Monday, June 29, 2020

Weekly update: estate sale treasures, churn dashes, and OMG complete and upcoming

This was a week of virtual conventions.  I confess that I let most of the hours of programming pass me by -- Rotary, American Library Association -- just too much to keep track of.  I did manage to participate in two ALA committee meetings.  I tuned into the message from the outgoing and incoming presidents of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, as well as the AAUW-IL year-end wrap up.  Meanwhile, Facebook had an Alpha Gam Stay at Home Convention. It was great fun to connect with so many sisters. I haven't been to an Alpha Gamma Delta convention since 2004 since it usually overlaps with ALA.

I needed five more tomato cages. I went to three stores and found none.

There were two estate sales in town on Friday and I got EIGHT tomato cages for $1 at one of them -- and for $88 more I got a sturdy maple side table,

 never-opened percale sheets,

(Package boasts of 190-count -- what a contrast to today's ultra high-count sheets. Remember when percale sheets cost more than muslin sheets?)

batik placemats (4) and napkins (8) with the Singapore label still attached,

two screen-print runners (actually uncut napkins),

and 42 hankies.

Some of the hankies still had labels. Did the "handkerchief of the month" really ship just one hankie at a time?

# # # # # # # # # #

In the studio:

My June One Monthly Goal was to set the blocks for Shelter in Place. I did that. I pieced the back and delivered it all to the long-arm quilter.

I've begun blocks for the wedding quilt.  They're 15" and I plan to make 25. With sashing and borders, 88"-90" square.  The bride asked for deep blue, emerald green, and gray.  Of course I'm interpreting that liberally and scrappily.

Both the Stashbusters and HeartStrings groups are having block drives in memory of our friend Marianne.  Here are 9" churn dashes ("anything goes") for the SB project.

Linking up with
 OMG June Finish
Design Wall Monday
 Monday Making
 Oh Scrap!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Friday finish: A Star is Born

The recipient of A Star is Born will make her debut on July 13, according to her aunt.  It's nice to have the quilt ready in advance.

The squares are 7.5" unfinished.  (I started with 8.5" but that made the quilt too big. I auditioned 6.5" but those were too small.)

The two squares that appear to blend (upper left) have more contrast when seen up close.

3-7/8 yards in all.

Linking up with
Finished or Not Friday
Whoop Whoop

UPDATE:  Apologies to those who have left comments -- the email notification for comments got turned off so I didn't see them.  Thank you all for reading the post (and all my posts!) and for taking time to write.

Remembering Marianne

A light went out in the quilting world when Marianne Urban passed away on June 23. 

With her online handle "Marianne in Mt. Vernon," she was a long-time participant in the Stashbusters and HeartStrings online groups.  She posted frequently and at great length.  She was supportive and insightful.

Chronic physical and health challenges limited her mobility but she overcame them in order to make dozens of quilts from her "stash the size of Montana," as she characterized it.  

A year ago today I was able to spend the better part of a day with Marianne at her house (along with fellow quilting friends Grace and Barbara).  We got to see her sewing room and the legendary stash. 

I miss you, Marianne. We all miss you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Daily Brooch, part 7 (the finale)

June 14:  another one from the archives with the 2002 estate sale price tag still attached ($12 if you are interested). Looks like it's from 1960s when Spanish colonial decor was in style. I cannot decipher the mark on the back. Maybe it's Middle Eastern, or Indian.

June 15: When I found this pair of scatter pins I debated about displaying them for #thedailybrooch . When does 1950’s costume jewelry cross the line of cultural appropriation? Would the reaction be the same if the ladies weren’t Thai but African or Native American? I looked up the definition of cultural appropriation: “a particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group.” (
…………So, back to the scatter pins. I don’t remember seeing my mother wear them and I don’t recall that I have. (The pins remind me of head vases which I think are kind of creepy.) Lo and behold, though these aren’t marked they are certainly identified – a Google images search came up with vintage jewelry, Etsy, EBay and Pinterest links. And so I learned that they are Selro/Selini by designer Paul Selenger. “There are basically three different figural faces that are found in Selro/Selini jewellery: An Asian woman face (Often called ‘Thai Girl’), an old Asian man face and an African face. These faces can be found in numerous colours and textures (i.e. pearlized), plus are often over painted and embellished with elaborate headdresses that are part of the metal settings.”…………I am now better-informed and I hope that you are, too. (And the ladies are going back into the archives (which is a plastic shoebox that I keep in the linen cupboard).)

June 16:  Good advice any day! Reproduced from a 1978 poster by John Massey for ALA. I only know that because the artist credit is on the back of a notecard with the same design.

