Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quilt Update!

Just a few quick photos to show you how the hexagon quilt is going. I have started sewing some of the blocks together. Very exciting!
 It is a little wrinkly from being in my sewing bag, I guess I should have ironed it before picture time.
15 blocks down, half a zillion to go!

Friday, May 25, 2012

1930s McCalls Pattern Catalog

Alas, No aprons! But many enchanting frocks!
My friend Jacquelin is researching the 1930s, I thought she would like to see these.
So very elegant! You can still see a 1920s influence in the shape of the hats.
Don't you love the variety of collars?
Evening gowns-what glamour!

Could I order number 6298, please?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Miss Jane's Hat

Here are the promised pictures! I forgot to mention yesterday, you can also see more information about the pattern at Ravelry.

Thank you everyone for all your kind comments!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jane Austen Knits Magazine

I am published!! This is so exciting! I have been bursting with excitement, longing to share the news with you, but trying to patiently wait until I could share it properly.
This past January I submitted a project for the Jane Austen Knits summer 2012 and it was accepted!! And finally, finally after much waiting it is here!! The magazine is now in stores and online.
It is so exciting to see one's name in print!

Jane Austen Knits is a knitting magazine with a Jane Austen twist! All the patterns are inspired by either a Jane Austen character or setting. Inside you will find a plethora of wrist warmers, shawls, socks, bags and sweaters.
Look at all the beautiful projects! Interweave always does a wonderful job.
 I few close ups of Miss Jane's Hat.
"In the Regency Era turbans and Greek style headwear were popular and they were very similar to modern slouchy hats. This hat was inspired by two characters-Miss Jane Bennett and Miss Jane Fairfax-as well as Jane Austen herself. All three Janes exhibited grace and elegance wherever they went."
"Miss Jane's hat has a graceful cabled hat band with dainty embroidery and an elegant body gathered into bands of reverse stocking stitch. The hatband is worked flat and sewn together; stitches are then picked up around the top of the hatband and joined for knitting in the round."

Tomorrow-picture of Miss Jane's Hat!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

English Paper Piecing

 Until a few weeks ago, I wasn't sure what paper piecing was. I had read about it somewhere....sometime.... and hadn't paid too much attention. Until I came across a post by Camille at Simplify. This was first time I had seen pictures of the process and it clicked!! Now that I knew what it was all about, I had to try too!
The paper piecing method has been around a long time. There is evidence of it from the early 1800s. It sounds a bit strange at first and the first question that comes up is, what happens to the paper? As you will see below, it is used like a template and does not stay in the finished quilt. The paper helps the hexagons to turn out perfect, with perfect corners. If you have quilted before you will know that is one of the hardest parts of sewing the pieces together. The other reason paper piecing is special is the only way to do is sew it by hand. I know it sounds a bit crazy at first, but it also makes for a very portable project. You would be surprised how fast it goes!
I decided to make Grandmother's Flower Garden, it was popular in the 1920s and 30s and I could use up a bunch of retro scraps!
 Take your fabric hexagon and a paper hexagon. Notice that the paper is 1/4 inch smaller on all sides, this is the seam allowance. More on making the paper templates.
 Stitch around the edges using a large basting stitch or straight stitch. These are just temporary stitches, so the color of thread  and size of stitch doesn't matter.
 Once you are all the way around, cut the thread. I like to start with a knot, but there isn't a need to knot it at the end. It also makes it easier to pull out.
All finished, now just eight more to go!
 Starting with your center piece (yellow) sew a hexagon on each side. I used a mattress stitch but whip stitch would also work.
 All sides are sewn. Now I just need to sew the seams in between.
 Once a block is complete. It is time to remove the paper. Pull out the basting stitches all the way around the block.
And the paper comes free!
Now you are ready to sew another block. And by all means, recycle your paper templates!

