Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Anna's Tulips

Block Seven of Lyn Brown's Baltimore Album BOM was posted on Saturday and I couldn't wait to dig right in.  It's called Anna's Tulips.  She says that Anna's hummingbirds are seen year round in California.  I'm not sure tulips grow in California, but maybe in the northern part of the state?  It was another fun block to make.  Needleturn as always.  

Now I have to be patient for a week and a half.  No block this Saturday because of the holiday.

I'm happy Blogger/Google resolved the issue with images displaying.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Blogger Image Problems

Blogger is apparently having problems today displaying images.  So if you've tried looking and especially enlarging the photos in my post of the antique quilts, check back again later after they've had a chance to resolve their problem.

Voices From The Quilts

On Saturday Tom and I spent a few hours in Ft. Scott, about 30 miles north of here.  We volunteered for a couple of hours at the Fort Scott National Historic Site during their Voices From The Quilts event.  It's been going on the entire month of March in honor of Women's History Month.  They had some amazing antique quilts on display. I took the following pictures and the descriptions are taken from the handouts available near each quilt.

This quilt belongs to my friend, Elaine. It was made about 1850 by her great-grandmother, Margaret Parks, when she was 25 years old.  She made the quilt in Ohio before her marriage in September 1854.  She and her four sisters each made one of these quilts.  The quilting is breathtaking...about 14 stitches per inch.  Vase designs are quilted in the corners, double line cross hatch on the sides and vine and grape designs surround a large central sunburst.  The quilting is stuffed , or "trapunto" and was done by inserting cotton stuffing between quilting lines through holes in the muslin backing.

I didn't get a handout for the next  quilt so I don't have any information.  I can tell you that the quilting was absolutely astounding!

Also  don't have the information on this one.  The stippling done by hand just takes your breath away!

(Edited on April 1 to add this information from Nancy Swanwick:
"The second set of pictures of the red and green quilt is actually one of mine, too. It was made in the late 1850s or early 1860s by Thressa (Pyle) Montgomery, my maternal grandfather's aunt. It was given to my grandparents when they married in 1915, then it came down the family to me in about 1990. I have happily loaned it to the fort for the first two "Voices From the Quilts". Our family calls it "Antique Poinsettia". ")

The pattern of this quilt is a possible variation of the "Egyptian Tulip" pattern. Quilting fills the white space between flowers and blocks.

Reel quilt designs include a basic concave square center with four arms in an oak or hickory leaf or simple oval shape. Reel quilts were popular for "album quilts" from the 1840's to 1850's.  There is an inscription in ink indicating ownership of this quilt in 1845.  This pattern has also been known as "Hickory Leaf", "Orange Peel" or "Rob Peter to Pay Paul".

This is the edge of a Rose of Sharon quilt pieced during the years 1837-1840.  The cloth was hand-dyed green and red and the spotted print in the green pattern was made by dipping a fork in brown paint.

Quilters weren't afraid to step out of the box even then!

This crazy quilt was purchased at an antique store. Little is known about the history of the quilt, though it is said to have been owned by a Fort Scott woman.  It features items unique to Fort Scott, including campaign ribbons, cigar bands and needlepoint.

We listened to three speakers while we were volunteering as hosts.  Terry Clothier Thompson  spoke and displayed Kansas Prairie Quilts

Then Tim Field presented "The U.S. Sanitary Commission and Their Quilts, the Soldier's Comfort". It was very interesting and you can learn more about this fascinating bit of quilt history here.

The third speaker was Kerin Hatch of Nevada. MO .  After 9/11/01 Kerin started  a project called "Quilted Hugs"  and began providing quilts for wounded soldiers.  Later she became involved  with Quilts of Valor and continues to make quilts for this worthwhile project.  She said she doesn't keep track of the number, but I suspect this caring quilter is responsible for hundreds of quilts.  The photo below shows her with one of her many creations.

It was truly an inspiring day! 

After we left the fort we checked out a vendor's mall and display of over 30 quilts by tremendously talented  Ft. Scott quilter.  I'll share pics of those quilts later this week so check back.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Marvelous Bags

My friend, Geta, is one of the most generous people I've ever known. She's holding another giveaway of her great bag patterns. Be sure to visit her blog and comment. You might be the lucky winner

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lots to Love

I finished this block today and I have to say it's my favorite so far. It's called Orange Tree Topiary. I love everything about it!