June 17:  Jonquils in bone china by Healacraft. The third and last of this subset of the collection.

When I rediscovered the bone china brooches I also took the miscellaneous bone china floral pieces out of the drawer. (Antiques dealers call these "smalls." A friend calls them "dustables.") The one I remember from childhood is the wheelbarrow. Others were most likely estate/rummage sale acquisitions that, in turn, did not sell at the Blaines' estate sale in 2002. (The price tag under the rabbit at the far right says $5.) The flowers and leaves chip easily and one of these bouquets has an entire flower broken off. Miraculously, the flowers in the wheelbarrow are intact.

June 18:  When I was home for semester break my freshman year in college my mother said that Corinne Albers (“Mrs. Albers” to me then) wanted to know when I’d be initiated into Alpha Gamma Delta. The message was relayed and I forgot about it – until a couple of days before initiation (which was March 13, 1971) when the package arrived. Corinne wrote for herself and for Lorraine, saying that the enclosed pin had belonged to her aunt Joy Mills who was an Alpha Gamma Delta at Nebraska Wesleyan. It was such a thoughtful and unexpected gift! I wore the pin on occasion but eventually it was stored with other Alpha Gam trinkets. Two years ago Fran Becque wrote this blog post and I realized mine is a “tie bar pin."

June 19:  No great was sparkly and I liked it so I bought it. (At the local jewelry store, about 10 years ago.) I look forward to the time when we again have going-out occasions to wear pieces like this.

June 20: A historical piece from my husband’s side. It’s a 19th century stick pin, about 2-1/2” long. (The protective tip is long gone.) The initials are JVM for Julia Vosmus Mitchell. She was Stevens’ great-great-grandmother. She lived to age 95 (1822-1917) and was Grandma Mitchell to the Woods children (S’s mother and siblings). Julia was born in Danville, Androscoggin County, Maine, where her father Humphrey Vosmus was the postmaster. (Danville is just south of Auburn where we lived in the 1980’s. We didn’t know then that Humphrey and his wife (Julia’s mother) Eunice are buried in Pine St. Cemetery in Auburn.) Julia’s husband Asa graduated from Bowdoin in 1841; Stevens didn’t know that when he chose to go there.
I don’t know why the Library of Congress picked up Julia’s obituary, but it did.

Here are Julia and Asa. (Interesting that the daguerrotypes are hard to make out but the scan reproduces the pictures clearly.) 

June 21: A circle pin worn on a Peter Pan collar was a style from earlier years by the time I got this in the 1970's. It was an Alpha Gam convention favor (1972? 1977?)   In 1965 or 1966  I dressed up for my 8th grade photo (which meant I remembered when it was photo day) and wore a circle pin on my turquoise dress. That particular pin is long gone.  

Peter Pan collars were named for the style worn by actress Maud Adams who played Peter Pan on stage. 

June 22:  When Stevens wanted to get not-a-diamond for my engagement ring he asked his friend David. At the time David was buying gemstones from a dealer in Calcutta who sent a sapphire and five pearls. Stevens gave me the sapphire and the pearls for my birthday. We took them to Newton’s Jewelers in Joplin to have them set – the sapphire as a ring and the pearls as this brooch and a pair of earrings in a matching setting. Shortly thereafter the sapphire cracked. David contacted the dealer who sent a replacement (how did the transactions occur so quickly before the Internet and global cell phone plans?). There was a moment of panic the day that  Stevens picked up the sapphire from David.  He thought he’d lost the new stone in downtown Pittsburg. I found out when David called and told me he had it. When S returned I said casually, “David called and said he has the sapphire.”) This sapphire is intact, though about 20 years ago the prongs on the ring gave out so we had it reset.

June 23: Joie Auray (“I shall have joy”). Museum of Fine Arts. A Christmas gift from Stevens. (He asked what I wanted. I circled items in the MFA catalog from which he could choose. He bought ALL of them.)

The MFA acquired the brooch in 1963 for $1000. “Curatorial research shows that the original brooch may have come from England, France or the Netherlands. It was probably used to fasten a dress at the neckline. Small ring brooches like this, made of gold, silver, tin, and copper alloys, are known from the 12th to the 1th century. The original brooch was made to be worn on either side since the pin rotates and there are inscriptions on both sides. On the front: Joie Auray (I shall have joy). On the reverse: “ce ara eut” which may mean “this will have,” but the meaning is unclear.”

