Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Work Rhythm


Hello and happy Tuesday!

We were supposed to get a light snow on Friday night which turned out to be 7-12 inches (depending on what part of the valley you were in).  Late Saturday we got squall warnings across our phones but none occurred in our neighborhood.  Still it is February 20 and I can feel March coming!

I spent the weekend caregiving and working on my shoo fly blocks.  The blocks have become a bit of an obsession at this point.  I started out using 1930s reproduction scraps.  But sometimes a block is so much fun to make and you develop a rhythm.  

I love when that happens and soon I was opening the suitcase full of actual 1930s-1950s scraps and going to town.  

It's the idea of the rhythm that is so appealing.  One article I read defined it as "the ability to work without feeling overwhelmed or stressed."  

Hand quilting used to provide me with that kind of peacefulness but I can't do that anymore.  So it's wonderful to find tranquility when making a block.  It's a simple block, one I haven't made in decades (I think the last time I did these blocks was with my Nana).  

There was a time I felt like I should do more challenging blocks or make some kind of artistic statement.  But the beauty in getting older is dismissing those kinds of feelings and embracing what makes one happy.

Shoo Fly blocks make me happy.  Is there a project that makes you happy these days?

Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, February 19, 2024

President's Day: 2024


Happy President's Day!

Did you know that Washington was actually born on February 11?  But in 1752, Britain and all the colonies discarded the Julian Calendar that had been used and switched to the Gregorian Calendar which made George's birthday February 22.

Block featured in one of my redwork quilts.

I also like the Mountain Mist Cherry Ripe quilt this time of year.  Even if George didn't chop down the cherry tree, I still connotate cherries with him.

The original Mountain Mist pattern shows a more elaborate center but I think I prefer this simpler version.  The original pattern is being sold again at a variety of places.

One of my favorite Washington inspired quilts is one made by Carrie Hall and is featured here.  The quilt is an adaptation of two patterns, one by Lydia  Le Baron Walker (who created the United Hearts pattern I featured on Valentine's Day) and used other aspects of a Ladies Art Company Catalog pattern.  More information about the pattern can be found here on Brackman's blog.

Wishing you a wonderful and safe day!

Friday, February 16, 2024

Flower Friday: February 16, 2024


Happy Flower Friday!

I love the above meme.  I thought of it when it snowed about 7 inches here in town on Tuesday.  

No matter what, there is only 32 days until spring and I can't wait.

We spent the snow day doing some sewing.  Lucky decided to rearrange the house (a few times).

Lucky also went on a full bite everyone craze, destroyed just about everything he could get his teeth on.  When he doesn't get his full walks (over a mile just in the morning), he's a maniac.  I did walk him as much as I could yesterday, often in the streets until my neighbors cleared their walks.  But it just wasn't enough.

He was so naughty that I woke up with horse vocal chords on Wednesday from yelling, "NO!"  I felt lousy enough to take a covid test and fortunately, it was negative.  

Still spring is coming.  

The heather began to bloom before the snow:

The snow will probably start really melting by Monday when the temps go up to the 40s F .  I'll be just happy to walk the dog without worrying about ice on the sidewalks.

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Happy Valentine's Day!

 Happy Valentine's Day!

I thought the above meme was a hoot so I'm sharing it with you!  Of course what's good for the goose is good for the gander so here's another fun one:

Here's a lovely quilt pattern that I found.  I'm not sure if I ever posted this one before.

A similar pattern was made to crochet:

The patterns were offered in a column by Lydia Le Baron Walker.  Her daughter, Mary Evangeline Walker did the illustrations.  More on them next week...

My favorite heart themed textile is one that was unfinished.  I think it was intended to make as a pillow cover.  The piece is made of tobacco silks that depicted flowers:

Whatever kind of day you have planned, I hope it is a good one!

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Status of Quilting

Good morning and happy Tuesday!

After about 2 weeks of spring-like weather, the northeast part of the country is getting a snow storm.  It's a perfect day to stay in and sew (except when you have to take your puppy out).  With that in mind...

Today is a happy day.  Last week I read some positive news and wanted to share it with you.  For the last few years, there has been some speculation that quilting was on the decline again.  The popularity of quilting has often had it's ups and downs throughout history.  

