Thursday 30 September 2010

VTT 19 - Anne of Green Gables

This week I started a new book. I needed something more entertaining after Trask's Language.  Pip is hosting a book club, and their new book is Anne of Green Gables. I have seen the TV series a couple of times, and read the books when I was young and when I wasn't any more. This book is from my mother's bookshelf:

She apparently had it for her name day present when she was eight years old, a great age to get a book about an 11-year-old girl. Have you read L.M. Montgomery's books about Anne Shirley's life on Prince Edward Island? It is enjoyable reading for girls of any age.

I'm reading this in Finnish and enjoying the old-fashioned translation. They even "translated" her name: Ann was Anni and Anne with an e became Anna. The paper is yellowed, and the book has the lovely smell of an old book.

Suzanne is hosting Vintage Thingie Thursday. She has a long and lovely list of links to other vintage thingies. Thank you for coming by!

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Raggedy & Friends, Block 3, and a challenge

Between apple sauce and laundry I have been stitching on September's Raggedy & Friends BOM, and last night it was ready.

Two stitcheries, a nine-patch and a row of two triangle squares, and the two rows of 2" squares at the top. I'm already waiting for the next block!

Today my Ann posed for the stitchery. She is a normal healthy doll so she looks a little plump compared to the model in Kaaren's drawing. We didn't have any watermelon at home so we used a wedge of cabbage instead. The little bird posing on it is a Christmas gift from Eileen, who also made my Raggedy Ann and Andy.

I couldn't let Ann sit too long on the concrete steps - the weather is a cool +8 C (46 F) - so I sent her in to tell Andy about the photo shoot. While still wearing my jacket and shoes I took some pictures of the new colours outdoors.

Blueberries get read leaves before they drop, but the lingonberries (middle front of the picture) keep their thick green leaves all winter.

The aspens often get yellow leaves, they are like golden coins. Some trees turn red, like in the first picture on the left of my quilt block.

The chilly weather and wind have brought me a cold, so I'm taking it easy and sneezing today. September is almost over, and I have used only very little fabric. I hope to finish something before the end of the week to make my statistics look nice! Maybe I'll make a little softie for the Softies for Mirabel campaign. You can read more about it on Pip's blog Meet me at Mike's.

Why don't you join me here? All kinds of soft toys are welcome, and they will be delivered to the kids for Christmas. Before that, Pip will show them all together in her shop window in Melbourne.

Friday 24 September 2010

Autumn leaves table runner

 My favourite season is full of changing colours. The fern was shining yellow just a little while ago.

Now it has turned brown already.

The Alchemilla is still green, still catching drops of water in the folds of her skirt.

The rowan trees missed their best red shades this year and are changing from yellow to brown.

This table runner with the sun print fabrics reminds me of the colourful season when the trees are already naked and the evenings are dark.

I made the quilting yesterday at home and added the binding last night in class. The hand sewing is half done but will be finished tonight in front of the TV.

Thursday 23 September 2010

Autumn is a busy season

It seems that I don't get to blog posting as often as I would like to. It is the time of the year! I have been busy picking the apples:

and steaming them

and winding them through my faithful almost vintage (1980's) Moulinex:

to make apple sauce:

There are 61 not very small jars in the cellar, and I think I will make two more lots to make it last until next autum. This is why there have been no new finishes to show on the crafty front.

On Monday I was waiting for the train and suddenly heard the trumpets from above. Cranes are migrating to Africa for the winter.

The swans are still staying here, growing strength and feathers. This year the couple had four cygnets, but one of them died in August. The Whooper Swan family is staying in the ponds in the middle of the village, and the young ones are learning takeoff and landing:

All summer flowers are composted now, and the heather has replaced them. The concrete tiles are Mr. K's this summer's project.

This area, where the geothermal heating pipes come to the house, will wait over winter before the tiles cover it.

My rainy week was cheered up by Melanie's mail with all kinds of great things. Thank you, sweet friend!

