Tuesday 29 September 2009

Happy Mail

Just a while ago something very nice happened: I won a giveaway I didn't even know about. Stephanie from Loft Creations had this unannounced giveaway, and because I follow her blog and very often comment, I was in. Today the mail brought me the gift, Stephanie's newest pattern for two matching bags, Ladyfingers and Sugar Baby.

I had thought about buying the pattern, but it was not yet in her Etsy shop. This is what I had in mind for using for the Dresden plates:

Or this:

Or a mixture of both. They are my father's old ties, the leftovers after my brothers and sisters had their pick for some ties they wanted to wear. I have been keeping these in my storage and thinking about how to use them in a quilt. They are a difficult material, so I think I will come back to this bag idea later. Don't worry, I will show you if I ever get anything done either with the pattern or the ties or both together.

In the meantime I have been busy with two projects. One is the orphanage quilts, blankets and sheets. Last time I was in Tampere I picked up a giant plastic bag my youngest sister T had left for me at our mother's. It was full of her old sheet, in perfect condition. The pale crepe ones seemed not suitable for quilts, so I already cut one up and sewed three children's sheet of it. The blue with daisies will make two, but there is another one so it will make four, and another pale crepe sheet, totals 10 sheet. The one very soft white sheet I will keep to be used for backings, I might also dye it. Thank you, T!

Here is my Tanzania orphanage project results so far, three sheet, two quilts and a crocheted blanket. One elephant quilt is slowly in progress, and the granny squares for the second blanket still need to be joined together. I'm also knitting one blanket, I started it on my holiday in August but it seems to take a long time.

The other project is only in my head at the moment, but I need to start writing my ideas down. It is a very big custom order, a wall hanging about 120 x 600 cm, but it can be made of several pieces. It will be for the same lady, PN, who received my Stranger Quilt last year. She brought me a huge pile of fabrics for the wall hanging, and I will go through my stash and seek for suitable fabrics as well. She brought me a small sketch so I can get some idea of what she is after. Houses are included, sky and sea, and shoes. This may take really long time!

Saturday 26 September 2009

New Blocks for the Country Calendar

This September has been very warm and lovely, just a few rainy days. This week was the first night frost in the area, but not right where we live, as this is a little uphill from the village. My summer flowers are still as beautiful as ever, and the Calluna we bought yesterday will have to wait a little to take this one's place at the kitchen door.

Today I finished the August

and September blocks for the Country Calendar. This is a free BOM from Ellie's Quiltplace.

I should have chosen some reds in different shades for the apples, but I'm pretty pleased with the basket fabric I happened to have in my stash.
I know this is against my own interest in a way, but you might want to know about Paulette's giveaway. Paulette is a Canadian quilter, and she is giving away the first issue of a new Canadian quilting magazine, with a fabric pack to make the Christmas quilt on the cover. (Telling you this gave me one more entry ;->.) I found her blog a while ago through Stephanie, and immediately became a follower. Paulette is a recycler like me, but a very talented and productive quilter as well. A hand quilter, too. Go and see her lovely blog.
This is about all I have been doing lately, so I must go and see what I didn't do for the household. Have a relaxing weekend!

Thursday 24 September 2009

Vintage Thingies 41 - Children's House Book

A week has already passed and it is time to join the Vintage Thingies Thursday hosted by Coloradolady Suzanne. Today I'm showing you something that is not mine. When visiting my mother a while ago we found one of her old books from the attic. The spine was off and one page was loose, so I took the book with me so I could ask my daughter Kaija if she could or should repair it. She is a master bookbinder and knows about these things. Anyway, the book was too delicious to be left in the bag without showing you.

This is a doll's house, without any text but originally with paper dolls, unfortunately lost during the years. The pictures are from 1921. You can click all pictures to enlarge and see more details.

This is the hall.

In the cabinet I found a child's coat and hat.

The living room. There are slots in the table cloth for cups and bowls.

