Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Quilt For Orphans Africa Auction

I have a dear old friend who works with an organization that builds schools in Tanzania, Africa.   They are really doing some wonderful things to help educate orphaned children and teach skills to widowed women. You can read more about it at Orphans Africa.

(these photos are all from the Orphans Africa website.)

She called a couple of weeks ago and said they were having an auction in February to raise money for a secondary school classroom.  And she asked if I would make a quilt to put in the auction.  Of course I said yes.

So that is what I have been working on this weekend.  I gathered up everything I would need.  I learned an easy way to make these triangle blocks in a class based on Martha Thompson's book, "Start With Squares".   And I thought they would be perfect to use in the auction quilt.  Block rows were layed out and then sewn together to make the main part of the quilt.  Two simple borders were  cut and sewn on.  Everything was layered together in a quilt sandwich so that I could pin-baste and machine quilt.

I still have to sew on binding and make a label for the back.  This quilt is fairly small, about the size for a  nice wallhanging or table topper.   I am pleased with how it is coming along.   Will post a picture of the final product when I'm all  through.    (update--- see completed quilt here.)

Linking to Mosaic Monday at Little Red House.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Embroidered Tea Towels And Pillowcases- Bluebirds, And Puppies And Sunbonnet Sues

My Grandma loved to embroider.  She a tin of embroidery floss sitting on the lamp table next to her living room couch and in her spare time she would sit and make tea towels, pillowcases and all sorts of other pretty items.  She made hundreds of sets of tea-towels for church bazaars and friends.  And she made a set for each of her grandchildren.

I think I was about 11 or 12 years old when I picked out this cute embroidered and appliqued Sunbonnet Sue pattern.  The next time I came to visit, she had them all made up for me.   (I display them in the kitchen, but I don't wipe dishes with them, because I want them to last forever.)

This is another set that she made. These have yellowed a bit and I need to clean them up using some of Gails tips at Faithfulness Farm.  (how to take care of vintage linens.)  Isn't the muddy puppy adorable?

My Grandma embroidered these pictures too.  They hang on my family room wall.  I just love them.

So it's no wonder that I grew up loving embroidered items.   I picked up these next two kitchen towels online.  I do not know if they are vintage or not, but the patterns sure are.

I collect embroidered pillowcases, especially bluebirds. (Bluebird starts with B.)  I use these on our beds all the time.

Today I am joining Suzanne, The Colorado Lady,  for Vintage Thingies Thursday.  C'mon over and see what other fun vintage items have been posted.

I am also joining Jenny Matlock  at Alphabe-Thursday.  Come and visit all the other B's.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Amish Country Store- Iowa Welcome Center

Take a peek inside the Amish Country Store at the Iowa Welcome Center.
I bought a cute pillow and some raspberry jam last time I was there.
Isn't the toy barn cute?

My new pillow in a favorite reading chair.

Mary at Little Red House graciously hosts Mosaic Monday every week.  Click on the links to see all the other fun mosaic posts.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Almost too pretty to use!

These arrived in my mailbox the other day.   Aren't they beautiful knit dishcloths?   They are almost too pretty to use!  They will certainly make the task of washing dishes more cheerful.    I ordered them from the etsy shop of  fellow blogger  Cathleen at My Sewing Serenity.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Is For Always and Aluminum

Today  I  am joining  both  Alphabe-Thursday  and Vintage Thingies Thursday.

A is for Always!

When I married Mr. Garden, we vowed that our love was forever.  Twenty three years and two kids later, that promise still stands.  It has carried us through all the ups and downs life has chosen to toss our way.    I keep this little heart on a shelf by my kitchen pantry where I see it every day and am reminded that I am  a lucky girl.

A is also for Aluminum!

I recently started to collect vintage hammered aluminum pieces and I just love them!   I remember seeing these as a child when we would have church potluck dinners and teas.    I picked up the rose tray at a vintage Etsy shop.  And the little flower basket was found at a wonderful little antique store in Nebraska called Second Chance.

Come on over to Jenny Matlock's blog for the very first week of Alphabe-Thursday.

The Colorado Lady hosts Vintage Thingies Thursday.  Visit her blog to see all sorts of fun vintage items.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Look Up! - Mosaic Monday

Look up!

Hmmm.....Anyone want to guess locations where these pictures were taken?

Tues, Jan 19-  OK, I'm updating with the answers below.

 I have enjoyed reading your guesses.    And the the answer is..... right smack dab in the middle of the USA. (I thought some of the midwest bloggers might know.) 
Upper left-  St. Cecilias Cathedral,  Omaha Nebraska
Upper right- Dairy Barn,  Kansas State University, Manhattan Kansas
Lower left-  The tower above P.F. Chang on the Country Club Plaza, Kansas City Missouri  (Premier shopping and dining district, built in 1922 to look like Seville, Spain)
Lower Right- St John's Church, Omaha Nebraska

I'm joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.
And Smiling Sally for Blue Monday.
Please click on the links to view photo's from creative bloggers all around the world.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Little Blue House

Little Blue House.
Who lives here?

