Thursday, June 30, 2022


                                                                                                                                                             Happy Thursday!

I've been puttering and weeding the garden for most of the week.  The next few days I'm going back to the sewing room as the weather will be hot and I need to rest my body.

In my garden, the rudbeckia--or black eye-susans--are blooming in full force.  They always make me happy.

The flowers are so cheerful that it seems like the whole garden is smiling when these flowers are blooming.

I was surprised to find out that this quilt pattern is referred to as "Black-Eyed Susan":

The pattern was marketed in 1953 by Anne Cabot.  I have seen this pattern in a vintage quilt but always assumed it was a dahlia type pattern.

What is happening in your garden?  Tomorrow is Flower Friday, so please share what's blooming in your corner of the world by emailing me at

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Picnic Quilt

 One of my earliest recollections of a handmade quilt was a picnic quilt that my family used when I was a child.  I can't remember a single thing about it except the stitching (hand quilted not machine).  

I also had a picnic quilt after I got married and later had a baby.  It was an old faded quilt that my mother-in-law thought would be a great picnic quilt when we took our new born baby to the park.

I had assumed that quilts used for picnics were old worn quilts that were recycled by our mothers and grandmothers before going to the rag man.  I was wrong.

Turns out that during the first half of the 20th century, quilts were made specifically for the purpose of picnics.


Numerous articles talk about women making picnic quilts and I loved this description of them at an event:  "An estimated 500 cars were banked at the pageant parking area by 5 p.m.  Spectators already dotted the hillside, most of them with blankets and picnic quilts which made bright flags of color."

Why picnic quilts?  Well for one thing, people didn't have that many clothes and it protected one's garments from grass stains.  Another article shared another reason, that an event, "were family groups who brought the picnic quilt and hardy defiers of chiggers who sat on the ground."  Chiggers--YUCK!

Nancy Page even offered a specific pattern in 1939 that one could use:

Last week you heard me lament about a gifted baby quilt being used in a dog bed and some of you had similar tales.  Maybe we should consider making picnic quilts for gifts and include a nice picnic basket for newlyweds or even children (imagine a small picnic set up for kids!).  I'm thinking I may use up my box of 5 inch squares to make a few to keep on hand.

If you are interested in a more elaborate pattern, you could use this zig-zag picnic quilt pattern offered for free on the sulky thread website.

Have a safe and wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Butterfly Question

 Happy Tuesday!  Today's post is brief...the weather is perfect and I need to take advantage of it in the garden.

Are you seeing butterflies in your garden yet?  I haven't seen a one.  Not in my garden, or the neighborhood or even at the park.

I asked this question at the luncheon yesterday and Kathy who lives in the neighboring city has sighted some.  It's very weird to me that it is almost July and we don't have any yet.

Anyway, in the spirit of butterflies, I thought I would post this lovely.  It's a top that was perhaps meant to be made into a pillow.  The blocks are little silk premiums that were sold in packs of tobacco at the turn of the century.  Women used them often in their quilts--especially the flannel ones.  The majority of them are butterflies and moths, set with ribbon and embroidery on the sashes:

Some other motifs:

Wishing you all a safe and happy day!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Buttons and Binding

 Happy Monday!  
I hope you had a great weekend!

Today's post is about a project I just finished.  You may remember that I posted that I wanted to make some doll quilts for the little girls in my family.

First off, thanks to Susan and Nann for suggesting I name my doll after Nana Elsie.  The doll's name is now Elsie Elnora after my grandmother.

My goal was to make quilts for the 8 little girls (and 1 grandmother) in my family by July 4.  I had suspected there would be some kind of family get together and sure enough, the kids will be together on July 2 at a family picnic.

One of the challenges was the sizes of the dolls.  Some of the girls have 18-20 inch dolls; others have smaller dolls.  Never at a loss for using up scraps, I made two size quilts.

The larger quilts (20x24) have 4 patches and buttons on the plain white block.  I admit, I am obsessed with these red and white buttons and used a red and white striped fabric for the binding to coordinate with the buttons.  

I have no idea who gave me the buttons.  For years people have been giving me things from their relatives who no longer sew.  But the woman must have loved these buttons.  There were a couple of hundred in the bag.

I still have some left!

When these were done, I started on the smaller version quilts.  I think the quilts measure 14 x 18.

I had buttons for these too!  Cute vintage bird buttons that I used to adorn the tops of the quilts.  I think the buttons were from the 1950s.

But there was one challenge.  Two of the girls have little brothers aged 1 and 2.  I'm always worried about choking hazards so I used iron-on appliques to adorn their quilts:

And then I thought...I should make each doll a pillow too!  Except I wasn't even done with the doll quilts (18 of them) and wondered, what shall I use?

Years ago, I bought a hankie wreath at a flea/craft fair:
I got tired of it a few years ago and packed it away.
Would the hankies work?

In fact, the hankies were new (not vintage even) and made of a cheap batiste fabric.  Not great for blowing one's nose but perfect for a doll pillow.  I did a couple of prototypes but I decided I wanted the pillow to look like it had a pillow case on it.

