Sunday, June 27, 2010


Was rotary cutting some fabric this afternoon, and managed to cut my finger.  I'll spare you all the details, but it involved a trip to the ER.   I'd like to point out that in 15 years of quilting, this is my first injury, but since it was  my pointer finger that was injured, I won't be doing any pointing right now.

Weekend drive

Fruitlands 1

We have one of those “living museum” historic homesteads about an hour’s drive from where we live, and yesterday was such nice weather that my husband and I decided to go and visit.

One of the buildings was this old farmhouse:
Fruitlands 2
It dates back to about 1840 and was fully furnished with everything you’d expect to find and some things you wouldn’t.  For example there was a beautiful front parlor with floral upholstered furniture,  a finely detailed writing desk, and wallpaper with scenes on it that reminded me of toile.   

To preserve the antiques from further fading, the windows in the parlor  have the shades drawn which creates a feeling that the “olden days” were dark and lifeless.  It's like everything in the house has been painted with a patina of  "old".

As I walked through the house, I tried to imagine what it was like to live back then, when everything was new.  Instead of faded, yellowed wallpaper, the colors would have been crisp and new.  Instead of dark, creaking floorboards, the floors would have been freshly hewn.  Perhaps you could still smell the sawdust, rather than the musty smell that now hangs in the air.

One of the upstairs rooms was devoted to the lady of the house, and had some of her belongings on display.  I almost gasped when I saw that they had a framed piece of fabric on the wall which was a portion of a paisley shawl.   I'm sure it was  very similiar to the type of work that my great, great grandfather, the weaver, would have done.  This was such a delightful discovery when you consider that only a few months ago I knew nothing at all about my great grandfather who was a weaver from Paisley, Scotland.

Life on the farm must have been very busy with all the chores to do, the animals to care for, the lack of modern conveniences, no indoor plumbing and no antibiotics.

1840.  A great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

(Who am I kidding?  I wouldn't even survive there!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New project

I have a quilting friend who is opening her own quilt store and she has asked me to make up some store samples of a pattern she designed.  I can’t show you the quilt top, but it involves some of these:
blue yellow project 1
and a lot of these:
blue yellow project 2 
Since this is “One Flower Wednesday”, I thought I’d keep with the theme of blue and yellow and show you the blue flowers I have finished:
blue hexies
Back to the sewing machine….

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Day

First things first.  Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there.   I have been blessed with a wonderful father, a charming father-in-law and a husband who has truly been an outstanding example of what fatherhood is all about.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Today also marks one year since this little guy joined our family:
He was 5 months old when we adopted him. 
When we first met, he looked like this:

Here is a photo taken of him yesterday:
Toby today
It’s been a sometimes hectic, sometimes crazy, but always fun year having Toby.  Even at his most mischievous, I still find myself laughing at him. 

He’s a full grown dog now, but I think he’s still hoping for those front paws to grow:
Don’t worry, Toby!  We love you just the way you are.  Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Another trip down Ancestry Lane

Paisley_pattern As you probably have figured out from many of my posts this year, I have been researching and documenting my family tree.  When I started, I thought the only tree that I would find would be a small sapling compared to most.  My four grandparents were all the offspring of immigrant families to the United States, and I did not expect to be able to trace back much farther than the 1900’s.  It turns out that I was wrong.

With so much information on the Internet these days, I was able to trace back one branch of the tree to the early settlers of Nova Scotia, Canada, in the mid 1600’s.  At that time, France was looking to populate it’s new property in the New World, and sent ships with soldiers and families to protect and to populate the area.  Many of those families are well documented, and once I found my connection in the early 1800’s, the rest fell into place.

Another branch of the family came from Scotland to the United States in 1842.  It turned out that my “immigrant” great grandfather was actually a native born American. 

More than knowing where they came from, I was fascinated to learn what kind of occupations they had and how many of them related to textiles in some way.   My father’s grandmother and aunt both listed “seamstress” as their occupation in 1920.  Another pair of aunts worked in the knitting mill.  There was also a weaver, a shoemaker and a tailor.

It was my great,great grandfather who was the weaver.  He was born in Scotland and came from a town called Paisley.  It turns out that the weavers in Paisley became well known for their woven shawls, and the Paisley pattern that we know today was named after their town.

So there you have it…my 15 minutes of fame.  I descend from a family that brought you Paisley.  ;-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

What a treat it was yesterday to see this rainbow appear just after a sun shower,  and for once, I had my camera handy.
I went to my quilt guild’s annual banquet, and it turned out to be a lucky night for me.  I won a door prize of this Moda honeybun called “Spring Fever”.
MODA honeybun

I also got to take home the centerpiece at the table, which was a bouquet of fresh greens and flowers.

Everyone at the banquet got this cute lapel pin:
UFO pin

        The food was served family style, and everyone agreed that the first course of chicken soup was really delicious.   We joked about wanting to take home the leftovers.  Then, one of the ladies at our table actually went out to her car and came back with an empty tupperware container and poured the rest of the soup into it to take home.  Needless to say, she was the object of many good natured jokes for the rest of the night.   But, I bet she was smiling today when she sat down to a meal with her delicious soup.
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