Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Thought you might enjoy some more kaleidoscopes - this time all made from this picture of a small quilt I made a few years ago.  I bought some additional shapes for my Kaleidoscope Kreator software and was playing with them the other day.   Lots of fun making the different patterns.  I have never really made anything from the program, but it would be wonderful for scrapbooking.  These could also be printed out on fabric and used in quilts or wallhangings.  Using photographs of family members is a lot of fun, also. 
First one - pretty flower!

Another pretty flower - more ornate.

Yet another and

the final one.  All of these have a black background, but you can have it any color you wish.  Kind of like eating potato chips!   Here is a link to the company blog if you would like to check it out.  There are projects and a video of how these are made.  http://kaleidoscopecollections.com/blog/    (Click to enlarge)

Monday, May 30, 2011

An Earlier Garden

We moved to Michigan in 1992 first living in a condo for six months before purchasing a home.  When we did buy our place, the backyard was shady and I quickly fell in love with flowers that love the shade.  We were there five years before my husband passed away.  I found these pictures and thought you might like to see the fruits of my labor - it didn't seem like labor!  This was taken from one end of the backyard to the other. 
Looking in the other direction.  These were taken rather early in the season.

About in the middle with the birdbath and some big pots of begonias and one of impatiens.
This is the same end as the first photo but much earlier.  The ajuga is in bloom with it's lovely little blue spikes and the flowers in the barrel are still small. 

And here is the other end of the bed at a much later date when all the begonias and impatiens are in full bloom.  Can't have impatiens here since the deer love to munch on them!  (The word "impatiens" doesn't look right but spell check doesn't highlight it!)  I really missed having a big garden for a time, but that is no longer the case.  I am so happy that I have been able to enjoy my gardens so much over the many years and to this day  still enjoy being able to do my containers of flowers.  A God given joy of life.  (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Flowers are Planted

For Mother's Day, Sherry and Barclay came over and took out some spreading junipers I put along the edge of this small garden a few years ago.  The poor things were looking awful and grass would grow in them which was almost impossible to get rid of.   What a great Mother's Day gift!!  We also got some more red lava rock to cover the soil.  It looks so much nicer.  I have cut down on the number of pots I put out this year but there are still plenty.  Friday and Saturday I finally got them all planted.  Not as fast as I was, but I got the job done and still enjoy getting my hands dirty. 
I really like this one - it is really big and I filled it with some neat things.  There is a big piece of perennial grass for a back drop, some pretty lacy blue flowers, pink geranium, yellow daisies, dusty miller, pretty little petunias, and some limegreen trailing stuff that is so cool.  I think there is some sweet allysum, also.  It is bigger than it looks in this picture.  In the background there is a pot full of portulaca that the deer played with the other night.

 It should be very pretty when it grows more.  The flowers are double and it seems to bloom even when the sun isn't out.
The little Austrian pines I put in a couple of years ago are looking wonderful. Another pot and hanging basket along with the flamingo and a little black kettle also show up here.

The planter on the front stoop.   I am going to try and  find some gray fuzzy stuff to add to this.  It is tuberous begonias and New Guinea impatiens.  Hope the deer don't like the begonias!   Glad to have my flowers in.  I still have not found a mandevilla and will definitely get one if I can find it.  (Click to enlarge) 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

All Things Vintage

I love all things vintage.  Here is an ad from an old catalog - 1933 Montgomery Ward, I think - for fabric.  The prices are unbelievable but I am sure the paychecks were, too.   It would be nice to know how it compares proportionately to the present - I am sure there is a way to figure it but I don't think I am quite that curious!  I love the panel for the quick sewing  apron.

This is a 1933 swatch card for Newberry's.  I would certainly love to have a yard or two of each of these great prints!  Love the reproduction fabrics of the 30's and 40's.

Some batt from Sears.    Am not sure of the year this was published.

