I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Busy Work

Hi everyone, on this warm[ish] sunny day. I suppose I must admit that spring is here, I love winter and this year it passed so quickly---no snow! No snow days!

I'm back to making my To Do lists that I rely on for being productive. "Some people" have told me lists are a ridiculous thing: that "if you need a list to remember what you have to do each day, you're even stupider than I thought" attitude. But I find it very helpful, especially in such difficult times, to make a list at night for the following day. I often now wake up in a panic, with no clue what day it is or what time it is even. My lists ground me.

I have begun writing in this beautiful Quilting Diary, a gift from my brother and SIL. For a year or so I thought it too pretty to use.

I considered writing a daily diary of these crisis times, but instead  have incorporated those notations into my ongoing work. More interesting!

A pasted in page for Blackbirds:

It's stored right under my monitor so I don't forget about it. I reorganized the book format to be perpetual, so I can add info each year and compare.

I'm trying to do a spring cleaning chore each day [or often]--dust high shelves, sort out my makeup bin or the junk drawer, roll up saved, now banned, plastic bags into tiny twists for doggy pickup, etc. Little things made nice again. Nothing big or pain inducing.

I cook most days, or maybe do some project baking, like oatmeal cookies.

And I make a point of spending time in my craft room doing something, anything, again, even if small. I started by sorting and re-binning my blue and neutral fabrics. I am not ever going to finish the blue and white Schoolgirl Album project---why are the fabrics set out and waiting in silent judgement? Hideous remains on my cutting table; Cheri Payne Christmas quilt fabrics got put away, I am much too sad to make it.

I made masks for friends and family. I have no elastic, using hair ties. And some days I sit mindlessly cutting 2 1/2" squares

for this future quilt:

I am not a scrap saver but for the past year or so I've been putting small pretty bits of fabric in a dish on my desk. Now is their moment.

I love love love that the name of the quilt. I have two cheddar prints or a chrome yellow to choose from, if and when I get going actually sewing. [no rush].

My version will look scrappier.

Why did I fall for this quilt, besides its classic style? I just love the folky motifs of the border, Moons and Stars and Flowers. Just love. Plus the name of course. The bad news is that it goes together in the same diagonal method as Blue Baskets which gave me such fits.

This old book, 1990s , was well worth the used book price of 4.oo/ free shipping/ Amazon used books. I'd love to make a wool version of the Fall leaves and the Basket is so sweet.The Bittersweet vines are hemp string, couched onto the design, which I love because I'd never embroider that much.

We will see another Fall, won't we? I would add acorns.

I drew up a pattern for a country look/ farmhouse Churndash, for my red Horseshoes fabric. It will go with nothing in my house, but it'll be happy. [if not soon]

And I did the pattern for the baby quilt that is prominently NEXT on my work list. The baby has arrived and her new bedroom unexpectedly will need a quilt soon, as the virus caused her family to change plans.

The green rectangle should be two differing squares, a mistake. This is why I make a graph pattern and a try out block.


Mo of course still must be walked. We avoid everyone and keep far distances.

We walked to our beach access ramp, where his bench is. Mo was puzzled as to why we couldn't sit down for a treat and a bit of fresh air.

He has done that almost daily for his entire six years. But no.  He knows the drinking fountain [outdoor shower for washing off sand for humans] is turned off in the winter. I didn't check if it is turned on again now for spring.

 He was sad.

The shadblow is blooming. I miss seeing the marshes turning green and the billows of the pink volunteer apple trees and the foamy white white shadblow on its margins.

Hope you all are coping. Make a list, do small chores, call a friend. Be kind.



gone to the beach......

two years ago: April

Friday, April 3, 2020

Pretty Hearts for Friday

Hello, hello! Like blog friend Julierose, I am waving! Do you see me? Today's post is just for pretty, mostly. I've been making sure I work on projects at least an hour a day, as I try to combat the urge to wander around in a sad dismal fog. Today's weather isn't helping, high winds and spitting rain. If I set packages out for mail pickup they will blow away in the gale.

We had those couple lovely faux-spring days last week.

Time to sit on the deck to fill my first spring lavender hearts.

Lavender mix with essential oils of bergamot, lemon thyme, lemon verbena. For those who don't love strong lavender scent, my mix is herbal but not overwhelming. All natural products.