Doce Lar.  Home Sweet Home.
Come inside and see.

Blue Bear, Lord of the Manor, sitting in his comfortable arm chair.

Blue Mouse reads a story to her three children.

Blue Mouse goes into the kitchen to make tea.

Blue Bear puts on his sombrero.

Brown Bear, Orange Bear and White Bear play with their toys.

Brown Bear practices his trumpet.

Two Mouse friends keep cozy in the kitchen

Lots of other visitors come to call.

Peeking inside Little Blue House

Blue Bear and his family and friends pose for a group photo.

The Blue Bear family thanks you for coming to visit them at Little Blue House.

This little blue house was mine when I was a little girl. (in the 60's)   My parents bought the velvet Blue Bear and Brown Bear when I was 2 or 3 years old.  A few years later my Mom made Blue Mouse for me.  And as I learned to sew by hand, I made Orange Bear and White Bear myself.

My 3 sisters each had their own little Bear, Mice and Cat families and we would play for hours, wrapped up in a world of make believe.

To this day, when we sisters travel, some of the critters go with us.  Last summer I met up with one of my sisters at a doll convention.  Guess who came along?   Blue Bear and Red Rat.  (My sister's Red Rat got too close to a light bulb once and suffered burns to his knee, but he still manages to hobble along.)

They came with us:

to breakfast,

to the antique store, (this is the resident cat)

to the rare and used book store, (this is a cool old cash register)

and to the sweet shop.

What wonderful memories do you and your siblings have of playing together as children?

Vintage Thingies Thursday is hosted by The Colorado Lady.
And  Midweek Blues is hosted by The Dusty Cellar.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pillow Party- Mosaic Monday

 Pillows made from vintage  embroidered tea towels, pillowcases and chenille bedspreads, with rickrack, lace and button trims added.   The embroidered duckling pillow is actually a baby pillow.

It's twice the fun today.  Joining  Rhondi's Pillow Party at  Rose Colored Glasses and Mary's Mosaic Monday at Little Red House .  Click on the links to see all the other creative pillows and wonderful mosaics.
Oh wait, three times the fun!   Just adding a third linky.  Smiling Sally is hosting Blue Monday.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Teacups and Teapots

I love teacups and teapots.  There seems to be no end to the gorgeous patterns and shapes made by various china manufacturers.  Over the years I have collected a few that I think are really pretty. 

This is my very favorite teacup. It's a chintz pattern from Shelley called "Primrose".   See all the little forget me nots in the background?

I have lots of other variations on forget me nots.  These three are all from Royal Albert.  l-r: "Forget Me Not", "Memory Lane" , and "?".  (The Memory Lane in front is my china pattern.)

Here are some pink rose teacups, also from Royal Albert.  (  l-r:  "?", "American Beauty", "Wild Rose", and "Lavender Rose".)

The three pictured here are  all made by Paragon and I do not know the names of any of them.  (If you  do please leave me a message.)

These are the three teapots I use most often.  There is just something so endearing about the round belly of a teapot and the curve of the spout.  l-r:  Denby "Greystone",  Queen's "Blue Calico", and a traditional  "Brown Betty".

Lord Nelson "Heather" chintz cream and sugar.  These were originally a gift to my mother from a dear friend in Canada.   I have had my eye on them for years and last summer she told me I could take them home with me.  I am a lucky girl!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Fort, Snow Man, Snow Mountain

We have  had quite a bit of snow here.  Snow on top of snow, and then even more snow. This picture  was taken after the first or second snow.

This one was after the third snow.  It's starting to pile up.

Mr. Garden and my son went out to shovel the walks and decided to build a snow fort!  
The recycling bin makes a great snow-brick form.
 (Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)

Hauling another brick over to the the building site.
 (Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)

That wall is looking pretty good!
 (Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)

Making sure it's good and solid.  They had a great snowball fight after they were finished.
 (Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)

Then they shoveled the drive and walk for our neighbors across the street.  The Mrs. was so happy she baked them an apple pie!  That was the nicest thing ever!   It was yummy. (They shared with me.)

Son also built a snow man.  He came running inside to get a carrot for it's nose.  But all I had in the refrigerator were baby carrots.   Oops!  Moms should know to put regular sized carrots on the grocery list when the weather-man forecasts snow.  (It looks like I'm not going to win "Mother-Of-The-Year" this year either.)

The snow fort is still out there.  Next to the the snow mountain. (where we keep piling up the snow we shovel off the driveway. It's almost as tall as me.)  It  snowed more the day after the snow fort was built.  And tiny little flurries today too.  It just keeps coming down.  I heard it may warm all the way up to 30 on Sunday.  If it gets that warm I may need to put on my bathing suit!