Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Quilter's Dream: Seeing Stars!

Another of my fabulous finds! Vintage cotton and feedsack stars ready to be assembled into a quilt! The second photo shows how the stars go together. Note the wonderful vintage textile patterns and colors!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Vintage Quilt Blocks: Pieced Piglets!

I always look for vintage quilt blocks whenever I attend an antique fair or flea market. These I found at the semi-annual antique show in Monroe, Michigan from a vendor who had traveled to the show from Ohio. I loved the primitive look of these blocks at first sight and couldn't leave them behind. Aren't those pieced piglets just too darn cute?

Although these types of blocks are becoming harder to find and a bit more expensive all the time, keep an eye out! There are still some that can be discovered and purchased for a reasonable price. Searching is definitely a huge part of the fun of collecting!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Create A Family Memory Quilt!

Back in 1979, my parents John and Carrie Cederna celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The entire family of 42—children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren—participated in preparing a special gift of love, a family quilt. On the day of celebration, as we observed our parents' full measure of joy, we knew we had chosen a gift far better than any we could have purchased!

In the fall of 1978, almost a year in advance of the big day, I sent a letter to each family member describing my idea for the quilt. I explained that I would purchase some gold broadcloth, cut 11" squares from it and mail one to each person. In turn, they would decorate their squares in any way they liked: applique, embroidery, or cross stitch—adding anything about themselves they wished such as names, date, jobs or hobbies. When completed, they would return their squares to me.

By May of 1979 all of the quilt squares had been decorated and returned. Due to differences in handling their squares, they were now unequal in size so I made a 10.5" template our of posterboard, placed it over each block and cut it to size. I then stitched a 1.5" border of brightly colored calico to each side of each square (now a quilt block). Next I sewed the bordered blocks together. Added a larger border to the entire quilt top, added a polyester batting and calico backing and it was ready to quilt!

On July 1, 1979, our parents celebrated their 50 years together and we, amid the festivities, fell heir to our own sweet memories, many of them already carefully captured in the stitches of our family quilt.

The family quilt won Blue Ribbon Awards in the Iron County Fair and in the Chelsea Community Fair and now resides at the Iron County Museum in Iron River, Michigan.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Sheltie Season!

My sister, who knows how much I love shelties sent this newspaper clipping to me in her Christmas card. The photo was taken by Lori Anne Montague of Crystal Lake, Il of her shelties: Starr, Belle, Rusty, Bear & Dusty for her Christmas Card and printed in Parade's Snapshot Photo column 12/16/07. Are these shetland sheepdogs too cute for words, or what?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Memory!

Left to Right: Judy, Coralie, Nancy.

Two weeks before Christmas 1950, my pal Judy Sporer and I bundled up in our warmest coats, wound our scarves around our necks and faces, and trudged two miles in our Stadium Boots to Iron River to do our Christmas shopping. We each had a whopping $5 in our pockets.

At Newberry’s Five and Dime, for $.39, I found a deck of miniature playing cards for my sister Connie who had recently developed a mania for playing Solitaire. Then, I spotted a pink donkey planter for Mom for $.89 which I knew she would absolutely love. But I couldn’t see a thing for Dad, or my brother John.

We slipped on down the snow-covered sidewalk to Johnny’s Men Store. The place was loaded with shirts and ties, tie tacks, and—cuff links! A high school senior, my brother wore his only pair to every special event at school. Excited, I turned the little brown box over, but nearly fainted when I saw the price—$2!

Judy and I fled up the street to Schafer’s where the scents of pipes, tobacco, and shaving lotion tickled our chilly noses. Judy bought pretty bottles of cologne for her sisters and mom and some Old Spice aftershave for her brother and her dad. I was about to follow suit when I spotted something that made my heart leap—a reindeer poised in a pretty blue globe filled with water which, when turned upside down, caused “snow” to magically spin, sweep, and swirl lazily down on the winter scene. $1.50—and worth every penny.

With $2.22 left, I figured I could buy my brother’s gift and still have enough for a malted milk at Walgreen’s. I could already taste it!

We scoured the aisles at Monkey Wards, but found nothing. At Kromm’s Department Store, we poured over the men’s socks, ties, and hankies, but I knew nothing anywhere could compare to those classy cuff links at Johnny’s. I counted my money again, hoping I’d made a mistake the first time, but I hadn’t. I looked enviously at Judy, who’d made all her purchases and still had $.50 left, but I knew what I had to do.

