Friday, March 29, 2024

Flower Friday: March 29, 2024


Happy Friday and Happy Easter!

This week, we have some new things blooming!

Siberian Squill:

And lungwort!

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Thursday, March 28, 2024


Good morning!  

How are you today?  

It's been a tough news week and with Easter this weekend, I thought I would share something brief and light.  Every year I'm delighted to see what people do with Peeps. As many of you know, Peeps are made here in the Lehigh Valley.

Here are my two favorite for this year that have shown up on the internet:

Someone called this "The Screep"

And when it comes to Peeps, never accept imitations:

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Lucky Report


How are you this morning?

"Play with me!"

Today is all about Lucky.  He was groomed in early January, mostly just washed and a slight trim.  I had stayed with Lucky the whole time and helped.  It is really difficult to groom a wriggly giggly dog.  At that point, Jessa suggested asking the vet for something to calm him down while he is getting groomed.  So I did that.  I didn't want him getting nicked or cut because of his antics.

So Lucky went for a grooming and it was with Jessa's new assistant (Dani) who's been working at another shop for years.  Lucky was the first dog she was going to take on.  As usual when he meets someone,  Lucky was jumping around, mouthing anything he could reach and acting like a lunatic.

"He's sedated,"  I told them.  We all three watched as he jumped on us and was totally inappropriate.

I looked at Dani with deep sympathy, "nothing like baptism by fire, right?"

But she did okay.  They have a hammock to help keep him stationary.  I picked him up and we stopped to show my mom his new do.  The sedative was given to him three hours before Jessa's (as per the vet's instructions)  and it was another three hours until I picked him up.  "Look," my mom said, "he's really drowsy now."  Great.

We are walking a lot now that the weather has turned.  I don't know who's getting more tired, him or me.  But fortunately, the boy has developed an interest in ball playing in the back yard.

He's even retrieving the ball so I can throw it again (okay, sometimes).

Last week we decorated my mother's house for Easter.  Lucky is not so sure about the Easter Bunny.

He'd only get close when he was reassured by my brother Jim.

Until my brother tried to move the bunny and the head fell off.  Lucky did not know how to deal with that!  He decided to keep some distance.

But when he and I are in the sewing room, I found a new trick to calm him down.  It turns out that Lucky is a Samba baby.  When Asterid Gilberto came on the radio and sang "The Girl from Ipanema," Lucky curled up and fell asleep.  I turned the Pandora app onto Brazilian music and peace reigns in the sewing room for at least an hour or two.


Wishing you a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Tuesday's This and That: March 26, 2024


Good morning!

Today I'm just sharing some articles that I enjoyed and hope you enjoy them too!

Do you remember the movie, Monuments Men?  Did you know that there were monuments women?  I didn't but of course that's true!  So before the end of Women's History Month:   Here is the article.


My seasonal allergies are beginning early.  Already in mid-March, the tree pollen was nearly half way up the scale.  But here is an article about when "allergies" first began to be researched.


When I talked about notions and gadgets last week, Robin commented that her thimble was her favorite notion.  It's also Beth's favorite notion.  Strangely enough, here is an article about an early thimble with a romantic message!


Have a safe and happy day!

Monday, March 25, 2024

Looking to the Heavens


Greetings and Salutations!

On April 8, a total solar eclipse will be occurring.  Quilts often illustrate people's fascination with the heavens.  In particular, there are so many star quilts that is hard to pinpoint which one we like best.

Although I have many star quilts, I've yet to meet one that really satisfied me.  My father used to lecture on astronomy, often telling the tales of what the stories of the constellations meant.  but there is a quilt that piqued my interest and that is Ellen Harding Baker's constellation quilt.  It was made in 1876 and she made it as a teaching tool.  You can see the quilt and the story here.

Have a safe and happy day!

Friday, March 22, 2024

Flower Friday: March 22, 2024


Good morning friends!

How is your spring starting off? 

Ours this:

I know some of you got snow recently and it looks like we may as well later today.  I won't even complain about the fact that March came in like a lamb and is going out like a lion.  It's been happening too many years at this point.

The crocuses croaked.  
The flowers bloomed for about a day and got rained on.  Then the temperatures went up to the 70s and they burned out right away.  I am still glad I got a photo of them (the header above).

The daffodils are in full bloom now and everywhere you look the yellow blooms look cheerful but a bit haggard and windblown.

Throughout this winter, I noticed that our neighbors arborvitae were really beaten up and often permanently damaged by the wet snow we experienced.  I didn't think that much of it at the time, it happens.  

But there are two arborvitae right off the patio here.  They were here when we moved in 30 years ago and the previous owner said they were here when he moved in 17 years before us.  The arborvitae are about 35- 40 feet tall and even one of our tree guys marveled at the height.  They are really trees and not shrubs at all.  

I was cleaning out the garden when it was warm and noticed that one of the "trees" had split.  You can see the wound below.

In cases like this, one does not call any old tree guy.  The cracked tree is supported by the weak base and branches from the cedar aside of it.  We need to protect our neighbor's house on the other side of the wall and there are power lines nearby.  Len Witt of Witt's Tree Service came out right away.  We thought that the whole tree would need to be removed but he suggested he just remove the second tree.  He thinks the main tree might heal (if it doesn't, he'll be back) but he loved the way the three trees looked together.  It's worth a shot.

What's going on in your garden?

Have a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Mrs. Beeton


Happy Thursday!

I started reading the above book last Sunday.  I'm enjoying it but it is such a detailed book that I'm reading it slowly.

You're probably asking, "Who is Mrs. Beeton?"

She was a British woman (married to publisher Sam Beeton) who became basically the Martha Stewart of Victorian England.  Her book,  Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management was a staple to the burgeoning middle class on cooking, servant management and just about anything else you can imagine.  The book was published in 1861.

