Monday, October 31, 2022

Happy Halloween 2022!


Happy Halloween!

My most October-ish quilt is this Moravian quilt from the late 1800s.  The cheddar really sets off the design!

Halloween may not be my favorite holiday but I sure think this postcard is funny!

It says, "Flee bachelors flee.  If you would single stay.  Tis Halloween eve, The witches wedding day!"

Speaking of witches, have you ever heard of a witches window?  This architectural feature isn't common here but I've seen it in Vermont and even the Maine Cabin Masters show had a cabin that featured these windows.  Here's a photo I found on pinterest:

According to folklore, the angle of the window is supposed to prevent witches from entering the house (of course that begs the question about the other windows).  Someone on one of my DIY shows suggested it was for getting a coffin out of the upstairs easier...but then why not just carry the body downstairs and put it in the coffin on the first floor?  Anyway, the most likely reason I've seen is that Yankee ingenuity and frugality was the main reason for this cockeyed placement.  This way a special sized window wouldn't have to be ordered (more expensive).

Wishing you a safe and happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2022

Flower Friday: October 28, 2022

 Happy Flower Friday!

Autumn and spring have temperatures fluctuation.  It's no wonder that my garden is confused these days!

The impatiens are still alive and blooming!

The hibiscus looks like it is fading as it continues to bloom!

Toad lily, always an autumn favorite:

Ageratum--I didn't plant this so it self sowed itself and seems quite happy these days:

I thought I had ripped all the cosmos out.  I hadn't noticed the plant in this bed that I didn't clean yet.  Now I have cosmos blooming?  Well they sure waited long enough!

My favorite flower photos this week were taken when I walked Scout at the park.  There was a heavy frost and it was so neat to see roses blooming against a thick frost on the grass.  I guess that is why I'm so surprised this week that my tender annuals continue to bloom!

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Mountain Mist 1938 Catalog: Part 2

 More Mountain Mist!  

I'm so happy with this catalog!  It gives us such a good insight not only on quilting but how this company has continued to thrive!  The company was established in 1846 and continues to this day!

The company gives clear instructions for first time quilters but what if you don't want to take the time to quilt an entire quilt?  Well here's a solution in this catalog:  make a comforter instead and you can even see that at least one of these examples is tied!  The other uses "low-priced cotton blankets filled with Fluft."

A few of the quilts in this catalog appear to be more "modern" and might even be favored by today's modern quilters:

Some of the patterns are of an enduring nature, like "Snowbound" which features alternating blocks:

The catalog even features washing instructions!

Since it is the week of Halloween, I thought I would feature one of the quilts that is quite perfect for this holiday:  Jack O'Lantern.

This quilt pattern is quite rare but Bill Volckening featured the pattern on his blog and you can look at it here.

Obviously I have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of this catalog and I hope you have too!  Thank you again Barb!!!

Tomorrow is Flower Friday--do you have anything left in your garden to share?  If so, email me at!

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Mountain Mist 1938 Catalog: Part 1

 Thank you Barb S.!

Barb S. gifted me this wonderful Mountain Mist catalog which she left at my home last Friday.  As many of you know, I love Mountain Mist quilts and although "the blue book" is a staple to collectors, this booklet is so special because it is almost magazine size and has lots of photographs to study!

 There's even the original form still in the book that lists "where to buy Mountain Mist."  Unfortunately, the list didn't include Pennsylvania (it featured more Northeastern states).

One of the first things I noticed were two photos of women quilting.  Note the dresses the women are wearing.  This was still "the colonial revival" period and the dresses are indicative of the marketing ploys that were used in the first half of the 20th century.  They are  even wearing gowns!

There are lots of colored photographs of quilts and I loved studying the fabrics and styles.  One of the things I love about Mountain Mist is the variety of quilt styles they featured.  Here are some of the large photos featured in the catalog:

Another interesting part of this book is that many connotate the Mountain Mist patterns with the wrappers that the batting came in.  

Consumers didn't have to settle for just the patterns available at their local store and wrapped nicely in their packaging.  The company sold the patterns as well.  

So many of these wrappers survived decades and were clearly cherished by quilters.  Perhaps it was because the instructions were better than many companies.  Just look at the diagram of how to read the patterns that was included in this catalog!

Tomorrow we will look at some of the other patterns and information in this catalog!

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Tuesday's This and That: October 25, 2022

 I didn't post yesterday because I spilled my coffee on my keyboard this past weekend...and the coffee killed the keyboard.