Johnny wrapped the little brown box in tissue paper and put it and the receipt in a small brown bag, slipped my $2 into the cash register, and smiled. I knew I’d made the right decision.

At Walgreen’s, I got a little jittery watching Judy sip her malt but my 10 cent cherry coke wasn’t bad and I was happy as a lark imagining the look of disbelief in my brother’s eyes when he opened his gift on Christmas morning.

And he didn’t disappoint me. He beamed as he opened his box, complimented me on my discriminating choice of gifts, and said he’d wear the cuff links to his Hi-Y banquet coming up soon. I’d was absolutely thrilled.

I shall always remember that shopping day as one on which Judy and I discovered the true meaning of Christmas. Our joy was found in doing something special for those we loved. As we sunk our Stadium Boots back into the snowy drifts that covered the sidewalks, and set off for home in Dober Location, we smiled and hummed our favorite Christmas Carol, “Joy to the World.” We’d never felt so proud, so grown up, or so peaceful in all our eleven years. Knowing we had found presents that would surprise and please our families was the best Christmas gift of all.

In Memory of Judy 1939 - 2000

Christmas 2008

As the lights of the season sparkle and shine in celebration in and around your homes in neighborhoods near and far, I wish you all the joyous blessings of Christmas and peace for the new year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Snow! And More on the Way!

Ginger, one our three shelties, just loves the snow! I tried to get her to come in for her dinner yesterday afternoon, but she declined...she just couldn't bear to leave the falling snow. So here we have it: more snow yesterday, more today, and probably more tomorrow. Here's one pup who doesn't mind!

Unique Quilting Project: Simple Squares!

No matter that I've made hundreds of quilted pillows through the years, I'm still enchanted with simple squares put together in random order. They are unique and beautiful! There are no two alike! The colors blend and harmonize!

I don't know if this particular pillow was made by a beginning or an advanced quilter but, when I saw it at a recent craft fair, I had to have it! I love seeing how other quilters use their fabric scraps. It's all about the colors and patterns of the textiles, vintage or new!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Logan's Seascape!

Grandson Logan, who just turned three in September, finger-painted this beautiful seascape when he was only 17 months old! Can you hear the waves lapping against the shore? Wondrous!

Recycle Your Old Quilts!

Here's a great idea for recycling an old worn quilt. It's easy enough to do, too! Just cut away the tattered portions of the quilt and cut the rest into squares to be sewn together for pillows. Stuff and you're all set. This pretty little buttonhole stitched flower pillow is only 12" square and is as sweet as it can be. To save on friendship gifts for this year or next, why not recycle your old tattered quilts into small pillows or sachets? Your one of a kind items will be appreciated and cherished!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Free Food for Animals! Just Click!

Attention Animal Lovers! You can help provide free food to abused & neglected animals with no cost to yourselves! Just go to The Animal Rescue Site and click on the purple box "fund food for animals." Each click helps The Animal Rescue Site reach daily goals so that their corporate sponsors/advertisers will use the number of daily visits to donate food in exchange for advertising. PLEASE HELP!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Michigan Quilts: A Super Quilting Blog!

While out and about a few days ago, I came across a super-duper quilting blog called "Michigan Quilts" by Caron Mosey. Caron not only loves quilts but is also a published author of quilting.

She wrote her first book, America’s Pictorial Quilts, because she was frustrated at not finding books on pictorial quilts. It was the early 1980’s, and while you could find pictorial quilts in magazines, there just wasn’t a pictorial quilt book to be found.

She writes on her blog, "I was blessed to be one of the first quilter/writers to be published by the brand NEW American Quilter's Society. I participated as a teacher and exhibitor at the first AQS quilt show and contest in April of 1985, and for several years toured the country teaching what I loved: quilting."

If you, too, love quilts and quilting, check out this wonderful blog, at Michigan Quilts.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Our House of Hope! In 4th place!

