• 12Apr
    Categories: musings Comments: 4

    Some time back, I posted a tutorial for the Crossroads to Jericho block.

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    Since then, both my retreat group and our guild used the block in a swap.  As usual, I love to see what people do with a set of blocks.  It’s amazing how every quilt looks different, and some of the look REALLY different!

    Here’s the one Pat put together, putting the blocks on point with black sashing and setting triangles.

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    Nellie chose a straight set and sashed hers with black and use aqua cornerstones and a nine-patch-and-stripe border.

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    Then it really got interesting.  Lynda wasn’t thrilled with the block as it was, so she laid a double wedding ring ruler over it and cut!

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    That got me to thinking, so I sliced mine in half twice on the diagonal and put them back together with some black setting squares.

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    Melinda was inspired and decided to cut hers in half twice also, then add “feet” and rickrack handles to make baskets!

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    Ann cut her blocks in half once for baskets and added appliqued flowers!

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    Pretty amazing!

  • 26Mar

    I’m always saying, “Make it your own!”  When you make a quilt from a pattern, do you want it to look just like the pattern or do you want to “make it your own?”

    Our quilt guild had a block of the month last year, and the ladies really did a great job of making each quilt individual while still following the pattern.  These quilts were on display at our quilt show earlier this month, and I  just had to share them with you.

    I love when quilters do something unique with the border, like this one from Merri.

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    Carol not only did fun little cabin blocks in the corners, she limited her palette to mostly blacks and grays with touches of red and gold.

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    Wow!  Check out this picket fence border that Melinda made.

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    I love Joe Ann’s use of stripes in her quilt, and the little touches of patriotic fabric.

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    Lynda incorporated a great novelty farm print in her border.

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    Gloria, who was the designer of the quilt, hit the mark with her homespun border.

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    Bev’s use of pastels adds an interesting twist.

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    Nellie really surprised me by using all polka-dot fabrics!  As a lover of polka-dots, I thought it was superb.

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    Nancey’s cheery, bright colors look great and I love the piano key border.

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    Audrey’s clear colors make for a crisp looking quilt.

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    Loretta loves blue and she did a fine job of working some blue into her quilt.

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    Ann stuck with traditional colors in this version of her quilt…

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    …but she wasn’t satisfied with just one—she made two!  They couldn’t look more different and both are terrific.

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    The reds in Marian’s quilt really pop.

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    What a talented bunch of ladies.  I’m so glad to be a part of this group with them.

  • 24Jan
    Categories: musings Comments: 4

    Nåsdräkten literally means, “the dress from Nås.

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    Nås is the village in Dalarna, Sweden where my ancestors lived.

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    Each village, or parish, had its own costume…

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    …with its own distinct components, like the style of this bodice.

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    Or the cut of the scarf.

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    Many, like the Nås dress, have tatting on the blouse.

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    There are variations within the parish, like these neckerchiefs.

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    They are still stitched by hand.

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    The wool skirt sometimes has a red band…

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    …and always has a crocheted edge,

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    although there are many designs for the crochet!

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    The apron also has many variations.  Some designs were specific for certain holidays, feast days, weddings, etc.

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    There is a cap which is tied under the chin, on the left side.

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    Only married women have lace on their caps.

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    Here’s a cap that is made completely from crochet.

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    The purse is beautifully embroidered and worn half hidden by the apron–a sign of modesty.

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    I was honored when my Swedish relatives had a Nåsdräkt made for me in 1984.

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    The man’s frock coat can be white…

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    …or black.

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    Photo credits:

    folklorefashion.durantextiles.com

    margaretajonth.com

    sverigesfolkdrakter.se

    You can see more photos on my Pinterest board devoted to the Nas dress and fin direct links to the original websites for the photos.  http://pinterest.com/karenannalena/swedish-nasdrakt/

  • 30Nov
    Categories: musings Comments Off on We have a Winner – Strings!

