Thursday, August 31, 2023

I'm Not a Flower


First thing every morning, I take Kerry out to go to the bathroom.  I was startled last week when I got "buzzed" by a hummingbird that flew too close to me.  I realized what was so close to me and then the bird stopped aside of me and just stared at me.  I've noticed that the hummingbirds are curious and one has stared at me before, hovering straight in front of me.  But getting buzzed was a new experience here at home.

So I stared at the hummingbird who was staring at me and then I realized what he or she was really surveying:  my bathrobe.  The robe is bright pink and a waffle kind of fabric.  I finally said aloud:  "I'm not a flower." The hummer considered this and then took off.  

Have you had that kind of experience?

Anyway, tomorrow is Flower Friday and I would love to know what is happening in your garden!  Please email me photos at

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Baxter and McDonnell Home Decor Motifs


Today I'm featuring some more Baxter and McDonnell motifs but they are ones for more unusual sewing.

Like hanger covers!  Maybe they were popular back when this was published (1924).  I have one or two more elaborate ones that someone gave me but they are padded.

Here's one with a different embroidered design:

Cottage life remains popular to this day.  The first motif is for a bag (like sewing bag) or a pillow.  The second is another motif for a sewing bag:


Here's a motif for bookends.  It's from 1923 and one is supposed to cover metal bookends bought at the store (article stated that the metal ones were only .25).

1922 Appliqued lamp shade patterns:

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Tuesday's This and That: August 29, 2023


Good morning!

I saw that Valspar paint has advertised it's color of the 2024 year:  Renew Blue.

This is a color I love.  It's calming isn't it?

There are some changes going on in our family.  My uncle took my mother to the shore for a week.  Turns out, there are actually wheel chairs that are used at the beach for infirmed seniors and my mother could even watch the ocean with the use of one of these!


My husband and I watched mom's dog Kerry while she was away.  Kerry is often here and even has dog friends in the neighborhood.  But last week while Mom was gone, Kerry got sick.  Really sick.  It was a tough week of visits to our vet and specialists.  Sadly, Kerry was diagnosed with cancer on her third birthday.  

My husband and I will be giving Kerry hospice care here.  She is in not in pain now and is taking prednisone which has helped her.  My vet tells me that sometimes prednisone can act like chemotherapy for a dog.   It isn't a cure but it may give her more time.  But whatever time she has left is best spent here with people and dog friends.  My mother's certainly not in any shape to care for her and we haven't told her how very sick Kerry is yet.  Mom seems relieved that we are caring for Kerry fulltime and that is enough while we are easing her in to the reality of the situation.

I needed to let you know this because if my blogging becomes erratic, you will understand why.


Last but not least, be careful out there.  Covid is on the rise.  Our own vet's practice was down 25% because folks there were out with covid.  Wear the mask and be careful folks!

Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, August 25, 2023

Flower Friday: August 25, 2023


Happy Flower Friday!

Today we are lucky to have flower photos from Sue and Libby.  Libby was recently in Iceland and shared that they do a lot with decorative cabbages there.  

She also shared this wonderful photo of Hollyhocks!

Sue shared some lovely photos this week!  

How about this lovely photo of echinacea:

Linda, Sue's cat among the false sunflowers :)  Linda looks thrilled about being a Flower Friday model...or perhaps she is surveying an animal out in the distance?

Sue's rudbeckia that amazingly the deer overlooked:

And...Sue has morning glories popping up!  
Love the blue color!

Thanks Libby and Sue for sharing your photos!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Popular Flowers


Good morning and happy Thursday!

I've been wondering what are the most popular flowering plants in the U.S. and Canada.  You would think this is an easy thing to find but it isn't.  Perhaps it is because of the different zones where plants grow.  I finally stumbled upon the most flowering plant seeds sold in the U.S. which Google compiled from "sources across the web".  The results aren't that surprising:

Zinnia, Marigolds, Sunflowers, Cosmos, Coneflowers, Snapdragons, Asters, Impatiens, Petunias, and Ageratum.

One of the most interesting sites I found featured the official flowers of Canadian provinces and that was enlightening because I didn't know many of the plants.  You can read and see photos at this website.

In your region, what appears to be the most popular flower incorporated into gardens?  

Tomorrow is Flower Friday and if you want to share photos for the rest of us, please email me at!

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, August 23, 2023


First Lady Jackie Kennedy raised a lot of money and awareness about restoring the White House during JFK's administration.  I was aware of that and probably so were you.  But what I didn't realize was that Julie Nixon Eisenhower raised funds for the White House via needlework.




Apparently the kits were very popular.  The money went to White House restoration and some were used to raise money for the Girl Scouts of America.

I don't remember the kits but to be honest at that time I wouldn't have the money to buy them anyway.  I'm wondering if you remember these or did any yourself?

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Tuesday's This and That: August 22, 2023


Good morning!

We are spending as much time as possible outside these days.  Autumn is approaching and I will miss hanging out in the backyard.  For now, there are lots of butterflies, bees, and even hummingbirds flitting around.  We shall miss these garden visitors in a few months.

I'm always searching for unusual floral quilt patterns (even though I don't applique) and found a few to share with you.

Here's an unusual 1934 applique pattern for salvia:

And another pattern I found was for a wreath of petunias and published in 1935:

This Bachelor's Button pattern was from 1933 but the pattern reminds me more of a 1950s style pattern:

An unusual sunflower quilt pattern from 1946:

This busy quilt is entitled "Gay Cosmos" and was published in 1934:

Here's a "Baby Aster" quilt pattern from 1932:

Have a wonderful and safe day!

