Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Well, I just made a trip to the East Coast, where I met my two new sewing machine adopted children:

Yep, those are "Egyptian" decals from a Singer treadle:  1906, I think.  My sister found it in a neighbor's garage, asked for it, and got it - free..............
 seems to have both bobbins and shuttle...
 some of the decals are in gorgeous shape - a few others not so, but then, it's had a long life!

 one day I will have this little beauty in my house, when I retire and move to the east coast!

My other "adoptee" is this Singer 301 ... I bought it through the mail for my 92 year old mother, who was having a terrible time sewing with the "new" machines.  I just new this is what she wanted, and it was!  She is loving it.... It will be mine too,  "one day"... 
Oh it was a magnificent quilty trip - I also got a hand-crocheted coverlet that was made by my grt grt grt grandmother... and it is in gorgeous condition.  Another day I will pull it out and take some photos.  And then figure out how to store it properly as well.  

For now, long trip over, we are home, I dragged through the trip with the end of the flu, my DH got sick enroute, and we are both so tired we can't move.  No sewing yet... but soon.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sew, Press, Cough, Sneeze

Well, the title says it all - you all know how precious the weekend is to those of us who work all week, and look forward to Saturday for sewing - I have been known to set my clock very early on Saturday just to make the day longer.........or to stay up all night (never really manage that)...

Instead I woke up with sore throat, sniffy nose, and terrible muscle aches...  So it was one of those 'nesting' days - a little sewing thrown in between naps and soup-making.  I will live.  

I do have a few things to show you.....  I started another linen wholecloth quilt.   This is almond-colored dupioni silk -  pardon the blue marking pen...  You can see I have done some of the detail work on the left inside the feathers.... 
Here is a better detail shot.  I love how the dupioni sews up. 

and here is a photo with the vintage hankie that will go on this piece.... this is quite old, and delicate. 

The center of the hankie is not in great shape;  I am looking for something creative to applique over it - we'll see...  so fun....

My blocks for "Sarah's Revival" by Sue Garman are starting to fill the wall - oh I do love the them all, each one is so graceful and beautiful.  
 And today I found these four-patches stuck on the corner of the table, and threw together a charity quilt - wow this is BRIGHT !!!!  egad...  maybe a couple of borders will calm it down!!  And don't look closely, my four-patches are not all going the right way, but I am NOT ripping... 
 Sewing seems to be delayed due to seat occupation.... 

Happy Sunday evening to everyone!



Sunday, January 5, 2014

Progress All Around !!!

Oh, hello everyone... 

Today is the last day of my two-week vacation.  I have enjoyed it so completely - relaxed, sewed, cooked, just stayed home and nested.  A perfect time was had by all...... 

I have lots of progress to share with you.  First, four rows of my Bonnie Hunter Celtic Solstice mystery.   I made some modifications in the color assignments - and I just love it - can't wait to get the other rows on.  

 oh - progress on this disaster scene has been taking place, too... stay tuned for more photos soon... a major step forward!
a little charity quilt got finished for Wrap-A-Smile.  It is made from Lotto block exchanges.

and, let's see, let's close with a lovely kitty photo:

This is Sunday afternoon, Miss Bit, watching the football game - you can tell she is completely excited....  her life is stressful!

Hope you are all warm and similarly relaxed!

Happy quilting,

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Little History Lesson: Madeira Linen

Since I have been having so much fun and such great success recently while sewing on vintage linen, I have begun to research the different linens... 

For anyone who might read this and not have read other entries on my blog, I am making wall-hanging art quilts using fine vintage linen as the base, such as this one, just recently completed...

In the process of procuring these linens , mostly on ebay or Etsy, I have learned about Madeira linen, made in Madeira Portugal.  Here are some exerpts from various internet sources: 

The hand embroidery of Madeira is generally respected as being the finest of its kind available in the world.  Over the last 150 years, Madeira has collected expertise from the fast disappearing regional centers of hand embroidery across Europe and developed these various styles into a distinctive package that, in terms of quality of handwork, is unsurpassed worldwide.  The story begins in the 1860s when Elizabeth Phelps, the youngest daughter of a wealthy wine shipper, concerned over the effect the vine disease Phyloxera was having on the income of the vineyard workers, set out to turn the rural pastime of simple embroidery into a cottage industry. 

Elizabeth opened a school of embroidery, teaching the women on the island the skills of fine embroidery.  Each woman would take a piece of linen, with the design stamped on it, to their home, where they would complete the embroidery before returning the completed piece.  The finished linen was originally sold to tourists - and then later to the parlors of Victorian England. 

And that's your history lesson for today - and here's a couple of lovely and nostalgic photos...

til later,



Thursday, January 2, 2014

First Finish of 2014

Hello everyone...   today was a huge day.... I finished this piece...it actually hangs the 'other' way, but I can't rotate the photo... 

The piece is called "Elisabeth's Legacy".  It is a Madeira embroidered table runner, placed on Radiance fabric, and quilted.  It is named after Elizabeth Porter, who introduced embroidery to the women on Madeira, thus establishing a cottage industry that became the highest form embroidered table and bed linens. 

Here are some detail shots

I do dearly love this piece - I have such respect for the skills of the original embroiderer, and tried to enhance them with my own work.  
I'll be entering it in the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival -  wish me luck!

For now, I think I'll just keep looking at it!!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Bonnie Hunter Reveal !!!

Oh - my - at midnight, Bonnie Hunter revealed how the Mystery Quilt fits together...

I was a bit nervous since I had used totally different colors than her recommendations...

and sure enough, I sewed up three blocks that just did NOT work... but I realized I could swap out one part - the little four-patch block - with a new four-patch block... and it would be gorgeous... or at least I think so...............

So, I am making new 4-patches as fast as I can, and it's looking like this:

I like it a lot!!!!  Long way yet to go... 

Rut-roh, I see that the top right block is turned the wrong way - better be careful when I sew to keep those blue and greens going the right direction!!  It's just laid out for now, so don't write and tell me about it - I see it!

Hope you are having a Happy New Year's Day.


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