Friday, July 31, 2009

Give-away Win Received

Check out the wonderful goodies I received yesterday from Karen. I was one of the winners of her wonderful acrylic template give-away. The Marti Mitchell acrylic templates are for Drunkard's Path and other curved patterns and mean I can use my rotary cutter-no marking with a pencil and no cutting with scissors! I have wanted to make a Drunkard's Path quilt since I started quilting and now I will! These are the large size templates-for 6", 6 1/2". or 7" units- easy curves and quick cutting and large blocks-perfect!
And Karen sent along this lovely wallet pattern and the beautiful batik I've laid the packets out on, plus a lovely note.
Make sure you hop on over to Karen's lovely blog-you have to see the wonderful Christmas applique and her two, yes two, Jane Stickle quilts she is working on!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vintage Thursday Thingie: Bronze Platters

Here are two old bronze platters. I don't know how old they are but my guess would be at least 100 years...The were both bought in Israel.

The first, from my MIL, has an incised Jewish Star design in the center which helps date it to the Old Yishuv, the New Yishuv beginning about 1900. It is about 16" in diameter. The entire rim is incised with repeated designs and the rim edge has this lovely wave pattern.This looks likes letters doesn't it?

You can see how important or beloved this platter was to's a repair on the rim.

This second platter is much smaller-about 8" in diameter...really a plate.

Here you can see a close up of the floral and leafy can also see how worn that raised design is as well as the major repair done on this plate-it had once been totally in two pieces as the repair shows on the back as well.

Hope you enjoyed seeing my old copper/tin bronze platters. For more vintage treasures, head straight on over to Coloradolady...and why don't you join us?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Applique Quilt-Poppy Quilt

DH was away on a business trip for two days and I used the opportunity to baste up the medallion center of my latest hand applique quilt. I use an overlay so there is no marking on the background fabric- you can just barely see here the design drawn on the red dot overly. I cut the center leafy portion as one piece using a freezer paper template. I made reusable templates for the flowers heads by ironing the freezer paper templates to manila file folders making reversible templates.
Here you can see the medallion center basted but a bit distorted...I had to put it on the floor so the angle is a bit odd. Maybe this is better.

The pattern is from the back of a Mountain Mist batting wrapper from 1935-Painted Poppy, pattern 51...I just bought it last year here. This is a brand new wrapper that Mountain Mist saved to be sent out as patterns-I don't think this pattern was very popular which is probably why I got a real wrapper and not a reprint. With a little detective work, I've figured out that this was an early wrapper for the Blue Ribbon Batt...the hints: 1)"Glazene" is stated right on top of the Mountain Mist and 2) in the Quilting Suggestions, they clearly state not to quilt more than 2" apart (rather than 1/2").

Here's a hint as to why I don't think the pattern was too popular! Why would you have the flowers and not the leaves meeting in the center? My second change is I'm leaving off the scallops right up against the center flowers...this quilt had three rows of scallops!

Hope you like my changes to my newest needleturn applique project.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm no Heloise but...

I’m no Heloise but I do have a humdinger of a household hint…and its frugal too.

What do you do with the cut off batting after quilting or the extra bits after trimming a batt to fit your quilt top…you know those long, narrow pieces? How many potholders can you make, use or give away?
Do you have one of these that were made by Pledge to hold their purchased sheets for dust mopping floors as well as furniture?
Well, here’s the hint…I use the cut off pieces of batting instead of the purchased sheets!
(The batting has to be 100% cotton but can be with or without scrim.)

It works great and costs nothing! Truth to tell, I hardly ever take out my vacuum cleaner any more... I just batt-mop!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Runaway by Alice Munro

This is a collection of short stories-all rather depressing. Alice Munro is a wonderful writer and she develops the personalities of her characters so wonderfully, even in a short story, that I’m really rather disappointed that all of the stories in this collection were so depressing.

From Random House:

"Throughout this compelling collection, Alice Munro’s understanding of the people about whom she writes makes them as vivid as our own neighbors. Here are the infinite betrayals and surprises of love–between men and women, between friends, between parents and children–that are the stuff of all our lives. It is Alice Munro’s special gift to make these stories as vivid and real as our own."

I don’t think, or at least I don’t want to think, that these stories are the “stuff of all our lives”. Maybe I'm a bit of a Pollyana but the only story that left me at all satisfied, was Tricks and that is directly because Robin, the protaganist, is also satisfied at the end.

This is my sixth review for the 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Scrap Mania Quilt Completed

I finally finished machine quilting my Scrap Mania quilt! I can't believe how long ago I basted this. It has been so hot and the air conditioning doesn't cool my sewing room very well so I've been very slow about quilting! I'd work for a bit and then run out of the room grumbling about how hot I took me two days just to machine sew the binding on! that's how little patience I have with being hot!