The parent's bedroom. Both doors can be opened but don't go through to the next rooms. The paper dolls can be put to bed through a slot between the pillow and the sheet.

The children's room. This page is loose.

Again, a door you can open.

The bathroom picture refused to be shown the right way, so I left it out. There was a toilet and a bathroom, and on the other page a cellar with food and mice!
This is the kitchen. The oven door has come off the hinge and disappeared, but there is a copper kettle and a dotted pot on the stove. The writing on the jars is in German, so the artist was German. The book cover shows the name of the Finnish publisher but I believe the book was printed in Germany, just using a different cover text for the Finnish market.

The whole kitchen view.

And finally the back garden.

My mother is an only child, and I don't remember us having ever played with this book, so it has lasted pretty well the 87 years! I remember I have seen this book, but only looked at it nicely. Mother remembers how she played with this before she had started school in the early 1920's.
I hope you enjoyed this bit of history. Happy VTT, go and see what else is on Suzanne's link list.

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Swans, Elephants and Grannies

Do you remember the swan family I told you about in June? The couple walked their babies to the big pond in the centre of our village, but after a week or so they noticed there were too many people around so they walked to a more quiet little pond to raise their family. Usually the Cygnus olor nests in the wilderness up North, and they are always very shy birds, unlike the mute swans.

The babies have grown and are learning to fly. They need a long runway to get air under their wings, so a bigger pond was needed again. This pond is between the fire station and the big school.

The young swans - all five of them survived - are about as big as the parents but still grey in colour. They are not headless, but hungry! One has his or her wings up, trying to reach something delicious in the bottom of the pond.

One more picture, you can see the colour difference.

I promised to show I have been crafting as well. This is what I have been doing in class on Thursday evenings. Elephant blocks for another orphanage quilt. Miri has designed this cute pattern, and you can download it from her blog.

In the evenings, with Emmerdale and Heartbeat and Desperate Housewives and CSI and Mentalist I have been crocheting more and more Granny squares. Two more, and I can start playing with them and arrange them for a second orphanage blanket. I'll combine the squares with a variegated red this time. I will join them as I make the last row, I think this way the seams will not be stiff. Actually there will be no seams.

Sunday 20 September 2009

Harvest Fair

A couple of weeks ago there was a harvest fair in Järvenpää. Farmers come there with their products, and other producers are invited as well. I took you there last year, but why not join me again. The pedestrian zone is decorated with these flowers at the beginning of the summer, and now they have grown really big and lovely.

We went there on a Saturday, because we also went shopping for groceries, and the weather was nice. This is a general view, many people carrying their shopping, the air was filled with smells of garlic and of fried fish.

My club Järvenpään Käsintekijät (the Villa Cooper people) were there, like always.

A closer look at the sign.

Hand knitted mittens and socks are always wanted.

House shoes made of soft leather.

Pottery products.

This stand belongs to a member of the club, too. Her fabrics are all hand dyed linen.

But we were not the only handicraft producers there.

We bought a brush here, Mr. K likes to use one in the shower, and he needed a new one.

Pretty flowers. I remember when my second grade teacher took us all to a market place in September to see the flowers, and back in class we coloured the whole paper full of purple and red asters with our crayons.

These flowers are dry and will last until next autumn.

Now we come to the food area. Chanterelles - their time is over now, but as I type this, Mr. K in in the forest behind our house and will bring home some funnel chanterelles. They are the greyish dark brown ones, with a yellow foot.

Parsley, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflowers, red onions.

Lingonberries. Mr. K picked a 10 L bucket full of them on Friday, and today I made seven bottles of juice of them, and 8 containers went to the freezer, crushed and mixed with sugar. The berries were crushed, not the plastic containers.

Apples. We don't need to buy them either. The one big tree will give me as much apples as I can
use, and the apples from our other trees can be given to friends and neighbours and deer in the forest.