Some of the anxiety about the status of quilting may have been because many small quilt shops closed, especially after the pandemic (and some were struggling and closing even before covid).  We have all seen signs and memes encouraging us to support our local quilt shop.

But the overall status of our world may be positive.

According to all the studies I read, the market size has actually increased.  According to the Craft Alliance study (here) quilting is now a $4.2 billion industry in North America.

Predictions for the global market are positive and expected to continue to expand "at least until 2030."  I liked this article that cited that consumers are actually willing to pay higher prices for handmade quilts.

I've heard over and over again how the British monarchy survived because they changed with the times and modernized.  It appears our quilt industry also did that as well.  Quilting has survived because of innovations and quilters embracing more digital aspects of the market.

Still there are downsides to the age of covid.  Attendance at quilt shows and guilds have decreased.  The Craft Alliance study indicated that 51% of the participants in their study did not feel comfortable at large gatherings.  Most of the studies indicate that the largest population of quilters are over 55 years old.

There is an additional con to the innovations.  Most of us realize that the book market for quilting has declined drastically.  The studies do not indicate that the price of fabric could be considered cost prohibitive especially for new (younger) quilters that have budgetary considerations.

Still, there are more positives than negatives as we continue to cut and sew our fabric blocks together.  

Have a safe and happy day!


Monday, February 12, 2024

Happy Birthday Abe!


Happy Birthday President Lincoln!
Today I'm posting some log cabin quilt photos in honor of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln!

Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, February 9, 2024

Flower Friday


Happy Friday!

Today I'm talking about trees.  Most of us have them in our garden or nearby.  Do you have a fondness for any kind of tree?  Or maybe there is one you don't like?

I don't like sweetgum trees.  Mostly I don't like them because there is a park near my mother's house that I love to walk but the there are so many prickly seed balls on the path that I'm afraid I will fall and get hurt.

Apparently I'm not the only person that doesn't care for this tree.  I just read an article entitled, "The Most Dangerous Tree in the Suburbs".  Although the balls produce food for finches and other small birds, I wonder if it's worth it.  Each ball only has 2 seeds in it.  You can read the article here.  

However, there are plenty of folks who think the sweet gum is magnificent and some articles on defending the tree.  Here's one article you can check out.  

I'm always happy with my Pee Gee Hydrangea Tree.  It is manageable and blooms from the end of July into the fall.
here's a photo when it was young:

Probably the most surprising tree in my adulthood is the Tulip Tree.  In summer, I spent a lot of time at Girl Scout camps when I was a teen.  I taught kids how to identify certain trees by their leaves including the tulip tree.

Bit G.S. camp begins after the school year.  I was shocked when I visited her home a few years ago and saw her Tulip Tree in full bloom.  It was magnificent.  The tree was full of cup shaped flowers and I must have taken a dozen or more photographs of it.  Those photographs are long gone but just imagine a tree full of these blooms:

It enchanted me at the time and I wish I had the space to have on in my garden.  The tree blooms April to June which is why I never saw the flowers.  

What is your favorite tree?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Thursday's This and That: February 8, 2024


How are you today?

I heard on the radio the other day that most of the country is experiencing a warm spell.  I hope you are enjoying it!  Lucky and I have been taking more and longer walks.  It's been wonderful!

Alice sent a photo over of her shoofly.  Her uncle made it for her in 1946 or 47.  It was a rocking duck and she said she loved it as a kid.  It's in great condition and I love the wee quilt on it too!

Fabric inspired by the paintings of Gustav Klimt is popular.   If you aren't familiar with the fabric, you can look at it here.  I like the movie, "Woman in Gold" that was made a few years ago.  I highly recommend it.   Recently there was a story about another lost Klimt painting that surfaced.  I love the colors in this one and wish there was a fabric with these hues!  Read the story and see the lovely painting here.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Early 20th C Newspaper Patterns


How are you today?

Well I finally figured out the layout and fabrics for my shoofly quilt.  It usually doesn't take me that long but sometimes you just have to mull on an idea.  I found this photo on Pinterest from the Temecula Quilt Co. in California:

I like the green as an alternate block.  My quilt will be 30s reproduction fabrics and I have some green yardage that work well in between the blocks.

