Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Dishes

Only two more sleeps until Christmas!  Whew, is time flying.  Time to dig out the Christmas dishes.

The Ruby Red vases were a gift to AppleJack from his great aunt--the reds are playing nicely with each other.  (just need to add some greenery)

The solid red dishes came from Wally World aka Walmart.  I'm hoping Santa has some more of these red dishes in his sleigh.
One of our traditions is a BIG country breakfast--homemade biscuits, milk gravy, country ham, fresh squeezed orange juice, blueberry jam or molasses, scrambled eggs.  Yum Yum  Sometime during the day we will take a long walk to burn off some of the calories and enjoy the quiet of nature.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Early Arrivals from the North Pole

2015 Stacy Nash Primitive Handwork Club
Country Sampler Spring Green, WI
 I can't wait to  sink my needle into this beauty--primitive, Christmas and Stacy Nash--a great combination.  

2015 Colonial Gathering Club
On Redware Road, The Scarlett House

Another beauty with wonderful fiber colors and birds on big flowers with a tall house.  My style all the way.

Merry Two (A Bowl Full of Merries)
Plum Street Samplers
I was asleep at the wheel when Paulette released the first Merry and missed ordering.   If you are listening Paulette please release this design again.  Santa, the reindeer and sleigh and a snowman--what's not to love?  This will be a great addition for either my tree or dough bowl Christmas 2016.

Little by Little Ann Pennsylvania Peacock

 Ann has been patiently waiting in my stitching bag for a few years.  Am taking some liberties with Ann she will become Anne Magnolia Jackson, AppleJack's Grandmother and will be a gift to his daughter and granddaughter.  With a name like Anne Magnolia she's just calling to have her own sampler.  One of my challenges with Anne has been converting the fibers to NPI silks and finding just the right sampler fabric.  One of the things I miss most about loosing LNS's is the linen.  I am a visual person and buying linens on line is just not the same as seeing it in person.

Another design which has been in my stitching bag for a few years (gulp).  AppleJack treated me to a pair of Dovo scissors just for cutting wool.   Am trying a new product with this applique--hope it works out.  Am told the secret is heat, heat and more heat when pressing the wool

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Home for the Holidays

When I moved into my first apartment (a 100 years ago) and started doing needlework, I decided I wanted to have a Christmas tree with all handmade ornaments.

It has taken many years and I finally have a tree with handmade ornaments. The tree is a table topper tree and if I decide to go to a larger tree it will involve more stitching.  The tree sits inside my dry sink and is in Grandmother Bessie's room. At night with the tree light's on, the room seems magical.

Each year, I try to stitch at least one Christmas item.  This year I added Just Nan's Merry Christmas.

This is a Christmas quilt I made several years ago.  Oh those HST's they seem to be a recurring theme in my quilt making.

My old dough bowl filled with some Christmas goodness.  

See the date on the deer--he has been around for a few years.

A co-worker asked me if I still believed in Santa Claus.  Yes!  I will always believe in the spirit of giving and unselfish acts of kindness.

Dried oranges and pomegranates--makes the house smell so good.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Long Winter's Nap

All the shopping,

and decorating,

and baking,

and wrapping,

have left Miss Callie Mae Calico exhausted

and she is settling in for a long winter's nap.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Homespun Gathering

Anne's beautiful Jan Patek Bible Story applique quilt.

Lucile's first hand pieced quilt--she is doing an awesome job for a first time quilt.  The colors in this quilt are stunning, Lucile said she "took a long time in selecting the fabrics."  

A birthday gift from Delilah to Mellicent.  This is a Bird's of a Feather design called Happy Hearts.  The changes Delilah made show events which the two friends share.

Beautiful wool appliqué

More wool applique--apologies, I am unsure of the maker of these exquisite pieces.

Linda's beautifully stitched designs waiting to be finished into strawberries.

Debby's Stacy Nash Merry Christmas.  Debby changed the house to look like her own and added a second girl (her Granddaughter's).

Delilah's small alphabet quilt.

Shannon's  Farms at Hawk Run Hollow.

Judy's Plum Street Sampler Ghoultide Welcome.  Judy changed to Autumn Welcome.  Can't wait to see this completed--a beautiful piece.

Jane's Notforgotten Farm design Reverend Gourdon Squashbottom.

Beautiful needlework, tasty food, laughter, sharing, friendship--the agenda for Homespun Gatherings.  See you girls in February--can't wait to see the results of your creative and skilled hands.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Salesman Sample

In the 1800's how did stores or people that wanted to buy an iron bed, see what was available?  Dry good salesman would travel from town to town with a horse drawn wagon full of samples that store owners would place orders for.  One of the more popular miniature samples the salesman would carry with him were "iron bed samples."  Many people mistake them for "doll beds."  They were actual miniature replicas of the different bed designs, with detailed castings.

