Wednesday, December 30, 2009

VTT Wedgwood Lady's Compact

Because I have committed to the NYE Mystery Quilt tomorrow, there has been frantic sewing on Bonnie's Carolina Christmas Mystery quilt in an attempt to get caught up.
Alas, I must now leave it incomplete and do the necessary prepping for the NYE quilt.

Consequently I have just one item to show for VTT, this Wedgwood Lady's compact.

It was given to me by my college friend MA when I was an attendant in her wedding party in 1969 - or was it 1970? I confess I am not certain as my DH would say "I have slept a few nights since then" LOL !
Isn't it beautiful and elegant?
I have pics somewhere of that event and if I were not so far behind I would go find them but I will try to do that for next week, just for fun!

The compact is in fine condition even though the finish is a little worn, because I have always kept it in it's original bag that is a bit more worn!

The original label is till intact..........

and you can tell it is used, has face powder in it.
I love this compact and treasure it so if MA ever reads my blog I would want her to know that after four decades this gift is still in use!
Now if you are blogging this last day of 2009, head on over to visit our VTT hostess , Colorado Lady's blog and see who else has time for blogging on NY Eve!

PS Keetha's and JoJo's aprons are on their way!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New year's Eve Mystery Quilt

QT Mystery Quilts is hosting a NYE project- the past two years I have joined a NYE Mystery and this year will be quilting along with three local quilter friends. We will be working together on the mystery quilt all NYE day and I am using only stash fabrics as in the past two years.
There is quite a collection of African theme fabrics untouched to date in the stash so I pulled them out to try and find a nice arrangement of two mediums, a dark, a light, a focus and a border fabric.

This was the first idea - left to right, far left is the light, the next two are the mediums, the orange is the focus and the last on the right is the dark.
The mediums give me some concern for two reasons.
1-The large gold print will get lost when cut up into small pieces
2-The two golds are fairly close in value and may not have enough contrast

Here is a brown to replace the large-print gold that will then work perfectly for the border.
This looks like the better alternative, the brown print is rather geometric but it will do, it doesn't matter to me if it goes in different directions, makes the design more interesting. Tell me what you think if you have an opinion-most of us quilters do, LOL!
It's good to be able to use some of this ethnic collection and I am determined not to buy for the project, I want to use stash in order to rotate older fabrics out of stash to make room for new ones! Taking into consideration fabric purchases for this year-around 100 yards-the stash so far has decreased by about 50 yards, but my goal is more ambitious for the coming year. The"fabric out" total could conceivably increase by 40 yards or so if the four projects in progress were all done by year's end! Not likely that will happen but I might get one or two done. Stay tuned!

Christmas Day I made cinnamon buns- did the prep. Christmas Eve so they only had to be baked on Christmas Day. Sons #1 and #4 and their families met up with DH and me at the home of son #2 to eat, visit and open gifts. Youngest DGS is missing from the group pic, he was napping, but here is the little cutie with his "Docband "helmet, he has to wear it 23 hours/day for about seven months. You can see his Mum and Dad have decorated it with their favorite team colors, go Cowboys! Baby Matthew is 8 months old.

Below is a pic of his Daddy at about the same age, wearing one of DH's flight helmets, think these two are related?!

Then our "boys" went off to visit the other side of their families and DH and I came home for a quiet evening.
The Shakespeare quilt was calling to me and a spot of mindless sewing, more scrappy pot holders put together from border blocks left over from the strip scrap quilt.

The backs are larger scrap pieces enlivened by the selvedge bindings.

This week these two numbers were drawn from the VTT comments.
JoJo's and Keetha's vintage aprons and scrappy pot holders will be in the mail to them probably Monday.
There will be one more drawing next week after VTT.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To All........

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill to all men"
Luke 2:14

Come, let us adore Him.
Rwandan Nativity

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

VTT Christmas Postcard

I can't remember where I found this sweet card, nicely preserved in a vintage looking two- sided glass frame with a loving message for a brother and his family at Christmas, dated December 11th. 1911. I am thinking that my Dad would have been seven months old then and quite unconscious of the fact that he would be alive for Christmas 98 yrs, later! But I digress.........
Notice how the sender of the card has added "Christ" over the word "Xmas". It really doesn't offend me as it seems to have bothered her, though I notice in her handwritten message on the back she uses the exact same abbreviation! X [chi] is the first letter of the Greek for Christ and has been used as an abbreviation since the mid 16th. century.

Completely unrelated, as I was pressing a quilt top this evening I realized that my little travel iron is probably vintage, isn't it adorable,very feminine!

