Monday, March 20, 2023

Happy Spring!

 


The above meme pretty much expresses our joy today.  Oh yes there will be tons of work in the garden but just think how lovely it will be not to worry about snow and frigid temperatures.

The song that tends to go through my head on the first day is Irving Berlin's song, Blue Skies.  

"Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see"
Today I chose to focus on the second verse:
"Bluebirds
Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds
All day long"

Honestly, I have never seen a bluebird in my garden but I like the thought.  Bluebirds are supposed to symbolize joy and hope or that something good is about to occur.  


Apparently our foremothers believed this. In the early part of the 20th century, there were lots of "bluebird quilts" mentioned and even more women requesting a copy of the bluebird quilt pattern.
 

It is not surprising that many bluebird quilt patterns were marketed during The Depression.

From 1936:

Kansas City Star Pattern

Alice Brooks

In 1940, Aunt Martha advertised an elaborate Bluebird Quilt:


The Nancy Cabot Bluebird pattern from 1948 might be my favorite as far as symbolizing the advent of spring:


Wishing you a warm day full of sunshine and bluebirds!

Saturday, March 18, 2023

National Quilting Day: March 18, 2023



 I know, I don't post on Saturday or Sunday...but today is National Quilting Day!

If you happen to live in the region or get a Create PBS channel, be sure to tune in.  I think they will be running quilting shows for most of the morning and early afternoon.


Apologies--the local create channel has decided to run fundraising instead of our quilting shows.  I called Channel 39 and told them how disappointed I am and that I would no longer be supporting their channel.  And yes, even on the website for Create it lists that these shows are scheduled.


So like Susan put it, I'm going to honor the day by sewing.  Wishing you all well....😁

Wishing you a wonderful day of quilting and the love of sewing!

Friday, March 17, 2023

Friendship Friday: March 17, 2023: Happy St. Pat's Day!

 


Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!



Here in my garden, the snowdrops continue to bloom but are getting ready to set seeds soon.  But the crocuses are happily blooming away!



The daffodils will probably begin to bloom this weekend if the temperatures remain warm.  And out back, the lungwort and heather is blooming!




Plaid is always a favorite this holiday and Sue shared a photo of an adorable quilt she made for her grandson:


Now some of you are going to say, isn't that Scottish?
Well yes it is but as it turns out, there are lots of towns in Scotland that have folks of Irish descent.  In Coatbridge, Scotland for example, 28% of the folks in that town have Irish names.  They began celebrating St. Patrick's Day in 2003 and now have a ten day festival.  The town itself has been called "the least Scottish town in Scotland!"

Both countries wear plaid and yes, even kilts.  They are after all, both Celtic countries.

Sue shared some quilt patterns that are good for the holiday.  This one is called "Clover Quilt";  the pattern is available here at Etsy:



She also shared a Kitchen Table Quilting  free pattern for a quilt called "Plaid-ish" and you can download it here.  Beth and I both downloaded that pattern sometime ago but haven't gotten around to making one yet.

Another plaid quilt is "Dream Weaver" offered by Missouri Star Company.  The tutorial is here.



Whether you choose to celebrate the Irish or the advent of spring, have a wonderful weekend!





Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Wearing of the Green

 Tomorrow is double fun:  St. Patrick's Day and Friendship Friday!


Now I know a lot of folks think of St. Patrick's Day as a day to drink a bit and whoop it up.  I have never been a drinker (which is good because alcohol gives me migraines).  And I don't love St. Patrick's Day because I'm an Irish American...although I am. 

I love St. Patrick's Day because it is the gateway to Spring.  




***


My favorite Irish themed quilt is this pattern from Anne Cabot that was published in 1942.

 ***

One question I have for you...does your family eat anything special for the holiday?  Believe it or not, when I was a child, I never had corned beef and cabbage.  This is somewhat apt since traditional corned beef and cabbage is not the food of the Irish in Ireland but Irish Americans.  I believe they adopted the food from Jewish neighbors when they were in the tenements in NYC.  The first time I had it was  at a pub my sister-in-law owned and we would visit for the holiday.  I loved her version and haven't found any that I like as much as what she made.  

Most Irish eat lamb and colcannon on St. Patrick's Day.  We won't be celebrating the holiday until my husband gets home (he doesn't want to miss it).  

We will skip the lamb which no one wants anyway.  We'll substitute that with a beef roast.  Colcannon is what I'll be preparing for the feast.  It is considered "Irish soul food" and is a combo of cabbage and mashed potatoes (both ingredients my family loves).  There is a good recipe here in case you are interested.

***

So anything you want to share to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the advent of spring (on Monday!!! 😀), your Gaelic roots (or anyone else's),   email me at allentownquilter@gmail.com














Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Some Finishes

 


I have some finishes to share!