I find inspiration all over the place.  Over the weekend I was looking for patterns from the early 20th century.  There weren't many quilt blocks published in the newspapers at the turn of the century.  What I did find surprised me.



This looks more like a quilt pattern one might see these days.  It yells modern and I liked it a lot.  It's just not what I wanted to make right now.  Sometimes pattern names surprise me...for example the churn dash below.  It was what jolted me into thinking about a shoofly block.


Wishing you a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Lucky updates


Good morning!  
Happy Tuesday!

Today I'm talking about Lucky, the baddest best dog in the universe.  I should call him "the cheesemaker" because his biting--although improving is evidenced in a lot of my clothing.

My clothing at this point resembles Swiss cheese because of him biting at my pants and sweatshirts.  And often he has a look of unholy glee (not unlike the illustration above) while he is doing it.

We will never know Lucky's true backstory.  My husband speculates that someone along the way must have encouraged the biting behavior.  Brad said when he was young, one of his guy friends had a small dog and thought it was funny to tease the puppy to bite him (don't ask me why, I don't have a Y chromosome).

But Lucky is improving.  He is settling into our routine more and we are also learning better ways to divert him from negative behavior.  He seems to love his life with us.  It's a little unsettling--but also a relief--that he behaves better for my mom and my neighbors than he does with us.  It reminds me of toddlers who often exhibit that kind of behavior.  

Lucky also loves sticks and he can be stubborn and ceaseless in quest for a stick.  So when I saw this video on pinterest, it made me laugh so hard that my husband had to see it and then he laughed like crazy too.  It isn't Lucky, but it sure exhibits his kind of behavior:

If the video doesn't show properly, you can always see it here.

He's a handful at times.  But at night, when he curls up on my lap, he gives the sweetest sigh of contentment before he drifts off to sleep.  It makes my heart full of love for our sweet boy.

Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, February 5, 2024



Good morning and happy Monday!

It was a great weekend for one main reason:  SUNSHINE!  It's been a while since we've had full sunshine for a whole day, much less a few days.  I hope the sun is shining where you are and you are enjoying some Vitamin D  and some energy.  Over the weekend I finished a quilt and then did some deep cleaning in the sewing room.  

Of course while I was cleaning, I was thinking/debating what kind of quilt I wanted to make next.  I've decided on using a shoofly pattern, mostly because I don't think I've done one in years/decades.  Of course, the next question is shall I make a baby quilt or a throw?  More on that when I decide.

I wonder if you you are familiar with the word, "shoofly".  Here in eastern Pennsylvania, we usually connotate that word with a molasses pie.  If you never heard of it and are intrigued, here's a five star recipe.

Another meaning of the word shoofly is a child's toy rocker.  The rocking horse type toy has a flat seat for the baby or child to sit on:

One of the interesting things is that this is a fairly old pattern.  I didn't see any designs printed in old newspapers although there were plenty of notations about women making them.  Here is a photo of some blocks that are available on an online shop:

What are you working on these days?

Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, February 2, 2024

Happy Groundhog's Day!


Good morning and happy Groundhog's Day!

My mom's birthday is today and she always says that whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow, we have 6 more weeks of winter.  Statistics show that mom is often correct.  According to one article I read, Punxsutawney Phil has been right 39% of the time since predictions began in 1887.  

Still, there is a certain relief when Groundhog's Day occurs.  There's more light in the evening and now that the snow has melted, more of the spring bulbs are beginning to surface; don't worry, if there is even more snow, the bulbs survive.

I like this particular quote:

These days I find myself musing about the garden more because I know the warm weather will be here soon. 

I think the thing I look forward to the most is clearing out the garden and walking Lucky more often.  I love the longer days of spring and summer and the various colors of green of the spring.

I was once told that green is the color of healing and perhaps that is why I love spring so much.

I do love the colors of spring and summer flowers but I think my favorite time of year is the early part of the spring when the garden displays so much promise.

How are you feeling about the pending spring?

Have a safe and happy weekend!