The embroidery on my Christmas Morning blocks is coming along!
Block 1 was mailing a letter to Santa and Block 2 is Santa reading it!
When my nephew, Cole, was a about 12, we decided it would be fun if he visited every town in the state of Washington. To document his travels, he has his picture taken in front of the post office in each town. He’s now 16 and he isn’t finished yet, but this has been lots of fun and meant lots of trips to different parts of the state. Recently, he and my sister, Sally, did a loop through the southeastern part of the state. As you’ll see, post offices vary greatly. Here are some highlights!
Pullman had a huge post office, with covered parking—covered by the building!
Some cities have lovely, old buildings like this one in Walla Walla. I love the arched windows.
Clarkston’s was very nice, too. For those of you who don’t know, Clarkston lies at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, and is opposite Lewiston, Idaho. The towns were named, of course, for our friends Lewis and Clark!
Here’s another classic post office—this one in Colfax, population 2800!
There are a lot of post offices that look like the were built in the 1960′s and 70′s. I’m not too familiar with Royal City, but every time I go to Five Guys Burgers it seems like the white board announces that potatoes for their fries are from Royal City!
Too bad those 60′s and 70′s government buildings weren’t as architecturally interesting as the earlier ones. They commonly have these applied letters identifying the building as the post office, listing the town name and the zip code. Sally pointed out that they must have only given Rosalia one “1″ for their zip, since they had to use and “i” or and “l” on the sign!
Connell was overrun with bronze critters.
Apparently the most noteworthy event in Connell was the flood of 1907, commemorated with a mural.
Hmm, the Dayton post office is also identified as a “Federal Building.” Aren’t all post offices federal buildings? Do you suppose they hold court there, too?
They had a charming courthouse in Dayton, the Columbia County seat.
Pomeroy is also a county seat, and while the post office is rather average….
…they, too, had a great court house.
Wallula didn’t even get individual letters for their sign. This seems to be the new trend in post office signs.
This was the view across from the post office – the Columbia River.
This area is called The Columbia Basin and produces a lot of grain.
Poor little Starbuck really got cheated in the sign department!
This is the post office in Eltopia, not to be confused with Utopia!
I think Touchet’s post office is very cute!
So is the one in Anatone!
Welcome to Anatone!
No gas today.
Dixie has a tiny post office, but then, it’s a tiny town. Population 197.
Kahlotus isn’t far behind with 193 people. I don’t know how many dogs, cats, etc.! It does have adorable, small buildings, though.
The tiny city hall was open…
…but the jail was empty. No crime in Kahlotus, perhaps.
I’m not sure if this was the church or schoolhouse—perhaps both!
They even had a tiny library!
Their book mobile drove up as Sally and Cole were leaving. Isn’t it wonderful?
For a little perspective, here’s a long view with a grain elevator in the background. If the building didn’t look small before….
…had the best city government buildings!
I think the Mesa post office may have been converted from some other use.
Steptoe had a combination post office/antique/new and used store!
Poor Beverly didn’t even get their name on their post office!
Oh no! The post office was totally missing in Washtucna!
Hope you enjoyed the tour.
This is what I’ve been doing lately – embroidering!
This is the first block on my new Redwork Panel called Christmas Morning. The blocks tell a story. The first is “Letter to Santa.”
As I get the blocks embroidered, I’ll post photos.
I’m so excited! I just discovered an amazing way to make scrappy Four-Patch blocks lickety-split! All of the blocks end up different, and you really only have to measure once!
You start with squares of any size. That’s right, it doesn’t matter what size your squares are! For this tutorial I used 5″ squares, because I had a little packet of them.
Place two squares, right sides together. I tried to match a dark with a light, but some were medium, so I just let them pair up randomly.
Sew down BOTH sides. I fed a lot of pairs through my machine at one time, doing first one side, then doing the other side of the stack.
Now slice them in half through the middle. Since my squares were 5″, I sliced at 2-1/2″ but, remember, any size square will work, just find half, and slice!
Open the pieces up and press toward the dark–if you have a dark!
Do this will all your squares.
Now sew them together as shown below…
…all of them!
Once you have them all sewn together, slice a 2-1/2″ piece off one end. Set this two-patch aside. You only have to measure this first one. After this, the magic begins!
