Friday, April 19, 2024

Flower Friday: April 19, 2024

 


Happy Flower Friday!

I love the quote above because gardens are hard work but so worthwhile.  Are you doing a lot of clean-up too?  I sure am!

Alice sent this lovely photo of her red tulips.  I love the yellow tips on these:


Thanks Alice!

My own tulips are bloomed and I'm just grateful they haven't all been eaten by the rabbits yet.  These are pink but photographed red :(:

And the surprise on our walks was seeing my neighbors irises blooming!  More common are the phlox flowers blooming, so cheerful and pretty and are at the base of the iris.



Have a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Candy Land 2

 


Happy Thursday!

Today is Candyland, part 2.  I do have fond memories of playing the game with my brother.  But my person of the week is a big part of Candy Land's history.


Candy Land was invented by Eleanor Abbott.  Eleanor was a retired school teacher and a victim of polio.  While in the hospital ward,  she was surrounded by children who also had the disease.

 Eleanor invented the game for the children with polio.  The children in the hospital tested the game for her and apparently loved it.  It was sold to Milton Bradley in 1948 and the following year, the game was marketed.

It was an amazing success,  even out-selling the Uncle Wiggly game which had been Milton Bradley's most popular product.


The original board even featured a boy in a leg brace (see above).  Most of us remember kids or adults with polio who had to wear that kind of brace.

And Eleanor?  Well she is my person of the week because she donated all her royalties from the game to charities that focused on helping children in need. 

Way to go Eleanor!

Tomorrow is Flower Friday, if you have any photos to share, please email me at allentownquilter@gmail.com!

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Candy Land

 


Happy Wednesday!

How many of you played Candy Land when you were a kid?


I'm making a scrap quilt right now that I refer to as "Candy Land" because I chose colors or patterns that reminded me of the game.  My brother and I used to play it occasionally.

Anyway, I had fabric in the right colors and decided to make a scrap quilt.  I chose to make hourglass blocks but didn't want them to match.  I don't do well applying a casual attitude towards color and fabric choice.  So I pulled a bunch of scraps and made a bunch of hourglasses...

Originally, I wanted to just piece it all into a crib quilt.  I made a four patch as an example.


And then I made another:


Then I even scanned the two blocks together, placing them side-by-side:


I wanted to make this into a crib quilt and thought it would be fun to use white quilting thread or (GASP!) red quilting thread.

This is waaaaaay out of my wheel house.  Thoughts?

Thanks and have a great day!




Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Tuesday's This and That: April 16, 2024

 


Good morning!

Despite wind and more rain, spring is delightfully here.  Each day the garden is bursting with more plants; the bees are working like mad, and the days are getting longer.  All good reasons to be elated these days!

***

Faith Ringgold passed away last week.  She was a well known artist who often created "story quilts" that were painted.  Two good articles are here and here.

***

Not sewing related but incorporating threads is the work of Helena Hafemann.  Also incorporated into her work?  Porcelain.  I swear, check it out here to see!

***

Lately a few things have amused me on Pinterest.  One is this game which makes me smile each time I see this game come up.  


Although I play board games with my neighbor, we decided this was just too loud and fast for us.

Another amusing title is one of a book:


Here's the blurb that explains the book:

"A cat a day keeps the doctor away…

Discover the award-winning, bestselling Japanese novel that has become an international sensation in this utterly charming, vibrant celebration of the healing power of cats.


Tucked away in an old building at the end of a narrow alley in Kyoto, the Kokoro Clinic for the Soul can only be found by people who are struggling in their lives and genuinely need help. The mysterious clinic offers a unique treatment to those who find their way there: it prescribes cats as medication. Patients are often puzzled by this unconventional prescription, but when they “take” their cat for the recommended duration, they witness profound transformations in their lives, guided by the playful, empathetic, occasionally challenging yet endearing cats.

Throughout the pages, the power of the human-animal bond is revealed as a disheartened businessman finds unexpected joy in physical labor, a young girl navigates the complexities of elementary school cliques, a middle-aged man struggles to stay relevant at work and home, a hardened bag designer seeks emotional balance, and a geisha finds herself unable to move on from the memory of her lost cat. As the clinic’s patients navigate their inner turmoil and seek resolution, their feline companions lead them toward healing, self-discovery, and newfound hope."

🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱

Have a safe and happy day!


Monday, April 15, 2024

Quilt Contestants

 


Good morning!  

The sun is shining and it's a lovely beginning to a new week!

In contrast, most of the weekend was cool, wet, and dreary.  I spent some time reading about old quilt contests and shows from the Depression era.  We still have quilt shows and contests (or challenges) but I miss the old-time newspapers when all the local news was reported.  

These shows were a great way to get people to subscribe to the newspaper since often the publisher sponsored the shows.  Gifts could be cash, a refrigerator, or even a Shetland pony.  😮

So today I'm featuring some contestants like 9 year old Pauline who hoped to win the pony:

1930

There are often interesting photographs of the quilts that were being entered or won.  I find it inspiring!

1939


1931:  
Mr. Bonner entered and proudly displayed the quilt his late wife had made.

This lady (below) makes us all proud.  She could be a member of our UFO club!  It took her 45 years to complete her quilt and I wonder if it was a charm quilt:


Another patriotic piece is pictured below.  Made by a soldier from the first World War:


And... there are entries that aren't quilts at all but possibly misrepresented by the newspaper reporter who didn't know the difference between a quilt and a woven coverlet:


I think the piece below is also a woven coverlet, what do you think?


Have a safe and happy day!




Friday, April 12, 2024

Flower Friday: April 12, 2024

 


Friday greetings!

Apologies for missing Flower Friday last week; something came up and I couldn't get to the blog.

The flowering trees are beginning to bloom!



But we lost our entire tree yesterday.  Initially, the tree surgeon thought we might only need to remove the cracked part of the tree, leaning to the right.


A crane and a 6 man team had to be brought in because the tree was so close to our house and my neighbor's house (not to mention electrical wires).


But once that was removed, it was clear the whole tree was compromised with rot.

Even with what we and the tree men could see, we had no idea how bad it was.  But they got the tree down in two pieces.  Here's the top (held by the crane) after they craned it out to the back alley behind our 6 foot fence.


Once the tree was gone, we could see how bad the rot was--on this photo, the orange inner part came out with just my hand gently pulling it.  The piece I took out left a two foot (I measured) hole into the roots from the ground down.


We have a pot on it now so Lucky doesn't fall in it by mistake when he is running around the yard.  My brother had picked him up so he missed the excitement.  When he got home, it was a little anti-climatic.  He didn't notice right away and then he just sniffed and walked away...until the cats came out later in the afternoon and he could see them better (good times!)


In other flower news, some of the violets are blooming!


But my new-to-me flowers are the white flowers in my neighbor's garden.  His mother planted all the beds and the white flower is called bloodroot.  I love how the pop of white makes the surrounding flowers sing.


And the bleeding hearts are beginning to bloom.


Although the daffodils are beginning to fade, my favorite ones with the coral centers are just starting to bloom.  You can see them in the header above.

What's going on in your garden?

Have a safe and happy day!


Thursday, April 11, 2024

Grandma's Kitchen

 



Good morning!

I was fortunate enough that my great-grandparents lived long enough for me to get to know them.  Our family took frequent rides "up home" to Shamokin, Pennsylvania were Grandma and Grandpa lived.  

Both of them had a great sense of humor.  Although Grandma was a great cook, Grandpa made angel food cakes and called them "good bread".  Grandma could crochet in her sleep.  Years after Grandpa died, she'd fall asleep while crocheting at my Nana's.  There'd even be a little drool coming down from her mouth but her fingers continued to work the yarn.  As kids, we thought this made her magical, no one had heard of muscle memory.

Their home was a double: on one side lived Grandma and Grandpa and on the other side, lived Uncle Russ who was their son.  The main gathering place was Grandma's Kitchen.  It had been redone in the 1950s and had grey counter tops, white cupboards, a grey formica table and chairs that sported a coordinating grey vinyl.  Grandma's additional accent color was red (a color she loved--and a color my Nana, her daughter, detested).

It was a large kitchen and in the corner...where once had a been a wood burning stove was Grandpa's green rocking chair.  Very similar to this:

But with all wooden arms (like this one):
(both images found on pinterest).

