Thursday, December 28, 2023

New Year Quilts


Good morning!

I've posted a few New Year blocks in the past like this one:

I found another one published in 1939, also from Nancy Page.

I thought that the quilt might be this one illustrated around the same article.  It made sense to me because the Depression (although waning a bit) was still present.

But in fact, they were discussing the first pattern I showed above but without an image.  I'm not sure that many women would have purchased the pattern without seeing the visual representation.

I have seen many Wheel of Fortune quilts and Barbara Brackman did a whole article on them here.  Sadly, I've never see the Nancy Page New Year's quilt.

Next week will be focused on the new year and new projects and ideas.  Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year's holiday!

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Grandmother Clark's Old Fashioned Quilting Designs, Part 2


Happy Wednesday!

Today concludes the images from Grandmother Clark's Old Fashioned Quilting Designs Booklet published in 1931.  Of all the designs in the book, the Poinsettia, featured on the next two pages are my favorite.  I always forget to include this one in the holiday posts.  It was also featured on the cover of the booklet.

Puss In The Corner (above)  reminds me of linoleum floors I've seen in old houses.  What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed and possibly can use some of these pages for templates or inspiration!

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Grandmother Clark's Old Fashioned Quilt Designs (Book 21), Part 1


Happy Tuesday!

Happy Boxing Day to our friends in the U.K. and British Commonwealth!

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas holiday.  Ours was quiet; my sister-in-law is in the hospital again.  But Mom, Brad, and my son Nik managed to have a good and fun dinner together.  After dinner, I saw my brother when I took him a platter and cookies.  

Today I'm sharing a 1931 publication:  Grandmother Clark's Old Fashioned Quilt Designs.  The booklet shows wear and the the corner looks as if it had been burned (maybe by an iron?).  

I mentioned this booklet in November (here) when I wrote about log cabins.  I hope you can find a pattern or design that you enjoy!

I have seen this Sunbonnet design on quilts and it was popular and very sweet.  You may not be able to tell, but this is the pattern that the original owner of the booklet made.  The girls look like they were traced at least two times.

The rest of the books has templates on the left side of each page and examples on the right:

Tomorrow is part 2!

Have a safe and happy day!

Saturday, December 23, 2023

The Real Miracle of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania


On Thursday evening, I watched an Hallmark movie called "Miracle in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania."  It was the usual Hallmark movie but set in what they called Bethlehem, PA.  It certainly wasn't the Bethlehem I know.  I was born in that town and spent most of my youth there.  Most of my relatives still live there; second generations of family that didn't want to let the family home go on the real estate market.

The reason I didn't recognize the setting was pretty simple:  Hallmark filmed the movie in Manitoba, Canada.  It has created quite a buzz in our region and prompted actor Daniel Roebuck to film his own holiday movie in our beautiful area (read here).  Nothing against Manitoba but Bethlehem has it's own magic and it just can't be captured anywhere else.

The real miracle of Bethlehem, PA is different than what you might expect.  For most of the people reading this blog, you will remember how difficult the 1980s and 1990s were for industry in the USA.  Bruce Springsteen wrote a song about what he was seeing in New Jersey called "My Hometown"; I remember my father and I talking about how  that song encapsulated our fears here in the Lehigh Valley.

The valley had two large industries:  Mack Trucks in Allentown and Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem.  During the last two decades of the 20th century, folks here held their breath as they awaited the inevitable closing of the plants.  It happened at Mack Trucks in 1986 when the large plant closed.  Everyone knew that it was inevitable that it would happen at the Steel as well.

But unlike many other towns, Bethlehem wasn't going down without a fight.  In 1984, the entire downtown area was closed to traffic and a new celebration began: Musikfest.  For two weeks, the festival was held in the oldest part of the town.  It was magical.  The music was free and began around 11 am until about 11 pm.  There was everyone kind of music you could want to hear at different "platz" or platzes (places) throughout the downtown area.

It was incredibly scenic because Bethlehem was founded in 1741 by the Moravians and all of the original stone buildings remain intact.  Many of the buildings are still used for their original purposes like the Sister's House which still houses single women who need a place to live.

The festival gets national attention each year and welcomes over a million visitors.  Through the years, my family and I have attended various concerts there and saw Arlo Guthrie, Ray Charles, The Clancey Brothers, and other headliners.

And it didn't end there.  In 1995 the whole Bethlehem Steel plant was closed.  The region that was the steel plant now houses the National Museum of Industrial History.  There's also a casino and the majority of the south side is an arts area.  Musikfest was relocated there in 2011.  Other festivals in the city include Celtic Fest in the Fall and Christkindlemart during the Christmas season.

Bethlehem is the city that refuses to die.  It's renaissance has provided a blue print for other historic areas nearby, most notably the neighboring city of Easton which is also been reinvigorated the last few decades and boasts the oldest farmer's market in the U.S.

Probably the most popular show on HGTV is Hometown which illuminates the need of preservation of one's community.  It's a wonderful show but to me, the champion of town preservation is Bethlehem, PA.

My childhood was illuminated by the large star on the mountain above our city.  It was and remains the most magical place I know.

Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, December 22, 2023

Friendship Friday: December 22, 2023


Hello friends!

