Thursday, November 27, 2008

The True Meaning of Thanksgiving

A reminder of the history of this holiday by Earl P. Holt,
"Despite the quaint stories taught in school as part of some sort of “multicultural appreciation curriculum,” Thanksgiving has nothing to do with Indians saving the early colonists from starvation: That never happened. Instead, Thanksgiving is actually America’s National Holiday, in which we celebrate our deliverance from socialism and collectivism.

The earliest recorded settlers in the New World landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. On their voyage across the Atlantic, these Pilgrims established the Mayflower Compact, which was also the first recorded instance of a socialistic political economy in North America.

Among many other things, (not all of them bad,) participants in the Mayflower Compact agreed that everyone would contribute to a common store of food and other goods, and that each person would have an equal share in its ownership and use.

The Governor-General, William Bradford, wrote a detailed history of the Mayflower Company, (”Plymouth Plantation: 1620-1647.”) In it he commented that there was a great deal of sloth among some of the strongest and most able members, who voiced the opinion that it was unfair that they should make a disproportionately large contribution to the common store but, in return, receive a share no greater than that of any other.

Consequently, much arable land was left fallow, and by the Winter of 1620-1621, their already meager food stores began to dwindle. Approximately one-third of the Mayflower Company died that first winter, most succumbing to starvation and diseases associated with starvation.

The following year, the socialistic elements of the Mayflower Compact were jettisoned, specifically, those dealing with this common food store and the equal division of shares among members. The institution of private property was re-established and vigorously defended. Members were free to work for their own good on their own plots of land, and were also free to dispose of the fruits of their labor as they saw fit.

As a consequence of the economic benefits of private property, the following year produced such an enormous bounty that these early colonists were beside themselves with gratitude. As a gesture of their gratitude to God for their great fortune, they established a national day of Thanksgiving, and even invited friendly Indians to share in their bounty."
May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving with Family and Friends!
x, M.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wicked Wednesdays

I stumbled across the Selvage Blog last week as I was recuperating from my cold. Blog Mistress, Karen, has droves of projects to share all using the selvages of fabric. I've seen a few selvage items but never this many in one place. The pin cushions are mine favorite. The pictures are all from the blog.

I thought the potholders were particularly clever. And so easy to make up.

And look at this, Christmas tree ornaments with a brilliant placement of those little color dots on the selvage. So go on over to Karen's blog and check out all the wicked projects like table runners, book covers, lamp shades, doll quilts, purses, postcards, vests and more that she features. It's all so very creative and inspiring!

Checking In...

My daughter's arrived home last night from St. Louis! Yay!

I'm so excited! So posting will be light for the next few days...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Cactus

Not much sewing going on here as I've been feeling out of sorts with a cold, an unusual one at that. Mainly with a sore throat, rather than the more typical symptoms. This is all I have accomplished in the last few days. I decided to simply sew all the 1.75 inch squares together rather than make four-patches and now my cutting table is empty. I am none too happy with the results but they match the effort exerted.

My two Christmas cacti have begun to bloom. I realize these plants thrive on neglect but really, now! Sometimes I think I should be arrested for what crimes I commit against these two! I have been known to go weeks without watering. They must be in the perfect light, east window, or maybe they like the view of our lake. I have had them for several years and they never fail to bloom, usually twice a year.

This poem comes to mind,

Forgiveness is the wind-blown bud
which blooms in placid beauty at Verdun.

Forgiveness is the tiny slate-gray sparrow
which has built its nest of twigs and string
among the shards of glass upon
the wall of shame.

Forgiveness is the child who
laughs in merry ecstasy
beneath the toothed fence that
closes in Da Nang.

Forgiveness is the fragrance of the violet
which still clings fast to the
heel that crushed it.

Forgiveness is the broken dream
which hides itself within the corner of the mind
oft called forgetfulness so that
it will not bring pain to the dreamer.

Forgiveness is the reed
which stands up straight and green
when nature's mighty rampage halts, full spent.

Forgiveness is a God who will not leave us
after all we've done.

by George Roemisch

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wicked Wednesdays

I thought I'd try something different here and introduce a new feature and call it Wicked Wednesdays; partly in honor of how I feel today, sore throat, stuffed nose, general all-around punky, and wicked as in awesome, bang-up, dandy in honor of the wicked quilts I've found leafing through the blogs this morning. Isn't this quilt just stunning? Found it at The Pesky Bombolino. I'm not what you'd call a 'blue' person, but this quilt is so jaw-dropping fantastic!