(I sewed the top last fall, September 2008).

I used this wonderful toile that I got in Amsterdam several years ago...I just love this fabric and was waiting for the perfect quilt for it. It was just a little bit smaller than the top so I added a "border" all around-I think it looks pretty good: a two sided quilt! The border fabric isn't quite as white as in the pix-more a very good match to the yellowy beige background of the toile.

Here's the quilt folded up and hung on the side of an easy chair...all ready for a cuddle!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vintage Thursday Thingie: Beaded Evening Bag

This Parisian black satin beaded evening bag, from the late 1920's, belonged to my MIL. I imagine she bought it on the same several months long visit as the net lingerie bag that I shared earlier on VTT.

You can see one of the inside labels: Romance, 90 Champs Elysees, Paris...isn't that the most perfect name for a store selling beaded evening bags! I wonder what other wonderful things they had in stock! Under this label, is another smaller one that reads: Hand Made in France.

Here are some close-ups of the beaded flowers. You can see tiny crystal beads as well as colored ones.

Look at the colors on this flower-- still bright and clear as ever.

For more wonderful vintage treasures, hop on over to Coloradolady.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lucky Me

I've had two very nice things happen in the last couple of days.

Firstly, I won Karen's give-away! I never win anything! I'm so excited...wait til you see these wonderful acrylic templates! I can't wait to see what I can make with them! Check out Karen's blog-its really great!

Then DH came home from the Post Office with a package for me! Inside- this lovely Yellow Rose of Texas stained glass mini-quilt from my Spring Blossoms Mini Quilt swap partner, Tennye L. GiOtis. Tennye didn't include a card so I don't know if she has a blog...but she is from Texas! Anyone know her?
Tomorrow we're going to a Maccabiah Games baseball game. Yahoo! The Maccabiah Games are held in Israel every 4 years and Jewish athletes come from all over the world to participate. Tonight we watched the opening ceremonies on TV-I love seeing the parade of athletes with their national flags (a favorite part of the Olympics for me too!) The largest group, of course, was from Israel (1,200) , next the USA (over 900) , 560 from Great Britain and another group from Scotland-wearing kilts! and 300-400 from several countries-Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada... There are two athletes participating from Costa Rico-the smallest contingent! but also athletes from Azerbyjian (sp?), Finland, Sweden, Holland...oh, I could go on and on.

It was especially nice to see the large group from Australia. In 1997, there was a terrible accident as the Australian athletes were crossing a bridge to enter the stadium-the bridge collapsed killing 4 athletes and coaches and injuring many-some very very severely. It really was terrible.

The Maccabiah Games have a special place in my family. The Games began in 1932 and were held again in 1935. My cousin Yehuda was a boxer and he participated in both Games, traveling from Europe. He, like most of the athletes, did not go back to Europe after the 1935 games but merged into the Jewish population in British Mandate Palestine. He was the only member of the European branch of my mother's family to survive the Holocaust. You can imagine the excitement when my cousin Fanny, traveling in Israel on a visit was able to reunite with him and meet his wife and children... over the years, Yehuda and his family traveled to the US to see the family and the family traveled to Israel to see him-all thanks to the Maccabiah Games!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stash Busting Busted!

When do your stash busting ideas get busted?

Mine got busted twice this past all began very rationally, I decided it was time to begin a new hand applique project which meant buying background fabric... so I was off to the Quilt Center. 5 1/2 yards of 60" wide Kona Cotton (not my favorite but I can't find the Springs Rangefinder bleached muslin that I love anymore).

Then my eye spied this little gem! and 2 1/4 yards came home with me.
When we lived in Pennsylvania, I worked on restoring/repairing this vintage -late 19th century- quilt.

I have had this yellow fabric in my head ever was love at first sight :)

Can you see in the close up how my new fabric is really similar?
I thought that was that...back to the stash...but oh no, Trouble, I said, Trouble, Trouble with a Capital T was just waiting to spring out on my good intentions and resolutions.
My girlfriend showed me the fabric that she had just bought at a fabric shop in Tiberias!

Well, I loved it! This happy, bright pink and lime green stripe ...I just had to go get it!
I came home with 2 meters x 2 1/2 meters wide (that's 80" x 100") enough for at least one quilt back and I'm thinking maybe an apron or a bag, plus I got this cute floral that just accents the stripe perfectly! And just maybe gave the idea to the shopkeeper that if he stocked more 100% cotton fabrics, why they would just fly out the door!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vintage Thursday Thingie: A Honey Bunch Book and more

The Honey Bunch books were one of the Stratemeyer Syndicate series. (Others were Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift and more) This is the eighth book in the series and was published in 1927. The author, known for this series as Helen Louise Thorndike, was Josephine Lawrence. She met Mr. Stratemeyer (yes, there really was one!) when she was a reporter and interviewed him. He told her to send over a story if she ever wanted to write fiction and she did.

