Thursday, February 26, 2009

Celebrity Isettas

Today, the the post brought a letter from Wisest Sister. She enjoys traditional correspondence and it is fun to get mail that you are not expecting.

She included this cartoon, clipped from the Kansas City Star. (Not really funny, but fun, if you know what I mean!) My Isetta is a 1958, but more European styled, than American market style, so Zippy's Isetta looks a lot like mine. (Except for the paint, of course, and the fact that his is a cartoon...)

This is another 'toon whose taste in cars I admire!

I am not positive that Guido is an Isetta, but I claim that he is, because it gets me coolness points with the smalls!

And I need all the cool-ness points I can get!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Tragic Tale of the Beautiful Quilt

When we were in Kansas a couple of weeks ago, there was an antique show at a small community center on the weekend. I stopped in on Sunday afternoon while I was out picking up some things for The Mister. There were about 20 or so vendors and not really many "bargains". Perhaps the Saturday shoppers had snapped up most of the "deals".

I did get a few things, though. I got a couple of vintage coloring books - not all the pages were intact, but there are some fun pages that will make good embroidery motifs - and a Tom Lamb child's hankie featuring an elephant in a red skirt dancing to a mouse band.

And this quilt.

It is a large beautifully hand pieced and hand quilted heirloom that I believe was never used. That is the tragedy!

The tiny cat wishes to draw your eye to the perfect quilting!

I am thinking that it may be from the 40's with the chrome yellow border. The fabric seems to have the original smooth finish of yard goods purchased for a particular project. (Most of the heritage quilts in my family are made scrappy from sewing leftovers, or feed sacks.)
The points are all precision placed!

If it had been used and laundered, it might not have ended up with these brown areas....

Or these.

Only the white areas appear to be soiled, right up to the edge of the colored border. I am thinking that something may have soiled the fabric as it was being made that has become more obvious over the years as it darkened. The back is perfectly clean as are the colored fabrics.

I am trying to decide if I should try to soak the stains out (and forever lose the wonderful finish of the fabric) or just display it with the reverse on top! (Just kidding, the star is too beautiful not to enjoy.)

The vendor suggested that I could cut it up! Honestly, I am glad that she thought that was all it was good for, otherwise she would have priced it out of my range. Still, the lack of appreciation for the wonderful skill and time that was put into creating this beautiful piece is the second tragedy.

Dearest sister is trying to convince me to give it a soak. Originally that is what I planned, but every time I look at it, I think about how bad I will feel if I make it worse!

Maybe I can use it on the bed and just use strategically placed cats to cover up the stains!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Catching up...

...from being away takes a few days!

The Mister and I lost a dear friend last week and flew to Kansas City for his funeral. The Mister doesn't like to fly and only the most pressing circumstance will compel him to travel by air. This was one of those times.

I snapped this as I waited for Ms A at the airport. I really enjoy being in familiar territory!

Ms A also joined us, traveling from Ohio, as our dear friend's daughter is her dear friend. Our families have spent many occasions together through the last 15 years, or so. Our world is much richer for having known him and we will miss him very much.

Although we were there for a sad occasion we did enjoy being among good friends and familiar places!

Ms A and I had one of our favorite Valentine lunches! Dear Niece K calls it "chicken in a pop tart" but it is really Vol au Vent - chicken in a white wine sauce with puff pastry. It is only heart shaped on February 14th! Notice also the heart shaped pickled beets - a favorite!

We also went to two estate sales! I had to buy a suitcase at the thrift store to get all my treasure home in. I hope to share some photos of two lovely quilts that I bought in the next day or two. (I am still unpacking!)

I also had lots of time for stitching. I completed the Queen of Hearts and Polly (put the tea kettle on) for the Rhymeland Quilt. I am soaking Polly as I didn't notice a bit of yellowing on the fabric before I stitched it. She may end up being a "re-do" if it doesn't come out.

I am glad that we were able to see so many friends and family members during this unplanned visit, but it is good to be home!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


We are taking a short intermission to our regular scheduled programming. We are delayed returning from a trip to the mid-west due to unexpected medical "issues". Meanwhile, I am making great progress on the hand work that I brought. At the time of packing, I was feeling a little foolish for bringing so much, but now I am thinking I may go to Hobby Lobby tomorrow and pick up some more projects. (We don't have H L in the desert!)

Meanwhile, enjoy Dearest Sister's progress on the Story Book quilt for Grandbebe #2!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hey Diddle Diddle!