Today I counted 54 jars of apple sauce and 13 bottles of apple juice in the cellar, from this year's harvest. I will cook some more, but I also want to get back to my sewing. I promise to show something hand made by me in my next post!

Thursday 17 September 2009

Vintage Thingie 40 - Dresses

Today I'm playing along in Suzanne's Vintage Thingies Thursday again.

Last week I was rummaging my mother's attic and found some small and larger scraps of fabric to play with and use for quilts. In one big box were clothes my mother had sewn for us, and I brought home all my old dresses. These are from the time in 1960's when I was expected to grow some more, so there was a wide fold at the hemline. Or maybe it was in the hope that the fashionable length would be more merciful for my poor knees! The shoulders of all my home made dresses are so narrow that nobody else could wear them. (And I did grow, so I can't wear them either.) I'm probably the most pear-shaped person in the country. Anyway, the fabric is itchy wool. The colour made me feel pale and I thought it made all my spots look so much brighter. Not a very favourite dress (or age). I still wouldn't dream of confessing this to my mother.

This other dress is the next Christmas dress, more in my muddy colours, as itchy as the first one. The lace collar and cuffs are antique, from my grandmother or Great Auntie Saima from the early years of the 20th century.

Close-up of the collar. I'm going to take it off and wash it before it goes to a box of other lacy treasures.

On the back my mother has made some little pleats to make the collar fit my dress. Maybe someday I will make another dress for this collar. Or maybe my daughter will. These things are for keeping, but they can be used and worn as well.

And look what I found for my JAJ casseroles: JAJ lids in the right size! Melanie told me they should have lids too, and I decided to keep my eyes open for them. I hadn't even measured the casseroles, but when I bumped into orphan lids at a charity flea market, I risked my 1.80 € and took them home. Voilá!

This was all for this week. Go on with your tour through the link list of Coloradolady. Happy VTT!

Tuesday 15 September 2009

In Autumn we fill our cupboards and cellars

Last Wednesday I visited my mother in Tampere as a surprise to her, while Mr. K was on a fair all day in town. He brought me there very early, and as I waited for my mother to wake up, I hand sewed the binding of the Giraffe quilt. It is just plain dark brown, a leftover bit from the birthday quilt I made for my BIL in June. The length was exactly right for this little quilt when I used straight seams instead of bias to combine the strips.

This is the reverse side. The green and the dark brown are again leftovers from the Maverick star quilt, the beige is new flannel.

My visit at my mother's included, once again, a raid through her sewing room (guided by her), and another trip to the attic with my sister P, who came there in the afternoon. My loot included small and bigger bits of fabrics like this:

and some old clothes from the attic, some of them made for me by mother, others handed down from one sister to another and another and even another. We usually kept the home made clothes and recycled bought ones to the church or Salvation Army.

I think my mother has even more unfinished projects than I have, but of course she is much older than I am, so there is plenty of time to break her record! This looked like an interesting apron project. It is not just one but at least three aprons. They may have been meant for my school's fundraising fair. The mothers in the "ladies committee" made a tremendous job arranging Christmas Fairs, children's parties and other events to raise money for the school. Not only did they buy and sew curtains for the whole big school, but they managed to get a language lab with 20 sets of tape recorders, headphones and sound isolated desks in the 1960's. For my young readers I can tell that it was very advanced technology, and I spent many lessons there learning to say: I like reading my books. Ann likes reading her books. She sits there. She is sitting there. Do you want to play? Does he want to play? - And the same in French.

On Thursday I will show a couple of the dresses I saved, very vintage as they are! And if I manage to find all necessary parts to make an apron of this mess or of the other project I didn't photograph, you will see the results some day. It is so good to know there is material to work on when the dark, long evenings are just almost there! My fabric stock has never been so full before.
Now my duty calls, I have lots an lots of apples to cook. It is such a lovely, sunny, clear autumn day today. Rain is to be expected tomorrow, so I'll try to pick as much apples as I can today.