Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Adventure

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving week-end with 16 for dinner and several friends staying over with us or in the area and returning for breakfast and longer the next day. We were very happy and a bit surprised how well it all went-we had had some suspense: my oven died while I was baking pies the day before.
I always start baking the pies a day early because the turkey completely fills my European oven! I had two pumpkin pies cooling on the racks and was about to take the apple pie from the oven and put in the blueberry when I noticed that the pumpkin pies while perfect on top, looked very pale on the sides-I looked closer, picked one up and looked at the bottom-totally uncooked! I looked at the apple-same thing, I stuck my hand in the oven, hot on top and cool at the bottom. What was I going to do! I pulled out the electric frying pan, turned it on, popped a pie on it and tried to "bake" the bottom-hey, its an electric oven that wasn't heating from the bottom, so I thought I'd supply the bottom "heat". 45 minutes later-no change in the crust. So I tried a frying pan on the gas range-that actually worked better...but wait, how would I cook the turkey-stewed turkey?
Then DH came home-"Lets go buy a new oven." But how can we get it delivered today?

Nothing is impossible for my Rock-he called a local appliance store-no problem they say come on in-in we go and an hour after we bought the oven it was in our house! Problem solved...well, not quite-we couldn't turn the oven on! We call the store-oh you need a technician to come...Next morning at 8:00am we were told a technician would be there-promised-by 10:00 and he was...truly remarkable. Here is my lovely new stove with a small top oven and a "large" (at least turkey sized) bottom oven.

Now if I can only learn to turn on the gas ...there's this safety feature that keeps turning off the gas so the flame goes out...hold for 5 seconds... release the button gently...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Plaids, plaids, plaids continued again

I finished all the blocks and laid them out on the bed in the guest room.

I played with block placements (I'm not sure this is the absolute final spot for every block but its close) and then decided to check out what went best in the corners: plaid triangles or half blocks.

I didn't cut all the triangles in case I didn't like it -just enough to see what it looked like- and placed them on the left side.

I then did the same thing trying out the half blocks-I had left over blocks so I just folded them in half and laid them out on the left side.

Definitely the half blocks! Wow-they really look good-so its back to the sewing room to cut and sew the half blocks. I will cut these extra blocks and then just sew half blocks for the rest.

I almost never used to take pictures of my quilts finished let alone in progress but this is actually very helpful-there's a distance that helps me see the quilt more objectively. Maybe its because most quilts I look at on a computer screen aren't mine!

Looking forward to your comments...don't forget that orange block, what do you think?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vintage Thursday Thingie:Thanksgiving Hooked "Rug"

I don't think this is really a rug but a seat cover and no, I don't think this is really a turkey but a rooster but it is the only hooked rug style piece I own and I love it.
Look at how much brighter the colors are on the back where they were protected from the light.

It usually sits here on our antique deck chair-late 19th century (which you can't sit on because its been repaired twice and we were told can't survive anyone else "plopping down" on it. The other Guardians of the Chair are my handiwork and not vintage.)

In this season of thankfulness, I am thankful for both Lisa and Suzanne.

For more Vintage Thursday Treasures, click on the button and it will take you straightaway to VTT's new host: Coloradolady.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Plaids, plaids, plaids continued

I got a little sidetracked machine quilting but now I'm back working with the plaid fabrics. I've sewn some more blocks and just couldn't resist trying out settings a bit.

These are the original blocks-definitely better on point-I don't know why the colors have changed a bit-that fabric really isn't orange.

Here are the second type of block-the X blocks and I think they look better on point too. That actually surprises me-I thought these would be more interesting set straight.
It certainly makes things easier if both blocks look good on-point-I wasn't sure what I would do if one was much better straight set and the other much better on point! Now I just have to finish sewing blocks and think about what will I use in the triangles: plaid fabric or half-blocks?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Fall Garden 9-Patch Quilt

This is another quilt I've finished for Finn's New Year's Eve Challenge. It hasn't been in the closet as long as the earlier ones I completed; I chose it because I want to use it-the nights have turned chilly and I wanted a new quilt for the sofa.

Its machine pieced and machine quilted with diagonal lines through the 9-patch blocks and a swirly, feather-like flower in the green squares.