    Thank you all for your input on the layout for my String Pieced blocks.  It was so interesting to read all of your comments.  We’re a diverse group!  I’ve decided to go with the Offset Diamonds.

    There were 116 comments.  I used a Random Number Generator.  The winning number was…………

    Susan will be getting a package with 100 “strings” to start her on her own String Pieced Quilt!

    Thank you all for your comments.

     

     

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  • 21Nov
    Categories: musings, quilting Comments Off on Fun with String Blocks and a Give-Away!

    In June I posted a tutorial for String Piecing for A Quilt Block A Day.

    Finally, I’ve finished 100 blocks.  Now I just have to decide how to put them together!

    My first thought was to set them in a Chevron pattern.

    It didn’t look as good on the design wall as it did in my mind, so I went more traditional, with X’s and O’s.

    Hmmm……I’m liking that, but I just had to try one more setting.  I call this Exploding Diamonds.

    Oh, wait!  Just one more…….  How about if I do Offset Diamonds!?!

    Oh, too many decisions.  What do you think?  Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite setting.  I’ll enter your name in a drawing to be held November 28.  The winner will win 100 fabric strips to get you started on your own string pieced quilt!

  • 07Nov
    Categories: musings Comments Off on A Sunny Harvest

    While Bob and I no longer own a cranberry farm, he does work each harvest season for another grower.  I, however, just show up on a sunny day with my camera!

     

     

     

     

     

  • 24Aug
    Categories: musings, travels abroad Comments Off on Swedish Doors

    I’m obsessed with Swedish doors!

    They’re all different….

    …but somewhat the same.

    They seem to be made of planks.  Some are horizontal like the first four, but they’re not the most common.

    These chevron designs seem to be quite common.

    I love the nail head detail on this one.

    This is a very old door.

    Here’s a combo of chevrons and horizontal planks.

    A variation on the chevron theme is the diamond design.

    This is probably the most common.

    Blue is a popular color,

    as is gray.

    Often a natural stone is used as a step.

    Great detail around this double door.

    An interesting combination.

    I love the little diamond windows.

    Another very old door.

    I love the stairs in front of this one.

    Another fancy surround.

    I thought the arched top of this door was interesting.

    The following are all at least a century old.

    I think these very old ones may actually be carved.

    Amazing paint.

    What a cheerful way to be greeted when visiting someone!

     

    When we built a Swedish cabin in our woods, it had to have a Swedish door, too!

     

     

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  • 01Aug
    Categories: Everything!, musings Comments Off on New Member of the Herd

    A few days ago I had a voice mail from Sandy, a retired teacher and volunteer extraordinaire.  She said something about a horse looking for a new herd—that it was free from disease and well mannered.  Hmm…..

    Then, yesterday I got home and this bag was on my porch.

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    I brought it in and found this Dala horse and a letter inside.  It read, “Dear Karen, I am so happy you are going to let me join your herd!

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    “I came to the United States in 1971 on a big airplane (I think) locked in Mi Britt’s suitcase.  For a few days there were lots of parties and welcomes for the person who brought me.  I thought this was the way I would live forever.  But, I was wrong and soon was given to a lady in a big building.

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    “I was put on a shelf and there were lots of young people who came in and out.  Many of them picked me up and that felt so nice.  And, they exclaimed how pretty I was and wondered about my ancestry.  I lived there for many years and mostly was quite happy.  Sometimes there were pretty long periods of time when no one much was around.  I think they were called vacations.  But, even then sometimes, the lady I was given to would come in and once in awhile she even picked me up and talked to me.

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    “Then, one day, for no reason that I knew I was put in a box with some of the friends I had made while sitting on the shelf for all those years.  We were all confused because we didn’t do anything wrong so why were we being locked up?  At first we were in the box in a warm place so it wasn’t too bad.

    “Later we were put in another place that was kind of cold and we were really scared so we huddled together and tried to be content be we weren’t successful.  We had heard of a fellow who just went to sleep for many many years so that is what we tried to do.