Thank you for your affirming comments for this series. I’ve shared a brooch a day since April 13. It was fun to go into the archives (plastic shoeboxes in the linen cupboard). There was a little pressure (especially to be sure I had a different shirt/top each day). Research revealed things I hadn’t known.

JOIE AURAY! I shall have joy! And may you, too, have joy. 


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Weekly update: solstice, a flurry of pink, and inspiration

I was at the lakefront to take  pictures of the solstice sunrise at 5:13 a.m. on Saturday.

The sun set at 8:32 p.m.  I didn't leave soon enough to reach open fields but the evening colors were spectacular, too. 

This is Lake Andrea in Pleasant Prairie, WI. 

Pink skies, pink fabric:  I am working on a baby quilt.  I got the design idea from a FB post (though I didn't note the source).  The name will be "A Star is Born."  

Conveniently, pink is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for June so I'll add this post to the link up. 

More pink!

We have two hardy roses that come back year after year.  The red rambler rose is in the back garden.    The pink rosebush used to be a floribunda but one year my husband overzealously pruned it below the graft. The bush survived but ever since the prolific blossoms are "just plain" rugosa roses.   (I have planted fancy Knockout roses twice and neither thrived.)

I took some books to the local used book store and stopped to shop. I found three new-to-me quilt books.

AQS had a $5 clearance sale and I indulged.
Do I need more ideas?
Why not?! 

Linking up with
RSC So Scrappy
Oh Scrap!
 Design Wall Monday

P.S.  Happy Father's Day!   (1957. I'm on the left and my sister's on the right. I remember Dad's camera bag.) 

Friday, June 19, 2020

Friday finish!

Waffle Stamps is finished!

The stamps are 1.5" squares mostly from mask-making scraps. The blocks are 5.5" unfinished.


The back uses old (bottom right, 36" wide vintage), medium-old (the bright butterflies from about 20 years ago and the Hoffman print right above it), and new (the big piece in the upper left, bought last year). 

68 x 70, 10 yards in all.

Linking up with
Whoop Whoop Friday
Finished or Not Friday

The Daily Brooch, part 6

(Time got away from me! I'll catch up ten days' worth with this post.)

June 4
A winged book from ALA.


June 5 
This was in the dress-up/costume box when my sister and I were little. We traded it between us a couple of times. I laid claim at age 9 or so and have had it since. In high school I wore it at the neckline of a blouse with a lacy jabot (late 60s Victorian revival). Another brooch that I will keep because I have had it nearly forever.

June 6
Daisy by Trifari or Monet (not marked, though), purchased at an antiques mall some years ago. If this year were going as planned I might well be wearing this daisy today because I would be at the Illinois P.E.O. convention. Instead I will be in a Zoom meeting of the committee I’m going to chair this year.

Note the detailing on the petals on the reverse. 

June 7
The newest is a flaming heart made out of felt. From Las Colchas, the quilt shop in downtown San Antonio that the Magpies visited when we went to QuiltCon. Hard to believe that was just three and a half months ago.

June 8
I always admired the brooch my mother referred to as "a Cairngorm." Hers was about 2-1/2" across and had a big brown/gold stone in an intricately-patterned sterling setting. She brought this Cairngorm back from one of their trips to Scotland. The setting is not as finely-worked as hers (rhodium-plated, I think). I confess that I didn't know what Cairngorm referred to -- Wikipedia explains that it "is a variety of smoky quartz found in the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland. It usually has a smoky yellow-brown colour." (I wonder who gave Mother's brooch to her. I think my sister has it now.)

June 9
Trillium in bone china. One of my mother’s, most likely from an estate sale. The trillium in our garden have finished blooming.   

June 10
Another one from the archives: a late 1990's craft fair collage (the buttons, etc., are glued to a heart-shaped wooden base).

June 11
AAUW branch past president's pin in pewter. "Designed by Napa County (CA) Branch Past President Gladys Johnson, this pin has been available since 1970. Branches on the pin form the letters AAUW and the leaves symbolize each past president as vital to the life of the branch," says the Napa Branch website. I served as branch president for five terms (Lewiston/Auburn, Fargo, and three terms for Waukegan Area) and as state president (North Dakota) -- but received this particular pin just once, last year.

June 12
when I was on ALA Council several male councilors who liked to wear bow ties decided that Council II would be Bow Tie Day. One of the women sported a pin made out of bow tie pasta. I wore a 3” bow tie block that I made out of necktie silk fabric.

June 13
Dogwood in bone china. Marked Royal Adderley. Mother called all the bone china trinkets Coalport, generically, but that was just one of the potteries that produced them.
But Coalport has its own museum.