Sunday 31 May 2009

Free Motion

Many of you may remember the wonky star quilt I have been working on this year. Well, the project is coming on nicely. I used my fancy walking foot to attach the sashings between the star blocks.

Then I wanted to machine quilt the quilt nicely like Tia did with my Bushfire Quilt top. I knew I needed to practice my free motion machine quilting, because I have only tried is once and the result was a ruined preemie quilt. So I practiced yesterday. On the left you see the reverse of my two first attempts:

On the right I had the threading right, but it seems like I need some more practice on the "free motion" part of the fun. For some reason my hands don't move the way they ought to. And yes, I replaced the walking foot with my fancy spring loaded free motion quilting foot. And dropped the feeders and adjusted the machine by the book. It's just me. Wish me luck!

Thursday 28 May 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday 26 - Bowls and Trays

Two posts on one day, but this is Thursday and I don't want to miss Vintage Thingies! If you feel like joining in, it is easy when you follow the instructions on Coloradolady's blog.

My thingies this week are all nickel plated metal from the early years of last century. This bowl would be perfect for all the little things you leave on the entrance hall chest of drawers: keys, coins, mobile phones, notes, business cards ...

... but then this lovely lady with her long curls and water lilies would not be seen.

This basket calls for buns or biscuits, don't you think?

The last one is a simple tray which has suffered a lot. I'm afraid we may have played with this in our playhouse, and maybe in the sandbox too. I like the perfect form of it. I should start using it for my afternoon tea on the veranda; there is just enough space for a tea mug and a sandwich for one.

This was all for this week from my cupboard, now run along to see what treasures other people have displayed this week! The link list is on Suzanne's blog.

Fly Fishing Friends

Earlier this year I found a blogger with whom I had lots in common, like age, hobbies (quilting)and husband's hobbies (flyfishing). We have been e-mailing, and it lead to mailing things. Around Easter we received this lovely mail from Candace and Mr. Squash:

There were several fly fishing magazines for Mr. Kotkarankki, a sweet little fabric basket and a wool appliqué project and a needle threader for me, as well as Peeps yellow Easter chick sweets for Mr. K. So generous of Candace and Mr. S. Thank you again!

It took us a long time to put together our package for them, but this week it arrived on the other side of the world. This is what Mr. K tied for his fellow flyfishermen. The greenish fly is SL-pupa, a larvae imitation for Candace, and the furry one is Nalle Puh (like Winnie the Pooh) for fast waters, for Mr. S. The hooks are barbless so the fish can be released without damage.

I made a messenger bag using a fishing fly print fabric for their shopping or fishing gear, and added an embroidery needle threader for Candace (like I said, we are about the same age!) and some healthy dark chocolate. There were also some Finnish fly fishing magazines for them, so they can at least look at the pictures.

Sometimes I hear people speak about the virtual world and virtual friends you can make in it, but I'm sure I have found some real friends through blogging. You know who you are. It would be so nice to be able to meet for a cup of tea and a chat. Then you would notice how slow my English is, but I can listen quite fluently!

Tuesday 26 May 2009


Just recently I showed a grey little squirrel napping in the tree. If you want to see what a tiny little squirrel looks like, look here:

He was jumping in our yard this morning, all brown and new and so tiny, the tail was maybe 4" and so was the rest of him when he run across the driveway, stretching himself.

I like brown colours a lot, and so I happened to choose these fabrics when shopping with Kaija in Turku on Saturday.

The flannels are for the backing and the bottom brown for the binding and sashings of my scrappy star quilt. I hope to be able to start cutting soon!
Brown Owls are naturally also brown, and therefore the strawberry/mint ice cream potholders belong to this post as well. For my Crochet Badge I made this double potholder using organic cotton. This is the first side, not totally flat due to lack of practice.

The other side was easier to get flat.

From the remaining yarn I made this little beauty today. It was a new pattern found here. After the second start I understood the idea and it was quite fun to make. I can't remember where I found the link, it was a crochet Flickr group and they had a link to the pattern in English as well.