And if all that wasn't enough, I bought each girl a baby doll.  
A girl can't have too many.  

Today the grandmothers are getting together at my mom's for lunch and I will give them each the quilts, etc. for their granddaughters.  The kids will be at Paula's the night before the picnic and they may as well play as soon as possible.

Even if none of the girls like any of these gifts, it doesn't matter to me.  I've had a blast making these quilts and using up things from my stash!

Wishing you a safe and happy day!

Friday, June 24, 2022

Flower Friday: June 24, 2022

 Happy Flower Friday!

"You Love Butter"

Have a dark area in your yard?  
Annabelle is the answer!  Libby uses the Annabelle Hydrangea to brighten a dark corner. The blooms are massive and the bush never disappoints!

Libby also shared this beauty:

Libby calls these "ditch lilies".  Sue calls them "road lilies" and shared a photo from her garden with the lilies surrounded by phlox.  The combo is stunning!

Sue also shared some portulaca.  It's a plant I always loved:

I keep thinking there was another submission of flowers earlier in the week but I can't find it.  If you did send me a photo, please email me and I'll hunt for it again!

Here in my garden, I love when the hydrangea are just beginning to turn color.  

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Dove in the Park

 Happy Thursday!

As many of you know, Scout and I begin our day with a long walk in the park.  We love to watch for birds and wildlife--oh look heron--oh look eagle--etc.  

But on Tuesday we were surprised to see a dove.  Mourning doves are abundant in this area.  But this was a pure white dove!

I'm not sure where the dove came from.  I honestly thought the bird might be injured because it didn't take off when it saw Scout.  Luckily, it eventually it did take off and the bird had no problem flying.

I thought it would be fun to look for Dove quilt patterns.  There are many embroidered transfers for doves but the main pieced one is Dove in the Window which was popular during the late 19th century through the 20th century:

Good Cheer, Oklahoma, 1931

From Etsy (here)

From Pinterest

Nancy Page, designed by Florence La Ganker, 1933

Nancy Page, 1939
Designed by Florence La Ganked
I found a pattern for this one here.

Tomorrow is Flower Friday and if you have any lovelies to share, please email me at!

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Sue's Quilt: Joseph's Coat

 On Monday, I wrote about antique quilts that inspire me.  Sue shared one that I have to show you!

Sue saw this quilt for sale and fell in love with it!

Unfortunately, it was way out of her price range.  The quilt was priced at about $4000!  Ever enterprising, Sue decided to make her own.  It was a gift for a friend:

Sue's hand quilt is always exquisite and very much so on this piece:

I told Sue that I liked hers better than the older version and she said that the recipient of the quilt felt that it was worth more than the antique quilt.  

I'm not sure why the antique quilt went for $4000.  It may have been the provenance.  Often Amish or Mennonite quilts are considered more valuable like this one listed on the 1st Dibs website:
This one is listed at $3200.

People also like the graphic quality of quilts which is also why quilts may vary in prices.

Years ago, I took quilt appraisal classes.  It was a really interesting class and full of surprises.

If you watch the Antique Roadshow, then you may have heard appraisers state, "according to today's market..."  In this century, the antique market has really taken a hit.  Of course one of the reason is economics but factor in this as well...a lot of young consumers are no longer interested in owning antiques.  They want(ed) new products and also they weren't interested in collecting things.  

When I've helped appraisers, today's quilters are often surprised how much their new quilts are appraised for and don't realize the array of aspects that go into the quilt appraisal.

The main factor is replacing the piece.  

The fabric, thread, batting ,etc. that are purchased...and the GAS that it takes to get to collect all the 'ingredients' of the quilt.

How much would it cost to have someone piece the top, mark it for quilting and quilt it?  And yes, this includes machine quilting as well.

Of course the visual beauty of a piece is also factored in.  Sue's quilt has a graphic quality to it that would make it very favorable in today's market.

If Beth and I had a nickel for every quilter we ever heard say that they made a quilt for someone and that it was never used...we'd be rich.  I know that pain myself having seen a baby quilt I made for my grandson in the dog bed.

Having your quilt gift appraised changes the attitude of the recipient.  We always suggested that people have their quilt officially appraised and a copy of the appraisal given with the gift.  Somehow a quilt that is valued over $1000. (as most present day quilts are) changes the perspective of the recipient.  I know it shouldn't change the attitude of the giftee but often it does.

I hope you enjoy Sue's quilt and think of making your own reproduction of your favorite quilt.

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022


 Happy first full day of summer!

Time to celebrate some fun outside!

Maybe you want to fish:

Enjoy wildlife:

Play some sports if you are coordinated.  I am not so this is how I look playing tennis or badminton:

Maybe do a little sewing outdoors:

Take time to smell the flowers!

Nice walks with your favorite pet!

Eat lots of fresh food!

And of course, always protect your skin!
A good hat is always recommended on hot a sunny day!

Have a wonderful first day of summer!