Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Hubby humor

Good morning and happy Tuesday!

Next week my hubby is leaving for another business trip.  He's pretty happy right now because his wife made him a couple of meals while he was home.  Let me explain...

For many years, especially after his brain injury, he would critique the meal I made him:

"This is good but you should have done this." or "I would have done this..."

"A little bland but okay."

Or when a meal was really good, he would say, "Boy, you just can't beat the (fill-in-the-company) meat, vegetable or whatever from this place or that."

As you can imagine, after a while this grated my nerves.  My husband can make a decent stir-fry but to be honest, he's not a very good cook (although he thinks so).  He's one of those cooks who thinks if a little chili pepper is part of the recipe, then a whole lot will make it even better.  

So little by little...I stopped cooking for the two of us.  I still made big meals to feed my mom, brother and sick sister-in-law.  Hubby ate those and was happy for them.  But I just gave up on meals outside of that for the two of us.  

It sounds mean but I was just exhausted and he fended for himself.  I never thought of it as going on strike although I had.

But lately  I found some recipes I wanted to try.  And actually there appears to have been a method to my madness rebellion.  

There's been a change in our household.  Every time he comes to the dinner table now, he is so appreciative, and even THANKS  me before we sit down.  One of my recipes was so-so but he thought it was wonderful:  "I'd eat this again!"

So hubby is happy and I'm happy too.  I don't know if you've ever experienced this but it sure makes me laugh every time I think of how appreciative he's been.

Can you relate?

Have a safe and happy day!


Monday, January 29, 2024

Early 20th Century Sewing Tips


Did you have a nice weekend?  We are mostly pleased that the weather has been warmer than past weeks and the snow is melted.

I thought I would start the week with these sewing tips from the first half of the 20th century.  I find these tips a fascinating peak into the day to day lives of homemakers then.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 26, 2024

Flower Friday: January 26, 2024


Each winter, I sing the praises of the snowdrop.  For the most part, the plant begins to sprout in January and it is the most delightful reminder that spring is around the corner.  It is only 53 days until spring and I for one can't wait.

Here's what my snowdrops look like now as the snow is melting:

The seed catalogs have begun to arrive and it's time to dream about gardening and maintaining our plants.  Here's a clever meme for you to remember later this year:

And another about planting for our dear bee friends:

Are you dreaming of spring flowers?

Wishing you a happy weekend!

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Thursday's This and That: January 25, 2024


Good morning and happy Thursday!

Barbara Brackman had a really interesting post on her Civil War Quilts blog.  Even if you aren't interested in Civil War quilts, it's a good reminder of what can happen in the world of quilt sales.  You can read the article here.

These kinds of shenanigans go on all the time but it's always a good reminder.


On the other hand, you may want to learn more about quilt history and here's a program that might be of interest to you if you are near eastern Pennsylvania.  The Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center in Pennsburg, PA is having their annual Penn Dry Goods Market.  Lots of lectures, reputable merchants and a good time for all.  Here is some information on the program and schedule.


And lastly, a quilt top from the turn of the 20th century:

Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Phillies Baseball Quilt


Good morning!  How are you today?

My husband has been working down south for most of the month.  Last Friday he called me and asked what Lucky and I were doing.

"I miss baseball," I told him.  

Hubby likes hockey and football but those sports don't appeal to me.  I love everything baseball and if I can't watch a game, I'll take one of the amazing baseball movies that have been made through the decades.  Still, I longed for a good Phillies game.

Lucky would like baseball and his spring shirt is hanging in the sewing room as we await warmer weather.

Over the weekend, in between watching Moneyball and A League of Their Own, I spent some time in the sewing room.  I made a Phillies quilt for Chase, age 5 and am now working on a baby quilt for Brody, not quite 4 months.  I decided to make these because Justin (their Dad) is a Phillies fanatic like me.  I'm hoping that Justin and Chase (and someday Brody), like the quilts.  Here is the top I finished for Chase.  It's about 55 x65 inches:

The fabric has been sitting in my sewing room since last fall.  My husband came with me when I purchased it; it's the only time he expressed any interest in a quilt fabric and he even became a bit bossy about fabric choices.

One day last week, I dreamt I assembled the quilt with rail fence type blocks flanking the Phillies fabric.  The very next day I plugged in "baseball quilt" and this layout came up on Pinterest.  Magic, just like the game of baseball.

Have you made any sports themed quilts?

Wishing you a safe and happy day!

Monday, January 22, 2024

Hankie Craft


Good morning!

How was your weekend?  I did some sewing and cleaning out of the sewing room.  Today's topic is Hanky Craft because I found this wonderful craft I purchased at a local flea market.  Yes, I meant to distribute them as gifts and forgot.

So I'm showing them to you now and perhaps you will do something similar with your handkerchief if you have any nice ones.  These are fairly large and even came with an envelope. 

Of course I had to guard them for the textile bandit:

These three can be given out this year for Valentine's Day to my mom, aunt, and cousin.

There are two other ones here as well and hopefully, I'll remember them at Christmas time:

I thought these were clever at the time I purchased them and I still think they are charming.  Maybe you will be inspired to do something with your handkerchiefs too!

Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, January 19, 2024

Flower Friday: We need some flower power

 60 Days Until Spring!

I wasn't going to post today but we all need a touch of spring today!  So here are some photos to keep you inspired!

Have a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Thursday's This and That: January 18, 2024


Happy Thursday!