I love the stuffed oranges and the three dimensional orange blossoms. I love the little bird.
I wish I knew how a piece of this scrumptious orange mottle ended up in my applique fabric stash. I know I didn't buy it as yardage or a fat quarter. It must have been in a bag of scraps I bought somewhere. I found it when I was working on one of the last blocks of the Baltimore Album top I finished a couple months ago. And there was just enough left to use for the oranges on this block. I love the shadings. If I could find this fabric I'd love to use it to make another Dutch Treat quilt. (yep..I'm nuts, I know!).

Here are the first six blocks of this BOM. Be sure to hop over to Lyn Brown's website to read about the significance of each block. Tomorrow she'll be posting a 7th block..can't wait!

The ABC's of Me

My blog friend, Karen posted this list and I found it really fun to learn more about her. I've decided to take her challenge and post my answers. I'm surprised how many of her answers I didn't have to change to fit me.

A. Age: 64 (as of 2 weeks ago)

B. Bed size: Queen size – no room for a king in our bedroom.

C. Chore you hate: Defrosting the freezer

D. Dogs’ Names: No pets but I used to have a Doberman named Elsa among others

E. Essential food item: Homemade breads

F. Favorite color: Probably blues, but also browns and yellows. I least like pink.

G. Gold or Silver: I do not wear much jewelry as I am allergic to some metals. My wedding ring is white gold. I usually wear a simple locket.

H. Height: 5’2″

I. I am: always praying for longer days (maybe I should change something about "T" below)

J. Job: retired in 2003 because of lung problems. Worked 10 years as a nurse and then 25 years as an accountant/controller.

K. Kids: 3 grown sons, Michael, Mark and Jeffery. A step-son, Jean-Richard, is deceased.

L. Living Arrangements: My husband, Tom, and I own a home in extreme S.E. Kansas.

M. M is for more projects in my head than I can ever finish in this lifetime

N. Nickname: Cathy. My middle name is Catherine and I went by Cathy until 5th grade when another Cathy joined our small class and the teacher insisted I had to start using Mary. Only a very few people are left that call me Cathy. I think I have a split personality because of this! Cathy and Mary are totally different people! LOL.

O. Overnight hospital stay(s): too many to count

P. Pet peeve: liars

Q. Quote from a movie: can't think of a single one

Right or Left handed: Right

S. Siblings: 1 half-sister but we weren't raised in the same household. My grandparents raised me and she lived with my mother and step-father in a nearby town.

T. Time you wake up: much later I used to..8-9 a.m. most days.

U. Unique thing about your car: Last year I finally got rid of my beloved 1987 Colt. Wish they still made them.

V. Vegetable you hate: hominy

W. Ways you run late: I’m normally early and hate it if I run late – I would rather show up early than late.

X. X-rays you’ve had: too many to remember

Y. Yummy food you make: from scratch yeast breads, especially cinnamon rolls

Z. Zoo animal favorite: zebras maybe? not sure I have a favorite

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Laurel Leaves

Block One from Lyn Brown's Baltimore Applique BOM..Laurel Leaves

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Applique & Siggies

Last night I finished Block 2 from Lyn Brown's Baltimore Album BOM.
This one is called Mexican Rose. I really like using the pieced backgrounds rather than just one fabric square.

And two more siggies in the last week. Both are so colorful and pretty.

Anita from The Netherlands...

And Judith from Washington State.

Cloudy today, but at least it has warmed back up. Our lawn is full of daffodils blooming.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Mother Nature got a little confused over the weekend. Friday we were near or above 70º. Saturday it snowed all day. This is what it looked like out our kitchen windows yesterday.

Pretty, but not what we expect on the first day of spring.

Today we are in the 50's and almost all of the snow is gone. Tomorrow we'll be back to near 70º again.

I've been working on the blocks for Lyn Brown's 2010 Baltimore Album BOM
I'm not necessarily doing them in order. Here's what I've finished so far. I'm using needleturn applique for mine.

Block Four...Quail and Oak Leaves. The quail is meant to be a silhouette so it's black (charcoal really) instead of brown.

Block Six...Pomegranates.

I finished appliqueing the woven basket on the way to Iowa last week, only to discover I had been looking at the wrong seam for centering the basket and it was way off to one side (the backgrounds are all pieced differently from multiple fabrics..this one happens to be a log cabin). Don't ask me how I could spend the hours I did working on it and not notice that until it was done. But I did and then I had to rip it all out and start over again! I made my basket a little more complex than the fused version Lyn shows, so it took some work to take it apart!

