Wednesday 31 March 2010

Season's traditions, and Stash use report

On Sunday the tradition-mixing little witches were on the move again. I told you about this strange newish tradition last year here. It sounds like bringing American Halloween trick-or-treating (pointed witches' hats and outfits made in China seem to replace the more Finnish scarves, mother's aprons and cardigans) to old Finnish pagan times Western Finnish spring witchcraft  and to traditional Eastern Finnish Greek Orthodox Palm Sunday blessing of the members of the family and godparents. There the decorated pussy willow branches were blessed in the church on Saturday, given by the children on Palm Sunday to bless their nearest for the coming year, and kept by the icon until the eve of Holy Thursday, when they were burned. On Easter Sunday the children came to another visit, collecting their pay: an egg, decorated or not, or a coin.

Whether I like these little beggars or not, I prepared for their coming - and for Easter, of course. I changed the faded Erica heathers at the doors to "easter lilies":

And I bought chocolate eggs and other Easter chocolates:

By the afternoon the bowl was almost empty and my vase was full with decorated branches:

The children are supposed to come in the morning - the traditional blessing wiht branches was meant to be given to the person still in bed, as they always were members of the family or close friends. The neighbourhood kids started their rounds after 10.

Yesterday the sweetest little Easter witch arrived by mail:

My sister-in-law has designed and painted this cutie on thin plywood. On the reverse the witch is carrying her black cat under her other arm. She is flying on her broomstick in our kitchen window now, totally in peace with the two angels who guard my cookings every day.

On the crafty front I have been working on the string quilt. I decided to ty it, and that's what I was doing last night and will be doing tonight. The perlé thread is sewn in every corner and middle of the block and sides of the blocks, and I have sewn the binding in place, too, to avoid  getting the little bits of loose fibers all over me from the edges sof the fabrics and batting.

  My stash use this month was not as good as in February. I have used 1.5 m fabrics for the borders (double layer) and binding, 2.2 m flannel for the backing and about 30 cm for the doll's clothes. For the second panel of the wallhanging - nothing to show yet - I used 0.6 m of my fabrics, the grey I bought in February. That makes 4.6 m in total. 

I bought 0.4 m of quilting fabric I couldn't resist, and when I went to see a fabric shop in their new location in Järvenpää, I totally lost control and bought  30 cm pieces of 7 different fabrics, totalling 2.1 m. That makes 2.5 m in total. Still my stash was reduced by 2.1 m in March! I really should sew more. Like before, I don't count the fabrics coming in as donations or gifts. They only count when I use them! Does the small men's shirt bought at a thrifty shop count? I felt I needed it for a coming quilt, and it only cost 1 €.


  1. Very sweet Easter witch. That's a very unique tradition. You probably do better than most with your fabric usage. I know you'll be very happy when your string quilt is finished.

  2. Thank you for telling us about your Finnish traditions, and the new twists on them. It was very interesting!

  3. Nice tradition with the kids, we do not have that in Norway. Ohh I love your new witch, so cute..
    Your String quilt is comming along very nicely and I have not even started on mine yet. I have too many UFO's which need to be finished and when I have finished something I allow myself to sew a new tabelrunner ;-)
    My husband has just arrived home from Finland. He has been up north at an airport named Kajaani, he was there on business meeting clients/ Customers I guess..
    Happy Easter to you Ulla..

  4. The Easter witch is adorable! So nice to read about your traditions :)
    The dark sashing looks great with the string blocks!

  5. Well done with the stash busting it is still all in the right direction. Love your Easter traditions. I like knowing how these things developed.

  6. I like "unusual" traditions, Ulla! And your decorating for it is lovely - so bright and spring like! I also love your new kitchen witch - so pretty!
    Does having your hubby buy you fabric count? Mr. S. has been visiting the quilt shops with me recently and insisting I go home with a little here and there! I don't turn him down :>)

  7. It is so interesting to read and learn about traditions, thanks!


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