Monday, October 25, 2021

Lost and Found

 Have you ever put something somewhere, can see exactly in your mind's eye where but when you went for it, there was no sign of it anywhere?  Did that then mean you took apart your whole stash while looking for it?  And did you find it then?  I thought not, but at least my stash is more organized now.  That was a project a couple of weeks ago.  I was looking for these three embroidered pieces and knew exactly how I stored them, where I put them, even had my hands on them a few months ago.  But no, I couldn't find them.

 I kept my mom busy for a long time embroidering for me.  She loved embroidering, I took advantage of her eyesight while she had it, and she liked the projects.  She had gone through the whole family with tablecloths, pillow cases, table runners, so this was different for her.

I stored them thinking they would be a center medallion for a couple of quilts so stored them on a roll for many years.  Then I decided I didn't need to make them a centerpiece for a whole quilt.  A small hanging piece would be just fine.  And the small piece wouldn't get the wear and tear of a quilt.  So, I went looking for them.  And they were hiding well.  But I found them, bordered them and am now getting them ready to hand quilt.

It's a very dark day here today, rainy, and yucky so finding a good window for the brightness isn't good but the lack of sunshine makes the colors here true. I love that the colors are reflected from the basket center.
I loved the fabric I used for this border and over time used it very sparingly and now it's almost all gone but for a very small piece. I thought it worked well with the pumpkin theme.  My mom embroidered the pumpkin and basket for Friend Marilyn, too.
This one hasn't been done yet but these are the colors I'll use.  I'm going to TRY a Friend Sally-ish very small checked border. I like the idea of that and hope I can pull it off.  

On this dark and dreary and rainy and cold day I think this is my task for the day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Ballad of Laurel Springs


   The Ballad of Laurel Springs by Janet Beard

Old folk songs are more than just songs of entertainment.  Old folk songs are poetry, stories, documents passed on through voice when sometimes the written word couldn't be read.  Old folk songs, if you were so inclined, can be mined for the story behind the story.  You can enjoy them for the music or you can learn something about yourself.

Grace was assigned a family history project in fifth grade.  She was told by an aunt that her great-great-great-great grandfather stabbed his lover to death and well, if you know a fifth grader, learning something like that in your family's history can only make you very determined to find out what happened.

Through YouTube Grace is introduced to the song Pretty Polly, the ballad tells the story of her ancestor Willy Reid and his killing of Polly.  Now, country bands just add the song to their list and perform it but Grace wants to know the story behind the story and she traces each generation through the women in the family all the way back to Polly and thus giving Polly her life back.

Lucky us. 


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Something New

   Yesterday I did something new to me.  Daughter and family went on their annual chestnut foraging trip and I went along. Chestnut hulls are very spiky and sharp and pokey for your fingers. I don't know how the squirrels do it, unless they just wait till the nuts drop.  

  They go picking them because they roast and eat them all winter long.  Roasted chestnuts smell divine and I think they taste a little like a baked potato.  Adelaide says if you put a little butter and salt on them they taste even more like a baked potato.  They are a cozy, yummy winter treat.

  This is what they look like as they get ready to fall.  The husk opens and will either drop completely or just drop the nuts. 

                                       I thought this empty hull looked like a muppet mouth.

  Either way, the ground is covered.  I saw no squirrels.  Years ago we lived across from a park with one lone chestnut tree and you truly had to be there as they dropped to catch even one before the squirrels ran off with them.  In this grove there were thousands.
  On the way there Adelaide said to open them with our feet.  Wear old shoes and open them with our feet.  Then when we got there I was shown how to step on the sides of the spiky pointy sharp part, spread them a little and reach carefully in for the nuts.  Of course there were thousands on the ground that had fallen out of the husks that you just bent and picked up. 

It's hard to stop.  Kind of like picking strawberries and you just can't leave that one in the field.

                                                      Twenty eight pounds of yummy

                                             There's always time to stop and pick a flower. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The Company I Keep

 This past weekend was our quilt retreat at a place just short of heaven for me. Our group was much smaller this time but we managed to soldier on just the five of us.
The weather was picture perfect in every way so we spent about 75% of each day on the porch with hand stitching.  Thank goodness we all do some of that.
My spot on the porch.  I've found over the years there are few photos of me because I'm the one holding the camera.  My great grandchildren will ask "what did Grandma Denice look like?" and no one will remember. 
We decided to hold show and tell on the porch.  No one wanted to go in and waste the gorgeousness of the days we had.  We did just everything but eat our meals and sleep out there this weekend.    This beauty is Barb's own design. It's a Christmas quilt and it's stunning.
She was on a tote bag spree and recently made several.  This one is big enough to hold a few quilts. 
                                                             Joyce is a phenomenal knitter.

Sally loves the itsy bitsy piecing.  This was her basket quilt we all made over covid winter.  She showed it when we were together in July but decided she wanted the baskets to have the little diamond cut out in the middle.  She did those cut outs AFTER the quilt was finished. 
This was a kit that sat waiting for attention and she finally had it quilted. 
Jan and Sally are working on the same quilt pattern but their colors are different.  Jan is doing exactly what the designer did and Sally is using her own fabrics.  Both are going to make a beautiful appliqued quilt.  Hand appliqued, buy the way.
Sunday it rained so we were inside. As I said, Sally works in itsy bitsy piecing.  She loves it and it makes me go cross eyed.

 Recently Barb made a Minick and Simpson quilt entirely in blues and used her blue leftovers to make these circles for a quilt.  She made almost 400 circles and found as she laid them on the wall that 234 was big enough. 
                      Jan's machine project, machine piecing the border pieces for her quilt.
Joyce was making table runners for her church bazaar that she covid cancelled while we were retreating.
So she was free to make one of those bags that slip over the handles of your suitcase.  Except the kit shorted her on fabric and substituted something that worked well but while you're reading and trying to make it work and they didn't TELL you of the substitution...well, it took some conferring.
                         And here they go, eleven turkeys out for a morning stroll.