New keyboard has arrived and we are back in business!

How was your weekend?  Mine was full of sewing or watching the Phillies win the National League Championship.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to make quilts for the kids in the family.  It has turned out to be quite an experience.  I have this thing now about using up all these blocks.  To top that off, my guild is running a UFO finish challenge.  So I used up a lot of my novelty 4-patches (plus 9 yards of muslin).  I made 8 quilt tops for the younger kids!

After that, I decided to clean the sewing room.  I spent all day Friday cleaning out and even going through one of the closets.  Happily, I found three quilts that are finished and I can gift!  I had made them during the pandemic and forgot all about them.  Unhappily, I found a box of unfinished square in a square novelty blocks.

 This is not a project I remember at all!  So now I'm working through a big stack of UFO blocks!  

Hey a finished quilt is better than a box of blocks so now I've got to add that to my UFO list.  Actually it's relaxing to finish these blocks (it's a big project though).

Plus I found quilt top that I think I'm going to make into a lap quilt for donation (for the local nursing home and patients in wheel chairs).  I might get two quilts out of what I had done.

Anyway, that is our ever not-so-exciting life!

Hope you are having fun sewing too!
Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, October 21, 2022

Flower Friday: October 21, 2022

 Happy Flower Friday!

In your area, how is your weather?  We've had a fairly cool week with lots of breeziness.  But next week...we will back in the 60s (Fahrenheit) again!

Alice sent this amazing photo of her last dahlia.  The placemat is one that she received from a late friend and that she cherishes.  I love this photo!

Some of the hydrangeas become so pretty as their colors fade like Nana's Nikko Hydrangea:

Some of my annuals have died in the cold.  But somethings, like the snapdragons, seem to be thriving:

There are places around my home that are so insulated the plants continue to thrive much longer than in other places in the garden.  Here are some photos from my various microclimates:

Japanese anemones with begonias in the background.


Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2022

 We had the first real frost this week.  I even had to scrape the windshields before I could drive Scout to the park in the morning!

I've a feeling that soon there will be rarely anything left outdoors to photograph for Flower Friday.  The one thing I noticed was that many roses are blooming.  Here are two of my favorites that I saw in the neighborhood:

Sue sent a lovely photo of her flying geese quilt.  She made it for her husband who was a birder!

I love the fabric she used between the rows of geese!
It really adds such a wonderful touch!

Interestingly enough, the only Flying Geese pattern I found in the newspapers from 1900 to 1960 was this one offered by Alice Brooks in 1960.  It is not what we think of as a "flying geese" pattern:

I found two notations of flying geese quilts (no illustrations or photos) in two different newspapers but that it is for our poor flying geese quilt pattern.  Come to think of it, I don't remember seeing any in the pastels we connotate with the 1930s or even the brighter fabrics afterwards.  Have you seen any?

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

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Banner Ladies

Happy Wednesday!

Today's post isn't about textiles.  But it is interesting.  As many of you know, I collect trade cards and other paper bits and bobs.  But the one kind of trade card I could never afford are ones that depict Banner Ladies.  These cards go for $500 to well over $1000 and well, that's too rich for me to spend on a small piece of paper.  I prefer a good bargain.

Banner Ladies were a popular form of advertising in the late 19th century.  Photography became more accessible after George Eastman innovated the camera to use flexible film that the company would even develop for the customer.  Previous to this invention, film development was often dangerous.  So photography became more popular...and trade cards reflect that.  

Enter the Banner Ladies.  They were human billboards that advertised all kinds of businesses. 

This one is somewhat charming, made to promote Mrs. Kirkbride's milliner business:

Another sweet one advertised the local florist:

But for the most part, the banners are campy and even ridiculous ways to get folks to notice the company.   Hats were really prominent....Like for the local blacksmiths:

None of these women look really thrilled to be donned in these costumes but that was also the norm of the day.  Late 19th century photos rarely capture smiling or laughing folks.

One of my favorites was from Lebanon, PA  She is missing her banner but we forgive her because we love pretzels:

Here's one for "Artistic Photography"
I'm not really sure what the Golden Rule Bazaar sold, maybe toys?

Let's not forget the hardware store:

So do you have thoughts about banner ladies?
I find them fascinating and always think of the definition of objectify:  degrade to the status of a mere object.  Of course maybe it was all just fun like grown-ups dressing up for Halloween.  Your thoughts?

Have a safe and happy day!