Saturday, May 23, 2015

Baby Doll Quilt Not Finished

Today it was another rainy day here so I thought I would concentrate on finishing the baby doll quilt for my little granddaughter.

Yes, I know they were coming on Friday and here it is Saturday.  But they had to postpone their trip due to unforeseen circumstances.

Since they told me that they were unable to come on Friday, I postponed finishing the baby doll quilt and did other things that were put away because of the baby doll quilt.

So today I went to my sewing room to finish machine quilting the little quilt. I was doing fine, or fine by my description.  Then . . . the power goes out!!!

At first I was upset because I couldn't sew!

Aha! Then I remembered that I had a singer hand crank machine that I bought a year ago.

I blogged about this hand crank machine on this page if you wish to read it . . .

So I uncovered this beautiful little machine and kept on sewing.  It is a little more work to sew on this machine because you have to crank with one hand and hold your fabric with the other hand.

I stopped sewing after two hours and even though I was tired, I was very happy that I had the hand crank to help me keep sewing. Even though I sewed for two hours, the little quilt is still not finished, almost but not quite. It need two more rows of quilting and then the binding.

Our power did not come back on until 7:45!! 

I will be sewing on it again tomorrow either with or without power!!!

Until then . . . keep on quilting!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Spring Cleaning! Repost

As the day is again so beautiful in Guadalupita, I can tell that we are on our way to warmer weather.

And, invariably warmer weather brings us to start opening doors and windows and "Spring Cleaning".  As I was thinking of starting my own Spring cleaning, I started thinking about a post I had originally done on my old website.  So I am reposting it here . . .

Originally published 3-3-06

Good Day to Everyone!

Today is Saturday in California and it has been raining all week; beautiful showers that are much needed in this area. We haven’t had rain all year.

Here we are in March again so quickly. Is it because I am getting older? Or is it because I am more busy? Speaking of busy, I was just thinking of a Spring ritual that my mother used to talk about. 

Spring Cleaning! Does anyone do spring cleaning anymore? I used to every year with my mother, but now it’s more like every three years.

My mother said that when she was young everyone used to do Spring cleaning. So, when I was younger she also did the Spring cleaning ritual. Pull all the furniture out of the corners, sweep all the corners and walls. If the walls didn’t have wall paper, we would wash them. Of course, we would sweep the ceiling and walls first, to get all the cob webs. Pull the mattresses off the beds wash the head boards, foot boards and frames. Sweep the mattresses and then vacuum them; flip the mattresses over so they don’t wear out unevenly.

That was the hardest job for me . . . sweeping, vacuuming and flipping the mattresses. I hated it!! And, of course with the job and my complaining came the admonition and story.

First the admonition from my mother . . . “Stop complaining! At least you don’t have to take the mattress apart and wash the wool!”

“Wash the wool???” I would say. What do you mean?

Then the story! My mother would always jump into story telling mode at the drop of a hat! The only thing that saved my sanity as I was growing up and hearing the same stories a million times, was that I liked to hear about her; “When I was young” stories. Her history and the history of the little town she was from fascinated me; as well as the stories my father told. They were great story tellers, very animated as they relived their younger days.

Washing the wool was a spring ritual that everyone did in my mother’s time. The only people that had a “store bought” mattress were people “with money”. Most people made their own mattresses. 

They bought the “ticking canvas” to sew the cover, usually from the local general store or by mail from Sears and Roebuck or Montgomery Wards. If they were lucky they could barter with a Shepard that they knew for the wool. First, they would wash the wool, because it was always dirty when first gathered from the sheep. They would stuff the home made mattress cover with the wool to desired thickness and sew it shut.

After a year of use, every mattress in the house had to be taken apart and the wool washed. There were no plastic mattress covers in those days. In my mother’s case, there were nine children and the parents. Not everyone had their own bed. But, to be sure, there were at least 5 bed mattresses to be washed. And, of course, not every mattress was washed on the same day. The mattress washing went on for several days so that there would be some mattresses to sleep on in the mean time.

No big deal you say! Take it apart and throw the wool in the washer! No way, practically no one had an automatic washer in those days. It was aluminum round tubs and washboards with no indoor plumbing. So it was done outside over an open fire to keep the water hot!

After it was washed, it was passed through the wringer to squeeze all the water out and set out on a tarp to let it dry. Then, of course, you had to stuff it back into the ticking and sew it shut, usually by hand. My mother used to say that the very “picky” people would take the time to “comb” or “fluff” the wool so you could get a fluffy mattress. Otherwise, it was a lumpy mattress because the wool would shrink and clump when washed. She never told me if my grandmother made them “fluff” the wool.

