Friday, January 16, 2015

Valentine's Day Patterns

I go through long stretches where I just don't feel like sewing - then, I get the bug and can't stop. Since moving to a tiny (I can't emphasize that word enough) apartment in Salem, I haven't really had the wherewithal to work on much, even though fully half of my new living space is set up for quilting. But, as with most things, once I force myself to sit down and work on something, I can't stop until it's finished.

Valentine's Day is coming up and I wanted to get a few new patterns out there and ready to go and since I am the animal applique king (self proclaimed), I went straight for the applique and decided to make these two quilts...

I found the images of the animals and they just screamed out to be immortalized. I was a little hesitant to put a skunk on a quilt until I remembered this picture of me as a 1 year old...

Me @ 1 year old

 And I figured that if my mother could dress me in skunks, it would be fine for a quilt. And, if I do say so myself, they came out very well. I've finished the tops of both (and got rid of some of that "Love" fabric that's been haunting me since a certain post-Valentine's sale at my local fabric store 4 years ago - it seemed like a good idea at the time). Both of them will be completed this (thankfully, long) weekend.

And since my applique patterns don't sell as well as my pieced patterns, I also plan on having a pieced Valentine's pattern up by Tuesday. I'm only going to make the baby quilt as a sample, because that's all the floor space I have and I always bind on the floor - so much easier.

Wishing everyone a happy (and productive if you want it to be) weekend.
Baby Quilt w/ 6" blocks
Twin Quilt w/ 6" blocks

Sunday, September 14, 2014

New Project and Many Thanks

So, I haven't had a chance to sew recently - and it's starting to eat me up. I've been getting a lot of writing done - trying to maintain a 3,000 word a day word count. And, I just had to move and don't have a huge workroom solely dedicated to fabric and quilting... but, I know that most people don't have that, so I'll stop whining.

My boss has asked me to make her recently deceased mother's dress into a bed runner. As with any project that I don't think up myself, I'm frozen. I completely and totally overthink these things. Then after months of having complicated patterns running through my head, I end up doing something simple and it works out. It's time for me to do the simple thing and stop procrastinating. I'm thinking of just making stripes with the wool of the dress and an off-white cotton and then hand appliquéing the ornate pieces onto the off-white somehow.  If anyone has any ideas - I'd love to hear them.

Also, I would like to thank everyone who has purchased my simple little layer cake pattern! I now have the third highest selling quilt pattern on Craftsy! At $2 a pop, it's raking in much more pride and gratefulness than money - but there are times when satisfaction is more important than money. Thank you all so very much!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Tangled Up in Blues

I have always feared blues... not blues as in sadness, the actual color. Matching blues is all hard and stuff. There are so many different undertones and shades that finding complimentary blues is a headache. But, I decided to confront my fears and designed a throw that would incorporate five different blues.

I was getting ready to take a hand appliqué class at my local quilt shop, so I came up with this quilt and went in for fabric help. Usually I can stand in the doorway of a fabric shop, scan, and see exactly what I need (and then I buy an extra $100 worth... because obviously I'm going to need it later), but since blues were involved, I asked the nice ladies for help.

I should stop here and say that I've been in quilt shops that have treated me like dirt. Being a guy who quilts has given me a pretty good taste of what women have had to deal with when they take their cars to less than enlightened mechanics. However, the women at Cambridge Quilt Shop have always been wonderful.

I found five great blues and a very black black for the appliqué. Then the appliqué class was canceled because I was the only one who signed up. I could have just learned it from youtube but I was annoyed enough that I just set the project aside for a while (read that as "about a year").

By the time I got back around to it, I had already made a few patterns to sell and realized that the 32 pages it would take to make the appliqué pattern probably wouldn't fly. I also realized that a bed quilt pattern would sell better than a throw, so I ditched part of my original design and increased the size to make it a double quilt.