Josephine Lawrence wrote the first sixteen books in the Honey Bunch series, from 1923-1934.
She went on to write adult (and juvenile) fiction under her own name.

This is the fly leaf! Isn't it darling? There's Honey Bunch and her friends and they have many
adventures...but Honey Bunch has the best adventures-she's always going off with her parents on an adventure.

See, she's off on a trip on an ocean liner! (Yes, Honey Bunch's family is quite "comfortable"!)

Here's the table of contents and you'll get the idea of the kind of adventures Honey Bunch has:
The Bon-Bon party, New York again, Tess and her jewels, and best of all, Bermuda days...oh I would love to have some adventures like Honey Bunch!

This second vintage book is quite a different kind of story. Its the tale of a young woman and her family settling Alaska! The book dates from 1949 but this edition, purchased at the public library sale recently for NIS 5 or $1.25, is from 1962.

The dust jacket art was actually the original Frontpiece so I got two of this rather odd painting.

I have actually read this book-at first I thought I wouldn't like it, that it was extremely dated in its attitudes but it turned out that it wasn't and was really I think quite a powerful and empowering book for a girl in 1949. She learns to look at the world through her own eyes even when it means challenging her father's views and comes to understand that she must do what she believes is right.

Margaret Bell wrote many other historical novels of pioneer life and I'm going to keep my eye out for them!

To see more vintage treasures or to join us in the fun, hop on over to Coloradolady!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Meatless Monday Recipe: Tofu and Black Beans

I saw a news bit on BBC about Paul McCartney and his daughters calling for Meatless Mondays to help save the planet (you know, those methane emitting cows!) Most of my meatless recipes won't do much as they use lots of cheese or eggs, but this one recipe might.

It's Tofu and Black Beans and is super easy and quick to make and best of all, delicious. None of the Chinese restaurants around here make a tofu dish, so I often make this when we're having Chinese take-out...DH leaves to pick up the food, I make this and I'm often finished before he gets back! Yep, its that fast. DS loves this dish and believe me, he is not a tofu lover (meat is his thing, like his Dad!) These are your basic ingredients.
1) 1 half cake firm tofu--make sure you get FIRM tofu...its the soft tofu that is slimy! Cut the tofu into slices and then into square or rectangular pieces...if you're not sure your family will like tofu, cut the pieces small-tofu really has no taste in itself but absorbs the tastes its cooked smaller pieces means more sauce per piece!
2)1/4 cup soy sauce
3) Black beans

Drain the black beans and add to the 1/4 cup soy sauce until cup reads 2/3 (about 4 tablespoons).

4) 2 teaspoons of sugar -add to measuring cup
5) 2 teaspoons corn starch-add to measuring cup and stir until sugar and corn starch are blended in.

To store the unused tofu, cover with water in a container with a lid and refrigerate. It will stay good for a week with daily changes of water.

Before using, dry tofu with paper towels. This is true every time you use'll notice that it was packaged wet regardless of if you're using fresh tofu from the dairy aisle of your super or boxed long life tofu from the health food aisle.

Cooking directions: Spray a frying pan with Pam and saute the tofu until lightly browned. You can see the golden color of the tofu pieces on the left-I hadn't turned the right side over yet.

Pour in the measuring cup ingredients.

Stir until thickened.

Serve with steamed broccoli and rice. (This is the only home made Chinese food I have ever made that looks like restaurant food! :)

Easy to copy and print recipe:
1/2 brick firm tofu, cut into cubes
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons white wine
about 4 tablespoons drained black beans
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
Spray frying pan with Pam and saute tofu. Mix all the rest of the ingredients together. When tofu is lightly browned, add mixed sauce ingredients, and stir until thickened.

Check out the other recipes at Kelly's Monday Blue Plate Specials. (No, they aren't Meatless Monday Blue Plates :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Vintage Thursday Thingie: watercolor

This is a watercolor page from an illustrated book. I think its Persian but I'm not sure. I bought it at an antique store over 30 years ago and I just don't really remember what I was told...I just love the way it looks. Its like a quick sketch with a wonderful liveliness to the lines and the paint. I just love the flowers.
Now, eat your hearts out ladies...the Ultimate Sewing Tools Collection...
from 17th century Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in what became the USA, as reported in the archaeological report from the 1950s excavation. Just a little sewing history memorabilia for the 4th of July!
Have a Happy 4th of July!
For more vintage treasures, hop on over to Coloradolady