As of this evening, Our House of Hope is in 4th place in the State of Illinois for Petfinders favorite Shelter/Rescue Contest. Sunday at midnight is the end of the contest. The Illinois State winner will receive a $1000.00 grant. Our small rescue would benefit tremendously from this opportunity. We have had several wonderful people voting feverishly on our behalf and now we need your help to make a last minute surge. Lets show them that although we may be small, we are mighty. Ive attached instructions to vote to this e-mail and we would so appreciate your help and your votes over the next few days. Vote now and vote often.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Mike and Lisa

Our House of Hope K-9 Rescue

PLEASE! Go to:

In the purple box in the middle of the page enter:

Shelter name: Our House of Hope

State: IL

City: Gurnee

=>Click on search.

It will bring you to the next page to confirm you have selected the right shelter.

=> Click VOTE

To confirm your vote it will show you a picture of an animal.

Type the animals name in the “your answer” box.

=> Click Confirm Vote


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Collecting Vintage Cotton & Feedsack Quilts!

Whenever I discover a a beautiful old hand-pieced cotton and feedsack quilt at an antique mall, I simply cannot resist adding it to my collection! I love imagining how the creators of these quilts decided on pattern and color choices and then sat down to stitch and dream. What were those quilters dreaming about way back when? Were they planning to give the quilt to someone they loved?
It's clear that a lot of love has gone into this quilt and the many others I have found and adopted! Such gorgeous fabrics and all from vintage cotton and feedsacks. Every single one is a unique piece of art designed by a creative spirit, a spirit who sees the world in living color.
In visiting an Amish home a few years ago, I was interested to see that the rooms were equipped with useful items only. One of the wooden kitchen tables held dozens of oil lamps ready to be refilled and reused. Another kitchen table & benches took center stage in that room awaiting the family gathering for food. But the rooms were devoid of color or decorations.

Except for the sewing room! From a large wooden chest in the sewing room, came the most stunning quilts I'd ever seen. The excitement in the Amish women's eyes told the whole story. It's all about the color, texture, and design. It's all about the creative spirit of art!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Know Where You Live, Mr. Squirrel!

And now I know where Mr. Squirrel lives! The board under the roof of the garage did not get replaced last summer and a hole developed. Then winter came...oh well! But what a great home for a teeny tiny squirrel to get through the winter. He pops his head out and up every so often to get a "drink" of snow from the roof. Quite a sight! And we see him now and then running lickety split through the nearby trees. Who knew that we would be the ones providing a home for Mr. Squirrel! It'll be interesting to see what happens when spring arrives!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Our House of Hope!

I want to bring up OUR HOUSE OF HOPE again as I feel it's so important to our furry friends who need help! My niece Jill and her daughter Maggie help rescue animals through Our House of Hope, a shelter in Ilinois. You can help them win a grant for their animal rescue with the Animal Rescue Site $100k Challenge.

PLEASE! Go to:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Feedsacks with Borders!

Most quilters prefer feedsacks with overall patterns for their vintage projects. Yet many of the vintage feedsacks I find have beautiful borders that are perfect for making curtains, pillowcases, or even aprons.

Some of the most beautiful bordered feedsacks I've found came from a small Amish town in Indiana where I was lucky enough to find a matching pair of ribboned bouquets of posies. Aren't these the prettiest ever?

Sheltie Camera Monster Continued!

Yes, here's the resident camera monster at work again!Choosing a new family dog? If you don't like barking, do not choose a sheltie!

But it you don't mind a little hullabalooing and you want the sweetest cuddler in the world, then the Shetland Sheepdog is for you!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sheltie Camera Monster!

This is Bonnie Lass. See that look in her eyes? That's the look that says, "You're not going to take another picture are you? Cuz, if you are, all you're going to hear for the next ten minutes is some hair-raising barking!"

This sheltie came to us at age two and had already developed a dreadful dislike to the big "C" better known as the CAMERA! Whenever I take my photos of quilts, vintage fabrics, and feedsack items for eBay sales, I have to shoo her outdoors so she doesn't see the camera coming.

However, this dog knows me so well, she can suspect when I'm going to have a photo session. She lurks around underfoot giving me the LOOK! Still she's just a little sweetie when there's no camera equipment around. A real cuddler!Hard to believe these photos are of the same sheltie...but they are! How did my husband get her to actually pose for this picture? Well, he's the real camera-man around here. He had his camera on a tripod and held a remote control in his hand. Yep, you've got to go a long way to fool this dog!