowza!

Cup and Saucer Vine from her daughter's house


Late blooming mums.

Thank you all for your participation!
Have a safe and happy weekend and enjoy the lovely autumn!

Thursday, October 14, 2021


Today's post is more of a P.S.A.

Most of us are feeling the effects of aging.  This past summer, I noticed that I couldn't do as much as I normally accomplish.  It wasn't until 2 months ago when both of my hands were so painful, that I made an appointment with the hand doctor.  My neighbor complained that her hands were feeling awful too.  We concluded that something in the weather must be bothering the inevitable arthritis that comes with age.

Beth and I have had frequent conversations about preserving our hands.  For most of us, the things we love to do--sewing, gardening, and other hobbies require dexterity.

A 1920s redwork coverlet (maker unknown) features the maker's hand, initials, and wedding ring.

Last week I visited the doctor.  Dr. T is a great doctor and only does hands.  He performed my carpel tunnel surgery years ago.  Many of my quilt guild members go to him as well.  I finally got to visit him last week--yes, he is so popular that I had to wait over 2 months to see him.  By now, I felt better but I kept the appointment because I figured he could tell me how to cope with the arthritis.

Dr. T. begins each session by feeling your hands.  "I know it is probably arthritis," I told him.  "Some of the women in my family had terrible arthritis in their hands.  I was just hoping that I had inherited my Great-Grandmother Ester's hands.  She crocheted well into her 90s.  One day she said, 'don't bring me anymore yarn.' She passed two weeks later."

"Nope, not arthritis," said Dr. T.,  "I think you have tendonitis and it's in both hands."

From the same redwork coverlet, a motif that celebrated the birth of her baby with an outline of the baby's hand and birthdate.

X-rays confirmed the diagnosis and he injected steroids in each hand.  I cannot tell you what a relief it is to know that my hands are treatable.    

A few things surprised me.  With the exception of the one incident over the summer, I thought my hands were doing okay.  The progression of the problem was very gradual.  I have to assume that I am either obtuse (quite possible), too busy to stop and think about how I maneuvered my fingers, and/or just became accustomed to my lack of mobility.  I hadn't realized how swollen the top of my palms were or that I couldn't do certain things like meet fingers together, or make a tight fist.

So I'm sharing this with you today because maybe you too think that your hands are arthritic and that you too are being limited by the impact of aging.  If there is a hand specialist in your area, call them.  Even if the steroids don't work, there is a surgical procedure that can be done.

Since the appointment, I can't tell you how much I've thought about all the things I found difficult and now are explainable.  I tried machine quilting on my featherweight and found it difficult--it wasn't the machine, it was my hands. 
My embroidery had been frustrating because my hands seemed so clumsy and my stitches awkward.   Even weeding the garden was challenging.  I just accepted that I was older and that my hands tired more easily.

How did women preserve their hands before modern inventions like the sewing machine?  I don't know but somewhere along the line, I scanned this article.  It was originally published in 1890 and exemplifies the amount of work a woman's endured in just sewing:

So it will be a few weeks until I can tackle the garden again and do handwork.  Fortunately, Diann over at Little Penguin Quilts posted this tutorial for machine binding this week.  Both Beth and I have tried machine binding and didn't like the results.  This tutorial is different as you complete the binding in the front and not the back.  It's far from a perfect binding but at least I can work on my guild community project of placemats.  I'm sharing this in case you are experiencing similar problems. 

Dr. T. had one last gift for me.  "Looks like you may have inherited your great-grandmother's hands."  He brought up the x-ray to show me.  I have two small spots of arthritis on each thumb but my other digits are completely clear.  

Maybe I'll be able to quilt when I'm in my 90s!

Tomorrow is Flower Friday so if you have images to share, please email me at!

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Storytime Stitches: Artist Unknown 1

 Quilters and embroiders are resourceful.  Can't find an image you want to sew?  Use an unorthodox source for your work!    Coloring books, children's books, advertising, cartoons, or even comic strips have been incorporated into quilt blocks well beyond the last century.  One 19th century quilt that comes to mind is one that had this 1812 cartoon embroidered in the center.  Sorry I wasn't able to find an image online to refer you to the quilt.

This quilt that Patricia Cummings posted years ago is a good example.  It is from the next town over to mine (Emmaus, Pennsylvania).   Alongside traditional redwork images, the quilt features a variety of comic strip characters from Popeye, Lil' Abner,  and Bringing Up Father.

And all this brings us to the Roy Rogers coverlet, maker and illustrator unknown:

The coverlet was designed with a fold and that part has a traditional embroidery design:

It's the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans motifs that intrigue me.  I've never seen embroidery transfers that feature the couple. There are plenty of western themed transfers though, especially around the mid-century:

I've concluded that some well meaning maker copied the images from a comic book, coloring book, children's book or ephemera.  I assume that the maker used an illustration because the faces are well proportioned and the horse is perfect (my artist friends tell me that drawing horses is challenging).