I originally became intrigued with Mrs. Beeton when I read about a movie that features Anna Madley (Mrs. Hall in the current PBS show All Creatures Great and Small).  I'd like to see the movie but I decided to read the book first.

It hasn't disappointed me.  I'll probably write more about the book after I finish it but some of what I liked just from the preface:

"This burden of choice--the worry about what your sofa says about you--remains an oppressive force in American and British culture today.  Ironically, the range of manufactured goods available has become so over-whelming (and yet, in some essential way so same and safe) that we are currently seeing a revival of interest in craft skills.  

Consumers who could well afford to buy a quilt for their bed from the Ralph Lauren Homeware Collection are learning how to do patchwork.  Martha Stewart, meanwhile instructs a constituency made up of bankers and doctors as well as full-time homemakers how to make their own Christmas wreaths.  All kinds of lost or degraded domestic silks--from knitting to fretwork, cooking to dress-making--are being rediscovered by a generation used to being able to order up anything it wants at the click of a computer mouse."

The hardback edition of the biography is on Amazon for half the price of the paperback right now.  But be warned, this book is chock full of information and sometimes the descriptions and backgrounds of characters is not unlike a Russian novel.

Still it's an interesting insight to the domestic arts and society. 

And here's another irony for you:  Joann's Fabrics has filed chapter 11 to prevent bankruptcy.  Economists are saying that the downswing in sales is due to a lack of interest in crafting right now.  I wonder how much the quality of the fabric and the imported decor has to do with it.  Your thoughts?

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Gadget Queens


At guild we have a "free table" that members can leave fabric and things they no longer want.  It started out as one table.  Now it's three tables in the center of the room.  It always reminds me of a town square.  Members circulate around the table chatting with each other and enjoying the happiness of free sewing things.   

The last meeting was filled with a variety of gadgets, notions, and tools that members don't use (some still in the package).

When we look at the history of quilting, we do find lots of fads and our modern times are no different.

Who could forget the yo yo craze of the mid 20th century?

Crazy quilts another fad that has endured but not like the fad of the late 19th century:

And of course, who could forget redwork?

During the last 40-50 years, a number of new tools and techniques have been introduced and all of them tend to make our quilting work easier.  We attended workshops or demonstrations on how to use so many different things.  New techniques were shown on Simply Quilts.  Good tools make a huge difference and so do good gadgets.

I've been clearing out my sewing room and I still have many things that were big fads.  You probably have some too.

*Yo-yo makers

*A variety of rotary cutters with special blades that created unique edges to the cut fabric.

*Fusible appliques, already to iron on and yet--still unused.

And that doesn't include all the rulers, cutting mats, and ironing gadgets.

What kinds of gadgets have you kept that you find useful or can't bear to part with yet?

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

With Thanks...


Yesterday I was jolted by the post that appeared on my blog.  I had written it before Janet passed and didn't realize I put it ahead.

First off, thanks for all the kind wishes, emails, texts, and cards.  I have appreciated each one.  We are still trying to adjust to the new life without Janet and all of us continue to be concerned about my brother.  Mostly I just want him to take it easy for a while.  He has his own health issues and I worry (and nag him).

Lucky has been helpful through this time.  He makes Jim laugh and follows him everywhere he goes.  It makes Jim feel good and even touches him (Lucky cries for him outside the bathroom door).

Anyway, I just wanted to thank each of you for your kindness.

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, March 18, 2024

Trip Down Memory Lane


Happy Monday!

Lately I've been taking a trip down quilt memory lane.  There were many things that reignited my interest in quilting.  One was some of my co-workers at the college I worked at that showed me new techniques to use.  But a big influence was HGTV's Simply Quilts show with Alex Anderson.  How many of you watched that?

A few weeks ago, I was thinking of something that Alex once said and was surprised to find that some of the old shows are on the internet to watch.  It was wonderful to revisit the show.  At the time the show was actually on, I used to tape the shows.  Of course once the VCR died, that ended that pleasure.  I think that HGTV cancelled the show about 18 years ago.  What a mistake that network made!

One of the most memorable guests that comes to mind was Laura Wasilowski.  She's memorable to me because she had a dry sense of humor (Chicago School of Fusing) and because her technique is still one I occasionally use.

Do you remember a specific guest or technique you learned from the show?

Have a safe and happy day!

Sunday, March 10, 2024



I'm taking the week off from blogging.

My brother Jim needs me.  My sweet sister-in-law Janet passed on Saturday night after two tough years of illness.  Even though we knew it was coming, it's still so hard to comprehend.  

I'll see you next week.

Take care and stay safe.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Flower Friday: March 8, 2024

Happy Friday!

Yellow seems to be the color this week.  It's no wonder that yellow and purple are the colors of Easter.

My neighbor's aconite is starting to bloom and it is always a happy sign.  Strangely enough one of my neighbors has a forsythia that is blooming as well but it's in a protected spot.

The daffodils are up and we can see some buds forming but it will probably be another two weeks until we have flowers (depending on the temps).  My neighbor who has a very sunny spot in her garden, has blooms already!

Wednesday, March 6, 2024



Hello and good morning!

Guild went late last night.  I'm a little bit tired today  so I'm just featuring one piece.  This is the ribbon fan comfort.  It's a silk quilt that has some shattered pieces but it still is a stunning piece.  Note that on the right, the border is made of a wide silk ribbon.

Although it appears to be quilted, it is actually tied.  The backing is a pre-quilted fabric that was purchased at the time the quilt was made.  I can't even get a photo of the small stitches on the back that are binding the piece together.  

Have a safe and happy day!