She had knitted red pirate caps for the Amazons, Unicef dolls still waiting to be born. They will join Melanie's  Dorothea and Dick when the time is right. The Haggis Broth tin and the Wright's traditional tar soap as well as the strong Mints in a cute tin are all related to our two-member book club reading the Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome. The chocolate bars go with the theme as well; Susan often gave everyone rations of chocolate. The Lynette Anderson bag is from Melanie's trip to the Birmingham quilt show, where she actually met Lynette Anderson! Melanie also included a big piece of fusible pellon for my future stitcheries, as she knew I can't get it locally. The leopard print fleece is meant for a future Unicef doll with African origin. Melanie is obviously encouraging me to reach the limit of 100 dolls now that the 50 dolls are adopted! The toadstool coaster is for me because we both like funghi. These are poisonous:

but these are delicious. Mr. K has walked in the forest and brought home buckets full of nice mushrooms, and I have made warm sandwiches and sauces with them, and many portions are in the freezer for future use.

Next post should show some sewing again. I'm having class tonight again and hope to finish the sun print table runner. There are other projects on the way as well, but nothing to show so far. And finally some good news for the friends of Eileen: I have been e-mailing with her, and now that she has all wedding business happily behind her, she is working on a quilt and taking pictures. A couple of more pushes and she'll start posting on Eileen's Attic again.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Raggedy Ann learns new skills

While waiting for the next Raggedy & Friends BOM by Kaaren next week, I have been working on an earlier pattern by her.  The Stitching Annie is one of Kaaren's First Friday Freebies. This generous lady publishes a free pattern on every first Friday of the month.

My Raggedy Ann doll had a fun time sitting in a small basket with a quilt and sewing notions, posing for the stitchery  
pattern. The basket I used was too small so it can't be seen at all under the quilt.

Annie had a laugh when I tried to pose her like the other Annie in the stitchery. I think I will use the stitchery for a ring folder where I can keep all my stitchery patterns I'm planning to use. Annie also wanted me to write here her greetings to Auntie Eileen, who made her for me. Eileen has not been blogging for a while, but she noticed my previous post with Andy, and she just might need some pushing to get her back to the blog world.

Sunday 12 September 2010

Autumn energy

The hot summer days are over, comfortable cool weather is here to stay and active life begins after the lazy summer idleness. We bought a new composter and started filling it with kitchen waste and chipped garden waste.

The colours in the nature have started changing to yellow.

Apples are falling from our bigger tree and waiting to be cooked into sauce. 22 jars are already in the cellar, plus 5 plastic containers in the freezer. Today I cooked two new lots, 22 jars.

Autumn in the living room, the last new panel of Melanie's Christmas present cushion for every season:

We finally started having a fire in our new fireplace. Next week it will be our only means of heating for two days when we will have geothermal heating installed. On Friday they already drilled a 170 m deep hole in the rock in our yard.

The change of colours inspired me to finally make something with the sun dyed fabrics I have had in storage for a long time.  Making that link I noticed I had shown these prints almost exactly a year ago, and two years ago! It really must be the change I see outdoors, and the beginning of my sewing class. This year I actually cut up the fabric and started a project!

This is what I did in class on Thursday:


For the heating system change we needed to clear a route from the boiler room through our hobby room so the men can carry the old system out and bring in the new one. This meant naturally towers of my cardboard and plastic boxes reaching up to the ceiling. Is there any hope for me? While rummaging in the basement with Mr. K I came across these nice wooden boxes with partition walls. I arranged things from my sewing table - the upstairs one, where there is possible to sit and sew - in this one:

In the second box I arranged my bias bindings. Yes, they are all mine, and the three big rolls are in a separate box. You see, my main suppliers, big sister P and Mother, both have emptied their stash for me to use. Now I feel I need to find a way to use 20 cm long bits of bias binding in the most peculiar colours. Maybe some more tissue holders? Christmas is coming by the end of the year, anyway.

Have a creative week, everyone!

Saturday 4 September 2010

Stash use report for August, and secret projects revealed

Yesterday we were at my niece's wedding. They were married in a beautiful old church, and the wedding reception was well organized, the food was excellent and naturally the bride and groom were beautiful and everyone was happy.