I had another travel iron for about 10 years, but I dropped it one too many times and I missed it. It was perfect for that interim pressing during piecing, but I am too frugal to purchase a new one and even on eBay by the time I paid shipping I decided I could wait.
Then recently I was out "strolling" baby Matthew when I decided to check out a yard sale and there was this dear little iron with all the original papers and the box. I asked the young woman "How much", "Two dollars" she said, done deal I was very happy! Did you notice that it matches the paint color on the walls of my studio, it was obviously meant to be mine!
I really like this older version better than the more modern version iron I had previously. This one is definitely heavier and hotter, in fact very hot, perfect for quilt pressing and the point of the iron is narrower that works well for flattening those pesky seams. I haven't tried the little water bottle, haven't needed it and probably won't but the iron is in great condition so I'm assuming it probably would steam if needed.
I tried to find it's age, I did discover that GE began making the lavender version in 60's so it may be a 70's model. It looks identical to the 60's model except for the cord.

This is the top I was pressing, the strip scrap quilt I have been working on, now ready to go on the longarm.
Most of the other VTT bloggers are showing their Christmas vintage so do check them out beginning with Colorado Lady.
The blogger whose number was drawn last week for the vintage apron gift has not responded to two emails so if I don't hear from her I will draw two numbers this week.
Happy VTT and a Merry Christmas too!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Annual Cookie Bake-Off

Each year for the past 10 years, during the week before Christmas my two older grandsons come over to bake and decorate cookies. We began this tradition when the oldest was around four years old, and his brother probably joined us a year or two later.

We also make a gingerbread house-this year it is a gingerbread train.

Here's GS#1 working on construction of the train-we use a kit, it's so much sturdier and saves Grandmother heaps of work! GS#2 broke his arm at football so he decided to focus on the decorating.
Similarly with the cookies-I prepped the dough the previous night and chilled it- big brother rolled dough and cut out cookies since it's a little hard for his brother to do that with one arm in a cast. These are their favorites, the "stained glass cookies".
After an hour or more of cookie dough we needed something less sweet, Costco pepperoni pizza for lunch.
As the years pass and the boys are older, the cookies get more and more "decorated" until now they are loaded with decorations!

So here they are on the way home with the cookie lode! See that huge platter stacked with cookies and a few extra special on a separate plate.

One more pic with Grandmother who is all cookie'd out for the moment! In case you are wondering, the boys are 12 and 14 and the oldest is 5 ft. 11".

After I stacked up all that I could onto that platter for the kids this is what was left for us!
Talk about your uber- decorated cookies!

This week DH drew comment number seven for the vintage apron give-away, that's Jane from "Mamie Jane's" blog so I have sent her an email to see if she would like to have an apron.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Finished For Friday And A Tiny Tut!

While I was in the watercolor quilting mode I decided to make one more Christmas gift.
It is even more crucial I think with these quilts to have really accurate seams - I have talked about the "fork pins" before and how they facilitate perfect piecing.

For a little test, this time I sewed an entire row of blocks together using regular pins and found that my fabric shifted just enough to offset the blocks ever so slightly, not good enough in this case. The next row I used the fork pins, the result, total accuracy on every seam! Did I say I love these pins?!

I tried to insert a little video showing just that, sorry but it would not load, not sure why, I have done it before successfully. Maybe the file was too big?
The pins are very fine and are easy to sew over, just slow down as you come to each pin and "walk'' the machine over carefully. If you love accurate piecing or struggle at all with it do try these pins. "Connecting Threads" has them if your local QS does not.

You can see how offset seams would be very obvious and would detract from the watercolor effect here.

It's important too that seams be nested [pressed in alternate directions] in order to have that "seamless" appearance, you just cannot get away with a sloppy pressing job or careless seaming with this sort of design.
I like accuracy but I'm also a bit of a speed freak [one reason I have a LA] I want to be as productive as possible but there are times when a little extra time and care is crucial to the desired result.
Now if it were as easy to find a Christmas gift for my DH, life would be so much more simple!

The quilt from the back.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


All of our vintage Christmas ornaments are packed away where I cannot get to them easily-except for these two stockings I made in the early seventies for my sons. I have passed along the other two to the other boys but these two remain. I would offer Matthew's to JW for his son Matthew but it's so old fashioned I doubt baby Matt's mum will be impressed so perhaps it just needs to stay here with us.

Very country, primitive, we were living in the heart of Texas and that was Christmas back then. Our boys found lots of treasures in these stockings over the years when they came out Christmas morning to see them bulging with surprises.
Next year perhaps we will unpack the many many older ornaments and let the kids come take what they want. The last couple of years we have just had the one tree and that is all silver, gold and glass. I don't have the mojo for two Christmas trees and all the accompanying work, the packing up is the worst isn't it?