Two pages from 1952 catalog put out by Sears.  Prices had risen but not that much.  This was the time that I was just starting doing a lot of sewing for Sherry and me.  Hope you enjoyed these old ads.  (Click to enlarge)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Busy Day

My day wasn't what I thought it would be even though it wasn't all that bad.  Today was one of the three days that quilters gather to spend most of the day "sitting and sewing" but with lots of talking and laughing thrown in.  Decided not to go this time and spend the day getting my flowers planted.  I ran around most of the day on Tuesday finally getting my posies purchased.  Then it rained for a couple of days but none for today.  Pretty chilly, though, which I actually would rather work in than too much heat.  After lunch, I decided I needed some more plants, got in the car and got tothe end of the street--the car was acting weird.  Turned around, stopped in front of my house, got out, flat tire!  Oh, me o my - what's the next step.  Called the insurance fellow and I do have tow coverage.  Ended up, I rode in the towtruck to the garage where they found a nail in the tire.  It didn't take them long to fix it and I had them change the oil since I was there and it was overdue as usual.  So I would not have been able to go sit and sew today after all.  I did go out and get a few more flowers but it is really kind of chilly to finish this evening - supposed to be warmer tomorrow.   

As for the picture at the beginning of this post, I now have three of the blocks finished and you can see kind of how they will look together.   Will do some more fusing this weekend.  The blocks stitch up pretty quickly.
I also just did the buttonhole stitching on this block (block shown before stitching) and have two more to do and that group will be finished and ready to be put together with the sashing and borders.  Eventually things get finished. (Click to enlarge) 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pretty New Fabric

Stopped at Joanne's today to find a liner for a hanging basket that I bought several years ago.  Do you find it possible to go there or a local quilt shop for just a single item?  Of course not!   Naturally, I had to go over by the fabric to check out what has come or gone since my last visit which was actually some time ago.  By the cutting counter, I found a rack of very pretty fabric - on sale for $2.00 off per yard.  At $9.99 per yard, that is really not a huge bargain but the fabric was lovely and very soft and silky.  Some of it was a line I have been reading about in various blogs.  The fabric I picked out, however, was not the same line but I think it is so pretty and looks like it could go right along with a book by Piece'O Cake I sent for from Connecting Threads.   Yesterday I spent going to nurseries for flowers - planned on planting containers today, but it is raining.  Will share some of that with you later.  Found some pretty posies!   (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Snowbank in May

A view of my patio and garden area a little earlier after a storm with rain, small hail and wind came through this afternoon.  Lots of new green leaves from the trees, blossoms from flowers and needles from the pine trees blew around and stuck to the house, roof and wherever they landed.  The day was quite warm and muggy and the storm came up quite suddenly.
My front stoop.
Ho, Ho, Ho!!!   (Click to enlarge)

Friday, May 20, 2011

First Block Fused

Have just finished cutting out enough stems and leaves and flowers and centers for sixteen little blocks that will make up a tabletopper.  My early days devoted to cutting out paper dolls have prepared me for the later years in my life when I fell in love with quilting and applique.  No centers show here, but each little flower will have one.  Now there will be a lot of time spent with the iron and ironing board fusing the blocks.  Then will come the fun of buttonhole stitching around all the pieces at my machine followed by the machine quilting.  So far I am thinking this will be very pretty on my dining room table.  (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One I Have Wanted to Make

Here is a pattern I found in a magazine someplace that I have been wanting to put together for a tabletopper. I love the way it connects from one block to the other.  The leaves will be changed a little bit. 
There is plenty of the mottled fabric to make the sixteen 8 1/2" blocks - it's the same background I used for the posie wallhanging.  Will make all the stems and leaves the same color, then lots of different colored flowers with maybe the centers being all the same fabric.  Probably will use my reproduction fabrics - mostly in the red family.  This would also be pretty in Aunt Gracie, batiks, some of the yummy new designer fabrics, etc.   Decisions, decisions - so many choices!    Will keep you posted.  (Click to enlarge)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back Home Again

Here is the little quilt I made for my granddaughter who is expecting her first baby, a little boy, on my 83rd birthday this coming August.  I saw a picture of this quilt on line and was so taken with it - my husband worked for the Santa Fe Railroad for 41 years and had an HO train layout that grew to be quite large over the years. 
When our daughter was pregnant for Norah, Sherry gave her dad this little kit for "Grandma's House" for him to build and add to his layout.  As Norah got older, she and grandpa would be in the basement playing train

and he would let her throw switches and both of them enjoyed that time together so much.

