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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Flags Quilt: October Blocks


Hi, guys! Good news, I finished ALL my Flag blocks again this month. As you may know I have a near pathological dread of falling behind, not keeping up, missing a deadline. LOL! So that was good, right?

This is October's blocks:

Looks like I'll have enough cutaways to make a sweet tiny patriotic postage stamp quilt! That's so fun!

Here the blocks are individually.
The biggest challenge--- "Don't Tread on Me" AKA Snakey. He is soooo cute. This is the original US Navy Jack, not the coiled snake Gadsden flag. (It's kind of too bad the Gadsden flag wasn't used too, as it is a striking bright chrome yellow flag.] In 2002 this flag was ordered to be used by the US Navy during the Global War on Terrorism*, which makes it very special. And the motto is as timely today as it was almost 250 years ago. *[p.20 Flags of the American Revolution]

First Flag of the American colonies [not yet called the United States, of course], like my dad always made. This is the Betsy Ross flag we learned about in grade school.

76 Flag / Bennington Flag:

Guilford Courthouse  flag. Looking at the photos here, this block looks okay. In person it doesn't seem quite right and may be a redo. I think the fabrics, much as I love the star prints, are too harsh looking?

Plain stripes: Sons of Liberty:

Now about those many, many stars. Some folks have said they don't care for buttons and I am seeing some really creative ways that stars have been created with fabric---fussy cut cottons or wool. But I LOVE buttons [and hate sewing stars]. The pattern is extremely vague. Jan Patek could have at least given us a hint about the size? The resource she suggests no longer makes star buttons.
Time to get creative? My dad hand cut each and every perfect star, on his wooden flags, out of white enamelled aluminum siding from the Dump! So I was inspired....

A search on eBay shows many possibilities: search star buttons like these buttons for the large tan fielded flag (Guilford flag). Buttons are often sold in sets of 12 or a dozen, but these are inexpensive.

Etsy offers handmade artisan stars, ceramic. ($$$ when we need 39 stars!). here
[be sure to look at all her wonderful star buttons!].
If you order online watch the sizes! Often in millemeters and photos are misleading.
Or....hmmm. I could make my own w/ Fimo clay and a handmade cooky cutter, if my giant collection of cutters doesn't produce a set of tiny stars forms.

Or how about these hand carved, exquisite, antique mother of pearl stars from my button collection? So perfect! Too bad I only have five and could look for the rest of my life before I find 34 more.

I have lots of time to ponder the dilemma. The buttons cannot be sewed on until after the quilt is finished and back from the machine quilter. Just for fun I set out the star patterns using simple round MOP or old metal buttons. And you know what? I like them a lot. This is a prim quilt, after all. The old round buttons can stand in for stars.We know what they mean, don't we? And the price is very right.

Just a peek! Some of my friends are pitching in and helping me sew my blocks because of my painful hand problem. I love that they are willing to do this and it will add a wonderful ''friendship'' quilt dimension to this project, which is in memory of my dad who made such awesome things---including flags.

Be sure to check out Lori's blog for photos and links to other makers' blocks and blogs:
Humble Quilts Flags Quiltalong



gone to the beach


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween, a bit early because some time tomorrow I'll need to post my Flags blocks.

Over the past couple weeks I've been cleaning and decluttering and changing my cottage's ''look'' from its summery blue and white to the soft sepia browns and taupe of autumn sand and dunes and grasses. With a dash of pumpkin spice here and there, the rooms look peaceful and serene, but not boring. [or so I hope,lol.]

This year I've been keeping things very low key. Having a puppy in the house means no fresh berries like bittersweet or other temptations for a baby who wants to eat everything.

I washed all the yelloware bowls in the corner cabinet and dispersed all the treasures accumulated in the bowls. I think the bowls show off better and they're ready for their Christmas pine and old ornaments soon.

The blue and white china is stored, replaced by favorite brown Staffordshire transferware. Not many turkey plates yet, I save them for Thanksgiving.

The dining room sideboard with fall pitchers and dried flowers.

More drieds hanging on the cupboard edge.

Bowls filled with scented candles, or Halloween candy.


I love that this brown glazed bowl has embossed stars on the sides!

And I filled my special candy dish, an heirloom from my aunt's home, with Hershey minis this year. I hope I have trick or treaters so I don't have to eat all the candy myself. (Nope, my kids wouldn't dream of eating chocolate, I'm on my own with that.)