Flip the short piece over…
…and use it as a guide for your next cut!
There’s your first Four-Patch!
See! Now just keep going, flipping and cutting, until you get to the end. At the end, you’ll have a two-patch, which you can sew together with your first cut piece.
From my charm pack, I was able to make this little quilt. I thought the brown in there added a little interest.
Try this method and let me know what you think!
I found a wonderful site describing Nås dräkten. Here’s the link:
The descriptions are very detailed, and the photos wonderful!
I like the variations in the apron and shawl.
I don’t know which is cuter–the hat or the little girl!
This woman’s hat is crocheted.
Here are a couple of purses and a belt.
I’m hoping to learn to crochet well enough to make myself a heart warmer. As a little aside, the Swedish for heart warmer is “hjärtvärmare.” It’s not too much of a stretch to translate “hjärt” to “heart” and “värmare” to warmer, but when I was using Google Translate for this article, the translation came out “cardiac heater!” ;-)
These gents are looking dapper in the suede knickers and wool vests.
Here’s a closeup of the back of the man’s vest. I love how the fabric is cut on the bias and the stripes matched.
Too bad these beautiful suspenders are hidden under the vest.
The men have a green wool jacket with beautifully crocheted sleeves.
But I’ve saved the best for last–these adorable children’s “dresses” worn by both boys and girls. The “bib” is reversible–sounds like a good idea!
Nåsdräkten literally means, “the dress from Nås.
Nås is the village in Dalarna, Sweden where my ancestors lived.
Each village, or parish, had its own costume…
…with its own distinct components.
Many, like the Nås dress, have tatting on the blouse.
There are variations within the parish, like these neckerchiefs.
They are still stitched by hand.
The wool skirt sometimes has a red band…
…and always has a crocheted edge,
although there are many designs for the crochet!
The apron also has many variations. Some designs were specific for certain holidays, feast days, weddings, etc.
There is a cap which is tied under the chin, on the left side.
Only married women have lace on their caps.
Here’s a cap that is made completely from crochet.
The purse is beautifully embroidered and worn half hidden by the apron–a sign of modesty.
I was honored when my Swedish relatives had a Nåsdräkt made for me in 1984.
Wow! Look at this. This is the man’s folk costume.
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/
As many of you know, we have trolls that live in our woods. We’ve even provided them with a little house near our Swedish log cabin.
They can be very mischievous, but they are also quite industrious.
They are farmers and their main crops are mushrooms….
They’ve grown mushrooms on their “back porch” before, but I noticed they are growing a different variety this winter.
Very clever little chaps, our trolls.
It’s time for another Quilt Block A Month. You can join the fun by ‘liking” the page on Facebook.
The block for this quarter is the Spool Block. It offers a lot of options and is quick and easy to piece. If you do just one block a day, you’ll have a 78 blocks finished before the first day of spring!
This is a great way to use your scraps. All you need is: 2) 2-1/2″ x 7-1/2″ brown rectangles, 4) 1-1/2″ light squares, 2) 1-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ light rectangles and a 5-1/2″ center square—either plain or pieced. I like using a stripe because it looks like thread wrapped around the spool.
Some people like to mark their squares with a diagonal pencil line when doing sew-and-flip corners, but I just finger press them–quick and easy!
Add a square to opposite ends of the brown rectangle.
Stitch, trim and press. Note: I didn’t trim the background fabric away. It makes it a bit bulky, but I also think it stabilizes it. Your choice! Do this with both brown rectangles.
Add the white rectangles to the sides of the 5-1/2″ square.
Now add the brown rectangles to the top and bottom, making sure the light areas match up. Voila! You have a spool block! The unfinished block is 7-1/2″ x 9-1/2″.
Now, here’s where the fun comes in. You can do all kinds of things with the center square. You could sew 5) 1-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ strips together to make it look like thread wrapped around your spool.
How about using random width strips on an angle to represent the thread? I foundation pieced this.
Do you save selvedges? This is a great place to use them!
Here are the four sample blocks I made. I’ll play with setting possibilities when I have more finished.
They do make an interesting design when set next to each other. You get some secondary action going on!
I hope you’ll join us!