I can finally share some good news!  🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

My SIL is in rehab.  My brother sent me a photo of her standing up at the walker and I burst into tears.  I'm so happy.  Later he texted me that she actually walked 22 feet which is a lot considering she couldn't sit up on Monday.  We didn't think she'd ever be able to come home.  My brother's love and devotion to her is a big part of her recovery.  I am so proud of the man he is and the care and advocating he has done for her.


Well it's still cold here...just as it is all over the country these days.  Lucky and I are sure missing our long walks but it's just too icy.  

So of course I'm sewing in between playing with the puppy.  I finished another quilt.  This was a baby quilt that I made with a Disappearing Four Patch Quilt tutorial (found here).  I quick took a photo in the sewing room before Lucky the Textile Bandit decided to run off with it.

Last summer I was playing around (and trying to use up) charms from my stash.  So I decided to make these blocks.  In the fall, I assembled them for a baby quilt.  It wasn't the traditional disappearing four patch quilt block that I usually see so I experimented.  The colors are a bit off from the cloudy days but there are diagonal rows of the same color: red, purples, greens, etc.

I wasn't sure I would like it but once it was machine quilted, I loved it.  I'll give this to Jenny for her baby due on Leap Year Day.


My dog eats brussel sprouts.  

I couldn't believe it because for the most part, poodles can be picky eaters.  I made some brussel sprouts and two fell on the floor when I was packing left-overs.  Most of my dogs would have sniffed and walked away but not Lucky.  He thought they were delicious.  This I attribute to his history as a street urchin.  I'm sure there were times in his past he had to eat garbage to survive.  The vegies weren't even roasted but just plain boiled sprouts.  Fortunately, I found out it wasn't toxic for dogs (he had gobbled them down before I realized he ate them).

I try not to give him anything but dog food and plain biscuits but if I or my family drop anything by mistake, we learn he will eat things like cooked asparagus or a piece of orange.  

On the photo above, Lucky is relaxing after fun in the snow.  He has really filled out since we got him and is almost at the weight the vet suggested.  

I'm not sure I'll be posting for tomorrow.  I don't have much else to share this week.  So in case, I don't--have a safe and happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Another Hero with a Needle


Good morning!

Well it seems like nearly the whole country is coping with frigid temps and even snow in the south.  I'm fortunate.  I have a nice puppy to cuddle when it is cold.  But if you don't have a pet, I'll bet you are looking for something nice to snuggle with--what about a teddy bear!

Today's post is about a woman who once said, "Freedom is believing in yourself."  

Most of us know about Steiff bears, we see them on the Antique Roadshow, marvel at how collectible they are and how Richard Steiff "invented" the Teddy Bear which he named after Teddy Roosevelt.  The rest is history.  But is it the whole history?

Margarete Steiff was born in 1847 in Germany.  At only a year and half years old, she contracted polio; both of her legs were paralyzed and she had difficulty raising her right arm.  Fortunately for Margarete she had parents who encouraged her to live as normal a life as she could.  Despite the pain in her arms, she became an accomplished zither player...

And despite her handicaps and the pain in her right hand, she took needlework lessons; by 17 years old, she completed her training.  The zither was a useful skill; she gave zither lessons and that money enabled her to buy her first sewing machine.  She opened a felt store and made felt underskirts which was all the rage at the time.

But in 1879, she widened her focus.  She found a pattern in a magazine to make stuffed animals--like rabbits, mice, and elephants.  She gave her original toys to children of family members and friends.   By 1892, she even applied for a patent for the making of animals and playthings.

Five years later, her nephew Richard joined the company and designed more toys.  In 1902, Richard's design for a bear with movable joints and soon became the most popular toy in the United States (named after Teddy Roosevelt).

1907 ad, Lancaster, PA

1908 Christmas ad, Rochester, NY

In 1909, Margarete Steiff passed at the age of 61.  I keep her in a mental file of "heroes with needles";  her determination overcame her physical disabilities and enabled her to become not only a great seamstress but an early woman entrepreneur.

I never looked at teddy bear quite the same way after I heard her remarkable story.  Maybe you won't either.

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Snowy Sewy Day

Happy Tuesday!

The whole city is quiet.  The puppy is still curled up asleep and I'm enjoying the rare silence of an early morning snow day.  The snow began last night.  The storm came up from the south where my husband is working.  

We love snow days as children and happily, most of the school districts have closed for the day and not done virtual.  I think a snow day is important fun for kids.

For my entire adulthood, I dreaded snow days.  I hated--and still hate--driving in snow or ice or both.   

But now I'm retired and welcome this kind of weather.  Everyone knows I don't drive on a snow day and that makes this day even more cherished.  Yesterday I ran errands to make sure that my mother had everything she will need for her snow day.  

It's going to be a snowy sewy day and I'm so looking forward to just being at home.

Over the weekend, I finished binding this quilt.  I'm giving this to 7 year old Amelia. 

I'm almost done with this fabric.  I bought it about over 10 years ago (or more).  My 13 year old niece Christina picked out the fabric and the pattern she wanted for her bedroom quilt:  

The pattern at the time was from the book, Wonder Blocks by Terry Martin.  Christina had a queen sized bed and I bought a lot of extra fabric in case I wanted to make another.   Back then, I often made two quilts at one time.  But then...

Halfway through the project, Christina informed me she had painted her room purple so plans changed.  I did curtail the original project but made a couch quilt of these fabrics when she graduated from high school...and happily she loved the colors again.  

What are you doing today?  Many of you are being impacted by the same storm.

Today I'll be binding a baby quilt for Jenny, coaxing the dog to go to the bathroom out back, and deciding on my next project.  Our neighbor Howie plows us out and at least I don't have to worry about that.

Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy your day!

Have a safe and happy day!