Sunday 24 May 2009

Waiting for warmer weather

The weather here is not yet warm enough for summer flowers, so I show you some of my nature photos instead (and because I don't have any quilting news!). Last weekend this baby squirrel was having a nap on a sunny branch of our oak, and wasn't disturbed by us going to the car just a few meters away. You can click the photos to see better.

Remember our housing project? One reason for the new bird houses was this situation from last summer, when the fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) built its nest on the roof of the tit's (Parus major)house.

It was OK at the beginning, they didn't seem to disturb each other. But when the fieldfare's babies were waiting for food with their peaks wide open, the poor little tit parents reacted to the sight and fed the fieldfare babies instead of flying in their own house, where their own babies were waiting. Now we think we have either tits or flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) in at least three or four houses.

The white narcissi are starting to open in the garden. They smell SO nice!

The bergenia have grown high. I think I have three kinds of them: these we bought, some smaller ones from my mother and some bigger, lighter ones from my mother-in-law, all planted in our garden about 28 years ago.

On Saturday we went to visit our daughter Kaija in Turku, just a day trip. It was very therapeutic for me at least to go to a BIG fabric store with her while the men were sent to have fun in bookstores - a choice of three! - and having ice cream. I bought flannel backing and a fabric for the sashings and binding of my star quilt. Pictures will be available later!
This is what I have been crocheting since I showed by last squares. I found a wool yarn treasure in my sewing room, so there will be lots more of these.

Thursday 21 May 2009

Vintage Thingies 25 - Glass

This week we go a little deeper in my newly cleaned kitchen cupboard. (I wonder how long it will be decent to call it newly cleaned?) This is Vintage Thingies Thursday hosted by Suzanne. I have added the link button to her blog in my right sidebar.

My blue glass bowl is from a small Finnish factory, but I have not looked for further details yet. I love the cut decoration on it. I think I could serve ice cream from this bowl, or use it as a vase. I have the bowl from my mother and can't remember it ever being used at home.

The next two items I have used a lot, because when I started my own household I didn't have anything else for my sugar.

This I used to sprinkle sugar on my porridge in the morning:

And this other one was when I wanted to take spoonfuls of sugar.

Now I have found better use for it and keep Karen's silk beads in it on display. Sugar is more convenient in a plastic container, when you have a family!

Have you seen all the other Vintage Thingies of this Thursday? The link list is on Coloradolady's blog.

Wednesday 20 May 2009

Stars and Squares

This is what I have been doing with my granny squares while watching TV in the evenings:

I have added one or two rounds in cream coloured wool so they are all about the same size. I have more than 10 squares waiting for the extra rounds, and I will be making new squares as well.

I have also been sewing a little, adding to this pile of my 6" Maverick Star blocks.

You may remember the Shadow Plaid quilt pattern I wanted to make? I started cutting squares for it so I could use the leftover scraps from those shirts for the Maverick stars. Time for the Shadow Plaid is maybe in the autumn. I need dark, medium and light plaids, hundreds of squares for the triangles. It is going to be so much fun.

These are some of the newest stars I made.

You may also remember that I made a star quilt top for the Bushfire Quilt Project earlier this year. Last weekend Tia organized a quilting bee to finish quilts from the blocks and tops she was sent from all over the world. You can read here about it. My top must have been among the most exotic ones, because she gave it so much publicity.

We are having a long weekend now, but I hope to get something sewn as well.

Friday 15 May 2009

Still grannying along

I have been crocheting every day but have not had time for daily photographing and blogging about the results. If I'm right, this must be May 9th:

May 10th and 11th

May 12th

May 13th

and May 14th

This is a group photo of the different squares I have made so far. I have also crocheted pairs for many of them. The loops are still there, waiting for additional rows to make all squares about the same size. Most of them are now only three rounds, the ones on the right are 4 rounds.

If you click the A Granny a Day button on my right sidebar, you find the Flickr group with great granny squares and links to the most beautiful, special grannies.