I am not sure how big a quilt I am going to make. I thought at first I would just make a small decorative one, just to try out paper piecing. But it is too fun! I will make a bunch and see how many I have at the end of the summer, maybe a lap or twin bed size?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fannie Merritt Farmer

Over the weekend, I came across this jewel of a cookbook.
The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer, copyright 1922. This is actually the fifth or sixth edition as the first was published in 1898.
Fannie Farmer, known as the "Mother of level measures" was not only the moving force behind standardizing cooking measurements but also an advocate of proper nutrition for the sick. After suffering from a stroke at a young age, Fannie turned her energy to cooking. She attended the Boston Cooking School in 1889 and stayed on as an assistant, eventually becoming principle in 1891. She later founded her own cooking school and spent the rest of her life teaching and lecturing.
"Cookery is the art of preparing food for the nourishment of the body. Prehistoric man may have lived on uncooked foods, but there are no savage races to-day who do no practise cookery in some way, however crude. Progress in civilization has been accompanied by progress in cookery. Much time has been given in the last few years to the study of foods, their necessary proportions and manner of cooking them. Educators have been shown by scientists that this knowledge should be disseminated; as a result, "Cookery" is found in the curriculum of public schools of many of our towns and cities."
This will actually be my third edition of Fannie Farmer as I have a reprint of her first edition cookbook and a 1980 revised edition. After 100 years, her cookbook and methods still live on.
Do you have a Fannie Farmer cookbook? Perhaps passed down from a mother or grandmother?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Crafting Blog

Today I would like to share with you a new blog!

Perhaps I Should Have Been Supervised is a crafty blog my sisters, cousins and I have started. We love to share our newest creations with each other and are inviting you to follow along!
You will be able to see the newest knitting project, what is cooking in the kitchen, sewing, embroidery, crafts, gardening, and whatever else strikes our fancy. We hope it inspires you as much as it does us.

Check out the new blog to see how to make these cute pincushions!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Walk in the Park

It is such a beautiful day! Why not take a walk in the park?
 (These pictures were taken last month.)

The trees are so bright and white! Looks like they have snow on them. Not sure what kind they are, possibly Ornemental Pear?

 The pup, looking cute. She loves her walks in the park and doesn't let us forget when it is time!!

The Eastern Redbud in bloom. Love the color of these little buds!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What's the Color of Her Eyes?

 I found this fabulous 1920s sheet music antiquing with my sister. It was too cute to pass up! The title makes me laugh. Also, it was published in my hometown! How fun is that?

What's the Color of Her Eyes
I'm having trouble, I wrote a ditty,
To give my girl a surprise,
but here's the trouble, won't you have pity?
I don't know the color of her eyes!
For every time she looks at me , I'm so blinded I can't see!

Tell me what's the color of her eyes
Are they brown or are they blue? Are they gray I'm asking you?
Tell me what's the color of her eyes
I know they shine like stars and twinkle when she laughs
But you can't tell the color from her photographs
And every time she looks at me, I'm so dizzy I can't see,
Tell me what's the color of her eyes!

I looked and looked and looked, but couldn't find anyone singing it on youtube.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chocolate Pinks

No, not flowers. Mini Cupcakes!!
I made these awhile back. When I first got my vintage green handled spatula, included in the picture. Hence the peaks in the frosting. Mini cupcakes are too fun to make, and eat!  How can you really go wrong with cute  and chocolate?!
Also, pictured is my Petalware plate. Made in the 1930s by Monax, a glass manufacturing company that made glass lamp shades. The plate is actually glass, not china. I love the stripes, so very 30s. Unfortunately, they are not very plentiful and very pricey. My collection might just consist of one plate and two saucers.

From Hersey's 1934 Cookbook

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May Day!

A little May Day basket we put together this morning with violets and lilly of the valley. I found the history of May Day very fasinating. Hope you enjoy it too!