Not so much to say, just enjoy the pics.

Farmhouse ticking hearts. Available for order, trims vary.

Spring Bunny hearts. This set is available here or will be posted soon on etsy.

vintage bunny buttons!

Tomato sewing make-do pincushion. Vintage velveteen and wool. With emery. Green depression glass base from the little church flea. The base is so beautiful, all etched flowers, but I can't get a photo to show it off.

Available here, now, or etsy soon.

Off topic, one of my FB Marketplace finds. I did NOT get this, I lost track of the online auction. I think it sold for $25.oo. Isn't it outstanding and unusual? Usually I do not like hexagons, but I love pinwheels [and bright gaudy colors]. Sadly the center joins were unfinished. I prob would have had it quilted as is.

 Yesterday I made a make-do goulash with things from the freezer. I've been meticulously conserving /freezing food now and found a container of beef gravy and half a can of tomato paste. [I decant pastes and sauces into freezer baggies]. Beef round cubes my friend bought me when it was the only meat in  the store, lots of Vidalia onions, paprika and caraway. Bake for 3 hours at 350*. I threw in the last 4 tiny red potatoes, too, and boiled up a big pot of farfalle/ bow tie pasta. Roasted broccoli to use it before it got soggy, the last of my fresh greens.  Delish and so comforting on a dark windy evening. No sour cream though.

Have a good weekend.



gone to the beach....

June 2019, below

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Virtual Flea ~ Sewing Items

Hi, everyone! Today we're going to step away from the virus panic and enjoy a little treat, a bit of a virtual flea market or antiques shop treasure hunting. Everything I will be sharing with you today is from a delightful box of goodies sent to me by blog friend QB/ Amity quilter.
non-sewing and beach pics at the end, scroll down if you wish

Oh I had the best fun opening this envelope of treasures. I collect vintage sewing bits and bobs [thimbles are my main love] so I was fascinated by this collection that QB generously has shared. Her story was that most of the pieces came from a dusty box of sewing ''stuff'', including old Singer sewing machine parts, found in a shop in her former home of Oregon, years ago. I understand she really did well selling the contents on eBay; these are the tiny things that intrigued her and she had saved.

Now you may recall I'm not a fan of spring, but back in February when the big padded envelope arrived from QB, I was very much looking forward to spring 2020. Exciting things were happening for friends and family. I had  planned our annual ''everyone's birthday'' dinner, with girlfriends [we celebrate all the spring and summer birthdays at one time].The much missed and much anticipated little church flea was expected to open mid-March. There would be the big flower and garden show ''we''---you all and I---always enjoy each year. The big flea's first Sunday was to be in late March. And yes, even a quilt show, a guild that comes to our village rec center for their bi-annual ''by the sea'' [lol] show. The show is small but what a treat for me, every other year. Real quilts! and quilters! Real fabric vendors. It's a big deal for me.

Of course such frivolity is  now a thing of the past, so you can imagine how I again loved poring over the sewing fleas today as I took their photos to share.

I fell in love with this runner or tea towel instantly.

The sewing of the hems is amazing, so very fine, plus beautiful linen and hand crocheted edging. QB mentioned that I should use any and everything for my etsy shop sachets and pillow, but this is a ''keeper, " I think, at least for awhile. Though it would make a delightful herbal dream pillow---hmmm.

More linens:

below:  This should be a long ''lumbar'' pillow, don't you think? Maybe for a bed? I'll put a small pocket for the optional lavender sachet. Sweet dreams!

Lace motifs for collars or yokes, on their original blue selling paper.  Expensive back then $1.5o.

Another keeper, beautiful edging, hand crocheted, for pillow cases.

It's made in the circular way so there'd be no seams. At first I'd planned to use it on flannel cases, but then I decided to wait and see. Now I'm thinking a very sweet rosebud floral for summer?

Antique Flower in Pastel Snow White Small Bouquet Yardage | SKU# 35066L-10

Darling and unusual pre-made bias double fold tape, like for quilt binding.

This will be the binding of my 2020-21 Christmas quilt project. I estimate it's about a yard, so I better plan ahead, on my little quilt.

More bias double fiold, much older, much narrower. JC Penney "Penimaid, 8 cents a pack. 1930s.

