Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spending Time in the Basement

The past week I have spent a lot of time in the basement going through my fabric.  My storage method is not really great - and things were in need of being sorted out.  Usually, I go through things before our quilt show and donate fabric, etc,  to the bazaar, but that didn't happen this year.  This all kind of started when I decided it was time to put the Christmas decorations back on the shelves at the rear of the basement.  I was able to get them downstairs but never did put them away because of  being sidetracked after Christmas with the breathing problem which is doing so much better now.
Along one side, I have these three shelves and straightened out this group.  I could probably get rid of most of these fabrics.  There is some African, oriental, and just what is left of some of my earlier pieces.  Some wool, also.  Lots of odds and ends that don't get pulled out very often.
Under my cutting table was a mess - but it's nice and neat now.  The white container on the right end is just for scraps that I can't throw out.  There is a bin with Aunt Gracie fabric, one with Kaffe, another with dots, stripes, etc., one full of the fabric I am using in the Nancy Page quilt and on the left end civil war reproduction fabric.  A small one on top is a group of pieces that are a great mix and would make a great quilt and the other small one is full of charm squares and fat quarters.  And I keep buying more!!  I still have my reds to go through - they are in a drawer in the chest. 
The batiks - they were messed up more than any of the others.  Hard putting some of the pieces with their "relatives" since they are so multicolored.  I have two more containers of small pieces and then there will be one for fabric I hope to do an applique quilt from Edyta Sitar blocks.  I think I will have to live at least 20 more years to get all this done.

And, last night the deer visited my yard and had plants from the front stoop pot for a snack plus just about ate the entire planting from one of the little wrought iron holders under the front window.  I guess they like anything anymore.  I may just get a bracket and put it by the front door and hang a plant there.  People are using the deep repellent spray, but it smells awful awful awful when you use it.  Guess they have to eat, too, -  wonder if I'd put some carrots out if they would leave the flowers alone!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Week of Planting

I'm just about done with my planting and have been working at it for the major part of the week.  Getting slower as I get older, but I am still able to get things done as long as I stop and take a break once in a while.  Sometimes that is pretty often!   Not to complain - at least I can still do it.   Did cut down some and not plant as many containers - plus utilized some preplanted pots and hanging baskets.   Here is the pot I had in a previous post now that it has been planted.  There was some of the chartreuse hanging foliage (I think it's called Creeping Jenny) left in the pot and also some on the ground that had rooted.  I was able to use all of that.
I think this will be very pretty this summer.  Hope the deer don't like these things - if they do, I am going to have to resort to getting some of that stinky stuff.  Lots of the residents here are doing that.  Not looking forward to that at all.
A hanging basket on the corner of the house.  Planted it differently this year with the little zinnias, dusty miller and sweet allysum.
A container for the front stoop - pretty fancy leaf begonia, shamrock, allysum and begonias plus a trailing plant.  There are so many beautiful filler plants in the nurseries anymore.  Lots of things that you never saw five or six years ago. 
The pretty New Guinea impatiens plant Sherry gave me - I put it in a larger hanging basket and put in four or five pieces of the free Creeping Jenny that I salvaged.  Looks like it is going to make it fine.
One of the $8.00 hanging baskets I got at Kroger!  It is so gorgeous.  I had both of the ones I had bought there on the outside of the patio--hanging, of course.  One night the deer did eat a couple of big blooms from the plant that they were able to reach.  Now they are where I hope they are safe.  I hear there is a three-legged doe with some kiddies that has been coming around for several years.  I have not seen her, but she has been spotted numerous times. 

Gardening is such a joy - I have loved it for years and still do.  When we first moved to the Kansas City area, I had a little old neighbor two houses up from me who had lots and lots of flowers in her yard.  Her husband had been a gardener, too.  Her name was Cora Abbot and I always called her Mrs. Abbot.  Such a sweet little woman - she had a little tractor seat on legs and would sit on that while she worked with her flowers.  I never knew her age for sure, but I feel I must be "Mrs. Abbot" now.  And I don't feel like that is a bad thing at all!   As they go by, the years bring changes to all of us and we just seem to naturally accept them.   If you can get around, are relatively pain free and still have most of your wits about you, life is very good.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Two Vintage (Really Old) Wallhangings

