Friday, March 31, 2023

Month End Miscellany

Month End Miscellany


Last month when I was putting together a flimsy I came across a few 12 inch Friendship Star blocks plus some cut pieces, a few HSTs and fabrics to finish blocks for a Friendship Star quilt similar to some of the ones I made for my granddaughter Kayla's friends last year after she passed away. 

The Friendship Star was started for my other granddaughter Isabelle but I gave her a different quilt instead - the Pickle Dish wedding quilt I had stored away in the hope chest for Kayla. 

Well, anyway, I decided to finish up the 30 blocks for a quilt as leader /enders this month even though it did not fit my '30s theme. 

Now the blocks will go into the SAR (Some Assembly Required) box to be assembled another day.

And, yes, there are some marijuana leaves on that black fabric. I bought the fabric online last year and did not notice the leaves at that time. I guess I will have to be choosey about the recipient when I give the quilt away.  

Actually I live in Iowa in the country and once in awhile I've seen a wild marijuana plant pop up out of nowhere. I guess it's called ditch weed; however, it is probably hemp. During WWII hemp was grown in Iowa. "Hemp for Victory" was an urgent appeal. We needed rope for naval towlines, webbing for parachutes, thread for shoes.    

I don't just see ditch weed pop up from time to time - I also see lots of wildflowers appear out of nowhere too like American Bellflower, Daisy Fleabane, Blue Aster, Yarrow and Goldenrod. (Those I let stay in the gardens here and there). 


So far the only thing blooming outside is the crocus and they have survived several snowfalls. 
Species crocus have naturalized in the lawn and larger crocus appear along the pathway here and there in the cottage garden. 

I'm thinking this year I'm  going to make a scrapbook of BLOOMS.   I have a lot of old scrapbooking supplies as well as empty scrapbooks. I have several years worth of old seed and plant catalogs and old seed packets. I have pictures of my garden flowers. I'm thinking it would be fun to catalog all the flowers I grow.

Last year instead of planting onions from sets we planted onion plants we purchased online from a farm that specializes in onions.  We were pleased with the results and ordered from them again this year. And they have arrived already! Hopefully within the next week the weather will cooperate so I can get them all planted. My hubby has outpatient surgery again on April 3 for esophageal dilation (fourth surgery since Nov. 9) so I don't think he will feel much like helping. 

We found the Patterson onions to be large and good keepers. I still have some of last years crop and I think those will last me until this year's crop is ready to harvest.   Some of these will be planted closer together and harvested as green onions. 

I eat at least one raw onion almost every day. You might want to read up on the health benefits of onion! We also eat a lot of them cooked. 

I also have my seed potatoes. According to folklore potatoes yield better crops if planted on Good Friday. You know, I actually try to do that if I'm able and Good Friday is close enough to the last frost date. Not sure what will happen this year.

Winter Sowing

I winter sow a lot of seeds and have been doing it for years. If you don't know about winter sowing there is a public Facebook group about it.   I've been sowing a few different kinds of seeds every week or so since January. The first seeds I sow are usually wildflowers that need 30-60 days of cold stratification.  This month I sowed:

March 1 -- Sweet Peas - Beaujolais, Grandiflora Mix, Flora Norton, Miss Willmott, King's High Scent.
March 2 -- Butterhead lettuce - May Queen, Sanguine Ameliore, Gustav's Salad; Romaine - Forellenschluss; Forget Me Not and Charter's Double and Creme de Cassis Hollyhock. 

March 15 - Band of Nobles Lupine, Calendula Mix and Calendula Flashback

March 29 - Snapdragons - Tall Deluxe, Black Prince, Chantilly; Calendula Butterfly Mix and Touch of Red Buff; Borage, Shasta Daisy, China Aster.

Books Read This Month

I like to read a lot of historical novels especially those based on true stories. I like stories set in Ireland during the famine, the depression era in the U.S. and WWII.  I like to read stories about survival, bravery, courage and human kindness.  I often ask myself if I could be so brave, courageous or kind with my own survival in question. I wonder how my ancestors survived.  And every once in awhile I like a good old fashioned mystery, legal thriller or psychological thriller. 

1. The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew - novel set in 1954 in the segregated South. 

2. The Wife Who Risked Everything by Ellie Midwood - WWII historical fiction based on the true story of the Rosenstrasse protest. 

3. Growing Wild In The Shade by Jean Grainger - Book 2 of the Irish Garda Mags Munroe Mystery series.

4. Rock, Paper, Scissors by Alice Feeny.   - I'm surprised I read all the way to the end of this mystery thriller. I did learn something new I had never heard of before - prosopagnosia. 

5. The Girl on the Platform by Elie Midwood - WWII historical fiction based on the true story of Libertas and Harro Schulze-Boysen.

6. The Orphans of Amsterdam by Elle VanRijn - WWII historical fiction based on the true story of Betty Oudkerk and others who saved children from the Nazis. 

7. The Girl Who Escaped Auschwitz by Ellie Midwood - WWII historical fiction based on the true story of Mala Zimetbaum. 

8. The Little Orphan Girl by Sandy Taylor - historical fiction set in Ireland 1901, the story of a girl who leaves the Irish workhouse at the age of 6 and grows up.

And sew on...

Looking forward to April where the theme in my little sewing space will be Strings, Crumbs and Orphans.


Thursday, March 30, 2023

What Was In All Of Those Bags?

This month the theme in my little sewing space to move UFOs forward has been 1930s. I've finished several quilts and moved old blocks forward into flimsies. I've also been processing 1930s reproduction scraps but haven't blogged much about that yet.  