Grandpa's chair was incredibly comfortable but as soon as the old man walked in the room, we all relinquished his seat.  It was Grandpa's chair and we all knew it even though he never became cross with children.

We talk about color and memory but textiles hold memories as well.  Sometimes a specific fabric stimulates a memory.  For me, it was this combination of colors.  I have no idea where this fabric originated.  I even wonder if my Aunt gave me this fabric when she cleaned out Nana's house (in which case, it may have come from Grandma because of Nana's aversion to red).  Nor can I remember if Grandma's curtains were made from this feed sack fabric.


All I know is that the fabric has always reminded me of Grandma's Kitchen.  My friend Lizzie suggested a green accent color, perfect for Grandpa's chair.  I thought it needed some white as well.  Eventually I settled on a gingham style throw and finished the top a few weeks ago.


I'm going to use this as a picnic quilt.  I had enough fabric to make some table runners as well.  One for my mom, my Aunt who remembers the kitchen as well as I do, and my neighbor who just loved the colors.  


Have you ever felt compelled to make something because it incited such a strong memory?

Have a safe and happy day!










Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Textiles and Memory

 


Good morning!

One of my oldest friend's mother lived in a retirement community about 90 minutes away.  I would often visit with my friend when she would go see her mother (who has now moved close by).  The retirement community was beautiful and one day, Caroline--my friend's mom--arranged for us to meet her friend Anne who also lived there.  

Anne was a treat!  She was a quilter and quilt collector and often lectured at nearby senior facilities on quilt history.  Caroline knew I would enjoy meeting a kindred spirit and we spent a lovely afternoon chatting about quilts and speaking engagements.


But one of the stories that Anne told us was unforgettable.  When she showed my a 1930s quilt, she said, "I have to tell you the story about this quilt."

Anne had lifted up the quilt while lecturing and was discussing The Depression when an old lady in a wheel chair rolled up to her and yelled, "That's my quilt," and started yanking the quilt from Anne.  The interaction quickly became an incident and staff had to forcibly wheel the woman (still yelling, "that's my quilt!" out of the room).


It clearly had shook up Anne who in her late 70s.  I never forgot this story because often when we purchase old quilts, we often don't know the provenance of the textile.

But also so many quilts in a specific era can resemble each other.




Anne's experience was one that every quilt collector fears.  Textiles like fragrance and music can elicit strong memories.  Years ago, there was a quilt challenge that I think was on the Quilt History List.  The challenge was to create a quilt about one's first textile memory.  I've written about this before (here and here).

There are a lot of articles about textiles and memories, one of my favorite (unrelated to quilts) is here.

The pieces I've been working on the last two weeks are part of this genre.  I'll explain more tomorrow.

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Tuesday's This and That: April 9, 2024

 



Good morning!



***

For years, I've been trying to explain the calming effect that quilting has on me.  When things become really chaotic, it isn't unusual for me to say to my husband, "If I don't get some time in the sewing room, there's going to be trouble."

This article in the New Yorker best relays the peace I get in the room.  Enjoy!

***

Lucky's Latest

The boy is constantly trying to nip my hands.  We've tried a number of things to stop this bad behavior but now we are trying even more...and thinking about a trainer.  Why?

Because the Saturday before Easter--after another round of the biting--I realized that a diamond from my wedding ring was gone.  Yup, he loosened the prongs and it was gone.  I looked everywhere because I wasn't sure when it had fallen out.

Surprisingly on Easter morning, when Lucky was again going for my hand, I noticed something glimmering on the floor.  Yep, it was the diamond.  It was a thin narrow diamond but there it was.  We're just grateful he didn't eat it.  My family refers to this as the "Easter miracle."  And Lucky continues to nip my hands.  But now, I'm wearing a plain band even though the ring was repaired.

***

Speaking of family, my brother continues to grieve the loss of Janet.  His been doing some "cooking therapy" and it appears that it is giving him the same calmness that sewing gives me.   He is cooking big meals and distributing the food to immediate family.  During the last years of her life, Janet would often instruct him on how to make some of her famous recipes.  My husband in particular has become a big fan and happily, I haven't had to cook much!  

I'm just so grateful that he has found something to do to keep him peaceful right now.

***

Wishing you a safe and happy day!