The flower design is from Pepper Cory's book "Quilting Designs from the Amish" (a great collection of quilting designs, but like her other book of quilting designs from antique quilts -I took the border for the Stacked Bricks quilt from that book- this book too is out of print - if you can get a copy, do.)
I quilted a cable in the border-I have alot of different cable designs, this one is interesting because, like the 9-patch variant in this quilt, all elements are not the same size.

I like the fabric I used on the back of this quilt so much. It is a kind of Colonial Children at Play. See the boys fishing, the girl and boy "playing house"-she's holding her doll, and two boys with a bird.I often use the backs of quilts for displaying favorite fabrics. (I then I have the leftovers for cutting up.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vintage Thursday Thingie: Lingerie Bag

This net lingerie/hoseiry bag belonged to my mother-in-law who lived in Paris and Berlin for several months in the late 1920s .

I don't think it was anything especially fancy in its time: it is machine made and is decorated mainly with tambour work. Tambour work, which looks like chain stitch embroidery, began to be machine made in 1834!I find the idea that this was just a practical item to hold your stockings or lingerie all the more enchanting: beauty should be part of everyday life. Even the back is lovely!

To see more Vintage Thursday Thingies, click on the button

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Exciting news

I'm so thrilled. I've been given an award by Maggie of Magpies Collectibles. It is so generous of her and I can't say thank you! enough times. Make sure you stop by her wonderful blog-there is lots to see there!

And now its time for me to pass this award on. The Rules of this award are :

1. 5 People are allowed to receive this award
2. 4 dedicated followers
3. 1 New follower to your blog who lives in another part of the world.
4. Please link back to the person who gave you this award.

And I'm passing it on to these blogging friends:

1. Susan at
2. Linnea at
3. Susan Lewis at
4. Ulla at
5 Kris at

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Plaids, plaids, plaids

Last week the weather turned cool and rainy (it rained for 4 days straight!) and it made me think Fall had arrived and turned my thoughts towards making a quilt from plaids and stripes. (The weather has since turned again back to short sleeves but at least we don’t need the air conditioner :)

I started making this easy 4-patch/9-patch block.
I like the “bow” effect when the block is on-point.

It’s a great block for scraps as all the pieces are the same width. I decided I wanted a 9” block so I cut strips 2 ¾” . The squares are cut 2 ¾” x 2 ¾” and the rectangles are cut 2 ¾” x 5”. Strips that are 2 ½” make 8” blocks with the squares cut 2 ½” x 2 ½” and the rectangles cut
2 ½” x 4 ½”. If you start with 3” strips, then the blocks are 10” in the finished quilt (squares cut 3” x 3”, rectangles 3” x 5 ½”).

Then I started experimenting with different placements of light and dark. I made this block which is a little boring

and then this one which is… I don’t know what... (ugly?)

Then I tried having both the light and dark squares making an X.

I’ve decided to make half the blocks the original "bow" way and half with the light/dark X and see how they look together. For me that’s the fun part-I always want to jump ahead to the setting before I’ve even made enough blocks to play around with!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Vintage Thursday Thingie: Vintage Leaf Quilt

This is a vintage applique quilt from the late 1940s in the Leaf pattern with an unusual center medallion of three "leafy" flowers. I love the variety of fabrics, including feed sacks in the leaves.

It is hand appliqued and hand quilted in an overall diamond pattern and around the applique leaves and stem.

To see more Vintage Thursday Thingies, click on the button

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Proud American

I am an American living overseas in Israel. As we entered the 21st century 8 years ago I told my son how disappointed I was-nothing seemed different. That as a girl born right at mid-century I had imagined all sorts of fabulous things by the turn of the new century (remember the Jetsons? where was my Rosie?)

Today I feel we are in the 21st century. This is my generation's legacy-not a Rosie, not solar power but the American dream: you can be all that you can be. I am extra proud to be an American today.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Folk Art Quilt

Time for another quilt from the banner: the Folk Art quilt.

The applique blocks were in the closet for years-I had enlarged the blocks from a Little Quilts design, done the hand applique and then that was it, they sat there. When I decided at the beginning of the year to machine quilt as many of the tops in the closet that I could, I found the blocks. I added the large stars and the checkerboard sashing and border to make the quilt more “youth friendly” and made the quilt twin bed size ( and now I’ve put the completed quilt in the closet :-)

Its machine quilted with a meander including
hearts around the applique blocks, outline quilted stars (by free motion-first time I tried that, fairly successful) with little moons in the stars' centers and a simple grid in the checkerboard.