Since I bought quite a few cones of white thread at my last quilt show, I went ahead and did heavy quilting in all of the white areas. And, apparently my recent aversion to borders also applies to bindings because the only way I could see this was with a white binding. I didn't want the pattern to be blocked in, but to look like it goes on and on.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Diaries: Aug/Nov 1911 - Pickin' Cotton

            This summer has been a very uneventful one in my life. There has but very few things happened of any importance or out of the ordinary. I get tired some times of the daily routine of keeping house and long for a whole summer of vacation and rest.
            I had planned all winter to go on a visit to my Uncle’s this summer but won’t get to go.
            One of the Granbury College boys -Claude W.- came to see me the first Sunday in August (Aug 6) He came on Sat eve and we all went to a neighbors house that night and made ice cream. We had a delightful time while he was here talking about old school days. And w-e-ll - that wasn’t all we talked about either, cause we decided we would marry some of these times and set that some time for next June.
            I’ve been engaged lots of times before, but it never did mean anything to me for I didn’t really aim to marry and would set the time so far off that I thought we would quit before the time came.
            I’ve never really loved but one boy before. But there is one other boy in this old wide world that I really did love, and do love yet, and always will love I guess. He was my first real Sweet Heart. He began going with me when I was fifteen and the last time I saw him I was eighteen. He thought equally as much of me as I did of him.
            I don’t guess there ever will be a boy care any more for me than he did for he has proved in numberless of different ways the true love he had in his heart for me. The last time I heard from him was the first of last May about 4 months ago now. We won’t marry because Papa is so bitterly opposed to it and I guess he isn’t just the boy that would suit me best, but he won my first love and I’ll always have a great regard for him.
            I never will forget the night he first ask me to marry him. We went to preaching about three miles from home us and some other couples. I wore a blue lilly in my hair that night and I still have it yet. I have him my hand on it that I would marry him. I was fifteen and he was eighteen then. Yes I know we were quite young. Well I’m getting of off the subject I started on but I couldn’t be so untrue to my old love as to say I never loved a boy before.
            But there has a new love come into my life and as the days go by I am tending to forget the old S.H.
            I think Claude is a grand old boy and I think as much or more, of him as I ever did of anyone. I am now wearing his ring as a token of our love and engagement and intend to marry him when the time comes.
            Claude did so cute when he went to tell me good bye it made me care more for him. He took my hand and holding it he looked me straight in the face and said; “I hate so bad to leave you. I want you to be good to your self and write to me often.” He looked so deeply in earnest it made me love him better.
            He wore a rainbow colored tie one day while he was here that I have him for a birthday present and when he came I had on a stick pin that he had given me as an xmas gift. (August 21, 1911)

            Mr Thompson came down on the evening train Sunday evening (Sept 10) and spent the evening and till late bed time with me and then went back home on the night train. I never had gone to the station to meet him when he came in, and at the picnic he said he guessed if I lived just across the street from the depot I wouldn’t step over then to meet him, and I told him the next time he came I would go to meet him.
            So when he wrote me he was coming he reminded me of my promise to meet him. There was no one at home but Papa and me and he was fevering some. I went to meet him and there sure was a crowd at the depot as there usually is on Sunday. We had a very enjoyable time. We walked down to the church which is just a few yards from our house, to the young peoples League at 4 oclock as I was on the program to read a paper on “How should we exercise our spiritual lives.” Sunday night we went to preaching at the Baptist church as there was not going to be any preaching at the Methodist church. By the way he is a strong Baptist. I always have more Baptist fellows than Methodist any way. Bro has been gone to Evandale to Uncle Ladells for a few weeks, he will spend the fall there picking cotton with them. Grandma has also been to <Erath Co> on a visit, so I’ve been by myself quite a good deal lately as Papa isn’t at home much in day time. (Sept 13, 1911)

            Salem              I came down here to Salem in Erath, Co Sept 16th to pick cotton this fall. I had been here before visiting my aunt and cousins and had met several of the people. I first picked cotton for a family living near my aunt’s. A young man and his mother and sister make up the family (Ogan) and I was never around finer people. I had a dandy time the three weeks I picked there. They had a patch of fine watermelon and althoe Mr Jim didn’t like them him self, and we would cut one every day after dinner and then very often he would carry one to the waggon in the morning and put it in the <strade> and Miss Hannah and me would stop about the middle of the evening and eat it. My! But we sure did devour some fine watermelons, and enjoyed them too. Mr Jim (Ogan) sure was good to us. But he is always as good to his mother and sister, as most boys are to their Sweet Hearts. He very often calls Miss H “honey” and to cap it all one day we were picking along and he said, something to her and called her honey, and I answered him and didn’t know till after I had what he had called her. He looked real funny and it sure did get to me. Miss Hannah very often played on the guitar and sang at night. I enjoyed that too, but I can’t tell much more about my stay there.
            I felt real lonesome when I started to leave and they all seemed to hate to see me leave. I’ve heard lots of good things that they’ve said about me. I felt flattered a little when I first came down here, I heard of so many nice compliments passed on me. I am vain enough, like the most of humanity, to like to hear all the good things said about me.
            I’ve picked cotton about three weeks for a Mr Bud Burgess and enjoyed my stay there too. Mrs Burgess gave me a real pretty Geranium plant it is in bloom now. I don’t guess there is any one that likes flowers better than I do.
            I’m having a nice time on my cotton picking “spree” and it is the first I have picked in about four years and the last I guess I’ll pick in a good while. (Oct 18,1911)