I think this is the first applique that I did and it is very primitive.  Not even quilted, it does have batting but I just sewed the backing and top right sides together and turned it.  The tabs were sewn in the seam and were at the top when the turning was completed.  This picture was taken from one I saw in a magazine and loved.  Again, the fabrics are just the tiny prints and solids.  I did use some buttons and lace to embellish.
This hung in my kitchen in Overland Park for a long time. 
I did sign this poor little piece and I recall how I had really forgotten how to do the running stitch in embroidery so it is pretty ragged.  So is my satin stitch applique.  Can't even remember which sewing machine I was using at the time - think it was a Golden Touch and Sew.
Another wallhanging - this was made at a later date and I had become quite a bit better at satin stitching.  This is hand quilted - rather large stitches but not bad at all.  I used cotton sateen in several quilts back in those days.  Love the sheen - makes the quilting look so pretty.
A closeup of one of the blocks.   Thought you might enjoy these old pieces from the past.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Getting Ready to Plant

A nice cool day after one that was almost 90 degrees - I'll always take temps in the 60's and 70's over that.  Although, I must say, the humidity has been so very low the past days that it really makes a big difference.  Seldom do we see humidity in the low 20's and 30's.  75 degrees can be awful with high humidity.   I had already bought some hanging baskets earlier, but today I went to a greenhouse I like out in the country and bought some plants for some pots I will be planting.  The little orangish yellow and hot pink flowers are little zinnias.  Then I have some sweet allysum, dusty miller and pink begonias.  I hope the deer do not have a big appetite for these.   I have had them in the past and they seem to have made it through.
I could not resist this big red elephant ear plant.  They had some planted in containers and this one will go in that big pot in the background.  Again, hope the deers aren't anticipating this morsel. 
A large pretty leafed begonia that I think will have small whitish flowers on it.  Pretty foliage.  I also bought a red leafed shamrock like plant that will go with this and other things in a planter on my front stoop.
The big pot awaiting planting.  It has some pretty chartreuse viney stuff that came up from last year.  (Some growing on the ground, also)  Love the blue fescue and the pretty small flowered filler.  This will also have some of the dusty miller and sweet allysum and the elephant's ear.  I like lots of different colors of foliage and different textures.
With the space under my front window looking so much nicer since they pulled out the terrible old bushes and but in this pretty little boxwood, I wanted something between them with some color.  I found the stands at Kmart and put a couple of baskets in them.  If I can find some chain, I will make the little baskets hang in the holder the way they should, but it works fine this way.  Notice I bought some new hose to match the rocks but it was driving me nuts trying to get it spread out.  Maybe when it gets hot!
A gorgeous New Guinea impatiens that Sherry gave me for mom's day.  I am going to put it in a bigger hanging planter with some of the allysum and maybe some of the chartreuse plant that is growing by the big pot.  I will start planting tomorrow.  I am finding that my stamina isn't what it used to be, but guess if you take it slow and steady you get done eventually.  That is why I don't want to plant as many pots as in the past.  So, will post some more pictures when I get done! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Rest of my Mother's Day Gift

OMG, my feet have never looked so pretty - the result of the second pedicure I have ever had.  This is the rest of my Mother's Day gift from Sherry- we had side by side pedicures yesterday afternoon.  What a nice time having our feet pampered by two very nice gals and sharing a fun time together.   The first pedicure was in Portland, Oregon, before Molly and Doug got married.  All the girls went together and that was a fun time also. Only difference was that I didn't have a colored polish - just natural.   A girl could get used to things like this!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Double Header This Morning

Yesterday, Leslie taught a class in wool applique and what a fun class it was.   One of my favorite people (I have a lot of favorites in the guild!), Leslie is a lot of fun and a joy to be around.  Her work is beautiful - she does a lot of handwork.   For this class, we were given a bag of wool pieces to go with the pattern we had chosen (there were two possibilities).  The patterns are her own and are fun just like their creator.
Looks like I don't have the birdie cut out yet.  Instructions and tips were given on the art of the buttonhole stitch and also she showed us lots of beautiful threads that are out there for use with this method.  And what gorgeous wool she had - all colors and all sized pieces.  She has also felted lots of it herself after purchasing woolen clothing at a thrift store or elsewhere.  This is something that I could really get into and actually have in a very limited way.  To sum it all it, it was a great day spent with a great teacher and equally great classmates!  Hope we have more classes like this in the future!  I definitely look forward to finishing this little piece.