Block Three...Pat Nixon's Rose. These flowers are

And surprise, surprise.....after a 7 month hiatus I actually made a Dear Jane block yesterday. This is D-11 Snowflake and I hand pieced it then used needleturn to applique the little diamond shapes. They are a tad wonky, but that adds charm, right?

Now I have 10 more to do.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


One of the best parts of traveling home to Iowa (after seeing family and friends of course) is getting my fill of Maid-Rites. I grew up eating these sandwiches and still love them! Unfortunately there are no franchises in Kansas, at least not that I know of. These are the "loose meat" sandwiches always referred to on Roseanne. This trip I had at least one every day except Friday I believe. I eat these for breakfast, noon or supper, doesn't matter!

It's probably a good thing that we don't have any close to us, as I'd live there and weigh 500 lbs!

One of the secrets to their goodness (for me anyway) is that they are wrapped up, even if you are dining in. Then you need to let them steam a bit in the wrapper and squish them down so the bun is nice and soft and warm.

OMG, I'm already dying for another one but will have to wait until the next Iowa trip which will be way too long!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Arrived home yesterday evening. Playing catch up with email and blogs, etc. may take a bit. Even though I prepped several applique blocks to take on the trip I didn't get much done. However we had some nice visits with family and friends, including my one remaining Great-aunt who will turn 97 this week. She walks twice as fast as I amazing woman.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Time Out

We're headed to Iowa in the morning for a funeral and family visit. Will be gone most of the week and probably not have internet access.

Hope spring is finding everyone (or fall in the southern hemisphere!).

Happy quilting.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Lots of pictures to share today for a change.

The first thing I did this week was finish the crazy quilt I started last Saturday when our guild met to work on community quilts. Our president called it a "Gather The Crumbs" day and we were challenged to make quilts using some of our tiny scraps. She also suggested we try the "Fun and Done" method of making blocks.

I modified it a bit, chose to make crazy patch blocks first, then layer and quilt them before joining them in the Fun and Done method. I'm not sure this will ever be my favorite method of Quilt As You Go, but it was something different to try.

Actually the scraps I used didn't seem all that small to me. Making the crazy patch blocks was the fun part. Other guild members thought it was great fun to keep adding to the full tote of scraps I brought with me.

And since the Olympics were winding down last weekend I even found a discarded paper pieced Maple Leaf block among the donated scraps.

It's not the best work I've ever done, but it's a nice warm quilt for some little one to cuddle and play with.

Then I dug out another UFO and am happy to cross it off the list.

My grandmother wasn't the most accurate hand piecer, but she sure loved to pick the more difficult patterns and also the ones with small pieces. I guess I come by it naturally as I gravitate to those as well.

She pieced this little quilt and I started to hand quilt it a couple of years ago. I lost interest and set it aside, mostly because I couldn't decide how I wanted to quilt the plain hexagon blocks. This week I dug it out and finished quilting and binding it.

The pattern is called Kite (or Periwinkle, Arkansas Snowflake or Four Point). This time she set the pieces differently and it made for a very challenging finishing edge. I decided to applique a small border around it to square it off.

I used a wool batting and just love the way the piece crinkled up after it was laundered. I wish I could afford to use wool all the time on my large quilts. It sure is cuddly, not to mention it doesn't hold creases.

Most of these fabrics are from the 1950's and possibly some earlier.

I don't have any quilts that Grandma made that are in good shape. I do have two REALLY tattered and worn ones. One of them is a large quilt in the same Kite pattern, though this time she oriented the blocks differently.

A close up shows just how worn the fabrics are. I still wouldn't dream of tossing it.

A couple years ago I happened to spot a quilt in this pattern for sale online and purchased it for my birthday present. The blocks are quite a bit bigger and it's in excellent condition. Was told it was made in the 1940's in Oklahoma but no official documentation.

I have several more of the small block pieces that Grandma cut out and strung together. They are next to the unquilted piece in the photo below. I debated using them to make the original piece larger but decided I wanted it to be just Grandma's work. At some point I'll figure out what to do with the remaining pieces.

Since I've been good and finished a UFO, am I allowed to start on a new project? We have an impending trip to Iowa in the next few days and I'm thinking a new applique project would be just the portable project I need. Like maybe this one.