Thursday 14 May 2009

VIntage Thingies 24

I have been so busy with my real duties that I almost forgot today is Thursday, the day for Vintage thingies with Suzanne.

I continue the inventory of the cupboard I cleaned a couple of weeks ago. This is an old flour sieve, made of wood.

I don't remember if this is from my family or Mr. Kotkarankki's. The sieve is intact. Could it be horse hair?

Here you see a detail how the net is fastened between the two wooden parts.

Just look what my mother gave me on Tuesday when I spent the day with her:

The Green Little Dutch Girl Jug! With her dotty apron and red cheeks! I just asked her about the history, and she wanted me to have a clean little girl jug for use. She remembers this jug and a bigger orange one from her family's summer villa at some time from the twenties to early forties. She guessed it was her Auntie Saima's, because she was the one to buy cute things. I'm waiting for my rhubarb to grow a little so I can bake a pie and serve vanilla sauce from this jug. Just like when I was a little girl.

Wednesday 13 May 2009

Daytrip to Tampere

Yesterday I had a day off and I used it to visit my 92 years old mother in Tampere, about 150 km north from where I live. I had a delayed Mother's Day with her. I take you with me on that trip.

This is where my journey started, the little railway station of Jokela. Our village has grown around the railway, there was nothing before the railway was built in the 1860's.

On the way up the fields were still too wet and cold for the farmers to start their work.

The lakes were free from ice again, reflecting the blue sky. The houses you can see are summer cottages.

This is the main street of Tampere, the Hämeensilta bridge crossing over Tammerkoski rapids. The red and yellow flags are the city's flag, our national white and blue flag is on the City Theatre (yellow building in the middle) and Town hall (further back). On the right is the old Main Library.

On the bridge are four statues by a famous Finnish sculptor Wäinö Aaltonen. This one is called Kauppias (the merchant). The story tells that he will drop whatever he is holding in his hand if a virgin over 18 years of age walks under it. I have proven it wrong several times! I studied in a school next to the red building behind the statue (not in the picture).

Here you can see a fisherman under the bridge. The Lake Näsijärvi on the north side of the town is 18 m higher than the Lake Pyhäjärvi on the south side. They catch trout, rainbow trout, whitefish and grayling there.

After a little shopping in town I took a bus and arrived here. The lake is on the other side of the house.

This horse was made by my father. It used to be placed on the stone wall down by the lake where he taught me to swim and I hurt my leg in underwater stones. The leg was bleeding and we put a plantain leaf on it to heal the cut. The next time I went in the water I knew how to swim on my own. I miss my father. I had a lovely time with my mother.

Friday 8 May 2009

Two more Granny Squares

This is yesterday's granny, using the light blue and dark brown yarns from before. When I was a very young girl, I thought boys with dark brown t-shirts and light blue jeans looked cool. Here I made groups of 3 instead of my usual 4, and 4 rounds instead of 3.

Today's square is back to my normal pattern.

I have been busy cleaning windows and feeling a little heroic about it. Now I need to iron fresh summer curtains for them, and polish my halo.

Thursday 7 May 2009

Vintage Thingies 23 "Dresden Plate"

Thursday is here again, with everyone's vintage treasures. Suzanne is hosting this meme, this week with a theme "What Was I Thinking?". I couldn't find anything suitable for the theme, so I chose another theme I have been bumping into lately.

It is Dresden Plates. Stephanie has been sewing this lovely dresden plate quilt in greens and blues, and there was a giveaway as well, with dresden plate templates.

I have not yet tried that pattern, but last week when I cleaned my vase cabinet above the fridge, I found this:

It is a cracked porcelain plate from early 1900, with a perforated metal frame. I believe it is used under a hot coffeepot. We have a perfectly nice name for this thing in Finnish, pannunalunen, but I can't find a translation for it. :-( You must know what I mean!

Here you must click to enlarge the picture to see the connection to the Dresden plates: My plate is manufactured in Dresden, Germany.

Be sure to visit all the blogs participating this week, the list of links is here!

You are welcome to give me a translation of pannunalunen!