Now, I said this post was a "Double Header" - so I have here another picture for you -
On Mother's Day, Sherry came over to get a stubborn clump of grass out of my big pot outside and while she was here we skyped with Henry and his parents.  He was getting sleepy and a little grumpy until his daddy started "cheering him up" in the background doing something Henry really loved.  It finally dawned on me that I could take a picture of my monitor and capture that cute little fellow.  He was laughing that deep little belly laugh that little kids do.  You had to laugh just watching and listening to him.  I should have taken some earlier, but this is a cute one regardless.
Methinks he's a spitting image of his father and they most certainly have a mutual admiration society going on there.  Sorry about the glare from the window - but this is such a cute picture of this happy little family!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Heart Quilt Books

One evening last week, I sat down on a little hassock and went through and straightened up the books on my shelves to some extent.  (The ones of the lower shelves are hard to get to anymore - that's what happens when you get old!)  There are many!  I have been quilting for a long, long time - the books have been purchased over more than 35 years.  That does not include lots and lots of magazines which I have now weeded out the past years and taken them to our bazaar at the quilt show.  The files on my computer are also filled with pictures and ideas and now Pinterest. 
Not my first books, but I have had these for many years and have looked through them many times.  My husband gave me the Engagement Calendar Treasurer for Christmas one year and it is filled with beautiful old quilts from many years ago.  The newest ones in that book are, I think, ones by Nancy Crow in the 1970's.

Here is an example of a quilt that really catches my eye in the first book.  It would be right at home with the quilts being made today.
Scattered on the floor are a potpourri of books - from Baltimore to primitive to contemporary.  I guess you can see that I love all different categories of quilting, including reproduction quilts from the 30's and 40's and paper piecing.  

Enough for today on this subject - don't want to lose my followers!  And I so love the fact that you actually read this stuff I write!   Working on my blogs is something I enjoy so very much and I thank you  for dropping in on Funoldhag. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

In My Mailbox This Morning

This was in my mailbox this morning - clear from Mozambique from the pretty little girl in the blue shirt, Hannah, my granddaughter.  I think this is the prettiest mom's day card I have ever received in my almost 61 years of motherhood.  These four Peace Corps volunteers look as if they are thriving.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there!

Friday, May 11, 2012

I Bought Myself a Present

A year or two ago, I got rid of the little table and two chairs that I used for quite a few summers on my patio and instead used a small vintage tiled table I had found in my basement when I moved here and two folding patio chairs with cushions.  Have been wanting to get a new small set.  When I stopped at KMart the other day to get my perscription, I looked back in the garden area and saw this little bistro set - on sale and the chairs bounce!  I adore bouncy chairs and that's what I do when I sit in one.  I did talk to a clerk about the set but didn't buy it since my car is tiny and I knew I would not be able to squeeze the boxes in. 

I kept thinking about it and finally decided to go in again and maybe Sher and Barclay could help me get it home.  So this time I talked to another fellow - he was one of the managers.  Nice, nice man.  Ended up that he and another friend who worked there would bring them out to me.  So I bought them and was to call in today to set up a time  To shorten the story, they brought them out this morning in one of the fellow's big, old Buick station wagon and immediately started opening the boxes.  They then proceeded to put them together for me and were not going to accept anything for doing all that.  They finally agreed to take some money and said they would donate it to the March of Dimes which they are active in.  I was so surprised and so happy that they did this - gives you so much faith in your fellowman.  When I woke up this morning, I was worried about getting the pieces together - and there they are sitting on my patio all ready for summer thanks to two great guys from KMart.  