            Salem              I am real proud of Bro, althoe, I do get worried to death at his recklessness. Seems to me sometime that he is the most noisy and thoughtly boy I ever knew. He declares our home would be as quiet as a grave yard if it wasn’t for his fun and racket. Well I don’t care to miss it any way for it is lonesome at home when he isn’t there. He is just begging to claim the girls, and I know he will be a case when he gets grown. None of the girls can get ahead of him now. He is just fifteen. He has been picking cotton for Mr Burgess, and there was a girl about 16 years old, picking for him too. She would rather pick with Bro than me and they pick together nearly all the time. They could both pick faster than anyone else in the field any way. One day Bro didn’t been picking and late in the evening he came over to the field and was picking along putting in our sacks. After while he picked an extra large handfull and held it up and said he would give it to the highest bidder. I said I’de give him a Yankie Dime (kiss) and he looked around at the other girl and said; “Will you give that for it?” She said “yes” and to my surprise he stepped over to her sack and put the cotton in, and said “now pay your debt.” and she kissed him, we sure did laugh. That’s the first girl he has kissed that wasn’t related to him. Velma Stone is her name. She knows how to flirt and is pretty talkative, but she couldn’t get a head of him. She would bring him some apples or peaches or something every day. (Oct 1911)

            Salem              Life is not all sunshine by a good deal. I was nearly blind with sore eyes a week or two ago and I saw very little sunshine then. It is sure bad to have something wrong with ones eyes. It nearly killed me to be so I couldn’t read or do any kind of fancy work. I was closed up in a dark room one Sunday (Nov 6) and kept <poltices> on my eyes most of the time. The week that my eyes were sore would have seemed like months but Genoa Moore (my cousin) read to me a great deal. She read or began reading a little book “Stepping Heavenward” which I sure did enjoy. It is some thing like a diary and it made me the one I was writing, only of course it was better than mine but I let one of my cousins (Maudie Moore) read it and she said it was better than “Stepping Heavenward.” She is the first person that has ever read any of mine. (Nov 14, 1911)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Diary May/ July 1911: a right smart of damage

            We moved from Duster back near DeLeon last Monday, and my! What a week of work this has been (this is Sat)
            I’m so sore from head to foot I can’t hardly move. The 11th of last month was my 20th birthday. Grandma surprised me by giving me a quilt top, I’de been wishing for pieced out of <colars>. It’s the prarie flower design and is real pretty. One of the boys sent me a pair of white silk elbow gloves. Those were the most important things I got. (May 6, 1911)

            Last Friday a week ago June 16, we had a pretty bad storm and hail. The old settlers said that it is the worst that has been here in several years. I guess it lasted for at least an hour, raining in almost a torrant all that time.
            Our old cellar wasn’t very good any way so it couldn’t resist such hard rain, and the water ran in at the door. We stayed in there till the water was nearly knee deep - Papa, Grandma, and me. Bro was away from home. We got out of the cellar and as we came in the house at the back, the front door blew down. Papa caught it and put it back in place and we held it there till the storm was over. It wasn’t easy to hold either with the wind against it. We thought every minute that the house would go the next and it would have I guess if we hadn’t held the door up. From some cause or another we didn’t seem to be much frightened. We went on the plan that we had as well laugh as to cry, so we talked and laughed about it all during the storm. I was really surprised at my self at not getting frightened our of my wits. After the storm was over almost every thing in the house was wet as the water leaked and blowed in so in places. Several pictures blowed down and the stove pipe blowed down inside and out. Things were us set generally but no serious damage done.
            We got off lighter than most of our neighbors as some of their houses blowed off of the blocks some wind mills blowed down and a right smart of damage done.
            The crops through here were almost completely destroyed. There was nothing but <strins> left of the cotton where it wasn’t completely washed away. But that’s enough about the storm.
            To day was 22 years ago Papa was at a State Teachers Association at Galveston. Papa taught ten years before he married. He began teaching when he was 18 years old. (June 25, 1911)