Colorful mums in a loved pitcher...

The flowers look just like the stylized design, don't they?

This runner was a thrift shop find. I think it needs to be taken apart and re-backed, but this is it for now.

A couple of mercury glass pumpkins but no berries or leaves in the crocks this year. [Mo].


My little cutie guy, with a fragrant candle inside:

Bright quilts, to offset the taupe and cream throw pillows.


Entry bench with real pumpkins. Mo isn't allowed here so I could have a few real pumpkins, tiny though they are.

"I can do tricks for treats, mommy!"

For November, I'll switch the quilts to more prim, browner choices, and I'll add more candles and mercury glass pretties. Candlelight and sweet scents of cinnamon, apples, and woodsmoke to ward off the sudden darkness of "Fall Back", a despised event here at the beach.

It's fun to have a change of scenery, isn't it?

Happy Halloween.



gone to the beach............

so calm today. 2 years since Sandy.

and a tiny bird on the sunflower head.
I'm thrilled even if she's maybe just a sparrow.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Autumn Sundays and a Few Etsy Cuties


Hi everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Now that beach days are over it looks as if a new Autumn Sundays routine is forming here at the beach: flea market / doggy park/ some sewing on the sunny deck. Good times!

I was off ''early'' to the flea market yesterday.
Mo and I had a long walk then I left him with my friends for his Sunday playdate. [when he's older, I hope to bring him with me to the flea....] Mo can be left alone now for a few hours but he is MUCH happier if he can be with his extended family who have toys and food and a lovely safe enclosed back yard.

The flea was fun and busy but no treasure to be found. Too bad. I saved the day by stopping at the thrift shop. Hooray! Good stuff there and the price is so right.
Cool old quart Mason jars, 99 cents each. I took the two oldest ones.

Perfect condition, pale aqua color.

Nice zinc lids. (Weird aged-on rubber gasket, a testament to the jar's age.]

 This one has the patent date embossed, 1858! [on right,below] Though of course it could have been made any time since then, I have to look it up.

I use these in my kitchen for non-food items, like dishwasher candies, silver teaspoons for tea, tea balls, etc. And also for my button collection, and for the sand I use in my sewing emeries, shown here sifted and drying on the deck in the bright sunshine.


Or for corralling finished sewing berries!

And I found this pair of adorable turkeys for my Thanksgiving table! Also 99 cents, for the pair.

Are they cute or awful? I've wanted some kitschy ceramic turkeys for ages. I can see some eye rolls now, if I use them on the table...so maybe they'll be tucked among the yelloware bowls instead?

Heck, for 99 cents, I can take them back after the holiday if we deicide they're just too tacky.
(No, no! This is their forever home. They'll be so sad, you can't un-adopt them! Okay, okay. Yeesh.)
I love the one on the right's expression, how she is giving the other guy a glare: "Don't even think about watching football during dinner, dear!"

When I got home I discovered Mo's babysitters had taken him to the doggy park.

I thought about joining them , it was such a nice day---but a few hours to work uninterrupted was so tempting. I finished my Flags blocks [Friday reveal]

just a peek: "Snakey"!

---and a few etsy items that have languished on my worktable since August when my hand went bad.
"Double pink'' sewing strawberries:

all pink strawberries are SOLD Thank You!

This one is so tattered! I loved the tiny scrap of quilt block with the bright pink and pretty spring green. She is prim and humble but so sweet. [Entirely lined inside with another antique calico.]

And a fat pink berry. Candy stripes and calico, pale green hand dyed linen leaves....

And here he is! My first little sewing bird.

A little robin [bluebird?] sitting on his tuffett, strawberry around his neck or in his beak.

[what do you guys think? Leave the berry loose?].

The little papier mache box was painted with blue chalk paint, antiqued, lined with vintage-y papers. Another strawberry inside!


I also cut out a few heart sachets and planned some prim linen Christmas stockings! So my etsy shop should be fun and filled with good things for fall, winter, and Christmas gifting.
Amazing what one can get done without a ''toddler'' in the house! LOL!



gone to the beach............

PS The etsy items should be available by Wednesday in my shop, but if you see something you like, you can email me and buy right here [PayPal], with FREE shipping.