I am really pleased with this Rhymeland Quilt block! I think the colors are going to be perfect! I used three strands for the letters, so that made them a little bolder than on the Mother Goose Block.

(I didn't notice until I uploaded the photo that I missed the serif at the top of the "L" in the second "diddle".)

This weekend, I finished organizing all my thread, sewing and embroidery. I found a really ancient looking envelope with some embroidery floss in "half skeins" by Bucilla. The labels said that they contained 4 1/2 yards. Some of the older skeins in my stash have 9 yards in a skein. I imagine that there must have been an uproar when the companies changed to 8 yard skeins. Similar to when the breakfast cereal companies put less cereal in a box that used to hold more, instead of charging more for the original quantity!

This week, I will be concentrating on cleaning house. Today, we received word that The Mister's youngest sister and her husband will be visiting in seven days time. They said they were considering a visit, but we have heard that quite a bit from various friends and family since we moved here to Desert Crazy Town, and we never assume that the plans will come to fruition, until we receive a specific itinerary.

Now that we know for sure they are coming, The Mister will want everything to be "just so". Luckily, he is a much better housekeeper than I am so he will do all the dusting, vacuuming and carpet shampooing. I just have to pick up after myself and think about the cooking, grocery shopping, etc. The only down side is that I won't be able to take time off work to "play" while they are here. My assistant has already planned to be off that week, and one of us has to "mind the store", so I will have to be content with seeing them in the evenings. I am excited that they are coming! It will be fun to have company and gives us something to look forward to!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rangerettes - 1961

The winters in Greensburg, Kansas can be very cold. They are always windy. All seasons there are windy, as a rule.

In 1961, when Deeply Missed Sister was homecoming queen, she was also a cheerleader. They wore sensible, yet flattering uniforms. Red wool. With earmuffs.

My mother made one of the uniforms at least (for sister), maybe for others, as she was often called upon to do. I remember her hand sewing spangles on the basketball cheerleader uniforms - for indoor cheering, more attention to detail, rather than comfort, could be paid. For the longest time, there were left over spangles in the sewing box.

I don't recall gymnastic feats from cheerleaders back in the day, just pumping up the crowd, so they didn't freeze to the benches in the stands, I imagine.

But I digress...

There was also a bell... I don't really remember the bell, but here it is. The word Ranger is painted on it and as you see, it was mounted on its own little cart. Perhaps it was rung in celebration of victory. Perhaps it was an obscure reference to the "rang" in Ranger...

Besides parades and photos of "how high the snow has drifted", I was reminded of another classification of Mother's "Kodak moments" (although she used an Argus C3).

The "look how high the wheat crop is this year" category! This wheat crop photo is particularly significant, because I am part of the unit of measure!

That is my mother, holding me and next to her is my Aunt Arlene, my father's older sister. I believe my cousin Margie is on the right.

And behind us all are the famous plains for sweeping winds!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A semi false start....

I finished the first block of the Rhymeland quilt, but I am not 100% pleased with the result. The floss that I chose looked perfect with the fabric and the accent color was a great coordinate, however the finished block was underwhelming. Unless you are very close, all the embroidery looks like one color.

It looks "okay", but not fabulous.

So, I went back to the stash :

This is one box of four that contain my embroidery floss stash.

At every auction or estate sale of a women over age 60 or so, there will be a small (five or six skein) or large (many skein) stash of floss. I always buy them when I have the opportunity, usually for 20 or 30 skeins for a dollar, or less. I have skeins from DMC, J&P Coats, Clark's O.N.T., Coats & Clark's The American Thread Co. and other obscure brands. Some have UPC codes, some are marked 5 cents, or less.

So I have many to choose from! I like to use vintage floss with vintage fabric. The older colors are not always dramatically different, but sometimes the vintage color is just what the project needs.

Anyway, this is what I decided on:

The turquoise is a combination of bulk floss that was originally in a kit and American Thread Co. Star 6 Strand color 1114-A (marked 10 cents!).

I have four skeins of the salmon accent. Two skeins of J&P Coats, one skein of Clarks's and one skein of Coats and Clark's O.N.T color 120 (three for 10 cents!) They all have the same color number, even though they have several brand marks!

I am just about finished with Hey, Diddle Diddle, and I hope it turns out as great as I think it will.

I think the Mother Goose block will be able to stand on her own in a separate project. I may pick another block to take her place in the quilt. I don't really enjoy repeating a motif that I have already done. Lucky for me there are so many cute blocks to choose from !