Here she is at the end of the layout where there is a little town.  Ray loved building the buildings which were all kits.  The little church has a little graveyard with it and there was also a junkyard on the layout.   So you can see why I thought the little quilt was perfect. 

There was no pattern - I knew that it had come from a magazine called Baby Quilts by Fons and Porter but it was published a couple of years ago.  The train was simple pieces and I was able to draft up a pretty good pattern on my own that would have come really close.  However, at our recent quilt show while setting up for the bazaar (we all bring magazines, fabric, items we make, etc., and have a very successful bazaar!!) someone brought me this

I was meant to make this little quilt!  There were the pattern and instructions - for 25 cents which is what we charge for magazines.   How nice is that?

An engine on the rickrack track.
I thought the engines needed some smoke coming out of their smokestacks so I added that little feature.
Being kind of worried that the rickrack might curl with being laundered, I stitched on both sides of it with the invisible thread which I also used to go around all the faces, wheels, etc.  It was really fun to make. 
This weekend, my daughter and I flew to Kansas City for a shower for Norah hosted by Chad's mom and sisters.  Norah, Chad, Sherry and I all stayed with Bill and Ann.  It was a really fun weekend despite the fact that it turned really chilly.  Here is my granddaughter opening the little quilt - the picture itself is not in the best focus but you can still see that it has brought a smile to her  face.   (Click to enlarge)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Off to KC

Our first grandchild is going to have her first child,  and grandma and great grandma are leaving this afternoon to go to KC for a baby shower for the new little fellow who will be joining our family this summer.  The little quilt is finished and it turned out well.  Looking forward to seeing everyone again.  Will be back with some pictures next week!  (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Schlep Bag

Some time ago I found the pattern for this bag on http://sentimentalstitches.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/so-sew-easy-schlep-bag.pdf and about a month ago I found some coordinating batiks and made it.  It isn't interfaced - I think you can do that if you wish.  The bag is made of 12 squares and 4 triangles.  Click on the address of the site and check out the pattern.  The fun of this bag is being able to fold it up, stash it in your purse and pull if out to tote any items that you might, for instance, purchase on a shop hop. 

Here it is lying on the floor and

now it's folded with the bottom up.  It could be made larger or smaller by varying the size of the squares you use and it is easy and relatively quick.  I have a piece of red and white ticking that I thought I might use to make another one.  It would be considerably stiffer - mentions the fact that you can use decorator fabrics,too. Could be for a gym bag - lots of possibilities.  Sentimental Stitches, the website, has lots of free patterns and also ones for sale.  That is the site I found the Nancy Page Vine quilt that I want to use as an idea for my hexies.  Lots to see there.  (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mom's Day

Here is a scan of a Mother Day's Card I did for my grandma way back in 1938 when I was 9 going on 10.
And here is the sweet little poem (I am sure all the cards made that day had the same sentiment!) that was on the inside of the card.  This, of course, was one that Miss Placher printed out on the hectograph for us to color.  Fun to find something done back in my childhood.  There are not a whole lot of things left.   The little ones growing up today will have all sorts of  pictures and videos to know what their childhood was like.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms~  (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Favorite Illustrators

More illustrations I love - this time from Janet Laura Scott, who illustrated children's books.  She was born in 1919.  This is from a book called "The Turned Intos" by Elizabeth Gordon.  
Another beautiful example of her work.

How woderful it would be to be able to produce such beautiful paintings.  It is her work that I have at the top of my blog - I just love it.
Could not resist one more. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, Molly

 For you with lots and lots of love on your 30th birthday!  There is a card on its way to you and I hope it gets there on time.
Here is a much earlier birthday picture with your mom, dad, big sister and grandpa - guess who is taking the picture?  I think this is good of all of you.  Little sister wouldn't show up for some time after this birthday. 
I'm not sure whether this was the same birthday or not (I think it was) when your grandpa and I fixed up this little dollhouse for your birthday.  Molly, you have always been such a joy and still are.   I wish you many, many happy birthdays. xxxxxxxxxxooooooooooxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Grandma
(Click to enlarge)