Roy Rogers had a HUGE booming brand and to even track down these particular images is daunting.  The images of him and Dale were in a huge amount of books.  Here are just a few of the paint books I found on the internet:

One of the interesting aspects of the Roy Rogers paint and coloring book is that I've never seen an illustrator credited.

There was also bedding manufactured:

My coverlet features embroidered characters on a pink cotton background.  I have to assume that the maker used illustrations because the faces are proportioned so well and the horse is perfect (my artist friends tell me that drawing horses is challenging).

Trigger is featured prominently in the center.

Trigger had a white mane whereas Buttermilk (Dale's horse) had a dark mane and tail.

Here are some questions about the coverlet as well.  

It's crib sized.  Was it made for one of the home-made junior beds that incorporated a crib mattress?

The background is pink.  Was it made for a girl or did the maker just use what she had?  Plenty of little girls loved cowgirls as well.


I love this unique pieces that a well meaning person made to thrill a child.

Happy Trails to you!
Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Tuesday's This and That: October 12, 2021


Today I'm sharing some of your comments from blog posts.

Yesterday's post drew some comments.  My mother told me that she had heard that nursery rhyme from her Mother-In-Law.  I'm not sure what Nana Elsie's implications were unless my mother was willing to do wash on Saturday. 


Susan made me laugh so loud this morning that I woke up the dog.  She wrote:  "So happy I did the wash this morning.  Who knew?  I feel so virtuous!"

Kathie wrote: "Maybe the offensive word had not so offensive when this was published, at least I hope so.  While laundry is one chore that I actually enjoy, I would not have enjoyed it back in the days of wringer washers and clotheslines."  

Kathie is right.  Before the 20th century, the term meant a bad housekeeper.  The first definition from the Oxford English Dictionary is "a woman of dirty, slovenly, or untidy habits or appearance; a foul slattern."  Slattern=a dirty or untidy woman.

I never found a word for a dirty or untidy man.

I actually remember a wringer washer in the backyard that my parents occasionally used.  I was very young.  Anyway, when we moved they did get an electric washer but the dryer came lately.  Anyone who has had to remove frozen clothes off the wash line in mid-winter knows what an awful chore that was!

Judy wrote after the Walt Disney post:  "Hubby was sitting next to me as I began reading this post today.  I asked him if he wanted to see the first person I had a crush on when I was young.  It was Walt himself.  Hubby commented on how much Walt resembled my Dad.  Truth.  Both had mustaches." 😀

Wendy noted that she had a sample card of Disney fabrics from the 1940s as well!  She had paid $150 for it and questioned what she was thinking!  Personally I believe that kind of thing is so rare, it never loses it value!

Regarding the value of a quilt, Robin shared a wise insight:  

"I think my mother (1925-1999) was more interested in the new things available after the war.  These items were readily available and didn't require investing a lot of time as they were much less work.  She was a child during the depression so after rationing and going without things as a teenager and a young adult because of the War, she was ready to find new or modern, not old-fashioned or used, bedding and accessories.  My mother-in-law, on the other hand, learned to quilt as a child and continued to quilt her whole life.  Her attitude was more concerned with frugality and nostalgia."

Nancy had these insights to share: 

"I have no guess why quilting died down after WWII. My grandmother was a quilter (I just recently learned) but my mother was not. Yet, in the late 1950s-early 1960s, she cut and pieced two Dresden Plate quilts, one each for my sister and me, and she and my grandmother hand quilted them on a frame that took up half a bedroom. But then my mom had a waste not, want not attitude of frugality. Perhaps that attitude was not so prevalent in the general population of women in the 1950s when the economy was on the rise." 

That's enough fun for today!
Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, October 11, 2021

They That Wash on Monday Nursery Rhyme

 Happy Monday!  I've been going through some old files and found this...I had completely forgotten about it!  I don't use such language but this is an actual nursery rhyme from the U. K. and it took me by surprise:

So this made me laugh.
Whatever you are doing today, I hope you have some fun!

Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, October 8, 2021

Flower Friday: October 8, 2021

 Happy Flower Friday!

Today we have a nice selection of flowers to brighten our day and begin our weekend!

Nann sent this wildflower, one of her favorites called  Fringed Gentian.  Isn't it neat?  Nann took photos of these at Illinois Beach State Park:

Diane P. sent this photo.  She wrote: "It's not a flower but a monarch chrysalis ready to go."  Love that!

Libby sent a photo of the last of the encore azaleas.  I didn't know the name of those kinds of azaleas.  My neighbor has one that also blooms in the fall:

Sue sent a photo of autumn crocus:


Thanks everyone!  I really appreciate it!
Fairly soon we will have our first frost so it's wonderful that we can appreciate what flowers we have left!

Have a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Just a Quilt Top...


I'm a little tired today so I'm just sharing this quilt top for you to see.  Circa 1940, hand pieced.

Tomorrow is Flower Friday so if you have a photograph to share, email me at!

Have a safe and happy day!