            Last Wednesday and Thursday, June 28 and 29th - There was a big picnic and prohabition rally at DeLeon. There was hundreds of people here and every body seemed to enjoy them selves.
            There was a farris wheel, merry-go-round, a fine band from Walnut Springs and all kinds of stands most on the ground. We had about three speeches a day, all on prohabition. They were sure fine too.
            Mr Thompson from Carlton came down on Thurs and we had a nice time. We stayed on the picnic grounds Thurs night till after eleven oclock and they hadn’t broken up then. That is the first time he has been down to see me since last summer. To day is a year ago I was at the S. Normal at Ft. Worth and went to lake Como. (July 3, 1911)

            The Methodist protracted meeting has been going on for two weeks, and Sunday evening July 23rd Bro Bickley, our pastor, preached to the men and boys at the Tabernacle and Bro Sherrod, the Baptist pastor, preached to the ladies and girls at the baptist church. Every one seemed to enjoy the sermon so much. He preached about knowing God and being well aquainted with him. He spoke of some people having the summer religion, and then he talked of the great influence young ladies have over young men. He dwelt on young people so often spending their energy on frivolous worldly things, and of what a power they could be for God if they would. He said a Christian aught to spend at least one hour a day in reading the Bible and prayer.

            I began to realize as I never did before the importance of a person having a set time to read and pray every day, in order to be a true Christian all the year round. I resolved while he was reaching that from then on, every day of my life I would spend at least an hour a day in prayer and reading the Bible and other good religious books. (July 24, 1911)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Diaries Dec 1910/April 1911: Men were quite pushy, even then.

I have to admit that the last entry made me feel a twinge of guilt about doing this little project - but her concern elicited sympathy and understanding (from me anyway) and I didn't see anything she needed to be embarrassed about. Like I said earlier, her mother had passed, her grandmother was getting up there in years, and she had to pick up a lot of the slack. I can't blame her for wanting a way out every now and then.


           I refrain most of the time from wrighting about the little troubles and difficulties, I have to meet with all along. But it seems to me they are many. Life is such a struggle it seems like some times. And then things you work so hard at and are so anxious about are so often failures. It is sure hard on a girl to keep things straight at home when she is the only on to do. When I came home they had been moved to the community where Papa and I were going to teach school; several days and the house is just an old thing with three rooms and not sealed over head. The rooms had been papered with news paper and they were soiled and torn up badly but this was the only house vacant. Well there hadn’t been any body to straighten things up much after moving, as Grandma wasn’t able and Papa was studying for examination and didn’t have time. So the rooms were to paper and scour and the pictures to put up, books to unpack and arrange in the bookcase and straightening generally to do. Well I’ve been at work the hardest kind for about two weeks, and am about to get things looking decent at least. (Dec 12, 1910)

            I spent my first day in the school room teaching Jan 2, 1911. I’ll not forget soon. how cold it was that day either, I had been looking forward to the time when I could begin teaching for quite a while. I have had a very nice time so far, as I haven’t had the least bit of trouble. But teaching is sure tiresome. I have enrolled 31 up to date. (Jan 14, 1911)

            Today is the first day of Feb. I made our my first monthly report and as teachers have to swear to their reports Papa and I went down to the <P.G.> with them this evening and was sworn. That was the first time  ever was sworn about anything. That finished up my first months teaching.
            We’ve been reading a continued story (not a love story) in the “Youth’s Companion” and we got the paper that continued the last chapter of it today. The title of the story was “Five Miles Out,” and it sure was fine. Papa enjoyed it as much as we did. He read the last chapter aloud this evening the first thing he did when he got back from school. He very often reads the continued stories in the Youth Companion and he always enjoys them as they are usually fine. This last on thoe I believe is the best we have had. (Feb 1, 1911)

            To day was such a lovely day; the birds have been singing, the sunshine is so warm and every thing seems to say Spring has come. Our co superintendent was at our school to day and he made the pupils a nice talk. In the evening I had the exam for the fourth grade and that sure is tiresome on a teacher. I came home almost too tired to move. I’m always glad when Fri evening comes for that means too days of rest. Or at least it means too days out of the school room but I usually have enough work at home to do to keep me busy. (March 3, 1911)

