Thursday, February 28, 2019

Vintage Autograph Books

I'm currently reading Ivan Doig's Last Bus to Wisdom. Sadly, this was his final novel as he passed away in 2015. If you have never read anything by this fine author, please read The Whistling Season, my favorite, first, as your introduction to his body of work. 

The protagonist of the Last Bus to Wisdom is a young boy on a journey who collects autographs from fellow travelers on the bus and from others he meets along the way. This prompted me to pull out these autograph books which had belonged to my aunts. Flipping through the pages, I enjoyed reading the inscriptions. The messages were funny, some instructive, some were words of wisdom or faith, some were passages from favorite poems, and of course, there were those which were written all around the edges of the page or upside down.  :-)

There were also some delightful illustrations.

This illustration was done by my Aunt Mildred in my Aunt Alice's book.

And I was thrilled to see this message penned by my grandfather. Yes, the same little boy with the hat in the faded tintype in my last post who grew up to have with my grandmother four daughters and one son, my dad. 


I googled the words and they were from a popular song by Harry Clifton, a British music hall performer, who wrote this piece in the late 1800s. 

As an English teacher, I wrote many, many inscriptions in eighth grade yearbooks. The one I came up with and penned most often was "May the book of your life always be filled with adventure, success, and great happiness." I wish you all the same!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

A Tintype Surprise

I view teabag art as fun and interesting though I hadn't tried it myself. The other day I was reading a blog post about printing images on teabags. That sounded intriguing so I grabbed a couple of teabags that I had previously prepared and gave it a try. My results were far less than successful, but undaunted, I do intend to give it another try soon.

Anyway, I had thought that it might be fun to print an image from an old tintype that I had tucked away. I searched in my desk and located a few tintypes of people I couldn't identify before coming across this tintype of my father's parents who were married in 1902. The tintype image is quite dark, but I was able to lighten it for this post.

Tucked in the tiny envelope was another tintype of a young boy.

Examining it closely it was clearly my grandfather as a young boy; for the ears are exactly the same on the boy and the man. The photographer had applied a tiny bit of pink to the cheeks which was a common practice with tintypes. That's not the surprising part. I was stunned to see how much the image looked like my brother seen below between my friend Cathy and me. I couldn't stop looking at the amazing, incredible resemblance. What a pleasant and fascinating surprise!

By the way, I often refer to Cathy as my forever friend. As you can see, we really have known each other forever. :-) We were all smartly dressed for her birthday party held in her backyard. She had recently emailed me this cute photo (FYI: I'm the one on the left with the long banana curls :-)

Below are two quilted incubator covers that I made this weekend when I got together with quilting friends in Stoughton. These covers will be donated to a Boston hospital.

This afternoon I also finished three pillowcases which will be donated to charity efforts at our guild.

Have a colorful, full, fun week ahead.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day - Part 2

A package arrived at my door this afternoon. The card indicated that this pretty heart decorated container with these gerbera daisies was a gift from my "Ladies Lunch" cousins, their mom and dad, their two cats, their guinea pig(s), and their fish. :-) What a lovely Valentine's Day surprise!!!

I made two large hearts today. Lace . . .  Buttons . . . Beads . . .  How could I resist??? As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I again followed the quilted heart tutorial from The Crafty Quilter.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

St. Valentine's Day

 I picked up this little shelf unit while browsing at Eclectic Collection, a two-story co-op shop with antique and vintage items in West Bridgewater. It takes a while to check out all the nooks and crannies of this rambling building. I wasn't quite sure how I would use this piece when I purchased it a few months ago. I thought I might hang a small woolen applique piece from the pegs, but in the meantime here it is decked out for Valentine's Day.

Julie Cefalu of The Crafty Quilter blog recently offered a round up of some Valentine related tutorials, including a tutorial for these little hearts.

You could make these hearts in different sizes, and I had planned to do just that, but somehow time got away from me. In fact,  I just finished making these three tonight. The tutorial shows various ways to embellish the hearts. Can't you see a group of these in a bowl or basket? I may have to work on a few more of these before putting my red fabrics back in my stash. :-0

We had a fun meeting at the Crosstown Quilters Guild yesterday. Last year we had a Valentine's Day swap which was such a big hit that Laurie G., our BOM coordinator, arranged it again. At a previous meeting, she had passed out a list of items to be placed in a small, brown paper bag. The items included were: a Valentine's Day card (homemade or bought), a fat quarter with hearts, another pink or red fat quarter,  an embellishment, a notion, and of course, some candy. This shows the contents of the bag I received. The embellishment in the top right corner will be absolutely perfect for a crazy quilt piece that I am going to start working on.

To show you how popular this activity was . . . there were sixty-three members present at yesterday's meeting and fifty ladies had brought bags to swap!!! What fun it was!!!