England-Traditional British May Day rites and celebrations include Morris dancing, crowning a May Queen and celebrations involving a Maypole. Much of this tradition derive from the pagan Anglo-Saxon and customs held during "Þrimilci-mōnaþ" (the Old English name for the month of May meaning Month of Three Milkings) along with many Celtic traditions.
May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries. May Day is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings. Since the reform of the Catholic Calendar, May 1st is the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of workers. Seeding has been completed by this date and it was convenient to give farm labourers a day off. Perhaps the most significant of the traditions is the Maypole, around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons.

United States-May Day was also celebrated by some early European settlers of the American continent. In some parts of the United States, May Baskets are made. These are small baskets usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someone's doorstep. The giver rings the bell and runs away. The person receiving the basket tries to catch the fleeing giver. If they catch the person, a kiss is exchanged.

Ireland-May Day has been celebrated in Ireland since pagan times as the feast of Bealtaine and in latter times as Mary's day. Traditionally, bonfires were lit to mark the coming of summer and to banish the long nights of winter. Officially Irish May Day holiday is the first Monday in May. Old traditions such as bonfires are no longer widely observed, though the practice still persists in some communities. 

France-On May 1, 1561, King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court. At the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime, on May 1.  Nowadays, people may present loved ones either with bunches of lily of the valley or dog rose flowers.

Germany-In rural regions of Germany, especially the Harz Mountains, Walpurgisnacht celebrations of pagan origin are traditionally held on the night before May Day, including bonfires and the wrapping of a Maibaum (maypole). Young people use this opportunity to party, while the day itself is used by many families to get some fresh air. Motto: "Tanz in den Mai!" ("Dance into May!").

Finland-Celebrations among the younger generations take place on May Day Eve, see Walpurgis Night in Finland, most prominent being the afternoon 'crowning' of statues in towns around the country with a student cap. May Day is known as Vappu, from the Swedish term. This is a public holiday that is the only carnival-style street festivity in the country. People young and old, particularly students, party outside, picnic and wear caps or other decorative clothing. Some Finns make a special lemonade from lemons, brown sugar, and yeast called "sima". It contains very little alcohol, so even children can drink it. You can also buy a similar product in all stores. Some Finns also make doughnuts and a crisp pastry fried in oil made from a similar, more liquid dough.
Excerpts from Wikipedia

Day 6-7 of Knitting Blog Week

Opps! Fell of the wagon there, didn't I?! Sorry, about that. I did have good intentions.......but they all seemed to leave my head by the time I woke up on Saturday morning! So today I will do a little catching up.
Day 6: Improving Your Skillset
How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base?  If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you'd like to have tried them by.
How about these? Fair Isle Socks by Wendy Johnson
Well now, everyone knows there is always room to learn. I have to say, I would be willing to give any pattern I liked a try. Of course that is not saying I know all there is to know about knitting, I just have the confidence to give it a try!
One thing I would really really like to make some day is a Fair Isle sweater. If I had to say one knitting techique that I don't feel confident about, it is color work (the art of knitting with more then one color). I have my eye on this sweater. Color work still scares me a bit. I think I need to slowly ease into this, maybe try a pair of fair isle socks first.

Day 7: Craft Your Perfect Day
Plan your fantasy day with your craft, It might just take up one hour of your day or be the entire focus of the day, but tell your readers where you'd love to craft, whether you'd craft alone or with friends, knitting or crocheting something simple or spending a day learning new skills.
My current project- The Whisper Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
I decided I would much rather discuss this subject then the orignal one chosen.
So, my Perfect Craft Day? A trip to the yarn shop to choose yarn for a new project. Then rush home to cast on. Since the day is so sunny and nice out (a perfect day, right?) my Mom, sisters and I would sit in the back yard and soak up some sun while knitting. Pull a few weeds if needed. Once we are completly saturated with warmth and brightness, we go inside to sit around and knit some more. Possibly take a small break to look at a few knitting books and discuss future projects. Then once the evening has set in, cozy up with a classic movie musical and knit.