Now here's a real blast from the past, this glass tray with the gold leaf design and wooden handles is from 1964 to be exact. It has survived many moves around the world and I still use it so it deserves to stay around!
The dainty appliqued tea cloth with drawn threadwork folded under the tray was my Mum's and it is circa 1940's.

This little teapot cozy my Mum knitted for me in the early 70's because I complained that I couldn't find one in USA........

and I crocheted this delightful concoction myself to cover my silver teapot, the colors are so 70's aren't they?

Similar food doilies have shown up on my blog for VTT in the past, I have quite the collection, and like the teapot cozies no respectable Australian household would be without them back in the day. I am quite attached to them and use them still, in fact this one covers the water jug that sits by the coffee maker.
Now head on over to Colorado Lady's blog and check in with all the other vintage addicts.

Wounded Warrior Quilts

When I went to the Post Office today I sent off some more QOV's.
Here are two of them with their presentation cases. They both got a flag pantograph, you know how I feel about pantos but I find them very useful and appropriate for some of the QOV's.

The first was pieced by an 85 year old lady in CO. I was really moved by her contribution and I sent her a nice letter with a picture of the finished quilt, she chose great patriotic fabrics and did a very nice job of the piecing.

The second is a PIG that flew to me from Elizabeth in TX- it was a BOM from her QS that she had never finished and it makes a terrific quilt for a soldier, thanks Liz!
I like to make the presentation cases, it's a good opportunity to use up half yard pieces, FQ's and other odd bits and pieces from my stash that go together.

This evening [after dinner at the new Vietnamese restaurant up the road] I finished putting the borders on that strip stash quilt-the sample from the magazine has an additional un-pieced border but I think I have decided to just quilt mine as is, it's already a good lap size probably for a QOV.
Do you think it needs something to set it off? Maybe I could just put a wide binding, red? I looked through my stash but couldn't see anything I thought suitable for a border and in the photo it looks as if there's a lot of pink but in fact there is a pretty good mix of every color under the sun!
Or how about a two inch pieced strip on the outside similar to the narrow stop border between the large blocks of the quilt and the pieced border? Hmmm that sounds worth a try and it will use up a few more scraps! This quilt cleaned out my 2" scrap basket and I am now working on the 2.5" bin that I'll also use for binding. Using my scrap strips will be one of my focuses for 2010 along with working on my collection of kits.
Tomorrow is the 43rd. birthday of DS #1 and he and DIL are coming after work, I promised roast lamb dinner and tiramisu for dessert so there will probably not be a whole lot of sewing though I really want to get back to my two WIP's before the weekend when the cookie baking has to begin!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Yesterday we lit a third candle, beginning the third week in Advent, adventus in Latin meaning "coming , arrival". Would you believe that I studied Latin four years?! Hmmm, don't ask me for too many quotes these days though!
I do enjoy the tradition of the season of Advent, it helps me to keep my focus and reminds me of the real intent of the celebration of Christmas.
Last Thursday was the second of five weeks when I will be drawing a number from the VTT comments to receive one of the vintage aprons I purchased on eBay. I came up with number nine, Maureen from "The Green Suitcase" blog, and here is the apron and selvedge pot-holder that are going in the mail to her tomorrow-
I did my best to match the pot-holder to the apron, you can see that it does have green andblue and orange, like the apron. Maureen said this will be her very first apron ever, so I am really happy to be the one to introduce her to the sisterhood of apron wearers and lovers!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

VTT Love Is..........

Remember these? They were a popular feature in daily newspapers around the world in the late 60's and into the 70's. In those days DH and I were apart for an extended period and we wrote a lot of letters and sent these cartoons back and forth between Australia and the USA.

I think it might have been the only reason I bought the paper, it was the highlight of my day to see what new sweet thing this little cartoon couple would say to each other that might apply to my long distance love life, and on the other side of the world my honey was doing the same! I think we have around 450 of them and I don't believe there are any duplicates.

There are thirty album pages, twelve cartoons to a page, and the last page in the album has a stack of around 100 clipped to the page! I am only showing a few pages here, it was hard to choose they all have such special appeal for me. I think we probably continued to collect them after we were reunited because I can't imagine we would have been able to accumulate so many otherwise.

We cut them out of the paper each day and often wrote little notes on them.......

Colored them.......

Added appropriate comments.....and lots of little red hearts......

We sometimes drew extra details on the pictures themselves!
That seems like such a very long time ago, and here we are still the same people, yet changed in so many ways, definitely older and wiser and quite different from our pictures then!
Now if this has whetted your appetite for vintage things, head on over to Colorado Lady's blog and see who else has linked their treasures from days gone by.
In my vintage apron gifting, I posted that last week I drew comment #10, CC at Lace'n Ribbon Roses, and mailed off her apron and pot-holder yesterday.
I'll draw another number from this week's comments and let you know who it is.