Lucky has really learned to love the backyard and particularly the critters that visit the garden.  He begins his trip to the garden by stalking because he's seen enough rabbits there and is always excited to see them...even if he can't catch him.  Birds often intrigue him and he'll never catch the squirrels.  

So it was funny to me that as I took this photo outside the window that he didn't notice anything at all.  This was last weekend:

The squirrel is feasting on the berries on the Beauty Berry bush.  Barb S. gave me a small bush years ago and it has grown into a massive bush outside the window.  I planted it there because the berries are edible and I enjoy watching the birds feast in the winter time.  This was the first time I saw a squirrel eating the berries.  Thanks Barb!

Lucky is about to have his first Christmas with our family.  We did not put up a Christmas tree because we knew it would be too much for him to resist.  

This 1964 photo makes me feel a little better.  At least Lucky isn't getting into as much trouble as "Duffie" was back then.  

Luck gets a little less bitey everyday but we still have a ways to go (he gets mouthy when he's excited).

Some things still very much frighten him.  These past weeks we've had to take his last walk after dark and those inflatable Christmas ornaments really terrify him. We've learned to bypass those scary monsters...πŸ˜‚

After weeks of being in the sewing room, Lucky has developed pediophobia (fear of dolls).  Elsie the doll particularly frightens him and he will incessantly bark at her.

I'm spending the next few days baking for the holiday and spending time with family.  I daresn't make the cookies too soon because the cookie monster (my husband) will attack them.  

Wishing you all a happy holiday!  Hugs!

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Christmas Tea Quilt (and not mine)


Happy Tuesday!

I was hunting for some more Christmas/holiday quilt ideas from yesteryear and stumbled upon an article from Pennsylvania that intrigued me.

December, 1933:

What's a Christmas Tea Quilt?

I had no idea.  All I could find is this blurb about how much the ladies made from the quilt:

Aaah, so maybe it was not a quilt pattern that the newspaper was referring to but a Christmas Tea that featured a quilt of some sort (punctuation matters).

Still, I looked up tea related quilt patterns and was surprised at how many there were in Brackman's Encyclopedia.  "Tea for Four" is still a pattern used by quilters and can be found here.

Nancy Page published a "Tea Leaves" pattern in 1939:

There was even an art deco style "Tea Pot" published in 1900.  I couldn't find an example but if you have Brackman's book you can look it up.

Personally, I'll still choose coffee but it's been a fun exploration.

Wishing you a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Tea Quilts


Happy Tuesday!

My Aunt Mamie read tea leaves.  When I was a child, this usually occurred at my Aunt Carol's home.  The women--and they were always women--would drink a cup of loose tea and hand the cup to Aunt Mamie.  Aunt Mamie would "read the tea leaves" left at the bottom of the cup.

Almost always, Aunt Mamie would look at the leaves and appear startled.  "Oh no,"  there was horror in her tone, "I can't.  I can't."  

Her reluctance only made the participants urge her to relay what she had seen.  It was ALWAYS at this point that my father would discover me spying on Aunt Mamie's performance.

"Beat it," Dad would tell me sternly, "this isn't for children."

My Dad was a man of science, intent on discouraging his children about what he considered Irish superstitions in his family.  His mottos for his children were simple and repeated throughout our childhood:  "You can do anything you like.  You can be anything you want."  

Tea leaves clearly had nothing to do with our choices.

Still one day when I was doing an inventory of the quilts I made, I realized that I had made a lot of quilts that focused on tea.  I have only a few here at home but there were a lot I gave to tea drinking family members.

Kathy's tea quilt

Cup of Cheer Christmas Quilt

Ironically, I can't stand the taste of tea and am an avid coffee drinker.  So why did I make so many of them?  

The answer is simple:  I'm still wondering what Aunt Mamie saw in those tea leaves.

Seamus, our boy who worked hard as a therapy dog, posing in front of Tea Time wall hanging.  He passed in 2016.

Are there any quilt themes you find yourself gravitating towards--whether you like it or not?

I would love to tell you what the older women later told me about Aunt Mamie's predictions but the truth is that none of could remember her prophecies---but they all remembered her performance.  πŸ˜‚

Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, December 18, 2023

It's That Time of Year...


Good morning!

🎡It's that time of year...when the world's all aglow and the bulk of us don't have much time to sew...🎝🎝

January is always better for creative endeavors.  All I seem to be able to do in  the sewing room (when I have time) is make aqua and teal trees and I don't even know what for yet:

January approaches...
One thing I've decided to do is the Sewing Room Declutter Challenge sponsored by Karen Brown at "Just Get it Done Quilts".  If you are interested in participating, you can sign up here.

I told Beth about the challenge and she was interested.  I have so many sewing doo-dads that people have given me and it's time to get rid of some of them.  I don't do garment sewing anymore so things like snaps, zippers, etc.  Of course I thought that I would never need the elastic I had until the pandemic happened.  But still, I would rather have the space and less clutter.

Are you looking forward to the new year?

Sending hugs and as always, have a safe and happy day!

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Quilt police



Tomorrow is Friendship Friday and I encourage you to email me with whatever is going on in your world!  How's the weather where you are?  Are you working away on holiday presents?  You can email me at

Today's post is simple, just some humor to start your day off.  We all joke about "quilt police" but it's not a new concept.  Just look at this wonderful comic from 1922:

Wishing you a day of peace and health and no one judging your quilting!