            I have hung another picture in the picture gallery of my mind, and have enrolled another name to my list of “Fellows” or Sweet Hearts which ever you would rather call it. The name is Homer Ross. He is just a boy two years my junior. He is only 18 years old. He is a little taller than myself, has light hair, gray eyes and is light complected. Homer is the first by to go with me younger than myself. He has been with me every Sunday for the last three Sunday’s. Last Sunday he tried to get me to kiss him good bye and said he wouldn’t have a girl who wouldn’t kiss him before they married. He kept begging me to kiss him and finally he said “Well if you don’t think enough of me to kiss me good bye, we had as well quit,” and I told him alright. He talked on a while and then said, “no I don’t want you to kiss me now, I was just trying you to see if you would.” I’ve had boys try to get me to kiss them good bye “To prove my love” but I don’t prove my love that way. We went to Turkey Creek yesterday evening to singing and had a very nice time but when we got home they were just coming out of the dining room and we had missed our supper but we went in and ate some any way and when we got through I washed the dishes and he dried them. (April 10, 1911)

            I guess I’m supposed to tell this old diary every thing that happens in my life, of any importance but often I’m just a little bashful, for fear some one else will know it besides my dear old diary some time.
            Occasionally when some thing comes up at home that I don’t like (I don’t mean just any little thing) I will (to myself) declare I will marry the next chance I get. Well one of those times came when a while back when Papa mentioned his intentions of moving back to DeLeon soon. That was on Saturday and I thought to my self; “I’ll marry the next chance I get and quit moving so much.”

            The next day one of my fellows came to see me and actually proposed to me. So I told myself; “Now here is your chance if you want to marry and try a new life.” but I was over my vexation of the day before and couldn’t think of marrying then. And that’s the way I usually am (April 1911)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Diary Nov 1910: a girl can’t have two or three real sweethearts at once

            Granbury Texas           We (dormitory girls) always look forward to the Literary Society night with a great deal of pleasure, as they let us have a few minutes social after the society and we are allowed to talk to the boys a while. Last night when my chum and myself went in two of the boys came around and sit down by us and stayed all during the society. We were a little afraid we would get a scolding, but we didn’t. It was real funny three of us girls were in the parlor playing on the piano and singing and one of the dormitory boys came in. He hadn’t been in there long till we thought we heard one of the teachers step up on the front gallery. The young man hid behind the piano and sure enough it was Prof Russel. After a while us girls went to our rooms and turned out the light in the parlor and hall so he could slip out with out the teacher seeing him. We have lots of fun at our meanness once in a while but some of the other girls have gotten into trouble occasionally too. But fortunately for my room mate and me we have escaped so far. (Nov 22, 1910)

            Granbury Texas           There is one thing sure a girl can’t have two or three real sweethearts at once, especially if they all live in the same community. I’ve been receiving and returning a little attention to three different boys here at school. Not real sweet hearts of course but just to have a nice time and I find it causes me more real trouble than any thing else. It wasn’t so much trouble till this week, but as I’m going home Saturday each one tries to talk to me every good chance he gets, not so much, I guess because he likes me so well but to spite the other fellow. Now at the literary society one of them was there talking to me and another one came up and spoke and began to talk too, and after a while the other one happened by and spoke. Well well they were all three there talking to the crowd as there was several of us standing there talking. But I tried to stand so I wouldn’t have my back to any of them and I was perfectly miserable.
            To day as one of the girls and myself were going up to the college at noon there was five or six boys standing on the gallery and one of them came running to meet us, for meanness and said; Cland and Charlie were quarrelling about me and he told them he would tell me to speak to the one I liked best. Oh I was so mortified I didn’t know what to do. I never felt so hateful. I went across that gallery quicker than I had in a good while and didn’t even look at any of them. The boys were just talking in fun and didn’t think about that silly boy telling me what he said he would. But it sure did make me feel bad the rest of the evening and showed me how silly it was to pay attention to more than one. (Nov 22, 1910)

            I came home from Granbury College on Nov 26. We had a nice time there on Thanksgiving (Nov 24). We had a nice dinner at the dormitory and a few friends were invited to take dinner with us. Our president suspended the rules that day and we went to services at the church in the morning and walked around in the evening. My room mate and my self and our beaus stayed together almost all evening. One of the preacher boys going to school there (Ozier Hightower) was with me. I think he is simply the finest young man out. You can draw from his conversations that he has such high ideals and ambitions. We had several Kodaks taken during the after noon. The next day, in the evening before I was to start home in the night, so many of the students came around to tell me good bye, and wish me well, and saying they would miss me so much, it made me real lonesome. I thought a great deal of all of the students going there. You sure do miss school mates after leaving school. I hated to stop to teach so bad, but my school was soon to begin and I had to stop. (Nov 29, 1910)