More neat things abound at this blog, so go visit when you get a chance!
x, m

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I gave a spiffy new look to my blog, and I love it! I hope you do too! Mary did the same to hers and I have been meaning to look into it and finally found the time today. I got a little help from my daughter when I couldn't figure a small detail out. I refer to her as my Information Technology expert, thanks, Natalie!

I spent a good part yesterday searching the local booksellers for this magazine. Another quilter on quilting twin was looking for it and I decided to volunteer my services. This particular issue is devoted to Born to Quilt shop in France. I didn't find the magazine but have one more place to look on Monday. If you spot this issue, please let me know.

I did find this magazine. That quilt by Kaffe Fasset is so splendid and there are multiple projects inside that I found appealing as well. I hate that when only one project in the magazine is worth making.

I had quite a bit of leftovers from my baby bento box quilt I recently made for the DQS5. Some fabric from the quilt and others I had auditioned but discarded.

I got busy yesterday and started sewing after I had first re-sized the pieces all to 1.75 inches. Ever since I read about Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr pressing the seam allowances open on the quilts they make, I had to try it. I haven't decided if I like it yet. Quilts lie flatter, and supposedly wear better, but I wonder if the seam is somehow weakened? Time will tell.

Here's what I ended up with. Haven't decided how to quilt it yet. It measures about 20 by 25 inches.

One more doll quilt and I think I might just finish those scraps up! Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Loose Ends

I thought I'd share a quilt top going to my longarm quilter. I made this this past summer and it's been pretty much abandoned in a corner of my sewing room. I had intended on my daughter taking it with her to college, but, well you know how that goes. In any case, out it goes tomorrow.

I made it rather long to fit the long twin beds found in the dorms these days. A lot of the fabric came from a bundle of fat quarters, Blossom by Urban Chix for Moda. The rest from assorted fabrics in my stash. What got me going was this mustard bird fabric. I had to make something with large pieces so that bird didn't get cut up!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quilt Received

I sent my doll quilt to my partner, Denise, and she loved it! I think I mentioned earlier that this was my first swap, so I was rather worried about it. All for nothing, as Denise sent a very sweet and gracious note proclaiming her love of all found in the box. Here's a peek of what she received,

I had to share a closeup of the pincushion I sent, looks good enough to eat, doesn't it?


Today I am piecing a backing for a quilt top I finished back in August and hope to get it to my machine quilter this week. Then it's to the post office to mail my fabric for the Mini Quilt in a Bag Swap that I mentioned earlier.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

To all the men and women who have served and sacrificed, for their patriotism, for their love of country, for their defense of liberty ... Thank You.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Miss Rosie's Quilt Company

I have been a huge fan of the quilt designer Carrie Nelson for ages now. In my book, she is a scrap quilter extraordinaire! A luminary in the field of quilting. I'm forever buying her books and patterns. I've bought more than I've had the chance to make. And the names she chooses are just perfect, Cracker Crumbs, Front Porch, Don't Fence Me In, Non Sequitur, to name a few. Well, Carrie just recently started a blog. You can click on it over there under Daily Reads, La Vie En Rosie.

Carrie had a blog giveaway the end of October, and I won! In fact she made everyone who commented a winner, how's that? I told you she's great!

This is what she sent. A sweet personalized note, two charm packs of Portugal by April Cornell, yardage for background, a zippered bag and ruler, and one of her new Schnibbles patterns, X-Rated! This is the same fabric she used to make X-Rated. Thank you so much for your generosity, Carrie.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

DQS5 Mailed

Sent off my Doll Quilt Swap 5 quilt this afternoon along with a few goodies I thought my partner might enjoy. Boy, these swaps are fun and I haven't even received anything yet! I did win a blog giveaway on a new blog recently. More about that soon!

Holiday Crafts

First I must apologize to my readers. Maybe I didn't have anything to say, but some of you did. I was remiss in not posting your comments. I'll try and be better about that.

This is new magazine I picked up after thumbing through it at the checkout. It has a lot of cute projects, a few Halloween, a few Thanksgiving, and more for Christmas. What attracted me were there were so many birds featured in the projects.

There's a felt pillow,

A partridge atop a pear tree and

a table runner.

I love these little houses and might try my hand at them. They remind me of those small pasteboard houses with glitter roofs popular when I was a child. The type with a cutout in the rear of the house so you can put a Christmas light inside to light up the windows.