Whew! I’m tired just telling the story!

My mother had one small “old fashioned” mattress when I was young. She kept it wrapped in a mattress cover so it wouldn’t get dirty. After a few years of use, not every year, she took it apart to “wash the wool” of grit from use. Halfway through the process, she realized she didn’t have to do this anymore. She had my father gather all the wool and ticking and toss it into the trash barrel! And so ended another “good ole days” ritual.

I was a teenager at that time and it seems just like yesterday! I can still remember the musty smell of wet wool. My how time flies!

Now I am babbling; I hope you have enjoyed our visit and my story. Won’t you post your thoughts, questions or your own memories.  We would love to hear from you!

See you next time, I’ll be here . . . Stitching and Talking,


Monday, May 18, 2015

Beautiful Day in Guadalupita

Today is such a beautiful day!

I wish I could spend the day outside! But, my little granddaughter is coming on Friday and they are staying for three days.

So, its off to the sewing machine I must go. I am working on making a baby doll quilt for her and I need to finish it before Friday.

I already made one for my other granddaughter in California.  Here is the final product.

I posted about that baby doll quilt on this page . . .

This doll quilt is also made out of crumb strips. I have been making 4 1/2 inch blocks and 2 1/2 inch strips every day, they are so easy to make. That way I would have plenty available whenever I need to make a quilt.

I used only the 2 1/2 inch strips in the quilt above. I wanted to make a different pattern for this little granddaughter so I sewed the 2 1/2 inch strips around a 4 1/2 inch square and then joined those blocks together. 
The original block is the one above. It looks great by itself.  But, I see that when I put these together with nothing in between, it's too too busy for my tastes. I tried to improve the look with the hearts appliqued.  But, as you can see that didn't work too well.

This is the baby doll quilt with hearts machine appliqued onto the 4 1/2 inch squares.

These are close ups of the hearts on the quilt. There are five of them.

I couldn't make up my mind on which way to put the strips of fabric so I  experimented.

I am not going to change it. It is a baby doll quilt after all. A quilt that will be played with all the time. I am sure the baby doll won't mind and my granddaughter will love that I made it for her.

Having made these two little baby doll quilts I have discovered that making little quilts this size is a perfect way to see how I like a block in a quilt. 

 Great experiment! I am glad that I did it! Now I know not to use this block in that way in a regular quilt. Maybe I will add sashing between the blocks or maybe bigger plain squares of fabric. I see more experimenting in my future.  For now, I will just finish this little quilt.

That's it for today. . . enjoy your quilting!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Two Birthdays!!

My birthday was this past week. 

Unfortunately, I didn't want one!

I don't want anymore birthdays. I am getting too old! How old? Well, I don't want to publish my exact age on the internet, but I can truthfully say I am beyond 40. . . way beyond! LOL!!!

I had a great day for my day before my birthday!

My youngest son came to visit us in the mountains. He hadn't come for quite a few months. He decided we would celebrate my birthday the day before my birth date because he had to leave for home early the next day.

He made dinner . . . steaks and roasted cubed herb potatoes, also some roasted cubed herb turnips. I had never had turnips before so that was a small adventure. He has become an excellent cook. He also surprised me with baking a cake for me. What was really surprising is that he was able to work with a not too good oven. The cake came out great! No burnt edges like when I try to bake in my oven. After we ate dinner, he cleared the table and surprised me even further by bringing the cake with candles lit. He and my husband sang "Happy Birthday"!

It made me feel very special and loved! Thank you so very much for that special unexpected birthday treat!

Speaking of unexpected birthday treats .. .

A few weeks ago we were in Albuquerque for my granddaughter's birthday party. On the day of the party my youngest daughter mentioned that she had gotten a text from my oldest daughter, in California, saying the cookies for the birthday party would arrive in the morning of the party.

As we were discussing the text, my husband walked in the front door holding a little girl. I couldn't make out her face so I didn't react.  But then, my oldest daughter pokes her head to the side of my husband and I started yelling to my youngest daughter. "OMG!!!" "OMG!!" "OMG!"

She had driven overnight from California with my other granddaughter to attend the birthday party!!

We were surprised, astounded, shocked, excited!! Lots of hugs and kisses and lots of pictures taken.

But she said she had to leave the next day in order to be home by Monday.  WOW!! Short as it was it was great to have my girls together. I love when we get together, planned or unplanned! 

No quilting on this post, just a lot of love!

Until next time . . . keep on quilting!