I've emptied a bunch of bags of bags of bags of scraps this month that have been accumulating for quite some time. There was a receipt in one of the bags dated March 2015.  (My how time flies!) These bags of bags of bags I emptied mostly contained HST pieces.  

I already blogged about a few 10 inch and 7.5 inch Monkey Wrench blocks I made from '30s scraps  and  some 
now for the rest of the story...

I feel like I played that old memory game...I packed my bag and I put in an Apron...I packed my bag and put in an Apron and a Bib...I paced my bag and put in an Apron, Bib and Crown...

Only I emptied my bags and in it was... (not in alphabetical order)...

Monkey Wrenches 
7.5 inch finished

Broken Dishes
6 inch finished

Broken Dishes
7 inch finished 

Broken Dishes
4 inch finished

A few HSTs in different sizes as well as some wonky QSTs I'll use in one of my other UFOs. 

A couple of the bags held some partial strip sets and a few blocks made from them. I finished up all the blocks. The 3 inch Nine Patches with light corners will go into my box of Nine Patches that will alternate with 3 inch Snowballs. The ones with dark corners will be split between my bin of Nine Patches in all fabrics and that bag of 3 inch Nine Patches/dark corners/30s fabrics.   The little 2 inch pink Four Patches and the little 3 inch purple and yellow Four Patches will go into the 1930s scrap orphanage and maybe be used next month when my theme is Orphans, Strings and Crumbs.

I also organized by width size some scraps that weren't HSTs. Previously they were all thrown together in the bin.  I haven't yet processed those scraps but now they will be easier to make into blocks when I'm ready. I'm actually thinking I will make my usual Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) blocks with them. I usually have an RSC block in process for every size scrap.

And sew on...


Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Tutti Frutti Finish

A wop bop a loo bop a lop bom bom - It's a finish!

Tutti Frutti
Log Cabin
65 x 65

I used '30s reproduction fruity prints and solids to make the blocks. I quilted it on my DSM with swirls in a variegated thread. 

The binding is a stripe.

There's lemons on the back.

And sew on...


Sunday, March 26, 2023

A Fine And Dandy Finish!

Fine and Dandy
51 x 63
It's a finish!
And it is hand quilted.

(Pictures were taken several days ago before yesterday's big snow storm.)

I finished the top back in December 2020.   The center blocks were orphans. The Flying Geese and coping strip were scraps and the fabrics used are '30s reproductions. 

I hand quilted it with blanc perle cotton #12.

The binding is scrappy.

The back is a sweet floral.

I must really like The Dandy Quilt block. I've made several Dandy Quilts over the years and I also have an incomplete block set made with floral scraps.  

And sew on...


Saturday, March 25, 2023

Monkey (Wrench) Business

Five Inch Monkey Wrench Blocks in Green '30s Reproduction Fabrics

This month the theme in my little sewing space is 1930s.  The Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color of the month is green.    I keep my '30s repro scraps in a bin all by themselves.  I had a lot of HST parts in there so I first pulled out all the 2.5 inch HST parts in green and made some Monkey Wrench blocks.   I've been making Monkey Wrench blocks in 3 sizes from scraps since last year and have quite the collection. Near the end of the year I will make some donation quilts with them.  I'm thinking for now that I will keep all of the ones made in '30s repro scraps in a separate box and decide later if there are enough for a quilt or two with just '30s repro Monkey Wrenches. 

When I was finished with the greens I moved on to the orange HSTs....

...then the yellows...

...the pink, purple and mixed colors...

...the reds...

...the blues...

...the browns.  

And that makes 65 five inch Monkey Wrench blocks made with '30s reproduction scraps. I also have an empty baggie that used to hold 2.5 inch HST parts. 

Speaking of five inches...this was the view outside my kitchen window this morning. Five inches of snow and it is still snowing. 

This was the view from the living room door out to the deck.   And it is still snowing. A few days ago I was outside in shirt sleeves most of the day pruning my blackberries and cleaning up flower beds. 

A few tree branches cracked a little and now laden with snow they are laying over the power line to the house. That kind of worries me. Guess I'll go sew.

And sew on...


Friday, March 24, 2023

A New Top

It's a top!
It's a flimsy!
60 x 72

I've seen this block called Pieces of Eight and I've seen this block called Cheyenne. I saw a picture and made my quilt with no name. 

I made my set of 30 twelve inch blocks last year when I was working with my collection of '30s reproduction fabrics. I added some muslin as well as some plaids, homespuns and old shirts.

And sew on...


Thursday, March 23, 2023

Three Little Finishes


Three Little Finishes

All contain some '30s reproduction fabrics with little animals or kids playing. I made all the block sets last year and assembled the tops and finished the quilts this month. 

Snowball and Nine Patch
'42 x 42

'30s repros and muslin

Quilted on the diagonals on my DSM.

Backing and binding.

Basket Weave
42 x 42

'30s repros with an orange solid "woven" in. 

Quilted with horizontal and vertical lines on my DSM.

Backing and binding are the same multicolored orange batik.

Log Cabin Variation
40 x 40

This one was actually inspired by a vintage one that had more of a zig-zaggy look - maybe more like  Fields and Furrows layout. Well, anyway, when I went to lay out my blocks like that I went "ewwwww, yucky, icky". So I played around with the little five inch blocks and came up with this layout. 

I quilted it with spirals in a multicolored thread on my DSM. 

And here's the backing and binding. 

Now the little finishes are ready to comfort some little ones. 

And sew on...