In the early 20th century salesmen samples were a common item.  The idea behind them was simple:  salesmen needed a smaller (easily transportable) version of their product to show off to retailers.  These samples also enabled retailers to display and demonstrate the features of larger items which needed to be ordered from the manufacturer.  Salesman's samples were well built and highly detailed.

Miniature furniture started life as a traveling salesmen sample.  The miniature piece of furniture was an identical twin of their larger grown up counterparts.  The idea behind this concept was a salesman could be gone for many weeks from the workshop collecting orders from all over the country and when he returned to the shop he would begin construction. 

Salesmen samplers include hundreds of products:  furniture, plows, dishes, cast iron stoves, sewing machines, ice boxes,  chicken coops, wagons.  Just let your imagination run wild and there was probably a salesmen sample.  Ticking fabric has been purchased and a box pillow/mattress will be sewn for the bed.

What better way to display those Jo Morton LWC quilts than on a salesmen sample iron bed?  Speaking of Jo Morton, she is releasing a book in January called Jo's Little Favorites.  The book includes patterns for 13 small classic quilts (most under 36" x 36").  Jo shares her techniques for accurate piecing and helpful tips on choosing and using fabric.  There is also a section on displaying small quilts in your home and incorporating quilts into your decorating scheme.  This is not a paid advertisement for the book. 

 Grandmother Bessie had an iron bed on her sleeping porch. Grandfather Isaac enjoyed many afternoon naps on that iron bed dreaming of his farm, his family and the next delicious meal Grandmother Bessie would be preparing for him.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dessert Plates

My dislike of shopping is no secret.  Truth be told my friends and family would say I loathe shopping.  Grandmother Bessie would often say:  "I'm not a shopper." 

Thankfully, Grandfather Isaac and AppleJack are shoppers.  Make a grocery list and send them off to the store and they do an excellent job.  Grandmother so intensely disliked shopping, Grandfather Issac bought her clothes and shoes. 

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to AppleJack I needed a new pair of boots.  He sighed, hung his head and said "we will have to go shopping."  He understands my shopping woes.

Fortunately, Williams-Sonoma happens to be next door to the shoe store.  The aromas coming from Williams-Sonoma were calling my name and I do enjoy caressing the latest kitchen gadgets.  The store was very festive with fall and Thanksgiving decorations.  There was a beautiful display of Thanksgiving plates.

As I pondered purchasing turkey dessert plates for Thanksgiving, I remembered Grandmother Bessie's Autumn Leaf dishes.  Decision time:  Williams-Sonoma turkey dessert plates or Grandmother Bessie's Autumn Leaf dessert plates.

Guess who won?  Fortunately, the Autumn Leaf dishes are affordable and can be found in antique shops, etsy shops and on Ebay. 

And to the delight of AppleJack, I purchased new boots, not nearly as exciting as dessert plates.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

CVQA (Cumberland Valley Quilters Association)

Historic Franklin Quilt Show
St Philip Catholic Church
2nd and Main

Saturday was the perfect day for some girl time and there is nothing like a quilt show to sing to this girls heart.  Civil War Reproduction quilts, antique quilts, challenge quilts, vendors, tools, kits, fabrics and books--something for everyone.

Star of Bethlehem 
The colors in this quilt are bold and worked beautifully with each other.  There were tiny stitches in the hand quilting.

Applique album quilt.  Difficult to see in the photo but a beautiful hand quilted feather running down the outside border.

Bold use of color is this very challenging Judy Neimeyer design

A two color Burgoyne Surrounded--am gathering fabrics are reading construction direction for one of my own.

Sunbonnet Sue grows up and selects her formal for the dance.

Signature quilt

Irish Chain--the squares in this quilt were tiny

More beautiful appliqué and hand quilting

My favorite quilt in the entire show!  An antique quilt on loan from Carnton.  The maker of the quilt had signed and dated 1865.  It was exquisite and fragile and showing signs of wear.  Thousands of tiny stitches in the hand quilting.

Thank you CVQA for a wonderful show.  You made an overcast Saturday bright and beautiful with your quilts.  Motivation to get me off my hiney and finish up those half dozen quilts I have started!

I almost forgot to share one of my favorite star quilts.  This one is made from men's ties purchased from the Salvation Army, washed and fussy cut into stars.  Can't tell from the quality of my very poor photo, there is some really fancy hand quilting between those stars.