Monday, August 21, 2023

Make-Do Monday


Happy Monday!

Many of you expressed an interest in last Monday's post. I shared that I found I had used up a substantial part of my scrap fabric and had a number of blocks finished.  What you wanted to know/see what was I would do with them.  Well last week I finished two projects for the men in my life using scraps.

My husband is an Eagles football team fan.  My brother loves the Minnesota Vikings.  I had football scraps from quilts that I made for the kids.  Not surprising there wasn't much left of the Eagles fabric (our local team) and what I had was a bit wonky (probably why I didn't use the pieces).  

Still I decided to use what I had.  I made a Vikings pillow for my brother and a small wall hanging.  Jim doesn't have a lot of room on his walls for a bigger wall hanging and fortunately, he loves pillows.  

For my husband, I made an Eagles wall hanging and a mat/mug rug thing for his desk in his man cave.

Sorry the photo is so yellow.  Weird light when I photographed the pieces.

I'll wait until football season officially commences to give them their gifts (September 7).  The wall hanging for my husband, I'll just hang in the dining room as a surprise. 😁

I'll decide next week if I have enough Washington Commanders fabric to make a small piece for my neighbor.  

I likely won't get much sewing done this week as Kerry, my mom's dog, is staying for the week.  

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, August 18, 2023

Flower Friday: August 18, 2023


Happy Flower Friday!

Thank you Mary and Lorraine for sharing photos from your garden!

Mary (in Maine)  sent a photo of her hollyhocks!  Look how the stalks are so tall and strong!  The flowers are so delicate looking like porcelain.  I love hollyhocks but I've never been successful with them.

Lorraine sent a photo of one of her reblooming iris.  

Thank you Mary and Lorraine!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Other Uses for Old Quilts

Today we'll explore some of the uses our folks had for old quilts!  We think of a quilt keeping us warm but sometimes a quilt was used to keep other things warm.

There were many agricultural uses for old quilts:

Old quilts were suggested to keep chicks warm in 1943:

As early as 1903, a variety of articles suggested using an old quilt instead of a blanket on horses.  In 1939, an old quilt was recommended to keep tomatoes warm and protected.


But some of the other uses of quilts surprised me like this story in 1929 about a man's store which housed a safe.  Apparently robbers tried to crack his safe so many times that he posted this sign above the safe:

Apparently, the would-be robbers always used a nearby quilt to clean up their tracks.  The store owner said the quilt was used so often to clean up and cloak the safe that it was threadbare.

In 1939, when farmers' property was being foreclosed or landlords attempted to evict tenant farmers, women often threatened to set up tents using old quilts if they couldn't get in to their homes.

An old quilt was cited as part of a divorce proceedings in 1928.  Apparently, Mr. Wagner (the husband) was so stingy that he made his wife sleep under an old quilt when there were new and nicer blankets locked away.  "He got the quilt at an auction for twenty-five cents," Mrs. Wagner complained.


And then there is Elvira Snodgrass.  She was a famous woman wrestler who rose to fame as "hillbilly wrestler" and wore a sunbonnet.  Every article about her mentioned that she used an old quilt as a robe.

Of all the articles I found, one in particular made my sewing heart sing and was published in 1929.  The headline ran:

"Use Old Quilts to Form New Patterns" 

No author was cited in the article but essentially the writer suggested studying old quilts for design inspirations.

Now that's a suggestion I can support!

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

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Upcycling Quilts, 20th Century Style


Some quilt collectors get frustrated about the rise of "cutter quilts" being sold by vintage/antique dealers.  I've written about this before (here).  But actually our foremothers and fathers did upcycle quilts, although every article I read prefaced the word quilt with "old", "worn-out" or "used".  My first husband's family had a quilt they used for picnics.  It was a really worn piece that most collectors wouldn't want but the family used it until it had large holes in it and didn't provide any protection from bugs, grass, or sand at the beach.

Anyway...I just don't think that folks threw-out or burned quilts as trash often--unless the bedding was used on a really sick person's bed (think Spanish Flu, TB, and polio).  Still, there were a variety of articles that suggested using it while caring for the sick.

The majority of articles about using old quilts focused on domestic purposes.  For example one could use it as a mattress cover (1944). 

In a 1914 piece, a variety of practical items were suggested to use up an old quilt--and all of them incorporated cutting up the piece.   The dining room table could be benefit: either as a protector under the tablecloth (it was suggested that the quilt be cut and bound with tape to the right size) or even as a hot pad/trivet type of thing:  "the heat is slow to penetrated through cotton."

The same article suggested reducing the quilt to make a baby quilt, although it was suggested that the new upcycled piece she be adorned with bows and ribbons. 

The baby concept was taken to a whole new level in 1944.   "This is an easy way to prestidigitate  a clothes basket into a bassinette.  Use an old quilt to line the basket..."  Thus forming a bumper pad in the basket.

A 1943 article suggested that an old quilt be used to pad the back and the seat of chairs.  This amazing quilt was found as padding in a bench in a local cabin:

And from 1964 the Petunia comic:

Especially in the beginning of the 20th century, there appeared to be a decorating conflict about old quilts.  The roaring 20s with modern and art deco tastes appeared with the colonial revival also occurring.



1922 above and below

As quilting became more popular, makers were encouraged to look at the work of their ancestors:

Probably one of the most important domestic uses for old quilts was one as protection.  Only a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, defense agencies suggested ways to protect families in the event of a blitzkrieg.  Quilts were to play an invaluable part in shielding Americans.

Tomorrow we'll learn about some other uses for old quilts.  

Wishing you a safe and happy day!