Thursday, July 28, 2016

Free E-Book is #1 on Kindle Quilts

This week has been very exciting.  My E-Book is free on Kindle for a limited time only.

All the stories from the Chester Criswell Quilt are in the e-book "Round is the Ring That Has No End".  For the next few days you can download the book from Amazon to your Kindle at no charge.  If you don't have a Kindle you can download the app and read the book on your tablet or smartphone.

The promotion has been running for two days and the book is rating very well.  I don't know about you, but I think if quilting books were best sellers the world would be a better place.

The more downloads the higher the rating, and positive reviews on Amazon also add to the ratings.  A nice Amazon review is always appreciated.

Unfortunately the e-book doesn't have the quilt block patterns.  If you want the patterns they are always available at the Two Bits Patches website.  And the pattern for Block 1 is always free.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Knitting Anxiety? Try Glove Making

Are you familiar with the Farm Life Quilt competition that was run in Australia in the 1930s?  The Adelaide Chronicle printed a weekly pattern from Ruby McKim's Farm Life quilt and the finished quilts were judged at the Adelaide show.

I was browsing through the online newspaper looking for the Farm Life patterns when I got distracted.


Change From Fancy Work; Handy Gift For Motorist

All women, no matter how busy they are, rather like having a small piece of "fancy" needlework on hand which they can pick up at odd moments when a friend calls in for a chat. Busy women do not always feel inclined to bring out the family mending basket on these occasions yet they are not happy if their fingers are idle.

Winter afternoons and evenings are more conducive to industry than the summer days. The woman who loves knitting is never at a loss - there is always a half-finished sock on hand to click accompaniment to friendly chatter about "the sponge (cake) that would go blistery" or "the jelly that refused to jell" and "What can I do about it?"  But there are many women who cannot knit because the ceaseless working of the fingers or the anxiety in fear of dropping a stitch affects their nerves. These women prefer the soothing plying of needle and thread. 

Today I am giving you a suggestion for odd moments when you do not always feel inclined to finish that corner of the drawn-thread design in the tray cloth, or perhaps the light is not quite good enough for shading the wools for the half completed tapestry square.

 Ingenuity And Practice 

Try your hand at glove-making. The pattern shown in the sketch is simple and with a little ingenuity and practice the average needlewoman can evolve her own paper pattern from the sketch. I saw Miss Maude Priest, the artist, making a pair for herself the other afternoon, and she very generously told me how it is done. The pattern is in three pieces—the band, fingers, and wrist in one piece, the gusset (for joining the fingers) and the thumb. The last named looks a funny shape, but it fits easily and neatly into the scheme of things.

These gloves are made of chamois leather or doe skin. A whole skin is required to make one pair, costs from five to seven shillings, and can be purchased at any of the large shops. When choosing the skin, be careful to pick one that is of even texture throughout; many are apt to be thinner in some places than others. Do not cut out the pattern until you are ready to make up the glove, otherwise the skin is liable to stretch out of shape.  When cutting the pattern on the skin, be careful to get the “pull” going across the hand, or you will find that the fingers will stretch to twice their length.

It is quite easy to make one glove in an afternoon or evening, for when once the pattern is cut out the rest is simple sewing, and there is only one seam at the side.  The hand and fingers being cut in one piece requires that the pattern has to be reversed for the left hand.

Black Thread for Smartness

The stitching is all done by hand on the right side, using a good black linen thread to give a smart touch. It has the appearance of ordinary running stitch, although each stitch is worked through and back again singly, and best results are obtained by using a tailor's needle. 

The make-up is all plain sailing - there is nothing to remember, really. Before folding the pattern to join the one side seam, stitch the thumb first, and secondly do three lines of stitching on the back of the hand, about three inches in length. Then stitch in the three gussets between the fingers, and after that sew a narrow piece of elastic on the inside of the wrist, and then join up the side seam.

It is not absolutely necessary to have the decorative fringe as shown in the sketch, but if you like the idea, cut two strips of skin about one and a half inches wide and sew in when joining the seam. Cut the fringe after you have inserted the strip in the seam. 

These gloves are ideal wear for motorists, because they are soft and warm, and will not stick to the driving wheel. Furthermore, they are splendid for night driving, being of a light color, which makes the hand signals easily seen by the motorist behind. Ordinary wear and careful washing will give several years of service.

What more do I need? Homemade gloves and crocodile shoes.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

One Sue, Two Sue, Old Sue , New Sue

After many years of quilting I have finally made my first Sunbonnet Sue block.

This Sunbonnet Sue is very much a country cousin.  This is my Malaga 1937 friendship sampler quilt.  On the left is Mary McWilliams's block and my copy is on the right.  I have been putting off making this block but when I had no others left I had no choice.  It actually was a quick block to make.

Sunbonnet Sue is an old girl; embroidery patterns for a sunbonnet girl existed in the 1800s.  The design we know as Sunbonnet Sue probably came from a popular children’s illustrator in the early 1900s, Bertha Corbett.

In 1902 author Eulalie Osgood Grover and artist Bertha Corbett teamed up to create a new series of learning to read primers called The Sunbonnet Babies.  Babies May and Molly and their friends Fisherman Fred and Suspender Sam became very popular and the characters appeared everywhere.

The babies grew up and, somewhere, somehow, became Sunbonnet Sue.  The pattern was well known in the 1920s and stayed popular through the 1930s and 1940s.  Sue was bright and cheerful and she had no tricky face to applique (although her hands proved to be slightly challenging).

This Sunbonnet Sue may be hiding a secret.  Don't look under her bonnet, judging from her skeletal fingers she may be one of The Undead and her bonnet may be hiding a zombie.

Miss Mabel Taggart and Mrs. Sam Boswell are, very wisely, keeping their hand in their pocket.