The pretty hanging basket was another quick purchase.  At Kroger now they have the outside garden center open.  I had to take a run through that.  So glad I did - they had these gorgeous hanging baskets for $7.99 each - that is such a buy!  Red geraniums and white lacey stuff that I love.  Also had some large rosey colored geraniums.  I bought three of the red and white.  If it gets frosty, I can put them in my shed overnight.  It's too early to do much planting here in Michigan, yet, unless you want to cover.  And I am going to cut down - but not cut out!!!   I say that now, we'll see if I follow through when I start seeing all the lovely flowers!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Favorite Old Book and a Vintage UFO

 Here is an old book that has always been one of my favorites authored by Jean Wells,
the quilter who has the shop in Sisters, Oregon, where the big outdoor quilt show is held every year.  I have never been to it, but I would certainly love to have seen it.  
This book was published in 1981 and I bought it in my early years in quilting.  I made quite a few things in the string piecing technique and just loved all the embellishments with lace, floss and buttons that Jean did.

I was also absolutely fascinated with the darling illustrations by Marina Wood that graced the pages of this book.  I have two other old books by Jean in that same time period and Marina illustrated those, also.  Just gorgeous.
 Here is a vintage  unfinished maroon velour robe (influenced by the book) that I almost finished in the 80's - zipper is in, it needs hemmed,
lace sewn around the yoke (I was smart enough to keep the lace with the robe), a closure of some sort, buttons, french knots and maybe some other embroidery to embellish  the yoke and
the cuffs, which already have the lace sewn around them.   I always loved velour and wish it would come back.  

I don't imagine I am the only one who has pretty skeletons like this hanging in my closet!  Why did/t I finish it?  I don't have a clue!  The upside is that had I gone ahead and completed it, it would have been in tatters by now and, as it is, it's like brand new!   Maybe some day Sherry will embellish and hem it.  She always loved to do that sort of thing and was very good at it.  I will put it back in its plastic bag and hang it in the back of my closet to wait patiently for the final touches and then to one day keep someone comfy and warm when she wears it.  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Kind of Exciting

This is Sherry sitting on the front steps of the little house in Chillicothe, Illinois, where we lived when Bill, our son, was born.  Looking through Pinterest the other day,  I found this picture -
and I think you will agree that it immediately brought to mind the little house above.  That prompted me to do a post on "Pieces of the Past", another blog I do that probably a lot of you may have seen .  It is all about my family on both sides, my late husband's family on both sides and our family.   It's full of pictures and stories that I have and have blogged about.  Quite a few of the posts have been about Chillicothe where Ray grew up (I grew up just three miles south in a little town called Rome--which had at least three taverns and one grocery store - period.)  I did go to high school in Chilli and we were married there. We lived first in Rome then in Chillicothe until the ATSF moved us to Ft. Madison, Iowa and then we moved a lot more.

Why am I telling you this?  I had an e-mail from a  Chillicothe  newspaper which is an independent paper and is published weekly.  The news director had found my Pieces of the Past blog and wanted to know if I would like to share my memories.  Well, to make the story short, some of my blog posts will be published in the Chillicothe Independent which is just plain cool.  She sent me a sample of the first one (she had asked me for an idea of where to start) and it seems like it will be a lot of fun.  I am sure there are still quite a few people in the Chillicothe area who will remember me and maybe I will hear from some of them.   I feel good that people enjoy the pictures and the little stories and memories I post.  If you haven't checked out Pieces of the Past and would like to, click on the little girl with the doll in the doll buggy (that's me) and it will take you to POTP.  Will let you know when the first piece appears!   I must say, I am enjoying this.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quilt Show - Part Two

This Kathy's beautiful quilt done in batiks - I showed a closeup of the bunny block on the previous post.
Another closeup showing the beautiful quilting she does - such teeny little circles!
Julie has been working with vintage items and doing wonderful ATC's and other lovely pieces.  This is a gorgeous piece she entered in our show.
I'm sorry I didn't get the name of the maker of this pretty quilt.
Beautiful - even though the photo is a little fuzzy.  Again, I do not know the maker's name.  I think the motifs were done on an embroidery machine.
 Another striking quilt.
Earlier, I posted and featured this quilt that was done as a strip quilt in about 2007.  The original strip is
this one of the giraffes.  The five other strips were each done by different quilters involved in the exchange.  I did the one with the lady.  Fran, the owner of the quilt, was our featured quilter this year and she had it all quilted and on display.  I have always felt it probably is the most successful round robin or other type pass around quilt we have done.

If you would like to see more quilts from our show, find the little yellow duck on my sidebar and click on him - he will take you to Pass The Tiara, our guild blog.  There are quite a few more pictures posted there!
Enjoy the show!