Thursday, August 30, 2012

needle & thREAD

My wholecloth quilt from this previous post is finished, but I wanted to show the cabbage fabric in more detail.  Here it is hanging off the side of my sewing machine

You can see on the dotted side the little zigzagged spots of machine quilting.  I recommend it for a fast and easy gift. It especially lends itself well to a small baby quilt when done in paler colors.  I'm not sure this is the best way to showcase these beautiful larger florals (or cabbages, as the case may be). But it came out pretty well, I think.  The book it's from is this one -

So, I thought some of Elizabeth's needle & thREAD readers might welcome this gift idea.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

a little behind

with some sewing projects.  Why - what did you think I meant?  :D

Thursday, August 23, 2012

of cabbages and things

I'm joining Leila again today for her weekly {pretty, happy, funny, real} get together.

My Italian sunflowers are beginning to bloom -


I'm pretty happy with my jars of greenery, and I've since found another jar to put on the top shelf.

I'm not sure if so much of it is overkill, but it's a summery look and a change from the blue glasses. 

At the library, I've been in charge of a (fun, I hope!) summer reading game for adults and it's getting near the end, and prize time. It's a night theme, and I thought to make an easy wholecloth quilt similar to this one, but bigger - I'm calling it a porch blanket. I'd originally looked for fabric with stars on it, or some other night thing, but there was nothing. So then I thought I'd get something with dreamy colors in it. 

It's an easy thing to make - no binding; just the two fabrics sandwiched with the batting, and stitched all around, leaving a space to turn it all inside out, which is what I was doing above - whipstitching it together.
Then, you sort of machine-tie it, by which I mean doing little "spots" of tight machine stitching here and there as the batting requires. It's Joelle Hoverson's idea in a book called Last Minute Patchwork and Quilting Gifts

The fabric I chose is a soft gray with white dots on one side, and the other is -

well, it's got big, ornamental cabbages all over it in dreamy shades of mauve and periwinkle, cool greens with some soft terracotta and a gray background.  You can't see it very well here, can you? I still need to machine tie it.  But I keep looking at it and wondering,  

what is the recipient really going to think of a quilt with cabbages all over it?

 Let's just hope.

round button chicken
(Would Leila have made such a thing?)

Monday, August 20, 2012

the silvery dew of morning

Sunday first thing, morning sunlight turning the dew into silver on grass mowed the night before.

I kind of got it here.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

one very small beet

I grew a few things in containers this summer, beets among them. I oversowed with the intention of thinning, which I did, and we enjoyed some greens at the time, but I meant to thin again to about three plants later, only I never did it. Which I suppose is why the beets never amounted to anything. But I left them in the pot, not wanting to work too much in the humidity, until finally the other day I thought to pull them up, and there I found one little bitty beet.  I grated him into the (jarred) spaghetti sauce. 

I'm thinking that beets might prefer to grow in a garden, where they can send their roots further down. Better luck next time.

Friday, August 17, 2012


My Italian sunflower yesterday evening, getting ready to bloom.

joining Fiona for her Green Day

Thursday, August 16, 2012

more Clipterest

More of my clipterest collection.  This is the home decor group. I save lots of pillow ideas.

these are from Martha - pillow covers from sweaters

a cat pillow, of course!

It helps me a great deal to see these - I'd forget otherwise.

Here are two pretty tablecloths - I'm not sure it would occur to me to put ruffles or a border on,

but both of them look beautiful.

The above winter bedding is from either Garnet Hill or Lands End a year or two ago, and I just love the whole thing.

this is for Carmen - she has a collection of brooches. 

I took this out of an old Victoria - they've taken tiny vases with a strip of floral fabric tied around like ribbon, and clipped rhinestone pins to them - very cute!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

St. Maximilian Kolbe

It's the feast today of St. Maximilian Kolbe, who died in Auschwitz. And it just so happens that Ann Voskamp blogged about him yesterday, and a little more today.

Monday, August 13, 2012

cat looks down

"Always remember, a cat looks down on man, a dog looks up to man, but a pig will look man right in the eye and see his equal."

-   Winston Churchill

Saturday, August 11, 2012

St. Clare of Assisi

My mother once said to me, "St. Clare was in love with St. Francis, you know."  Well, we can't really know, it was such a long time ago. It's entirely possible!  But we do know that they both loved God first. 

O woman of light, ablaze with the Sun
of Christ your Beloved, with whom you are one.
The fire of his love burns like gold in your prayer,
The joy of the cross shines like flame in the air.

Unburdened by wealth, untrammeled and free,
The light-footed daughter of high poverty,
You run like the lightning across summer skies;
With Christ in your heart, you shine, holy and wise.

With prodigal hand, you scatter on earth
The fruits of your penance, the coins of your mirth,
Enriching all hearts with the treasure you chose,
To store up in heaven for God to dispose.

O holy Saint Clare, we beg you today
To hold your torch high and shed light on our way
Through gate old and narrow and up the steep road
That led you to dwell in God's promised abode.

( Saint Clare was born in Assisi in 1193. She followed her fellow citizen, Saint Francis, in a life of poverty and became mother and foundress of an order of nuns. She led a life that was austere, yet rich in works of charity and piety. She died in 1253.)       from Magnificat, August 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

sewing chair

Debra gave me this chair which she liked, but wasn't using. It has storage in the seat; I use it for sewing supplies. 

But it isn't very pretty, is it?  The wood was kind of a pecan color, so to match it with my other bedroom furniture I took some paint we'd used in the kitchen and covered it over. One little touchup when the weather is drier, and  then to figure out a cover for it - it's upholstered with some vinyl-y stuff in a Colonial pattern of American eagles and the Liberty bell.  Really. Still, it's sturdy and I love the storage. Thank you, Debra!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

too many blueberries

so I made Anna's easy coffeecake recipe and then some blueberry pancakes for the freezer. And still had some left over - so I froze them, too.

Monday, August 6, 2012

greenery in jars

I got the idea to save a few Classico jars because I like their slim silhouettes. (I like the labels too, but the colors don't match our kitchen.)


I was going to scrub them, but thought to look online for an easier way to remove paper labels. Soak them in water for a while - they came right off! Remove the goo with some oil, and then wash with soapy water!

They use real canning jars for their sauce -

Atlas jars

Anyway, I had the idea to just put some leafy arrangements in them for our shelves between the kitchen and living room, instead of the blue glasses, which are beautiful, but I wanted something more summery. 

I have four of these on the shelves now, with something I picked up at the thrift store recently between two of them. I filled them with forsythia and wild rose stems, readily available on our property.

It does look summery. I like it. There's something about the look of water through clear glass.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

the clothesline

a neighbor's line - she's an earlybird

Our washing machine broke two weeks ago today. The repairman came right away and said he could fix it - and it's working now - but it was two whole weeks without one. 

Still, I was able to bring towels up the street to my neighbor's three times. My brother took a couple of loads to the machine at his shop twice. The rest of the time I was washing things in the sink, one or two loads a day, so it could have been much worse.

The day the washer broke I'd just changed the beds. I decided to wash the sheets in the sink and hang them on the line. I never use the clothesline - I just don't think of it. It takes time to hang them and time to remove them, and it just seems too time-consuming, I guess. 

Dolly watches the laundry flapping

But many women go into raptures about the wonders of a line-dried sheet, and now I'm beginning to see that.  

I have one white cotton flat sheet in particular - sometimes I actually iron it because it looks so wrinkled out of the dryer. But when I took it off the line - ahhh.  The wrinkles which come from hanging on a line - those are chic wrinkles.

 I'm still going to use the dryer. But not all the time, and especially not for sheets.