The green is especially lovely, with its art deco graphics.

The reverse shows styling hints, colors that go with.

And if we ever wanted to know for sure just what color "Nile Green" is, here we go:

And then: a handful of small sewing kits. In more frugal times ladies carried these in their purses.

Be prepared: this useful small plastic box may be a beach bag staple. I can't tell you how many times I schlep the 3/4 mile to the beach only to realize I forgot my needle.

Larger but still tiny tins like this were for travel. Hotels would stock a little kit like this in each room. I have a few modern ones from my own long ago travels, including from the Grand Floridian Hotel in Disney World.

Dear little red thimble.

And a still sharp, still shiny threaded needle, see it on top of the spools?. Just imagine, last touched 50, 60 or more years ago.

Tiny wooden spools of nicely sturdy cotton in neutral tones: sew a button, darn an elbow, mend a lisle stocking. "Klosten's Darning Floss" is stamped on the little wooden reels.

More emergency sewing kits: at first I wondered why QB included matchbooks?

Note above, phone number is only four digits.

I looked closer, were they places of interest from the time when everyone smoked? But NO! They are, again, sewing kits. And they feature the lost art of fixing runs in nylon or silk stockings. Imagine that. The ''matches'' had a glue type product on them that could be dabbed on stocking runs.

These probably date from the late 1940s or early 50s [or earlier? 3os? anyone know?]. Not WW2, when women had no stockings at all and would draw the seam-line up their  calves to emulate stocking seams. Yes, stockings 75 years ago had seams.  What would they have thought about pantyhose? Or--bare legs, like former princess  Megan Markel introduced to the British royals. Back in the 40s and 50s stockings were both a cultural norm and a sexy accessory. No bachelor would propose to a slutty girl with bare legs, unless she was in tennis whites.

More finds, sweetest little Sunbonnet Sue note card and pattern.

I have a similar though modern version of a vintage pattern, a Basket. I'd love to frame them someday.

I love the little school notebook Sue pattern. And note to Norma [Noreen? thx, Mel, yes, Noreen]. Handwriting was so different back then.

A souvenir postcard from Spain.

Very fragile, I stored it in a protective baggie.

The young woman happily sewing in the cobbled courtyard on her treadle machine, while the neighbors look on with interest. Note her machine is a Singer; the lettering is reversed.

Lovely fine weight perle cotton, from France, perhaps for lace making, or lace edge crochet?

A small wooden needle case.

These are still sold today, usually with specific needles. This one has instead three carefully saved sewing machine needles.

Rolled up in the edge of a vintage letter envelope for Oregon.

These old ''bitsies'' as my mom would have called them, have given so much pleasure, looking over, imagining them, researching their history.

Thank you so much, QB. A special gift in these times of turmoil.


Off topic: links after beach pics at the end, scroll down

If you're tired of sewing or can't focus, I have two online reccs: Shetland, the TV version of Ann Cleeves' novels. On Amazon Prime [?]Videos. Interesting, though lots of baleful, loaded stares and pauses. And Jimmy  Perez is cast so wrong. Shetland is lovely, filmed on the islands off Scotland.

And, since I cannot do much beachcombing right now, on YouTube: Nicola White / Mudlarking the Thames River in London. Finds back to Roman times and earlier; and more vids by  her friend Si-Finds. Both have lots of interesting half hour videos with extensive history of the items they find. All links at the end of this post.

Mental health professionals advise us to stay busy, and especially to stay on schedule; that keeping normal is the way to cope. "Don't hang around in your pjs til 2 PM," insisted one guy. Mo wishes to disagree. Here he is , okay no pjs, but back in bed, 2.14 PM, loving his blanky nest and underneath, his kennel warmer.

Because it is another low sky dark grey day.



gone to the beach.....

april 2014

piping plover


oystercatcher nest, marked by beach residents.

There's an egg there but I can't find it.


QB's blog Amity Quilter

Nicola White Mudlarking the Thames here

Si-Finds Mudlarking  here

*mudlarking is a British term for beachcombing freshwater areas like rivers, streams, estuaries

Shetland: TV series based on Ann Cleeves novels here

Lecien Fabrics

Detailed but very interesting website page about wearing stockings, anklets, kneesocks etc in he 1940s  here