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    “Just a few days ago the lady came and opened our box and we were so relieved to see light.  She picked us up and talked to us again and that felt really good.  Now, she has told me that I get to live with another very nice lady who has a whole herd of my kind and I am very excited!  Thank you so much or letting me come live with you and my new herd.

    “Your new friend.”

    And so it has come to pass.  Here’s the new member of the herd making the acquaintance of some of “his kind.”

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    He found a comfortable place among his new friends.

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    I think he’ll be very happy here.  Thank you, Sandy!

  • 14Feb
    Categories: Everything!, musings Comments Off on Valentine’s Day Luncheon

    Today I hosted my Mentor Study Group.  How fun to get to do it on Valentine’s Day!

    I love to entertain, but I’ve been gone and didn’t get a very early start on my preparation.  I was expecting 15, so needed to use both tables.  This is the dining room, with some vintage china my mom bought me a few years ago.

    In the living room, we have a drop leaf table that’s only 14″ deep when the leaves are down.  When we need more table space, we move a couple of chairs, pull up the leaves and have a 60″ round table.  Works great!  Another set of vintage china.

    I decided I wanted to make something called a Smörgåstårta–literal translation from the Swedish is sandwich cake.  It’s usually done with a whole loaf of bread, then sliced and served, but I decided to do individual ones.

    I started by cutting rounds of bread–lot’s of rounds of bread, as these are triple decker sandwiches!  Then I spread some softened cream cheese on them.

    That was followed by Swiss cheese.

    More bread and cream cheese, very thinly spread.

    Then there’s turkey.

    Finally, the last piece of bread.  I used a yummy oat bread.

    I made a mousse of shrimp, lemon and cream cheese and spread it on the sides and top.

    Then I wrapped the whole thing with a thinly sliced cucumber and topped it with a cherry tomato and some sliced radishes.

    I may have gotten carried away with slicing radishes, and I think Bob will be eating radishes with every meal for awhile!

    Here are the first eight ready to go into the refrigerator.

    All plated up.

    I served grapes and an asparagus salad with them.

    The ladies dug right in, which I always take as a compliment.  There’s my friend, Karen, helping serve.  Thank you, Karen!

    I had three no shows.  Argh!  But, we just pulled off a couple of table settings and it all worked out.

    We had a great meeting, then a little dessert.  Last night I baked a double batch of Chocolate Decadence in a sheet pan, then this morning I cut out hearts.

    I borrowed these adorable heart shaped dishes and mugs from my sister.

    A little raspberry puree and whipped cream along with the Chocolate Decadence was a perfect finish to a fun day.

    I hope your Valentine’s Day was fun, too.

  • 29Nov
    Categories: musings, travels here Comments Off on Groovy Signs

    Our recent trip to Grants Pass, OR and Eureka, CA yielded some great sign finds.

    Grants Pass welcomed us by telling us, “It’s the climate.”  I’ve got news for them.  Their rain wasn’t any more special than our rain at home.

    There were plenty of fine looking places to stay.  Darn, no vacancy at the Crest.

    Looks like the Flamingo has gone to monthly rentals only.

    The Bunny was tempting.

    Almost Heaven–hey, isn’t that West Virginia?

    Dining options were also plentiful.

    This one tempted me the most.

    Although I do like Italian food.

    We could have shopped at the Court House Market if we wanted to cook our own dinner.

    Or perhaps Spadoni’s.  We could pick up a bottle while we were there.  Must be California!

    Easier just to slip into the Wonder Bur for a drink, I think.

    However, a martini at the Shanty might be better.

    There were lots of choices of movie palaces, like this on in Orick.  I wonder what kind of vacuum they use?

    Ah, the Rogue…

    …I believe I went to a movie with him once.

    Of course, how could on not prefer the Ritz?

    Bob’s favorite–a place for doughnuts!

    And speaking of Bob…

    …we could have picked up a fine used car, either at Bob’s or…

    …at A-1 Pre-Owned cars.  I wonder which is better, used or pre-owned?

    All that glitz and pretty neon.  Eye candy!

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