Finally I can reveal two secret projects I have been working on. The first one was finished already in July, a holder for the vintage table silver my mother gave them as a wedding present.

Here are the knives and forks in the big roll, and the spoons and cake forks in the small one.

My August project was a lap size quilt for the young couple. I used 13 fabric napkins my big sister P brought me when she was helping me to organize my stash. They were not counted as "bought fabrics", naturally, because I was just helping her to clear her cupboards. I loved the napkins and wanted to use them for a quilt some day. Look, they are just bursting with my favourite cheerful browns and greens.

Sewing the blocks caused be some grey hair, because I had just barely the necessary amount of the green fabric (my old skirt). Naturally I managed to sew 10 blocks with the green square in the wrong corners. Because the fabric is striped, I could not use the ripped-off triangles again. To save fabric, I cut the new triangles  from bigger squares with no waste bits. Guess how many I cut along the wrong diagonal? Just two, but I only needed to use one triangle in the wrong way.

The green and brown strips make a trellis for the flower print. The size of the squares was calculated so that I could make 4 big squares or 16 small ones from one napkin. This is when I made the quilt sandwich with safety pins.

Machine stitched around the floral print.

Finished quilt.

The finest label I have ever made. The border is made of the leftover border strips of the napkins, and the appliqu├ęd heart is of this quilt's border fabric.

Every bit was from my stash, well, I bought the lining last month for this project, but everything else has been there just lying and waiting to be used.

In August I only bought one scrap bag of Marimekko fabrics, strips from 8 cm to 45 cm, total amount 1.75 m. All I finished this month was the quilt, 4.9 m of fabrics. A very positive month for stash use this time!

Thursday 2 September 2010

VTT 18 - Monograms

Two weeks ago in my VTT post I showed you a collection of marking thread , because there was some talk about it in Miri's VTT post. Today you  will see some of my linens with monograms stitched with these threads. Suzanne is hosting VTT here.


Here are my kitchen towels with different monograms. Actually, the one in the top left corner is for my face, it just happened to be with these other towels. The next towels I made by hand because I didn't have a sewing machine at the time, and used red marking thread and chain stitches. We had the towel fabric as a wedding gift. The ones in the bottom row are from my grandmother and from my mother.

Grandmother's towel is used for glasses, because the fabric is lint-free and thus perfect for drying up glasses. Cross stitches in red marking thread.

Here is a pillowcase with her initials, white marking thread on white linen. The pillowcase has two pairs of tape at the open end, tied together to keep the pillow in place. When I was very little, I sometimes was allowed to curl the tapes with a pair of pliers by turning a wing nut at the end of one of the grooved cylinders in them.

Different monogram on a face towel from Grandmother.

Striped linen towels, good as new, made by my mother before she was married to my father. I believe she has never used any of these  kitchen towels, and neither have I. They feel stiff and don't dry very well, just because they have not been used and washed. Red cross stitches in red marking thread again.

These were my initials when I was a schoolgirl and made one towel like this at school. My mother bought some more of the same fabric so I could make the first half a dozen towels for my "hope chest". I only have four of them, two have been used threadbare. Cross stitches in embroidery floss this time.

When I was leaving home to live on my own, my mother made me 12 of these towels and marked them in light blue marking thread.

When I was engaged to Mr. K, mother made the rest of my hope chest linens: pillowcases and bed sheet with lace crocheted by my late grandmother at a time when I was just about 10 years old. She crocheted lace inserts for all 6 of us, for half a dozen sheets. Here are my old initials for the last time.

These are my favourite towels, only used about once a year just to kep them from yellowing:

Great Auntie Saima's monogram in red and white marking thread. This was before she was married, so it must have been in the 1930's or earlier.

Grandmother's big dinner tablecloth of linen damask, big monogram in red and white.


Finally the oldest monogram, my great-grandmother Amanda's little tray topper.


I hope you enjoyed the peek in my linen closet (with some re-runs from earlier VTT posts). Other kinds of vintage thingies you will find on the list of links at Suzanne's blog here.