The member who received my bag appeared a bit puzzled with good reason when she opened the card that I had made. I had used a blank card with a square cut out in the front. I had glued in a square of red fabric and attached a heart shaped button. Next, I stamped a heart border above and below the insert. Sound lovely, right? Well, the front did look lovely, but then I unfortunately somehow wrote the message inside upside down!!!! Don't ask how it happened because I can't exactly explain it though in fairness it was a three-part card that I accidentally folded the wrong way. Oops! So what was I to do after all that work? I decided to write the same message right side up  below the other one upside down!!!  I did the same thing with the "Happy Valentine's Day" message. I'm happy to say that she enjoyed my efforts. :-0

I forgot to mention that after the Valentine swap and some refreshments, one of our new members  gave a very interesting presentation on color theory. She teaches classes on interior design and incorporated some of that background into her talk. The principles of the color wheel apply to both interior design and quilting! It's wonderful to see new members getting involved in the guild.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Snowmen Vintage Truck - Wool Applique

With one eye on the Grammy's, I finished adding some stitched snowflakes to anchor all the layers of this piece. The pattern is from Buttermilk Basin. This is the third vintage truck piece that I have stitched; there is something irresistible about them. One was a summer piece and the other is a winter piece with sheep which are always irresistible in wool applique. :-)  This finished piece measures 19x17."

I used a wool batting and a piece of blue batik for the backing and finished it using the pillowcase method. Next I stitched 1/4" around all the edges. The inner edge seam was covered with a length of blue trim that I found in one of my crazy quilt drawers.

We have had a strange winter so far with hardly any snow though we are expected to get a few inches late on Tuesday. Folks in the the Northwest and Midwest seem to be bearing the brunt of winter's fury this year. Stay safe and warm wherever you live . . . spring is coming.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Valentine's Day Rag Wreath

My cousin Kristin and her girls came for Ladies Lunch yesterday as it was an early release day from their school. Miss T. also brought along a friend. Miss Emma was delighted to have the company. When we came back from lunch, I had a craft project ready for the ten year olds; the newly turned thirteen year old worked on it for just a bit. :-)

I had picked up a heart shape wreath at the dollar store and had pre-cut a large pile of red, pink, and white strips. The strips were cut 1'' by 6," but another time I would cut the strips a bit longer. The red pieces were from this Xmas wonky tree, paper pieced quilt that is currently on my sofa. I had made it in a class at Ann's Fabrics in Canton a number of years ago; I'm not exactly sure how long ago that was. [Note to self: Don't forget to put a label on each quilt!!!]

Anyway, I had saved all of the green and red scraps from that quilt in a plastic, zippered pouch in which you get sheets and pillowcases. H'mmm . . . maybe I'll find a shamrock shaped wire wreath, and I will be able to use up my green scraps next month. :-)

There are many tutorials for rag wreaths online, but it super simple. If you want to be neater, you could use a pinking blade in your rotary cutter when cutting the strips. My wreath is hanging on the front door, so a man on horseback trotting by won't see all the threads and uneven strips.  I think it turned out great!!!

While doing an errand this morning, I drove by the Tufts Library. The fencing is up!!!! It's really happening!!!! In two years we will have a brand new library on this same spot. I have attended a number of the library planning meetings, and it looks to be an exciting project. I thought that it would be interesting from time to time to document the construction.

Well, that's it for now. Time to go do some grocery shopping . . .

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

"Goat on a Boat" or "The Lord of the Rings"


 I'm not sure which headline I saw that I liked better, "Goat on a Boat" or "The Lords of the Rings." Police estimate that there were a million people gathered at the championship parade as duck boats rolled through Boston today.

The weather was an unbelievable 65 degrees on this bright February day. . . perfect for the parade.

Bill Belichick was smiling and waving . . . really . . . he was smiling and doffing his cap. 

Owner Bob Kraft kept mouthing 'Thank you" over and over to the crowd. The players all appeared to be having as much fun as the crowd.

MVP Julian Edelman


And one more of the goat . .  .

It was a championship celebration for New England and all members of Patriots' Nation.

During all of the the pre-Super Bowl programs, the game itself,  all of the post-game programs, and today's parade I managed to do a whole lot of hand stitching. My wool applique piece is nearly finished.

With this incredibly warm weather, Emma and I took a long, enjoyable walk. Tomorrow's temperatures is will be back to normal after today's glorious taste of spring.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Game Day Ready - Super Bowl LIII

After yesterday's Herring Run Quilt Guild meeting, I stopped to do an errand at the Derby Street Stores in Hingham where I photographed this totally 'cool' Tom Brady ice sculpture.  As you can see, Emma is game day ready and wearing her Patriots scarf that she received when she was groomed on Thursday.

On Friday, I went on an impromptu quilt shop fieldtrip with my friends Laurel and Edith. The first stop was  Ryco Creative Sewing Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island. This store has a number of Youtube videos that you might enjoy. My mission was to find fabric for the sashings, borders, and backing of my floral hexagon quilt. Success!!! Mission accomplished!!! Lincoln, RI is not far from Franklin, MA, so of course, we also visited Emma's Quilt Cupboard and Franklin Mill Store. We had a fun time, but boy was I tired when we got home. :-)

Here's the book that was next up on my nightstand. I always read a chapter or two before turning in. Girl on the Leeside by Kathleen Anne Keeney was a good read. Siobhan had been raised by her Uncle Kee since she was a toddler and shared his love of Irish poetry and folklore. One day a visiting literary scholar comes to visit and Siobhan's life begins to slowly change. Each chapter begins with a quote from one of Ireland's great poets. I'll admit that the story begins slowly, but the reader is gradually drawn in to the world of Siobhan and Uncle Kee and the village where they live.  The author's descriptive writing is in itself quite lyrical. It's a novel that will reward you if your stay with it.

Go Pats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!