I finished Alex and Annie's quilts last week:

 

Something different:

I wanted to make a bunch of wall hangings for Jessa.  Jessa is my goddaughter and also the groomer for all our dogs.  I'm so proud of her.  She has been repeatedly mentioned as one of the "best groomers in the valley" and can't even take new clients because she is so busy.   She grooms dogs and cats and specializes in poodle/doodles.  

I thought I would make some wall hangings for the new (huge!) space she will be moving the business. 

And....yes I will use any excuse to make some kind of quilty thing for my family!  Anyway, for many of these pieces I used up the last or the scraps of what I had.  

Sorry about these wonky photos.  It's just dark these days and well I was really tired when I took them yesterday.  

It's Raining Cats and Dogs:


Dogs in Hats


Cats in Hats:


Cats and Dogs:
This was some kind of rayon or nylon.  I put some interface backing on and it worked out okay:


Snowdogs:

The binding is navy but isn't showing up well in this photo.  


Oodles of Poodles:
 

Loved the dog newspaper print fabric on this piece.  I only had weird scraps but got two circles out of it.  This headline says "Choosy Chow and Picky Poodle Bash New Snack" 😀


I'm hoping she will like these and Linda (her mom) said she didn't have anything for the walls yet.  We talked design by text messaging (Linda is a snowbird and just got home).  We figured the wall hangings could always washed and reused when they got dirty or full of hair.  Anyway, I'm hoping to take them to her next week! 

Have a safe and happy day!






Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Tuesday's This and That: March 14, 2023

 


Wishing you a bright and happy day!

There were a lot of fun comments from readers last week and I thought I would feature them!

The potholder post last week sure did generate some fun comments and emails!  Alice sent this photo of a knitted potholder her late cousin had made.  This made smile so much!


Karen B. sent shared that she loves potholders too!  She's collecting them to make quilt that features them.  The pattern is from Crabapple Hill Studio and you can see it here.  Isn't it fun?!!

***

Many of you liked the idea of combining a fabric store with another retailer.  Diann said her quilt group is going to meet at a book store that has a local gathering era.  

Another woman wrote that there used to be a store near her called "Patchwork and Pies."  The eating area was often referred to as the husband's waiting room.  A win-win for this reader was taking her mother along and having grandma and kids time in the pie section while mom got to shop!  It doesn't get better than that!

For those of you who love pies and quilting, check out this neat pattern for a wall hanging featuring both!  The free pattern is here!

***
Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, March 13, 2023

Plaid

 


At our guild meeting last Tuesday, a member showed a quilt she made that resembled plaids.   I think these days this pattern is referred to as a gingham pattern or a buffalo check (or plaid) pattern.
This is a simple but really popular pattern right now. There are a lots of free tutorials and instructions if you do a net search.  It's a mighty popular pattern these days.

I was charmed with our member's quilt and that got me to thinking...of a lot of things.

First off, where did the phrase "buffalo plaid" or "buffalo check" come from?  Well, I did find the answer for that question.  According to this interesting article from Piecework magazine, it was brought over from Scotland.  The article is here.  In Scotland, different plaids are associated with different families.  This is the modern version of my mother's family plaid.  


Interesting fact:  The Dress Act of 1746  banned the use of tartans as a way of eradicating the Gaelic culture in Scotland and banning the warrior clans.

Second question:  Was there a vintage or antique "plaid quilt pattern"?  I couldn't find one that was an older and true plaid-ish pattern.

Perhaps this was because plaid was a popular fabric choice, especially in the later part of the 19th century.


An 1886 article discusses 100 plaids displayed at an exhibit in North Carolina.  Apparently it was a popular arrangement and drew a lot of attention:


Gingham was also popular--particularly at the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th century.




And finally, I thought what could I use to make a plaid quilt?  Well it was right in front of me.  Apparently, I have never met a snow print in blues that I don't need despite having made three "Out of the Blue" tops.


I hope to draft a pattern later this week to see if I have enough fabric for the top.  Hopefully I won't need to buy anymore fabric!

Have a wonderful and safe day!


Friday, March 10, 2023

Flower Friday: March 10, 2023


 

Happy Flower Friday!

This week we have a nice selection of flowers from Betsy!  

First off is her orchid.  This Dendrobium Betsy brought home from Kauai ten years ago and it's blooming on two different stems.  Isn't it lovely?


Betsy lives in the next town east of us.  But her garden is way of ahead of mine.  I've got buds on my daffodils but Betsy has full bouquets in her garden!


Betsy's Hellebores are blooming profusely in time for Lent!  She has two pretty colors of Lenten Roses!



Barb S. asked if I could share the name of the weeder I want to use this year.  It's called "Grandpa's Weeder." 


A few friends really love this.  One friend said she has two of them--one for the front yard and one for the back yard.  I do recall that someone said this is particularly good for weeds with deep roots and some heft to those roots.  I have a friend who said I could borrow hers and see how I like it in my garden and I think I will do that.  But most of the reviews are really good!

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!