Don't you just love this plump little bird?

This one's made from needle-felted wool roving.

Papier-mache birds,

coasters and,

no birds here, only yummy-looking cupcakes!

And lastly, a bird ornament made from patterned paper and embellished with trims glued to a cutout.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Someone Stop Me!

I signed up for another small quilt swap, the Challenge in a Bag Mini Quilt Swap! This one hosted by Tracyand her Dad, Tom This time we have to choose the fabric we want a quilt made from and any extra embellishments such as ribbons, buttons, ric-rac,that we'd like to see used. We also know who our partner is this time. The finished quilts are due to be exchanged by the end of January. I might add some ric-rac and some buttons. We can also add any other ingredients from our own supplies. I can't wait to get started.

These are the fabrics I'm going to send. It's part of a new line at Joann's called Heidi Grace. They have a kind of sixties look that appealed to me. I am a bit of a fabric snob and do not ever buy fabric for quilting at Joann's but these seemed to be of a better quality. Anyway, the wear and tear on a small quilt is probably minimal. There was also a very cute pink and purple line with houses and birds. Considering the colors and design, they are just perfect for a little girl's quilt. The ones I bought turned out nicely after washing and drying.

I also picked up this Debbie Mumm notions kit for my daughter at college. When I visited her last week I had to sew a button on a jacket using one of those travel kits the Holiday Inn provides.

I think I need to upgrade the contents and take out that blue marking pencil!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


1. Marianne, 2. Sunday's supper ~ rotini w/ Italian sausage & simple tomato sauce, 3. Float My Boat, 4. Meeting the pregnant princess of the forest, 5. Brush with Fame, 6. Amarcord, 7. green liquid street, 8. eye candy!, 9. can't come to the phone right now, 10. Natalie and Joe, 11. Stand up and take a bow..., 12. little wing } photo credits.

I saw this idea on The Quilts of Mimi Park and decided to give it a try as I'm not, ahem, how shall I say this, not to literate with the usage of Flickr. If you will notice I didn't realize I should rename the pictures before you post them to Flickr! You answer 12 questions and type the answers into the search on Flickr. Then you put your favorite from the first page only into the Mosaic Maker. I used her questions, with my answers, of course!

1. What is your first name? (Marianne)
2. What is your favorite food? (Italian)
3. What high school did you attend? (Newfield)
4. What is your favorite color? (green)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (Russell Crowe)
6. Favorite drink? (Wine)
7. Dream vacation? (Venice, Italy)
8. Favorite dessert? (chocolate)
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? (Doctor)
10. What do you love most in life? (daughter, Natalie)
11. One word to describe you? (Confident)
12. Your Flickr name? (I used 'wings' as my Flickr name yielded nothing)

This was fun! I should mention I have spent a fair amount of Saturday and a little of today perusing quilting blogs with a DQS5 badge in the hopes of figuring out which one is mine! This is how I found this Flickr mosaic. Terrible cheat, I am. I used to search the house with my older brother to snatch a peak prior to the wrapping of Christmas gifts also. That didn't always work out well! Kind of ruined the surprise on Christmas morning.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

{This was intended for the end of the binding post I made, but somehow things goofed up. I'd like to blame blogger but I know it was me!}

For the past 2 or 3 full sized quilts I've made, I've used this batting. I ordered it off the internet as I couldn't find it locally. It's wonderful, very clean, thin, soft, and drapes nicely no matter how dense the quilting. I thought it would be better for a doll quilt and I was very pleased with the results. I used to love Warm and Natural but it seems their batting has become thicker over the last few years.

Heartfelt Thanks!

I just want to thank everyone who left a comment about my Doll Quilt. You all are very sweet. It really made my day. Thank you!


Can we talk about binding?

I had been quilting for about five years and was never satisfied with my finished binding when I happened upon a new technique.

Perfect you say? Heck, my binding was so bad, I had actual lumps where the two ends met! I was open to any suggestions.

That's when I found Nancy Johnson-Srebro's book.

This woman is a genius when it comes to binding. Her method is not complicated and she takes you through the process step by step, picture by picture. Since I bought the book in 1998 it is the only method I use and it gives you four perfect corners and a lump-free joining every time. The book is available on Amazon. I can't recommend highly enough. And no, I don't know the author!

Prior to handsewing the back, I have also found it helpful to pin the binding down and let it "set" for a day or two. This makes it easier to sew as the binding is less liable to pop open.